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Author Archives: Tash Bright

Join Art Breakers youth theatre company!

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Interested in theatre? Join Art Breakers, a project that internationally-acclaimed theatre company Forced Entertainment is running for young people in Sheffield!

Starting in February, Art Breakers will be running weekly sessions on Tuesday evenings, 4:30-6:30pm, at Theatre Deli, Sheffield (the old Mothercare building, Eyre Street). The first session will be February 27th.

Art Breakers is an out-of-the-ordinary youth theatre. Grown from Forced Entertainment’s unique and acclaimed 30-year practice of experimentation, it is a space for inventing, breaking the rules, invading the stage and making a brilliant mess.

The idea here is to build a strong collective with the same people meeting every week, rather than a drop-in/drop-out series of sessions. It’s a chance for young people to become part of a company and to work collaboratively to make brave, exciting and genre-defying new work. They actively welcome a sense of adventure and challenging of the status quo.

They are soon opening public applications to be part of the company, at a cost of £30 per half-term. Although, they are very keen that young people who might not have easy access to this opportunity do not miss out, so they have some limited fully-funded bursary places that they would like to offer to any young people who are in touch with Sheffield Futures.

There’s more information, plus some images of a pilot scheme here: https://www.forcedentertainment.com/project/art-breakers/

Please contact Hester Chillingworth, Creative Producer, email: hester@forcedentertainment.com

See the Forced Entertainment website here.

Greenhill Bradway youth club changing days!

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Our Greenhill Bradway youth club is moving to Tuesdays, and won’t be on Thursdays!

This change will be taking place from the end of the month (Tuesday 27th February)

It will be at the same place with the same lovely team, just a different day!

Check it out here.

Are you a young carer who needs a break?

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Do you know a young carer who is isolated and in need of a break?

Is lack of money stopping them from getting much-needed respite? If so, the Young Carers Activity Fund could help.

Sheffield Young Carers administer the Young Carers Activity Fund on behalf of Sheffield City Council to give young carers aged under 18 up to £300 to fund a break from their caring role. This could include things like music lessons, spa days, a gym membership or activity equipment for home like a trampoline, a magazine or film subscription, or a computer.

The next closing date for applications is Friday 9th February 2018

Here’s how the grant has made a difference in the past:

“I would just like to say a very big thank you for my grant! I have been able to buy all the sports clothing & equipment that I needed and I now feel really well prepared and comfortable … It has also meant that my Mum doesn’t have to worry about finding money… which has helped a lot!”

“The grant has helped me buy a new bike and all the safety equipment I needed to be road safe. This has meant that I now have the freedom to get out and about with my friends and explore both my local area and further afield… I’ve never had so much exercise since having my own bike! I would just like to say a massive thank you and will keep you posted of my biking adventures!”

Please note: This fund is only open to young carers who are NOT currently part of Sheffield Young Carers or on our waiting list as they will get respite through our service. For details and other eligibility criteria, please see: www.sheffieldyoungcarers.org.uk/young-carers-activity-fund

Doing Good Business – South Yorkshire

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Joanne’s Story

Joanne came to Coalfields Regeneration Trust coach club at Adversely, St Helen’s Church where she registered for the Doing Good Business support service. Joanne has a lot of experience working in the catering and hospitality sector however a lack of basic IT and application and search skills presented a barrier to her finding work. A lack of these skills made it almost impossible to put into action what Job Centre Plus wanted Joanne to do to find work.

‘It was so frustrating’ says Joanne. ‘I have loads of experience in catering and know exactly what I am doing but it was like I needed to jump through an impossible hoop to get my foot in the door for an interview.’ She continues.

Through Doing Good Business, Joanne got one-to-one support for her job hunt and support for the first month in work. She was able to access a coach club where she could gain these skills herself for example, understanding what a covering letter was and how to search for vacancies and apply direct online.

With this support, Joanne secured two interviews with employers and was given guidance with interview research and techniques, including how to pre-empt questions and to conduct an interview situation. Joanne was successful in securing a café position with Barnsley College and started work on 3/10/2017.

‘Without the support provided by Doing Good Business coach clubs none of this would have been possible.  This is a very valuable service and I recommend Doing Good Business to anyone in need of support with getting into the working world again. Without these sessions and one to one advice I wouldn’t be working now or have progressed with my Job search in the way I have today”. Joanne says.

