Young Advisors

Why Human Rights Matter for our Future by Sheffield Young Advisors and Youth Cabinet Members

Tash Bright No Comments

The Political Quarterly recently commemorated 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) with a special edition, focusing on the contemporary relevance of the UDHR within the UK.

Three young people from Sheffield Futures wrote statements for the Political Quarterly about the human rights that are most important to them and why human rights are important for the future.

To read Sheffield Youth Cabinet Members: Jude and Khalil and Sheffield Young Advisor Natasha’s pieces, please see the Political Quarterly here.

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

Tash Bright No Comments

Thursday 30th May 2019

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

BOOK YOUR FREE PLACE

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 www.festivalofdebate.com

#YouthWorkMatters: How a listening ear helped me turn my life away from crime

Tash Bright No Comments

‘It just didn’t register with me that shoplifting might have a negative impact on anyone else. I didn’t feel bad, I didn’t have a conscience.’

*Names have been changed

Jemma, 19, had just received a caution from the Police for shoplifting when she was introduced to Sheffield Futures and became a Young Advisor, giving young people a voice, which ultimately helped her turn away from a life of crime.

‘I first got involved with Sheffield Futures when I was 16.  At the time I had just received a caution from the Police for shoplifting and whilst I was in custody the Police asked me if I’d like to do a six week course to work out what might be making me shoplift and turn to a life of crime.’ Says Jemma.

Ironically, this was a real turning point for Jemma, just when she thought she had hit rock bottom there seemed to be hope. ‘They said that if we could get to the bottom of why I was making the wrong choices we might be able to change my behaviour. I had a one to one meeting with a support worker from MAST. We met every week for 6 weeks and talked about the negatives of shoplifting and consequences.’

‘It was then I realised that I didn’t think stealing would impact anyone else. The course helped me to develop a conscience and re train my brain to think about the consequences of my actions, not just for me but for everyone involved. I didn’t feel bad and didn’t have a conscience. It was basically 6 weeks of retraining my brain. We realised that I was bored and that’s why I was stealing.’

Jemma’s MAST worker also introduced her to programmes in Sheffield that she may be interested in. ‘That’s when I got involved with the Young Advisors – giving young people a voice – at Sheffield Futures. I didn’t think I’d ever be accepted into something like this again as I had a caution that would last 5 years.’ Says Jemma.

As part of her role with the Young Advisors at Sheffield Futures Jemma has spent time working on the children and young people’s safeguarding board, acting as a youth consultant, looking at how to best communicate with young people that have been identified as at risk.

Talking about her experience Jemma says, ‘I felt so safe speaking to my manager about my background and felt that I wasn’t judged but was just being given an opportunity to progress and gain experience.’

‘From my experience with the Young Advisors at Sheffield Futures I now know I want to work with children and young people as part of my future career. It’s given me so much experience and so many skills as well as crucial self-awareness. I’m now confident with public speaking and have made a difference in the community and feel tuned into the city’s issues. I’m a real people person and I love talking!’

Jemma is now studying at University and is on a positive path forward. ‘It was brilliant to be able to tick no convictions on my application form!’ Jemma says. ‘Thanks to the young advisors and Sheffield Futures taking a chance on me I’ve got the self-confidence, self-awareness and experience to achieve the things I never thought I would do in my life.’ 

Youth Work Matters exhibition Mon 29th Oct – Fri 2nd Nov, Winter Gardens

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield’s largest youth charity, Sheffield Futures, are celebrating youth work and its fantastic achievements for young people and communities. Since 2010, funding to vital youth services has been cut, with 600+ youth centres closed nationally. In Sheffield, we are pleased to say that youth services are still funded by Sheffield City Council, although delivery is reduced annually.

To celebrate and demonstrate the value of youth work, Sheffield Futures has developed Youth Work Matters. Youth Work Matters is an exhibition to showcase why youth work is so important to the communities in our city. Featuring young people from across the city, these photographs tell the story of why youth work matters and needs continued support for the benefit of all Sheffield’s communities.

For this project, we visited nine of the youth clubs that Sheffield Futures run each week across the city, including one club for young with learning disabilities; we spent time at the Wellbeing Cafe for young people with emotional wellbeing issues and spoke to Sheffield Young Advisors and Sheffield Youth Cabinet, to see why youth work is important to them.

