All posts in “Young People”

11 Fun Ways You Can Keep Your Kid Active during Pandemic

This is a guest post, by Charles Vallena of TheSleepMatters (

The pandemic can keep children restricted with the number of activities that they can do at home. Unlike the usual setting without the imposed health protocols and community rules, becoming fit and active with the coronavirus pandemic can be a struggle.


Health experts advocate for children to make physical activities part of their daily lives, promoting healthier growth and helping them maintain the appropriate weight for their age. To keep children engaged in physical activities, check out these fun ways that will help them enjoy being active.


1. Do sports at home


Experts recommend children stay active with at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Playing sports is among the most efficient ways to keep your children competitive and active at the same time. Sports at-home – roller blades, swimming (if you have a pool), and even shooting some hoops, can keep them very active during the pandemic.


Sports have a lot of interpersonal, emotional, and physical benefits for children. It develops their motor and social skills, and it also promotes self-confidence. Most of all, sports are fun to play for all ages.


2. Learn how to play the guitar

Letting kids become musically inclined will let them explore more of their interests. Learning how to play the guitar keeps their minds sharp. Music experts at Guitar Junky said even young kids can try learning a few chords and let them enjoy the instrument on their own.


kids guitar is easy to find and portable so they can continue to learn playing the instrument at home or your nearby music school. Aside from the guitar, you can also let your children learn other musical instruments, and let them choose the instrument to learn with the given time.


3. Get them into kids’ yoga


Wondering how you can keep your children interested in yoga when you are not an expert? There are a lot of online yoga classes that you can take with your children. There are yoga videos that are fun and challenging for kids and parents.


Aside from varied yoga poses, yoga also keeps them focused, developing their mental growth. Yoga videos are great for those kids who love screen time because they can enjoy watching while also learning how to be active.

4. Make a fun obstacle course


Another thing that spells out fun is having an obstacle course at home. You can always build your obstacle course that  you can design and construct based on their physical capabilities.


Ninja ropes and old tires can be used to make a DIY-obstacle course.  Nevertheless, DIY obstacle courses are fun ways to keep kids active, while also helping you recycle old or unused tools and objects. These obstacle courses also encourage creativity and resourcefulness for your kids. 

5. Play indoor games

Simple indoor games like hide and seek, board games, and even their toys, can promote physical activity among children. Indoor games are more fun especially when parents, or their siblings, interact and engage with their play.


Encourage children to spend time off their screens and let them have fun with their toys at home. There are a lot of age-appropriate games that make children more physically active. Make sure to let them play with safe and non-toxic toys for their indoor games.


6. Grow plants

If you want your kids to be responsible, giving them a pet is ideal. But, if you want to train your children on how to be responsible while still being physically active, let them grow their plants, but teaching them how to cultivate plants or grow flowers makes them more responsible, as they learn how to take care of their plants daily.


Gardening is something you can enjoy with your kids, especially in activities like trimming stems and watering the plants.  While this activity can get them dirty from time to time, it can teach them to become more responsible and allow them to be more aware of their surroundings.


7. Do a backyard camping


Nothing is more exciting than enjoying backyard camping at home. Involve your kids in setting up camp, gathering some ingredients for some outdoor s’mores, picking up wood for the campfire, and having some fun camping games. Backyard camping is something they can look forward to in these times, and you can still let them enjoy camping even at home.


8. Make DIY projects

One of the things that spark creativity in children and parents is fun DIY projects. There are a lot of easy DIY projects that they can do at home –tie-dye shirts, slimes, sock puppets, playdough, even their fort. The possibilities are endless with the DIY projects that you can make at home.


9. Have dance parties at home


Dance parties at home are fun ways to keep active. Children are more active when engaged with music. Funky and groovy songs let them throw their dance moves on the floor. There are a lot of trendy dance challenges on the internet that will encourage them to learn those moves.


10. Have a game night with the family


Charades, freeze games, twister, and treasure hunting are fun game night activities. Schedule a game night with the whole family to let your kids have something to look forward to. Game night encourages social skills, graceful winning or losing, as well as following rules for kids. Games are also great for bonding with the family.


