Author Archives: Sadie White

Day of action a success for Woodthorpe youth club

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Friday the 5th April saw the Woodthorpe young people’s campaign to revamp their youth club, Woodthorpe Social Action Project (WSAP), spring to life as volunteers from local businesses Loadhog, as well as staff and young people from Sheffield Futures and local artist Marcus Method picked up their paintbrushes and set about transforming the space.

Woodthorpe, an estate in Sheffield and an area of high deprivation and anti-social behaviour currently has a youth club but attendees feel that more could be done to attract new club members who could hugely benefit from being part of the group. Youth workers in Woodthorpe have supported young people at the Sheffield Futures club to form WSAP.

‘The day has been a great success. It’s so fantastic to see the community spirit come alive with all the young people rallying together to transform their space.’ says Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures.

‘We’re really thankful to the six employees from Loadhog who have spent their day helping as well as donating funds for the paint. And we were all thrilled when local visual artist Marcus Method said he would create a wonderful mural for the building. Also a huge thanks to Sheffield City Council for their pledge to put a new floor into the club and importantly thank you to representatives from All About You and Sheffield Futures staff, young people and supporters for rolling their sleeves up and making today such a success.’ Gail continues.

MP for Sheffield Heeley Louise Haigh also attended on the day. ‘In recent months, I’ve been working with local councillors, the TARA, and the Police to tackle the serious crime and anti-social behaviour that have been taking place in Woodthorpe. The volunteers involved with the Woodthorpe Social Action Project hope that improvements to the youth club will also help the situation by providing a safe space and positive activities for young people.’ says Louise.

‘We should commend these young people who are taking the initiative to provide a better place for their friends and the local community as a whole. If you’d like to support their efforts, you can help by donating your time, money, or materials to redecorate the club.’ Louise continues. You can read more about Louise’s visit on her blog here.

Local visual artist Marcus Method has transformed the main room of the club with a fantastic, colourful mural.

Marcus Method is a Sheffield based visual artist. He works mainly on large scale painting projects although he also makes studio paintings, small sculptures and creates digital work.

WSAP are enthusiastic to do something positive for young people in their area. They are meeting weekly to discuss ideas, organise fundraisers, create videos and plan the redecoration of their youth club. WSAP are still looking for donations and funds to help them make the youth club fully for purpose.

WSAP is fundraising and asking the local community for cash and equipment donations to improve the club, if you can help, please see:


Woodthope youngsters’ drive to transform community centre

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Woodthorpe youngsters’ drive to transform community centre

A group of inspirational young people, looking to transform their youth club have started a campaign to revamp it into a welcoming space that will attract more young people in the community.  

Woodthorpe, an estate in Sheffield and an area of high deprivation and anti-social behaviour currently has a youth club but attendees feel that more could be done to attract new club members who could hugely benefit from being part of the group.

Youth workers in Woodthorpe have supported young people at the Sheffield Futures club to form the Woodthorpe Social Action Project (WSAP).

‘We want to make the club more homely and inviting for people who haven’t been or maybe don’t even know Woodthorpe has a youth club. Youth club is a safer place than hanging around on the streets and somewhere that young people can come and have fun, get involved with positive activities and be with their mates. We want to make it look better and we’re going to get involved as much as we can. We’ve written letters to MPs and Councillors letting them know what we’re doing and inviting them to come down and see the club.Says Cole,founder of the WSAP.

‘We’ve made a list of things we would really like to change about the club and are working on a plan with our youth worker at Sheffield Futures that includes a day of social action on the 5th April in the Easter holidays, where we are going to get involved in making the transformation happen working towards a grand unveiling in August.’ Says Ash, co-founder of WSAP.

‘We’re also really excited as Marcus Method, a Sheffield artist has kindly offered to do a mural for the club which is brilliant!’ Says Ash.

WSAP are enthusiastic to do something positive for young people in their area. They are meeting weekly to discuss ideas, organise fundraisers, create videos and plan the redecoration of their youth club. Gary Beatson from Sheffield City Council (SCC) was impressed by WSAP’s promotional video, which shows the group discussing the project and their plans for the youth club. Gary has since met the group and, after discussing the project with Senior FM Managers in SCC, they have kindly pledged to fit a new floor and lighting for the SCC-owned venue, which will go a long way to transform the space.

Commenting on the WSAP Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley and Shadow Policing Minister says ‘It’s fantastic to see such inspirational young people working hard to bring benefits for the whole of the Woodthorpe community. These young men and women are taking the initiative and working hard to provide a better place for their friends to be as well as the whole community and that is to be commended.’

Local business Loadhog have pledged to provide six volunteers to assist with the re-decoration of the youth club, painting the walls in colours that have been approved by all youth club attendees. On Friday 5th April, volunteers, WSAP, Sheffield Futures youth workers and colleagues will work hard to transform the space.

