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Did you know we have a social prescribing team at Sheffield Futures?

(Left-right: Christos, Ashleigh, Rachel, Connor)

Our young person’s social prescribing team are part of our Door43 wellbeing service.

What is a young person’s social prescribing link worker?

A young person’s social prescribing link worker aims to support young people to access and engage with community initiatives or provision, which can be anything from youth clubs to sports groups, with the ultimate goal to improve health and wellbeing.

Who can benefit from social prescribing?

Young people who are looking for ways to boost their wellbeing and willing to work with a young person’s social prescribing link worker to achieve this! Social prescribing can benefit people who are looking to deal with issues such as loneliness, isolation, stress, low confidence, or difficulties with accessing employment or education. It can especially benefit young people who are willing to try something new, so this could be a new group, activity or service in the area where they live.

I think social prescribing could help me. How do I get to see one of your team?

Our team work with young people all across Sheffield.

If you’re interested in working with someone from our social prescribing team, and you’re signed up as a patient at any one of the doctor’s surgeries below, book an appointment to speak to your doctor. They will be able to advise you if social prescribing is right for you, and if so, make a referral to our team.

Dore Surgery

Carterknowle Road Surgery

Greystones Medical Centre

The Hollies Medical Centre

Falkland House Surgery

Nethergreen Surgery

The Crookes Practice

Selbourne Road Surgery

Walkley House Medical Centre

Manchester Road Surgery

Broomhill Surgery

The University of Sheffield Health Service

Alternatively, if you are not a patient at one of these GP surgeries, you may be able to meet with one of our young person’s social prescribing link workers at our Sheffield Futures HQ – 43 Star House, Division Street, Sheffield, at school or they can see you in your home. For a referral form email [email protected] or call 0114 201 2774 for more information.

We launch a new city centre youth club on Division Street

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Young people aged 13-17 can now attend a youth club in Sheffield city centre on Thursday evenings, led by our charity.

The new club, at our Star House HQ on Division Street, is one of 21 centres across the city where our youth workers lead up to 40 youth work sessions a week, mainly funded by Sheffield City Council.

Aaron Daniels, Youth Worker at Sheffield Futures, said: “Star House is such a great addition to our network of ‘Youth Sheffield’ youth clubs because it’s so central with lots of good transport links, and it’s a big open space that enables us to host different activities the young people are interested in, such as dance workshops.

“It’s the first time we’ve opened a youth club in the city centre, and it’s wonderful to see young people from all across Sheffield coming together.

“We’ve got lots of activities to get involved in each week, but if young people just want to come and hang out with their friends then Star place is a perfect place to do that too.”

The club recently held a launch event where young people had fun with a green screen photo booth, make up artistry and a live DJ set.

Star House youth club, 43 Division Street, is open Thursdays 5-7pm. You can find out more about all of the youth clubs we run across the city here or email [email protected] with any questions you might have.

0114 Talks: Young women’s perspective of crime in Sheffield

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Join us at an event which hopes to bring young women and female practitioners together from across the city to discuss crime, the effects, and what can be done to prevent further violence in our communities.

Come and be part of the conversation on Monday 27 January 2020, 5-7pm at Sheffield Futures, Star House, Division Street, Sheffield S1 4GE.

Here’s some of the activities you can expect to get involved in during the evening:

Female led self-defence – We’ll be discussing some things we can all do to help keep ourselves safe. We’ll look at different scenarios and techniques – such as letting trusted people know where you are going, being aware of your surroundings and what to do if you feel unsafe while out and about.

Exploring poetry/graffiti/art – We’ll look at different artistic expressions of how current issues make young people feel. They’ll be the opportunity to express our thoughts through different artistic mediums, such as poetry and chalks.

Gathering views on the current situation – What crimes do young people commit in Sheffield? What is currently happening to prevent this? What would you do to tackle the current crime issues? Young people and professionals will be given the opportunity to write their own thoughts and ideas on post-it notes to answer each question anonymously. We will then collate those views and share a report on the findings after the event.

Mapping out Sheffield – Where do young people feel safe? We’ll be asking attendees to add stickers to a large map of Sheffield so they can identify where they do and don’t feel safe in the city and why. We’ll be using a traffic light system – green equals safe, amber meaning sometimes safe and red will depict not feeling safe. We’ll discuss why the stickers have been placed in particular places and what we can be done to change things for the better.

