Author Archives: Sadie White

Feeling lonely or isolated? Suffering from low mood or lack of confidence? Or need help accessing services, jobs or education?

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At Sheffield Futures we now run a social prescribing service for young people aged 13-25. Much like going to the GP for a prescription if you’re physically ill, we can work with you to prescribe activities and practical support that can help with a range of issues you may be facing such as loneliness and isolation, practical support accessing housing, education or employment or help with tackling low confidence, mood and wellbeing.

Find out more about social prescribing and how it can help you here.

Sick of plastic? Hate food waste? How to have a green Christmas.

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Check out our Environment Group’s top tips for a green Christmas. With a shocking 1 billion Xmas cards still ending up in landfill and over 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper used over Christmas – enough to cover Guernsey, we can all do our bit to make sure we lower our impact on the Earth and safeguard it for generations to come.


50 million cards per day are delivered on average by the Royal Mail in the run up to Christmas. Considering how simple most of these cards are to recycle, 1 billion still end up in landfill and can take up to 30 years to decompose.

As well as recycling the cards you receive in the post, why not get crafty with the kids and make your own eco-friendly Christmas cards to send? You can use recycled card and envelopes and cut down on plastic packaging, or you can buy recycled cards if crafts just aren’t your thing.

Try and hand deliver to friends and family who live close by and further reduce your Christmas carbon footprint total.


It’s not just the packaging that some shops use that can make your Christmas presents problematic for the environment. Over 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper are used in Britain over Christmas, equating to 83 square km of rubbish – that’s more than enough to cover Guernsey!

Do your bit to reduce this figure by buying recycled wrapping paper and always recycling the wrapping you receive wherever possible. Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable, so either look for the PEFC or FSC logo on your paper (this means the paper is sustainably forested!) or buy recycled brown paper that you can make festive with ribbon and stamps!

Before recycling, remove any sticky tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows as these cannot be recycled. If in doubt about whether your paper can be recycled, test it out with the ‘scrunch test’ – if you literally scrunch the paper in your hand and it stays in a ball, it can be put into the recycling.


It is always good to shop local where you can, to support local business, and make more ethical choices when it comes to gift giving. Talk to your family about expectations, and maybe look at making some homemade gifts this year. And if you don’t feel you have the skills to make gifts, or the time to head down to local shops, and are all sites that enable small businesses to sell their homemade wares, and they get delivered to your door!


When comes to deciding whether a real tree or artificial one is better for the environment, it’s a tough call. Generally speaking, if you buy an artificial tree you have to use it for a minimum of 7 years for its carbon footprint to be stamped out. However if you go for a real tree, a large part of being environmentally friendly is recycling it! Six million real trees brightened up homes and offices across Britain last year, of which only 10% were recycled. The rest went into landfill, a wasted opportunity to create biomass that would have provided nutrients for depleted soil. In Sheffield, The Children’s Hospital Charity offer a collection and recycling service for a donation (min £12) – recycling and giving to charity in one! Link to that service is here:

Food Shopping

By the time the ingredients that make up the average British Christmas dinner arrive on our plates, they have travelled an average combined distance of 49,000 miles. Turkeys from Europe, vegetables from Africa, cranberries from America – the turkey and trimmings can add up to the equivalent of 6,000 car trips around the world, research from the University of Manchester has found. So how do we combat some of this?

  • Buy local! Produce bought locally means you will be supporting small suppliers and the local community, while minimising your carbon footprint. Shop at a local farmers’ market – there are plenty around!
  • Buy your fruit and vegetables loose and ditch all that wasteful plastic packaging.
  • Buy drinks in bigger bottles rather than small ones. One large bottle generates less waste than several smaller ones.
  • Try to avoid serving people with paper or plastic plates and cups if you are entertaining.
  • Don’t forget to put the vegetable peelings from your Christmas dinner in your home compost bin if you have one!


Christmas tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons, so turn them off when they are not needed!

With that in mind. Have a fabulous green Christmas one and all.



