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Do your bit for the planet this Christmas

Sadie White No Comments

Christmas is around the corner, and Sheffield Futures Environmental Committee want to encourage you to make your Christmas green this year! Here are a few top tips to make this season friendlier towards our planet.

Cards

With an average of 17 cards in the UK for every man, woman and child, that’s a lot of trees being used. Making sure you put all non-glittery cards into your recycling bins, can go a long way to looking after our planet

Trees

When it comes to deciding whether a real tree or an artificial one is better for the environment, it’s a tough call. Generally speaking, if you buy an artificial tree you have to use it for a minimum of 7 years for its carbon footprint to be stamped out. However if you go for a real tree, a large part of being environmentally friendly is recycling it. Six million real trees brightened up homes and offices across Britain last year, of which only 10% were recycled. The rest went into landfill, a wasted opportunity to create biomass that would have provided nutrients for depleted soil. In Sheffield, The Children’s Hospital Charity offer a collection and recycling service for a donation (min £12) – recycling and giving to charity in one! Link to that service is here: https://www.christmastreecollections.co.uk

Food Shopping

By the time the ingredients that make up the average British Christmas dinner arrive on our plates, they have travelled a combined distance of 49,000 miles. Turkeys from Europe, vegetables from Africa, wine from the southern hemisphere, cranberries from America – the turkey and trimmings add up to the equivalent of 6,000 car trips around the world, new research from the University of Manchester has found. Buy local or buy less. Produce bought locally means you will be supporting small suppliers and the local community, while minimising your carbon footprint. Shop at a local farmers’ market – there are plenty around!

Buy your fruit and vegetables loose and ditch all that wasteful plastic packaging.

Buy drinks in bigger bottles rather than small ones. One large bottle generates less waste than several smaller ones.

Try to avoid serving people with paper or plastic plates and cups if you are entertaining.

Don’t forget to put the vegetable peelings from your Christmas dinner in your home compost bin.

Lights

Christmas tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough CO2 to inflate 12 balloons, so turn them off when they are not needed!

Wrapping

Using sustainable wrapping paper goes a long way to looking after the environment over the festive period. Either look for the PEFC or FSC logo on your paper (this means the paper is sustainably forested!) or buy recycled brown paper that you can make festive with ribbon and stickers!

Sheffield Members of Youth Parliament visit House of Commons

Sadie White No Comments

Sheffield’s elected Members of Youth Parliament or MYPs, Lara Ferguson MYP (West Sheffield), Jennifer Okerenta MYP (North Sheffield) and Sapha Habib MYP (East Sheffield) went to the House of Commons on last Friday to debate the top five issues nationally and agree the top two issues for national campaigns with Youth Parliament members from other local authority areas, as part of the Make Your Mark campaign. After a very impressive debate from MYPs from across the United Kingdom including a powerful and eloquent speech from Lara Ferguson MYP (West Sheffield) on protecting LGBT+ people, ‘votes at 16’ and ‘a curriculum to prepare us for life’ were agreed as campaigns to take forward.

MYP's2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left to right- Jennifer Okerenta MYP (North Sheffield), Sapha Habib MYP (East Sheffield), Lara Ferguson MYP (West Sheffield)

House of commons2

Lara Ferguson MYP (West Sheffield) and nominated speaker for Yorkshire & the Humber, in action, delivering her powerful and eloquent debate led speech

National Youth Work Week: Sheffield Futures celebrates its committed youth workers #YWW17

Sadie White No Comments

It’s National Youth Work Week, time to celebrate the great outcomes for young people delivered by our dedicated and passionate staff here at Sheffield Futures.

Over the past ten years, youth services have undergone massive change. Swinging cuts have reduced the local authority youth offer. Yet whilst youth services are taking a battering, the need for good youth work has not gone away. And despite huge uncertainty our dedicated, committed youth workers continue to deliver creative provision that has positive outcomes for young people.

Recent events have also focused politicians and policy makers on young people’s vulnerability to grooming and radicalisation, and the role of youth work in supporting vulnerable young people and reporting safeguarding concerns at an early stage is once again being discussed.