 


How you can support us:

Find out more about how youth work transforms lives by following our #YouthWorkMatters campaign on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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

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

Drop The Knife: youth knife crime consultation, for young people.

Tash Bright No Comments

HAVE YOUR SAY.

We want to hear from young people: what do you think about knife crime?

Wednesday 31st October (half term) 1.30-3.30pm

at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, Sheffield, S1 4GE.

ALL OPINIONS ARE IMPORTANT AND YOU CAN REMAIN COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS.

Please RSVP: marketing@sheffieldfutures.org.uk or via Insta: @sheffieldfutures

#youthworkmatters

 


Sheffield Futures new campaign ‘In Celebration of Youth Work’ celebrates and demonstrates the value of youth work within our communities.

Since 2010, funding to vital youth services has been cut, with 600+ youth centres closed. This is having a devastating effect on disadvantaged young people.

Our young people led campaign over the coming months is all about the celebration of youth work and all of its fantastic achievements. We invite you to show your support by….

  • Sharing the following message on social media: Since 2010, funding to vital youth services has been cut, with 600+ youth centres closed. This is having a devastating effect on disadvantaged young people. At @SheffFutures we want to celebrate youth work and all of its fantastic achievements. See: www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/in-celebration-of-youth-work
  • …Or write your own message of support for @SheffFutures using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters
  • Running a fundraiser to help Sheffield Futures to continue delivering quality youth work to young people in Sheffield city region. Every penny you raise will help Sheffield Futures to transform lives and create positive futures.
  • Pledging to be a Sheffield Futures Ambassador and raising awareness of their work by making key introductions, sharing their messages, attending events and more.

Contact us, email: marketing@sheffieldfutures.org.uk or call: 0114 201 8647

International Youth Day celebration!

Tash Bright No Comments

International Youth Day (12th August) is aimed to draw attention to youth issues and was started by United Nations in 2000. Every year, Sheffield Futures host their annual Youth Day celebration event, providing free fun activities, displays, information stands and more, for all the family.

This year’s theme for International Youth Day is ‘safe spaces for youth,’ something that Sheffield Futures is proud to provide across the city, with weekly youth clubs and their one-stop-shop for young people at Star House on Division Street.

“Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves.” say United Nations.

On Friday 10th August, Sheffield Futures held their celebration at Ice Sheffield. Over 300 young people and families attended the event and enjoyed face painting, football, henna, a graffiti workshop, bucking bronco, bungee run, music, hair glitter, a dance display and more.

Sheffield Futures corporate partners GB Boxing held a training session with three coaches for young people. GB Boxing prepare and train the boxers that compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games and are based at English Institute of Sport.

Sheffield Futures organised a variety of youth organisations to provide information for attendees, with stalls from Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Door 43 the emotional wellbeing service for young people, Talent Match SCR, Chilypep, Change Grow Live, Pet-Xi, Sheffield Alcohol Support Service, SAYiT, Sexual Health Sheffield and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

At the event, Sheffield Youth Cabinet and Sheffield UK Youth Parliament asked where young people felt safe and here are the results:

  • 85% of young people felt safe where they live
  • 29% of young people did not feel safe in the city centre
  • 73% of young people felt safe at school
  • 70% of young people felt safe in public spaces
  • 62% of young people felt safe in open spaces
  • 13% of young people did not feel safe on public transport
  • 81% of young people felt safe in a youth club
  • 70% of young people felt safe in places of worship

The event was kindly sponsored by SIV, and would not have been possible without their support.

Free Money for Life masterclasses by young people for young people

Sadie White No Comments
A series of money masterclasses to equip young people with the skills to become more cash confident and in charge of their financial destiny will be delivered by Sheffield Futures during the first half of this year.

It’s understood that 60 per cent of young people aren’t taught money management skills within education and 42 percent of young people can’t interpret the difference between being in credit and overdrawn on a bank statement. The Money for Life project, a national initiative aimed at young people between 16 and 25 and the result of a collaboration between UK Youth and The Mix, comes in response to these worrying statistics that point towards the need for financial education and support for our young people to enable them to live successful lives in control of their financial destinies.