‘I am so grateful and thankful.’ She continues.

Doing Good Business is funded by Big Lottery and the European Social Fund.

Good news from Doing Good Business!

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Charlotte’s Story

After Charlotte had her two boys, as all new parents are she was run off her feet without a minute to spare in the day but at the back of her mind she wanted to stage a return to paid employment.

Like all new parents, the challenge of balancing earning an income and caring for her children meant Charlotte needed a role which would fit around her care responsibilities. ‘I’d always had an interest in beauty treatments and having done work successfully on the nails of friends and family, I decided it might be a good idea to set up my own business doing that.’ She says.

‘I was really nervous about losing the stability of my benefits though but really wanted to earn my own living.’ She continues.

Charlotte was introduced to Paul Davies from the Doing Good Business programme by the Jobcentre who worked with her on producing a viable business plan which was also used to apply for the New Enterprise Allowance which helped bridge the gap whilst she was setting up in business. Doing Good Business also paid for Charlotte to go on a High Definition Brows course to expand her range of services and she completed a Social Media workshop which has helped enormously with the promotion of her business.

Lottie’s Designer Nails is up and running in Chesterfield, redesigning customers’ nails and producing beautiful brows and lashes. ‘I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone at Doing Good Business. Paul was immensely helpful in preparing me for what I needed to do in order to apply for the New Enterprise Allowance scheme, which I genuinely wouldn’t have been able to do on my own. He is very encouraging, supportive and informative with nothing being too much trouble.’ She says.

You can find Lottie’s Designer Nails at www.lottiesdesignernails.co.uk and on her Facebook page @lottiedesignernails 

Stuart’s Story

Stuart had not worked for over five years due to illness. Hampered by physical limitations which meant that he would struggle to fit in with a 9-to-5 work pattern but very much focussed on a return to work, Stuart felt unsure about where to turn next.

‘I had developed good woodworking skills and wondered whether it would be possible to turn my skills into a small business as this would give me the flexibility I needed.’ Stuart says.

Stuart was referred to Doing Good Business by the Jobcentre. With his coach Paul Davies, he soon drew up a development plan. Paul and Stuart met regularly at Stuart’s home as he had no transport at the time, and worked on producing a business plan and cash flow forecast developing his sales and marketing skills, and understanding the legal issues around running a business.

‘It was so much more straightforward than I had imagined,’ says Stuart. ‘The support from Paul in helping me secure premises as well as understand and set up some of the business processes has been invaluable. I’m now making and selling items of furniture, as well as small gift items. I’ve even taken on some contract work fitting out a shop for a friend of a friend.’

The process of meeting regularly, setting goals and reviewing progress and dealing with specific training needs enabled Stuart to keep focussed on what he wanted to achieve, and helped to build his confidence. ‘I honestly do not know what I would have done If I hadn’t contacted the Doing Good Business programme. A massive thank you for your past and on-going support.’ He says.

You can find Stuart’s business at www.rusticfurnitureuk.co.uk or via his Facebook page, @SJ-Upcycling.

Yvonne’s Story

After a need to relocate to Chesterfield left Yvonne Genas frustrated with an unsuccessful job hunt, she turned to her great passion, Jamaican food. ‘I’ve always loved Jamaican food and am passionate about cooking.’ Says Yvonne. ‘I dreamed about opening a restaurant or take –away but knew this may be too much as a first step.’ She continues.

Yvonne decided to set up a Jamaican food delivery service based from her home and approached Paul Davies of the Doing Good Business programme for help as she knew that there was a lot that she needed to learn about running a business, but wasn’t sure what.

Over the next few months Yvonne produced menus, a cashflow forecast, spoke to the council and had her kitchen inspected and began looking at how to market the business. Paul introduced her to a local community hub where she ran a pop-up restaurant, and Yvonne began running a stall at a local food market. She also attended a social media workshop organised by the programme which helped with her promotion.

The business is now up and running with a growing, loyal customer base. Yvonne takes and cooks the orders and her partner Tony delivers them. She has also run two restaurant events at a local pub, both of which were sold out.

‘When I first decided to start up my business, I had no idea about all it would entail. When I started meeting with Paul I didn’t feel that confident about the things I needed to think about, certain things that needed to be done.’ She says.

‘I don’t know what I would have done without his advice, and continued support.’

