Author Archives: Sadie White

A look at personal safety in Covid times: S Club 5 youth club member Ella tells her story

Sadie White No Comments

Ella Rose from Sheffield and a member of S Club 5 youth club was sat in a wheelchair outside Tesco on West Street, Sheffield when a man stole her mobile phone from her hands.

Ella is a smart, articulate and mature 17 year old who cut straight to the point when asked about the impact this experience has had on her.  “I was initially anxious, but to be honest the main thing that has struck me about the whole ordeal is the fact that some people are clearly so desperate they would steal from a young person in a wheelchair.”

Ella, has a form of spina bifida and has a personal assistant to support her transition into adulthood and independent living, as she has complex needs. Talking about the experience Ella said, “Due to social distancing, I decided to stay outside whilst my personal assistant went in to get a few bits and bobs for lunch. I thought it would help social distancing efforts not to be inside a crowded Tesco – I would usually have gone in too.”

Natalie Holt is Ella’s youth worker and when asked about what she would say to young people about personal safety, she said, “We all need to be confident and go about our lives – yes pay attention to social distancing rules – but  it’s so important that we all put our personal safety first and foremost.”

So, the new Covid rules have reframed the normal rules we live by and in doing so have the capacity to impact on our personal safety. Youth worker Natalie has some thoughts on preventative steps young people can take when out and about. “It’s a good idea to keep all personal belongings hidden and safe and not allow yourself to be distracted by being on your phone when you are out and about. It’s so tempting just to quickly check your phone and we all do it, but it’s important to be aware and check your surroundings to assess whether you may be particularly vulnerable first.

“Also things like, not wearing ear phones, so that you can hear if people are coming up behind you and just being aware of your surroundings and keeping family members informed of where you are and when you are expected back. There is also the option of using technology, like tracker apps, that you can have installed on your phone and show your location, which might be an idea if you feel particularly vulnerable.” Natalie continues.

But what about our emotional safety? We have all had to adjust our mindset to the new normal incredibly quickly and have become focused on social distancing in our interaction with others. Whatever the implications for us and our families individually, there is an undeniable heightened sense of anxiety for everyone, and if you’re a young person that already struggles with emotional wellbeing issues, Covid only serves to compound the problem. “Undoubtedly, young people are likely to be experiencing worry, anxiety and fear and may be feeling isolated at the moment. It might be about going back to school or college in large groups of people, they may be worried about family members or just the general anxiety we are all experiencing, however they are not alone and we would encourage those experiencing such fears to speak to somebody as they will soon realise that they are not in isolation and can get help. Said Natalie.

“Our Door 43 emotional health and wellbeing service is here to do just that. We have professional wellbeing workers and social prescribers on hand to help young people who might be feeling low, anxious or isolated.” She continues.

The need to communicate in a socially distanced way also means that young people have been spending more time online and this has also had an impact on emotional wellbeing. “Young People have had to find alternatives to communicate and socialise with their friends which is essential for their mental well-being to feel connected to their ‘social support’. This has its merits if used in moderation but I would like to stress that young people need to stay safe not only when interacting outside, but also when online and using social media.” Said Natalie.

For tips on staying safe online visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/findoutmore/help-me-out-staying-safe-online or https://www.itstimetologoff.com/2018/02/01/how-to-stay-safe-online-10-tips-for-teens/

For more information on Sheffield Futures’ Door 43 emotional wellbeing service visit https://www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/i-need-help/door43/

 

Door 43 wellbeing blog: How food affects mood

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Hey everyone, it’s Christos here from Door 43. I’m one of the social prescribing link workers and today I’m going to be explaining what a balanced diet is and also how the food you eat can impact your mood and thoughts.

As restrictions continue to be eased and we begin being able to do more and more with our time, we need to make sure we have enough energy to cope with our increased activity levels. A healthy, balanced diet is always something to consider but with continuous changes taking place in our lives right now, you could say it is of even greater importance.

Let me ask you a question then… what is a balanced diet? If you’re unsure and would like to find out then I suggest you keep reading, but don’t worry, I’ll try my best to keep it simple. So here goes…

What is a balanced diet?

A balanced diet is one that incorporates all the five food groups including carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre and vitamins & minerals. Now you might be asking yourself, well what foods will provide me with these five food groups? Good question! So first let me explain to you the importance of these five food groups and where you can find them, followed by ways to achieve a balanced diet.

