Thousands of young people benefit from Cardiff’s Winter of Wellbeing

Thousands of children and young people across Cardiff have taken advantage of eight weeks of leisure, sports and cultural events held in the city as part of the Winter of Wellbeing festival.

The festival, following on from last year’s Summer of Smiles, featured scores of free activities designed to give young people up to the age of 25 and their families a range of experiences, including stand-up paddleboard lessons, a barista course, indoor rock climbing, a silent disco, gaming, arts and crafts and theatre shows.

Jointly funded by the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council, the Winter of Wellbeing began in December with thousands of families gaining free access to all the live Christmas performances and events throughout the city, including the Bute Park light trail and Winter Wonderland.

Through a comprehensive arts and cultural programme, the Child-Friendly Cardiff ‘pop-up’ shop in St David’s shopping centre and a significant package of grant-funding for 24 community organisations across the city, it helped to develop young people’s social skills and to express themselves through play and physical activity.

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “We’ve really enjoyed partnering with St David’s to provide a safe, creative space for children, young people and their families and welcomed 8,000 visitors over six weeks.

“It’s really important that children and young people are built in to the thinking of city centres, providing them with a safe and accessible space to learn, relax and play. It shows them that they are welcome and respected which is so important.

“The activities and experiences we organised with our partners attracted more than 7,000 users and we’re particularly pleased that much of it was done through the medium of Welsh, and had many activities specifically designed for disabled users.”

The spokesperson added: “It was important to keep supporting our children and young people after two years of disruption to their lives. We will now build on what we achieved in the winter with another summer of activities – more new and different opportunities to help shape their interests as well as their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

“The Welsh Government has made £5m of funding available across the country to provide activities to young people through the summer and we are currently working on another great programme that we will unveil soon.”

  • Winter of Wellbeing and the Summer of Smiles are part of Cardiff's Child Friendly Recovery and closely align with the city's ambition to becoming an internationally recognised Child Friendly City, as recommended by the UK Committee for UNICEF. To find out more about the council’s policies in this area, visit