Lets Talk About Sexting

Tash Bright No Comments

Today, Sheffield Futures launches our new campaign, ‘Let’s Talk About Sexting’, to address the issues young people face regarding sexting and how we can prevent the often devastating consequences. Each week Sheffield Futures will be focusing on a specific issue surrounding sexting beginning with the legalities concerning sexting, so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones.

Sharing photos and videos online is part of daily life. The availability and convenience of apps such as Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook, Instgram and Skype means that we are always increasing our digital footprint, which is notoriously hard to erase.

Currently 90% of 16-24 year olds and 69% of 12-15 year olds own a smartphone meaning more people than ever have the ability to quickly and easily record their lives and share experiences. With this is mind, it is important that you know the ins and outs of the laws surrounding sexting.

What is Sexting?

Sexting is defined as sending or posting sexually suggestive texts/images. People may have told you that sending ‘indecent’ imagery under the age of 18 is illegal. This created confusion because whether something is ‘decent’ can be dependent on the situation and may be different depending on the values of who you are speaking to. For this reason, the word ‘indecent’ has been replaced with ‘sexual’.

1.1 what is sexting

At What Age is Sexting Illegal?

Even though the age of sexual consent is 16, it is illegal to produce, store or share sexual imagery of anyone under the age of 18.consent 16

What if I have taken a Sexual Image of Myself?

Whether you are the person in the picture or not does not make a difference when it comes to the law. Anyone under the age of 18 who takes a sexual selfie risks being prosecuted for creating child pornography.


What if I am under 18 but am in a relationship and sent a picture to my boyfriend/girlfriend?

In this case, both you and your partner are breaking the law, even if your partner didn’t ask for the picture. Possessing images of a young person under the age of 18 is illegal, even when both of you are under 18.

1.3youre in the pic

I received a sexual image of someone under the age of 18. Can I share it with friends?

Even if you had nothing to do with the creation of the image, sharing such imagery is still breaking the law. Depending on the intent and malice in which the images were shared, will depend on the severity of the consequences.

Will I get a criminal record if I am found to be making, possessing or distributing imagery of anyone under 18?

The law criminalising indecent images of children was created to protect young people from adults and sexual abuse. It was not intended to criminalise children. None the less, where police have been notified, the incident will be listed as a ‘crime’ and the young person involved will be a ‘suspect’. Outcome 21 was created specifically for such cases and helps to formalise the discretion available to police when handling crimes such as youth produced content.



Next week we will be focusing on why young people send sexual imagery.


If you are a young person who has been affected by sexting or are a parent or carer of a young person involved in sexting, you can contact the below helplines:

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 Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5000, by emailing help@nspcc.org.uk, or by texting 88858. They can also ring the Online Safety Helpline by ringing 0808 800 5002.

The NSPCC has information and advice about sexting available on its website: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/sexting/1

1.5 5 sext law

5 Steps To Deal With Back-to-School Stress

Tash Bright No Comments

If you are one of the many young people that have gone back to school today, then I hope you had a great first day! It can be daunting heading back to school after the summer holidays, which can lead to stress and anxiety but we’re here to help. Here’s 5 steps to help you cope with returning to school.

Step 1   Look after yourself:

Sometimes we often forget abut the importance of the basics. Are you getting enough sleep, eating regular meals and healthy snacks. It hard to focus on anything if you’re exhausted and running on an empty tank.


Step 2   Talk to Someone:

Ever heard the saying a problem shared is a problem halved. If you’re worried, a good way to rationalize things is to sometimes get it out in the open and share your worries with someone you can trust – perhaps a best friend or a parent.


Step 3   Problem solve:

You could write a list of all the things that are worrying you about going back to school and start developing ways you can cope with each of these worries. It’s sometimes best to do this with someone you trust, as they may be able to give you a different perspective on the worst case scenarios you are imaging might happen. For example, If (the worst) happens, what could you do?” or “Let’s think of some ways you could handle that situation.”


Step 4   Focus on the positives: 

You should always try and think of positive aspects of returning to school because there may be more than you think. What are three things you are most excited about?


Step 5   Get support:

It’s great if you have your own support system but remember there are always people who are here to help. As well as parents and friends – you can contact our team at Sheffield Futures to have a chat about how we can help you.