Carbohydrates

What you need to know about carbohydrates is that they ultimately provide your body with energy. Great sources include foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta, bread and oats. Let me give you another tip though. Wholemeal varieties are considered to be the best option as they release energy more steadily while also containing more vitamins and fibre. Often described as the main source of energy for the brain as well as muscles, eating regular meals based on carbohydrates in the form of unrefined starchy foods (listed above) can positively impact mood and behaviour so in turn are good for mental health as well as physical health.

Protein

The main benefits of protein are to build and repair muscle. Lean meat, fish, eggs and cheese are really good sources of protein while great plant-based options include peas, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Similarly to carbohydrates being important for your mental health, proteins provide the chemicals your brain needs to regulate your thoughts and feelings. With all the current changes to our lives at the moment our thoughts and feelings are likely to be affected regularly, so try to keep on top of your protein intake to support during these times.

Fats

A lot of people try to avoid fats but believe me when I say that all fats aren’t the same. Your brain needs fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 to function and develop. These kinds of fats can be found in oily fish, poultry, nuts, olive and sunflower oils, seeds, avocados, milk, yogurt, cheese and eggs. There are also other fats essential to health including monounsaturates (e.g. olive oil) and polyunsaturates (e.g. sunflower oil). It’s the trans fats that you want to avoid or eat in moderation, which you tend to find in cakes, biscuits and fried foods… all the foods that taste so god damn good!

Fibre

The importance of fibre is often forgotten about but to achieve a healthy digestive system I suggest you make sure you’re eating the right foods. Your gut can reflect your emotional feelings and if you’re stressed or anxious your gut may slow down or speed up. So to support healthy digestion, foods high in fibre include wholegrain products such as oats, cereals, bread, and pasta, and also beans, lentils, fruits and vegetables.

Vitamins & Minerals

Now you must have heard about eating your five a day! Although some experts now say that seven is the magic number when considering fruit and vegetables. And I’ve even heard the number ten be branded as being the optimum amount. Either way, you might be asking the question, how much is one portion. Well, as a general rule, one portion is roughly a handful, small bowl or small glass. The reason why the recommendations keep going up however is because fruit and vegetables are packed with so many important nutrients including vitamins, minerals and fibre, which control a range of bodily functions to keep you physically and mentally healthy. So get a variety of different colours in your diet for a good range of nutrients and begin to achieve at least that five a day benchmark.

Ok so I think that’s enough nutrition talk for one day! Hopefully you’ve picked up a few tips that you can introduce into your diet and lifestyle. If you do decide to make any changes then I’d suggest you try to make steady, gradual changes rather than anything too quick and drastic. Your body needs time to adapt and get used to new ways otherwise you’ll run the risk of a falling back into old habits. Now one last tip to finish! To optimise both your physical and mental wellbeing, combine a healthy balanced diet with regular exercise. Your future self will be grateful for it believe me.

Results Day 2020: GCSE & equivalent, all you need to know

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Thursday 20th August is GCSE and equivalent results day. It’s always an anxious time but this year there are more questions than ever. Sarah Traynor from our careers team looks at some of the questions you may have and provides some of her top tips on getting prepared so you’re ready to act to achieve your further education or training goals. 

How will I get my results?

Check with your school / college as they are each making their own arrangements. For example, you may be able to download them online or you may be given a timed slot for collecting them from school.

How did they work out my results – I’ve lost track!

There was a change of plan. Your GCSE results are the grades that were assessed by your teachers. They are based on several factors, such as your performance throughout the course and any mock exam results.

The original plan was for exam boards to then standardise the teachers’ grades. However, it was decided that the process wasn’t fair to everyone, so this plan has been withdrawn, except in a small number of cases where the standardised grade was higher than the teachers’ assessment. If this has happened, you will receive the higher grade.

What about other qualifications?

For vocational qualifications (e.g. BTEC) your teachers submitted actual grades for completed units of study plus assessed grades for other units. They were also asked to provide a ranking of students. The awarding body then standardised the information.

Hang on – why is it different for vocational qualifications?

There weren’t the same problems with the standardisation, for example, there were actual grades for completed units. There are a very small number of exceptions, which the awarding bodies are to investigate. If you have any concerns, then raise them first with your school or college.

Will my grades look different?

No, they will look the same as in any other year.

What if I’m not happy with my grades?

Schools can ask for the marking to be reviewed; and, in certain cases, appeals are allowed. Start by speaking to your school as they must do this on your behalf.

You will also be able to re-sit any subjects you’re not happy with in the autumn and then use whichever grade is higher as your official result.

However, these options will take time, e.g. re-sit results might not be published until early 2021. So, if you haven’t got the grades you needed, you may still need a Plan B.

