Wales Young Greens call on the Cabinet Secretary for Education to commit maintaining Erasmus+

In and amongst the attempted bravado and hot air coming from Theresa May’s speech today, she said “there are some specific European programmes in which we might want to participate. If so, and this will be for us to decide, it is reasonable that we should make an appropriate contribution.”

James Ruff, the Treasurer of Wales Young Greens has said: “As a student studying abroad on the Erasmus+ programme at the moment, I really do hope that continued participation by Welsh universities in this programme continues. Every year hundreds of thousands of students and lecturers, from all over the EU and other member countries, go to universities abroad as part of their studies. The Erasmus+ programme helps students to immerse themselves in different cultures, learn new languages and make friends for life.”

Wales Young Greens call on the Cabinet Secretary for Education to commit maintaining Welsh universities’ participation in the Erasmus+ programme, so that this possibility of an experience of a lifetime is not taken away from our students.

Alice Hooker-Stroud Responds to our Survey

What will you do to support the Wales Young Greens in their growth? 
Attend events, speak up for Wales Young Greens when they aren’t – or can’t be – present in a discussion within the party or at an event externally, always keep them in mind, keep in touch, and look for opportunities to help out or support in any way. Be seen publicly as a ‘young’ figure in politics, and direct new or potential young members their way. I would also add that some Wales Young Greens members are also members of Wales Green Party Council and have been candidates in various elections. I hope this is a signifier that we do relatively well as a party in making sure that young people feel comfortable and supported in taking on roles in the party and in politics. I’m sure there is more that we could do, but I think it helps youth membership and activity grow in and of itself – once people (both young and older) see that young people can take on a role, be a really valuable contributing member either in the Wales Green Party, or externally in wider politics, then more young people are likely to get involved and get active. I think that’s a massive barrier to some parties who keep younger members working their way up the ranks instead of trusting them, and supporting to bring their own unique skills and experience to the table.
Why is youth engagement important not only for Politics but for the Wales Green Party? 
I think the Wales Young Greens could teach the Wales Green Party a thing or two! They already have more bilingual provision on their website and social media, in their campaigns and the materials and merchandise they produce. We need to catch up! Structurally there are reasons for this – it’s more difficult to change things the larger the organisation you are part of, but I think Wales Young Greens, and young members have loads to offer – new ideas, perspectives, and a willingness to be a bit more adventurous and try out new ideas. I always find it energising being with Wales Green Party members, but our Young Greens bring that extra oomph. Young people are impacted by politics every day. It is vital that young voices are heard, and young people have prominent roles in politics now – not just as an investment for the future. It’s not just about engagement, it’s about empowerment. That’s why the Wales Green Party stands for the right to vote at the age of 16, and why Wales Young Greens determine their own priorities for campaigns, policy and issues. We can see from analysis of elections and the recent EU referendum that younger people think and vote differently. We have to make sure that politics fits around this, not wait until, or persuade young people to fit into politics as it is.
Have you already done something to support Wales Young Greens in any way? 
I was lucky enough in February to be invited to the Wales Young Greens inaugural AGM. It was great to meet some of the members, and touch base personally. I also really enjoyed being part of the Young Greens EU Referendum panel at Spring Conference, invited by the Wales Young Greens co-convenor at the time. We had some great discussion and then I ran some impromptu ‘spectrum lines’ (a really handy facilitation tool) to help identify which issues Young Greens felt were most important to them about staying in the EU. It was completely ad-hoc but I really enjoyed it, and I think everyone else did too! That’s what I love about Young Greens – energy, ingenuity, and the willingness to be spontaneous and try out new ideas. More recently I also pushed for Wales Young Greens to have a fringe event at the Wales Green Party AGM and National Gathering. I offered support in developing the session as well as inviting Ross Greer (member of the Scottish Greens, and Scotland’s youngest MSP) along. I saw how Ross inspired young members at the Irish Greens’ conference and hoped he would do the same in Wales.
Finally, why should the youth and student members of the Wales Green Party vote for you for Spokesperson / Deputy? 
I was named ‘one of the youngest party leaders’ last year, and have on various occasions since been called the ‘young leader’ or ‘fresh face’ in Welsh politics. After the leaders’ debates, Wales Online said: “If it wasn’t for her youth, you would never have guessed that the Wales Green Party leader is the new arrival of the Welsh political scene. Gracefully, she articulated thoughts more cautious politicians might censor.” I think some might see this as derisive or condescending labelling by the media, but I think it’s a plus. I frequently get asked for ID and the other night it instigated pub-wide uproar as no-one would believe me that I was 32. Despite the fact that look young, I am sadly too old to be classed as a Young Green. However, I would hope that younger people might identify better with me, and feel that I could represent their views and issues more easily – especially in comparison to other parties’ leaders.

