Author Archives: Sadie White

Youth Work Week 2019 blog: Young people treated fairly and equally 

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Simon is a Youth Work Team Leader at Sheffield Futures. As part of Simon’s role, he delivers Youth Sheffield in the North of the city. Youth Sheffield is 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, Simon talks about how Sheffield Futures works to ensure young people in Sheffield are treated fairly and equally.

I’m a professional youth worker and have been involved in youth work for the last 20 years. My role within Youth Sheffield is to oversee all the youth clubs and youth workers in the North of Sheffield.

To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt, ‘If we can’t build a future for our youth, we must build our youth for the future.’ I believe that good quality, properly funded youth work can fulfil this function and as a society we owe it to young people to give them the best life chances.

Young people in Sheffield are starting from a very unfair and unequal position and unfortunately, the data shows how this trend is growing. To provide a flavour, in line with national trends, the most up-to-date data (August 2014) shows an increase in child poverty, with 24.7% of children recorded as living in poverty in Sheffield. That’s nearly a quarter of children. However there’s growing concern about increased differences in Sheffield between different parts of the city. In Ecclesall ward, 3.3% of children were living in poverty, whilst in Firth Park the figure was 14 times higher at 42.9% of children. The report suggests that there are clearly lots of causes of child poverty however that it’s likely the national welfare reforms are a significant driver of changes seen in levels of child poverty. Specifically the lower benefit cap that took effect in 2017 and has taken the number of households in Sheffield affected by the cap from 113 to an estimated 900 households. In total, those households contain 3,446 children. (Data taken from State of Sheffield Report 2017)

So, the playing field is far from equal yet Article 2 of the UN Convention rights of a child states that “No child should be treated unfairly on any basis”. This clearly sets out that no matter who you are, where you come from or your background you shouldn’t be treated unfairly because of this. Yet at some point in all our lives we have been treated unfairly or not as an equal to others based on our backgrounds, where we live as a result of perceived abilities in life or for other reasons.

Youth work readdresses this balance in that through coming into a youth work setting, young people are plugged into a range of support, advice and guidance as well as inspiring enrichment activities that act as a safety net and go some way to restore a sense of fair and equal treatment by society. In this setting they are exposed to positive role models. Our youth workers across the city are providing quality youth provision in safe and welcoming environments for young people. They treat all young people fairly and equally regardless of their post code, colour, creed, religious or political views or finances.  Through Youth Sheffield, we endeavour to put young people first and foremost, providing a safe and inspiring space where they are treated fairly and equally and are fully supported to make the best of their lives.

If you or a young person you know would benefit from getting involved in any of the initiatives mentioned here and would benefit from support please reach out to Sheffield Futures. Tel 0114 2012800 or enquiries@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Find out more about your community youth club here https://www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/things-to-do/

All youth clubs closed tonight – Thursday 7 November

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Due to the adverse weather conditions we have taken the decision to close all youth clubs across the city tonight. Please stay safe and dry.

Youth Work Week 2019 Blog: Active members of their communities and society

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Gail Gibbons is the CEO at Sheffield Futures, leading the charity to deliver initiatives that support young people including 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, Gail talks about how Sheffield Futures works to encourage young people in Sheffield to be active members of their communities and society.

We strongly believe that all young people have the potential to play a positive and active role in their communities and wider society; and that it is critical that young people are provided with opportunities and supported to do just that. Youth work and the youth work delivery model provides the perfect platform for enabling young people to make a positive contribution to their communities. As well as building confidence, active citizenship through youth work enables young people to demonstrate their capacity to make a difference and to develop soft skills sought by employers. It also enables young people to see the world from others’ perspectives and to develop a broader and deeper understanding of our wider society.

