Young Advisors

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.

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.” 

Twelve Days of Sheffield Futures!

Tash Bright No Comments

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!”

Festival of Debate Events at Sheffield Futures

Tash Bright No Comments

We put young people at the heart of all of our services. It’s important that we help you to have a voice, and to know how to make the most out of opportunities to speak to decision makers. We’re hosting three events with Festival of Debate this autumn, that will help you to have your say and talk about global issues!

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The Global Vote (Tuesday 11th October, 5pm at Star House)

The Global Vote lets anyone anywhere vote in any election. The founder of the Good Country (who measure which country was the happiest) and the Global Vote, Simon Anholt is coming to Sheffield Futures as part of Festival of Debate to talk to young people about elections and votes in other countries and how they affect you, as well as showing them his website.

https://www.facebook.com/events/826891764114870/

To register:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-global-vote-for-young-people-festival-of-debate-tickets-27305967885

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Asking Powerful Questions (Tuesday 25th October, 5pm at Star House)

This session is designed to help young people make the most out of every conversation with decision makers. It will help young people to discover who to approach, what to discuss and how to persuade. This workshop is run by the Politics Project through Sheffield Futures and Festival of Debate. As Sheffield Futures is all about young people’s voice, this is vital to our work and we would like to encourage all young people to attend.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1830089530556330/

To register:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/asking-powerful-questions-for-young-people-festival-of-debate-tickets-27304357067

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Designing the Future (Tuesday 8th November, 5pm at Star House)

We want to know what young people think about global issues. We’ll be holding a world café discussion about: climate change, gender and race inequality, migration, water and sanitation, healthcare and more. This is a great opportunity for young people to have their say, discuss potential solutions and join the dots between the biggest global issues today. This is a joint event with Festival of Debate and Sheffield Futures.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1655412368083798/

To register:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/designing-the-future-for-young-people-festival-of-debate-tickets-27306324953

Volunteering helped Sheffield teen find her future career

Tash Bright No Comments

Volunteering at Sheffield Futures, was the starting point that helped local teen make positive changes in her life.

Nineteen year old Courtney Castledine was filled with excitement as we spoke to her on the first day of her new full time job at Talent Match Sheffield City Region. Courtney began volunteering at Sheffield Futures at the age of thirteen after a series of challenges at school. Sheffield Futures provides local young people with the support and opportunities that enable them to make positive choices in their lives.

Growing up, Courtney explained how she didn’t get on well at school: “I struggled with all sorts at school…I wanted to do the best I could but found it difficult.” Courtney’s school referred her to Sheffield Futures who have links with schools all across the city.

Courtney defines her mentors at Sheffield Futures as part of her family. Speaking fondly of her time volunteering, she describes how she got involved with art projects at the local youth clubs that Sheffield Futures run. She particularly enjoyed designing anti-bullying posters: “I was so passionate about designing the posters, helping other people was all I ever wanted to do. I wanted to use my experience to give something back and help other young people”

At age sixteen, after volunteering at the youth clubs, her mentor suggested she go for the role of Young Advisor at Sheffield Futures. Young Advisors are paid to help organisations make their services youth friendly. As part of Young Advisors, Courtney went on to win the National Young Advisors Impact Award. She stated: “Being a Young Advisor built up my confidence massively. I wouldn’t be able to sit here and talk to you if I didn’t have all the previous experience. I probably wouldn’t have got the job I have now.”

During Courtney’s time as a Young Advisor she applied for a Level 3 Business Administration Apprenticeship through The Source, which helped her to secure her new full time job as an Admin Assistant for Talent Match Sheffield City Region. After completing the Apprenticeship Courtney has now been kept on and is helping to coordinate support for other young people aged between 18 – 24, looking to gain access to employment, education and training.

We can help you in many ways, from careers advice, to volunteering opportunities!

Together with Festival of Debate, we are hosting Young People’s Question Time

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When: Tuesday 5th April at 6-8pm

Where: At Star House, 43 Division Street, S1 4GE

The theme of the Question Time is youth unemployment, so we’ll be talking about work experience, local opportunities, whether preparing for the world of work should be in the curriculum and more.

This is a fantastic enrichment opportunity for young people to join the debate, have their say and find out what the people in the know think about youth unemployment in Sheffield. The event will be chaired by Deputy Member of Youth Parliament, Eleri Kirkpatrick and the panel is: MP Louise Haigh, Jon Maiden (entrepreneur,) Liz Wallis (MD of Sero,) and Hassun El Zafar (Education Officer at Sheffield Hallam University.)

This event is public and we would like a strong show of young people from the whole organisation. Please promote this event at every opportunity and encourage the young people you work with to attend. You can register to attend here: http://bit.ly/ypquestiontime 

There are leaflets available and posters too – these will be up in all CYT youth clubs and are up around Star House. If you would like any more, please let me know. We will be sending out posts about this on all of our social media, using the hashtag: #ypquestiontime

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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.