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The Sheffield Star newspaper asked our youth charity Sheffield Futures to support the Yorkshire Air Ambulance fundraiser by wearing yell0w to coincide with the Grand Departe of the tour de France. We agreed to support this campaign and to use the opportunity to fundraise for Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service.   

If you would like to start, volunteer, or know any young people who would be interested in attending a film club, then this is the event for you!

Welcome to the blog of Gail Gibbons.  Gail is the new Chief Executive Officer of Sheffield Futures – we are an independent charity which supports young people and adults to achieve their full potential in learning, employment and life.  

Gail enjoys swimming, cycling and running (but preferably not all at the same time!); reading, film and theatre and spending time with my family.

Entry 1 

I am now three weeks into my new job as CEO of Sheffield Futures. So far, it has been an exciting, inspiring (and sometimes exhausting) experience!

One of the first things I wanted to do when I started in post was to meet a wide range of staff on a one to one basis from across the organisation so that I can start to understand the range of services that Sheffield Futures offers and to find out what staff enjoy about their work and the organisation they work for – as well as any ideas they might have for improvement. I’m about half way through the list of staff I’m planning to meet this time around – and what has struck me most so far is the commitment that so many staff have to their work with young people and adults, and the loyalty they have for the organisation they work for.

Sheffield Futures V4V Volunteering programmes' Elsie Harrison and Emily Marshall get into the spirit of things at the Sheffield Futures launch event!

Sheffield Futures V4V Volunteering programmes’ Elsie Harrison and Emily Marshall get into the spirit of things at the Sheffield Futures launch event!

Like many Third Sector organisations, Sheffield Futures has been through a tough few years following cuts to public sector funding and policy changes to the service areas the organisation was built on – careers guidance for young people and youth work. The organisation has had to rapidly adapt to the dismantling of the Connexions Service to develop a traded service model with schools and I’m very pleased to hear that the majority of schools in Sheffield purchase impartial careers guidance from Sheffield Futures – testament I think to the quality of delivery our staff deliver to these schools. Nationally, youth work itself has had a battering over the last few years and we have seen youth work as we know it rapidly disappearing across the country. The often unique skills that youth workers offer in terms of engagement with young people and communities and informal education opportunities is a huge loss to communities nationally. In Sheffield – whilst there has been significant cuts to youth budgets over the last few years – we have been very fortunate to have the support of our local Councillors, Council commissioners and partners who recognise the value of youth work to young people and especially to vulnerable young people – and the Sheffield Futures youth work service as part of Community Youth Teams currently delivers over 70 youth work sessions per week across the city – with a particular focus in communities with greatest need (www.sheffield.gov.uk/cyt)

As well as meeting with staff – as part of my induction I was honoured to take part in a Common Purpose (www.commonpurpose.org.uk) Profile Plus course where I learned so much about leadership across Sheffield City Region, and met a great bunch of people who I hope to keep in touch with for the years to come. I also joined ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives in Voluntary Organisations) and attended my first Northern Regional meeting in Leeds where I took part in an ‘elevator pitch’ workshop led by Andrew Ramwell from Growth Accelerator (www.growthaccelerator.com), and met senior colleagues in the charity sector from across the region. I’m hoping that there will be some real opportunities for developing partnership links and collaboration through this network.

Gail Gibbons (far left), Executive Director of Children and Young People's Services, Jayne Ludlam and Luke Hague, Sheffield Young Advisor & Safe Havens Sheffield Lead

Gail Gibbons (far left), Executive Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Jayne Ludlam and Luke Hague, Sheffield Young Advisor & Safe Havens Sheffield Lead.

Perhaps the highlight so far though was the launch of the Star House One-Stop-Shop which took place on 25 June. The event was to celebrate the opening of the Ground Floor Young People’s One Stop Shop which has been some time in the making and has come about through the hard work of staff and young people who have been involved in the design and development of the project from the outset. We now have a fantastic young people friendly space in our city centre building on Division Street which is open to all young people who want to just pop in and say hello or to get involved; to  find out about opportunities for education, training or employment; or to meet with the growing range of young people’s services which are housed all under one roof. The event was really well attended by all of our partners in the building, by friends and colleagues, and of course by young people who use the building themselves.

Sheffield Young Advisors (ex and current) with Executive Director of Children and Young People's Services, Jayne Ludlam.

