Author Archives: Tash Bright

Doing Good Business – Woofley Jubbley!

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Amanda had a long-term ambition to set up her own business as a dog groomer but was finding it difficult to get started. She was in receipt of benefits and a significant barrier she faced was access to start-up finance for equipment and clothing. Amanda had enrolled in a City and Guilds Level 2 in Dog Grooming and successfully completed the training in April 2019. She now intends to enrol on the Level 3 course in Dog Grooming and would also like to study pet behaviour and psychology.

Amanda’s Doing Good Business coach worked with her to set some achievable goals that would helpe her to develop her business.  The support included business planning that;

  • considered the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats connected to the potential business and an action plan was devised to overcome the threats and weaknesses
  • included a marketing plan that considered branding, web presence, networking and options for advertising and securing local customers
  • helped the client to choose a business and domain name:
  • provided one-to-one guidance regarding search engine optimisation for the business to rank higher in search engines such as Google
  • involved financial planning in the form of a cash flow forecast.

A huge barrier to progression was that Amanda did not have all the finance she needed to start her business. The Building Better Opportunities ‘Barrier Busting’ fund came in very useful and paid for the branded work wear that was needed. Amanda’s coach also found some local start-up funding to pay for essential equipment to get Amanda started in business.

Amanda notified her work coach at the Job Centre who then discussed the new Enterprise Allowance with her. Amanda can now develop her business whilst receiving benefit payments.

Working with Building Better Opportunities opened doors to start-up finance, courses and marketing for Amanda.

The support enabled Amanda to launch her business and she is now registered as self employed and has been working as a dog groomer for the past 6 weeks.

Amanda said: ‘I have tried for many years to find help to start my dog grooming business and found many barriers. Finding Doing Good Business has been amazing and, with their help, my business is now on the road to success. A big thank you from me!’

Amanda’s Doing Good Business Coach said: ‘I think Amanda’s success is due to her commitment to the process. She knew what she wanted and was willing to work with me as her coach to set realistic goals and work on agreed actions to move things forward.’

Amanda offers a dog grooming service from her base in Doncaster. You can visit her website here: Woofley Jubbley Dog Grooming.

Bridging the Gap: Improving Communication Between Young People and the Police

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Sheffield Futures hosted a Festival of Debate event to discuss Bridging the Gap, improving communication between the police and young people in our city. The event looked at how can the police better communicate with young people, why wouldn’t a young person report a crime and what can be done to change that?

Following on from Sheffield Youth Cabinet’s knife crime consultations with young people, we wanted to start a discussion to see how we can work together for a better, safer Sheffield.

The group looked at community policing and how stronger links could be made between the police and young people. Feedback stated that “police should be aware of people’s mental health” and that when appropriate, “police should laugh with young people.”

The group felt that recruiting younger PCSOs would be beneficial and there should be a police presence in areas where it is lacking.

The group also discussed what areas are best to engage with young people and the wider community, what would work best for young people, that may not work for the wider community and whether communications needed to be improved with the whole community and not just young people.

They also looked at whether in a time of cuts, what alternatives might there be to improve police presence, including Neighbourhood Watch. Some young people felt that it was important to increase “early years school visits” to “reduce stigma of the police.”

The attendees were split into three groups and moved to three discussion areas, each group getting an opportunity to speak about the three identified themes. One theme was perceptions of the police in 2019.

Some of the young people said they “hate the police, they’re too quick to blame people who are non-white.”

“It’s not just colour, but also about what area you live in.”

“The police don’t go to areas where they don’t sell drugs, but they should go everywhere.”

“I see the police as a gang but they can keep people safe in some respects like abuse against children.”

One of the young people had a different experience with the police when they were with their Youth Justice Service worker. They described their experiences as positive.

The third discussion topic was online presence and what would work when trying to communicate with young people. The group said: “humorous videos, but not patronising ones” would be good and that it was okay for the police to “use all social media except Snapchat.”

“Communication doesn’t have to only be online, it should be face-to-face.”

“Police have a negative image and they need to work on how they’re perceived. Social media should help to humanise the police.”

One young person said “there is a perception of the police as being threatening.”

“There is a fine balance between uniform being for creating safety and enforcement.”

One said “there should be a guide to how to contact the police online, for young people.” “The police need to create a helpline which feels accessible to young people and is young people friendly.”

Young people fed back that their most used social media is Instagram, followed by Twitter, Snapchat, Whatsapp and finally Facebook.

Some believed that it would be appropriate for the police to use these channels and provide approachable and friendly content.

One young person said that it was important to “address online cyber crimes including selling drugs and methods for young people to pass on information.”

“Transparency is important and police posts could create get their messages out.”

The attendees then joined together with a Q&A session with the police. The group were joined by Superintendent Paul McCurry, Superintendent Melanie Palin and Sergeant Simon Kirkham to discuss some of the issues that were raised in the debates and discussions.

Young people challenged the police about racism in the police force and stated that the police had no presence in their communities. Sergeant Simon Kirkham offered to run sessions where the debate could be continued.

