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Doing Good Business – Woofley Jubbley!

Tash Bright No Comments

Amanda had a long-term ambition to set up her own business as a dog groomer but was finding it difficult to get started. She was in receipt of benefits and a significant barrier she faced was access to start-up finance for equipment and clothing. Amanda had enrolled in a City and Guilds Level 2 in Dog Grooming and successfully completed the training in April 2019. She now intends to enrol on the Level 3 course in Dog Grooming and would also like to study pet behaviour and psychology.

Amanda’s Doing Good Business coach worked with her to set some achievable goals that would helpe her to develop her business.  The support included business planning that;

  • considered the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats connected to the potential business and an action plan was devised to overcome the threats and weaknesses
  • included a marketing plan that considered branding, web presence, networking and options for advertising and securing local customers
  • helped the client to choose a business and domain name: wjlocaldoggrooming.co.uk
  • provided one-to-one guidance regarding search engine optimisation for the business to rank higher in search engines such as Google
  • involved financial planning in the form of a cash flow forecast.

A huge barrier to progression was that Amanda did not have all the finance she needed to start her business. The Building Better Opportunities ‘Barrier Busting’ fund came in very useful and paid for the branded work wear that was needed. Amanda’s coach also found some local start-up funding to pay for essential equipment to get Amanda started in business.

Amanda notified her work coach at the Job Centre who then discussed the new Enterprise Allowance with her. Amanda can now develop her business whilst receiving benefit payments.

Working with Building Better Opportunities opened doors to start-up finance, courses and marketing for Amanda.

The support enabled Amanda to launch her business and she is now registered as self employed and has been working as a dog groomer for the past 6 weeks.

Amanda said: ‘I have tried for many years to find help to start my dog grooming business and found many barriers. Finding Doing Good Business has been amazing and, with their help, my business is now on the road to success. A big thank you from me!’

Amanda’s Doing Good Business Coach said: ‘I think Amanda’s success is due to her commitment to the process. She knew what she wanted and was willing to work with me as her coach to set realistic goals and work on agreed actions to move things forward.’

Amanda offers a dog grooming service from her base in Doncaster. You can visit her website here: Woofley Jubbley Dog Grooming.

Official launch event: Project 0114, tackling child criminal exploitation

Sadie White No Comments

Last night marked the official launch of Project 0114 – the project to tackle child criminal exploitation and associated gun and knife crime across the city. Led by Sheffield Futures and delivered in partnership with organisations across the city, the project, is set up with Home Office funding through Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner.  Project delivery partners are Sheffield City Council, ACT Sheffield, The Unity Gym Project, Broomhall Girls Group, Manor Castle Development Trust, My Life Project, Princes Trust, and Change Grow Live (CGL).

Speaking at the event Dr Alan Billings said ‘When I speak to young people the message is clear that they’re most worried about stabbings nowadays, and that’s got to change.’

‘Criminal gangs are targeting younger people, encouraging them to get involved in criminality. Young people, looking for friendship, are drawn into the gang and through the simple task of carrying a package, may be taking the first steps towards criminal behaviour.’

‘We all need to work together in partnership to educate young people and offer early intervention to ensure they understand the risks and can make good decisions – if approached by organised crime gangs.’ he continued.

Project delivery partners running activities with young people at the event included The Corner, Unity Gym, Sheffield City Council, Broomhall Girls Group, My Life Project and Manor Castle Development Trust as well as Sheffield Futures charity partners GB Boxing who attended to run workshops with young people along with England Netball.

From June onwards, year seven pupils in secondary schools across the city, along with year six children in primary schools in targeted areas, will have six information and skills-based sessions focussed on preventing child criminal exploitation and exploring the effects of knife and gun crime. The series of sessions will be co-delivered by youth workers and specially trained young people in schools.

Young people will be provided with information about how they can seek support to move away from serious youth violence and to understand their rights and responsibilities in this area. This element will form a key strand of the new Violent Crime and Organised Criminality (VCOC) strategy in Sheffield.

A second strand to the programme will see youth work activities delivered for young people in targeted areas to provide safe spaces where they can benefit from the strengths and experience of delivery partners, learning new and inspiring arts, music, media and sports skills. The five areas of the city as identified in the VCOC strategy are Broomhall, North East Sheffield, Manor Castle/Arbourthorne, Burngreave/Pitsmoor and Lowedges.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures said, ‘Through Project 0114, we hope to equip our children and young people to be able to steer clear of the serious threat that comes from organised crime, child criminal exploitation and the associated violent crime we are unfortunately seeing become more and more frequent across the city. And, in the areas we know are being targeted by criminals intent on exploiting our young people we hope to engage children in inspiring activities and at the same time offer safe spaces where young people can learn and thrive.’