Ok, so if I haven’t got the grades I need, what do I do?

Start by speaking to the college or sixth form where you hoped to study. If the course you want to do is offered at different levels, then you might be able to switch to one that matches your grades.

Just remind me what these levels mean!

Level 1 courses normally need GCSE grades 1-2 or equivalent. Level 2 courses normally need GCSE grades 3 or equivalent, including English and sometimes maths. Level 3 courses normally need at least 4-5 GCSE grades 9-4 or equivalent, including English and sometimes maths.

What about A Levels?

Things might be more complicated if you want to take A Levels as these are only at Level 3. You might also need higher than grade 4 to take certain subjects. This is an example of when you might need to look at different options and get further advice.

You can ring our helpline: 0114 2016644. You can also check out all local courses on Sheffield Progress: www.sheffieldprogress.co.uk

What if I’ve done better than I expected?

Good question! If you’ve got the grades to start a higher-level course (e.g. Level 3 instead of Level 2) then ask if you can switch. If you’d like to chat to an adviser about it then ring our helpline: 0114 2016644.

How do I contact the sixth forms and colleges?

There may be a member of staff in your school, or available to speak to, on results day. If not, check their websites for a phone number or email.

How will I enrol on my new course?

Schools and colleges have each made their own arrangements. In some cases it might all be done online, in other cases you might have a timed slot, or there might be a mix.

To give you one example: The Sheffield College are asking you to first complete an online enrolment and to then book a timed slot, through Eventbrite, to go into the college with your results. If you haven’t got the grades you needed (or done better) you can go to your timed slot and enrol for a course in the same subject area but at the right level. There is also Open Enrolment on 1st-4th September if you now want a different type of course, or if you achieved less than Grade 2 in all subjects and hadn’t applied for Entry Level. Again, book a timed slot for this.

Everyone’s handling enrolment slightly differently so check the website of the school or college concerned, and make sure they have your correct contact details so that they can let you know what to do. They will need to see your results slip so make sure you keep it safe and take it with you.

They will need to see your results slip so make sure you keep it safe and take it with you.

How are they going to teach us in the autumn?

They have made plans for teaching while still following safe distancing rules. For example, there might be staggered timetables and one-way systems to avoid crowding. Parts of the teaching might be online. The school or college will tell you more.

What if I don’t want a full-time course?

Your main options are: Apprenticeships Apprenticeships are paid jobs with part time study. The entry requirements are set by the employer but also depend on the level of training, e.g. for an intermediate apprenticeship you may need some grades 3 or equivalent while for an advanced apprenticeship you will probably need some grades 9-4 or equivalent. The employer will also want young people who are ready for work.

Traineeships and study programmes Traineeships and study programmes can give you skills and experience to help you get an apprenticeship. They’re classed as full time learning so they don’t pay a wage but your parents / carers can claim Child Benefit for you (up to age 20) and, if you’re facing hardship, you may also get a 16-19 Bursary.

What other help can you give me?

We have vacancies for apprenticeships, jobs, study programmes and traineeships on our website: www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/find-a-job

You can call our GCSE results helpline: 0114 2016644 Thursday 20th August, 1.00-4.00pm Friday 21st August, 10.00-4.00pm.

If you’d like to chat about job hunting, applying for a course, or need any similar advice, we’re also running a helpline all summer on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 1.00-4.00pm. It’s the same number: 0114 2016644.

The National Careers Service also has an Exam Results Helpline: 0800 100 900.

If the anxiety is getting to you, talk to one of our lovely wellbeing workers at Door 43. You can also follow them on Instagram or contact them by emailing: [email protected]

Good luck!

Results 2020: Latest A level, GCSE or vocational qualifications information

Sadie White No Comments

Sarah from our careers team is back to provide the latest information for students who have received or who are waiting to receive results for A Levels, GCSE or vocational qualifications. 

This is the latest information for students who have received, or who are waiting to receive, results for A Levels, GCSEs or vocational qualifications.

Some issues – especially those concerning university places – are still being resolved. This means that we may not have the answers to all your questions yet, but we will update you as soon as we have further information. We realise that this is a highly stressful time but stay calm and stay in touch.

A Levels and AS Levels

A and AS Level results will now be the grades that were assessed by your school or college. You will be issued with the new grades.

If any calculated results (the ones you received on 13th August) turn out to be higher than the assessed grade, then the higher grade will stand.

