All posts in “Young People”

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.