You can find Yvonne’s Paradise Kitchen on her Facebook page:

Joe’s Story

Joe had always dreamed of being able to develop a new food business that offered fast take away food with healthy options at affordable prices delivered with a smile! So he set up Gothic Bites.

After securing a regular pitch on Shirebrook Market Square, I tapped into my local network to gain invites to other sites and special events including dog shows, charity days, bike rallies and fishing competitions.’ Says Joe. ‘Although I had my van and business underway I realised it was time to get some help on the business side of things.’

That’s when Joe decided to look for help from Doing Good Business programme. The Doing Good Business programme has helped Joe by giving his the knowledge and skills to promote the business as well as a listening and friendly ear to talk through what needs to be done. ‘Getting help from Doing Good Business really helped me with the running of the business and made sure I was doing my books right.’ He says. ‘Knowing I had this side of things in order, made it so much easier for me to get on with getting my business going and delivering excellent customer service.’ He continues.

Having this support and being able to focus on delivering his product to his customers has meant Joe has already gained a 5-star hygiene certificate from Bolsover District Council.

‘I’d recommend Doing Good Business to anyone who has a business idea but isn’t sure about whether it’s viable or isn’t sure about how to take it forward and needs some advice.’ He says.

Lee’s Story

Lee had been made redundant and decided that he wanted to turn his hobby as a drone pilot into a business. Lee already had his equipment, was licensed and insured, and was also approved by the Civil Aviation Authority with the Permission for Commercial Operations (PFCO) permit to fly commercially both indoors and outdoors in the UK.

Lee’s license and insurance was certainly a head start, but he needed assistance to fully set up his business. Lee received help from Doing Good Business to deal with his biggest worry, making sure his taxes were correct. ‘When you’re in work that all gets done for you. You need to get this right, there are no grey areas,’ he says.

Lee says ‘Starting up a business can be a roller coaster of emotions; great when things are flying but worrying when business slows down.’

Doing Good Business were able to provide one-to-one support to Lee to make sure that his business stayed on track. One of Lee’s tips when starting out is to make sure you have a bit of money behind you. Unless you are very lucky a business is slow to start and you have to spend at least a bit of money when you begin for things like business cards.

Lee’s drone business is going from strength to strength and you can see some of the great drone photographs and videos on his website.

Viewing the world from a different angle has lots of uses, including promotional, event and wedding videos and photographs. Drones can also save businesses a lot of money on technical work such as inspecting buildings, roofing and guttering – it’s far cheaper then sending someone up in a cherry picker and you have a permanent record of the inspection you can share. Lee has done a lot of work for estate agents, developers and recently carried out an inspection of a derelict church in Hull!

Doing Good Business is funded by Big Lottery and the European Social Fund.

FREE Business Start Up Day

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Not currently working? Thinking about working for yourself? JOIN US FOR OUR FREE BUSINESS START UP DAY!

You can:

  • Listen to inspirational and entertaining speaker Tony Robinson OBE explain what it is really like running your own business
  • Meet people who’ve been there, done it and are happy to give you tips
  • Talk to professionals about finances, sales, marketing, social media and anything else you need to know
  • Have a free lunch provided by a choice of three successful new catering businesses and also free childcare at the venue

You’ll also be able to find out more about the Doing Good Business programme, giving you help and support when and where you want it.

This is a free event, you just need to register your place on Eventbrite. 

Doing Good Business is a programme for people looking to start their own business across Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, NE Derbyshire and Derbyshire Dales. We provide one-to-one coaching support for adults seeking employment. This support is offered at their own pace, to fit in with their lives. We can help to make business ideas a success and support clients to remove any barriers. We will:

  • Help clients to explore the potential of becoming self employed
  • Provide expertise from experienced professionals and training on key topics
  • Support to manage personal circumstances
  • Enable clients to develop their skills and personal strengths
  • Tailor support to meet their needs.

Building better opportunities for South Yorkshire’s unemployed

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The future is looking brighter for unemployed people in Sheffield City Region as the Doing Good Business partnership expands to include Coalfields Regeneration Trust and Doncaster West Development Trust (DWDT.)

Doing Good Business is a programme for people looking to start work in South Yorkshire. We provide one-to-one coaching support, at your pace, to fit in with your life. We can help to assist you back in to the world of work.