Sheffield Young Advisors (ex and current) with Executive Director of Children and Young People’s Services, Jayne Ludlam.


I’m aware from my reading that one of the difficulties some charity CEOs grapple with is engagement and commitment from their Board of Trustees.  I was therefore greatly impressed to see that every one of our Trustees had come out to support the event – especially as two of them travel in from Leeds!


Luke Clewes (left) and Andy Peaden, Sheffield Futures Board members.

Luke Clewes (left) and Andy Peaden, Sheffield Futures Board members.

Sheffield Futures Board members Ed Ryder (speaking, centre) and Andrew Cropley (left).

Sheffield Futures Board members Ed Ryder (speaking, centre) and Andrew Cropley (left).

Sheffield Young Advisor (SYA) Jess Chittenden (left), Sheffield Futures Young Peoples' Involvement Team Manager, Sarah Stevens, SYA Ellie MacMahon, Sheffield Futures Involvement Worker, Emma Hinchliffe

Sheffield Young Advisor (SYA) Jess Chittenden (left), Sheffield Futures Young Peoples’ Involvement Team Manager, Sarah Stevens, SYA Ellie MacMahon, Sheffield Futures Involvement Worker, Emma Hinchliffe.


Finally, congratulations to Safe Havens (www.safehavens.org.uk) for their successful celebration event this week. This young people led mental health & emotional well-being service started life in Wath Comprehensive School and Wath Young People’s Centre, Rotherham in 2006 and now delivers in a number of Rotherham schools. For the last year, it has been a partnership with Sheffield Futures – and Luke Hague – one of our Young Advisors (www.sheffield.youngadvisors.org.uk) leads the service. The event was a great success and schools and young people celebrated their achievements.


Luke Hague with 2 young winners of Outstanding Volunteers for Safe Havens, Rotherham

Safe Havens Sheffield Lead, Luke Hague presents awards for Outstanding Volunteers for Safe Havens, Rotherham with Sheffield Futures V4V Volunteering Programme Worker, Elsie Harrison.  


Sheffield Futures is an independent charity which supports young people and adults to achieve their full potential in learning, employment and life. We deliver a wide range of services to young people and adults from our city-centre multi-agency One-Stop-Shop and from our delivery sites in local communities.

We are passionate about making sure that young people’s voices are at the heart of everything we do, and have a particular focus on working with disadvantaged and hard to reach young people and communities.

We work closely with our partners across the statutory; voluntary, community, faith; and private sectors to work together to support young people, adults and communities towards a better future – and we welcome opportunities for furthering our partnership work.

For more information on what we do call us on 0114 201 2800, follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/sheffieldfutures and Twitter www.twitter.com/sfuturesdotcom

For all press and media enquiries please contact Marketing and Communications Manager, Emma Taylor on 0114 201 2815 email emma.taylor@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Welcome to Star House!

Welcome to Star House!




Sheffield Futures’ activities programme Sheffieldr, has something to be really excited about!  Visitors from four different European countries will be flocking to the Steel City to find out more about what makes the volunteering opportunities available in the region so fantastic.  The visiting volunteers are supported by a programme called VOLARE.

Sheffield teens turned out in high numbers to the Sheffield Futures’ recent Apprenticeships event held at the newly refurbished centre for young people at Star House.

It’s been safer internet day 2014 this week, so what better way to get thinking about going online and keeping safe? Most of the time using the internet is safe, fun and interesting for everyone.  Technology is certainly not something to be afraid of.  However, sometimes people can provide too much personal information and are unaware that they could be at risk of unwanted attention.

The New Year is looking a lot brighter for young jobseekers in the Sheffield City Regions as the Big Lottery Fund announces the area is to receive £10m from Talent Match, its £100m youth unemployment initiative. Youth charity Sheffield Futures is delighted to announce they are the lead organisation for the programme. The Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of good causes money from the National Lottery, launched the nationwide Talent Match scheme, designed by young people for young people, with the aim of helping those aged 18-24 who are struggling the most to find career opportunities. Now the Fund has awarded the Sheffield Futures £9,898,497 to help local young people who have been unemployed or out of education for at least 12 months.

Sheffield Futures will now use the money to work up local solutions to a nationwide problem that threatens serious consequences for an entire generation of young people and the wider economy. The ACEVO Commission on Youth Unemployment has estimated that the issue will cost £28 billion over the next decade.