NCS Summer 2019 recruitment

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NCS has become the country’s fastest growing youth movement with over 400,000 graduates to date. This once in a lifetime opportunity is a 4 week programme that helps young people (aged 16-17) build their confidence and gain new skills whilst having fun and giving back to their community –a great opportunity for their future aspirations! Whether they’re about to apply for university, or preparing to enter the working world, signing up to NCS could be one of the best decisions a young person can make.  If you know any young people who might be interested tell them to visit to find out more and to sign up.

If you have a small group of young people who might be interested in NCS Summer 2019 but would like to know more please contact Jeni Upperdine, NCS Lead at Sheffield Futures: ext:6655 to arrange a NCS presentation.

NCS is amazing value for money as the programme is financially supported by the government, which invests more than £1,000 per place. The whole experience would normally cost £50, however, if young people sign up online through  a place will cost only £35!

If any young person may struggle to pay this fee then please speak with Jeni Upperdine to see what funding is available.

Social prescribing for young people

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Sheffield Futures are proud to launch a ‘social prescribing’ model for 13-25 year olds who require support to improve their mental health and emotional wellbeing, through access to a range of activities, tailored to their needs.

Socially prescribed activities will be entirely bespoke to the young person but may include funding to attend sports clubs or classes, leisure activities such as music and theatre groups, alternative therapies, gym membership and more for a 12-week period. 13-25 year olds will also receive support to access a range of existing provision, activities and services including arts groups, wellbeing groups, outdoors or nature groups and more.

With the overall wellbeing of young people aged 16-25 years old widely acknowledged to be decreasing and with emotional health seeing the biggest drop in 2018 (Youth Mental Health Index 2018), the need for preventative mental health services has never been more acute. The new social prescribing model has been launched in response to this and will be lead by Sheffield Futures emotional wellbeing service, Door 43.

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.

Gail Gibbons, Sheffield Futures Chief Executive said: ‘As we progress further down the track as a society towards a mental health crisis, there has never been a more pressing need for us to holistically address the emotional health and wellbeing needs of our young people.’

‘Sheffield Futures is proud to say that young people are at the heart of all we do, and our services change to meet their needs. The social prescribing model allows us to address many of the root causes for low-level mental health issues and encourage positive activities.’

Funding for the young people’s social prescribing scheme has been provided by the Department of Health and Social Care’s Health and Wellbeing Fund and is being co-ordinated by Streetgames UK and Youth Access, across four UK locations. In Sheffield the programme is being delivered by youth charity, Sheffield Futures.

Care Minister Caroline Dinenage said: ‘The voluntary and community sector has such a vital role to play in working with our health system to provide the kind of support that you can’t receive at your local GP surgery or hospital.’

Dinenage continues: ‘This new funding will mean that many more people receive support that looks at their needs holistically, enabling them to live happier, more independent lives. I look forward to seeing these projects put their plans into action and provide support to hundreds of thousands more people.’

The support will aim to deliver improvement in the health and quality of life through increased levels of activity, enabling community participation, breaking down barriers to accessing transport and benefits, encouraging healthy living and increasing engagement with school, college, training programmes and employment.

Sheffield Futures awarded funding to tackle criminal exploitation of young people

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South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has been awarded over £500,000 of Home Office funding for a Sheffield partnership project led by Sheffield Futures focussed on tackling child criminal exploitation and associated knife and gun crime across the city.

The project named by young people consulted as ‘Project 0114’ will be delivered by Sheffield Futures in conjunction with delivery partners, Sheffield City Council, ACT Sheffield, The Unity Gym Project, St Marks Church, Broomhill, Manor Castle Development Trust, My Life Project, Princes Trust, and Change Grow Live (CGL).

Due to begin in January 2019, Project 0114 will include an education programme for all secondary school pupils across the city as well as year six pupils in primary schools in areas deemed to be most at risk. A second strand to the project will engage children aged 10-13 identified as at risk of grooming for gang involvement and serious violence with positive enrichment activities.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures comments, ‘We are really pleased to have been awarded the funding to deliver targeted activities to help children and young people vulnerable to criminal exploitation and associated serious violence across the city.’

‘Through Project 0114, we hope to equip our children and young people to be able to steer clear of the serious threat that comes from organised crime, child criminal exploitation and the associated violent crime we are unfortunately seeing become more and more frequent across the city.’