Pippa Bartolotti Responds to our Spokesperson Survey

What will you do to support the Wales Young Greens in their growth? 
Growth of the WYG depends as much upon the decisions made by the national party as it does upon the activity of the Young Greens themselves. It’s very exciting to have an energised YG group here in Wales, and I will be pushing to support you in any way I can. From meetings to protests, to representation at any level required, I stand ready to support you. The more we can highlight the Green agenda through mainstream media, the better it will be for all Green groups in terms of electability. I would like to assist WYG in setting a long term strategy for growth, with some achievable milestones along the way. It will be a challenge – but I love a challenge!
Why is youth engagement important not only for Politics but for the Wales Green Party? 
Today’s young people are tomorrows political decision makers. The more influence our Young Greens have on the upcoming generations, the more influence they will ultimately have on – not just the wider Green Party – but on the population as a whole. It is absolutely vital that our Young Greens have a voice, and are heard by the widest possible audience, because planetary life is facing alarming existential decisions, and other parties are simply ignoring them. The current generation of Green politicians are having difficulties getting elected. I would like to make sure that our next generation of Green politicians are on firm and electable foundations.
Have you already done something to support Wales Young Greens in any way? 
I have been proud to support Young Greens across the country, from one-to-one mentoring, to selling raffle tickets, Freshers Fairs, and promoting their needs at GPEx and WGPC. I have consistently helped WYG candidates in the run up to elections. Promoting them, canvassing for them and advising where necessary. Help and support is a 2 way street. Members of WYG have helped the wider party in numerous ways, and that should never be forgotten. That’s why working together will reap the best results. That’s why concrete support from the leadership team is essential. If I can do more to help you all, please know that my door is always open – elected or not!
Finally, why should the youth and student members of the Wales Green Party vote for you for Deputy? 
Voting for me will enable my wide knowledge and experience to be put to good use. I am well known by many people in the media, and a readily recognizable face across Wales. This means that after 5 years as Deputy and Spokesperson I can hit the ground at a pretty fast pace. I will work to promote the WYG alongside the wider party, but I am particularly interested in preparing the next generation of Greens for elections, and bringing them into the spotlight. Re-inventing the wheel is a waste of time and effort, so I very much hope the WYG will take advantage of my knowledge and experience, because I would like to pull as many obstacles as possible out of their way and imbibe them with the confidence and opportunities to surpass the gains made by the generation before them.

Mirka Johanna Virtanen Responds to our Spokesperson Survey

Mirka Johanna Virtanen is one of the three candidates for Deputy Spokesperson of the Wales Green Party. We have sent this survey out to all candidates for Deputy and Leader and will post their responses as we get them.

What will you do to support the Wales Young Greens in their growth? 
It is important that as a party, we regularly consult Wales Young Greens themselves as to how much and what kind of support the group needs to grow, ensuring we then deliver this support. It is for the benefit of every Wales Green Party member that the Wales Young Greens succeed and become a prominent green voice in Wales and in grassroots politics. It is clear that the talent our young members have should not go to waste but should be nurtured and supported. As a deputy leader, I would continue working closely with the spokespeople of Wales Young Greens. Whilst it might seem we should seek to grow our membership amongst students, we should be careful not to exclude any other group – such as those who cannot afford or do not wish to go to university. As a party, we should aspire to be able to offer an alternative education and a platform to young people from all kinds of different backgrounds. To ensure this, as a deputy leader, I would work with Wales Young Greens to increase our diversity through community and student engagement across Wales.
Why is youth engagement important not only for Politics but for the Wales Green Party? 
The average age of an elected politician across Europe is 53 years old. In the UK, most MPs are over 40 years old. The world of someone of 40+ is completely different to someone who is under 30 today. The problems people face are different. The prospects young people can expect to have are different – in terms of financial or job security, they are worse. It is clear that young people would benefit from more representation. As a political party, it is our responsibility to provide a platform and the resources. A young person’s world today is not only less stable, it is also more diverse, conscious and transparent. If we want to create the huge shifts in thinking that are necessary to mitigate climate change, for example, we need young people not only to be able to represent themselves, but the rest of us also.
Have you already done something to support Wales Young Greens in any way? 
I helped to set up the Wales Young Greens group – this was before I turned 30 last year! I have also worked closely with Wales Young Greens Co-Convener Andrew Creak on press releases and media relations. I am looking forward to being able to help with more.
Finally, why should the youth and student members of the Wales Green Party vote for you for Spokesperson / Deputy? 
I am a fresh voice wanting to promote young people’s interests within our party and externally. I will work with Wales Young Greens to expand membership and campaign for more diversity. I want to find a way for young people across Wales to benefit from the same things that have immensely benefitted me – multiculturalism, freedom of movement, internationalism – whether we are in the EU or not. I believe that the Wales Green Party is better positioned than other political parties to promote inclusivity in youth engagement. I would work together with Wales Young Greens to create a framework within which these aims can be realised.