Sheffield Young Advisor Shuheb Miah said that conversation at the debate concluded that there was “ideological bias – police are proportionally from a white culture so they lean more towards their own culture without realising that others view them in a racist light.”

Shuheb continues, “The key issues were trust, faith and the effort to report to the police. Media portrayals create a typification of a certain criminal type which shapes the views the police have of offenders.”

Key issues from the debate include: “interaction and understanding, social exclusion/segregation and partiality (BME- 25% under 25 yrs)”

“United Nation convention of the rights of a child says: ‘Child’s state is a primary consideration in the context’ of them being vulnerable in juveniles justice.”

The Bridging the Gap debate attendees said that “999 police line isn’t very efficient when you’re in an emergency and waiting ‘on hold’ could become dangerous.” Solutions could include:
⁃ “Officers suggest an app is created that on use pinpoints location and creates an individual helpline with a member of the police who can help directly
⁃ Access to social media (Twitter) like the Facebook SY police page where surveillance can occur to monitor safety of online servers.
However… this runs the risk of a ‘surveillance society’ or the ‘Big Brother effect’ where protection conflicts with people’s private lives.”

Shuheb said that the group he was with spoke about the power that police held. One said: “They are bullies by making young people powerless and not listening to what they’ve to say in the wake of implementing justice.”

Others said: “If a good service is given by the police the this good experience will be disseminated to others who then share the positive experiences with the police which they will also expect to find if a situation arises with the police creating unity.”

“The people and their behaviour rather than the race should dictate the treatment.”

One said “When an act is committed it is the behaviour/situation that is to blame and has influenced this act.”

Some of the group felt that their communities would not attend a conversation with the police. “Communities not wanting to attend as an already negative/tainted reputation with the police and they have a lack of faith.”

Shuheb’s overall views of Bridging the Gap event:
🙂 The event helped address issues especially the BME community view
🙂 Issue focus meant that the senior members could not work closely with the groups/members who felt affected by the police processes that did not benefit them.

😞 The police are cyclical by focussing the same old issues again and again when aspects like racism exist and simply talking about them will not remove these ingrained biases.”


Running tips! Thinking of doing the Sheffield 10k? Read this blog!

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Running technique tips by former Britain’s Female Athlete of the Year, Becky Lyne:

Are you a runner? Or could you be cajoled into giving it a go? If so, Sheffield Futures are teaming up with former Britain’s Female Athlete of the Year, Becky Lyne, to give you technique tips to help take your running to another level – or indeed take those first steps.

Since having her middle distance career cut short by injury, she has used her experience to develop a model that guides runners through 5 key principles to help them move GRACE-fully, thus reducing injuries and enhancing enjoyment.

Here she shares with us two of these principles:

‘G’ for Grow

The most common fault I see among fun/club (sometimes even elite!) runners is that they ‘sit’ when they run i.e. their hips are low and posture somewhat collapsed. The upshot of this is that they:

  • run heavy and flat-footed on their feet;
  • land with their foot in front of their centre of mass, exerting a breaking force on momentum;
  • don’t activate their core which often results in trying to control the movement from tense shoulders, which in turn can restrict breathing.

The oft cited advice from ‘expert’ passers-by when out on a run of ‘knees up, knees up’ (usually followed shortly thereafter by ‘run, Forest, run!’), could not be worse advice. Next time retort to them, you should be shouting ‘hips up, hips up’. Even when doing a high knees drill it shouldn’t be at the expense of high hips. In fact, once you get the position of your hips right it will actually feel more like your knees are down as your quad and hip flexors engage in a more extended position at the point of ground contact. (More on this later as it also relates to some of the other letters in our acronym…).

A key mistake I see as people try to implement this element of form is they grow very rigidly tall – almost military-esque. The aim should be more ‘regal’ and the feel should be that of running on your legs, rather than with them. I know that might sound strange, but have a play with it… This then prompts the core to fire and the shoulders to relax creating a wonderful sense of control yet openness.

‘E’ for Enjoyment

I’m often asked what sport or exercise is best to help you lose weight and my answer is always the same: one that you enjoy. That way you’re more likely to not only do it but also to develop a good relationship with being active – and in turn with yourself.

How often do you see people grimacing as they are pounding their legs along the pavements? It’s almost like penance for their sins! And how often do these people have awful techniques?  Like you can change your technique, you can also change your mindset.

I don’t subscribe to ‘no pain, no gain’ anymore. It only brought me fleeting happiness on the odd occasion I won a race, but many more a down moment as I nursed my latest injury from over-doing it.

Now, I fall far more in favour of ‘letting the effort come to me’ mindset (then it’s like you don’t even have to try! 😉).

Now I nurture a feeling of gratitude for having the ability to push myself, rather than fear or fight the discomfort that inevitably comes along for the ride.

Now I enjoy running for running, not just winning as was the case previously. Not that I ever win these days!

