Author Archives: Tash Bright

Woodthorpe Social Action Project – The Big Day!

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What a week it’s been for the young people at Woodthorpe Youth Club!

Young people have been meeting at the youth club for months to plan a day of social action: with businesses, youth activity groups, young volunteers and Sheffield Futures staff transforming the club with a lick of paint and TLC.

Over 25 young people participated in painting the club, creating an inviting and brightly coloured space that they hope will attract more young people!

  

Cycling to success – Josef’s story

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Josef attended college after school but didn’t particularly enjoy it and spent his time searching for employment. He needed a bit of support with his job search, so he contacted youth charity Sheffield Futures.

Brompton Fletcher, the bicycle manufacturer, contacted Sheffield Futures after they received a recommendation from Sheffield International Venues (SIV) for their free recruitment service. The business were looking for suitable candidates for a Support Operative roles, and Employer Engagement Officer, Alex Leonard, thought that Josef might be a good fit for the position.

Alex supported Josef to prepare to attend Brompton Fletcher’s Open Day, with four other young people, by breaking down the job description to show Josef how his skills matched those of the ideal candidate.

To make the position as accessible as possible, Brompton Fletcher did not ask for any qualifications, but instead said that they were looking for genuinely interested and motivated people.

Alex assisted Josef with interview preparation through mock interviews and took Josef to visit Suit Works, a partner charity that offers free tailoring and suits to clients with interviews.

At Sheffield Futures, Josef attended several coaching sessions to boost his confidence and ensure his attitude and morale remained on top form for his meeting with Brompton Fletcher.

At the Open Day, the team at Brompton Fletcher welcomed all candidates and gave them a presentation about the business, a tour of their building and a chance to ask questions before going back for interviews a week later. Josef was very professional and made sure to ask appropriate questions – plus he looked the part in his new suit!

Brompton Fletcher offered Josef a position and he is soon beginning a course of training that will give him a range of valuable skills including TIG welding, fabrication and metalwork.

Josef is very happy in his new position and received his first pay package in time for his 18th birthday and quickly understood the value of full time work!

Alex said: “Josef was a young man with bags of potential who was not in employment, education or training. We are so pleased that he has found a job with an organisation who want to help him unlock his potential!”

Richard Phillips, Project Manager at Brompton Fletcher said: “We are really pleased to have found Sheffield Futures and they have enabled a really smooth recruitment process to support our growing business. Josef has settled in well to Brompton Fletcher!”

  

Why Human Rights Matter for our Future by Sheffield Young Advisors and Youth Cabinet Members

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The Political Quarterly recently commemorated 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) with a special edition, focusing on the contemporary relevance of the UDHR within the UK.

Three young people from Sheffield Futures wrote statements for the Political Quarterly about the human rights that are most important to them and why human rights are important for the future.

To read Sheffield Youth Cabinet Members: Jude and Khalil and Sheffield Young Advisor Natasha’s pieces, please see the Political Quarterly here.

Announcement: Sheffield’s new Members of Youth Parliament!

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We are very pleased to announce the new Members of Youth Parliament.

For North Sheffield, the Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) is Daisy Taylor (Forge Valley School) and the Deputy Member of Youth Parliament is Rowan Blunkett (Forge Valley School).

For East Sheffield, the Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) is Olivia Bradley (All Saints) and the Deputy Member of Youth Parliament is Jake Sutcliffe (Park Academy).

For West Sheffield, the Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) is Jude Smith (High Storrs) and the Deputy Member of Youth Parliament is Nye Roberts (Notre Dame).

The new MYPs and DMYPs were announced in March 2019. The three MYPs will be heading to the House of Commons later this year to debate the top youth issues today, following Make Your Mark, the UK’s largest youth consultation.

NHS Sheffield investing in children and young people’s mental health: Door 43

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NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have announced they will be investing in children and young people’s mental health support.

This funding has been committed in partnership with Sheffield City Council, as part of Sheffield’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy for Children and Young People.