Co-delivered by youth workers and specially trained young people and utilising a youth mentoring approach, the schools based programme will involve a series of information and skills based sessions focussed on preventing child criminal exploitation and the effects of knife and gun crime. Young people will be provided with information about how they can seek support to move away from serious youth violence and to understand their rights and responsibilities in this area.  This element will form a key strand of the new Violent Crime and Organised Criminality (VCOC) strategy in Sheffield.

The programme targeting children identified through evidence as at risk of being groomed for gang involvement and associated gun and knife crime will be delivered across 5 areas of the city: Broomhall, North East Sheffield, Manor Castle/Arbourthorne, Burngreave/Pitsmoor and Low Edges.

Focussed on arts, music, media or sport the engagement activities, in local communities, the project will pull on the strengths of delivery partners and will ensure strong safeguarding pathways for those identified as most at risk.


Youth Work Week 2018: Kirsty Roy

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It’s Youth Work Week this week and we’re talking to youth workers from across the organisation as part of our #youthworkmatters campaign to celebrate the varied ways our youth workers help young people from across the city.

Here we talk to Kirsty Roy a youth worker in our Door 43 emotional health and wellbeing service.

Kirsty Roy, youth worker – Door 43

What does your role as a youth worker involve?

It involves working with lots of different young people from all across the city to help them address emotional, practical and other  emotional health and wellbeing needs. I use my skills to relate to young people from all walks of life experiencing diverse problems, including problems that start in the home such as poverty, to problems in school whether it’s achievement or stress, to problems with low mood and depression.

How do you help Door 43 deliver for young people?

I help Door 43 deliver positive results for young people for example by giving them the tools and advice to help them get themselves into a better place emotionally which then sets them up to be able to deal with the challenges they face. It’s not about telling them what to do but it’s about coaching them and giving them the tools for example, coping strategies and building the resilience to cope with life’s set backs. Ultimately, I help them to uncover the answers and the right way forward for themselves.

What do you think are the challenges for young people?

I could go on forever. I think today’s young people have real challenges. From the current issues we have with knife crime and gang culture to dealing with the pressure of school without becoming stressed and anxious to problems at home such as poverty and peer on peer pressure. The list goes on. Young people are expected to deal with all of this when they’re young and inexperienced and don’t have the life experience and resilience to deal with it. It’s a really tough call.

How important is youth work to young people?

Very important. Absolutely essential. Without youth workers or youth clubs or anyone positive in a young persons life I can say I feel very sure that as well as the obvious detrimental effect and suffering for young people, the negative impact on our communities will be great. What I like about youth work is that it’s an early intervention for young people and it’s about giving them the information and tools to make positive choices. It gives them a positive influence which for some young people is unfortunately completely absent from their lives. We don’t tell them what to do we just advise them. The cut backs show that crime rates are going through the roof. I fear for what would happen if funding for youth services is cut back any more.

You can find out more about Door 43 here

Door43 – Emotional, mental and sexual health support

How you can support us:

Find out more about how youth work transforms lives by following our #YouthWorkMatters campaign on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

You can also write your own message of support for @SheffFutures using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters

Please visit to find out more about what we do and how you can support us with fundraising, volunteering or as an ambassador.


Youth Work Week 2018: Lucy Ruck

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It’s Youth Work Week this week and to continue our celebration of the varied ways our youth workers help young people from across the city, today we’re profiling Lucy Ruck, a youth worker in our Community Youth Team in the West of the city.

As you’ll have seen from these profiles, the roles are varied, but all focus on providing a holistic approach to stabilising the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people.

Case Study: How youth work can help support our most vulnerable young people

This case study tells the story of how collaboration between our specialist youth workers and targeted youth support workers can create sustained positive outcomes for vulnerable young people.

Katy had multiple barriers to learning, significant previous difficulties sustaining progress in education and training and was very unsettled emotionally and socially with an unstable home life.

Sheffield Futures youth worker, Ayesha had been working really hard to establish a positive relationship with Katy however she felt that support with education, employment and training would be really useful and set it up so joint specialist workers Ayesha and Lucy met with Katy together initially.