And the great thing about it is that this resulting enjoyment leads to better technique thanks to greater relaxation and a light heart, which in turn leads to greater enjoyment…and it all spirals hopelessly out of control! Before you know it, you’re a running addict high on stress-and-anxiety-killing serotonin, anandamide and kynurenine aminotransferase 😉.

If this has whetted your appetite to learn more, Becky runs technique workshops in which she reveals all five principles, together with drills to encourage their implementation. Optional personalised slow-motion video analysis can further help to guide you in the key areas for you to focus on.

In the run up to the Sheffield 10k in September and Half Marathon in April, she is offering 10% off workshops for all runners representing Sheffield Futures and she will donate a further 10% of the cost to us. To redeem your discount, use the code ‘FUTURES’ on the bookings page:

Young people fundraising for their youth club!

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Young people who regularly attend Woodthorpe Youth Club, run by Sheffield Futures, have been fundraising to give their youth club a make over. Last weekend, the group took part in a sponsored walk. They took the train to Edale, then completed a 10 mile walk in torrential rain – so much for summer!

Deputy Community Youth Team Manager, John Moloughney, called the group ‘absolute stars!’


Woodthorpe Social Action Group haven’t just been walking to raise funds, they’ve been fundraising with bucket collections and taking tins out to their local shops. The group are dedicated to creating a space that’s attractive and safe for all young people in Woodthorpe.

Recently the group were at Woodthorpe Youth Club when PC Briggs came to visit in the van. Obviously the group wanted to sit in the van! It’s great to see the young people interactive with one of the many services working in Woodthorpe and across the city.


Finally, here are the group getting the outdoors area looking colourful with potted plants!


Migration Matters Festival 14-22 June

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Sheffield continues to celebrate migration with the return of the UK’s largest city-wide Refugee Week event!

“Britain’s largest festival that celebrates the contribution of refugees and promotes understanding of why people seek sanctuary is more relevant than ever.” – New Internationalist, 2017.

Migration Matters Festival returns to Sheffield with its biggest line up to date for Refugee Week 2019, showcasing a large spectrum of local, national and international acts that will come together to celebrate the positive impact of migration in the city and the UK.

Sheffield Futures are proudly participating in Migration Matters Festival this year, with a photography exhibition by young people across Sheffield. The photographs will be shown on Monday 17th June at Sheffield Futures, Division St between 5-7pm and then for the rest of the week. Young people who have participated in the project live in Sheffield and represent the diverse communities that make Sheffield great, including Roma Slovak, Pakistani and Somali communities.

“Driven by this year’s Refugee Week Theme, ‘You, Me and Those Who Came Before’, the festival sheds light on how Sheffield and the UK has been forged by the generations of people whose cultures have shaped and made it a richer place. While the country has been plunged into uncertainty – a word we’ve all grown weary of, it’s essential we don’t lose sight of what makes this island great: its people.” – Sam Holland, Migration Matters Festival Director.

This year’s 8-day festival will take place from 14th to 22nd June with over 60 events during what will be the UK’s 21st annual Refugee Week. Migration Matters Festival is set to continue the important work of bringing communities together to enjoy a culturally rich mix of theatre, music, film, dance, spoken word, academic talks, and food – covering key topics such as LGBTQI+ identity, mental health and activism to name a few.

Migration Matters Festival is at venues across Sheffield, 14-22 June. Full lineup and how to book are at All events are Pay-What-you-Decide to ensure that the festival is open and available to all. However, it is advised that tickets are reserved for most events through Tickets for Good who specialise in making events accessible to vulnerable audiences.

Twitter/Instagram: @migmatfest #sheffieldisopen #MigMatFest19


Bronwyn’s Story #VolunteersWeek2019

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It’s Volunteers Week 1-7 June and Sheffield Futures is celebrating its fantastic volunteers.

Bronwyn Tero, a Childhood Studies student at Sheffield Hallam University first got involved with Sheffield Futures as a volunteer at the Door 43 wellbeing café. ‘I first wanted to get involved with Sheffield Futures because I wanted to gain more experience working with young people before I graduated, and I know Sheffield Futures do a lot of great work with young people in Sheffield.’ Says Bronwyn.

Bronwyn has been a regular volunteer at the Door 43 wellbeing café which runs on a Tuesday night in the new health and wellbeing zone at Star House since October. Door 43 is a one stop shop of emotional wellbeing support for 13-25 year olds that provides a preventative service to stop mental health crises occurring in this age group by developing and employing effective strategies to motivate and encourage healthy lifestyle changes.

‘My role involves supporting young people in the Wellbeing Cafe on a Tuesday evening. This usually involves chatting with young people who access Door43’s services, and engaging them in wellbeing activities which staff plan.’

‘It’s so rewarding to know that I’m making a difference in young peoples’ lives, and I have loads of fun working with the other staff and volunteers as well.’ She says.

‘I would encourage anyone who is thinking about volunteering to definitely get involved in anything that interests them. It’s a really great way to develop your skills and experience and make a difference in other people’s lives.’

For more information about volunteering at Sheffield Futures please contact Matthew Astbury, Volunteer Officer [email protected] or call 0114 201 6609

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.

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.