Challenge & adventure in the Peak District

Sadie White No Comments

At the end of May, our youth workers took 18 young people from our Woodthorpe and Westfield youth clubs and our Door 43 service out into the Peak District for a day of education, challenge and adventure. The educational activity, delivered in partnership with Endeavour Training and the Peak District National Park authority enabled these young people from very diverse backgrounds, most of whom had never ventured into the Peaks before, to interact socially, broadening horizons, building confidence and healthy attitudes as well as breaking down prejudice and negative stereotypes.

Travelling by tram and train demonstrated to our young people just how easy it is to access the national park. Disembarking at Grindleford, our young people were introduced to a Peak District National Park ranger who provided information about the running of the park and associated environmental challenges and got involved with using tools to maintain accessibility of paths as well as carrying out an environmental survey that involved understanding the ecosystem and identifying plants and insects. After a short walk in the beautiful countryside our young people were given the opportunity to really challenge themselves and push personal boundaries with an abseiling activity.

Commenting on the young people’s reactions to the abseiling activity, Danny Maybury, youth worker in our East team says, ‘Many of the young people taking part in the activity experienced fear just at the thought of taking this death defying plunge, and murmurs of self-doubt echoed around the group upon arrival. With a little encouragement and self-belief however, the challenge was enthusiastically met. The impact of this victory could be plainly seen on the gleeful faces of the young people who took part.’

John Moloughney, Deputy East team manager also said, ‘It was fantastic to lead an activity to deliver educational, social as well as healthy outcomes for these young people and see the delight on their faces as they challenged themselves in such a beautiful location. I’m really keen that we continue to build upon links with organisations such as Endeavour and the Peak District National Park Authority to deliver more in collaboration for Sheffield’s young people.’

A trip is being planned for October and any young people interested in attending should contact John Moloughney.

Funding plea for young people’s mental health and wellbeing zone

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Futures, Sheffield’s young people’s charity is looking for support to help deliver a new much needed health and wellbeing zone as part of the Door 43 service which currently provides vital support for 13 – 25 year olds with mental health challenges. The new health and wellbeing zone is an essential addition which will make the Star House venue which currently hosts Door 43 fully fit for purpose.

With half of all mental health conditions appearing in young people before the age of 14 and one in four adults suffering a mental health problem in any given year, new services like Door 43 are heralded nationally as the way forward.

Commenting on the new health and wellbeing zone development, Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures says, ‘We have now begun work on phase one of a new health and wellbeing zone for young people, based at Sheffield Futures’ city centre venue Star House. Sheffield Futures has received incredibly generous grant funding from the Department of Health and we are looking for match-funding to complete the full build.’

‘We have seen very encouraging results from Door 43 so far and it’s really heartening to see the positive impact we’re having on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Sheffield’s young people.’

‘We know that young people can be put off accessing mental health services as they associate these environments with the stress and anxiety that is often fuelling their issues.

The new health and wellbeing zone will offer a safe and welcoming space for young people to openly talk about their feelings and access early preventative support in a completely neutral environment where they can literally get away from it all, clear their head and become ready to access the support they need.’

‘So, we are reaching out to the business community to help us deliver this much needed resource for young people in Sheffield who need it most.’ She continues.

Door 43 integrates a range of health and wellbeing support under one roof, giving young people the flexibility they need in terms of access to different specialist support services such as counselling and other psychological therapies, awareness and advice work, health clinics, signposting and mechanisms for referral for those who require specialist mental health assessment. It is this preventative approach that aims to stop young people from requiring expensive, statutory, crisis-led interventions that often come when the damage has already been done.

When talking about how the Door 43 service has helped him, Darren Jenks a young person who has accessed Door 43 in the past said, “Door43 is a place I can go and offload about what has happened in my week. I don’t feel judged by the staff; they are all so easy to talk to. I feel like having that space every week makes a massive difference to my mood.” 

“When I’ve got loads of stuff going on in my head, I can book in to see someone at Door43 and they help me to make sense of it all and we can make a plan together and I feel so much better.”

All those interested in discussing how they can offer financial or other support should contact Tash Bright at Sheffield Futures on 0114 2018647 or email: [email protected]

We are having a makeover!

Tash Bright No Comments

You may have noticed a few things have changed recently at Sheffield Futures one-stop-shop Star House, namely the white box that has appeared to the right of our front door….

Now’s a good time to tell you that we’re having a makeover!