If you have had a university offer withdrawn which you now meet with your assessed grades, then the advice from the Department for Education is to get in contact with the university concerned. Some universities have already put out statements so it’s worth checking their websites first. There are issues to do with finding space for all students while also maintaining safety; universities and the government are working together to find solutions.

GCSEs Your GCSE results will be the grades assessed by your teachers. Your school or college will tell you these results on Thursday (20th August).

Vocational and technical qualifications

Results for vocational and technical qualifications are not likely to change. This is because the method that was used to calculate A Levels and GCSEs was not generally applied to these qualifications. However, In the small number of instances where this has happened, the organisation awarding the qualification will review the results.

Find out more: www.gov.uk/government/news/gcse-and-a-level-students-to-receive-centre-assessment-grades

www.gov.uk/government/news/grading-of-vocational-and-technical-qualifications

Results Day 2020 – A Levels and equivalent

Sadie White No Comments

Thursday 13th August is A Level results day. It’s always an anxious time but this year there are more questions than ever. Sarah Traynor from our careers team looks at some of the questions you may have in the run up to results day and provides some of her top tips on getting prepared so you’re ready to act to achieve your further education or training goals. 

What’s your top tip for results day?

That’s easy – make a plan! You’re bound to feel stressed on the day so think ahead and make a list beforehand of all the things that might happen: What if you don’t get the grades? What if you do better than expected? What if you change your mind? Then prepare an action plan for each situation, e.g.
• Use www.ucas.com to find out which courses still have places.
• Do some research and prepare your own shortlist.
• Make a note of university helpline numbers (published on their websites).
• Look up your UCAS Track login details.
Above all, keep the day free. If you need to contact universities, they will want to speak to you, not your parents or teachers.

 

‘How will I get my results?’

Check this with your school or college. They are all working out ways of doing this while following safe distancing rules.

‘Remind me how they’ve worked out my grades.’

Your teachers submitted assessed grades, based on various factors. These have been standardised by the exam boards into calculated grades.

‘Will the calculated grades look any different?’

No, they will look the same as any other year.

‘What if I’m not happy with these grades?’

The government have put in place a safety net which they are calling ‘the triple lock’. It means you can:
1. Accept your results. Even if they’re lower than you had hoped, you may still get a university place – read on to find out how!
Or
2. Ask for your mock exam results to be used instead.
Or
3. Re-sit exams in the autumn.

‘My mock exam grades were higher than my results, so I want to use them. What do I do?’

Tell your school or college as they need to appeal to the exam board on your behalf. They will be asked to provide evidence that the exams were held under approved conditions.

‘What will happen to my university place while I appeal?’

The government has asked universities to hold places open for students who appeal.
‘I’m not happy with my results but I don’t want to use my mock grades either. What can I do?’
In certain circumstances your school or college can appeal against the results. Start by speaking to them as they must do this on your behalf.
You can also re-sit any subjects you’re not happy with in the autumn.

‘What if I re-sit in the autumn and get an even lower grade?’

Don’t worry, if that happens, the higher grade will stand.

‘Would I get the re-sit result in time to start university this year?’

Possibly not, it’s estimated that A Level re-sit results will be published before Christmas and GCSEs in January (for English and maths) or February 2021. However, universities have said they will try to be flexible so speak to them before you decide.

‘What if I’ve taken vocational qualifications?’

Calculated results are being awarded wherever possible. However, there are complications if there needs to be a workplace assessment. If it hasn’t been possible to do the assessment safely, then these results are unfortunately being delayed. You should have already been informed if this affects you.

‘I’ve got a conditional offer for university. What happens when I get my grades?’

If you get the grades, you’re in! Log into UCAS Track and it will confirm your place.
If you don’t get the grades, stay calm, log into Track and check your status. The university may still take you, especially if you’ve only just missed the grades.
The university may make you a ‘Changed course offer’, such as a foundation year. You can accept or decline so check it out first.
If Track says your firm (first) choice has turned you down, but you have met your insurance grades, then your place will be confirmed there.
If Track hasn’t been updated, ring the university admissions department. Helplines should be open from early morning. This is your chance to tell them how much you want to study there. Universities have said they will be as flexible as they can, plus you’ve already applied for that course which shows your commitment. You can still make a very good case for yourself!
Make sure you tell the university if you plan on appealing to use your mock result (or if your school or college is appealing for any other reason). They have been asked to keep places open for students who appeal.
If Track says you’re in Clearing it means both your firm and insurance choices have turned you down. Again, keep calm – there will still be courses with vacancies and universities will want to fill them, so keep a clear head but move quickly. This is where all that preparation can pay off!

‘How does Clearing work?’