Looking to the Future After GCSE results

Tash Bright No Comments

If you are one of the many young people who received their GCSE results today, congratulations on completing what can be a daunting step. The anticipation of results day can stressful to say the least, especially if you need to obtain certain results to move on to the next stage of your life, such as college.

Sheffield Futures is here to help you. We particularly want to support young people who may feel panicked, as they didn’t get the results they wanted. There are definitely alternative ways in which you can reach your full potential, so know that it is not the end of the world. In fact, there are so many routes to success these days and some may suit you more than the traditional routes you initially pursued.

Here at Sheffield Futures our specialist Careers Advisor are happy to chat with you and listen to your ideas or worries about your future and employment. Our Careers Advisors have the experience to guide you through what options may be available, as well as what may suit your skills and ambitions.

Sheffield Futures can discuss anything from apprenticeships to job hunting with you, as well as going through benefits advice for under 18 year olds.

Call into Star House any weekday between these times: Mon – Thurs: 9am-5pm; and Fri: 10am-4.30pm.

Help raise funds for Sheffield Futures

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Futures is proud to announce we will be donning our trainers and sweatbands and taking part in the Asda Foundation Sheffield 10K run.

The run will be taking place on 30th October 2016 and Sheffield Futures are calling our supporters to get involved and help fundraise for our charity.

If you’re anything like me and the thought of running (besides running for the bus) fills you with dread, worry not. Click here to download a variety of training plans that cater to all levels. To set you on your way, Sheffield Futures will be providing our amazing fundraisers with a complimentary Sheffield Futures running top, a sports water bottle and a Sheffield Futures sports bag.

If you or anyone you know might be interested in taking part to help raise money to support vulnerable young people across Sheffield and are 15 years of age and above, please email Elliot.Walker@sheffieldfutures.org.uk. Sheffield Futures will happily reimburse your cost of entering the race (£ 27.82), if you manage to raise £60 or over.

As well as the huge sense of achievement you will feel after completing the race and raising money for young people’s futures, you will also receive a medal. What more could you ask for!

Sheffield Futures celebrate International Youth Day

Tash Bright No Comments

Young people are celebrated around the world every year on 12 August, which marks International Youth Day. Here at Sheffield Futures, we couldn’t miss the chance to get involved, as putting young people at the forefront of positive change is what we’re all about.

We held our very own International Youth Day in Sheffield’s Amphitheatre, which saw young people and the Sheffield Futures team being bucked off broncos, scoring some impressive goals, an intense game of tug-o-war and much more.

The weather was perfect. The sun was shining and the stunning backdrop of Sheffield’s city centre landscape made for the perfect location. The day was chiefly organised by the Sheffield Futures Community Youth Team (CYT) who work with young people aged 8-19 who need extra support to help them make the most of their lives. Broadcast station Sheffield Live even popped down to the event and spoke to Joanne Holt, our North CYT Manager.

Youth Day 4

We would like to thank everyone that made it down to the event, especially the young people who put our staff to shame when it came to most of the games, the lemon challenge in particular!

What is International Youth Day All About?

Created in 2000 by the United Nations, International Youth Day focuses on celebrating the energy, initiatives and the imagination of young people.

This year’s focus was “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production.” It centered around putting the emphasis on young people as a source of change and how young people can ensure poverty eradication and achieve sustainable development in the future, through sustainable consumption and production.

If you would like to find out more about International Youth Day, please follow the links.



How young volunteers are transforming Sheffield’s communities

Tash Bright No Comments

Young volunteers from Sheffield Futures, are giving their time and energy at organisations around Sheffield to make positive changes in the community.

Sheffield Futures social action project, Sheffieldr, has enlisted young people aged between 11-19 who are enthusiastic to get involved with all projects big and small. Volunteering ensures positive change in the young people’s lives, as they gain valuable experience such as teamwork and life skills.

Benefits can also be felt in the wider community. Volunteering with Sheffield Futures has seen the young people paint a mural to represent diversity at Parson Cross Boxing Gym and has more recently seen a team of young volunteers restore life back to the gardens at Herdings Youth Club.

The young people volunteering at Herdings Youth Club garden heard about the project through Community Youth Team’s youth club at Woodthorpe. The group worked hard to tame the overgrown outdoor space and now have plans to revive the faded flower beds and introduce fruit and veg to the garden. Once the garden is complete, local primary schools will be invited to explore and tend to the gardens.