If you’d like more information about the event, please contact Samantha Smith at [email protected]

Blog: Young people’s response to Government’s consultation on statutory guidance for youth services

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The Government is calling for evidence from young people, local authorities and voluntary and community providers of local youth services to inform its revision of the statutory guidance on delivering youth services.

In this blog Emma Hinchliffe, our young people’s involvement lead, talks about the key themes raised in response to the consultation by young people in the Sheffield Young Advisors and the Sheffield Youth Cabinet.

The Sheffield Young Advisors are consultants who advise organisations on ensuring youth voice is central to their work and the Sheffield Youth Cabinet represent the voice of young people 11-18 across Sheffield.

In order to invite the views of young people, the government has provided a questionnaire for young people providing options for them to respond to. Within this, the government asked young people what they felt should be in the guidance to make sure it’s ‘useful’.

Our young people felt overwhelmingly that the government should include a statutory minimum requirement that young people should be able to access youth services, including youth groups offering a wide range of activities that are engaging for the young people in the area.

Within this, detached youth work, where young people are engaged by highly skilled youth workers on the streets and are signposted to youth provision was a key requirement. And importantly, in order to shape recommendations it was felt young people should be continually consulted to ensure the guidance is representative of young people’s voice in the regions so that youth work offers meaningful, inclusive, engaging and accessible youth work tailored for those young people.

Our young people felt that the guidance should be more agile and be reviewed ongoing to change in line with national and regional priorities to confront and tackle the major issues of the day for example, mental health, criminal exploitation and associated knife crime. Our young people went further to say that in the case of identified major issues in a particular area, that detailed preventative strategies be included in the guidance to keep young people safe.

When asked about the local council’s role in shaping the services provided for young people, all felt young people should be consulted throughout the planning, delivery and review process to ensure youth voice is central. And that it was important for those undertaking this to go the extra mile to ensure all young people in a locality are represented. Engaging with schools, colleges and education providers, youth clubs, youth voice groups and other community spaces accessed by young people for instance.

Peer to peer support and consultation were also suggested as ways to reach and represent harder to reach young people for example, those who have disengaged from society as a result of criminal exploitation, chaotic lifestyles or school bullying and in fact, are the ones who can benefit most from youth work.

The goals that young people felt were important to them when asked were education, employment, relationships, being healthy physically and mentally, a good quality of life and standard of living. They also acknowledged that everyone’s goals would be different but that education and youth work are essential social levellers.

In order to ensure these goals were achieved, they felt the focus should be:
· Quality, professional support for young people who are not in university but are post 18 and not in education or work
· Professional careers advice and help
· Peer to peer support to engage hard to reach young people
· Accessible professional youth services that present opportunities and activities for young people to get involved in what they are passionate about

Accessibility and awareness of the guidance was also highlighted as an area required to improve so that young people understand how the government is meeting young people’s human rights ‘to express an opinion on any matter affecting them and to have that opinion taken into account’ and can therefore justifiably hold the government to account.

Fozia Sultana, a Sheffield Young Advisor, said: “When it comes to guidance it’s important to have transparency and give all options and possible outcomes to young people. And young people need to feel as if they have more power and control rather than the information being enforced upon them and them feeling helpless as a result.”

In summary, the young people called for peer to peer support that goes the extra mile to meet the hardest to reach young people. They called for putting young people at the centre of the guidance by accurately representing the voice of young people at a regional level and respecting young people’s human rights through accessibility of the guidance.

We urge other young people to come forward and have their say before 11:45pm on 1 December 2019.

Blog: Gail’s thoughts on the Government statutory guidance review for local youth services

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Gail Gibbons is the CEO at Sheffield Futures, leading the charity to deliver initiatives that support young people. The Government is calling for evidence from local authorities and voluntary and community providers of local youth services, to inform its revision of the statutory guidance on delivering youth services. The review aims to highlight the positive role local authorities can play in the provision of youth services, and ensure the guidance is useful and accessible for all. Here Gail discusses the key themes from Sheffield Futures’ response to the consultation, explores how the current guidance can be improved and urges others to have their say.

