Our Careers, Further Education and Training Helpline

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Need help working out your next step? If you’re aged 16-19 and are looking for a job or are considering further education or training, you can speak to our team for information and guidance.

We know these are uncertain times, and you may be struggling to get in touch with your training provider or college, or just wondering how to move forward. We’re here to support you.

Our helpline is now available Tuesday-Thursday between 1pm-4pm. Just give us a call on 0114 2016644.


National award win for charity project to support young people leaving care into employment

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A pilot project to help young people leaving the care system move into education, employment or training has won a national award in recognition of best practice at the UK Career Development Awards 2020, run by the Career Development Institute.

The project, named Project Apollo, commissioned by Sheffield City Council and funded by the Department for Education with investment from The Big Issue Invest and Sheffield Futures is delivered in partnership with the Leaving Care Service. It is a direct response to the need to support young people leaving care to secure positive futures.

Alex Leonard, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at Sheffield Futures, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have won the Innovative Employer Engagement Award and hope that our achievements will act as a best practice example to others looking to support young people into productive futures.

“Many young people who have experienced the care system have significant and lasting negative effects on their mental health and wellbeing and are statistically much less likely to move into further learning, employment or higher education successfully.

“It can be difficult to understand the needs of young people leaving care if you’ve never had experience of the challenges these young people face. Through Apollo we have been able to communicate with employers to demonstrate the value of these vibrant young adults as a talent pool. By doing this we negotiate opportunities and open doors for these young people to find inspiration and access the opportunities they so desperately need.

“That’s why projects like Apollo have such an important role to play, effectively working to give young people that have had a difficult start in life essential support to lead productive and happy lives while at the same time selling their skills to employers.”

The project aims to support 100 young care leavers towards a brighter future with careers guidance, help applying for opportunities, work experience, practical careers advice and barrier busting long term support.

Adrian Hackett, Director at Kollider, a digital and tech incubator, said: “Our business is about bringing together a vibrant community of talented people and combining great ideas. In May 2019 we were on the lookout for someone to manage our financial accounts and were recommended to get in touch with Sheffield Futures.

“Sheffield Futures’ positive approach helped us to instantly develop a great working rapport. They have a pre-determined process which made the task of hiring effortless from our perspective. They helped us shape the job description making it easier for a young person to understand, and then produced a candidate for us from Project Apollo. We hired the candidate and he has been a fantastic addition to the team now for six months! We have had continuous support from Sheffield Futures since.”

So far, 29 care leavers have successfully transitioned into employment, 16 have progressed onto work experience or volunteering opportunities and 32 have restarted education and training courses. The project runs until October 2021.

Important information about coronavirus and our services

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Sheffield Futures is here to support young people. Throughout the coming weeks and months we will continue to do this, we’ll just be working a little differently.

To protect our team and the young people we support, we are following government advice on social distancing and all those who are able to work from home are now doing so.

As much of our work is usually carried out face to face, we’ve adapted our services so vulnerable young people can still be supported through this challenging time.


Youth Sheffield

[email protected]

Following government advice, all of our youth centres across the city are now temporarily closed. However, our youth workers are still engaging with young people in their communities (known as detached youth work) to enable them to continue supporting those who are particularly vulnerable.

Our youth work team are working on a calendar of activities, such as boxing demonstrations, cooking tutorials and other interactive sessions to provide for young people through social media and other digital platforms during this time. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Door 43 wellbeing service

[email protected]

Our Wellbeing Practitioners are now providing one-to-one support by telephone to existing service users on Wednesdays, in place of our Wellbeing Wednesday drop-in service. We hope to be able to extend this offer to more young people soon.

We have also launched an additional support line, which can be accessed in the evenings and on Saturdays. You can find out more information about this here. 

We have increased the amount of open access support we offer as we recognise that this time will be particularly difficult for young people that were already experiencing low mood, anxiety and other challenges.

Currently the team are providing daily content on different topics via Instagram’s IGTV, such as staying active while at home, motivation and managing uncertainty. Follow them here.

Our Young Person’s Social Prescribing team are continuing to support young people, referred through GP surgeries across the city, through phone appointments.

Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) teams

All schools are currently closed due to government guidance. Our Careers Advisers who would normally be based in schools are not currently available, but we will let you know as soon as this changes and will post any updates here. If you have any queries on Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance please contact Amy Cooke (Tuesday-Thursday) [email protected] or Lorraine Jones (Monday and Friday) [email protected]

Our Send Advisors are also available by phone for existing service users. If you aren’t currently being supported by our SEND team and would like to get in touch, contact Sue Williams Bradshaw [email protected]

Our Careers team are closely monitoring the national situation and will be producing guidance materials on how young people will be awarded qualifications and any impact this will have on their progression to further education and employment.

We’ve been posting videos, to support young people looking for work and for year 10s thinking about their options, on our YouTube page.

The Amber Project and Missing Young People’s Service

The Amber Project is supporting vulnerable young people involved in exploitation, by phone.

Return interviews are now being conducted by phone with young people who have gone missing.

 Community Youth Team (CYT)

[email protected]

Our Community Youth Team are supporting case loaded young people who are at risk of involvement in gangs, exploitation and offending behaviour, by phone.

The team is also working to provide group sessions online, via webinar or similar platforms, so young people can continue to engage in interventions and courses on crime and consequences, victim awareness and online safety.

Our Targeted Youth Support (TYS) Advisers are providing guidance to NEET (not in education, employment or training) young people aged 16-19 through an open access helpline and are following up with existing service users directly.


Contact Sheffield Futures:

General questions about services and appointments [email protected]
HR 0114 2012750 [email protected]
Finance [email protected]
Communications and Marketing (including media enquiries) [email protected]

Contact other services within Star House:

Youth Justice Service 0114 2288555
Leaving Care Services 0114 2039060
Children Looked After 0114 2930223

For updates on our services follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Our response to the new Sheffield City Council Investing in Young People strategy

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Sheffield City Council has shared its plan to agree a new strategy Investing in Young People. 

In response to the report, available via the Sheffield City Council website, our CEO Gail Gibbons, said: “We absolutely welcome an ambitious strategy for young people. We’ve been closely involved with putting together its direction, so support many of its aims, such as building upon the successful partnerships that are already delivering many of these services across the city.

“We’re delighted to hear about the investment of a further £2m, something we have been advocating for some time, and we are looking forward to hearing how this will enhance delivery for young people.

“However, we have concerns around the impact on Sheffield Futures and frontline delivery, in terms of the proposal to take these services in-house, and we are seeking discussions with the local authority on how this might work.

“For now, it’s business as usual for our team, working with young people all across Sheffield to protect them from risk and to support them to live positive and productive lives.”


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Did you know we have a social prescribing team at Sheffield Futures?

(Left-right: Christos, Ashleigh, Rachel, Connor)

Our young person’s social prescribing team are part of our Door43 wellbeing service.

What is a young person’s social prescribing link worker?

A young person’s social prescribing link worker aims to support young people to access and engage with community initiatives or provision, which can be anything from youth clubs to sports groups, with the ultimate goal to improve health and wellbeing.

Who can benefit from social prescribing?

Young people who are looking for ways to boost their wellbeing and willing to work with a young person’s social prescribing link worker to achieve this! Social prescribing can benefit people who are looking to deal with issues such as loneliness, isolation, stress, low confidence, or difficulties with accessing employment or education. It can especially benefit young people who are willing to try something new, so this could be a new group, activity or service in the area where they live.

I think social prescribing could help me. How do I get to see one of your team?

Our team work with young people all across Sheffield.

If you’re interested in working with someone from our social prescribing team, and you’re signed up as a patient at any one of the doctor’s surgeries below, book an appointment to speak to your doctor. They will be able to advise you if social prescribing is right for you, and if so, make a referral to our team.

Dore Surgery

Carterknowle Road Surgery

Greystones Medical Centre

The Hollies Medical Centre

Falkland House Surgery

Nethergreen Surgery

The Crookes Practice

Selbourne Road Surgery

Walkley House Medical Centre

Manchester Road Surgery

Broomhill Surgery

The University of Sheffield Health Service

Alternatively, if you are not a patient at one of these GP surgeries, you may be able to meet with one of our young person’s social prescribing link workers at our Sheffield Futures HQ – 43 Star House, Division Street, Sheffield, at school or they can see you in your home. For a referral form email [email protected] or call 0114 201 2774 for more information.