The white box in our reception area will be soon made in to two rooms for you to meet with our careers, duty and Door43 staff.

We’ve added these couple of rooms because the back bit of our office (the grey bit!) is going to be made over to turn it in to our new Health and Wellbeing Zone.

So what does this mean for you?

In the long term, it means that we’re creating an inviting safe space for you to access health and wellbeing services, including our very own Door43.


In the short term, this means that some appointments will have been moved around, but your worker will contact you if your meeting is affected by our building work. It also means that Door43 drop-in may be affected. It will still be available, but there may be slight waiting times. Any appointments with regular visitors will be re-arranged accordingly.

If you are unsure or want any more information, please contact your worker or call our reception team on: 0114 201 2800.

Can’t wait to show off our brand new look! Please keep checking back for updates.

Stress Awareness Month: Be mindful, top tips on managing stress from Door43

Sadie White No Comments

April is stress awareness month. Being under pressure is part of normal life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse. But how do you know when pressure turns to stress? If you’re feeling increasingly anxious, finding it hard to concentrate, feel snappy, have headaches, feel sick or feel your heart beating faster, you may be stressed as these are some of the signs.

Stress awareness month is a great opportunity to take time to think about our wellbeing and find advice and support on managing stress. With exams on the horizon it’s a good time to get some techniques in place to manage stress so you can do your best come exam season.

Our Door43 Wellbeing Practitioner Katie Ashton has come up with her tips and advice on managing stress. Door43 is our emotional wellbeing service for young people based here at Star House.

The 4 A’s

AVOID – Some of our stress can easily avoided, plan ahead, look to your surroundings and prioritise.

  • Learn to say no – try not to feel pressure to do tasks that aren’t necessary, reflect on your responsibilities and then look at the demands on your time.
  • Prioritise your ‘To-Do’ list into ‘today’, ‘this week’ and ‘within the month’ – this will limit the overwhelming feelings of having to do everything straight away.
  • Avoid contact with people who increase your stress levels – if this is going to be difficult, try to limit the time and make sure you have time to give yourself ‘time to breathe’ in the situation.

Remember!! A certain amount of avoidance is healthy – but please don’t use this technique in all situations, as this can create more difficulties.

ALTER – Recognise what you do or feel when you are stressed and then look at changing your situation.

  • State time limits on particular tasks e.g. if you need to clean, give yourself an hour and then wherever you are at, take a break.
  • Communicate your feelings – remember to take control of your feelings by using ‘I feel that sometimes…’
  • Manage your time – look at your day and see if there is a way to manage your time so you have time for yourself. Allow yourself a minimum of 30 minutes a day of self-care.

ADAPT – You may feel that you can’t cope with the current situation – changing your expectations can really help to reduce those stress levels.

  • Look at reframing the issue – what would a helpful friend say about the situation? Have a moment, breathe and take a step back.
  • It is helpful to look at the ‘bigger picture’ – will this situation matter in a month? A year? 5 years?
  • Find yourself a positive quote to keep that motivation up – “You are capable of so much more than you ever imagine” – find one that resonates with you – mentally repeat it, write it down, whatever works for you.
  • Adjust your standards – do you really NEED to do that cleaning at 10pm at night? Or, does that essay HAVE to be perfect? Try to change your definition of perfection and success – this will ease the guilty feeling.
  • Alternative thoughts – take a moment after that stream of negative thoughts, take the ‘negative glasses’ off, what if the outcome was positive? Try to think of thoughts opposite to your own – this is not easy, but give it a go and it will become easier over time.

ACCEPT – Unfortunately, sometimes there is nothing we can do about a stressful situation and we just need to accept things the way they are.

  • Practice your positive self-talk – “this situation is really difficult, but I’ve dealt with things like this before, I am strong and I will get through this”
  • Learn from your mistakes – ‘Remember that life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes’
  • Practice forgiveness – anger can lead to stress and if this is persistent, it can be exhausting. Forgiveness is difficult, but try letting your anger be released.
  • Talk to someone – Even if they offer no advice or guidance, speaking through the situation and having a listening ear can be very helpful.

Always remember – You can totally do this.

You can also drop into our Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm on Tuesday until 7pm and on a Saturday 9.30 – 1pm.

Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street staffed by youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers as well as peer supporters.



Free acoustic event at the Green Room 6pm 5th April

Sadie White No Comments

Join us for an acoustic night at the Green Room on Thursday 5th April at 6 pm. Free to get in, the event will feature local acts such as Paul Fletcher and the Dukes and Robert Lowdon.

