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Author Archives: Tash Bright


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It’s nearly halfway through the exam season. The early nerves might have worn off but the end isn’t yet in sight and it can be a struggle to keep yourself motivated. So here’s a recap on those revision tips:

  • Mix it up. Instead of reading the same notes over and over, use flash cards, past papers, mind maps, quizzes, post-it notes or study videos. Switch between subjects to keep off the boredom.
  • Take short, regular breaks. The usual advice is that your brain needs a rest every 45 minutes. Try and step away from the computer or your phone; you can tell yourself that game will only take ten minutes but it won’t, will it? Go and talk to someone face-to-face or take a walk instead.
  • Drink water and eat healthy snacks to keep your brain sharp.
  • Sometimes revising with a friend can be helpful. Just make sure you don’t distract each other!
  • Concentrate on understanding rather than just memorising.
  • A little every day is more effective than last minute cramming.

Left it late?

  • Don’t give up. However little time you have left, you can still do something about it.
  • Don’t waste time kicking yourself for all the things you haven’t done. Keep calm and make a plan.
  • Decide on the priorities. What are your key subjects? Are there any you particularly need or where you’re on the edge of a good grade but not quite there? What are the most important topics for each subject?

The night before

  • Get together everything you’re going to need e.g. plenty of spare pens and pencils, calculator where allowed, water bottle (check the rules: normally see-through with no labels).
  • Don’t stay up late cramming. Have an early night instead.

On the day

  • Don’t worry about feeling nervous – everyone is, even if they don’t look it. A little stress can help motivate you.
  • Eat breakfast – your brain needs feeding.
  • When the exam starts, read through all the instructions and all the questions carefully.
  • If your mind goes blank, move on to the next question and come back to it later. Remember to breathe!
  • Answer the questions you’ve been set, not the ones you were hoping for.
  • Make sure you give yourself enough time for every question and keep an eye on the clock.
  • If you finish early, go over all your answers.


  • If you come out and realise you’ve made a mistake, don’t keep going over it but work out what you can learn from it for the next time.

If you need help at results time, we’re here! Your careers adviser may be in school on the day.

You can call into Star House for help with looking for jobs and apprenticeships: Monday-Thursday 9.00am-4.30pm.
Friday 10.00am-4.00pm.

If you need careers advice, ring on the day to check when an adviser is available.

Good luck and have a great summer!

Funding plea for young people’s mental health and wellbeing zone

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Sheffield Futures, Sheffield’s young people’s charity is looking for support to help deliver a new much needed health and wellbeing zone as part of the Door 43 service which currently provides vital support for 13 – 25 year olds with mental health challenges. The new health and wellbeing zone is an essential addition which will make the Star House venue which currently hosts Door 43 fully fit for purpose.

With half of all mental health conditions appearing in young people before the age of 14 and one in four adults suffering a mental health problem in any given year, new services like Door 43 are heralded nationally as the way forward.

Commenting on the new health and wellbeing zone development, Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures says, ‘We have now begun work on phase one of a new health and wellbeing zone for young people, based at Sheffield Futures’ city centre venue Star House. Sheffield Futures has received incredibly generous grant funding from the Department of Health and we are looking for match-funding to complete the full build.’

‘We have seen very encouraging results from Door 43 so far and it’s really heartening to see the positive impact we’re having on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Sheffield’s young people.’

‘We know that young people can be put off accessing mental health services as they associate these environments with the stress and anxiety that is often fuelling their issues.

The new health and wellbeing zone will offer a safe and welcoming space for young people to openly talk about their feelings and access early preventative support in a completely neutral environment where they can literally get away from it all, clear their head and become ready to access the support they need.’

‘So, we are reaching out to the business community to help us deliver this much needed resource for young people in Sheffield who need it most.’ She continues.

Door 43 integrates a range of health and wellbeing support under one roof, giving young people the flexibility they need in terms of access to different specialist support services such as counselling and other psychological therapies, awareness and advice work, health clinics, signposting and mechanisms for referral for those who require specialist mental health assessment. It is this preventative approach that aims to stop young people from requiring expensive, statutory, crisis-led interventions that often come when the damage has already been done.

When talking about how the Door 43 service has helped him, Darren Jenks a young person who has accessed Door 43 in the past said, “Door43 is a place I can go and offload about what has happened in my week. I don’t feel judged by the staff; they are all so easy to talk to. I feel like having that space every week makes a massive difference to my mood.” 

“When I’ve got loads of stuff going on in my head, I can book in to see someone at Door43 and they help me to make sense of it all and we can make a plan together and I feel so much better.”

All those interested in discussing how they can offer financial or other support should contact Tash Bright at Sheffield Futures on 0114 2018647 or email: marketing@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

We are having a makeover!

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You may have noticed a few things have changed recently at Sheffield Futures one-stop-shop Star House, namely the white box that has appeared to the right of our front door….

Now’s a good time to tell you that we’re having a makeover!

The white box in our reception area will be soon made in to two rooms for you to meet with our careers, duty and Door43 staff.