Project to tackle criminal exploitation of young people begins in Sheffield

Sadie White No Comments

Project 0114 – the partnership project set up with Home Office funding through Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner focussed on tackling child criminal exploitation and associated knife and gun crime across the city is underway. Sheffield Futures is leading the initiative in conjunction with Sheffield City Council, ACT Sheffield, The Unity Gym Project, St Marks Church, Broomhill, Manor Castle Development Trust, My Life Project, Princes Trust, and Change Grow Live (CGL).

From June onwards, year seven pupils in secondary schools across the city, along with year six children in primary schools in targeted areas, will have six information and skills-based sessions focussed on preventing child criminal exploitation and exploring the effects of knife and gun crime. The series of sessions will be co-delivered by youth workers and specially trained young people in schools.

Young people will be provided with information about how they can seek support to move away from serious youth violence and to understand their rights and responsibilities in this area. This element will form a key strand of the new Violent Crime and Organised Criminality (VCOC) strategy in Sheffield.

A second strand to the programme will see youth work activities delivered for young people in targeted areas to provide safe spaces where they can benefit from the strengths and experience of delivery partners, learning new and inspiring arts, music, media and sports skills. The five areas of the city as identified in the VCOC strategy are Broomhall, North East Sheffield, Manor Castle/Arbourthorne, Burngreave/Pitsmoor and Low Edges.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures comments, ‘Through Project 0114, we hope to equip our children and young people to be able to steer clear of the serious threat that comes from organised crime, child criminal exploitation and the associated violent crime we are unfortunately seeing become more and more frequent across the city. And, in the areas we know are being targeted by criminals intent on exploiting our young people we hope to engage children in inspiring activities and at the same time offer safe spaces where young people can learn and thrive.’

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: ‘Criminal gangs are targeting younger people, encouraging them to get involved in criminality. Young people, looking for friendship, are drawn into the gang and through the simple task of carrying a package may be taking the first steps towards criminal behaviour.

‘We all need to work together in partnership to educate young people and offer early intervention to ensure they understand the risks and can make good decisions – if approached by organised crime gangs.’

National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day – Think, spot and speak out against child abuse

Tash Bright No Comments

Say something if you see something #CSEDAY19

It’s National Child Sexual Exploitation Day (CSE) on Monday 18th March to encourage everyone to think, spot and speak out against abuse.  

Child Sexual Exploitation is a form of sexual abuse that involves the manipulation and/or coercion of young people under the age of 18 into sexual activity.

Research by the NSPCC has identified that 1 in 20 children have been sexually abused, 90 per cent of them by someone they knew. However, of the 43,000 children in England who are subject to a child protection plan at any given time, only around 5% are on a plan for sexual abuse. (NSPCC 2014)

Help spot the signs

CSE is hard to spot but often manifests as part of wider forms of exploitation. Children and young people are particularly vulnerable if they have an unstable home environment, have recently experienced bereavement / loss, have difficulties socialising, live in poverty, are homeless, missing or have physical or learning disabilities. These are just some of the situations where children and young people become vulnerable.

Speaking on the subject Jane Fidler, Sexual Exploitation Service manager at Sheffield Futures comments, ‘It can be really hard to spot the signs of sexual exploitation but some of the warning signs can be things like children and young people suddenly acquiring money, clothes or other items without a plausible explanation, exclusion or lack of attendance at school/work, gang association or sudden isolation from their usual friends and relationships with controlling or significantly older adults.’

‘Leaving home or care without explanation and going missing or persistently returning late can also signal a problem, along with excessive texts or phone calls, returning home under the influence of drugs or alcohol, excessive use of social media / the internet or any other significant change in usual behaviour.’

‘The warning signs are very varied and can be easy to pass off as adolescent behaviour but it’s important to stop, think and act if you think a child or young person you know is showing these warning signs. It’s all of our responsibility to protect the children and young people in our communities.’ Jane continues.

Help is here waiting

If you think you might need help or are worried about a child or young person in Sheffield you can call the Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service at Sheffield Futures.

The Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service aims to prevent sexual exploitation, protect children and young people and offer support throughout Sheffield. The confidential service is made up of youth workers, CSE specialists, healthcare professionals, social care, parent support workers, police and specialist trainers.

Help is here waiting for you so call us on 0114 201 8645 oremail sses@sheffieldfutures.org.uk in the strictest of confidence.

Rosheen, 16, from an abusive family background was also under threat of enforced marriage which resulted in her going missing and being found with a known perpetrator of sexual exploitation in the town centre.

As Rosheen was at threat from her own family a forced marriage protection order was put in place and she was moved into supported accommodation however was no longer in education. She was regularly smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol and had lots of drugs debt as a result.

A Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Service worker at Sheffield Futures supported Rosheen through the difficult journey back to a safe path in life and comments ‘I worked with Rosheen to support her with employment and training, attended meetings and appointments with her, talked about her wellbeing/mental health/grooming/coercion and control and shared legal information with her.’

‘Rosheen now has a stable, age-appropriate boyfriend, remains in supported accommodation, has stopped using drugs/alcohol and is starting a new job as a carer and is looking to go back into education. Rosheen is building bridges with her family and thinking about her religious beliefs in a positive way – she feels in control. All her debts have been paid off and her mental health has significantly improved.’

Help at hand for those ‘furthest away from the jobs market’

Tash Bright No Comments

Mental health & disability top reasons for being ‘most stuck’

Help is at hand to support those ‘furthest away from the jobs market’ back into meaningful education, employment or training. Legacy 6 – an extension of the heralded National Lottery Community Funded Talent Match Sheffield City Region Project which got thousands of young people in the region back into education, employment or training – will provide focussed support for 20 – 24 year olds ‘most stuck’ as a result of issues including mental health and disability.

Data from Talent Match National Common Data Framework shows that those furthest away from the jobs market and therefore most in need of help are so because of a number of factors with mental ill health at the top of the list of reasons with 52 per cent of young people affected. 50 per cent have a disability and 43 per cent have a disability that limits their activities in some way.

Many young people considered furthest away from the jobs market are so as a result of experiencing abuse, unresolved loss, grief and extreme trauma in their histories and as a result of not having access to therapeutic mental health support they have essentially been left alone to deal with problems themselves which has only served to compound mental health problems which have eventually defined their lives.

Legacy 6 will offer a range of bespoke support for these young people that will help to tackle some of the biggest barriers to meaningful progression that include lack of qualifications, low self-confidence, low understanding of the skills employers are looking for, identifying career goals and accessibility issues. Support will include bespoke career planning and coaching as well as health & wellbeing support and exposure to real world employers as well as support with practical issues.

Karen Challis, Head of Education and Employment services at Sheffield Futures comments,

“Legacy 6 will give us the opportunity to focus on the young people with very significant life issues who need our support. The National Lottery Community Fund will support this work for one more year, focusing on 80 young people who are furthest from the labour market. We will use our experience from Talent Match to build on the fantastic work of the Coaches, and particularly to offer a wider range of support for those with mental health issues.”

Jenny’s story: recording in a studio through social prescribing

Tash Bright No Comments

Jenny moved to Sheffield in April 2018 “with just a suitcase and a guitar.” Earlier that year, she had felt the push to leave the seaside town she had been living in to move to Sheffield the “music city.” Jenny was excited about “all the music venues, nightlife and students” and moved to do what she wanted to do – make music.

Alone in a city she didn’t know, Jenny was working in hospitality, living in a shared house and her mental health began to deteriorate. Seeking help after a mental health crisis, she was referred to Door 43, the emotional wellbeing service for young people at Sheffield Futures.

“From the first moment I visited Door 43, I felt like I was listened to,” she said. “Door 43 was a really warm and welcoming environment and I felt that when I told my story, that my worker really listened.”

Jenny began to visit the weekly Wellbeing Café, a drop-in session filled with positive activities, staff and volunteers to talk to, cups of tea and inspirational talks from sportspeople, musicians and more about their own mental health stories.

Jenny’s worker encouraged her to follow her dreams and to do what she wanted to do when she moved to the city, make music. Together they worked on exercises to increase Jenny’s confidence and began to look to the future and exploring Jenny’s passions.

Jenny found herself out of work and unhappy with her living situation. One of her coping strategies was playing her guitar and writing songs about her feelings, and unfortunately she had to sell her guitar to pay her rent. Her worker knew how much this meant to her and through a social media shout-out, managed to get Jenny a kindly donated guitar and keyboard within 24 hours.