The Sheffield Futures youth social action projects oppose the often negative portrayal of young people today. Think tank, Demos analysed six UK newspapers over the past 10 years and found that the words most commonly associated with “teenagers”, “youth” and “young people” were “binge-drinking”, “yobs” and “crime”. The time that the young volunteers dedicate to each project at Sheffield Futures mirror recent national research conducted by Business in the Community. Statistics show that young people are using volunteering to further their career aims and gain new skills more than any other age group and 80% of employers value volunteering on a CV.

Volunteering in the community also gives the young people the chance to work as part of a team. The one-off volunteering projects are a great way for young people to see the positive change that they have made in one day. One young person said that they felt “very proud” of the difference that their work has made to Herdings Youth Club garden.

Another young person who volunteered with Sheffieldr explained that “It was nice to get involved in laying the foundation of the Mural in our boxing gym to enable us to take control and make it attractive.”

Sheffield Futures are always looking for young volunteers to get involved and organisations that may be in need of transforming a community space. It is a unique and exciting opportunity that will see young volunteers help organisations for free for one day events or over a couple of sessions.

Future Shapers give young people an Xtra Push

Ruth Durkin No Comments

Students participating in the Future Shapers programme have successfully completed Xtra Push – a fun-filled personal development training programme aimed at helping young people to gain confidence, assertiveness, control and show commitment.

Associate Leader, Yasmin Celik said: “Xtra Push has been a very positive programme for our students and we’re very happy to celebrate the success of Future Shapers at Chaucer. It really is a fantastic programme for young people and I’m so happy that everyone is fully engaging with it.”

Sheffield Futures runs the Future Shapers programme where all participants have their own Mentor who tailors support to meet their needs. This could be to gain confidence, attend extra-curricular activities, improve attendance, gain qualifications, socialise with other young people, search for employment and much more.

Future Shapers Mentors deliver Xtra Push to students on the programme. The course gives young people a chance to seize opportunities, build resilience and motivate personal change.

Chaucer Students have enjoyed Xtra Push, Kayleigh Stanton and Megan Allott said: “I liked the teamwork sessions and games.”

Y10 Student Charlie Drayton said: “I really liked Xtra Push, the course was eye-opening and it has really helped me with my team-work and confidence. It has also made me realise what I would like to do when I leave school.”

Assistant Head Teacher Gemma Furness said: “They were all so much calmer after the sessions.“ Y10 Manager Alison Scholey, agreed and said: “I think it’s helped with their self confidence, I’ve seen a real difference.”




Members of Youth Parliament for Sheffield launch campaign against racism and religious discrimination

Ruth Durkin No Comments

Six Members of Sheffield Youth Parliament (MYPs) are joining almost 300 elected Members of Youth Parliament in launching a year long campaign to combat racism and religious discrimination, particularly against people who are Muslim and Jewish.

The National Day of Action on Friday 22nd January saw Members of Youth Parliament call on politicians and schools to join their campaign ‘Don’t Hate, Educate!’ in their strive to “help young people speak out” about racism and religious discrimination. In Sheffield, Youth Councillors will support MYPs when they meet with their local MPs.

Over the next year, UK Youth Parliament will campaign to challenge negative attitudes around race and religion; work with others to educate their communities in order to tackle ignorance around race and religion; and promote integration in their communities. The campaign starts following the Make Your Mark ballot which took place in the autumn of 2015 seeing the issue become one of the top five with 95,000 young people nominating it as their most important issue and then the subsequent vote by Members of Youth Parliament in House of Commons to make this their national campaign in November 2015.

Eleri Kirkpatrick, Member of Youth Parliament who spoke passionately on this issue at the House of Commons debate in November, said: “I’m really pleased this was voted in as our national campaign as we shouldn’t tolerate ignorance, hatred and racism in our society.”

Nick Clegg Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam and former Deputy Prime Minister said: “As a liberal, I believe no one should be persecuted or discriminated against because of who they are. It was great to see young people politically engaged and taking action to educate their peers and raise awareness. I will be lending my support to the Youth Parliament’s ‘Don’t Hate, Educate’ campaign and put pressure on the government to continue the fight to eliminate hate crime altogether.”