Grenville Ham responds to our Spokesperson Survey

Grenville Ham is one of the three candidates for Deputy Spokesperson of the Wales Green Party. We have sent this survey out to all candidates for Deputy and Leader and will post their responses as we get them.

What will you do to support the Wales Young Greens in their growth? 
“I believe that one of the biggest priorities of our party must be to identify and support the future talent who will in turn become our elected Green representatives. Green politicians don’t simply appear ready-made and I want to play a role in helping people become the leaders that we need. And it’s pretty clear to me that the biggest talent pool lies within the Young Greens. I think that it is entirely possible that the first Welsh Green AMs and MPs aren’t even members of the party yet, and that part of my role will be to help the Young Greens to find them, to encourage them, and to use my position to create meaningful platforms for them to speak loudly on behalf of the people with no voice at all.”
Why is youth engagement important not only for Politics but for the Wales Green Party? 
“From a purely philosophical point of view I think it’s vitally important that young people in society have the right, and mechanisms, to represent their own interests and actively develop the type of society that they need. This extents across all parts of life, politics and indeed the vision, policies and direction of the Wales Green Party itself. If the youth aren’t engaged in these processes (and many other groups in society are also being ignored) we will continue on this trajectory of a society set within a very narrow band that results in opportunities only being given to a select few rather than the many.”
Have you already done something to support Wales Young Greens in any way?
Not really. I would like to think I have offered support in my own quiet way to some of the members of Wales Young Greens but am very much looking forwards to being in a position to offer much more support as a Deputy Spokesperson.
(We at Wales Young Greens would like to point out the Grenville was a big help in getting us to Pride Cyrmu this year)
Finally, why should the youth and student members of the Wales Green Party vote for you for Deputy? 
“Because it would embarrass the hell out of my teenage daughter…. But in all seriousness, I’ve spent the last couple of decades doing public speaking on a range of environmental issues and believe that I’ve become a credible authority on a range of key Green Party issues. I would love to be in a position to be able to share a platform with Young Greens and help them to deliver the Green Parties radical message for the change that our fragile planet so desperately needs. But, thinking back to my younger times (and it wasn’t that long ago, was it?) I was just a guy with some big ideas and no idea how to get started. Thankfully I was able to find people who believed in me, nurtured me and helped me to become the person I am today. I would like to think that now, as an award-winning environmentalist and the Founder/Managing Director of a social enterprise, that I am in a position to help others take that same journey.”

Wales Young Greens Store now open!

literally-love-it-teeliterally-love-it-sweat“I’m like why do you don’t like it cause I
literally love it”

Young Liz Kendall MP
GPEW Election Broadcast, 2016

Everyone’s favourite Green Party quote is now available on a T-shirt, a jumper, and a tote bag! As well as a gallimaufry of other designs!

why not head on over to our brand new shop and have a look!

Wales Young Greens Committee Elections and AGM

Over the next three months Wales Young Greens are having our internal elections, with the results being announced at our annual general meeting on December 3rd.

The roles up for grabs are; Co-convener (two positions), Treasurer, and Non-portfolio officers (several positions). To find out more about the elections and how to nominate yourself for any of the roles please go to the membership website HERE.

Here are the Key dates for the election

Nominations Open: Friday 21st October 2016

Nominations Close: Thursday 3rd November 2016

List of candidates to be released with their statements on, and Campaign Period begins: Friday 4th November 2016

Campaign Period Ends: Thursday 17th November 2016

Voting Begins: Friday 18th November 2016

Voting Ends: Thursday 1st December 2016

The Wales Young Greens AGM will be taking place in Cardiff (Venue TBA) on December 3rd 2016. The event will include key speakers (TBA), a discussion on Wales’ future in Young Green England and Wales, the results of the committee elections, and any constitutional amendments. To book tickets for the event go to and there is also a Facebook event for the AGM which you can find here.

Wales Young Greens is run purely on donations so if you would like to contribute to us please donate to us here:

Congratulations Hannah Clare and Sam Murray

Hannah Clare and Sam Murray have been elected as the Co-chairs of Young Greens England and Wales.

Hannah has been re-elected as co-chair where as Sam Murray, a member of Wales Young Green himself; has been elected for the first time with a majority of 6 votes.

We at Wales Young Greens would like to wish them both well, and we all look forward to working with you in the future.