11. Cook and bake with your kids

Cooking or baking with your young ones is very beneficial for both parents and children. Cooking and baking are low-intensity physical activities as it involves walking, upper arm workout, and even fine motor activities. Kids learn a lot from cooking or baking simple recipes. It also promotes confidence and it lets them explore their taste and other senses.


Experts recommend kids have about 60 minutes of physical activity every day for healthier mental, emotional, and physical growth. Even amid the pandemic, your kids can still be active in a lot of different fun ways.


Being physically active in the eyes of your children can set a great example for them to follow. You must engage your kids in age-appropriate activities, and they should be enjoyable so they will anticipate more activities in the coming days.


Huw Stephens launches free festival for young people in Wales

Your Future Festival 2021 is a virtual event with advice and support from schools, colleges, and work-based learning providers

With so much uncertainty due to the pandemic, students across Wales need hope for the future.

To make sure young people don’t miss out on the opportunity to find out more about their options in and after education, radio presenter Huw Stephens has teamed up with Welsh Government to launch Your Future Festival.

Taking place June 21-25, 2021, Your Future Festival is an unmissable virtual event, helping young people to understand and make decisions about their next steps.

What is Your Future Festival?

Your Future Festival is an online platform full of resources to help your child understand and find out more about the different options available to them. With information from choosing GCSEs to starting a business, applying to university to building confidence there’s something for everyone from Year 9 and over. We might be living and learning in very difficult times, but there are still opportunities available and extra support in the transition from one year to the next.

So, whether your child knows what they want to do, is unsure, or needs additional support and extra help deciding, there’s advice and support from schools, colleges, and work-based learning providers so that they can decide on the right path for them.

When does the festival take place?

Scheduled to start on June 21, the virtual festival is an unmissable event that you can join online, wherever you are, at any time.

And all content will be available to view on the event page after the festival, so you don’t need to worry about missing out.

for more on this story see>

Immigration Advice Service : Supporting Asylum Seeking Children

SNAP Cymru aims to support children and young people who encounter barriers to their education – all children deserve to reach their full potential! Our SNAP team can offer free and independent information and advice, as well as advocacy and training. Our services are open to any child/young person experiencing barriers to their learning (and any adult supporting them), and can be accessed via our helpline (0808 801 0608), or online enquiry form (Contact – SNAP Cymru).

We are proud to be working in partnership with the Immigration Advice Service – the following article is a guest piece written by Aileen Bowe (Writer and Correspondent for the Immigration Advice Service). 

Much more is needed : Educational Opportunities for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

Overview of the situation

When an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child (UASC) arrives in the UK, they enter a system that ostensibly has been designed to provide quality care and treat them in the same way as UK-born children. However, this is not always the case. Reports frequently show poorer outcomes for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

One of the ways that this is visible is in the educational journey for children with these backgrounds. As we outline in more detail in this article, while motivation can be very high for asylum-seeking children at primary and secondary level, this can then fall dramatically when it comes to moving to third level education as a result of systemic obstacles placed in the way of further progression.


What happens when UASC arrive in the UK?

Worldwide, there are 13 million child refugees. Since 2016, over 9,000 unaccompanied children have requested asylum in the UK. In the year ending March 2020, there were 2,205 grants of leave made in the UK to unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (including grants of asylum, humanitarian protection, discretionary leave, UASC leave and other grants).

When a UASC arrives in the UK, they will either submit an asylum claim at their port of entry or at the national intake unit in Croydon. Local authorities are responsible for the welfare of children who are not accompanied by parents or guardians. The child may be transferred out of the care of the first council in which they are placed in if there is insufficient capacity to provide care.


Key considerations for unaccompanied child asylum seekers

It is widely accepted that unaccompanied refugee or asylum-seeking children have higher risks of developing mental health problems. As well as this, they are more likely to have experienced a number of adverse childhood events or traumatic experiences, including the death of parents or close family members, exposure to violence, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, and severe deprivation of basic needs.

Significant” numbers of vulnerable young people have regularly been reported missing by authorities, and in some cases, even end up being trafficked or subject to further abuse. In 2020, following the onset of the pandemic, some forms of legislation designed to protect vulnerable children were removed. The Guardian reported that a 17-year-old unaccompanied child asylum seeker went missing from care after his in-person support was cancelled due to the legislation. Authorities stated he had not been accessing his support payments and there were serious concerns about his welfare.