Sarah Gregory, Sheffield Futures Project Manager for Talent Match said ‘A provider framework has been completed during September 2013 and we are a pleased that this network is now in place. However, if you are a local employer and are interested in getting involved to support young people, then please get in touch on talent.match@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Nat Sloane, England Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said ‘Youth unemployment is an issue that threatens the hopes of an entire generation as well as our whole economic wellbeing. Talent Match promises to help the very hardest to reach young people to make the most of their skills and ambitions, not just as an end goal, but by giving them a say in how the programme itself is designed and put into practice.

‘The funding announced today is a key step on a very exciting journey as it means the real work can now begin. By bringing together the private sector and the knowledge of key charities, Talent Match will help ensure today’s young people have the maximum help and support they need to find a fulfilling and rewarding career.’

Sheffield Futures Interim CEO, Lynne Hilson, says “Talent Match is a targeted programme for young people (aged 18-24) who have really struggled to find their career path or find work.  We are delighted the programme is to be lead by the community voluntary sector as these are grass roots organisations which have direct access to the young people who need it most.  We are already working with many young people on a regional basis and have started to bring together the range of challenges facing young people from across the regions. Talent Match hopes to help young people overcome barriers to employment.  Sheffield Futures is really excited to be leading on a project like Talent Match as we see it as a spring board to hopefully attracting other vital programmes of support like this to our regions’ young people”

The Talent Match partners in Sheffield City Region have responded positively to the launch.  Neil Coulson, Project Lead for Doncaster Consortium says ‘Talent Match presents a fantastic opportunity to change the lives of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET) across the Sheffield City Region, especially in these challenging economic times.  By providing a range of support such as coaching, mentoring and specialist advice and help, the programme will be a route into employment and enterprise for many of our young people who are furthest away from the jobs market.’

Steve Kirk, Managing Director, Independent Local Solutions CIC (the trading arm of Rotherham’s Children Young People and Families voluntary sector consortium) says “I am delighted to be the Rotherham Partner for Sheffield City Region Talent Match programme. We are looking forward to working with a wide range of providers to help locate and work with the hardest to reach young people in our borough not currently engaging with in employment, education or training. The Talent Match funding from the Big Lottery will make a huge difference to the lives of individuals in their journey into employment and the community as a whole in Rotherham’

A group representing the voice of young people from the Sheffield City Regions have played a crucial role in the commissioning process.  Peter Robertshaw, aged 21 says ‘I loved the training and I have met everlasting friends. Taking part in the Talent Match programme for us has changed lives.  No matter what, we all need help into work and this is a great opportunity to positively impact the lives of young people; helping them into work by developing their skills’.

The Talent in Talent Match 15.01.14

“Talent Match is an excellent opportunity for young people and it will offer many a brighter future” says Samantha Doyle, aged 24.

For other enquiries regarding Talent Match from across the regions, please get in touch with our local partners working across the region on our behalf:

The 21 areas in England where investments are being made are:

The Black Country (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton)

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Coventry and Warwickshire

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

Greater Birmingham and Solihull

Greater Lincolnshire

Greater Manchester


Leeds City Region

Leicester and Leicestershire

Liverpool City Region


New Anglia

North Eastern


Sheffield City Region

South East

Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire

Tees Valley

Hereford, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin


For all media enquiries please contact Marketing & Comms Manager, Emma Taylor  tel: 0114 201 2815 or email: emma.taylor@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888

Out of hours media contact: 07867 500 572

If you have a hearing or speech impairment you can contact us using Text Relay at

18001 plus 0191 376 1776

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Ask BIG a question here: http://ask.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Follow BIG on Twitter: www.twitter.com/BigLotteryFund #BIGlf

Find BIG on facebook: www.facebook.com/BigLotteryFund


A new initiative called Sheffieldr, launched by youth charity Sheffield Futures, aims to help communities run their own activities and needs vital equipment to make this possible. Sheffieldr needs you to help community groups provide activities for young people all over the city.

It’s 2014 Sheffield Young Advisor recruitment time! We are recruiting a team of 12 diverse young people Aged 16yrs (*YR11) or 17yrs (Yr. 12)

Do you want to make a difference in your neighbourhood? If the answer is yes, then why not take part in the UK Youth Parliament elections 2014!

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