Winter of Wellbeing programme positively impacts post-pandemic FE learners

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ColegauCymru has welcomed the findings of the Welsh Government Winter of Wellbeing Programme Evaluation, designed to support children and young people to recover from the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The report, published in January 2023, highlighted that a £20m package of funding from Welsh Government was made available to support groups aged 0 to 25 in Wales to access free activities. This included opportunities to play and engage in leisure, recreational, sporting and cultural activities, as well as childcare and formal education.  

£1.2m of this funding was allocated to the FE sector under the Renew and Reform Plan, where £1m went directly to colleges for recreational, cultural and wider wellbeing activity. An additional £200k was provided via Sport Wales to support the upskilling of sports learners and outdoor activities for those groups most affected by the pandemic. New activities, events and resources created during the programme have been continued in FE colleges including the FE Outdoor Challenge, based at the Rock UK Summit Centre in Trelewis. This event alone provided learners from 11 colleges with their first experience of outdoor activity and is now being continued into its second year.

Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, Dawn Bowden MS, meets learners at Outdoor Challenge eventColegauCymru Sport and Active Well-being Project Manager, Rob Baynham, said, 

“ColegauCymru was pleased to work with Welsh Government to bring the Winter of Wellbeing Programme to fruition. The Programme, which aligns closely with the ColegauCymru Active Wellbeing Strategy, has allowed the sector to promote physical, mental, emotional wellbeing through increased access to creative, sporting and cultural activities.” 

“Working together with partners including Sport Wales and The Outdoor Partnership, we were able to facilitate a range of fantastic outdoor events ranging from canoeing, raft building and indoor climbing, to duathlons. These inclusive activities were particularly focussed on supporting the most disadvantaged groups who were most likely to have been adversely affected by the pandemic.” 

ColegauCymru Chief Executive, David Hagendyk, added, 

“Mental health and active wellbeing continue to be high on the agenda of the FE sector here in Wales, particularly as we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic. We’re grateful that Welsh Government recognises the importance of this, both for our learners and staff, and look forward to building on this positive foundation.” 

ColegauCymru, on behalf of the FE sector, is committed to ensuring health and active wellbeing is sufficiently funded and remains at the forefront of every college agenda. This will ensure that our colleges continue to be happy, healthy places in which to study and work. 

Further information 

Welsh Government Research
Winter of Wellbeing: programme evaluation 
27 January 2023
ColegauCymru Active Wellbeing Strategy 
2020 - 2025 

Rob Baynham, ColegauCymru Sport and Active Wellbeing Project Manager  

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