The issue is thought to have come out as one of the top issues for young people in the Make Your Mark youth consultation, following increases in race and religion related hate crimes between 2014 and 2015. In England and Wales the Home Office reported there were 42,930 race related hate crimes (representing a 15% increase from the year before) and 3,254 religion related hate crimes (43% increase from the year before). Similarly in Northern Ireland, 2,277 race related incidents and crimes were reported showing a 36% increase from the year before. 80 religion related crimes and incidents were also reported showing an increase of 116% from the year before according to Police Service of Northern Ireland. The only exception in this trend has been in Scotland where the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service reported there was a 9% decrease race related hate crimes and a 4% decrease religiously aggravated crimes.

Celebrating young people’s achievements

Ruth Durkin No Comments

Talent Match, an employment programme for Sheffield City Region (SCR) celebrated the achievements of young adults at their annual awards ceremony in December. Sheffield Futures is the lead agency for Talent Match in the Sheffield City Region.

Talent Match Coaches voted for 21 young people to win awards for their achievements in volunteering, helping to shape the programme, entering education, meeting challenges at enterprise camp, being young entrepreneurs and gaining employment on the wage fund programme (where employers receive funding to take on a new employee) and independently.

Talent Match is a programme for 18 – 24 year olds who are not in employment, education or training, aimed at getting those furthest away from the job market into employment. The programme helps young people to promote themselves, build skills, find employment, get work experience and even helps to make business ideas happen!

Talent Match Manager Jo Booth said: “We’re so proud of the achievements of the young people on the Talent Match programme and we wanted to recognise that at our annual awards ceremony. Many of the young people lacked confidence when they started the programme and for some, collecting their award in front of a room full of people is a huge accomplishment.”

“Since January 2013, Talent Match has supported over 1100 people in the region, through hubs in Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Bolsover, Bassetlaw, Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire. 150 young people are now in employment and of those, 100 are in long-term positions. Across the region there have been some huge achievements, including 100 young people taking on work placements, 80 have begun volunteering, 200 have re-entered education and 40 young people have taken an apprenticeship.”

Sheffield Futures Chief Executive Officer, Gail Gibbons said: “We are proud to celebrate Talent Match and pleased you could join us. I would like to thank all the Sheffield Futures and partner staff involved in this work”.

Phil Hayes from Groundwork South Yorkshire said: “At Talent Match, we tailor our work to each young person and recognise their needs. This is so important and creates a holistic and creative approach to helping young adults to achieve their goals.”

The young people were awarded with Sports Direct and other gift vouchers; worth up to £50 each and all runners up received £20 worth of vouchers. Sports Direct kindly donated the vouchers and a few extras that were entered into tombola.

Sheffield Futures service secures bright future for young mum

Ruth Durkin No Comments

A 22-year-old woman from Sheffield has started her dream career with support from Sheffield Futures.

Lauren Bonnick, a mother of two, is studying for a University qualification in Youth Work after working with one of our Advisers to turn her strengths into employable skills.

Our new campaign, #AFutureForAll, aims to encourage and assist young people in pursuing their aspirations for the future in education and employment. Our advisers work alongside young people to develop their strengths and help carve their path to a real career.

Lauren heard about Sheffield Futures through Sheffield City Council when she was looking for housing accommodation. She’d recently left school and was studying for a Level 3 qualification in Hairdressing. Martin Reid, a Personal Adviser at Sheffield Futures, supported Lauren to become self-employed, pass her driving test and set up a mobile hair and nail business.

Lauren said: “He put everything in perspective and made me realise that things were possible. I wouldn’t have known where to go without that support. It’s meant that I can balance being a single Mum with my education”

“I told him that I’d love to do a job like his – helping young people – and he did everything he could to help me on my way.”

Martin said: “I saw real potential in Lauren as she had great people skills and was always surrounded by a big group of friends. She was an ideal candidate for studying Youth Work so we contacted training providers and started the process.”

Lauren is currently completing a Degree-level Youth Work qualification at Sheffield Hallam University and is supporting homeless young people’s group work sessions.

Lauren said: “In terms of my future plans, I enjoy any work with young people. I know how much it helped me so I’d like to do the same for others. I wouldn’t be where I am today without having someone there for that support.”

“My advice to young people looking for work is to speak to an Adviser at Sheffield Futures and tell them what you enjoy and what you want to do. If you focus on what’s going to make you happy right now, the right thing will happen.”

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.