Sheffield Futures

Wellbeing tips from Terri: How to be more present, increase self awareness and reduce anxiety

Sadie White No Comments

Sheffield Futures wellbeing worker Terri has some great tips to share on how to increase self awareness and be in the present moment to help drive down feelings of anxiety and stress.

Listen to the birds in the background, just allowing yourself to focus on the birds tweeting is calming, makes you want to get out in nature and be in the moment – at a 2m distance from everyone else though of course!

Door 43 wellbeing blog: Self isolation, social media rumours and the need for rational thinking

Sadie White No Comments

Over the coming weeks, due to the need to shut our face to face services as a result of Coronavirus, we’ll be keeping in touch with young people that use our Door 43 services online. This is the first of our weekly blogs. In these blogs our Door 43 team will impart wise words, wisdom and tools to help young people manage emotional health and wellbeing during this difficult time. Be sure to look out for these blogs on the Sheffield Futures website and social media channels. 

In this first blog, Luca Jandu our wellbeing worker talks about the need for rational thinking. Self isolation, although necessary right now in terms of physical health, can present some challenges for our emotional health. As our minds wander and we can’t forward plan, with the situation changing daily, we’re prone to catastrophising and this can cause unhelpful anxieties to manifest.  Here, Luca acknowledges this, talks about his own experience and provides some helpful ways to challenge irrational and anxious thoughts. 

 

 

So, this is the first blog from me, in this funny time we are facing! I really hope – considering the circumstances – you are all keeping as well as you can be. It’s uncharted territory for all of us, pushing us all hard emotionally, so it’s never been more important to be mindful of our wellbeing. On this note, I thought it would be worth looking at the need for rational thinking and the importance of trying to find a way to stay calm and keep going – especially hard when we are facing so many new challenges.

I had my own moment of irrational thought and mild panic last week and wanted to tell you about it as there were definitely a few learnings. I’ve been self-isolating since the 18th, so have been on social media a lot more than I usually would. As we know, social media isn’t the most reliable source of information. On the 18th, some rumours started circulating of a military crackdown, which even though I fact checked and found some of the sources to be from a fake website, the constant references to ‘military crackdown’ eventually got the better of me. So,  I rang my housemates to ask them to buy a load of rice, lentils and a crate of chickpeas and tahini – for hummus, I would really struggle without hummus! In hindsight this may have been a little irrational.

 

 

Later that evening – when looking at more reliable sources – I discovered the military had been brought in to support the police. It seems that a few police must be self-isolating or looking after their kids and the military are just doing a bit of their work – the mass of rice, lentils, crate of chick peas and litre of tahini all seems a bit silly now – whoops.

Now ‘rational me’ knows that I’m not going to starve, that the supermarkets will continue to stock the shelves and that the military play an essential role in protecting the public and can provide useful public services in times like these, getting food to isolated vulnerable people for example, which is very important. I usually have a pretty good grip on the irrational me and control my impulses, but I guess times like this can challenge our rational selves, push us all to do irrational things and social media can act as fuel in this fire. This incident emphasised to me the need to fact check what I read on social media with reliable sources, and to be a bit more conscious and mindful of my thoughts to try to keep a better grip on my irrational self.

After I told the team at Door 43 about this we posted some links to more reliable sources of information on our social media channels alongside some alternative positive news stories. I’ve put these links below for you at the bottom of my blog. We ask you in these difficult times to try to choose your sources of information carefully and look for the links we post too. While this is a difficult time with some challenges that will be new to all of us, we need to be cautious of where our information is coming from, fact check, use reputable sources for news and think rationally.

I’ve pulled together questions to ask yourselves that may help to challenge irrational thoughts as they arise. Maybe I wouldn’t be sat among this mass of rice, lentils if i’d considered these for a moment!

Questions to ask yourself when challenging irrational or anxious thoughts.

  1. Is there any evidence that contradicts my worry? Can I trust the source of my worry? Do I have all the information? Am I ignoring any contrary facts? Are my sources reputable and trustworthy?
  2. Am I assuming the worst will happen? Ask yourself – ‘Have I jumped to the worst- case scenario? How likely is this to happen really?
  3. Am I jumping to conclusions? Ask yourself – do you have the facts to back up your thoughts? Are they based in reality?
  4. What are the costs and benefits of thinking in this way? Is this a positive / healthy way of thinking? What would a healthier more balanced thought look like?
  5. Am I ignoring positive information? Is the negative looming unnecessarily large?
  6. How will I feel about this in 6 months? In a year? Look to the future, putting a situation into another point in time can give you a valuable, calming perspective.
  7. Is there another way of looking at this situation? Can you think of positives? For example, yes you might be stuck inside and you can’t see your friends but on the flip side it won’t be for ever and taking this action now will mean we can all get back to normal more quickly and safeguard the most vulnerable people.

Hopefully going through these questions when irrational or anxious thoughts get the better of you will help you slow your mind down so you can check yourself for catastrophising, unhelpful thinking and gain some perspective.

I wish you all the best in this challenging time and remember that Door 43 – even in if in a virtual form – is still here to support you. Keep an eye on our website and social media for more information about this. We’re working hard to get things up and running.