We welcome the Government’s call for evidence to strengthen the existing guidance on delivering youth services. The current guidance for local authorities is statutory rather than law. Therefore, the way in which youth services are delivered across the country is hugely variable in terms of quality, type and frequency.

This guidance status has meant in practice that local authorities, in face of wider budget pressures, have needed to significantly reduce funding in this area, as the guidance is viewed as desirable rather than essential.

We have youth services that in some areas have all but disappeared. This is a result of local authorities being so constrained by budget pressures, they have no option but to cut non-statutory services such as youth work, to free up funds to literally keep the streetlights on. This is devastating when we know that good quality, highly skilled youth work keeps our young people safe, enriched and enabled to build positive lives. Young people need this support more than ever after years of austerity has left swathes of the population in poverty, and children and young people even more vulnerable and in need of the vital safety net youth work can provide. That’s why I’m calling for a statutory youth service funded by each local authority area, staffed by highly skilled and qualified youth workers and underpinned by a set of professional standards, with a quality assurance framework based on positive outcomes for young people.

As part of any statutory youth service or guidance, there should be a clear definition for ‘youth services’. The term ‘youth services’ is generally recognised to mean, but not defined as youth work services, i.e. delivered by qualified youth workers, working to a set of professional standards. Without a clear definition, the positive impact of youth work for young people is diluted as services are not legally required to be delivered by qualified professionals to a statutory minimum standard.

The National Youth Agency have made the recommendation that at least two professional youth workers and a team of youth support workers and trained volunteers are required for each secondary school catchment area. This is a recommendation we wholeheartedly support.

Across the country outsourcing of youth services by local authorities to the voluntary and community sector is common, however the current guidance suggests that all local authorities provide youth services in house. This is not the case. In Sheffield for example, the local authority youth service was outsourced to our charity, Sheffield Futures, in 2002. This leads to my view that Government guidance needs to reflect the varied nature of the organisations delivering youth services across the country. It should show an understanding of the challenges the voluntary sector faces and provide guidance that reflects its unique strengths, for example Youth Partnership working.

In our area, Sheffield Futures provides the local youth service ‘Youth Sheffield’ on behalf of Sheffield City Council. In addition, there are a wide range of activities across the Positive Activities and Targeted Services spectrum, delivered by both statutory services and the voluntary sector, as well as private provision such as sports clubs.

As the local lead youth work delivery organisation, with strong links to national and regional youth work networks and professional groups, we are in the process of developing a Sheffield Youth Partnership. This will provide a co-ordinating function for a range of youth work providers to come together to build learning and capacity across our local sector. There are also a number of local multi-agency youth networks at neighbourhood level which meet regularly with the aim of co-ordinating provision in their areas. It is hoped that these could feed into a city-wide partnership, engaging with the local authority and other statutory services.

In conclusion, all young people deserve access to high quality youth services, regardless of where they are in the country. To counter the extreme poverty and associated resultant life limiting issues for all young people, we need statutory guidance that clearly defines youth work and provides minimum standards for delivery, for all sectors who deliver it, including the voluntary sector.

You can have your say and respond to the consultation until Sunday 1 December 2019.

Youth Work Week 2019 blog: Safe and confident in their future

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 Shelly Burrell is a Youth Work Team Leader at Sheffield Futures. As part of Shelly’s role, she leads the delivery of Youth Sheffield, Sheffield’s city wide youth service. Youth Sheffield provides safe spaces where young people can feel comfortable and confident and take part in enriching activities, keeping them safe and supported to make the most of their lives. For today’s #YWW19 theme, Shelly talks about how Sheffield Futures works to ensure young people in Sheffield feel ‘safe and confident in their future’.

Young people have the right to feel safe and confident in their future. Young people face many challenges and navigating their way through the teenage years can be difficult.

In today’s world, young people face intense pressure to perform at school, to conform in terms of self-identity, sexual identity, relationships and friendships. And on top of this, in recent times, young people have been exposed and left vulnerable to exploitation, intent on exploiting this period of instability in young people’s lives for their own financial gain.

Young people that are at risk of or are being exploited are given a false sense of direction and belonging, and exposed to danger that can tragically result in the loss of life through knife crime and other serious violence.

Tragically, child sexual exploitation is also a prevalent issue affecting the safety of our young people, where again, criminals are taking advantage of young people sexually who may be looking for friendship, direction or support.