The funding, which was agreed at the CCG’s governing body earlier this year, will come in to place in April 2019. Some of the funding will be used to sustain and expand Door 43, which is based at Star House in Sheffield city centre and provided by Sheffield Futures and Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Door 43 provides a holistic range of support for young people aged 13-25 including support for mild emotional wellbeing issues, education and wider social and personal support. The aim of Door 43 is to support young people at the earliest possible point, before their needs escalate and they require more specialist support.

Dr Girish Vaidya, Associate Clinical Director at NHS Sheffield CCG and Clinical Director at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust Community Wellbeing and Mental Health Division, said: “We will be increasing investment into Door 43 by 45% in recognition of the positive impact the service has had, and the positive feedback we have received from young people.

“This investment will help enable Door 43 to expand to support a greater number of young people. This expansion also supports one of the key aims of our Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Strategy, which is to increase early intervention support for children and young people’s mental health in Sheffield.”

The money provided by NHS Sheffield CCG will also go towards sustaining a number of transformation projects, including work to engage young people in commissioning and services provided by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.

Dan White, Head of Targeted Services and Health at Sheffield Futures said: “We are delighted for the funding that has been committed by NHS Sheffield CCG to sustain and expand Door 43, our emotional wellbeing service for young people. 

It is fantastic that the Clinical Commissioning Group have recognised the value of our Door 43 service, providing a holistic range of support at the earliest possible point, preventing existing conditions worsening to crisis levels, whilst improving coping mechanisms and increasing resilience.

Door 43 has worked with over 200 young people in the last 12 months helping young people manage their mental health and emotional wellbeing enabling them to stay in work or education and head towards achieving their full potential. 

This funding will allow Sheffield Futures to grow the service, delivering support for 13-25 year olds in the community, for those who are unable to, and do not wish to, access services in the city centre. This is vital for Door 43, to reach young people where they feel most comfortable, and we are delighted that we will be able to offer this service shortly.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “What a fantastic investment into children’s mental health, I can’t express the importance of helping our children and young people to get the support they need. There’s a great number of services in Sheffield, including the ‘Future in Mind’ work in schools, our online counselling service launching in April and the great work at Door 43 and I’m thrilled that this large amount of money will be put into these services, making them easier to access and helping young people get support at the very earliest opportunity.”

This recurrent investment reflects NHS Sheffield CCG’s commitment to investing in children and young people’s mental health, in line with the NHS Long Term Plan. They continue to work with partners to further improve support for, and investment in, children and young people’s mental health across the city.

National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day – Think, spot and speak out against child abuse

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Say something if you see something #CSEDAY19

It’s National Child Sexual Exploitation Day (CSE) on Monday 18th March to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.  

Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

Research by the NSPCC has identified that 1 in 20 children have been sexually abused, 90 per cent of them by someone they knew. However, of the 43,000 children in England who are subject to a child protection plan at any given time, only around 5% are on a plan for sexual abuse. (NSPCC 2014)

Help spot the signs

CSE is hard to spot but often manifests as part of wider forms of exploitation. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable if they have an unstable home environment, have recently experienced bereavement / loss, have difficulties socialising, live in poverty, are homeless, missing or have physical or learning disabilities. These are just some of the situations where children and young people become vulnerable.

Speaking on the subject Jane Fidler, Sexual Exploitation Service manager at Sheffield Futures comments, ‘It can be really hard to spot the signs of sexual exploitation but some of the warning signs can be things like children and young people suddenly acquiring money, clothes or other items without a plausible explanation, exclusion or lack of attendance at school/work, gang association or sudden isolation from their usual friends and relationships with controlling or significantly older adults.’

‘Leaving home or care without explanation and going missing or persistently returning late can also signal a problem, along with excessive texts or phone calls, returning home under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive use of social media / the internet or any other significant change in usual behaviour.’

‘The warning signs are very varied and can be easy to pass off as adolescent behaviour but it’s important to stop, think and act if you think a child or young person you know is showing these warning signs. It’s all of our responsibility to protect the children and young people in our communities.’ Jane continues.