Take care of yourselves and each other and watch this space for our next blog next Wednesday.

Luca

Information on the importance of looking after yourself:

https://bit.ly/33GNSu4

https://bit.ly/2Usalac

https://bit.ly/3dnJTXV

Reliable information sources:
https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Positive news:
https://www.facebook.com/thehappybroadcast/

https://bit.ly/33MD3ac

 

Youth work pilot aims to safeguard vulnerable missing young people

Sadie White No Comments

A pilot scheme tasking professional youth workers to help prevent vulnerable young people from going missing is underway in Sheffield.

The scheme, funded by the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, involves youth workers from Sheffield Futures working with looked-after children, who go repeatedly missing from residential care homes across the city, to help them avoid harmful situations.

Until now, this work to seek missing young people has been undertaken fully by the already over-stretched police and children’s social care.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures, said: “Professional youth work skills are a natural fit for this work to establish and maintain relationships in communities. Youth workers can use their knowledge of how young people develop through their teenage years, how to tackle challenging behaviour, de-escalate conflict and safeguard young people.

“It makes sense that these skills are employed to engage young people who are vulnerable, hard to reach, at risk of exploitation and are repeatedly going missing, and we’re already seeing promising signs that this approach can work.”

The pilot, which began in January and will run until March, aims to reduce the number of times a young person may go missing, and build relationships with young people to increase their ability to keep themselves safe.

The scheme enables youth workers to work in close partnership with children’s social care to gather valuable information on where young people might go as well as actively seeking them and work with South Yorkshire Police when necessary for powers of access to property, or when facing criminal behaviour.

Superintendent Lee Berry, Joint Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “Young people go missing from care homes for a variety of reasons. This behaviour leaves them vulnerable and at risk of exploitation. The work of Sheffield Futures is crucial in reducing the number of times a young person goes missing and working with them to understand why they are going missing and how they could be at risk of harm.

“By reducing the amount of missing episodes, this work is not only beneficial to the well-being of the young person, but also all services involved in supporting the young person.”

Gail Gibbons CEO appointed Go Lab Fellow of Practice

Sadie White No Comments

Our CEO Gail Gibbons has been nominated as a Fellow of Practice at the prestigious Government Outcomes Lab based at The Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University.

Go Lab hosts the global knowledge hub for those considering, designing and delivering new approaches to improve social outcomes. Each year Go Lab appoints a small group of leading practitioners from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to support the mission to advance research and practice in how governments tackle complex social needs.

Gail has been appointed as a Fellow of Practice as a result of experience developing the Social Impact Bonds model and outcomes based delivery. Gail has experience of leading two Social Impact Bonds (SIB) at Sheffield Futures. Future Shapers was a DWP Youth Engagement Fund SIB delivered between 2015-2018 – supporting young people ‘not in employment, education or training (NEET) or at risk of being NEET. Project Apollo (2018-2021) is a Department for Education (UK) Social Care Innovation Fund SIB supporting care leavers into education and employment.

‘It’s really exciting to have been appointed as a Fellow of Practice by Go Lab and I’m really looking forward to sharing knowledge and expertise built up through leading innovative approaches such as the SIB model at Sheffield Futures and contributing to such an important knowledge hub. I’m equally looking forward to working alongside other appointed Fellows who all share my passion for improving social outcomes for those most vulnerable in society.’ said Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures.

The position of Fellow of Practice is pro-bono and Fellows contribute in many different ways, from providing input to research and analytical work, speaking at events, authoring and reviewing papers, and sharing learning to strengthen the global community of practitioners. In 2020 the nine Fellows’ experience spans a range of sectors and countries. More information about Go Lab and the 2020 Fellows can be found here.

Young people fundraising for their youth club!

Tash Bright No Comments

Young people who regularly attend Woodthorpe Youth Club, run by Sheffield Futures, have been fundraising to give their youth club a make over. Last weekend, the group took part in a sponsored walk. They took the train to Edale, then completed a 10 mile walk in torrential rain – so much for summer!

Deputy Community Youth Team Manager, John Moloughney, called the group ‘absolute stars!’

  

Woodthorpe Social Action Group haven’t just been walking to raise funds, they’ve been fundraising with bucket collections and taking tins out to their local shops. The group are dedicated to creating a space that’s attractive and safe for all young people in Woodthorpe.

Recently the group were at Woodthorpe Youth Club when PC Briggs came to visit in the van. Obviously the group wanted to sit in the van! It’s great to see the young people interactive with one of the many services working in Woodthorpe and across the city.

 

Finally, here are the group getting the outdoors area looking colourful with potted plants!

  

Woodthorpe Social Action Project – The Big Day!

Tash Bright No Comments

What a week it’s been for the young people at Woodthorpe Youth Club!

Young people have been meeting at the youth club for months to plan a day of social action: with businesses, youth activity groups, young volunteers and Sheffield Futures staff transforming the club with a lick of paint and TLC.

Over 25 young people participated in painting the club, creating an inviting and brightly coloured space that they hope will attract more young people!

  

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.”

1

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.