‘This went well, we got to know Katy’s hopes wishes and aspirations as well as trying to gain a more thorough understanding of her background, any learning needs and a holistic overview to inform the best choice of options.’ Says Lucy Ruck, Targeted Youth Support worker at Sheffield Futures.

‘Whilst the young person was saying that she wanted a “job” it was clear that she wasn’t job ready and whilst we encouraged her by updating her CV and giving ideas around job search I also talked to her about a wide range of options available including traineeships and other stepping stone courses.’ Lucy continues.

As a result, the joint effort resulted in appointments being made for two courses. ‘Katy needed a great deal of encouragement, phone calls, texts and e-mails as well as supporting to prepare and attend these interviews. This included engaging other agencies such as her social worker and advocating for support which was successful.’ Lucy says.

‘We both agreed that recognising the fine balance between encouraging Katy to be independent and responsible while at the same time supporting her to overcome her significant lack of confidence and the anxiety based upon previous negative experiences of education was essential.’

With much support (including wake up phone calls!) Katy started a four week course with the Princes Trust which she stayed on and passed! ‘She and we were delighted! It was clear that Katy had grown in confidence through this journey and it has given her a positive, consistent and sustained experience that will take her forward to a positive future.’

‘This is why we do this job, to see outcomes like this and it’s always so satisfying to be able to work collaboratively, pooling all of our skills and expertise to fight a young person’s corner and see them on a positive path.’ Says Lucy.

How you can support us:

Find out more about how youth work transforms lives by following our #YouthWorkMatters campaign on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

You can also write your own message of support for @SheffFutures using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters

Please visit to find out more about what we do and how you can support us with fundraising, volunteering or as an ambassador.


Youth Work Week 2018

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It’s Youth Work Week 5th to 11 November and time to celebrate the varied ways our youth workers help young people from across the city.

Here we talk to Lydia James, a case worker in our child sexual exploitation service and throughout next week we will profile other youth workers in different service areas.

As you’ll see the roles are varied, but all focus on providing a holistic approach to stabilising the lives of some of our most vulnerable young people.

Lydia James, Case Worker – Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service

How important do you feel youth work is to the young people of Sheffield?

Youth work in my role is fundamental to recognising vulnerable young people and helping them to adjust their lifestyles or seek the help and support they need to get out of unsafe or risky situations and get onto a positive track. So really we are a safety net for some of the most vulnerable children and young people in our communities, providing the stability and support they may not have encountered during their lives which has ultimately left them vulnerable to exploitation.

The day to day lives of vulnerable young people are very different to young people with “normal” lifestyles. Being a youth worker you are able to differentiate between the two and understand the difficulties/barriers vulnerable young people face. We provide young people with someone in their lives to act as an advocate, to be their voice in formal situations when they are unable to vocalise their needs and wants and to fight their corner and to be their eyes and ears in the professional arena.

What does your role as a youth worker involve?

I work in the child sexual exploitation team at Sheffield Futures. My role involves working one to one with young people who have been identified as at risk of exploitation. These one to one sessions with at risk young people focus on sexual exploitation as the core issue but also offer the holistic support that is often required, so for example, support with mental health, wellbeing, family support and making the correct referrals on to the correct services. I also provide support with attending appointments such as health, counselling, housing, education and sexual health. Other parts of the role involve advocating for young people at statutory meetings that involve social care, the police, education and the courts.

How do you help your team to achieve its positive outcomes for young people?

To really help vulnerable young people it takes a non-judgemental approach and the ability to flex your style to have informal as well as formal discussions with young people. Just being there when you are needed by the young person is also important as young people have often come from unstable backgrounds and providing a stable influence is important. This also plays into the importance of building a reputation with a young person as a service that delivers and supports their needs. Good listening skills and not dictating, instructing or lecturing them on their lives, as well as helping young people to make informed decisions, accept mistakes and move them forward to prevent making the same mistakes again.

It’s also really important to keep up to date with specialist knowledge on current trends and issues within Sheffield for example, knife crime, changes in substance use, hotspot areas and culture changes.

What do you think the challenges are for young people?