0114 talks: Hearing young women’s perspectives on crime in Sheffield

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On Monday night young women and female youth work practitioners came together from across the city to discuss crime, the effects, and what can be done to prevent further violence in our communities. It was great to bring together young women from communities across the city through the work of community partners, The Manor & Castle Development Trust, Together Women and Broomhall Girls Youth Group.

Young women looked at important topics such as safety in Sheffield, when and where they feel safe, where they don’t and importantly how to keep themselves safe, looking at different scenarios and techniques – such as letting trusted people know where you are going, being aware of your surroundings and what to do if you feel unsafe while out and about. Worryingly, racism was also highlighted as an issue with young women reporting to have been verbally attacked on the bus and outside in the Hillsborough and Manor communities. The city centre was commented on as an area young women feel ‘unsafe’ due to ‘people hanging around’ as well as West Street due to ‘the drunks’. Sharrow was highlighted as somewhere to feel safe as it’s a ‘peaceful community’ along with leafy Fulwood and Hathersage.

The event also looked at current issues within Sheffield and the crimes that are being committed with a focus on current perceptions of what is being done to tackle crime that impacts young people negatively. There was a strong feeling that young people can be ‘discriminated against’ and seen as ‘the problem’, for example the general perception that ‘all young people are in gangs.’ It was felt that this is unhelpful as actually young people are being drawn in by criminals looking to exploit young people for their own gain. And, that actually, young people need safe spaces and youth work support to ensure they aren’t put at risk of exploitation in order to lead productive lives and create positive futures for themselves.

Thinking about what can be done to prevent further violence in our communities the young women said that ‘Supportive groups and clubs for young people who commit crimes would help to get them out of these situations, and help adults understand how they get drawn into crime in the first place.’ There was also a lot of discussion around the importance of youth work in the communities, ‘the importance of having places for young people to come together, enjoy themselves and learn.’ It was felt that ‘people may commit crime as a result of things they’re lacking in life – like money, friends, family support and respect.’ and that youth clubs and youth work activities could go a long way to filling this void for young people and ultimately help to keep them safe.

0114 talks is part of an ongoing series of events that will look at issues important to young people across the city.

0114 Talks: Young women’s perspective of crime in Sheffield

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Join us at an event which hopes to bring young women and female practitioners together from across the city to discuss crime, the effects, and what can be done to prevent further violence in our communities.

Come and be part of the conversation on Monday 27 January 2020, 5-7pm at Sheffield Futures, Star House, Division Street, Sheffield S1 4GE.

Here’s some of the activities you can expect to get involved in during the evening:

Female led self-defence – We’ll be discussing some things we can all do to help keep ourselves safe. We’ll look at different scenarios and techniques – such as letting trusted people know where you are going, being aware of your surroundings and what to do if you feel unsafe while out and about.

Exploring poetry/graffiti/art – We’ll look at different artistic expressions of how current issues make young people feel. They’ll be the opportunity to express our thoughts through different artistic mediums, such as poetry and chalks.

Gathering views on the current situation – What crimes do young people commit in Sheffield? What is currently happening to prevent this? What would you do to tackle the current crime issues? Young people and professionals will be given the opportunity to write their own thoughts and ideas on post-it notes to answer each question anonymously. We will then collate those views and share a report on the findings after the event.

Mapping out Sheffield – Where do young people feel safe? We’ll be asking attendees to add stickers to a large map of Sheffield so they can identify where they do and don’t feel safe in the city and why. We’ll be using a traffic light system – green equals safe, amber meaning sometimes safe and red will depict not feeling safe. We’ll discuss why the stickers have been placed in particular places and what we can be done to change things for the better.

If you’d like more information about the event, please contact Samantha Smith at [email protected]

Street Doctors partnership empowers young people to save lives

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Street Doctors the youth social action movement that teaches young people lifesaving and first aid skills has partnered with Sheffield Futures to deliver training to children and young people in areas considered at risk of youth violence across the city.

This work is part of Sheffield Futures’ Project 0114 which aims to educate young people about the risks of being exploited by criminals and empower them to make good decisions and understand their rights and responsibilities. The Street Doctors volunteers are training young people in Broomhall, North East Sheffield, Manor Castle/Arbourthorne, Burngreave/Pitsmoor and Lowedges.