All proceeds from the night will go towards redevelopment of the Door 43 young people’s well being cafe planned for the ground floor here at Star House. Please tell your family and friends and come and support us to raise funds to transform young lives.


World Poetry Day: Poems to inspire and motivate

Sadie White No Comments

This World Poetry Day Vicky Morris, Writer, Educator & Creative Practitioner and one of our valued supporters and collaborators has kindly recommended a few poems to inspire, motivate and take from them what you will. Enjoy.



Student Volunteering Week

Tash Bright No Comments

It’s Student Volunteering Week and we want to celebrate our many volunteers who are also students.

Thank you to all of our student volunteers!

We currently have volunteers in all three of our Community Youth Teams working in our youth clubs across the city, and at our Door43 Wellbeing Cafe, held every Tuesday at our city centre venue, Star House.

Volunteering with Sheffield Futures will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people in Sheffield. It’s also a fantastic way to gain experience and build confidence. We are always looking for new volunteers at Sheffield Futures, so if you have some spare time and are looking to meet new people and make a great contribution to your local community please contact: [email protected] or call: 0114 201 6609.

Read Shannon and Gabby’s stories below about how it’s possible to balance being a student and also a volunteer at Sheffield Futures…

Shannon’s Story

I first found out about Sheffield Futures through my Universities Careers Officer. He told me about the great volunteering Sheffield Futures offer. Since I started volunteering in the youth clubs with Sheffield Futures, I have been able to be totally flexible around university work, either volunteering one night a week or four I wanted to. The volunteering itself is great, especially if you’re curious about social/youth work careers! 

During the youth clubs you have the chance to mix with such a diverse group of kids, and here you have to opportunity to simply have a chat to them about their week or get involved with activities.

I am loving my team with Sheffield Futures, it has for sure opened my eyes to different career options, but most importantly given me invaluable experience. 

Gabby’s Story

Hello, I’m Gabby. I am currently studying Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield and on Tuesday evenings I volunteer for Sheffield Futures Wellbeing Café. I joined the Wellbeing Café’s team in October after finding out about them through my University’s Volunteering Hub. It caught my eye because it didn’t require a big commitment, it looked fun and gave me the opportunity to enjoy tea and cake!

At the Wellbeing Café I help run a wide variety of fun, engaging and interesting activities such as stress ball making, cake decorating, learning first aid, and problem solving. A lot of the sessions focus on self-care, self-love, being positive and reaching for your goals. Even I as a volunteer benefit from these sessions and I often leave feeling very uplifted and motivated.  My most memorable session was when a representative from the Amy Winehouse Project came in and opened up about his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction. It was very inspiring to listen to how he got through it all and where he is now.

At the Café I help to ensure all young people feel involved and have a relaxed and open atmosphere where everyone feels confident enough to contribute and be themselves. I provide a listening ear when necessary, forming trusting relationships with them. Another of my roles is also to help with making drinks and dishing out lovely snacks.  

Volunteering for the Wellbeing Café has not been a huge commitment whilst studying at the same time as it only requires two hours of my week. Sheffield Futures is also very conveniently located on Division Street making it easily accessible for me by walk from uni. The team have been very understanding when I have had exams and was unable to attend sessions. Having volunteered at the Café will benefit me in the future as it will look great on my CV and give me lots of interesting things to talk about in an interview.

I have always found the Wellbeing Cafe very enjoyable, always leaving feeling positive. It has been great meeting new people, especially the Sheffield Futures staff who are extremely friendly and supportive.  I am very proud to be part of an organisation that makes such a difference in young people’s lives with the support they provide them, creating positive futures.

Case study: Joint work creates positive outcome for vulnerable young person  

Sadie White No Comments

This case study tells the story of how collaboration between our specialist youth workers and targeted youth support workers can create sustained positive outcomes for vulnerable young people.

Katy had multiple barriers to learning, significant previous difficulties sustaining progress in education and training and was very unsettled emotionally and socially with an unstable home life.

Sheffield Futures youth worker, Ayesha had been working really hard to establish a positive relationship with Katy however she felt that support with education, employment and training would be really useful and set it up so joint specialist workers Ayesha and Lucy met with Katy together initially.

‘This went well, we got to know Katy’s hopes wishes and aspirations as well as trying to gain a more thorough understanding of her background, any learning needs and a holistic overview to inform the best choice of options.’ Says Lucy Ruck, Targeted Youth Support worker at Sheffield Futures.