Joe Levy Young Greens Co-chair candidate answers Wales Young Greens Survey

1) What will you do to support the growth of Young Greens in Wales?

Joe : I am a firm believer in the idea that reaching out to those who are not currently party political is a great way of growing the Young Greens. My own experience in Exeter has taught me that many people have interests which directly relate to the values of the Green Party, but they might not always see it that way. I want to work with Young Green groups in Wales to develop community initiatives, projects and campaigns that reflect the areas they live in. This could be a free food initiative, or perhaps a public transport campaign. By having the support to have a greater presence within their communities, we can reach out to new supporters and enable them to be activists. I would like to visit different local groups and meet activists in Wales when possible, and use this as an opportunity to discuss what is currently lacking that might help grow Wales Young Greens.

2) What support will you provide to Wales Young Greens?

Joe : I believe that any support provided to any Young Greens group has to be tailored to the specific needs of a group, and this is best achieved by keeping regular contact, and whenever possible, visiting to take part in and support campaign activities. I have promised to produce electronic resource packs for setting up/supporting community initiatives, and I would love to have input from Wales Young Green groups on what kind of materials they’d like to feature. I am very keen to help set up more Young Green groups in parts of Wales where the Green Party generally has less of a presence or where the resources aren’t currently in place, but I’m well aware that this will mean working in areas with poor public transport or fewer volunteers initially. My home region of the South West is mostly rural and has limited public transport, so I’d be keen to liaise with other rural YGs groups in the UK and see how they are able to function successfully.

3) will you push for bilingual leaflets from both Young Greens and the Green Party of England and Wales, and ensure that materials and resources provided by the national party covers Wales and not just England as in previous years?

Joe : I am completely in favour of providing Young Greens leaflets in multiple languages, and I think this needs to be tailored to the needs of local groups. I would like to work with groups to ensure that communications are relevant to the cultural and linguistic heritage of their area. In doing this, I want to be able to provide Wales Young Greens with versions of national Young Greens leaflets in both English and Welsh, and push for the same to be reflected in the party as a whole. Given the Young Greens’ current resource limitations, I don’t anticipate us being able to make these changes quickly, however I think it should be high on our list of priorities. We can immediately start working out the best process for sourcing translations and begin estimating how this will change the existing budget for such resources. I would like to see more focused fundraising drives that support specific initiatives, and I feel this would certainly help speed up the process where we get to the point that we can produce bilingual/multilingual leaflets.

4) If you have already been on NEC what have you already done for Wales Young Greens? If you haven not what would you of done to help support the group during its creation at the end of 2015 / beginning of 2016.

Joe : I have not been a member of NEC before, however much of what I would have done is really my answer to question 2. I think a crucial point is that whereas the regional YGs groups are very much regions within England, and comprise a number of distinct areas, Wales Young Greens is unique in that it covers the area of an entire country. I get the sense that Wales is too often treated as another region, and I think the establishment of Wales Young Greens should have marked a shift towards greater autonomy for groups in Wales. If this is desired, then I think that ought to have included the transfer of responsibility and resources, with the ultimate aim of bringing the relationship between the Young Greens and Wales Young Greens onto the same level as is currently the case with the Welsh Green Party and the Green Party of England and Wales. This would allow Wales Young Greens to operate its own regions within Wales, acknowledging the cultural and geographical distinctiveness between different areas. Nonetheless, it is still early days and it is definitely not too late to set this process in motion.

5) Finally why should members of Wales Young Greens vote for you to be Co-chair of Young Greens England and Wales?

Joe : The main principle of my campaign is the idea that wherever there is a Young Greens presence, communities should be better for it. I will champion the efforts that local groups make to stand up for their community, whether it’s the geographical community they live in, or whether it’s a community of people facing oppression. I have spent a significant amount of time travelling around the UK visiting local parties and groups, working with them to find out how they campaign, both learning from their work but also offering insights from my experience. If elected Co-Chair I’d be able to do this even more, and in particular would like to spend time helping new Young Green groups develop in Wales. I want Wales to be treated more like a country and less like another region and I am keen to listen to views on how this can be achieved, perhaps through devolution of power from the Young Greens of England and Wales to Wales Young Greens. I intend to put liberation groups at the forefront of future development in the Young Greens, as I believe that our role as a party is to give voices to those whose voice is currently oppressed. This gives real scope for local groups to be champions of liberation issues in communities where these issues aren’t often discussed and could really make community spaces become more inclusive and accessible. The Young Greens has the potential to grow into a true grassroots organisation that empowers the oppressed and draws in new voices. I want to ensure that Wales Young Greens has genuine control and representation that it needs in order to flourish and reach out into new communities, and I hope you will trust your vote in me to help you achieve this.