All the information is on www.ucas.com but briefly, use the Clearing search tool to find courses with vacancies; check out the course and then ring the university / college and ask them to consider you.
UCAS has a new, optional service called ‘Clearing Plus’ which makes course suggestions based on your original application. Click on ‘See matches’ to view them. However, if you want to explore other courses, you can just browse all vacancies.

‘What happens when I ring the university?’

Let’s take a step back! Before you ring, do some research into the course and the university. Even better – do the research before results day! When you ring, be prepared to wait as lines may be busy. When you get through, state your Clearing number (which will be on Track) and your UCAS ID. They will look up your application and they may ask you a few questions. Treat it like an interview and be prepared to explain why you want to do that course at that university. The aim is to get an informal offer.
Find out if there’s an open event – these may not happen in the usual way but there may be a virtual event or tour instead.
Once you are sure you want the place, apply for it formally through Track.

‘If I get the grades but I’ve changed my mind can I apply for another course?’

If you have met and exceeded your offer, (e.g. achieved AAA when you needed AAB) then you can use UCAS Adjustment, which lets you apply for other courses without first giving up your place.
If you don’t qualify for Adjustment, you must turn down your place before you can enter Clearing. If you’re sure you want to do this, select ‘Decline your place’ on Track.

‘I didn’t apply for university – is there still time?’

Yes, if you haven’t applied or if you applied but aren’t holding any offers, you can use Clearing from 6th July.
‘I’m not sure I want to start university with so much going on. Will they hold the place until next year?’
You need to ask the university. If your place is for this autumn, they are not obliged to hold it, in which case you would have to withdraw and re-apply for 2021.

‘Ok, but if I’ve got the grades, I’d get a place next year, wouldn‘t I?’

Unless they defer your place, there are no guarantees. If a lot of students withdraw this autumn then it could lead to an increase in applications for 2021 (especially as the number of 18-year-olds is set to start rising). It’s possible that entry could become more competitive.

‘I just don’t know what to do!’

We know it’s hard. This is a unique situation and we can’t be certain what’s going to happen. There isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all‘ solution, but start by finding out what your university is planning to do, e.g. how much teaching will be online and how much will be face-to-face. Check what will happen on campus and in student halls, which facilities will be open and what safety measures will be in place. There looks likely to be disruption for at least a few months but on the other hand, if you really want to do the course, and especially if it’s selective, then weigh it all up.

‘What can I do if I take a gap year?’

Good question! You need to use the time positively, partly for your own wellbeing, but also to support your UCAS application next year. You can get ideas to research from websites such as: www.ucas.com/alternatives-to-university and www.notgoingtouni.co.uk
Bear in mind that activities such as travel may be restricted, and that the job market is unstable. The government recently announced a Kickstart programme for unemployed 18-24-year-olds so look out for more details.
Your own community might be looking for volunteers, so visit: www.sheffieldvolunteercentre.org.uk

‘Is there any other way of getting a degree?’

Higher and degree apprenticeships are jobs where you study for higher education qualifications with your fees paid. They’re in a range of work sectors. Search for vacancies on: www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship

‘Any other tips?’

Hang on in there! The signs are that Clearing could carry on longer than usual this year so don’t give up.
For more help
Sheffield Futures Results Helpline:
Thursday 13th August, 1.00-4.00pm
Friday 14th August, 10.00-4.00pm
0114 201 6644
The National Careers Service Exam Results Helpline: 0800 100 900
UCAS Clearing: www.ucas.com
For more on calculated grades, appeals and autumn re-sits:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/student-guide-to-post-16-qualification-results-summer-2020
If the stress is getting to you, check out our Door 43 wellbeing service: www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/i-need-help/door43

Good luck!

Wondering what next with jobs or education and need some support?

Sadie White No Comments

Congratulations to year 11 students – you have now officially left school. But what happens now? Whether you’re looking for an apprenticeship or a place at college or sixth form or even if you’ve got a question about results day, our careers team is here to support you.  In this blog, Sarah Traynor from our careers team looks at the different options for young people post year 11 and signposts the financial and emotional wellbeing support available. 

Looking for jobs and apprenticeships? We won’t pretend things are easy right now but, as lockdown eases, more employers are starting to think about recruitment.

If you’ve made applications but haven’t heard, send the company a short, polite email, saying you’re still keen to work for them, or, if you applied through Sheffield Progress, keep logging on for updates. Carry on making other applications too.

