Submit your questions to our guest speakers at the Out of School Childcare Conference and Awards Ceremony 2024.

At the Out of School Childcare Conference and Awards Ceremony 2024, we are excited to present the following guest speakers. We would like to give you an opportunity to put your questions forward now which will then be addressed on the night here

Stephen Rule, @CymraegDoctor, doctorcymraeg.wales who will be promoting the use of Welsh and Welsh learning in Out of School Childcare Clubs

Having been brought up in a totally English-only background, Doctor Cymraeg made it his sole [academic] aim to master the Welsh language. As one who learned the language, earned his degree in it, and now teaches it to young people and adults alike, Stephen’s personal journey to become fluent has been a nightmare and a dream, has opened doors to another world, and has urged him to challenge both the way Welsh is delivered via education as well as general stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding the language.  

Long story short, he was fed up of seeing so many learners and new speakers asking for help in their language journey on platforms such as Facebook, only to seemingly be overwhelmed by the vast array of varying answers from people who, in their defence, were merely trying to help. He felt immediately that learners needed a single place to ask questions and not feel overwhelmed. Doctor Cymraeg was born. 

The Doctor Cymraeg Twitter account was established in August 2020 and has amassed a huge following that just keeps growing. Doctor Cymraeg offers tips, tricks and resources to support Welsh language learners. He has also authored popular books for those on their personal Welsh language journey.  

In the words of his first publication, ‘Welsh and I’, “And remember, this language is yours and it is mine. Often your nemesis, but always your friend. So, do it. Learn it. Share it. Better yourself and find yourself. By choosing to read these thoughts and ideas, you probably already possess the mindset that minority languages around the world crave so much; a respect for the underdog and a respect for heritage. If you’ve enjoyed reading this book half as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together then I’ll rest easy. And, if I might be afforded the chance to proudly speak on behalf of our ancient language, diolch yn fawr iawn i chi.” 


Keith Towler,  Chair, Interim Youth Work board  with the benefits of play and how to encourage parents to access play opportunities for their children using Out of School Childcare Clubs.

Keith is an Independent consultant with 40 years experience in youth justice, youth work and children’s social policy. 

Keith is the Chair of Play Wales and is a Patron of The Venture in Wrexham. 

In January 2018 he was appointed as the Wales Member of the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. and in July of the same year was appointed by Welsh Government to Chair the Interim Youth Work Board for Wales. 

Previously, Keith served as the Children’s Commissioner for Wales (2008 – 2015) and during this period he published a number of reports including those on advocacy, child protection, play, child trafficking, young carers, children and young people with disabilities and looked after children. 

Keith was a member of the International Play Association (IPA) Working Group that was asked by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child to take a lead role in helping to draft the General Comment on Article 31.   

He received an Honorary Fellowship in 2015 from the University of South Wales in recognition of his contribution to social and youth work. In 2017 he won a Leading Wales Award in the Leadership in the Voluntary Sector category. 


Natalie Vater & Laura Williams, Rhondda Cynon Taf with expertise in supporting the wellbeing of children and staff in Out of School Childcare Clubs.

Laura WilliamsCurrent role, Children’s Wellbeing support worker/Playworker for RCT Council 

I am also a Mindfulness, Reiki, and sound healing Practitioner. 

Within my role I support children on a 1-1 basis to enhance their wellbeing at their homes. I use a lot of Mindfulness and meditation as part of our sessions, to support children who suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, and low confidence. 

This includes Breathing techniques, guided meditation, and relaxation techniques to name a few. 

I also have my own part time business, where I work at camps offering mindfulness sessions with families. Children of all ages especially enjoy the camps and activities that we provide. 

 I also offer 1-1 sessions for individuals to access.  

 

Natalie Vater – Current role, Children’s Wellbeing support worker/Playworker for RCT Council 

Mindfulness, Reiki and sound healing Practitioner. 

Within my role I support children on a 1-1 basis to enhance their wellbeing at their homes. I use a lot of Mindfulness and meditation as part of our sessions, to support children who suffer from anxiety, low self-esteem, and low confidence. 

I have produced a 6-week mindfulness program and provided it as After School sessions at Primary schools for groups of children. 

 

We would like to give you an opportunity to put your questions forward now which will then be addressed on the night here