WSAP is fundraising and asking the local community for cash and equipment donations to improve the club, if you can help, please see:

WSAP are looking for good quality donations that will stand the test of time in a busy youth club:

Main room:

  1. Decorating materials – all prep materials and paint
  2. Furnishings – soft furnishings, 4 sofas, chairs, picture frames, roller blinds, disco ball!

Chill room:

  1. Furnishings – sofa and soft furnishings


  1. Fridge
  2. New kitchen & installation

Music room:

  1. CD Mixer
  2. Earphones
  3. Storage
  4. Chairs
  5. USB / SCART lead
  6. Mixer stand

Could you help WSAP? You can make a cash donation here or call 07766 751 614 or email if you have time or skills to help.


Media contacts

For more information and associated imagery please contact:

Sadie White, Media and Communications Officer

Email: or call: 0114 201 6622

Natasha Bright, Marketing and Communications Co-coordinator

Email: or call: 0114 201 8647

Notes to the Editor – About Sheffield Futures

We are an independent charity, which supports young people and adults to achieve their full potential in learning, employment and life. We deliver a wide range of services to young people and adults from our city-centre multi-agency one-stop-shop and from our delivery sites in local communities.

We are passionate about making sure that young people’s voices are at the heart of everything we do, and have a particular focus on working with disadvantaged and hard to reach young people and communities.

We work closely with our partners across the statutory; voluntary, community, faith; and private sectors to work together to support young people, adults and communities towards a better future – and we welcome opportunities for furthering our partnership work

Happy Days for Corey

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At the launch of our project to support care leavers into sustained education, employment and training at Star House last month, Corey talked about his passion for cycles and how he wanted to work building and repairing cycles. An attendee at the event from Efficiency North spoke to Faye Campbell, Project Co-ordinator after the event and said that she had a contact at a social enterprise project who build, repair and sell cycles and that they may be able to work with Corey to help him achieve his aspiration.

Happy Days Cycles is a social enterprise business based in Sowerby Bridge, Halifax. All profits go towards funding work to support the homeless in West Yorkshire.

Project worker Robeina made contact with Dave Fawcett at Happy Days who really kindly  came to Sheffield to meet Corey and Robeina and was so impressed by Corey that he offered to give him a taster day at the project. It was agreed that Corey would come in to the workshop and build a cycle which he would then be able to keep.  As Corey has just joined the newly formed Care Leavers Mountain Bike group set up by Dave Cohen, Leaving Care Service Manager, this was great news! Robeina and Corey had a brilliant day and Corey returned home with his cycle.

‘This opportunity has provided Corey with an invaluable taste of working in the cycle trade and the opportunity to complete further work experience with Happy Days and gain a reference. Our employer engagement officer Alex Leonard is currently working on sourcing an opportunity for Corey at a local cycle retailer. These opportunities are fantastic for our young people – what a fantastic opportunity for Corey. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Happy Days Cycles for making Corey’s experience so fantastic and encouraging him to pursue this line of work.’ Faye Campbell, Project Apollo Co-ordinator.

Corey with his bike built at Happy Days Cycles

Sheffield Youth Parliament members ask why young people are carrying knives

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As part of an on-going consultation with young people, members of the Sheffield Youth Parliament, Khalil Richard, Jake Sutcliffe, Fozia Sultana and Shona Rooney visited three youth clubs in the city to kick of a consultation to find out more about why young people are carrying knives.

This comes in response to the spate of knife related anti-social behaviour seen across the city and nationwide. The Youth Parliament Members are campaigning for an end to knife crime.

Top reasons cited why young people feel they need to carry knives include self-defence, showing off, aggression towards others and reasons associated with being part of a criminal gang.

When asked about possible solutions to stop young people carrying knives themes such as a need for heightened multi-cultural police presence integrated within communities, tackling the sources of young people getting hold of knives, the role of education & skills in tackling the ‘no hope’ mentality, access to more safe spaces for young people getting them off the streets and public safety measures such as increased surveillance and street lighting were mooted.

Need for heightened multi-cultural police presence

Under this theme, making clear the consequences for carrying knives, culture change to raise confidence in reporting to the police, police presence at youth clubs, more police in schools and communities were discussed. It was felt important that the police in communities reflect the multi-cultural background and ethnicities of the communities being served and that officers were better integrated within communities including a role for plain clothed officers. Others felt strongly that the presence of youth workers or parents with a community focussed role would have more impact due to the negative relationship between the police and some communities.

Tackling the sources of young people getting hold of knives

A focus on licencing and the prevention of the selling of knives to underage people.

The role of education & skills in tackling the ‘no hope’ mentality

Getting to the root cause of the reasons why young people are drawn towards getting involved in gangs or anti-social behaviour that involves carrying knives was a key solution. The reasons why, being the prevailing ‘no hope’ culture, where young people feel there is no hope for their future and are therefore more vulnerable to being drawn into criminal gangs. Getting in front of at risk individuals with options and support for gaining education and skills through workshops in youth or community centres was discussed.

