Ambassadors

Our impact on people in Sheffield City Region

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Sheffield Futures has proudly launched their annual Impact Report, demonstrating the ways in which thousands of people are benefitting from their services across the city.

The report for 2016/17 documents Sheffield Futures impact on young people, including supporting 3827 young people through one-to-one interventions and running 54 youth club sessions per week across Sheffield. The charity has presented 369 young people with Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and supported 816 young people to improve their attitude towards school. Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service have provided Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness training to 1093 young people in schools across the city region.

The charity provides mentoring and specialist support to those who need it most in the region. Sheffield Futures provide support and activities to help steer young people towards a more positive future, one in which they can fulfil their full potential in learning, employment and life.

The report was launched at Sheffield Futures Showcase Event on 18th July at the Workstation. At the event, four videos were shown, demonstrating how all Sheffield Futures services provide support to local people in four key areas: improved social skills, life skills and independence; enabling community participation and belonging; meaningful progression in education, employment and training and improved health and wellbeing.

Lord Mayor, Cllr Anne Murphy, launched the Showcase Event said: “Sheffield Futures have a huge impact on the lives of young people and communities in Sheffield. Today’s communities face many challenges and Sheffield Futures work is vital to helping local people overcome the barriers to success.”

Olympian, and Sheffield Futures Ambassador, Bryony Page, attended the event as well as Sheffield Young Advisors who were part of a “youth takeover” of all Sheffield Futures social media accounts. One young person on the Talent Match programme, Laura, told her story, from homelessness through to successfully sustaining employment. Young Advisor, Jess Chittenden, recorded a video where she talks about how Sheffield Futures have helped her to gain confidence and to become the person she is today.

The Impact Report 2016/17 is available on the Sheffield Futures website: https://www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Impact-Report-201617-small.pdf

Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw17 with Sheffield Young Advisors

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This Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked young people what made good mental health practitioners.

On Monday, at our Festival of Debate event #MakeYourMark young people told us that they believe “mental health needs to be taken more seriously.” 

“I have severe anxiety and I struggle to speak to people. I keep myself to myself and let all my frustration out when I get home. I wish that people knew I was suffering, that would help me to open up.”

It was discussed that young people would like to speak about mental health in schools: “I think that Mental Health Awareness should be taught in schools, perhaps through role-playing exercises at least once a term so that people know about it and know how to help others.”

The group believed that: “There needs to be more support for young people and a place to go if you’re stressed about exams.”

Some young people felt thatMental health services are stretched to capacity.”

One young person said: “Everyone should be treated the same, including people with mental illness – they should be told off when they say something mean and doing mean things.”

It was felt that there is not enough awareness in schools and that “Mental illness should be as important or visible as physical illness. If someone’s off for a broken arm, when they come back people are loving, if you’re off with mental health problems then people don’t know how to act around you.” 

Ambassador Inspires the Next Generation of Young Women

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In celebration of International Women’s Day, 8th March, Sheffield Futures has announced their latest Youth Ambassador, Kavita Donkersly, founder of the formidable blog – She Wears Fashion.

Hailing from Sheffield, 24-year-old blogger Kavita is proud to be a Youth Ambassador as she is a strong advocate for inspiring young people to follow their passion like she did.

Kavita said: “I started my blog because I’d just moved schools and I basically had no friends. I was really lonely and I wasn’t particularly fashionable but I felt like there was a community online that understood me and I found creativity that I never realised I had. I’d always been very academic at school and you’re pushed to be very academic, especially because you want to get good grades. Doing my blog meant that I had an outlet and I could be creative.”

Kavita’s blog, She Wears Fashion has gone on to become one of the top fashion blogs in the UK. As a Youth Ambassador Kavita hopes to pass on her skills and experience to the young people that Sheffield Futures support across the Sheffield region and she will be hosting social media workshops at Sheffield Futures youth clubs this year. National Careers Week is also currently taking place and Kavita thinks that young people need to be given the chance to change their minds and discover what they want to do.

Kavita says:When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer because my dad was a lawyer. I also wanted to be a singer or an actress when I was younger until I realised I couldn’t sing…and I couldn’t act. My blog started as a hobby. For three years I did it because I loved it and it was a way to be creative. When you start something, you should never just expect it to take off overnight. I worked part time in a retail job I hated, so I could save money until I could blog full time. When I first got paid for blogging, I realised I could turn this into a career because my blog was becoming popular. I was really passionate about it and I never gave up. Even if it was just me and my mum reading the blog it was still important to me because I believed in it. It humbles me so much to know that it turned into a job that I love and I wake up everyday and I love it.”