If you’re struggling to get an apprenticeship, look at traineeships and study programmes as a way of getting skills and experience. You may be able to register your details with them until employers are recruiting, and they may also offer online training that you can do from home. Study programmes and traineeships are classed as learning rather than jobs, so they don’t pay a wage. But they attract Child Benefit and, in some cases the 16-19 Bursary.

Where to look for jobs and apprenticeships. You can look at our jobs page  and on the Government’s National Apprenticeship Service pages.

College and sixth form applications
If you’ve applied to college or sixth form, then you’ve either had an unconditional offer or you’re waiting for your place to be confirmed. If you’ve not yet applied, then there’s still time to apply but some courses will be filling up so check with the college or school first.

What will happen with GCSE results day and what if I want to resit?

GCSE results day is on Thursday 20 August. A Level results are out the week before, on 13 August. Check with your school or college how to collect your results as this will depend on social distancing rules.

You will receive a calculated grade for each subject which has been assessed by your school and agreed with the exam board. The grades will look the same as in any other year.

In certain circumstances you may be able to appeal against your result. Speak first to your school or college if you want to do this. You will also be able to re-sit subjects this autumn if you’re not happy with any of your grades. Depending on what happens with lockdown, it’s expected that A Level re-sits will be in October, with results issued by Christmas, and GCSE re-sits in October/November with results in January or February 2021.

We’ll be putting out more information before results time so keep on checking our website and social media.

After results day, schools and colleges normally hold enrolment events where you get a chance to speak to staff and officially sign up for your new course. These events may happen online this year so look out for messages from the school or college or check their websites.

What happens about money?
Child benefit will continue until age 20 if you stay in full time learning. This could be at college, sixth form or in work-based learning (e.g. a study programme or traineeship) provided it is approved and unpaid.

If you don’t stay in learning, Child Benefit will end on 31 August (or earlier if you start work before then). If you’re not fixed up on 31 August, there’s also Child Benefit Extension, which can normally be claimed for up to 20 weeks from the last date you attended school. Visit the Government’s Child Benefit pages or call 0300 200 3100.

If you get a job or apprenticeship, Child Benefit will end as you will be paid a wage.

You might also be able to get a 16-19 Bursary if you’re full time learning, facing hardship and age 16-19 (or 16-25 if you have an Education, Health and Care Plan). There are two types of bursary: The vulnerable bursary is worth up to £1,200 if you in care / leaving care or get certain benefits in your own name. Discretionary bursaries help with costs such as travel, equipment or meals.

Speak to your student services or training provider and visit the 16-19 bursary fund pages for details.

Other benefits
If you’re under 18, other benefits are only paid in special cases, e.g. if you’re estranged from your parents. The main benefit is called Universal Credit.

Help with travel
If you have a 16-18 Travel Pass you get cheaper travel (currently 80p per journey) on local busses and trams and half fare on Northern Trains. Visit Travel South Yorkshire for details and to apply.

Remember that at present you’re still advised to avoid using public transport if you can. If you use it, you must wear a face covering, keep a safe distance, wash or sanitise your hands frequently and either use contactless payment or buy your ticket in advance.

Got a question?
We run a helpline for young people (age 16-19) needing advice about looking for work, training, full time study, or who just want a bit of help with planning their next step. It’s open Tuesday-Thursday between 1pm-4pm on 0114 2016644.
Or you can email us at:
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

Feeling low, a little anxious or worried and need someone to talk to?
Finishing Year 11 and waiting for results is always an anxious time. But this summer has been extra stressful so check out our Door 43 Wellbeing Service; follow them on Instagram or contact them by emailing: [email protected] to get in touch.

Looking for things to do?

Our youth work team are also working on interactive online activities, such as cooking tutorials. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is still running a summer programme, although it will look a bit different this year. Check out wearencs.com for details.

 

 

 

 

 

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Tips for tackling anxiety triggered by lockdown easing

Sadie White No Comments

In these blogs our Door 43 team provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels. 

This week, Connor takes a look at tackling the anxiety and negative feelings caused by the need to abandon our recently learned coping strategies as lockdown eases and we are required to adapt and change our approach yet again. Connor looks at the things we can do to ease negative feelings and stay emotionally well as lockdown eases. 

As we move into the gradual easing of lockdown, for many of us this brings longed-for opportunities like seeing friends and family, playing sports, going on a staycation, heading into town, going shopping, or getting back to work or school (even if they are at a social distance).

While these changes are happy and exciting ones, for many of us including myself, even this increased freedom can be difficult for our mental health.

For many, the prospect of coming out of lockdown when there are still active debates about the fundamentals of how we deal with and treat the virus can be a real worry. Especially to those more vulnerable to the virus and those of us with mental health concerns.