Dan White, Head of Targeted Services and Health at Sheffield Futures said: “It’s a reality that criminal gangs are targeting children. Vulnerable children and young people are drawn in under the lure of friendship and gifts and are getting involved in seemingly harmless tasks, like carrying packages, and in doing so are putting themselves in real danger of violence including gun and knife crime, as well as putting themselves on the path to a criminal future.

“We’re working together with schools and vital partners in the communities 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 on the streets.

“It’s fantastic that Street Doctors have joined the city-wide partnership and are empowering young people with vital skills and confidence to act if confronted with a situation where someone is bleeding or unconscious.”

This strand of the project also sees youth work activities delivered for young people in youth clubs to provide safe spaces where they can benefit from the strengths and experience of community delivery partners and learn new and inspiring arts, music, media and sports skills. Sheffield Futures is leading the 0114 Project in conjunction with Sheffield City Council, ACT Sheffield, The Unity Gym Project, Broomhall Girls Youth Group, Manor Castle Development Trust, My Life Project, Princes Trust, and Change Grow Live (CGL).

Project 0114 was 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.

A second strand sees secondary school pupils across the city, along with year six children in primary schools in targeted areas, benefit from information and skills-based sessions focussed on preventing child criminal exploitation and exploring the effects of knife and gun crime. The sessions are being co-delivered by youth workers and specially trained young people.

Schools that are interested in this training should contact Sheffield Futures on 0114 2012800 / [email protected]

Blog: Young people’s response to Government’s consultation on statutory guidance for youth services

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The Government is calling for evidence from young people, local authorities and voluntary and community providers of local youth services to inform its revision of the statutory guidance on delivering youth services.

In this blog Emma Hinchliffe, our young people’s involvement lead, talks about the key themes raised in response to the consultation by young people in the Sheffield Young Advisors and the Sheffield Youth Cabinet.

The Sheffield Young Advisors are consultants who advise organisations on ensuring youth voice is central to their work and the Sheffield Youth Cabinet represent the voice of young people 11-18 across Sheffield.

In order to invite the views of young people, the government has provided a questionnaire for young people providing options for them to respond to. Within this, the government asked young people what they felt should be in the guidance to make sure it’s ‘useful’.

Our young people felt overwhelmingly that the government should include a statutory minimum requirement that young people should be able to access youth services, including youth groups offering a wide range of activities that are engaging for the young people in the area.

Within this, detached youth work, where young people are engaged by highly skilled youth workers on the streets and are signposted to youth provision was a key requirement. And importantly, in order to shape recommendations it was felt young people should be continually consulted to ensure the guidance is representative of young people’s voice in the regions so that youth work offers meaningful, inclusive, engaging and accessible youth work tailored for those young people.

Our young people felt that the guidance should be more agile and be reviewed ongoing to change in line with national and regional priorities to confront and tackle the major issues of the day for example, mental health, criminal exploitation and associated knife crime. Our young people went further to say that in the case of identified major issues in a particular area, that detailed preventative strategies be included in the guidance to keep young people safe.

When asked about the local council’s role in shaping the services provided for young people, all felt young people should be consulted throughout the planning, delivery and review process to ensure youth voice is central. And that it was important for those undertaking this to go the extra mile to ensure all young people in a locality are represented. Engaging with schools, colleges and education providers, youth clubs, youth voice groups and other community spaces accessed by young people for instance.

Peer to peer support and consultation were also suggested as ways to reach and represent harder to reach young people for example, those who have disengaged from society as a result of criminal exploitation, chaotic lifestyles or school bullying and in fact, are the ones who can benefit most from youth work.

The goals that young people felt were important to them when asked were education, employment, relationships, being healthy physically and mentally, a good quality of life and standard of living. They also acknowledged that everyone’s goals would be different but that education and youth work are essential social levellers.

In order to ensure these goals were achieved, they felt the focus should be:
· Quality, professional support for young people who are not in university but are post 18 and not in education or work
· Professional careers advice and help
· Peer to peer support to engage hard to reach young people
· Accessible professional youth services that present opportunities and activities for young people to get involved in what they are passionate about

Accessibility and awareness of the guidance was also highlighted as an area required to improve so that young people understand how the government is meeting young people’s human rights ‘to express an opinion on any matter affecting them and to have that opinion taken into account’ and can therefore justifiably hold the government to account.