This problem is not limited to the UK, as a recent report found that at least 18,000 unaccompanied child migrants have gone missing since 2018 after their arrival in European countries. The Lost in Europe project undertook research that found many European countries had child asylum systems that were not fit for purpose.


Accessing education as an unaccompanied child asylum seeker

Even the promise of an education and the hope that this brings with it is not a guarantee to unaccompanied asylum-seeking or migrant children. A Unicef report in 2018 found that no region in the UK was meeting its requirements to enrol asylum-seeking children into schools within their 20-day target.

Children with asylum seeker or refugee status under the age of 18 years have the same entitlements as British-born children, however, they may face additional obstacles, including language challenges, adapting to a new educational system, gaps in education history, social isolation, discrimination, or racism. 

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

Unicef report into educational opportunities for UAS children

Unicef commissioned a report into the educational journey for refugee and asylum-seeking children which was published in 2020 and aimed to identify the barriers faced by these children transitioning to further or higher education.

The report found some of the primary factors preventing young people with these immigrant backgrounds from progressing with their education included lack of support and encouragement, poor mental health or emotional wellbeing, and poverty and disadvantage.

Some of its findings make for difficult reading. Despite facing significant disadvantages, the issues involved in accessing further or higher education are often prohibitive. One person quoted in the report stated, “even if [young people] are ready and willing to go to college, literally a £1.50 bus fare is what stops them.”

Another major challenge cited by respondents found that stakeholders frequently gave inaccurate or incorrect information about accessing opportunities for further study at higher level. The report noted, “Half of key informants described how young people are often given wrong information about their eligibility to study at FE level, including from teachers, social workers and other professionals supporting them.” It was reported that there was a widespread lack of awareness of the rights of young people in accessing further education.

Another area that represents significant disadvantages for young people with asylum seeker backgrounds relates to how young people access courses. Young people cite the challenges of gathering documents required by admissions officers and institutions. For unaccompanied child asylum seekers, it is not unusual for them to be unable to gather the required documents from their home countries to prove their levels of educational attainment.


Supporting young people with asylum seeker backgrounds

The report lays out its findings on the different stakeholders and what is needed to improve the life outcomes of these children. These include interventions or policy changes from the Department for Education, the Home Office, higher and further education institutions, schools, voluntary organisations and private sector organisations. Some of the recommendations include:

  • The Home Office should provide clear guidance to educational institutes in relation to the Student Visa immigration permission and the rules around people with asylum seeker or refugee status
  • Further education institutes should exercise appropriate discretion and flexibility when dealing with students applying for courses or funding
  • Schools should establish effective pastoral and mental health systems to provide encouragement and tailored support for young people who wish to continue within education
Photo by Juan Serrano Arenas from Pexels

Organisations working to support asylum seeking young people

In Wales, there are several organisations working to provide support and care to refugee and asylum-seeking families and children. Many of these have an understanding of adverse childhood events and the impact these have on life outcomes.

Displaced People in Action (Wales) has been supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Wales since 2001. They provide a range of much-needed supports, with the ultimate mission of empowering these individuals to become more confident, more integrated, and self-sufficient.

Similarly, SNAP Cymru provides support to individuals who have faced discrimination in education. The work of these organisations in ensuring equal educational opportunities for all children in the UK, no matter their background, is vitally important.

Another recent and comprehensive report jointly published by the WHO, Wales Public Health, and the Cymru Well Wales Adverse Childhood Events Support Hub. The report highlights the potential for adverse childhood events (ACE) to occur throughout the migration journey. This can include pre-migration, on the migration journey, and post-migration. The report notes that, “By the time a displaced child arrives in a host country, he or she is likely to have experienced a multitude of ACEs due to their reasons for migrating and on their journeys to host countries.”

Despite the significant difficulties and often traumatic experiences of children with asylum seeker backgrounds, the report found that many children have a strong commitment to education and have ambitions to enter higher education. However, it is important to point out that not there is not always a negative relationship between war trauma and lower educational outcomes – in some instances, there can be insignificant or even positive effects on educational attainment.