Active citizenship includes young people taking part in formal decision making in local areas. For example, Sheffield Futures co-ordinates the bi-annual national Mark Your Mark Campaign for Sheffield – encouraging as many young people as possible from schools, colleges, youth clubs and organisations to vote for the issues most important to them. The issues gaining the most votes are then taken forward by young people through local and national campaigns and debated by UK Youth Parliament members in Westminster. Our elected Youth Cabinet represents young people across Sheffield, and takes forward issues important to young people on their behalf – making a real difference to how services are delivered in our city. At local level, youth voice is an important part of our youth clubs – where young people are consulted on our youth work curriculum so that it really meets their needs.

Each year hundreds of young people we work with are involved in volunteering and social action projects – giving back to their local communities. Sheffield Futures is a member of the national #iwill campaign – with young people leading on a wide range of social action initiatives. These have ranged from the Woodthorpe Youth Club Social Action Project – which has recently been nominated for a local Community Award; to young people taking part in the annual Keep Britain Tidy litter pick initiative; and involvement with a local youth organisation partnership to raise awareness around issues relating to young people and health.

Our young people have also been involved this year in a number of projects aimed at educating their peers, and supporting the development of local statutory services to enable them to be more relevant and responsive to young people. For example, as part of a Home Office funded Early Intervention Fund programme, Sheffield Futures has trained up a group of young people to act as peer mentors – working with young people in schools to raise awareness about the risks of knife crime and child criminal exploitation. We are also supporting South Yorkshire Police to set up a South Yorkshire Young People’s Independent Advisory Board; and our Young Advisors are supporting the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board to improve their practices.

Our young people have taken part in a wide range of festivals and events this year – raising awareness of issues which matter to them; and providing suggested solutions to some of the most challenging issues in society today. For example, our young people have led an event as part of the Festival of Debate; have taken part in the Migration Matters Festival; have been involved in Off the Shelf festival; and have an important role in the city’s Age Hub work. One of our Young Advisors also spoke at the recent Northern Powerhouse Conference about young people, work and skills.

If you or a young person you know would benefit from getting involved in any of the initiatives mentioned here and would benefit from support please reach out to Sheffield Futures. Tel 0114 2012800 or enquiries@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Find out more about your community youth club here https://www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/things-to-do/

 

Youth Work Week 2019 blog: Experiencing positive health and wellbeing

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Aaron Daniels is a Youth Work Team Leader at Sheffield Futures. As part of Aaron’s role, he delivers Youth Sheffield in the West of the city. Youth Sheffield is 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, Aaron talks about how Sheffield Futures works to ensure young people in Sheffield experience positive health and wellbeing.

Health and wellbeing issues are on the rise nationally and the issues are well documented, with issues and struggles such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and social isolation a common complaint for our young people.

A good way to think about our youth clubs is that they are a gateway for support. Youth clubs provide a platform for young people to engage in activities that have a positive effect on their health and well-being. Young people engage in a variety of activities that cover curriculum themes that include sports, arts and media and life skills. Youth workers frequently consult with young people to ensure that their needs are being met and their ideas are being valued. The stimulating and interactive nature of these activities encourages young people to socialise with others and strengthen their friendship groups.  Throughout the youth work process of relationship and trust building young people often feel able to speak about concerns or issues that are affecting their well-being.

A youth club offers a safe and confidential place for young people to talk, a fun and interactive environment where young people can make new friends and we provide opportunities for young people to take part in half term activities such as travelling outside of the city, meeting new people and exploring future aspirations.  Youth workers are able to listen to concerns around well-being and if appropriate signpost or make referrals to more specialist areas of support.

If we cannot offer the right support directly in our clubs and we identify a need, we 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 through our Door 43 service.

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 enquiries@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Find out more about your community youth club here https://www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/things-to-do/

Sheffield author A F Stone pledges support for Sheffield Futures

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Sheffield author A F Stone has caused a bit of a buzz lately with the publication of her book The Raven Wheel – a gritty tale of the journey of three teenagers in Stoke on Trent where Amy grew up before moving to Sheffield fifteen years ago. Amy has also created a bit of a buzz here at our Door 43 emotional health and wellbeing service as she’s kindly offered to donate 80 per cent of all proceeds of her book sold through The Porter Book Shop to Door 43, here at Sheffield Futures.

