Author Archives: Tash Bright

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.

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 in the strictest of confidence.

Autumn, 16, from Sheffield was doing well at private school and enjoyed a stable relationship with her Mum until she met a man based in Vancouver online.

From the moment Autumn started chatting to a man she had met online, her relationship with her family started to deteriorate.

‘Over the course of about three months Autumn was always on the phone which first alerted me to the fact that something might be wrong.’ Says Autumn’s Mum.

‘This caused lots of arguments as I wanted to understand who she was talking to and our relationship began to break down as Autumn became increasingly distant.’ She continues.

When Autumn turned 16, she ran away from home and boarded a flight to Vancouver via Amsterdam and Toronto where she was thankfully stopped and prevented from travelling to Vancouver and sent home. After returning home she refused to live with Mum and moved in with extended family. This placement broke-down.

A Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service worker at Sheffield Futures did a lot of work with Autumn that looked at grooming and healthy relationships. ‘When I first met Autumn she did not realise that the relationship with the adult male she had met online when she was still just a child may be exploitative.’ Says her worker.

‘Together we did a lot of work to look at grooming and how this can manifest and what healthy relationships look like. We worked together to get Autumn back into education and she has now successfully completed various courses and now lives back at home with Mum.’

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.

You can also write your own message of support for @SheffFutures using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters

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

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Presentation Evenings

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Young people from across the city have been collecting their Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards at Presentation Evenings over the last few weeks, with one more event to come next week. The team at Sheffield Futures are very grateful for the support of schools across the city helping young people to achieve their awards.

Completing a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at any level is an incredible achievement. It involves hard work, giving back to your community, volunteering your time, being a team player and so much more.

Cllr Denise Fox congratulated the groups on Monday 4th March, she said: “Congratulations to you all, I never had the opportunity to do the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and learn all the skills that can help you get on in life. The skills you all have learnt now are lifelong and will help you in your next step in your lives, perhaps getting a job or going to university. When I was Lord Mayor, I met many employers and they were all looking for something different to set candidates out from the rest. Duke of Edinburgh’s Award will certainly do that.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Tony Downing congratulated the attendees on Monday 11th March. He said: “Completing your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a fantastic achievement!”


Early success for Project Apollo – supporting care leavers into EET

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Project Apollo, launched in October 2018, is a programme offering support to young people leaving care helping them to move into education, work and training. The project, commissioned by Sheffield City Council’s Leaving Care Service and delivered by Sheffield Futures, will help 100 young people towards a brighter future with careers guidance, help applying for opportunities, work experience, practical careers advice and barrier-busting long-term support.

We recently held a local launch event with local councillors, employers, training providers and representatives from Department for Education. We were lucky to introduce three care leavers who are engaged with the project who took part in a Q&A, discussing the support that they needed and had received so far. This informative session was eye-opening and the group were wished the very best for the future.

There has already been success for Project Apollo, with dedicated Transition Coaches providing tailored support to each young person on the programme, guiding them in to education, employment and training.

Department for Education data reveals that nationally between 2014 and 2017 the amount of 19 to 21year-old care leavers classed as not in education, employment or training (NEET) rose by 6% to 10,250. The data shows that nationally care leavers are three times more likely to be NEET than their peers.

A Higher Education Policy Institute report in 2017 shows that only 6% of care leavers in England were in higher education and ‘at every key stage, the academic performance of children in care is worse than their peers.’

The programme has already signed 41 young people signed up and receiving support from their Transitions Coaches and we have already helped:

  • 1 young person to achieve an apprenticeship as a Teaching Assistant.
  • 1 young person to receive a job offer at local precision engineering company.
  • 1 young person to gain employment at Sheffield Futures as a youth worker and to have their say as a Sheffield Young Advisor.
  • 3 young people to gain employment at local call centres.

Project Apollo has also helped 7 young people to access training opportunities and helped to demonstrate the opportunities and experiences available to the group, by organising work experience at a variety of employers including a beauty salon and a livery yard.

Our Employer Engagement Officer has been busy meeting with employers across the city, organising work experience, mock interviews, tours around workplaces and more. Civil Service Local has generously offered a half-day session full of enriching and engaging activities, meetings and games to inform and bring to life the roles within the Civil Service. For example, they will be able to sit in on a real ‘standing meeting’ and will get to talk with a real apprentice. After this, they will be able to apply for traineeships, apprenticeships and direct hire with mentor support from civil servants.

This isn’t our only success with employers in Sheffield, we have been engaging with Sheffield City Council and Engie who are highly invested in care leavers completing their construction skills programme ‘Building Block,’ and so are giving Project Apollo priority slots and preferential treatment where appropriate. The Building Block offers CSCS card training, work experience and jobs.

We have also been lucky enough to visit the House of Commons with one of the young people who is signed up to receive support via Project Apollo. The House of Commons visit was a launch for National Social Impact Bonds, of which three are running and Project Apollo is one of these.


New event! Bridging the gap: improving communication between the police and young people

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Thursday 30th May 2019

6-7pm at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, Sheffield, S1 4GE.


How can the police better communicate with young people?

Why wouldn’t a young person report a crime?

What can be done to change that?

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

In association with South Yorkshire Police.

For further information and our full programme visit

Democracy Awards for the Youth Cabinet elections!

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Sheffield Futures presents Democracy Awards to schools and organisations that are involved in the Sheffield Youth Cabinet elections.

The awards are for the percentage of young people who vote in the elections, to thank them for their hard work engaging young people with democracy and their involvement helping young people to have their say.

Gold Awards

For 90% of students voting, Gold Awards go to: Sheffield Park Academy, Chaucer School

Silver Awards

For 70% of students voting, Silver Awards go to: Newfield School, Meadowhead School, High Storrs School, Birley Academy, Stocksbridge High School, Forge Valley School

Bronze Awards

For 50% of students voting, Bronze Awards go to: Parkwood Academy, Handsworth Grange School, King Ecgbert School, Sheffield High School, Silverdale School

Special Recognition Awards

For schools and organisations that have worked very hard to give the young people in their setting a voice.

Some of the schools listed were just shy of 50% of their students voting, but all put a lot of work into allowing their students the opportunity to vote with assemblies, tutor groups and lunch time. The youth clubs won the Special Recognition Award due to the number of young people voting!

The Special Recognition Awards go to: Marlcliffe Primary, Hinde House School, Yewlands Academy, Woodthorpe Youth Club, Tinsley Youth Club, Norfolk Park Youth Club.


Congratulations to all involved, we are proud to say that 14,121 young people voted for their Sheffield Youth Cabinet representatives – the highest number of young people voting ever!

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.