Help is here waiting

If you think you might need help or are worried about a child or young person in Sheffield you can call the Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service at Sheffield Futures.

The Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service aims to prevent sexual exploitation, protect children and young people and offer support throughout Sheffield. The confidential service is made up of youth workers, CSE specialists, healthcare professionals, social care, parent support workers, police and specialist trainers.

Help is here waiting for you so call us on 0114 201 8645 oremail sses@sheffieldfutures.org.uk in the strictest of confidence.

Rosheen, 16, from an abusive family background was also under threat of enforced marriage which resulted in her going missing and being found with a known perpetrator of sexual exploitation in the town centre.

As Rosheen was at threat from her own family a forced marriage protection order was put in place and she was moved into supported accommodation however was no longer in education. She was regularly smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol and had lots of drugs debt as a result.

A Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service worker at Sheffield Futures supported Rosheen through the difficult journey back to a safe path in life and comments ‘I worked with Rosheen to support her with employment and training, attended meetings and appointments with her, talked about her wellbeing/mental health/grooming/coercion and control and shared legal information with her.’

‘Rosheen now has a stable, age-appropriate boyfriend, remains in supported accommodation, has stopped using drugs/alcohol and is starting a new job as a carer and is looking to go back into education. Rosheen is building bridges with her family and thinking about her religious beliefs in a positive way – she feels in control. All her debts have been paid off and her mental health has significantly improved.’

Help at hand for those ‘furthest away from the jobs market’

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Mental health & disability top reasons for being ‘most stuck’

Help is at hand to support those ‘furthest away from the jobs market’ back into meaningful education, employment or training. Legacy 6 – an extension of the heralded National Lottery Community Funded Talent Match Sheffield City Region Project which got thousands of young people in the region back into education, employment or training – will provide focussed support for 20 – 24 year olds ‘most stuck’ as a result of issues including mental health and disability.

Data from Talent Match National Common Data Framework shows that those furthest away from the jobs market and therefore most in need of help are so because of a number of factors with mental ill health at the top of the list of reasons with 52 per cent of young people affected. 50 per cent have a disability and 43 per cent have a disability that limits their activities in some way.

Many young people considered furthest away from the jobs market are so as a result of experiencing abuse, unresolved loss, grief and extreme trauma in their histories and as a result of not having access to therapeutic mental health support they have essentially been left alone to deal with problems themselves which has only served to compound mental health problems which have eventually defined their lives.

Legacy 6 will offer a range of bespoke support for these young people that will help to tackle some of the biggest barriers to meaningful progression that include lack of qualifications, low self-confidence, low understanding of the skills employers are looking for, identifying career goals and accessibility issues. Support will include bespoke career planning and coaching as well as health & wellbeing support and exposure to real world employers as well as support with practical issues.

Karen Challis, Head of Education and Employment services at Sheffield Futures comments,

“Legacy 6 will give us the opportunity to focus on the young people with very significant life issues who need our support. The National Lottery Community Fund will support this work for one more year, focusing on 80 young people who are furthest from the labour market. We will use our experience from Talent Match to build on the fantastic work of the Coaches, and particularly to offer a wider range of support for those with mental health issues.”

Jenny’s story: recording in a studio through social prescribing

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Jenny moved to Sheffield in April 2018 “with just a suitcase and a guitar.” Earlier that year, she had felt the push to leave the seaside town she had been living in to move to Sheffield the “music city.” Jenny was excited about “all the music venues, nightlife and students” and moved to do what she wanted to do – make music.

Alone in a city she didn’t know, Jenny was working in hospitality, living in a shared house and her mental health began to deteriorate. Seeking help after a mental health crisis, she was referred to Door 43, the emotional wellbeing service for young people at Sheffield Futures.

“From the first moment I visited Door 43, I felt like I was listened to,” she said. “Door 43 was a really warm and welcoming environment and I felt that when I told my story, that my worker really listened.”