It can be difficult to think about the struggles and challenges faced by asylum-seeking children, and it is impossible not to empathise with the hardships they have seen. Despite this, numerous studies[i] have shown that these groups of children are incredibly resilient, and if given opportunities, they show the capacity to embrace opportunities for growth and development.

Even for adults, there are extensive difficulties involved in getting immigration permissions to stay in the UK after arriving as an asylum seeker. The route towards citizenship is a complex path, and this is especially the case for children. Becoming a UK citizen brings with it many freedoms and can offer second chance at life for many children.

The value of education for improving life outcomes and improving mental health and wellbeing cannot be overstated. One 2005 study[ii] found that access to school and the opportunity to integrate well into a new educational system can actually mitigate the effects of trauma on young people with refugee backgrounds.

It is incumbent on all of us to continue to fight for equal educational access for all young people, and especially those who face extraordinary. disadvantages and obstacles.


Aileen Bowe is a writer and correspondent for the Immigration Advice Service, an organisation of immigration solicitors that provides legal aid to forcibly displaced persons.

Mr X Appeal 2020

Mr X Appeal 2020

We are thankful to have support from the Mr X Appeal – a project that provides presents for children and young people in need across Swansea, Bridgend, Neath/Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Llanelli, Carmarthen and most recently Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

This is the third year that SNAP has worked in partnership with the Mr X Appeal, allowing us to deliver Christmas gifts to some of our families in need in the Swansea area. We are excited to help spread some festive cheer!

Some of the gifts delivered to us from the Mr X Team

We had a chat with ‘Mr X’, and he told us all about the appeal, how it started and how it runs today

The appeal started 61 years ago; Mr X’s family were often visited by a little girl from the local orphanage. Her name was Francesca and she would eventually visit the family every Sunday, and during the holidays to take part in their games and activities.

When Christmas came around, Mr X’s colleagues asked if they could provide some presents for Francesca; before Mr X knew it, he had more gifts for Francesca than he did for his own children! He asked those wanting to donate if they’d consider donating to other children in the orphanage – and over time, more and more people wanted to offer gifts – and this was just the start of the ‘Mr X’ Christmas campaign!

Mr X in 2020

With the Covid-19 restrictions in place, this year was going to be challenging – unsure of whether the team would be able to secure enough donations due to the hardship of 2020, Mr X and his team pushed forward with the appeal, determined to ensure that over 8000 children receive gifts this Christmas! Not only did the team manage to secure 2 presents for each child – they also donated additional gifts to local foodbanks in hopes that no child is without presents this year.

The Mr X Appeal is run by a huge team of volunteers. Alongside the core team of ‘Mr X’, ‘Mrs X’ and the affectionately nicknamed ‘Santa’s Transport Elf’, there are a lot of people who give up their time freely to donate, sort and deliver gifts across South Wales. Mr X emphasised his true gratitude for all the volunteers involved with the appeal, expressing that their support enables the campaign to go ahead.

If you want to find out more about the Mr X Appeal, or would like to learn more about donations, check out their official Facebook page:

Mr X Christmas Appeal | Facebook

GOLD Duke of Edinburgh Awards for SNAP Young Ambassador’s

SNAP Cymru are delighted that two of our Young Ambassadors, Osian Frobisher and Joel Clements, have been awarded their Gold Duke Of Edinburgh Awards during ceremonies at St James’s Palace; attended by the Earl of Wessex and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Naval Airman, Osian Frobisher, was given special leave by his Royal Navy instructors at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall, to travel to London for the ceremony, where he was presented with his certificate by Prince Edward and Carol Voderman – an Honorary Group Captain in the RAF.   Osian has volunteered for SNAP Cymru since primary school, helping design information for other young people and supporting events, particularly those where he used his Welsh language skills.  Osian joined the Royal Navy in June after graduating with a Degree in Police Sciences and completed the five sections for his Gold Award while he was an Air Cadet based with 360 Llwchwr Squadron, 3 Welsh Wing.  The 24-year-old used his love of rugby to complete the physical element of the award.  He worked in the local community to fulfil the voluntary requirement, supporting SNAP Cymru and helping to run his Air Cadet squadron as a Civilian Instructor and then Sergeant, passing on skills to the younger Cadets.  For the residential element, Osian took part in a United Nations Youth Exchange project working with young people from other countries with the Forestry Commission in Wales.  He also represented the ATC visiting a village in Japan, where he helped to build a community centre.