Fozia Sultana, a Sheffield Young Advisor, said: “When it comes to guidance it’s important to have transparency and give all options and possible outcomes to young people. And young people need to feel as if they have more power and control rather than the information being enforced upon them and them feeling helpless as a result.”

In summary, the young people called for peer to peer support that goes the extra mile to meet the hardest to reach young people. They called for putting young people at the centre of the guidance by accurately representing the voice of young people at a regional level and respecting young people’s human rights through accessibility of the guidance.

We urge other young people to come forward and have their say before 11:45pm on 1 December 2019.

Blog: Gail’s thoughts on the Government statutory guidance review for local youth services

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Gail Gibbons is the CEO at Sheffield Futures, leading the charity to deliver initiatives that support young people. The Government is calling for evidence from local authorities and voluntary and community providers of local youth services, to inform its revision of the statutory guidance on delivering youth services. The review aims to highlight the positive role local authorities can play in the provision of youth services, and ensure the guidance is useful and accessible for all. Here Gail discusses the key themes from Sheffield Futures’ response to the consultation, explores how the current guidance can be improved and urges others to have their say.

We welcome the Government’s call for evidence to strengthen the existing guidance on delivering youth services. The current guidance for local authorities is statutory rather than law. Therefore, the way in which youth services are delivered across the country is hugely variable in terms of quality, type and frequency.

This guidance status has meant in practice that local authorities, in face of wider budget pressures, have needed to significantly reduce funding in this area, as the guidance is viewed as desirable rather than essential.

We have youth services that in some areas have all but disappeared. This is a result of local authorities being so constrained by budget pressures, they have no option but to cut non-statutory services such as youth work, to free up funds to literally keep the streetlights on. This is devastating when we know that good quality, highly skilled youth work keeps our young people safe, enriched and enabled to build positive lives. Young people need this support more than ever after years of austerity has left swathes of the population in poverty, and children and young people even more vulnerable and in need of the vital safety net youth work can provide. That’s why I’m calling for a statutory youth service funded by each local authority area, staffed by highly skilled and qualified youth workers and underpinned by a set of professional standards, with a quality assurance framework based on positive outcomes for young people.

As part of any statutory youth service or guidance, there should be a clear definition for ‘youth services’. The term ‘youth services’ is generally recognised to mean, but not defined as youth work services, i.e. delivered by qualified youth workers, working to a set of professional standards. Without a clear definition, the positive impact of youth work for young people is diluted as services are not legally required to be delivered by qualified professionals to a statutory minimum standard.

The National Youth Agency have made the recommendation that at least two professional youth workers and a team of youth support workers and trained volunteers are required for each secondary school catchment area. This is a recommendation we wholeheartedly support.

Across the country outsourcing of youth services by local authorities to the voluntary and community sector is common, however the current guidance suggests that all local authorities provide youth services in house. This is not the case. In Sheffield for example, the local authority youth service was outsourced to our charity, Sheffield Futures, in 2002. This leads to my view that Government guidance needs to reflect the varied nature of the organisations delivering youth services across the country. It should show an understanding of the challenges the voluntary sector faces and provide guidance that reflects its unique strengths, for example Youth Partnership working.

In our area, Sheffield Futures provides the local youth service ‘Youth Sheffield’ on behalf of Sheffield City Council. In addition, there are a wide range of activities across the Positive Activities and Targeted Services spectrum, delivered by both statutory services and the voluntary sector, as well as private provision such as sports clubs.

As the local lead youth work delivery organisation, with strong links to national and regional youth work networks and professional groups, we are in the process of developing a Sheffield Youth Partnership. This will provide a co-ordinating function for a range of youth work providers to come together to build learning and capacity across our local sector. There are also a number of local multi-agency youth networks at neighbourhood level which meet regularly with the aim of co-ordinating provision in their areas. It is hoped that these could feed into a city-wide partnership, engaging with the local authority and other statutory services.

In conclusion, all young people deserve access to high quality youth services, regardless of where they are in the country. To counter the extreme poverty and associated resultant life limiting issues for all young people, we need statutory guidance that clearly defines youth work and provides minimum standards for delivery, for all sectors who deliver it, including the voluntary sector.

You can have your say and respond to the consultation until Sunday 1 December 2019.

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.