Jenny said: “The guitar and keyboard kept me alive.”

Jenny moved out of her shared accommodation into a house on her own and began feeling much better.

When Door 43 held a grand opening for their premises, with Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis, they asked Jenny to perform one of her songs. It was Jenny’s first public performance in over a year, and her first in Sheffield. She said: “No-one in Sheffield had heard my music and I was really nervous, but it went really well. Afterwards I felt so much more confident and I got some great feedback.”

Through Sheffield Futures social prescribing programme, Jenny was introduced to Nigel Humberstone, who runs Beehive Works, a music studio in Sheffield. He had kindly offered studio time and assistance for Jenny to record an EP of songs about her mental health. Jenny said: “Recording my music is something I’ve always wanted to do. I used to record my songs on voice notes on my phone! Nigel and Klive have been so helpful and have made sure that everything has been done properly. I feel like there are no limits on what I can achieve now.”

Jenny has launched a Bandcamp, where people can hear and buy her music. She has finished recording five songs about her mental health journey and is looking forward to playing some shows over the summer. She said: “I’ve had to be patient and work hard to record these songs, everything takes longer than you think it will – but I’m excited to start gigging over summer. I’m being realistic and trying to be organised, but I’ll always be a dreamer.”

National Social Prescribing Day – 14th March

Tash Bright No Comments

StreetGames becomes nationwide social prescriber in local communities

Sports charity funds link workers in four UK cities to tackle social issues among young people

National sports charity StreetGames has funded four link workers to support young people accessing local sources of support in four cities across the UK. The programme will allow young people to have access to free counselling, sport and volunteering opportunities, and will support with literacy, training or employment.

These appointments follow StreetGames being selected as one of 23 new schemes across the country to share in £4.5 million of funding from the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC). The grant means StreetGames will be able to support local partners in Brighton & Hove, Luton, Sheffield and Southampton, to work with vulnerable young people, aged 5-25, helping them to get extra care and support in their local neighbourhood.

StreetGames has partnered with YMCA DownsLink Group in Brighton & Hove, No Limits in Southampton, Sheffield Futures in Sheffield, and Active Luton in Luton, who will provide physical hubs from where the service will be coordinated.

Talking on the announcement, Paul Jarvis-Beesley, Head of Sport and Health at StreetGames, said: “Social prescribing refers to the process of helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare, by connecting them to a range of local, non-clinical, community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. This is something StreetGames is very passionate about. Through the programme, a dedicated link worker will spend time with each young person finding out what they need and make the connection to the menu of local activities and services on offer. This intervention can be crucial in ensuring young people succeed as they grow in to adulthood.”

The programme will provide for over 2,100 young people, who will have 4-6 sessions each with their link worker before being directly referred into local services. Each service will be open to all, but additional resources will be allocated to making it accessible to young people who experience social exclusion through poverty or protected characteristics.

The initiative follows the launch of the Government’s Loneliness Strategy in October, which noted the value of social prescribing. In a recent speech to The King’s Fund about the benefits of social prescribing, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, said he saw social prescribing as “becoming an indispensable tool”, adding, “social prescription is about making better use of what we already have – making the arts and social activities more accessible”.

Cat Pritchard, Brighton & Hove CYP Wellbeing Services Manager, said on the news: “We’re delighted YMCA DownsLink Group is one of the organisations awarded a proportion of this funding. We will be setting up a social prescribing scheme within our Brighton & Hove Children & Young People’s (CYP) Wellbeing Service. This service works with young people aged 4-25, offering a range of innovative mental health interventions and is a local collaboration with YMCA DownsLink Group, Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, Mind in Brighton and Hove and HERE. This funding gives us the opportunity to improve the transition between services for children and young people locally. We are excited about the positive impact this new link worker role could have on the lives of children, young people and families in Brighton and Hove.”

Dr Christa Beesley, a GP for Wellsbourne Healthcare CIC in Brighton and Hove, added: “I am delighted to have the support in social prescribing now being offered in Brighton. The gap between what is needed for young people experiencing mental health difficulties and what is available is huge, and waiting times for specialist therapy are very high. Social prescribing helps us to fill this gap and to get the whole community involved in supporting our children and young people.”