Jenny began to visit the weekly Wellbeing Café, a drop-in session filled with positive activities, staff and volunteers to talk to, cups of tea and inspirational talks from sportspeople, musicians and more about their own mental health stories.

Jenny’s worker encouraged her to follow her dreams and to do what she wanted to do when she moved to the city, make music. Together they worked on exercises to increase Jenny’s confidence and began to look to the future and exploring Jenny’s passions.

Jenny found herself out of work and unhappy with her living situation. One of her coping strategies was playing her guitar and writing songs about her feelings, and unfortunately she had to sell her guitar to pay her rent. Her worker knew how much this meant to her and through a social media shout-out, managed to get Jenny a kindly donated guitar and keyboard within 24 hours.

Jenny said: “The guitar and keyboard kept me alive.”

Jenny moved out of her shared accommodation into a house on her own and began feeling much better.

When Door 43 held a grand opening for their premises, with Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, they asked Jenny to perform one of her songs. It was Jenny’s first public performance in over a year, and her first in Sheffield. She said: “No-one in Sheffield had heard my music and I was really nervous, but it went really well. Afterwards I felt so much more confident and I got some great feedback.”

Through Sheffield Futures social prescribing programme, Jenny was introduced to Nigel Humberstone, who runs Beehive Works, a music studio in Sheffield. He had kindly offered studio time and assistance for Jenny to record an EP of songs about her mental health. Jenny said: “Recording my music is something I’ve always wanted to do. I used to record my songs on voice notes on my phone! Nigel and Klive have been so helpful and have made sure that everything has been done properly. I feel like there are no limits on what I can achieve now.”

Jenny has launched a Bandcamp, where people can hear and buy her music. She has finished recording five songs about her mental health journey and is looking forward to playing some shows over the summer. She said: “I’ve had to be patient and work hard to record these songs, everything takes longer than you think it will – but I’m excited to start gigging over summer. I’m being realistic and trying to be organised, but I’ll always be a dreamer.”

National Social Prescribing Day – 14th March

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StreetGames becomes nationwide social prescriber in local communities

Sports charity funds link workers in four UK cities to tackle social issues among young people

National sports charity StreetGames has funded four link workers to support young people accessing local sources of support in four cities across the UK. The programme will allow young people to have access to free counselling, sport and volunteering opportunities, and will support with literacy, training or employment.

These appointments follow StreetGames being selected as one of 23 new schemes across the country to share in £4.5 million of funding from the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC). The grant means StreetGames will be able to support local partners in Brighton & Hove, Luton, Sheffield and Southampton, to work with vulnerable young people, aged 5-25, helping them to get extra care and support in their local neighbourhood.

StreetGames has partnered with YMCA DownsLink Group in Brighton & Hove, No Limits in Southampton, Sheffield Futures in Sheffield, and Active Luton in Luton, who will provide physical hubs from where the service will be coordinated.

Talking on the announcement, Paul Jarvis-Beesley, Head of Sport and Health at StreetGames, said: “Social prescribing refers to the process of helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare, by connecting them to a range of local, non-clinical, community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. This is something StreetGames is very passionate about. Through the programme, a dedicated link worker will spend time with each young person finding out what they need and make the connection to the menu of local activities and services on offer. This intervention can be crucial in ensuring young people succeed as they grow in to adulthood.”

The programme will provide for over 2,100 young people, who will have 4-6 sessions each with their link worker before being directly referred into local services. Each service will be open to all, but additional resources will be allocated to making it accessible to young people who experience social exclusion through poverty or protected characteristics.

The initiative follows the launch of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy in October, which noted the value of social prescribing. In a recent speech to The King’s Fund about the benefits of social prescribing, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, said he saw social prescribing as “becoming an indispensable tool”, adding, “social prescription is about making better use of what we already have – making the arts and social activities more accessible”.

