The LEADING WALES Awards 2013


Sheldon Derreck

Sheldon Derreck Category: Voluntary & Not for Profit


Sheldon's leadership has transformed Cwmbran Centre for Young People into a friendly, forward thinking purpose built young people's centre. Through careful consideration and close engagement with the local young people, the project has also helped to improve community spirit and decrease the levels of anti-social behaviour in the area.


Through his role as a volunteer youth worker, Sheldon identified that there was no local provision for young people on the weekends. The community centre was unappealing to the young community so he led the redevelopment of it to make it more so.

From the start he wanted the young people to have ownership and consulted with over 300 people. He also wanted to give young people the opportunity to assist other young people within the community as mentors and volunteers. This resulted in the creation of a series of Club Nights and events to appeal to all ages.

Sheldon has faced many challenges to secure funding for the charity but his creativity, determination, drive and his own likeable personality keep pushing it forward. Although Sheldon has had many issues since the start of the project he has always been consistent. He tells it like it is and sticks by his decisions.

Sheldon and his team have not only made profit that goes back into the projects but have also successfully created roles for other young people including other projects through Jobs Growth Wales Positions, apprenticeships in youth work and 10 other traineeship placements. The project also rents out equipment and finds other ways to raise money.

He has the correct ethos of leading a team and he trusts his team to do a good job. This in turn empowers his team of young people to work harder. Sheldon always makes time for young people and leads by example, his roles have included; DJ, Graphic Designer, Tutor, Counsellor, Dance tutor, rapper and tutor, story writer, carpenter, painter, youth worker - the list is endless.

All this he does as a volunteer while holding down his own job. This project worked as a team building exercise for all involved and relationships between members of staff improved as did relationships with the young people and the local police has also improved greatly. Within the community the young people are now not seen as a problem but as a cure.

Who inspires you?

My father is one of my biggest inspirations and the young people and the hardships they overcome.

What is your top leadership tip?

Respect and the ability to admit that you are wrong.

.Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues don't know.
I was born two weeks late and my mum went into labour due to an earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter Scale.

List three attributes that you consider important for good leadership.
Consistency, passion and respect.