Using fun and interactive activities and led by trained young people, the Money Masterclasses consist of four one to two hour modules and will cover the following topics:

  • You and Your Money: Young people are introduced to financial basics from reading a bank statement to understanding how tax works.
  • Surviving ‘til Pay Day: All about budgeting and making money go that little bit further. Young people are taught how to create a budget that outlines ways to save.
  • Independence Day: How to survive away from home, from paying bills to furnishing property and getting the best value for money.
  • Your Money Talks: Understanding credit scores, what they are and what we can do to improve them. We ask young people to think about the importance of every day spending decisions and the implications these have for the future.

Commenting on the project Sarah Stevens, Young Peoples Participation Development Manager at Sheffield Futures says, ‘With ever more complicated financial products on the market and the sometimes dire implications for people when they don’t understand them, financial literacy is becoming increasingly important. It really is essential that we are responsible and provide our young people with the information and tools to become financially literate and able to navigate their way through the financial aspects of life.’

‘We’re really pleased to have been chosen to deliver the masterclasses for young people across Sheffield to help fill the knowledge gap and enable young people to become financially responsible and self-sufficient citizens.’ Sarah continues.

The programme is ideal to be delivered to groups of students in higher education or as part of traineeships or apprenticeships. Those responsible for young people in this capacity or young people aged 16-25 and living in the Sheffield area that may benefit from the Money for Life project can register their interest at the following link www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MFLREG

You can find out more about Money for Life on our website at www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Money For Life is funded by Lloyds Banking Group and Sheffield Futures has been chosen as the delivery partner for Sheffield.

Our impact on people in Sheffield City Region

Tash Bright No Comments

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

Calling all political parties to focus on young people!

Tash Bright No Comments
We fully support National Youth Agency’s Manifesto, calling on all political parties to focus on young people. Find out more here.

“We believe young people need:

YOUTH WORK

Recognise the value of youth work and develop a government-wide strategy that acknowledges its contribution to young people’s personal and social development. Invest in it and make it more accessible to young people.

APPRENTICESHIPS

Youth work based support can help young people take the opportunity that apprenticeships offer. Skilled youth workers support young people through the first crucial 6 weeks when the drop-out rate is highest and provide wrap around support for more vulnerable young people entering work for the first time.

YOUTH PROVISION

Social action is great but a range of services catering for different needs should be available to young people and across a broader age range than 16-17 year olds.

FINANCIAL SKILLS

Young people need financial know-how at key transition points in their lives – when they start a job, when they start living independently. Building these skills are as important as formal qualifications in supporting young people’s life chances. Government needs to back a comprehensive programme of financial capability and see investment in services of this kind as a long-term benefit.

YOUTH VOICE

Lower voting age to 16 years and acknowledge the contribution young people make to society at this age.”

 

Don’t forget to register to vote. You can do that here and it only takes two minutes – all you need is your National Insurance Number.

 

What are the main political parties policies for young people? Find out below:

Liberal Democrat Party

  • Rent to buy deposit-free homes for young people.
  • Housing benefit reinstated for 18-21 year olds.
  • Votes for 16-17 year olds.
  • Young person’s bus pass with two thirds discount.
  • £100 per week for start up entrepreneurs. Read more.

 Labour Party

  • Abolition of tuition fees and reintroduction of maintenance grants.
  • Free lunches for pupils.
  • Votes for 16-17 year olds.
  • Extend schools-based counselling to all schools to improve children’s mental health.
  • Restore the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16 to 18-year-olds from lower and middle income backgrounds.
  • Improve careers advice.
  • Investment – in teachers and facilities – in FE sector.
  • End the cuts to youth services. (no detail on this available yet)
  • Extend Staying Put arrangements to support all children and young people in residential and other forms of care until they are 21 (not just foster care). Read more.

Green Party

  • Scrap tuition fees and fund student grants.
  • Reintroduce the Education Maintenance Allowance.
  • Guarantee access to apprenticeships for qualified 16-25 year olds.
  • Raise the national minimum wage level to living wage levels for all.
  • Lowering the voting age to 16 and introducing political and active citizenship education for all young people. Read more.

 Conservative Party

  • Better access to mental health care in schools with teachers trained in mental health first aid and curriculum related learning.
  • Improve technical education to offer a real alternative to academic routes for young people.
  • Establish new institutes of technology which focus on STEM and are linked to employers and universities. Read more.

Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw17 with Sheffield Young Advisors

Tash Bright No Comments
This Mental Health Awareness Week, we asked young people what made good mental health practitioners.

This is what they said:

You can find more of our videos on YouTube. Just search for ‘Sheffield Futures’

 

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.” 

12

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.