So, youth services are as vital as ever to young people. At their most basic they provide a place for young people to go and something for them to do. But with the involvement of skilled youth workers they can be much more; contributing to young people’s social and emotional development, helping them feel more confident, understand themselves and other people, and become resilient, responsible citizens.

At Sheffield Futures our approach involves a focus on personal and social development. We encourage young people and communities to develop essential skills that will enable them to navigate their way through life. We nurture increased aspirations whilst improving resilience to ensure participants avoid risky behaviours and stay safe.

Commenting on why youth work is so important and what inspired her to do the role, Lucy Metcalfe, Community Youth Team Youth Worker says, ‘Young people are the future generation. I believe it’s important to invest in their future and help them to grow. I want to help to empower them to be the best they can be. Young people have a lot of issues to contend with and are all unique.’

For me, being young was the hardest time of my life. I got through and was able to progress in my life due to having a lot of support from youth workers. Due to this, I realised how essential this was to my growth and development. This allowed me to move forward positively in life. I wanted to do the same for young people and be somebody they could talk to and try and help them through issues they may be facing as I had a difficult time and was somebody they maybe could relate to. I believe all young people should have the same chance in life and aspire to be somebody who can help them overcome issues that are holding them back and making their journey a little rough.’ She continues.

We asked young people at our youth club at Com.Unity what they like most about their youth club. This is what they said:

  • Youth Workers ALWAYS support us when there is something wrong
  • I like that people make an effort to come to the youth club every week!
  • Offers activities for in the school holidays
  • Opportunities
  • Lots of positive energy
  • Gets you out of the house
  • Group activities on the field: rounders, cricket, football, frisbee, boules
  • Gives you something to do
  • There is always someone to talk to
  • Learning new skills: pool, boxing, PS4, ping pong
  • Careers advice – CV support
  • Free snacks at tuck shop

Lee Raven, Youth Worker at Sheffield Futures says ‘Firstly, I feel truly blessed to be a youth worker. It is a job full of challenges from young people. The skill of youth work is being able to work with any young person, at their pace, starting where they’re at, at that time. The art of youth work is enabling young people to achieve, enjoy and make a difference. The beauty of youth work is seeing the development of a young person, which can happen right in front of your eyes but also years later when you see a young adult who has progressed in their life.’

Councillor Mark Jones will be visiting Earl Marshall Youth Club, Owler Lane on Thursday 9th and Councillor Dawn Dale will be visiting is Shiregreen Youth Club, Westnall Rd on Friday 10th November.

 

Want to feel more cash confident?

Tash Bright No Comments

Are you aged 16-25 and want to feel more cash confident? Are you interested in learning about saving money?

If yes then come along to our FREE Money Master Classes!

Enter your details on the Survey Monkey to register.

Alternatively, contact the Money for Life Team on
0114 201 6655 or 07966245209

With UK Youth and Money for Life.

What I like about my youth club #YWW17

Tash Bright No Comments

It’s Youth Work Week (#YWW17) and we asked young people at our youth club at Com.Unity what they like most about their youth club. This is what they said:

  • Youth Workers ALWAYS support us when there is something wrong
  • Play ping pong!
  • I like that people make an effort to come to the youth club every week!
  • Offers activities for in the school holidays
  • Opportunities
  • Lots of positive energy
  • Gets you out the house
  • Group activities on the field: rounders, cricket, football, frisbee, boules
  • Gives you something to do
  • There is always someone to talk to
  • Learning new skills: pool, boxing, PS4, ping pong
  • Careers advice – CV support
  • Free snacks at tuck shop!

We only asked for ten and they couldn’t stop!

Week two video diaries from our new involvement workers

Sadie White No Comments

Our new ex Talent Match involvement workers have completed their second week in their new roles at Sheffield Futures. You can check out their week two video dairies here and share with young people and supporters via social media.

As ex Talent Match clients who were successful in securing employment, in these videos we are really keen to track the realities of their experiences coming into new employment to inspire other young people to have confidence to move forward and achieve their education, employment or training ambitions and ultimately shape positive futures for themselves.