‘Whilst the young person was saying that she wanted a “job” it was clear that she wasn’t job ready and whilst we encouraged her by updating her CV and giving ideas around job search I also talked to her about a wide range of options available including traineeships and other stepping stone courses.’ Lucy continues.

As a result, the joint effort resulted in appointments being made for two courses. ‘Katy needed a great deal of encouragement, phone calls, texts and e-mails as well as supporting to prepare and attend these interviews. This included engaging other agencies such as her social worker and advocating for support which was successful.’ Lucy says.

‘We both agreed that recognising the fine balance between encouraging Katy to be independent and responsible while at the same time supporting her to overcome her significant lack of confidence and the anxiety based upon previous negative experiences of education was essential.’

With much support (including wake up phone calls!) Katy started a four week course with the Princes Trust which she stayed on and passed! ‘She and we were delighted! It was clear that Katy had grown in confidence through this journey and it has given her a positive, consistent and sustained experience that will take her forward to a positive future.’

‘This is why we do this job, to see outcomes like this and it’s always so satisfying to be able to work collaboratively, pooling all of our skills and expertise to fight a young person’s corner and see them on a positive path.’ Says Lucy.

A love letter to yourself

Tash Bright No Comments

I have been working with a young woman for two months at Door43. When she first came to the service she was feeling very low in self confidence and would quite often say things to put herself down. I could see that she is a fantastic person and has many assets, but instead of reminding her about her achievements I wanted her to recognise them herself. She asked me if there was anything she could be doing over Christmas to practice self-care, and I set her a challenge of writing a love letter to herself.

At first she laughed at me and said this is “way too cheesy”, but eventually I convinced her to give it a go and even if she came back to see me in January with one point, it would be a great achievement.

She came back after the Christmas break with the following list and said it was really difficult, and at times she struggled to write the points down, but that now she has done it, she is proud. She plans to use the letter every time she is having a rubbish day or feeling a bit off, when she re-reads it she can remind herself of how amazing she is and the best bit is that these points have all come from her.


Dear you, I love you because:

You are amazing. Even if you don’t believe that, it is true. You need to believe in the people around you and trust them on this fact.

You are helpful when your friends are down. You always put your friends first. You’re always there to talk to and always happy to help them.

You are confident. Stop hiding behind this shy person and show people who you really are.

You never give up on yourself. You try as many times as you need to to succeed. Keep going.

You don’t let your mental health define you. Instead, you make it a part of your life and you now want to work with teenagers who have mental health issues, which is great!

You are brave. You have gone through so much in 2017. You were in hospital with no idea what to do and you became this brave person and got through it.

You are funny. You always make people laugh; no matter what mood they’re in.

You are determined. You have dreams that you will never give up on.

You are good company; you are always lovely to be around. You keep everyone in good mood and spirits, even when you are down.

You are the most organised person I know – this is a good thing. You have everything you need at all times – this is not a bad thing!

You are always early and if you were ever late you would panic like mad.

You are friendly and kind to everyone even if you don’t know them. You take the time to talk to everyone around you even if they are the opposite of you.

You are a hard worker. You always give 100% to any work you get given, if even if you don’t really feel like it.

You are creative, you knit, create and enjoy arts and crafts and you need to carry being creative as it’s a part of you.

You are a whizz at jigsaws, you love doing them to music.

You are beautiful with or without make up. You always wear make up to hide who you are when really you are beautiful like a rainbow.

You set your heart on something and you do it.

You are a star, you’re a star in lots of people’s eyes for different reasons (mainly good, so keep being the star you are).

You are you and that’s fine.

“Today is going to be a good day and here’s why. Because today, no matter what else, today, at least you’re you. No hiding, no lying, just you. And that’s enough.”

Love, me. x

Feeling the January gloom? Emotional support for young people at Door43

Sadie White No Comments

January can be the time of year when we’re feeling a little gloomy. The effects of the weather, the difference between debt and our ability to pay, the amount of time since Christmas, low levels of motivation and the feeling of a need to take charge of the situation can all contribute to this.

‘January can be a really difficult time of year for us all in terms of low mood affected by low levels of sunlight, getting back into the work routine and the post-Christmas lull however all this is compounded further for young people who are already dealing with emotional health and wellbeing issues.’ Says Sadie Charlton, Wellbeing Coach at Sheffield Futures’ youth information, advice & counselling service Door43.