Cat Pritchard, Brighton & Hove CYP Wellbeing Services Manager, said on the news: “We’re delighted YMCA DownsLink Group is one of the organisations awarded a proportion of this funding. We will be setting up a social prescribing scheme within our Brighton & Hove Children & Young People’s (CYP) Wellbeing Service. This service works with young people aged 4-25, offering a range of innovative mental health interventions and is a local collaboration with YMCA DownsLink Group, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Mind in Brighton and Hove and HERE. This funding gives us the opportunity to improve the transition between services for children and young people locally. We are excited about the positive impact this new link worker role could have on the lives of children, young people and families in Brighton and Hove.”

Dr Christa Beesley, a GP for Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC in Brighton and Hove, added: “I am delighted to have the support in social prescribing now being offered in Brighton. The gap between what is needed for young people experiencing mental health difficulties and what is available is huge, and waiting times for specialist therapy are very high. Social prescribing helps us to fill this gap and to get the whole community involved in supporting our children and young people.”

Sports and music have long been associated with supporting people through conditions including diabetes, dementia, loneliness, anxiety and depression. Activities offered under social prescribing are varied, and are already having a great impact on the lives of the UK’s young people. Jenny, a participant of the programme led by Sheffield Futures, said of the initiative: “The social prescribing programme has really opened my eyes to see what is available for me in Sheffield. I’ve been writing music since I was nine and now my Health and Wellbeing Worker has helped me to access studio time through the programme, which is mind-blowing! I recently moved to Sheffield and this service has helped me to gain confidence, it’s helped with my mental health and taught me to be more open-minded. I’ve been looking into song-writing with a community group, and social prescribing has shown me that there are so many opportunities out there.”

#YouthWorkMatters – How Tyler moved towards his dream job with the help of youth workers.

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Going to youth club is so much more than socialising with your friends.

Tyler was thirteen when he started attending his local youth club at Wincobank. He enjoyed it so much that he began to visit a different youth club, Millan Centre, a bit further away so that he could go to three sessions a week. He says he enjoyed “socialising with friends. Going to youth club was my time to relax and get away from worrying about school and work.”

I’m slowly getting to where I wanna be and all my youth workers have got me there.

As Tyler continued attending the youth club, he came to an age where he could help assist the youth workers as a Young Leader. A Young Leader is a certified achievement for young people who have helped at their youth club. Tyler helped to set up the space for the youth club sessions, and help to “manage the naughty kids” by getting them to calm down and focus on a planned activity.

Through Sheffield Futures, Tyler began and completed his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Completing an award looks fantastic on your CV, gives you the skills you need in work and life and provides an opportunity to be the best you can be no matter who you are or where you’re from. Whilst Tyler didn’t enjoy the expedition section of the Award, he successfully gained his Bronze Award – giving him another achievement to add to his CV.

At Wincobank and Millan Youth Club, Tyler helped to ‘youth proof’ Sheffield Futures services and documents, making sure that the services were fit for purpose: to help young people and that any documents designed to be used with young people were engaging and interesting. Helping to youth proof services gives young people the chance to have their say whilst building confidence – it also ensures that Sheffield Futures are putting young people at the heart of everything they do.

At 16, Tyler began a games design course and spoke to his youth workers Sam, James and Lucy about his future options. Sam helped Tyler to write his CV and James helped him to prepare for interview questions. With Lucy’s help – motivating Tyler to follow his dreams and apply to become a Sports Coach – Tyler took the leap and got the job!

Recently, Tyler applied to become a teacher, with the hope of working towards becoming a sports teacher. After receiving a reference from his youth worker Lucy, we are pleased to say that he has been offered and accepted the position.

Tyler said:

“Going to youth club is so much more than socialising with your friends. My youth workers really helped me to think about my future and take steps to getting there. They gave me so much guidance. I’m slowly getting to where I wanna be and all my youth workers have got me there. Thank you so much for all you’ve done.”

 


This post is part of our Youth Work Matters campaign. You can support the campaign:

Find out more about how youth work transforms lives by following our #YouthWorkMatters campaign on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Facebook.

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

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.