For the next few weeks our new involvement workers will post their latest diary which will document their experiences in the new role.

The workers will ultimately form a new team who will be responsible for ensuring involvement of young people within the Talent Match programme as well as becoming mentors to provide additional support for Talent Match clients. The team will be based on the first floor in the Participation Development Team for two days a week and the rest of the week will be spent working across the Sheffield City Region supporting the Talent Match coaching organisations.

 

 

 

Sheffield’s transport pinpointed as top issue to be tackled by young people for second year running

Sadie White No Comments

Transport in the city has been highlighted as the most pressing issue to be tackled by Sheffield’s young people. 12,020 young people from across Sheffield’s schools voted for their top ten local issues to be tackled as part of the Make Your Mark ballot. Make Your Mark is delivered by our Involvement and Participation team.

Eighteen per cent of young people from across the city who voted, said that service reliability, poor customer service, affordability and the impractical pass system were high priority issues for them in the city. This is the second year that the city’s transport has been highlighted as an issue by young people.

Luke Bassett, Youth Councillor for West Sheffield says, ‘For the past couple of years, young people in and around Sheffield have felt that public transport doesn’t work for them and more needs to be done to improve services and to make them want to use public transport.’

‘As a Youth Cabinet, we have carried out a consultation with young people in the city to find out what it is specifically about public transport which concerns them. More recently, we have been working with other Youth Cabinet/ UK Youth Parliament members from across South Yorkshire, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and travel operators from across the region on a South Yorkshire Youth Transport User Group. This gives us a chance to voice the concerns of young people and help improve transport for all.’

Work experience hubs for 11-18 year olds (15 per cent), a curriculum to prepare us for life (11 per cent), mental health (11 per cent) and protecting LGBT+ people (10 per cent) were voted as the remaining priority issues by Sheffield’s young people respectively.

Sheffield’s young people felt that campaigning locally for time to be put aside within the curriculum for initiatives that facilitate life skills development, for example work experience hubs for 11-18 year olds, where they can find work experience, should be high on the priority list. They felt it important that schools should cover topics including finance, sex and relationships and politics in the curriculum. Young people feel that there is too much of a focus on academic achievement and results and not enough focus on the skills that are going to equip them for the real world.

Joanna an elected youth councillor in the North of Sheffield comments on this, ‘Due to the strain put on my school for their students to have a high GCSE attainment, the focus is on academic subjects and exams as opposed to life skills. Schools particularly in the North, struggle financially, therefore often scrape their way trying to afford simple things such as books whilst trying to provide inclusive teaching. Due to this, schools sadly don’t have much time to do what’s most important; teaching young people that their voice is a gift.’

‘Encouraging schools to do something that isn’t mandatory can be a challenge but it was my elected role; to hear the voice of young people and represent it. When we found out the results it was fantastic! People in politics don’t represent young people, so we choose to represent ourselves and it is such an honour to be in Sheffield Youth Cabinet working alongside some incredibly inspiring people.’ She continues.

As well as campaigning on these locally elected issues, Sheffield’s elected Youth Parliament members or MYP’s are going to the House of Commons today to debate the top five issues nationally with Youth Parliament members from other local authority areas as part of the Make Your Mark campaign. They will then agree the top two national issues on the day to be taken forward as a national campaign.

Commenting on the results from the report Gail Gibbons, CEO Officer at Sheffield Futures comments ‘We are really proud to be in such a privileged position to be able to facilitate Sheffield’s young people in setting their local campaigning agenda to get their voices heard and initiate change as well as getting their voices heard at a national level.’

‘It’s so important that we listen to our young people and take action to enable positive change in our communities for the next generation.’

‘We’re really proud of our Sheffield UK Youth Parliament members and look forward to the outcomes of the national UK Youth Parliament debates at the Houses of Commons.’

Other issues close to the hearts of Sheffield’s young people include votes at 16, support for young carers and protecting school budgets.