Access to safe spaces such as youth clubs

With funding for youth work being stripped back year on year as a result of austerity and its impact on local budgets, safe spaces and centres where young people can get off the streets and feel safe and supported to shape their futures are decreasing. More youth clubs and safe spaces were floated as essential to tackling the knife crime epidemic.

Increased public safety measures

Young people said they felt unsafe at night and that better lighting and surveillance in public areas could counter this. Also activities to counter the emergence of racism.

What next

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.’


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.

Youth work matters: Shout about your successes

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It’s increasingly important that we demonstrate what we do well to encourage young people in need to use our services, demonstrate our worth & expertise to potential funders, corporate partners & decision makers, raise our profile locally to drive fundraising efforts and to encourage collaboration with external partners to help us meet our targets. You are the ones delivering all the great outcomes for young people and we need to shout about these for the reasons above.

You told us that time is an issue for you and that you rightly need to focus on the day job, so telling us about your great work often falls off the list. That’s why we’ve developed a toolkit to help you and the young people you work with deliver information, photographs, video and case studies in a way that gets us what we need but isn’t onerous. We’re also keen to give the young people you work with the opportunity to demonstrate their positive experiences with Sheffield Futures through photo and video sharing. This was an idea floated by you in the East team meeting and we loved it! It might be young people in a youth club environment wanting to document what they’re up to or young people on a trip or at a Sheffield Futures event, whatever it is this will put the camera in the hands of young people and let them tell their story the way they want it told. We plan to use the Snapchat platform and you will find more details about what we need you to do to introduce this to young people within this toolkit.

What’s included within the Toolkit?

• Case study template: A quick and easy case study template that will capture all the information we will need from you in order to develop case studies that demonstrate specific examples of how you have helped a young person or young people. You can fill one in in minutes and email it to us or drop it in to us at Star House.

• Snapchat as a photo and video messaging tool for young people: Introduction & your role

• Posters encouraging young people to capture their experiences: Please put these posters and cards up and encourage young people to get involved and help us share all the great work you’re doing.

• Contact details sheet

• Social media poster: All of our social media links for young people to follow! Please put these posters up in your youth clubs and encourage young people to get involved.

A note on consent forms.

It’s obviously important that all young people that intend to get involved with this are covered by a consent form so please make sure these have been collected and recorded on CORE+ or wherever you record your data. Thanks for all your help with this so far we’re really looking forward to working together on this. Gail and the Marketing & Communications team

You can access a copy of the toolkit on our Shared Resources (S) drive here  S:\4. Shared Resources\4.16 Branding, Marketing and Communications\Communications Toolkit


Specialist, continuous, one to one youth careers support delivers positive change

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James, 18, had experienced multiple barriers to progression at school including undiagnosed dyslexia and lack of confidence and after a bad experience with his peer group had fully withdrawn, hardly ever leaving the house. With low self-esteem and difficulties managing anger, his relationship with his Mum also started to deteriorate. James’ prospects for a positive future were looking slim until he was referred to Sheffield Futures and Lucy, targeted youth support worker started to visit James at home.

Over the course of months and persistent visits to James, Lucy began to build a positive and trusting relationship. After getting to know him and his interests Lucy was able to encourage him to engage in activities outside the home to build his confidence and broaden his experience. ‘He had expressed an interest in Basketball so I engaged with the Sharks and with a local team with regards to him getting involved in playing – this had a great motivational effect. It took a lot of persistence getting James to attend and I could see it was starting to pay off as his confidence was starting to build.’ Says Lucy.

After initial success on a course with a sports provider, James progressed to another programme but unfortunately this broke down due to an incident with a member of staff. ‘I spoke honestly and frankly to James after this incident and James learnt quickly from the experience and moved forward in a mature way.’ Lucy says.

‘We moved James to another provider but this time James showed self-awareness of his difficulties managing anger and talked about the strategies he would put in place to manage them. Giving James the tools and strategies to manage his feelings worked and James is now training with this organisation.’ She continues.

James is now on a study programme doing very well and enjoying the programme. He is working towards GCSE level Maths and English which is a major achievement. He’s feeling much more positive in himself and engaging in positive relationships with a wider range of young people and adults. With a better relationship with Mum, he’s looking towards future goals with raised self-esteem and an ability to communicate more effectively. As a result of the positive experience James is having, his Mum is also studying towards her GCSE Maths and English which has raised the aspirations of the family as a whole.

‘It’s fantastic to see how far James has come on his journey towards a more positive future. Building a positive, supportive and trusting relationship with young people and their families over a period of time has so many benefits. If things don’t go right first time – as they often don’t- having that continuity of relationship means that you’re better able to help the young person jump the next hurdle in their journey as you know the history. It’s never easy to get back on track and achieve and having a trusted support that understands all the issues to provide the strategies and tools for managing negative feelings is invaluable for a young person experiencing difficulties.’ Lucy says.

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.

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.