At Door43 we offer an accessible drop in service which doesn’t rely on referrals and acts as an informal and safe space where Sheffield’s young people can gain confidential support and advice on a range of issues.

‘We’re aiming to provide an informal space where young people feel welcome, involved and ultimately feel that they are in an environment with their peers where they are able to discuss and access support on a range of issues if indeed they feel they want to do so.’

‘With stress, anxiety and depression on the rise for young people in Sheffield and the UK, having a safe, casual space which acts as a drop in service and that doesn’t carry the stigma a or practical considerations of a professional referral could make all the difference for a worried or distressed young person.’ She continues.

Top tips for beating the winter blues

  1. Be mindful – You may have heard of mindfulness, it’s the practice of being in the present moment right now (rather than thinking about the past, or worrying about the future). There are lots of useful mindfulness apps you can get for your smart phone. Mindfulness takes practice but you could start by trying this at one moment each day such as brushing your teeth or when you’re making a cup of tea.
  2. Keep physically active – Exercise releases the ‘feel good’ hormones dopamine. Regular exercise doesn’t have to involve hitting the gym hard 5 times a week. You could start with gentle physical activities such as yoga, swimming or walking in your favourite park. It’s important that what you choose to do is something you enjoy, that way you’re much more likely to keep doing it.
  3. Find a new hobby – Activities and hobbies we enjoy are a great way to practice self-care. Regularly engaging in hobbies can increase confidence, give you a sense of purpose and a good outlet for your physical and creative needs.
  4. Be cautious of caffeine – If you’re finding it difficult to switch off at night, or you feel a bit jittery during the day, perhaps you could have a look at how much caffeine you are consuming in your daily brews. Too much caffeine can make you feel anxious. Try to drink your last caffeinated drink no later than 4pm in order to get a good night’s sleep.
  5. Balance of work, rest & play – schedule time for you to do your favourite ‘switch off’ activities. More importantly – give yourself permission to do this! This could be reading, watching that box set you’ve been meaning to do, or having a pamper night.
  6. Seek out the sun and stretch your legs outdoors – Just 15 minutes of natural sunlight per day is known to reduce depression and anxiety levels. The vitamin D from the sun (even if you can’t always see it in Sheffield!) and all that natural sunlight helps you sleep better at night. Being outdoors is a great way to practice mindfulness.
  7. Sleep – Bedtime routines are not for babies. Getting the right amount of Zzz’s each night can make a huge difference to your tomorrows. Try avoiding tech/TV an hour before bed and look at ways you can wind down to get a restful night’s sleep. How about having a bath, reading a book, using aromatherapy oils or white noise to promote a deeper sleep.
  8. Time out from Tech – Lets go old school, take time out from insta, facebook & twitter to catch up with someone face to face. Although social media can be a good way to stay in touch, it doesn’t beat the connection you have when spending time with the people you care about.
  9. Get creative – Find your flow. When we are being creative, our brains release dopamine, which is a natural anti-depressant. Creativity usually takes concentration and it can lead to the feeling of a natural high. Participating in creative activities may even help to alleviate depression. Creative activities may be art, writing, crafts, baking and colouring.
  10. Talk about what’s on your mind – either with a friend or a loved one who is supportive of you or pop into Door43 for a brew & a chat.

New home for Door43!

Door43 will also soon have a total re-design as we have secured funding from the Department of Health to create a multi-purpose Health and Wellbeing Zone to the “back of house” area at Star House. This area will house a brand new Wellbeing café to support young people’s emotional health in a fun, friendly and relaxed space and also ensure our existing services can continue to meet the needs of our young people and adults in our bright and vibrant city-centre space. Over that past 18 months, we have undertaken an extensive amount of consultation with staff, managers, young people and visitors to Star House around what the space should look and feel like. Exciting times, watch this space for more information!

Door43 offers Sheffield’s 13 – 25 year olds support on a range of social, emotional, practical and health related issues.

Door43 at Sheffield Futures on Division Street is staffed by youth workers, counsellors, substance misuse workers, sexual health workers, careers advisors, volunteers as well as peer supporters.

Young people can drop in at Door43, Sheffield Futures, Division Street, Monday to Friday 10am – 5pm, Tuesday until 7pm and on a Saturday 9.30am – 1pm.

You can find out more about the activities and workshops on offer on the Sheffield Futures website

For those that would rather, there is also the option to book appointments.

If you know a young person or young people that you feel may benefit from the service you can refer them to the service by calling 0114 201 2774.


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.