How young volunteers are transforming Sheffield’s communities

How young volunteers are transforming Sheffield’s communities

Tash Bright No Comment

Young volunteers from Sheffield Futures, are giving their time and energy at organisations around Sheffield to make positive changes in the community.

Sheffield Futures social action project, Sheffieldr, has enlisted young people aged between 11-19 who are enthusiastic to get involved with all projects big and small. Volunteering ensures positive change in the young people’s lives, as they gain valuable experience such as teamwork and life skills.

Benefits can also be felt in the wider community. Volunteering with Sheffield Futures has seen the young people paint a mural to represent diversity at Parson Cross Boxing Gym and has more recently seen a team of young volunteers restore life back to the gardens at Herdings Youth Club.

The young people volunteering at Herdings Youth Club garden heard about the project through Community Youth Team’s youth club at Woodthorpe. The group worked hard to tame the overgrown outdoor space and now have plans to revive the faded flower beds and introduce fruit and veg to the garden. Once the garden is complete, local primary schools will be invited to explore and tend to the gardens.

The Sheffield Futures youth social action projects oppose the often negative portrayal of young people today. Think tank, Demos analysed six UK newspapers over the past 10 years and found that the words most commonly associated with “teenagers”, “youth” and “young people” were “binge-drinking”, “yobs” and “crime”. The time that the young volunteers dedicate to each project at Sheffield Futures mirror recent national research conducted by Business in the Community. Statistics show that young people are using volunteering to further their career aims and gain new skills more than any other age group and 80% of employers value volunteering on a CV.

Volunteering in the community also gives the young people the chance to work as part of a team. The one-off volunteering projects are a great way for young people to see the positive change that they have made in one day. One young person said that they felt “very proud” of the difference that their work has made to Herdings Youth Club garden.

Another young person who volunteered with Sheffieldr explained that “It was nice to get involved in laying the foundation of the Mural in our boxing gym to enable us to take control and make it attractive.”

Sheffield Futures are always looking for young volunteers to get involved and organisations that may be in need of transforming a community space. It is a unique and exciting opportunity that will see young volunteers help organisations for free for one day events or over a couple of sessions.

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.