Before she turned twenty, Kavita had never left the country. In the last four years as her blog has taken off, she has had the chance to visit 42 countries. She has been invited to attend fashion week events all over the world. She has met Rihanna and Katy Perry and has collaborated with brands such as H&M, Lacoste and Miss Selfridge. With so much success it may be surprising to find out that even Kavita sometimes still doubts herself.

“Everyone doubts themselves whether you’re in a job like mine or whether you’re in a normal nine to five. You always question whether you’re going down the right path. I never thought I would do something in fashion. Sometimes other people’s opinions of me when they find out I do fashion makes me doubt myself. At the end of the day, as much as I love my job, if it ended up not being a job anymore because people didn’t care anymore, I know I could throw myself into something else. I think a lot of people look at my job and think it’s the best job in the world. I get to travel the world, I get free clothes but one of the worst things about my job is the online hate. There’s always someone who doesn’t like you whether you’re the best person in the world or the worst person in the world. You could be the nicest, most beautiful person and people will still call you horrible things, so you might as well just be yourself.

Building her own brand for the last eight years from scratch has meant that she has had to remain focused. There are many people who inspire here to keep motivated. Kavita explains: “I have to get up everyday and produce content. Weekends aren’t a thing. My job is all the time. There are other women in the industry that really inspire me but the people who inspire me the most are people who have businesses and that have started from nothing. I try not to get to the point where I look up to someone so much that I end up not feeling good enough. I think blogging is hard and a very female orientated industry. I think the media does a lot to make women feel like they should compete with each other and that they’re not good enough, so I try to avoid doing that to myself.“

Kavita wants to encourage young people who are not sure what they want to do after school to visit Sheffield Futures at their Division Street one-stop-shop for support and guidance from their qualified staff. Sheffield Futures also run Careers Clinics in schools across the Sheffield region support young people into employment, further education and training opportunities. As a Sheffield Futures Youth Ambassador Kavita hopes to inspire young people to explore their career options and to try not to feel pressured and stressed about their futures.

“For people who don’t know what they want to do after school, I’d say don’t just do a degree because you feel like you have to. I think if you really don’t want to go to university because you don’t know what you want to do, get a job, graft a little bit. Take some time to figure out what you want to do. No one knows what they want to do at 18, I didn’t”, said Kavita.

Visit www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/careers-advice/ or contact 0114 201 2800 to see how Sheffield Futures can help you. Please email ambassadors@sheffieldfutures.org.uk if you would like to become a Sheffield Futures Ambassador.

National Careers Week – How Jack turned his passion into Pie!

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Today marks the beginning of National Careers Week, which promotes the importance of good careers education in schools and colleges. British Pie Week also kicks off today, so we spoke with Sheffield Futures supporter, Jack Norman of pop up shop Pie Eyed, to discuss how he turned his passion of making pies into a career and why he would like to encourage young people to pursue a career they love.

Jack Norman, owner of Pie Eyed said: “I never really knew what I wanted to be when I was at school. No one really ever sat us down and said, ‘you know what guys, you can run your own business’. I never expected to be a pie man. I worked at big high street chain restaurants when I was at university. I got to the end of my degree and unfortunately I lost my dad. He had always wanted to run his own business, so I just thought ‘sod it’, and here we are today.”

At Sheffield Futures we work with young people across the Sheffield region to help them plan their futures after school. Leaving school can be a scary and confusing time when lots of young people are unsure of what route to take.

“I went for a lot of corporate job interviews after university and that inspired me not to go down that route. Sheffield is full of great independent businesses and business owners. Sometimes you’re working hard and you think you’re working harder than anyone else in the world when you just want to be home watching television. Then you meet other business owners in Sheffield and it reminds you that you’re doing the right thing and you’re not alone. It gives you motivation to keep going” said Jack.

Jack is a supporter of the drop in sessions that Sheffield Futures run, as well as their Careers Clinics they hold in schools across the Sheffield region. Both services are run by qualified staff that support young people into employment, further education and training opportunities.

Talking about taking the plunge into opening his own business in 2014, Jack said: “The thing is, it is a lot of work. When we started, we didn’t know a thing. There wasn’t a secret pie recipe, we spent weeks looking at how to build your own website. Obviously you can pay people to do everything for you but when you have a small budget, you have to put in a lot of hard work yourself.”

Jack would advise young people who are unsure of what they want to do after school to visit one of Sheffield Futures drop in sessions to help them understand their options. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong in taking your time to discover what you want to do.”

Visit Careers Advice to see how Sheffield Futures can help you.

Lord Mayor Denise Fox hosts her first charity dinner!

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Sheffield Futures are proud to announce that they are the chosen charity for the first Lord Mayor’s Dinner. The dinner will take place on Thursday 30th March and the last few tickets are on sale now.