We will:

  • Provide expertise from experienced professionals and training on key topics
  • Support you to manage your personal circumstances
  • Enable you to develop your skills and personal strengths
  • Tailor support to meet your needs
  • Provide financial assistance to help you to meet your goals

We can help with: 

  • Job search
  • Finding employment
  • Self employment
  • Business start-up
  • Getting in to education or training.

Doing Good Business focuses on the engagement of participants at a neighbourhood level. The partner organisations will bring a strong knowledge of the local area and issues that people face whilst trying to gain employment.

Andy Lock, Head of Operations for The Coalfields Regeneration Trust said, “Our experience of working in the South Yorkshire coalfields highlights the very real barriers people face every day when trying to find work or improve their skills and qualifications. Our partnership with Sheffield Futures, working on the Doing Good Business programme, will enable us to provide intensive one to one support to help people realise their aspirations and improve the quality of their lives.”

DWDT Development Manager, Jo Ward, said: “Doing Good Business is designed to help people gain the skills that employers are looking for and progress towards finding work. By taking a flexible approach and supporting people one-to-one, we can identify their goals and develop an individual action plan to help achieve them. We hope people across Doncaster will take advantage of this free support in order to enhance their skills and job prospects.”

Lynne Hilson, Operations Manager at Sheffield Futures said: “Doing Good Business promises to help the hardest to reach people to make the most of their skills and ambitions by receiving the maximum help and support they need. This is an important step towards positive change for unemployed people in Sheffield City Region.”

Doing Good Business is funded by Big Lottery and the European Social Fund.

This support is for people age 25+ and not in work, not in receipt of JSA or not in receipt of Universal Credit equivalent of JSA. Know someone who would benefit? Get in touch today! 

Courtney Castledine: 0114 201 6644 or email: courtney.castledine@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

My Money Diary

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I kept a money diary for the first week in January and I wanted to share the results below. A money diary is a great way to keep a track of what you’re spending money on. You’ll see that I spend most of my money on food, but also that bills don’t stop coming in just because it’s Christmas (unfortunately!) If you want to find out more about how to save money, how to get better at handling money, you can book on to one of our Money Masterclasses on this link!

The first thing I noticed about keeping a money diary is that it’s really hard to remember to note down every single time you spend money. It’s so easy to swipe your card, especially now you don’t need to enter a PIN number, and not give it a second thought. 

Something that was really helpful for this money diary was my mobile banking app. Through this, I can keep a track of all my transactions, including pending transactions (this is when I’ve bought something, but my bank card hasn’t changed hands, so when I’ve bought something online for instance.)

I also realised that if I planned in advance, prepared meals from home instead of buying something from the local shop, then I could go for days without spending money. Have you tried a money diary? If you did, please let us know how you got on, or even submit it for us to publish here and share your experience.

Monday 1st January

It’s New Year’s Day so I go for a walk to blow the cobwebs away after a Christmas spent eating and drinking. We eat breakfast at home and head out in the car to Derbyshire, where we’re almost blown away by very strong winds! After the walk, we go to our local pub for much-needed a pie (£9.50) and a pint (£3)

Tuesday 2nd January

It’s my final day of the Christmas holidays, so I start preparing to go back to work by splitting a big supermarket shop with my boyfriend (£40) but then, typical me, I realised there were other things I needed that I hadn’t purchased online and needed, so I popped to the local shop for cotton wool pads, cold and flu tablets, almond milk and some fruit to take to work (£7.73)

Wednesday 3rd January

It’s my first day at work in 2018! I walk to work and take my lunch, so I don’t spend any money at all!

Thursday 4th January

I’m quite pleased with myself for spending nothing on Wednesday and decide to do the same on Thursday. I take some homemade soup for my lunch and walk to work and back. After spending a week on the sofa over the festive break, it feels good to be walking to work and back, getting fit and saving money at the same time!

Friday 5th January

On Friday lunchtime, I decide to go to the cinema straight from work. As it was a spontaneous decision, I hadn’t prepared any food for dinner, so I had to go to the supermarket and grab something to eat. I ended up with a pasta salad (£1.80) and a bottle of water (£1). After the cinema, I catch the bus home (£1.50) because it’s late and I don’t want to walk home in the cold! On the bus, I realise I haven’t paid my share of the water bill (£30) so I pay the money via an app on my phone.

Saturday 6th January

After a hectic week, we have a quiet weekend and don’t leave the house too much. Our online shopping arrived and we have everything we need in the house.