The Raven Wheel deals with some dark and realistic themes including mental illness, suicide, drug abuse and difficult relationships as it tracks the young lives of the three main characters. Talking about why Amy chose to pledge her support to Sheffield Futures she said, ‘I chose Sheffield Futures and specifically the Door 43 service because I was looking for a local charity that provides the kind of support needed for the issues raised in my book.’

‘The three main characters are affected by a lot of things including mental health problems, social isolation, sexual abuse, family breakdown and bullying and Sheffield Futures offers a great holistic approach that would help young people facing issues like that.’

Commenting on the support Gail Gibbons CEO at Sheffield Futures said, ‘It’s clearly brilliant that Amy has decided to donate proceeds from the sale of The Raven Wheel to help young people that access our Door 43 service and that the book shines a light on the reality of some young people’s lives and the help that’s needed. We want all young people that might be experiencing emotional health and wellbeing issues caused by any of the themes raised in the book to know that support is out there for them. We wish Amy all the best for the future and for the success of The Raven Wheel.’

Here at our Door 43 emotional health and wellbeing centre at Star House we offer a preventative service focussed on intervening early with young people, to open up conversations and hopefully stop more serious issues in their tracks.

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. Our Door 43 service ensures we can 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.

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. We also offer social prescribing for young people. Much like going to the GP for a prescription, where we deem appropriate, we can prescribe therapeutic activities that young people show an interest in.

Young people can drop in to the Door 43 wellbeing café at Star House on Division Street on a Tuesday between 5-7pm or on Wellbeing Wednesday 11-4pm and on a Saturday 9.30-1pm. Our wellbeing workers can assess a young person’s level of need and provide appropriate support or refer young people on to more appropriate services through our referral network. Call 0114 201 800 or door43@sheffieldfutures.org.uk 

 

World Mental Health Day 2019: A short conversation can really make the difference

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It’s World Mental Health Day today and this year the World Federation for Mental Health has chosen the theme of suicide prevention.

At our emotional health and wellbeing centre Door 43, our service is focussed on early intervention and 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 more serious issues. It’s one of only a few of its kind in the country and 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.

Dan White, Head of Targeted Services and Health said, ‘It’s a good time to remind ourselves this World Mental Health Day that just a small conversation with someone can make a huge difference to a young person’s state of mind.’

‘Here at our Door 43 emotional health and wellbeing centre at Star House we offer a preventative service focussed on intervening early with young people, to open up conversations and hopefully stop more serious issues in their tracks.’

‘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. Our Door 43 service ensures we can 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.’

‘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. We also offer social prescribing for young people. Much like going to the GP for a prescription, where we deem appropriate, we can prescribe therapeutic activities that young people show an interest in. ’

‘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.’

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 come 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.’

Young people can drop in to the Door 43 wellbeing café at Star House on Division Street on a Tuesday between 5-7pm or on Wellbeing Wednesday 11-4pm and on a Saturday 9.30-1pm. Our wellbeing workers can assess a young person’s level of need and provide appropriate support or refer young people on to more appropriate services through our referral network. Call 0114 201 800 or door43@sheffieldfutures.org.uk 

Joe Carnall of Milburn fame talking to a young person at the Door 43 wellbeing café

We welcome Government pledge to invest £500m in youth centres

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The Chancellor has pledged £500m over five years for youth centres and services across the country.

Our CEO, Gail Gibbons, responded to the news by saying investment in good quality youth work is needed now more than ever.

Gail, said: “We very much welcome this pledge from the Government to invest in much needed youth services.

“After years of significant cuts affecting youth services in the Sheffield and South Yorkshire region, we hope this latest announcement signals the start of sustained long term investment in youth services.

“In recent years, we have seen the growth in serious youth violence, risk of exploitation and the rise in young people’s mental health and emotional well-being problems.

“We very much look forward to seeing the details behind this pledge and seeing it come to fruition. We are ready and waiting to welcome this investment in our region and to work collaboratively with partners and young people to make the vision a reality in our communities.”