A survey by charity Anxiety UK found that the idea of lockdown restrictions being lifted led to an increase in anxiety for 67% of those polled.

Fear and anxiety are possibly the most common emotional responses any of us will feel as we approach the release from lockdown. This response is how our brain reacts to potential danger – like a pandemic- in order to keep us safe. Therefore your brain is trying to protect you! That’s why you might be feeling anxious and stressed about returning to ‘normal’.

Finding a way to adjust and adapt to lockdown took a lot of emotional energy and we may have finally found a way to cope, so it’s natural that we may be hesitant to leave this behind and start the change process all over again. And we should also expect it will take some time to find our way back and to reconnect with things we have been distant from.

So if many of us are feeling this ‘coming out of lockdown anxiety’, we should prepare for the fact that the end of lockdown might bring its own set of changes and challenges, just like it did at the start.

But as with many of the other challenges we have faced this year, we are not alone, and we are capable of overcoming them – and I hope the list of wellbeing tips and advice below can help you along the way:

 

For more advice around coming out of lockdown anxiety, check out the links below:

Young Minds 

Mental Health 

Kids Helpline 

“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” — Bob Marley

Sheffield Futures supports Career Guidance Guarantee

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Sheffield Futures has joined hundreds of organisations in providing backing for a Careers Guidance Guarantee for young people and unemployed adults.

The Career Development Policy Group have joined up with the Fair Education Alliance to write an open letter to the Secretary of State  calling for the Department for Education to introduce a Career Guidance Guarantee for young people and unemployed adults.

This letter calls for every young person and unemployed adult to have access to career guidance to support them to make informed decisions. It is important that individuals are able to find the destinations that are right for them so that they can make the most of the available opportunities post COVID-19.

You can view the open letter and check for updates here.

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Using time positively in lockdown

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In these blogs our Door 43 team provide wise words and support to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram channels. 

This week, Chris takes a look at his own experience of the lockdown period and how he’s managed to turn a negative situation into a positive one to use the time more proactively and stay emotionally well. 

Hello everyone!

For this weeks Blog I want to write about how I’ve been trying to make the most of this lockdown period. Turning its negatives into positives by pushing myself to use this time a bit more proactively. Maybe learn a new skill or simply to watch a film that’s been sat in my watch later list for months.

Before the lockdown happened I had several things I wanted to have a go at or learn or even just things I wanted to watch but life always seemed to get in the way. I figure now is the perfect time to get some of these things done.

Growing my own fruits and veg.

Last year I grew a tomato plant and some potatoes in a bag in the garden, and to my amazement, given I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing, I ended up with a decent amount of tomatoes and potatoes and I actually really enjoyed it and felt a sense of achievement.

So this year I thought I would step it up a gear and have attempted to grow a wider range of fruits and vegetables and have had various levels of success.

I’ve attempted to grow potatoes, parsnips, lettuce, carrots, radishes, spring onions, cucumbers, bell peppers, chilli peppers, strawberries and a couple of types of tomatoes all from seed and with very little understanding of what each of them needs besides what a bit of a google can tell me and a ‘can do’ attitude.

 

The potatoes, Radishes, lettuce and strawberries are doing really well and I think are now about ready to be eaten.

The tomatoes and Chilli peppers have fruits on them but aren’t quite ready yet, not really sure at all how long they take but we’ll see.

The cucumber plant is a bit of a sad story.. it was doing so well and grew a massive cucumber which we have since eaten and it tasted great but I followed Google’s instructions and moved the plant outside when it grew to a certain size but it seemed to wither, and despite my best efforts just never recovered. I think maybe I left the fully grown cucumber on it for a little too long or the move from the warm inside to outside may have been a bit much for it. It’s all learning for next year.

The parsnips have finally started growing, I’ve had to plant seeds several times and I think something disturbed the first lot I sewed but they’ve recently started to grow and have a long way to go to being ready.

The carrots are basically a no show. Despite sewing a couple of different types at different times and making sure they’re watered they haven’t really done anything yet. Maybe the seeds just got eaten by birds as quickly as I was putting them in.

I’ve really enjoyed doing this for several reasons. As I mentioned before, there has been a sense of achievement in managing to grow something from a seed and working to look after it as it grows but also because a few members of my family enjoy gardening and my parents and my partner’s grandfather have allotments and it’s been really nice having a shared interest that we could talk about together to keep conversation away from Covid-19, PPE and queuing for shops.