Joel Clements is currently studying TV and Film Production at the University of Portsmouth but managed to fit in his trip to the palace between his studying and his passion for long boarding and representing Hampshire at Ultimate Frisbee. Joel completed his Gold DofE with Carmarthenshire Open DofE group, completing the volunteering element of the Gold Award through mentoring other young people to complete the Bronze DofE Award.  Joel’s residential element was completed at SPREE Wales Children’s Camp where he worked as a Service Crew Manager. Joel volunteered with SNAP Cymru whilst a student at Gorseinon College where he studied Creative Media, putting his video skills into action filming short clips of our volunteer team. Hopefully these will appear soon on our website to encourage others to participate.

Both Osian and Joel put their time and skills to good use as Young Ambassadors for SNAP Cymru and we wish them well in their future careers.  If you know a young person who may be interested in volunteering for SNAP Cymru, we’re looking for bright, passionate individuals, who want to make a positive difference in their schools and local communities. We can offer them a chance to:

  • influence local and national policy affecting young people’s lives
  • meet and socialise with other young people in the Young Ambassadors
  • have access to plenty of training opportunities and a chance to develop key skills
  • have a great addition to their CV’s – great for college and university applications

Don’t just take our word for it! See our volunteering page or call us at 01554 778288 for more information.

Superhero efforts of SNAP supporters

We all know money is tight. Demand is up in the voluntary sector, and SNAP Cymru is not alone in seeing a huge increase in demand for our advice services at a time when funding is down and charities are having to find new ways to survive and bring in an income. Consequently we are always delighted when people offer to fundraise for us. Recently several volunteers have chosen to run to raise funds, but others choose to play golf, hold raffles and dinners or even ‘shave off beards!’

In glorious sunshine on the 17th of May Nia Frobisher, Oliver Ferriman and Lewis Gardener, young volunteers ran the Super Hero Run in London’s Regents Park, raising a fantastic £317.33 for SNAP Cymru. Nia and her friends completed the 5k run in an impressive 24 minutes in appropriate superhero costumes!

 “Thank you for all the donations! We ran yesterday in sun and it was a wonderful atmosphere with thousands of people running for charity. We finished in 24 min (for me (Nia) – not a runner – I was very happy with that. It wasn’t pleasant!). Thank you so much for helping us to help SNAP Cymru to help children and young people with additional needs.”

 In another truly heroic effort, Simon Brushett also the London Marathon on the 26th April this year. The London Marathon is a lifetime achievement for anyone who takes on the challenge. The 26.2-mile course stretches from Greenwich Park to the Mall, with live bands and thousands of excited supporters cheering you on the finish. This was not only to raise funds for our charity but also in recognition of the support we provided for his family to ensure his daughter Amy to get the right support. During nursery, Amy was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder but is enjoying mainstream education in Reception with the help of her support worker, Sarah. Simon also surpassed his original £500 goal to raise an amazing £1500.

Meanwhile, Dan Gibson, the husband of Hayli our own Family and Young Person’s officer in Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, took only 1hr 50 minutes to complete the JCP Swansea Half Marathon and has raised a further £340.

As with those involved in these vital fundraising efforts, Dan is aware of how vital these are to sustain SNAP’s ability to support families and their children across Wales in the current financial climate, particularly in the Pembrokshire area where our contract is due to end in July.

SNAP Cymru would like to say a big thank you to all our fundraisers. You are all truly heroes for what you do.

 If you’re inspired to fundraise for us?  Here’s some tips to help you get started:

1. Read our top tips on fundraising in our 50 ways to raise a fiver!   Get to grips with the basics of fundraising, and really make the most of what you have to work with.

2. Don’t do it all by yourself, or think about how you could involve work colleagues, friends and family. And if you’d like to have a chat with us about what you’ve got planned or you’re after some more inspiration just give us a call on 01554 778288.

