Welsh assembly grant and new joint body will continue children’s work

Vital work with vulnerable children in Wales
will be safeguarded following the announcement of a £200,000
grant from the Welsh assembly.

announcement coincides with a joint statement from the Children’s
Society and Children in Wales, the national umbrella organisation
for children’s work in the country. The statement sets out the
contract for a new interim organisation, Tros Gynnal, that will
carry on advocacy work with children. The work was in danger of
collapse following the Children’s Society’s shock decision to pull
out of Wales altogether last November.

£200,000 is to be earmarked to provide continuity of services
for children until April 2003 when it is expected that a new
all-Wales charity currently being formed will take over (News, page
7, 4 April). The interim organisation will begin work in August
this year and will operate all of the current services run by the
society with the exception of three projects.

and social care minister Jane Hutt said that an important milestone
had been reached following the society’s decision to close down
projects. She praised the work of the task force, chaired by
Christine Walby, set up in the wake of the society’s decision. She
added that the agreements the task force had reached with the
society were significantly better than earlier offers and were
favourable to staff.

agreement between the task force and the society includes the use
of properties, transfer of assets and a financial contribution
towards operational costs of £115,000.

Jones, assembly member for the Vale of Clwyd, who joined the task
force as representative of the Welsh assembly’s health and social
services committee, said that she welcomed the announcement. But
she added: “I am still very angry at the attitude adopted by the
Children’s Society trustees and senior management, who took this
decision without any attempt to consult the assembly or other
interested parties in Wales, effectively dumping this crisis in our
lap without any warning or attempt to explore less drastic

added that she intended to continue to press the society’s trustees
to agree to a request to give Wales a fair share of the reserves
that could then be used for the new charity being set

Children’s Society has a moral obligation to see that Wales gets a
fair share of the £13m of reserves that the society holds.
After all that money was given in good faith to support work with
children in both countries,” she said.

Hutt also announced a review of existing advocacy provision for
children in Wales that will take account of the recommendations of
the recent Carlile review into abuse within the NHS, and the work
planned by the children’s commissioner for Wales, Peter


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