Our charity runs youth clubs across Sheffield and our Community Youth Teams support young people aged ten to 18, through one-to-one support, group work programmes, in youth centres and out in their communities.

Get sorted this September with Sheffield Futures

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Sheffield Futures is running a ‘Get Sorted’ event on 5 September for 16-18 year olds who haven’t yet planned their next steps for further education, training or employment.

Young people who have just finished their exams or are aged 16 -18 and not currently in education, training or employment can come along to Star House on Division Street between 12 noon and 2pm to find out more about options.

Led by the Sheffield Training Provider network, training providers from across the region will be on hand to discuss the wide ranging options available and answer questions from parents and young people about their next steps.

Commenting on the opportunity for young people, Karen Challis, Head of Education and Employer Services says, ‘It’s fantastic to be able to offer this opportunity for young people to come in and talk to training providers from across the region about the options available to them going forward.’

‘It’s not just about the traditional routes into further education, there are lots of opportunities available, from further vocational or work related and life skills training to apprenticeships and college courses, so we really encourage young people and parents to come along and find options that are right for them.’

‘There are some really exciting opportunities, like the 12 week placement offered by South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue which involves being based in a state of the art fire station. The placement will focus on valuable life skills like teamwork, motivation and building confidence.’ She continues.

Get Sorted is on Thursday 5 September at Star House on Division Street between 12 noon and 2pm. Training providers in attendance include Sheffield College, CTS Training, Wildes Education Programme, Learning Curve, Pet Xi, Princes Trust Team Programme and South Yorkshire Police.

Sheffield Futures provides careers guidance and advice in schools across Sheffield and advisers will be available on the day.

Find us at Star House, 43 Division Street, S1 4GE. 0114 201 2800

Expert advice from Sheffield Futures for GCSE results day

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Sheffield’s students have come to the end of a nerve wracking summer wait for those all-important grades. Many students will be celebrating today but what happens if you don’t get the grades you want or do even better than expected? To help navigate what can be a complicated process and to make sure students are prepared, local youth charity Sheffield Futures – who delivers careers advice in schools across Sheffield – is on hand to provide advice and guidance.

What to consider on results day 

  1. Stay calm so you can think clearly
  2. If things haven’t panned out as you wanted, contact the sixth form or college where you hoped to study. They may have arranged for a member of staff to be in your school on results day or you may already have an appointment to go and enrol. If not, get on the phone to them and explain your situation. They will talk to you about alternatives and may be able to offer you another course.
  3. A change of course? Look at other courses where the entry requirements fit with your grades. There may be staff available in the school or college before term starts in September who can provide you with the information you need. Some of the bigger institutions like Sheffield College may hold a ‘clearing’ event where you can call in and find about courses that are still available. Check their websites for more information and dates.
  4. What about an apprenticeship? You would have a paid job and also study alongside this. There are different types of apprenticeship. You may still need some good grades at GCSE but some use their own tests instead. You can find out more by talking to Sheffield Futures.
  5. Traineeships and study programmes. These can give you work experience along with help job hunting and work preparation, plus support with English and Maths. They don’t pay a wage but can be a good way of gaining the skills and experience that employers want.
  6. Getting help with job hunting. If you decide getting a job is the way forward for you then you can also contact us here at Star House. Our team can help you with CVs, job hunting and interview preparation.

Sarah Traynor, Careers & Information Adviser at Sheffield Futures comments. ‘If you don’t get the GCSE results you wanted then don’t panic, stay calm so that you can think clearly.’

‘It’s a good time to take stock and think about all your options as you still have plenty available, from paid apprenticeships to traineeships and study programmes or other paid work.’

Sheffield Futures’ advisors will be on hand provide one to one support for students in the following schools today. These schools have supported Sheffield Futures to provide careers advice and guidance.