3. Set up an online Justgiving page. It’s absolutely the easiest possible way for you to get sponsored by friends, family, and colleagues. It only takes 5 minutes to set up a page and then you can add the links to emails, as well as your Facebook and Twitter pages. It’s a straight forward process to make a donation to SNAP Cymru – simply follow the link to our account at

4. Let us help you out! We’ve got lots of collection tins and other fundraising materials for you to use, just give us a call on 01554778288/0920348990. All we ask is that you return any collection tins or buckets when you’re finished with them so that we can send them out to other fundraisers.

If you have any questions or would just like to have a chat about your fundraising, contact us by emailing or call us on 01554778288/02920348990.


Interview with SNAP Cymru Volunteer Soraya

Recently I had the chance to sit down and have a small chat with a friend called Soraya who very recently joining SNAP Cymru as a volunteer. We discussed why she wanted to join SNAP Cymru and what this opportunity means to her.

Why did you choose to apply for volunteering here?

“I believe that young people are the future, I think that it is important to help those who are disadvantaged at a young age now. I also think that this is a great place to get valuable experience of working with families”.

How do your values match those of SNAP Cymru?

“I want to use my own knowledge and motivation to help young people fulfil their own potential and I know that SNAP share these same values”.

What do you hope to gain my volunteering?

“I would perhaps like give help to young people on how to start a business. I have some experience in this area so I hope to be able to provide some advice on this, if it is limited. I also see volunteering and working with SNAP as an opportunity to help fight stereotypes and assumptions which people may have about those receive support, yet are untrue”.

– You mean the distorted viewpoints perpetuated by sources such as the tabloid press?

“Yes. I don’t think people realise how challenging it is for people from disadvantaged or poorer backgrounds to get out of their situation without some degree of help”.

What about SNAP and the area it works in appeals to you the most?

“I believe we have to care for young people now because if they get lost at this this young age they may be lost forever. For example, some parents who are less well off financially need help so they fulfil their children’s potential”.

Do you have experience of a young person in your family facing discrimination which impacts their ability to participate in society?

“Not within my own family, but I remember at school I witnessed several of my classmates were taunted because of their sexuality. This was at a time when people were less open minded about such issues and I didn’t think much of it or understand it then as a small child. However I know that this resulted in depression for some of them and other long lasting effects”.

Welcome to our New Intern – Maxwell Dean

Here are some of Max’s thoughts about his first few days with us…

SNAP Cymru is a charity which aims to empower families and young people in Wales who face discrimination or exclusion due to learning needs, poverty, deprivation, disability or language by providing accurate information, objective advice and support. This can relate to a wide range of issues including assessments, statements of special education needs, bullying, school attendance, exclusion, health and social care provision and discrimination. Other services they provide include advocacy (through their independent service; About Me), disagreement resolution and training for young people, parents and professionals.

Wmff is a new online platform where young people can seek advice and support, including videos of personal stories where young people tell about their past difficulties, but most importantly how they overcame them. These stories involve experience of bullying in education, work or being out of work, education or training. Information on your legal rights under the 1989 UN Convention on The Rights of The Child is also set out. As such these stories were quite inspiring to myself. SNAP Cymru hope to develop the website’s forum in the future but through an exclusive app assistance is currently available on call whenever a young person needs their support. The website also has several useful links to other informative websites.

My time with the organisation has been very positive and supportive so far. The level of responsibilities I have been given shows a confidence in my abilities. This is despite my own problems with speech, which continue to be a personal barrier to many employment opportunities. This also speaks volumes about their approach and values toward young people with special needs and how they empower them through these. Through this opportunity I can find my voice; here my problems don’t prevent me from fulfilling my potential. They recognize the skills I do have, rather than the ones I have yet to further develop. Using both this experience and the confidence I have gained from undertaking a recent careers course, the GoWales Graduate Academy, I know that I have the ability to achieve much more in the future.

The most positive and indeed, greatest mutual impact of this is I have invaluable and real work experience in a working environment (something I know employers are looking for within a competitive jobs market) while helping the organisation achieve its aims and objectives.