Hosted by BBC Radio Sheffield’s Breakfast Show Host, Paulette Edwards, the dinner will take place at The Silver Plate Restaurant at Sheffield College. The five-course meal will be cooked and served by students at the college and President of Sheffield’s Magic Circle, Andy Taylor, will provide entertainment.

Lord Mayor Denise Fox said: “I hope that Sheffield Futures can continue getting funding to do the things that they are good at like prevention and engagement and being out there with the young people. Visiting a couple of the Sheffield Futures youth clubs opened my eyes because there were over 100 people there. The fact that so many young people had somewhere to go meant a lot to me because it means they’re not out on the streets being exposed to risks. I do think children are our future and we need to get it right.”

The Lord Mayor’s Dinner is kindly sponsored by Irwin Mitchell in support of Sheffield Futures. All funds raised will go towards their work helping young people to achieve their full potential.

Tickets can be purchased by emailing: marketing@sheffieldfutures.org.uk. For more information about the dinner, please see our Fundraising page.

Lord Mayor of Sheffield launches our Ambassador Programme

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Sheffield Futures launched their Ambassador programme in January with an event hosted by the Lord Mayor Denise Fox.

Olympic swimmer James Kirton, who spoke about the importance of supporting Sheffield Futures and individuals who are keen to raise the charity’s profile, attended the launch event at Sentinel Brewhouse.

The Sheffield Futures Ambassador Programme has been created, so that people who have a strong connection to the local area can give back to the community. The Ambassadors will be fundamental in raising awareness and support in the charity, which will help to fund and deliver all the services they provide across the local area.

Sheffield Futures Ambassador, Lord Mayor Denise Fox said: “I do interact with young people who have been in touch with Sheffield Futures and seeing them gain employment or gain an apprenticeship or get into education makes me proud.”

Sheffield Futures provide a wide range of support and opportunities for young people and adults to help them to reach their full potential. They are often referred to as being a young people’s lifeline, supporting young people in risky situations to stay safe, helping them to improve their confidence and self-belief as well as their employability skills.

Olympic gymnast Bryony Page, who studied and lives in Sheffield, could not attend the launch but recorded a video message. Bryony said: “Sheffield has played a big part in my life and I am honoured to be able to get involved and give back to the community. I would like to encourage everyone who wants to make a positive difference in the local area to get in touch with Sheffield Futures and see how you can help. Sheffield Futures provides so many vital services to young people, such as the youth clubs they run, their one-on-one mentorship and outreach programmes for young people at risk. I am proud to be an Ambassador for Sheffield Futures and I hope you will join me and show your support Sheffield Futures by getting involved any way you can.”

“It’s difficult to measure the impact Sheffield Futures has but listening to the stories of victims of sexual abuse and how Sheffield Futures has helped them overcome their great anxiety and fears about what’s happened to them, shows that impact. For young people struggling to get into employment, I would say get in touch with Sheffield Futures. I’ve seen it happen – you can walk into the building on Division Street and you will be welcomed and immediately helped. I’d say please contact Sheffield futures as they will help you and give you confidence.” Said Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox.

Sheffield Futures is currently looking for people with a passion about making positive changes to get in touch and find out more about becoming Ambassadors. Like Denise, people who have strong ties to Sheffield and the local area could have the opportunity to engage and enthuse young people to make positive life choices.

Lord Mayor Denise Fox said: “I hope that Sheffield Futures can continue getting funding to do the things that they are good at like prevention and engagement and being out there with the young people. Visiting a couple of the Sheffield Futures youth clubs opened my eyes because there were over 100 people there. The fact that so many young people had somewhere to go meant a lot to me because it means they’re not out on the streets being exposed to risks. I do think children are our future and we need to get it right.”

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Sheffield Futures Ambassador, please email: ambassadors@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Twelve Days of Sheffield Futures!

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Sheffield Futures, showed they could rock around the Christmas tree by releasing a video of staff performing the Twelve Days of Christmas, with a charity twist!

The Marketing and Communications team and re-worked the song to celebrate successful activities raising funds to give Sheffield’s young people the future they deserve. Throughout the year Sheffield Futures run activities and campaigns aimed at giving young people education and employment opportunities, whilst also helping young people at risk in Sheffield. The local charity has done lots of vital youth service work over the last 12 months, so to finish of the year on a light-hearted note, they put on their Christmas hats and sweaters and showed that although they play a positive part Sheffield’s future, they may not have a future in music.

Whilst the harmonies may be few and far between, the Christmas spirit comes in bucket loads. You can see the full version of the video on the Sheffield Futures YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4-Jj63Oa58 and the video is also being released in 12 segments on social media until Christmas Eve. The song’s lyrics detail many of the ways that Sheffield Futures help young people to succeed, “Sheffield Futures gave to me life guidance for a better me!”

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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.