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Our impact on people in Sheffield City Region

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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

Mental Health Awareness Week #mhaw17 with Sheffield Young Advisors

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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.” 

Young people launch city’s suicide prevention pathway

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“I always had suicidal feelings as I grew up. I never got any support to help me cope with these and ended up attempting suicide twice.

“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I have experienced and that’s why I got involved with writing this suicide prevention strategy. Suicide is a scary thing to talk about but this strategy will help to make sure that children and young people’s needs are taken seriously.”

That’s the view of a 20 year old young woman in Sheffield who is one of a number of young people who have helped produce and launch Sheffield’s new Young People’s Suicide Prevention Pathway.

Sheffield City Council’s Every Child Matters 2015 survey shows that over a third of young people in Sheffield in year 10 (aged 14 and 15 years old) have had feelings so bad that felt they couldn’t cope with them.  Sheffield City Council has therefore been working with Sheffield Futures, Chilypep, NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board to create the strategy to help reduce the risk of suicides and support young people to have good mental health.

The strategy is aimed at frontline practitioners to help them support young people at risk of suicide. It is part of a raft of new local initiatives supporting children and young people’s mental health, including:

 ·         A better link between child and adolescent mental health services and  schools.

·         A one stop shop for advice and counselling service for young people up to the age of 25.

·         Training for schools on a range of mental health issues.

·         Support for families, friends and those affected by children and young people’s suicide.

·         A tool to support practitioners working with young people and domestic abuse.

This comes on top of Sheffield’s existing programme which has seen ten schools provide emotional wellbeing support to its pupils and staff. 

Becky, who is quoted above, aged 20, is part of STAMP (Support, Think, Act, Motivate, Participate) a group of young people aged 14-25, facilitated by Chilypep who are funded to involve young people in working to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people across the city as part of Sheffield’s Local Area Transformation Plan.  The group has created a film to support the launch of the strategy, as well being involved in developing the strategy itself.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “ We want  to create an emotionally healthy and wealthy city and this strategy that builds on our healthy minds work will help us to achieve this.

“Young people have told me that having a safe place to talk and get help early, is a vital part of helping them overcome stress and preventing their problems from getting worse. Through this strategy we will ensure that the support is there for our children and young people to do this.”

The new pathway was launched on 16 March at an event at the Town Hall attended by 200 children and young people professionals. You can read the Suicide Prevention Pathway here.

The film is available online at https://1drv.ms/f/s!Ah7J7bAZnjgEmnE7NY5Z8kXIxjq_

Young people speak out about the barriers they face whilst seeking employment

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Young people supported by the Talent Match Sheffield City Region (SCR) Programme met to discuss the barriers that face young job seekers. MP Paul Blomfield attended the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Festival of Social Science event to discover how the Government can help young people to find employment.

The aim of the Festival of Social Science is to understand how social research informs policy and gives a better understanding of the society we live in. Young people’s futures: fulfilling work in the Sheffield City Region was hosted by Sheffield Hallam University and Talent Match SCR to discover solutions to three main priorities: mental health problems and learning disabilities, transport and employer engagement. These issues and potential solutions were fed back to MP Paul Blomfield, to take forward for positive change.

In Sheffield City Region, 20% of young people (30,000) are unemployed. Since 2014, Coaches from Talent Match SCR have supported 1500 18-25 year olds. Of these young people, 27% have experienced mental ill health, 16% have experienced homelessness and 10% have been convicted of a criminal offence. 97% of the people on the programme have received vital one-to-one support.

The group, made of young people and their workers, discussed how young people reporting poor mental health or learning disabilities can be supported whilst searching for employment. Talent Match SCR have been helping to address any issues by increasing counselling support for young people on the programme. It was suggested that services should be more readily available for people who work full time, for instance, evenings and weekends with an online support network.

Laura, a young person on the Talent Match programme said: “Employers need to trial different ways to support people with mental health problems; looking beyond counselling to things like art therapy.”

Kyle, a young person on the Talent Match programme said: “I have Aspergers and some people I work with don’t know how to speak to me, they’ve even asked me if I’ve processed tasks properly. We need to have a campaign about what language should be used to speak about learning disabilities and mental health. I’m lucky; my Talent Match Coach has taken the time to understand me and knows how to talk to me. The one-to-one support I have is very useful.”

Peter Wells, Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Large employers might have the correct policies and procedures in place but it’s about understanding the individual.”

Some young people on the Talent Match SCR programme felt that they received support whilst searching for employment, but this support was no longer available once they entered employment. It was felt amongst those in employment that employers should engage more with their workers, with transparent feedback, equal treatment of staff and progressing staff ideas. Kyle said: “Employers need to go to the beehive and speak to the bees!”

Transport is often listed as a barrier for young people seeking employment. Some of the young attendees said that they did not feel confident asking if they were on the correct bus and others spoke about how they were unable to find the correct transport as everything is focussed on digital. “Some of the young people we support are homeless and don’t have a phone with internet access, others often have no credit, or their phones aren’t regularly charged. People presume that all young people are digital natives, but that is not the case with the young people we work with. It all comes down to affordability and accessibility” said A participant at the event.

