Children and young people often experience difficulties and issues that they need help with such as relationships (with family, friends, teachers, social workers…), physical and mental health, emotional well-being and education. If they don’t know where to go for help, or find it difficult to express themselves, or feel they are not listened to, these problems can be made worse, sometimes resulting in a situation of harm or risk for the child or young person.
ProMo-Cymru successfully introduced a universal advocacy helpline – the first of its kind in the UK – with funding from the Welsh Government. Established in 2010, Meic is there to be “someone on your side” and is Wales’ leading one-stop information, advice and advocacy resource for children and young people up to the age of 25. A free and confidential helpline service accessible by phone, text, instant messaging and email from 8.00am to midnight, 7 days a week. Meic ensures the child’s/young person’s voice is listened to and acted on, enabling informed decision-making and change. Meic supports and promotes a child or young person’s wellbeing and safety.
Meic has dealt with nearly 40,000 issues presented by more than 25,000 contacts, and is seen as an essential contributor to tackling poverty, promoting children’s rights, and providing early intervention and prevention. Meic provides a much-needed service available directly to children and young people as well as those working with, caring for or otherwise concerned about them.
We cannot emphasise enough the importance that should be placed on advocacy to ensure we listen to our children and young people when they say that things are not right, when they want help, when they want to be heard, when key decisions are bing made that affect them, and when they need someone on their side”
Joint Ministerial statement by Jeff Cuthbert (Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty) and Gwenda Thomas (Deputy Minister for Social Services).