For 30 years Nick has led services for children and young people using youth work principles to empower, educate and support children and young people, focussing for the last 21 years on services across Wales. Nick founded and has led Media Academy Cymru for the last 12 years.
Above all, he ensures that youth work practice remains relevant in an everchanging landscape and in fields of work that have not always looked to youth work methodology as a way of working. He has championed youth work across sectors, with funders, and through offering hundreds of youth work placements for Youth and Community courses across universities in Wales.
Prior to MAC, Nick worked for Welsh Government on its NEET strategy, exploring how youth work can be a solution to the increasing numbers of young people that were presenting as NEET. A trained youth worker, Nick has created numerous youth centric programmes that have been adopted across Wales benefitting thousands of children and young people every month.
Passionate about the value of the youth work approach, he has often challenged statutory partners to re-evaluate the offer and power of a youthwork methodology in different contexts. The best example of this was when creating diversion programmes from the criminal justice system both for children (1017 triage) and for young adults (1825) which have led to some 15,000 children and young people being diverted and therefore not being given a criminal record. Nick and his teams oversaw this work, which has now been adopted across all areas of Wales.
Nick is an invited lecturer in three universities in Wales, delivering modules on youth work in criminal justice settings, again expanding the confines of modern-day youth work in Wales.
The judging panel highlighted that Nick’s focus on promoting a youth work approach extends far beyond the sector and he is clearly committed to ensuring that more people understand the positive power and impact of youth work.