There are many more barriers for young people seeking employment. Talent Match SCR runs a young people’s involvement team, giving those on the programme the chance to have their say and change things for the better. The group have implemented counselling, to assist with mental health problems, workplace buddies and more.

Paul Blomfield MP said: “I’m glad that [Talent Match SCR and Sheffield Hallam University] are doing this work and I’m really keen to hear more about the issues facing young people seeking employment. One of the challenges of being a Member of Parliament is that I represent 113,000 people across Sheffield and knowing what life is like for them; what the issues are and finding the solutions are only possible when we come together.”

One size does not fit all – #YouthWorkWeek

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Sheffield Futures has developed a model to ensure the youth work skill set is not lost despite the current climate of cuts to youth services. The recent Unison report ‘The Damage’ shows how cuts to youth services are damaging young people’s lives. In Sheffield, we are determined that this will not be the case.

It’s well known that there have been many cuts to youth services, with 350 youth centres closed nationally since 2012.

A teenage attendee at Woodthorpe Youth Club said: “Youth work is so important to us because our youth workers are always there for us even when we don’t deserve it, and won’t ever give up on us even though it feels sometimes like everybody else has.”

In Sheffield over the last six years, youth clubs have closed and opening hours and funding for activities have been reduced. The need for youth work does not reduce with funding cuts though. Youth workers support teenagers with everything from health, to employment, to citizenship and community involvement. The relationships that young people form with youth workers are invaluable, support is tailored and responsive to change in need. However, whilst youth work engagement and support skills are in high demand for one to one work with vulnerable young people, funding for traditional youth work services is reducing – leaving a skills gap.

Jon Boagey, National Youth Agency said: “In recent years youth work organisations like Sheffield Futures have responded to the pressing needs of the most vulnerable young people. Investment has shifted in this direction but we also need to fund programmes that support young people before their needs become acute.  Sheffield Futures has managed to continue supporting open access youth work and hopefully resources will be available to do this in the future.”  

This Youth Work Week, award-winning youth charity Sheffield Futures is celebrating the skilled work force that is often described as a lifeline for young people. All qualified youth workers have been given additional training so that they can deliver much-needed one to one support, assessing and supporting vulnerable young people at risk of poor life chances.. This flexible delivery ensures that young people have workers who delivers open access youth work in clubs as well as supporting them on a one-to-one basis through a case work approach. In Sheffield, youth workers are part of multi-agency youth support teams.

Louise Ellison, Community Youth Teams Manager at Sheffield Futures said: “The city of Sheffield is committed to ensuring that youth work skills and youth services are not lost. The City Council contracts Sheffield Futures to run youth services including regular youth clubs. Sheffield Hallam University deliver the Youth and Community Work degree, showing that in our city, there is both a need and people wanting to deliver

Sheffield has developed a flexible approach to youth work, developed to the individual and community need. For instance, the ‘curriculum’ delivered at Sheffield Futures youth clubs, is developed to meet the needs of the community and young people who attend. Youth work takes many forms in the city, and includes group work, one-to-one sessions, open access youth clubs and detached work, on the streets where young people are. Services are delivered by multiple agencies, including specialist workers who help young people to think about their future and take steps towards education, employment and training.

Ellie McMahon, Youth Worker at Sheffield Futures said: “I think youth work is so important because the transition from childhood to adulthood is one of the most difficult and confusing times in a lifetime, and youth work provides a safe and supportive environment for young people to find who they are and get answers to things they otherwise would not ask. It also teaches things that school doesn’t, and does so in a completely non-judgemental and inclusive way.”

Fire Safety Quiz

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[mlw_quizmaster quiz=1]

Sheffield Parent Talks About Their Child Sexting

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During our  ‘Let’s Talk About Sexting’ campaign we have looked at a wide range of topics surrounding young people sending and receiving sexual imagery. As our campaign draws to an end, the main thing that has become apparent is that there is so much to consider and it is imperative that we look at the bigger picture. Young people sexting has become a major issue in schools, for families, child exploitation services  and for young people as individuals.  Our society and the technological advances that have led to sexting becoming so common place means that we all must take greater care in understanding why young people sext, the risks of young people sexting and the laws surrounding young people sexting.

Young people’s safety is always and should always be the top priority when sexting laws are put in place or when dealing with child sexual exploitation.  This week we will be focusing on the often forgotten topic of how young people sexting can affect the whole family.  PSHE Association found that 78% of parents were either fairly concerned or very concerned about youth produced sexual imagery. We interviewed local Sheffield parent, Carol, whose fourteen year old daughter had recently been referred to the Sheffield Sexual Exploitation Services after various sexting incidents.

How did you first find out your child was sexting?

She told me. I’m really glad that she can be open with me because it makes me feel less worried that there’s stuff going on that I don’t know about.

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How did you feel when you found out your child was sexting?