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn how to do or that you just thought looked interesting I strongly urge you to go for it! What better time than now?

Getting outside!

As I’m sure many of you have also experienced, I have found that being in the house so much has impacted really heavily on my mood.

When lockdown started, myself and my partner Laura made sure we went on a little  walk around the block straight after our work day ended and we managed to keep this going until June when it seemed to rain every day but as soon as we stopped that feeling of being stuck inside became more intense.

Now the weather, while still a bit hit or miss, has slightly improved, we have started to go on our evening walks again however we aren’t thinking about it as gong for a walk but more that we’re exploring the areas around where we live.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more about our neighbourhood. Turns out there are little pathways connecting loads of the roads like some kind or rabbit warren and we’ve learned loads of shortcuts,  but also that there’s a farm literally two roads away which we had no idea was there.

Now that restrictions are being eased a little we feel more comfortable about being out and on weekends we have been trying to go a little further away from home for the walks to some woodland and spending some time in this change of scenery has had a really positive impact on our moods.

I really recommend making sure you get outside,  provided you make sure you maintain social distancing and take measures to keep yourself safe and would also suggest you take loads of pictures of places or times you’ve enjoyed!

I always forget to take pictures when out so am trying to remind myself to do this so I can look back on places we’ve been on these little adventures as a reminder the good times!

Clearing ‘watch later’ lists

Another thing I’ve been trying to do, mainly when its raining is to actually watch some of the films or shows I’ve said I wanted to see.

I seem to add loads of things to various ‘watch later’ lists such as on Netflix and its got to a point now where this list feels like a chore which it really shouldn’t be.

So now I’ve been trying to actually get through this list before I add anything new to them and I’m not going to lie, even simply watching a film and then removing it from my list feels great.

So my advice to you is to get yourself really nice and comfy, line up your tv snacks, settle in and watch that film or show you’ve been putting off! Or it might be a good time to delete any films it turns out you’re just not that bothered about watching and so something you are interested in instead.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a drastic impact on a lot of peoples plans for 2020. Lots of events having to be postponed until a later date or cancelled all together but it doesn’t mean this time has to be completely wasted. Let’s try to use it as best we can and come out of all of this with new skills, knowledge or just loads of little tasks completed, ready for whatever’s next!

Bye for now. Chris.

Inspiration for celebrating Pride this year

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June is Pride month, a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ communities all around the world. Pride is usually celebrated with lots of parades and marches but with coronavirus and social distancing still in place, things will be a little different this year.

Unfortunately, Pride in Sheffield is cancelled this year too but at Sheffield Futures we want to support Sheffield’s young people to continue the celebration of LGBTQ+ communities and affirm their identities. That’s why our youth workers Beth and Natalie have put together some ideas to help young people celebrate.

Top tips for celebrating Pride at home this year

  • Engage with LGBTQ+ media. Netflix has a whole section of LGBTQ+ films. Spotify and Apple music have a number of playlists and podcasts by LGBTQ+ artists.
  • Share LGBTQ+ content with friends and family who are supportive of your identity. This can help them to get to know you better and reduce feelings of loneliness.
  • Connect with other LGBTQ+ people through forums and online chat e.g. Organisations such as LGBT Foundation, Terrance Higgins Trust and Galop are holding number of workshops, events and support sessions via Zoom so you can stay connected.
  • Watch tutorials on YouTube. This is a great time to develop new skills whether that be learning how to do make-up and contouring to learning how to play your favourite song on a musical instrument.
  • Research your LGBTQ+ heroes. Learning how other LGBTQ+ people have endured and survived challenges can be both inspiring and reassuring that you are not alone! Stonewall have put together a list to get you started.
  • Wear an item of clothing that signifies your authentic self. Clothing and jewellery are a great way of representing who you are. It can be as wild as a green & pink polka dot mini skirt or as subtle as a necklace.
  • Use creative outlets such as journals, poems or song lyrics to record how you’re feeling. Documenting your experiences can be a powerful way of learning from them and processing the emotions you’re experiencing.
  • Talk about your identity with people you trust. This could be over the phone, video or via instant messenger if it’s not safe to talk openly.

Remember, if you need support Door 43 offers support to 13-25 year olds on a range of emotional wellbeing issues. Our service provides information, advice and guidance to young people experiencing issues such as low mood, stress and anxiety, loneliness, difficulty accessing education or employment and low confidence. We aim to intervene at an early stage to stop emotional and wellbeing issues in their tracks before they develop into more serious mental health issues. Find out more about the support Door 43 offers and how to get in touch here.

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