Sunday 7th January

On Sunday I pop to the shop to buy some crunchy bread (£1.60) to go with a lentil soup we’ve made for lunch (it was delicious!)


TOTAL: £96.13

I’m quite shocked by this as I thought it had been a relatively quiet week where I hadn’t spent much. I’ll continue to keep a money diary and see where I could be making savings in future!

A love letter to yourself

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I have been working with a young woman for two months at Door43. When she first came to the service she was feeling very low in self confidence and would quite often say things to put herself down. I could see that she is a fantastic person and has many assets, but instead of reminding her about her achievements I wanted her to recognise them herself. She asked me if there was anything she could be doing over Christmas to practice self-care, and I set her a challenge of writing a love letter to herself.

At first she laughed at me and said this is “way too cheesy”, but eventually I convinced her to give it a go and even if she came back to see me in January with one point, it would be a great achievement.

She came back after the Christmas break with the following list and said it was really difficult, and at times she struggled to write the points down, but that now she has done it, she is proud. She plans to use the letter every time she is having a rubbish day or feeling a bit off, when she re-reads it she can remind herself of how amazing she is and the best bit is that these points have all come from her.


Dear you, I love you because:

You are amazing. Even if you don’t believe that, it is true. You need to believe in the people around you and trust them on this fact.

You are helpful when your friends are down. You always put your friends first. You’re always there to talk to and always happy to help them.

You are confident. Stop hiding behind this shy person and show people who you really are.

You never give up on yourself. You try as many times as you need to to succeed. Keep going.

You don’t let your mental health define you. Instead, you make it a part of your life and you now want to work with teenagers who have mental health issues, which is great!

You are brave. You have gone through so much in 2017. You were in hospital with no idea what to do and you became this brave person and got through it.

You are funny. You always make people laugh; no matter what mood they’re in.

You are determined. You have dreams that you will never give up on.

You are good company; you are always lovely to be around. You keep everyone in good mood and spirits, even when you are down.

You are the most organised person I know – this is a good thing. You have everything you need at all times – this is not a bad thing!

You are always early and if you were ever late you would panic like mad.

You are friendly and kind to everyone even if you don’t know them. You take the time to talk to everyone around you even if they are the opposite of you.

You are a hard worker. You always give 100% to any work you get given, if even if you don’t really feel like it.

You are creative, you knit, create and enjoy arts and crafts and you need to carry being creative as it’s a part of you.

You are a whizz at jigsaws, you love doing them to music.

You are beautiful with or without make up. You always wear make up to hide who you are when really you are beautiful like a rainbow.

You set your heart on something and you do it.

You are a star, you’re a star in lots of people’s eyes for different reasons (mainly good, so keep being the star you are).

You are you and that’s fine.

“Today is going to be a good day and here’s why. Because today, no matter what else, today, at least you’re you. No hiding, no lying, just you. And that’s enough.”

Love, me. x

Future Shapers Celebration Event!

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On Thursday 7th December, we took a group of young people to Sheffield Town Hall to celebrate their achievements made on the Future Shapers programme, as the programme comes to an end.

Future Shapers Celebration Event

Future Shapers is a programme for 14 – 17 year olds that offers support for personal and/or educational development. Young people have their own personal Mentor who tailors support to meet their needs, this could be to gain confidence, attend extra-curricular activities, improve attendance, gain qualifications, socialise with other young people, search for employment and much more.

Over the course of the programme, we have worked with 1319 young people aged 14-17, all over Sheffield. Here are some of our highlights:

  • 451 young people have moved on to college!
  • 542 young people have achieved entry level qualifications so far!
  • 43% of young people on the programme are female and 57% are male
  • 722 have achieved level one qualifications!
  • 92 young people are now in employment!
  • 783 have shown an improvement in behaviour and 915 have shown an improvement in attitude!

Congratulations to all on the programme, and we hope you had a brilliant time at the event.

Gail Gibbons, Sheffield Futures Chief Executive Officer said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been involved in making the Future Shapers programme in to such a success. We are so proud of the achievements of all of the young people on the programme. Our Mentors have seen young people face their fears and gain the confidence needed to try new things; whether this is the high ropes, making friends or learning something new. We want you to know that when the programme ends, Sheffield Futures is still here to help you fulfil your full potential.”

Did you attend? Photographs from the Photo Booth are now live on Facebook, check them out here!


How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.