Sports and music have long been associated with supporting people through conditions including diabetes, dementia, loneliness, anxiety and depression. Activities offered under social prescribing are varied, and are already having a great impact on the lives of the UK’s young people. Jenny, a participant of the programme led by Sheffield Futures, said of the initiative: “The social prescribing programme has really opened my eyes to see what is available for me in Sheffield. I’ve been writing music since I was nine and now my Health and Wellbeing Worker has helped me to access studio time through the programme, which is mind-blowing! I recently moved to Sheffield and this service has helped me to gain confidence, it’s helped with my mental health and taught me to be more open-minded. I’ve been looking into song-writing with a community group, and social prescribing has shown me that there are so many opportunities out there.”

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

Update: Woodthorpe Social Action Project! #WoodthorpeSAP

Tash Bright No Comments

Young people from Woodthorpe want to improve their youth club, to make it a welcoming space that the whole community can benefit from. Currently the community space is used by two groups, including Sheffield Futures Woodthorpe Youth Club. Attendees at the youth club have formed a group: Woodthorpe Social Action Project (WSAP) who “want to make the youth club more homely and inviting to people who haven’t been here before.”

The group have met with local Councillors to show them the space and the changes they would like to make. Here’s Ash showing them the paint samples they have chosen and how they voted as a group to decide which one to go with!

WSAP also met with Ryzard and Mo from All About You who run a session for young people with learning difficulties at Woodthorpe Youth Club.  They discussed what they were planning to do with the centre and how they plan to incorporate the young people from All About You group’s ideas and needs. 

They also discussed other opportunities to get involved in community action through All About You including using the outdoor areas and painting outside!

The group have been busy meeting local Police Community Support Officers to discuss their work, which led to a conversation about the area and local young people’s issues. The group discussed knife crime and young people’s solutions to the problems.

WSAP met with local employer, Loadhog, who have generously offered to support their social action project. Staff from Loadhog will be offering support painting and decorating on the main social action day (Friday 5th April) and the young people are delighted to have been offered their help. The group received a tour of the site and discussed ways in which they would try and help. 

The group are looking for support from local people, businesses and more to make their ideas a reality. Before any decorating can take place, there are repairs that need to take place and equipment which is no longer in use to be removed. WSAP will be holding fundraisers and asking the local community for donations to improve the club, but are also looking for donations of time and skills for the repair work.

Could you help WSAP? Call: 07766 751 614 or email: fundraising@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

“Anything that anyone can do would be great because this is a second home to us.”


#YouthWorkMatters

Woodthorpe Youth Club Social Action Project

Tash Bright No Comments

Young people from Woodthorpe want to improve their youth club, to make it a welcoming space that more young people can benefit from. Currently the community space, owned by Sheffield City Council, is used by two groups, including Sheffield Futures Woodthorpe Youth Club. Attendees at the youth club have formed a group: Woodthorpe Social Action Project (WSAP) who “want to make the youth club more homely and inviting to people who haven’t been here before.”

WSAP have made a list of things they would like to change about the club and are working on a plan – leading up to a day of social action during the Easter holidays, where they will work with local businesses and partners. This project will involve young people-led fundraisers, asking the local community for their time, skills and expertise and bringing together businesses, decision makers and young people to make positive change in an area that has received negative press. Last June, the Guardian reported a rise in serious violence across Sheffield, focussing on Lowedges and Woodthorpe “two of the estates blighted by a murder and three shootings in recent weeks.”

WSAP are meeting weekly to discuss ideas, organise fundraisers, create videos and plan the redecoration of their youth club. The group said: “Youth club is a safer place than being on the streets. We want to make it look better and we’re going to get involved as much as we can. We’ve written letters to MPs and Councillors inviting them to come down and see the club.”

The youth club stands back from the road, with little outdoor lighting to show that a session is on, which may attract new attendees. This is something that the group would like to change, with additional flood lighting so that they can make use of the club’s football pitch during the dark evenings.

Inside, the club needs a lick of paint and an upgrade to their furnishings. The group “met a street artist who we want to do a mural at the youth club. This project is giving us the experiences that we probably won’t ever have again. How many people will be able to say ‘I helped paint that wall with an artist’?!”

“I wanna do some spray painting because it sounds fun.”

The group are looking for support from local people, businesses and more to make their ideas a reality. WSAP will be holding fundraisers and asking the local community for donations to improve the club, but are also looking for donations of time and skills.

Could you help WSAP? Call: 07766 751 614 or email: fundraising@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

“Anything that anyone can do would be great because this is a second home to us.”


#YouthWorkMatters

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.