Young people have the right to feel safe and to be protected from exploitation and at Sheffield Futures we strive to ensure this.

Young people are passionate about their future but are unsurprisingly anxious about what may lie ahead. More and more young people struggle with their mental health, with a huge increase in young people presenting with low mood, anxiety and depression. These issues, if left alone can result in the development of serious mental health issues. If we see young people presenting with these issues we can offer them support through our emotional health and wellbeing service Door 43 and other specialist services

With the changes in the PSHE curriculum, schools often don’t have enough time to teach many much needed life skills. Therefore youth work and youth work settings are one of the places were young develop life skills that equip them for adult life.

Youth workers build relationships with young people and offer a confidential safe space for them to access, where they will not be judged irrespective of race, sexual identify, gender, culture or beliefs.

A good way to think about our youth clubs is that they are a gateway for support. If we cannot offer the right support directly in our clubs and we identify a need, we will enable young people to access the specialist support we have on offer at Sheffield Futures and through our network of partners. For example, help with substance mis-use, sexual health, one to one support to get young people back on track, support to give young people a voice and emotional and wellbeing support.

As part of our enrichment activities and curriculum in the youth clubs, we deliver sessions that are young people led, addressing issues that matter to them and their futures such as knife crime, domestic violence, exploitation, relationships, cyber bullying, sexual health and mental health.

Informal learning in youth club settings encourages young people to be resilient, confident and to make better choices, which in turn makes them more safe and confident in their future.

Young people also get involved in the Sheffield Futures Young People’s Independent Advisory Group for South Yorkshire Police, where young people provide support to the police to help them shape their service on issues such as stop and search and retailers illegally selling to underage young people.

We hope that by offering Sheffield’s young people a safe space and surrounding them with enriching activities and a network of support, we can enable young people to feel safe, confident and able to go on and lead positive, fulfilled lives.

If you or a young person you know is experiencing any of the issues mentioned here and would benefit from support please reach out to Sheffield Futures. Tel 0114 2012800 or [email protected]

Find out more about your community youth club here.

Youth Work Week 2019 blog: Skilled and equipped to learn and earn

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Louise Ellison is the Deputy Services Manager here at Sheffield Futures. As part of Louise’s role, she manages the delivery of Youth Sheffield, Sheffield’s city wide youth service. Youth Sheffield provides safe spaces where young people can feel comfortable and confident and take part in enriching activities, keeping them safe and supported to make the most of their lives. For today’s #YWW19 theme, Louise talks about how Sheffield Futures works to ensure young people in Sheffield are ‘skilled and equipped to learn and earn’.

In my experience it starts with creating the right environment. Bringing young people in and building trust, making young people feel valued by society and instilling belief that they have the potential to achieve and succeed, especially if they are low in confidence initially.

Our city-wide youth service Youth Sheffield provides safe spaces where young people can feel comfortable and boosted, in a space physically and mentally where they are able to access their own potential to learn and earn. Like everything, the conditions need to be right for young people to grow and thrive.

The key to creating the right environment for this is investment in highly skilled and trained youth workers who can not only involve young people in enriching activities, but help keep them safe and inspire and support them to make the most of their lives.

Youth Sheffield is led by a team of youth work team leaders who coordinate a curriculum of activities, including sports, arts and life skills that draws upon the expertise of partners in communities around Sheffield. This curriculum is delivered across 20 youth centres, and through street based youth work, for those who are not able to access a club.

Through our work giving young people the tools to use their voice and influence through social action projects, for example with the #iwill Ahead partnership, we recognise the value and necessity of working with skilled organisations to deliver opportunities for our young people and welcome approaches from all interested parties in this capacity.

Once we feel young people are in a place where they are ready to access support, they are engaged in an age appropriate way to address specific learning or employment options. From here, young people are given access to one to one support to help them get back on track with work, training, education and to lead productive, independent lives. For example, school aged young people can access Sheffield Futures careers advice in school, and here at Star House and this support extends for those with special educational needs and disabilities up to the age of 25.

Youth workers are also so well placed to spot warning signs, when young people are at risk of losing direction in life. They might be missing school, work or being involved in anti-social behaviour in or outside school. The reasons for this can be complex but youth workers are able to work with young people to dig deeper and understand what’s going on at home and if there are problems with emotional health and wellbeing, like anxiety or other mental health conditions.

