THE PONTYPOOL Youth Council were delighted with their link up with their compatriots from Bretton, Condeixa and Longjumeau.

The visitors from Pontypool's twinned towns in Germany, Portugal and France stayed in Pontypool from Wednesday to Sunday.

The town has been twinned with Condeixa for 20 years, and with Longjumeau and Bretten for 25 years.

They visited Big Pit and Llandegfedd Reservoir, before having a conference addressing the issue of young people’s mental health, and feeding back their findings to the delegates.

The outcomes of the conference saw the youth groups highlight five key areas that affect them: cyberbullying, self image, pressures in school, drug and alcohol misuse, and not being taken seriously by adults.

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(Feedback from the Youth Conference. Picture: Rosemary Matthews.)

They proposed greater education in schools and for adults about these issues, and more facilities being made available for youngsters in the towns.

Cllr Matthew Ford, vice chairman of the events committee for Pontypool Community Council, said the week had been a "tremendous success."

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(Delegates from the twinned towns listening to the feedback from the Youth Conference. Picture: Rosemary Matthews.)

He said: "The youth from the four countries came together and discussed what issues affect them. They then delivered the outcomes to the delegates of each country.

"It was useful to hear from the other countries what issues they faced and how they deal with these issues, and it will be interesting to see how we can apply these here."

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(Delegates from the twinned towns in Pontypool for the twinning festival. Picture: Pontypool Community Council.)

Caitlin Takel, chairwoman of Pontypool Youth Council, said: "Everyone was really involved in the discussion. We all took something from it and hopefully we can take these ideas on board and apply them."

Cllr Gaynor James, leader of Pontypool Community Council, thanked the community council staff for their hard work organising the festival.

The councils will feed back their progress to each other in six months.