  • All Saints Catholic High
  • Birley Community College
  • Bradfield School
  • Fir Vale School
  • Forge Valley
  • Handsworth Grange
  • High Storrs
  • Hinde House
  • King Ecgbert School
  • Newfield School
  • Sheffield Park Academy
  • Stocksbridge High School
  • Yewlands Academy
  • Westfield

Young people looking for advice and guidance with regards to next steps after GCSEs and also emotional support can drop in to Star House today between 11-4pm for support from our youth workers and Door 43 wellbeing workers.

Sheffield Futures is also holding a ‘Get Sorted’ event on 5th September at Star House, 12:00 noon to 2:00pm, for young people looking for a place in work, training or education.

Outside of school careers advice sessions, students can call Star House on 0114 2012800

Expert advice from Sheffield Futures for A-Level results day

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With A Level results day looming, Sheffield’s students are coming to the end of a nerve wracking summer wait for those all-important grades. Many students will be celebrating on Thursday 15th August, but what happens if you don’t get the grades you want or even if you do better than expected? To help navigate what can be a complicated process and to make sure students are prepared, local youth charity Sheffield Futures – responsible for delivering careers advice in many schools across Sheffield – is on hand to provide advice and guidance.

What to do if you don’t get the grades you need:

  1. Don’t panic. It’s important to stay calm so that you can act quickly. You are one of many young people who may not have the results they need to secure a place and if you’re panicking, you won’t be able to think clearly and act quickly to access the best courses left. It’s really useful to use UCAS before results day to check which courses still have places so that you’re fully prepared and have a plan B in your back pocket.
  2. Go on ‘UCAS Track’ to see if you have secured a place. If your ‘Track’ status hasn’t been updated, it means the university is still making a decision. Call them and ask if they will still take you. There may be a chance you will still be accepted if you have narrowly missed your grades. If your chosen institution (or your insurance offer, if you have one) won’t accept you then you will go into the UCAS clearing process.

However if ‘Track’ states that you’re in ‘Clearing’ then it means that you haven’t been offered a place, and you should keep calm – but act quickly.

  1. Check the UCAS website for all University places still available through clearing. The official list is published on ucas.com and many universities also publish their places on their own websites. If you’ve already done some research and know where else you would like to go, then you will have a head start. You don’t have to stick to your original choice, of course.

If you like the look of a course then call them. The idea is to persuade them to make you an informal offer over the phone so do some research beforehand and treat the phone call like an informal interview. You will need your Clearing number and Personal ID.

  1. Again don’t panic and make sure you look at the clearing places and courses carefully. Consider what it might be like to live in that place. How far is it from home and is the course right for you? Try and visit if at all possible, especially if you haven’t already been to the university. Many of them hold open events in the days immediately following your results. It is important to attend these, as they will give you a real feel for the place and the course.
  2. If you’re happy with the course and university and if they’ve made you an informal offer then make an official application through UCAS Track. Only do this if you have spoken to the university or college and have their agreement.

If you’ve met your offer and changed your mind or done better than expected:

  1. There’s a brand new option this year on UCAS Track called ‘Self Release’ which will allow you to turn your place down and enter clearing.
  2. If you have not only met but exceeded your offer then there is still UCAS Adjustment, which allows you to apply for other courses without first having to give up your place.

‘It’s expected that there will be some good options in clearing this year. There are also signs that more young people are choosing to wait until they get their results before applying to university.’ Says Sarah Traynor, Careers Information Adviser at Sheffield Futures.

‘A really important thing to do is to prepare in advance, and decide on second and third choices so that you can act quickly if you find yourself in the university clearing process. If you’ve got the details of these institutions to hand, you’re not going to be wasting valuable time researching. How quickly you act may be the difference between securing a place you will thrive in, versus one where you may not.’ She continues.

Sheffield Futures provides the careers guidance and advice in schools across Sheffield.

A level results day this year is Thursday 15th August 2019.

Help from Sheffield Futures

Sheffield Futures careers advisers may be in school or college on results day. For careers advice at Star House on Division Street please call 0114 201 2800 for an appointment.

For any young people looking at alternatives to university, such as apprenticeships, Sheffield Futures are holding a ‘Get Sorted’ event on 5th September at Star House, between 12noon and 2.00pm.

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.