Lack of structure and a chaotic home environment can unsurprisingly really influence a young person’s ability to lead a productive life. Our targeted youth support workers provide bespoke practical and emotional support to cater to the complex needs of those at risk of becoming not in education, employment or training or those that already are. It’s a form of safety net. This support is available for all young people including some of the most vulnerable, for example those that have been living in care. There’s also one to one support available for young adults aged 20-24 who find themselves directionless as a result of mental health issues.

If you or a young person you know is experiencing any of the issues mentioned here and would benefit from support please reach out to Sheffield Futures. Tel 0114 2012800 or [email protected]

Find out more about your local community youth club here.

We launch our new approach to youth work ‘Youth Sheffield’

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Our charity has revamped the way youth services are offered across the city and raised £20,000 to kick start our new ‘Youth Sheffield’ programme.

Our team at Sheffield Futures currently leads up to 40 youth work sessions a week, funded by Sheffield City Council. With the Council’s support, our charity is now transforming the way it works with young people, but we need on going funding and help from the wider community to give young people the youth service they truly deserve.

Our CEO at Sheffield Futures, Gail Gibbons said: “‘Investment in youth work is needed more than ever after years and years of significant Government cuts to children and young people’s services nationally.

“We’re seeing, not only in Sheffield but across the country, major problems such as the rise in young people’s mental health issues, exploitation of vulnerable young people and associated violent crime.

“We believe that investment in highly trained youth workers, who can not only involve young people in enriching activities, but help keep them safe and inspire and support them to make the most of their lives, is key.”

The refreshed city-wide youth service, ‘Youth Sheffield’, will be led by a new team of youth work team leaders who will coordinate a curriculum of activities, including sports, arts and life skills. This curriculum will be delivered across 20 youth centres, and through street based youth work, for those who do not feel able to access a club.

Gail, said: “It’s so important that all young people, no matter their circumstances, are given the opportunity to access high quality youth provision. Sometimes that can mean engaging young people on their own territory, on their own terms, on the streets or in local parks for example.

“However, we hope that over time, we are able to bring more and more young people into our youth centres, but we can’t do this alone.

“To reach as many young people as possible, particularly those who are most in need, we must work closely with partners such as the Council, South Yorkshire Police and many of the other fantastic organisations we have in this city that have young people’s well-being firmly at their heart.”

As part of this work, Youth Sheffield plans to develop a new youth work network, known as Sheffield Youth Partnership, to provide support to other youth work organisations, to share information and resources, and upskill those who work with young people locally.

The £20,000 donation made by Sheffield Futures has launched the programme, but we’re looking for additional sources of funding to help expand and continue the work, as well as support from community organisations and volunteers.

Organisations and individuals that would like to collaborate and be part of the Sheffield Youth Partnership, or support Youth Sheffield can email [email protected] for more information. We’d love to hear from you.

Changes to the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award in Sheffield

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There has been some changes to the way the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Award is delivered across the country and in Sheffield. Sheffield Futures will no longer provide the programme, instead local schools will be able to deliver it directly to their pupils.

Schools will need to become a directly licenced centre to manage their own programmes with support from DofE.

Our team at Sheffield Futures would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported us by volunteering and being part of DofE in recent years. Your commitment and passion has enabled young people to learn and achieve in a safe supportive environment.

 If you wish to continue volunteering with DofE please contact Helen Cook, Operations Officer at [email protected]



February Half Term with Sheffield Futures

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An unusually sunny February half-term was packed with fun activities for young people in Sheffield with Football, Ice Hockey and climbing on the menu.

Attendees of Norfolk Park Youth Club and Millan Youth Club and young people from the wider area got together with Street League at Goals Sheffield for a two-hour, 6-a-side mixed tournament.

We love working with Street League, who use sport as a gateway for education, skills and employment for young people aged 16-24. Elsewhere, young people enjoyed ice skating and climbing followed by a group meal to round off an active week.

“It was a great opportunity to get young people from different Youth Clubs and backgrounds together,” said youth work coordinator, John Moloughney. “The teams were totally mixed, even staff and volunteers got a game so it was a really great time.”


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.