Gillian Clarke

Gillian was born in Cardiff in 1937 and now lives in Ceredigion.  A poet, playwright and tutor on the M.Phil in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan, she is also president of Ty Newydd, the writers’ centre in North Wales which she co-founded in 1990.  She was the inaugural Capital Poet for Cardiff 2005-6.  In 2008 she was appointed National Poet of Wales, and in 2010 received the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

Keith Towler

Keith was the Children’s Commissioner for Wales (2008 – 2015) and is currently an Independent Consultant. He is a respected children’s rights expert with over 30 years’ experience in social work, youth work and youth justice roles.

In March 2016 he was appointed as Vice Chair of the new National Independent Safeguarding Board that was established by the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014. The Board is charged with advising Welsh Government on safeguarding of children and adults at risk of abuse, neglect or harm.

Keith is the Chair of CWVYS, the Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services and is on the Board of Play Wales.

As the country’s second children’s commissioner, he has 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. This is a salutary reminder to States Parties across the world of the importance of securing children’s right to play and recreational activities, rest and leisure and to participate freely in cultural and artistic activities.

He received an Honorary Fellowship in 2015 from the University of South Wales in recognition of his contribution to social and youth work.