I was quite horrified. I tried to conceal it but it is very shocking. You just think you can’t relate it to your own youth. You just think, ‘what’s going on’ but apparently that’s what happens. She’s educating me! Everybody is doing it. That’s the way it sounds.

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Does it help to talk to other parents?

Yeah it does. I talk to other parents. It is fairly widespread. You don’t want to think that your child unusually precocious. You think if they’re all doing but I still find it shocking.

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Why do you think young people sext?

Partly because they can, because there’s the technology available. I think it’s a very sexualised world now. I think of the things that we thought were a bit rude on Top of the Pops and now it’s nothing. They can all get porn on their phones. I find that really sad because before they’re ready for sex, it’s there. Kids are inquisitive aren’t they. I think they have this very sexualised view of other kids and themselves whereas emotionally their miles away from being ready for it. She has had a couple of experiences of sex and she didn’t like it. She knew she wasn’t ready for it. She felt coerced and that put her of for a bit now. There’s a difference between the real thing and looking sexy and people fancying you. Two separate things.

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What advice would you have for parents who are concerned their child might be sexting?

She’s always one step ahead of me. Even if I did manage to take her phone away, she’d just find another way of doing it. That’s her territory. I’ve got no way of knowing what’s on there. The thing that really really obviously bothers parents is the thought of them putting images on the web. We’ve talked about it ending up all over the place. I’ve told her what I think about it with things coming up on the news about images being circulated.

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Have you learnt about any software that can be used to help monitor your child’s online/phone use?

I wouldn’t have a clue where to start about software to monitor her phone. I don’t have the ability. It’s gone beyond what I can do. We’re not idiots, it’s just so much has come so quickly.

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How has working with Sheffield Futures helped you deal with the situation?

I think Sophie has gone through a big change where she’s felt herself a lot more grown up than her peers. She’s quite vulnerable and she’s quite impressed by people who are living what she sees as an exciting lifestyle. There were a couple of episodes where she was brought home by the police in the early hours as she was out with a boy she met from school, so that’s why we were referred by social services to the CSE team and I found it massively helpful. They discuss with Sophie about staying safe and different aspects of drugs, sex and alcohol in a way that Sophie would be telling to get lost. I’m really grateful that we’ve got that support… As a parent, you’re the one responsible for them and you can make errors because you just don’t know where to turn next. The natural thing is to clamp down and say you are not doing that and it just makes it worse but that’s the immediate thing you think you should do. Then you talk to the Sheffield Futures Sexual Exploitation Service team, who have knowledge and experience and you work out a way of dealing with it that is going to be a long term as rather than getting angry. When this thing is confronting you, you just panic and I think it makes a massive difference [to get support] because you could really make it a lot worse.

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Has the sexting led to bullying?

There was a situation where she talked about it at school and that got spread around the school and she did find people talking about her and it was out of her control and that really upset her. That thing of other people knowing. Then of course the story gets changed.
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Has sexting changed your relationship with your daughter?

I think as a parent it takes a bit of the idyllic parent thing away. You know you have the ‘my little girl’. You just have to grow up about it really and think it’s a thing. It’s there. I think parenting is one long compromise anyway. You have to let go of your own illusions and dreams because it’s the child being safe and happy that matters. That’s all you want.

 

If you have been affected by any aspect of sexting you can get help from the organisations bellow:

Childline – 0800 11 11 or in an online chat athttp://www.childline.org.uk/Talk/Chat/Pages/OnlineChat.aspx

If parents and carers are concerned about their child, they can contact the NSPCC – 0808 800 5000, by emailing [email protected], or by texting 88858.

They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.

 

 

Sheffield Futures Launches Mi LifeMapp

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We are happy to announce the launch of Mi LifeMapp – a youth focused app created by Sheffield Futures that acts as a guide to staying healthy, happy and safe in Sheffield.

Mi Life Mapp is a great resource to help young people deal with issues they may be facing in real life, whilst giving them advice on the organisations at hand to help them.

mi-lifemapp

Sheffield Futures’ long history of working with young people in Sheffield has put us in an ideal position to develop an app aimed at the issues we know young people find important. The Sheffield Futures Young Advisors and Youth Cabinet members talked with young people to develop the app and find out what issues should be included. Young people are always a part of the development of our resources to ensure that they are youth friendly and a resource that young people will engage with.

Mi LifeMapp gives the basic facts about concerns surrounding bullying, sexual health, mental health, relationships, wellbeing and things to do in and around Sheffield. The app is easily downloadable from most mobile phones and is the perfect starting point for vulnerable young people who may need to find out how they can get help . Though the app does not go in depth on every topic, it does point out the key issues and explains who young people can contact for more help.

The Mi LifeMapp is free to download from http://bit.ly/MiLifeMapp. The Mi LifeMapp grew out of Sheffield Futures Mi Book, which is on its third edition and features help for young people on the same issues. If you are interested in collecting some printed copies of MiBook please email [email protected].

 

Festival of Debate Events at Sheffield Futures

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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

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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!

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.