A big challenge for young people and for those with the role of supporting them is a general mistrust of services, sometimes as a result of negative experiences.

Lengthy waiting lists and the amount of time that it takes to gain an appointment can be a barrier to young people getting the help they need. Young people often ask for support when they need it right there and then- they find it difficult to pre-empt when they need support and often only ask when they are at crisis point.

And a big one for me is young people believing things cannot change – even if support is in place. Young people often have negative views of themselves/ cannot see a way out of situations/ cannot “see light at the end of the tunnel”.

Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service

How you can support us:

Find out more about how youth work transforms lives by following our #YouthWorkMatters campaign on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

You can also write your own message of support for @SheffFutures using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters

Please visit to find out more about what we do and how you can support us with fundraising, volunteering or as an ambassador.



World Mental Health Day 2018: Katie Ludlam, GB Boxing Performance Psychologist shares her thoughts on the role of sport in building essential life skills

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Here Katie Ludlam, Performance Psychologist at GB Boxing spends ten minutes talking about how sport can play an important role in building essential life skills.

How do you think getting involved in boxing or sport could benefit a young person struggling with emotional health issues for example, confidence, low mood or anxiety?

‘Being involved in boxing can facilitate an environment where you are on a journey with like-minded people and are judged for the things you can typically control for example commitment, hard work, and a willingness to try. Boxing – and sport in general – can change and will continue to change people’s lives.  I believe sport has the potential to teach us how to overcome setbacks, build relationships with others, enhance self belief and give us purpose/ something to strive for.’

Can you recommend any techniques for building resilience, self-esteem and confidence?

‘Learning from our experiences and committing to what is going to make a positive difference for us. What do you value or want to achieve? Identify what is getting in the way and the things you are doing that take you away from your values/goals. What behaviours could we commit to that will be a positive move towards our values/goals?’

‘Ensuring that you prioritise time to consider and build on the positive things of your day, your life, or the things you are trying to achieve is so important. How often do we ask ourselves what is going well/ what have I achieved today/ what is working for me?’

‘I believe that everyone has unique qualities and capabilities (super-strengths!) that if identified and maximised can strengthen our belief, self-determination, and performance in whatever it is we are doing.’

How important is resilience, self-esteem and confidence to the mentality of a Boxer?

‘I think these things naturally fluctuate depending on recent experiences and what someone has going on in their lives. That said, we don’t get through life without experiencing setbacks and these can be great for our development – being able to pick yourself up off the canvas and dust yourself off (both literally and metaphorically) is difficult but as they say (whoever they are!), it sure does make us stronger if we commit to learning from it.’

‘Belief in yourself and your ability to succeed in what you are doing is important, but there is an assumption that the best boxers don’t experience doubt – for me confidence isn’t the absence of self-doubt, we all have doubts, it is our ability to accept doubts, not judge ourselves about them, and continue/succeed despite the doubts we have.’

GB Boxing, based at the English Institute of Sport, prepares and trains the boxers that compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games and chose Sheffield Futures as its charity partner. The three year partnership will focus on the use of boxing as a tool to bolster Sheffield Futures’ community involvement work and to inspire Sheffield’s young people to achieve wider personal development through sport.

World Mental Health Day 2018: Launch of new emotional wellbeing ‘Health Zone’ at Star House

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A newly refurbished ‘Health Zone’ which has been purposely designed by and for young people to access support with their emotional and physical health is open for Sheffield’s young people. 

The ‘Health Zone’ at Sheffield Futures on Division Street will host the Door 43 Wellbeing Café. Our Door 43 service is a preventative mental health service for 13-25 year olds that aims to stop mental health conditions in their tracks before they turn into full blown crises. Since its inception the service has been very much in demand with the majority self referring with issues such as stress, anxiety and low mood often caused by the overwhelming demands that modern life places on today’s young people.

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.

 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. 

Commenting on the new health and wellbeing zone development, Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures says, ‘We are thrilled to have completed the work on our new Health 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 other local organisations and we are looking to match funds to cover building costs, furnishing and more.’

‘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.’

If you want to have a look at how our new health zone is developing check out this video:

Case Study: 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:

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.