You can get hold of a full copy of the Make Your Mark report which lists all the schools involved by contacting Lee Raven (lee.raven@sheffieldfutures.org.uk)

From Talent Match clients to Sheffield Futures employees: Our new involvement workers’ video diaries launched

Sadie White No Comments

Our new involvement workers have kicked off their new jobs and will be documenting their experiences including the highs and lows of their first few weeks as a video diary.

As ex Talent Match clients who were successful in securing employment in these posts we are really keen to track the realities of their experiences coming into new employment to inspire other young people to have confidence and achieve their education, employment or training ambitions and ultimately shape positive futures for themselves.

Jennifer Upperdine, Talent Match Young People’s Involvement Team Leader said: “These roles were specifically for young people who have participated in the Talent Match programme and this will be their first job in their professional careers, which is very exciting for us all!”

‘The road ahead can sometimes seem daunting but it’s always surprising what you can actually do when you put your mind to it. I wanted to share my experiences to show that even if something seems really daunting, there is always a way through and people are there to support you.’ Says Mabz Beet, Talent Match Involvement Support Worker.

For the next few weeks our new involvement workers will post their latest diary which will document their experiences in the new role.

You can watch the videos here and check them out and share with other young people and supporters via social media.

The workers will form a new team who will be responsible for ensuring involvement of young people within the Talent Match programme as well as becoming mentors to provide additional support for Talent Match clients. The team will be based on the first floor in the Participation Development Team for two days a week and the rest of the week will be spent working across the Sheffield City Region supporting the Talent Match coaching organisations.

Young people joined Paul Blomfield MP for a Big Conversation

Tash Bright No Comments

Members of Sheffield’s Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament joined young people at Sheffield Futures for a Big Conversation with Paul Blomfield MP. The Big Conversation is an annual community consultation with a variety of audiences.

On 20th September, the Big Conversation came to Sheffield Futures on Division Street for a special event for young people. Youth Councillor for East Sheffield, Fozia Sultana, chaired the event, helping young people to form and ask questions about the issues that matter to them.

The conversation tackled big issues such as ‘making the invisible, visible’. This is one of the issues on the current youth consultation Make Your Mark, aimed at helping invisible illnesses be more recognisable, through better education. Fozia Sultana said: “There should be more opportunities for support when people are suffering with illnesses which are physically invisible.”

The groups spoke about issues facing young carers, many of whom do not realise that they are carers. One young person said: “there should be more support from the Government for young carers, both emotional and physical support. One practical way that young carers could be helped is with free or heavily discounted travel passes, this would be one less thing for young carers to think about.”

 One young person said: “We need a more diverse curriculum. Schools needs to include LGBT+ in sex education lessons, and to have a focus on emotional relationships, not just physical.”

 The conversation also focussed on mental health, with one young person describing their experiences of mental health services. They said: “In the past I gave up trying to access mental health services because there isn’t enough provision for everyone who needs it. There also needs to be a way for young people to access support at earlier stages, rather than when they’re at crisis point.”

Paul Blomfield MP listened to the young people, and said: “I have been given a completely new insight about young people’s mental health which I have never understood before and this has been very useful.”

After calling the event very interesting, Paul concluded: “A common theme in the discussions has been changes to the curriculum to prepare young people for life. Schools are currently measured by success in exam league tables and we could help to instruct schools to include education about life skills young people need for their futures.”

 “Your voice is a very important part of setting my priorities. Thank you all for contributing and your time.”

Raps, poems and real life stories

Tash Bright No Comments

We are looking for raps, poems and real life stories from young people aged 14-25 for Youth Word Up.

As part of Off the Shelf festival of words, Hive South Yorkshire are running their annual event: Youth Word Up – young people’s poetry, raps and real life stories. This is your chance to get involved. Book a one to one session with a professional writer today! Simply email: rywriters@gmail.com

You don’t have to write to take part, you can just tell your story, or record it anonymously. If you do want to be more involved, you could read your work at the Youth Word Up event, headlined by a top spoken word artist on Thursday 26th October.

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.