We’ve added these couple of rooms because the back bit of our office (the grey bit!) is going to be made over to turn it in to our new Health and Wellbeing Zone.

So what does this mean for you?

In the long term, it means that we’re creating an inviting safe space for you to access health and wellbeing services, including our very own Door43.


In the short term, this means that some appointments will have been moved around, but your worker will contact you if your meeting is affected by our building work. It also means that Door43 drop-in may be affected. It will still be available, but there may be slight waiting times. Any appointments with regular visitors will be re-arranged accordingly.

If you are unsure or want any more information, please contact your worker or call our reception team on: 0114 201 2800.

Can’t wait to show off our brand new look! Please keep checking back for updates.

Take the Youth Cabinet’s Mental Health Survey!

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Sheffield Youth Cabinet have started a survey about young people and mental health – to see whether schools and the government are doing enough and where young people go when they are looking for support. If you are 19 or under and would like to be involved, please take the survey here.

Easter Opening Times

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Just a little reminder that Star House is closed for Easter weekend, we won’t be open on Friday, Saturday or Monday but we’ll be back in on Tuesday.

Have an excellent chocolate-filled weekend!

Thinking about volunteering?

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At Sheffield Futures, we rely on our fantastic volunteers who give their time and energy to ensure our services run smoothly and are the best they can be for the young people we support.

We asked Jess, one of the volunteers for Door43’s Wellbeing Cafe, to write a blog so that you can see what it’s really like to be a volunteer at Sheffield Futures, and how she balances this with studying at university…

I’m Jess and I am a Nutrition and Public Health student at Sheffield Hallam University. Before starting university in September 2016, I was determined to make the most of my 3 years in Sheffield and try to get involved with as many activities as possible! One of the first things that I did during Fresher’s Week was visit the volunteering team at the Students’ Union to ask about any possible opportunities. However, it wasn’t until the Sheffield Volunteering Fair at the Town Hall that I met the wonderfully enthusiastic Elliot on a Sheffield Futures stall and I knew that I needed to be involved with the amazing work that they do to support vulnerable young people.

On Tuesday 31st October 2017 I attended Door43’s Wellbeing Café for the first time and started my role as a volunteer. It has been amazing to see the café go from strength-to-strength and being able to support so many young people to be aware of their mental health. I have felt welcome, appreciated and respected since day 1 at the café, not only by the amazing team of staff members but also by the young people.

We all know how much of a difference just taking a moment to talk to somebody can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and I am so proud that I have been able to facilitate that opportunity along with other incredible volunteers.

One aspect of volunteering at the Wellbeing Café that I did not anticipate, was the incredibly positive impact that it has had on my own mental health. Helping to set up the refreshments, preparing the resources and being involved in the activities has become something that I look forward to days before I attend. The flexibility of the role has meant that I have not been made to feel as though I am letting anybody down and this has helped with balancing this experience alongside my academic studies.

I could not finish this post off without thanking Elliot for this wonderful opportunity, but also to the Door43 staff for making me feel so welcome as a volunteer at the café. It is always a daunting experience going somewhere new and especially when you do not know exactly what to expect, but I have always been made to feel a part of the team and this has made my time volunteering here an absolute pleasure. Thank you!

Sheffield Futures volunteers join the #BIDSpringClean

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Sheffield Futures staff and seven volunteers joined the Sheffield BID and other BID members to Spring Clean the city centre.

The group tackled the underpass from Moorfoot to Ecclesall Road and found nine full bags of rubbish and some odd items:

  • About five sets of house keys
  • Three separate shoes (not full pairs)
  • T-shirts
  • Trousers
  • A holdall
  • And best of all, some swimming goggles!

Here’s a group shot of all the volunteers involved, including nine from Sheffield Futures (the biggest group!)


Smiley faces despite the cold and rain!


Litter picking action shots!


Our selection of solo shoes (how do you lose a shoe?!)

International Women’s Day with our CEO Gail Gibbons

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On International Women’s Day, 8th March, we wanted to introduce you to our Chief Executive Officer, Gail Gibbons. Gail became CEO of Sheffield Futures in 2014 after over twenty years working in the public sector in both children and young people’s services, and mental health. She qualified as a social worker in 1995 and since then has worked in a range of social work positions in local government, before taking up roles across strategy, policy and commissioning in both local government and health.

Gail says: “The best thing about my job is the variety. Every day is different and you never know what’s going to happen. Although I would say that even better than that, is that even though I have been doing this job for many years, I still feel passionately about the making a positive difference to the people who use our services. It’s great to hear about when young people have gone on to do something really positive or that Sheffield Futures have made a real difference to someone’s life.”

Gail is involved in a wide range of local and regional partnerships, and is passionate about improving outcomes for young people and ensuring the voice of young people is heard. This commitment to a better future for the city’s young people extends to chairing the Sheffield Inclusion Centre’s Management Committee as she feels strongly about effectively meeting the needs of excluded pupils and sits on a wide range of multi-agency partnership boards – including the Safer and Sustainable Communities Partnership Board as the third sector rep, and the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board..

In addition to this, Gail is also a Board Member of the Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID). This is a role she is excited about, as it is very different from her other board commitments. The BID’s objectives are to work together for a busier, cleaner, safer city centre that is easier to access and navigate for the benefit of us all. Gail says: “Increasingly I think it’s important that Sheffield Futures, statutory services and private business work together to achieve common aims.”

Under Gail’s leadership, Sheffield Futures is evolving and all services are designed to meet our four goals:

  • Improving social skills, life skills and independence
  • Enabling community participation and belonging
  • Meaningful progression in to education, employment and training
  • Improving health and wellbeing

Gail says: “Over the next five years, everything we do will be to achieve one of those goals, We recognise that young people’s needs are changing and we need to be ever changing too to meet that demand.

We are still Sheffield focussed, but increasingly we are working regionally and sometimes nationally, and we want to continue and strengthen this work”

This brings us to our final question. It wouldn’t be a blog for International Women’s Day if we didn’t ask which females inspire Gail the most and why? See if you can identify the theme between them all!

Gail says: “Maxine Peake is definitely someone I really admire because she’s a fantastic actor but she’s also very committed to particular causes. Her life has been interesting, from growing up with political left-leaning parents to taking on interesting acting projects that are not necessarily big blockbusters. She speaks a lot of sense about many things, not to mention the fact that she’s a fantastic actor.

“The other person that springs to mind is Vivienne Westwood. I don’t like everything she says but I like her because she speaks her mind and I love her clothes. She has backed causes I feel strongly about, including anti-plastic and other environmental issues. I really admire her.

“I’m fascinated by Wayne and Geraldine Hemmingway. They both live through feminist and ethical principles and together they have done some amazing things, not only in the fashion world (with Red or Dead) but now they have moved in to sustainable housing and sustainable living with the Festival of Thrift and Festival of Making.

“I’m currently reading a biography about Eleanor Marx, who is absolutely fascinating in terms of being one of the first political feminists. She lived a hugely interesting life and was very influential in lots of strike action and political change, particularly in connecting women’s issues with worker’s issues. She was not afraid to speak out despite criticism… Again, she was a very strong and principled woman. What a fantastic collection, wouldn’t it be great to have a dinner party with them?”

National Careers Week 5-9 March!

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At Sheffield Futures, we never miss an opportunity to help you to get to where you want to be. On National Careers Week, we’re hosting four events to help you get your CV in shape, look at your options, find out more about local employers and the fantastic opportunities in Sheffield and the chance to think about your future.

Please join us at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, S1 4GE on National Careers Week!


CV Clinic on Monday 5th March 2pm – 4pm

Call in to find out what makes a great CV that’s going to get you the job and career you need. An Advisor will be on hand to give help, advice and prompts to improve your CV or help you to start to create on.


National Careers Week Wellbeing Cafe on Tuesday 6th March 5pm – 7pm

Door43 are hosting a special Wellbeing Cafe with Sheffield Futures Ambassador, sports journalist Liz Byrnes and Really NEET Project’s Sophie Maxwell. These two inspirational women will be talking about their careers and running a short workshop afterwards.


Options Drop-In on Wednesday 7th March 2pm – 4pm

Call into Sheffield Futures to find out what’s hot and what’s not in terms of local jobs. Find out what employers are looking for and what jobs are on offer in your local area.


Inspiring the Future’s Engineers on Thursday 8th March 11am

An interactive workshop with Tom Reynolds, Design Engineer at Gripple

Think like a design engineer. Bringing design engineering to life. Discover the career possibilities. What problems could you solve?


Choose Your Future on Friday 9th March 2pm – 4pm

Come along to speak with staff around your career options and your career choices. We have plenty of information on offer around any area of work or career you fancy.

Work with young people? You need CSE training

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We are delighted to tell you that we have secured a new training date for our highly sought after training package and resource Friend or Foe? We are rolling out a new training date to support colleagues in Education, Social Care, Youth Work, Housing, Homeless Support, Youth Offending and Faith and Community Sectors (among others!) to get the most out of the resource and to feel confident delivering the package to young people.

The full colour training pack includes:

  • A 14 session group work programme which builds a comprehensive programme on Healthy Relationships, Risk, CSE and E-Safety.
  • 10 exercises that can be delivered one-to-one with young people who are vulnerable to, or experiencing CSE.
  • 30 Flash Cards to support work with young people who speak English as a second language or who have Special Educational Needs.
  • A CD containing easy to print versions of all activities.

The pack is based on many years of experience of CSE case work from one of the oldest dedicated teams in the country. In addition, every resource has been “Youth Proofed” by the Sheffield CSE Young Advisory Group.

Training date:

  • Monday 19th of March – Sheffield Showroom Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield  S1 2BX

The training includes lunch and refreshments as well as a discounted copy of the resource. The full day plus a copy of the resource is only £150 plus VAT. The resource is also available to purchase separately at a cost of £80 including P&P. To book your place, click here!

Alternatively, if you would like us to come and train within your area/team please contact: resources@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

If you have any questions about the resource or other training offered by Sheffield Futures please email: resources@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

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.