Youth Work Week – Toni’s Story #YouthWorkMatters

Tash Bright No Comments

Toni used to go to Stocksbridge Youth Club as a teenager, eventually becoming a Young Leader and helping to run activities and trips for younger members of the club. After working in retail and having children, Toni started volunteering at the very same youth club she used to visit weekly. When the opportunity came up to become a qualified Youth Worker, Toni jumped at the chance, leaving her job to train and volunteer – eventually becoming the lead Youth Worker (and key holder) for the club she used to visit. Here’s her story:

This post is part of our Youth Work Matters campaign. You can support the campaign:

Find out more about how youth work transforms lives by following our #YouthWorkMatters campaign on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Facebook.

You can also write your own message of support for @SheffFutures using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters

Please visit www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk to find out more about what we do and how you can support us with fundraising, volunteering or as an ambassador.

Celebrating Youth Work: Imran’s Story #YouthWorkMatters

Tash Bright No Comments

Here Imran Ali, a youth and community worker tells his story about how experiencing the benefits of youth work as a young man steered him away from anti social behaviour and towards a career helping others remain on a positive path.

‘As a young person I attended the Earl Marshall youth club and Fir Vale Pavilion regularly. At the Pavilion I remember several tournaments, trips, residentials and even a trip abroad.’ He says when reflecting on his time as a youngster in the Fir Vale area of Sheffield.

‘These experiences and being involved with the project definitely had a positive impact on my development as a young person. I enjoyed sports and the youth clubs provided the opportunity for me to be involved in these positive activities and stay away from the anti-social behaviour and criminal activities that other young people were involved with during that time.’ He continues.

Imran went on to study at College and after leaving college, certain of the power of youth work to transform lives, decided to dedicate his career to helping other young people reach positive destinations in life.

‘I became a volunteer with Sheffield Futures and from there I slowly began my journey into becoming a youth and community worker.’ He says.

‘After many years working with Sheffield Futures, Activity Sheffield, Fir Vale Forum and Ellesmere Youth Project, I now work in the same areas and same centres that I attended when I was growing up. It gives me great satisfaction to see other young people developing, achieving and being successful as a result of the work we have done with them over the years.’

‘Many people do not know the true impact of centres such as the ones that I attended as a young person but I can say if they had not been around, I may not have had the direction, focus and success that I am enjoying today.’

Sheffield Futures campaign ‘In Celebration of Youth Work’ celebrates and demonstrates the value of youth work within our communities.

Since 2010, funding to vital youth services has been cut, with 600+ youth centres closed. This is having a devastating effect on disadvantaged young people.

Our young people led campaign over the coming months is all about the celebration of youth work and all of its fantastic achievements. We invite you to show your support by….

  • Sharing the following message on social media: Since 2010, funding to vital youth services has been cut, with 600+ youth centres closed. This is having a devastating effect on disadvantaged young people. At @SheffFutures we want to celebrate youth work and all of its fantastic achievements. See: www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/in-celebration-of-youth-work
  • …Or write your own message of support for @SheffFutures using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters
  • Running a fundraiser to help Sheffield Futures to continue delivering quality youth work to young people in Sheffield city region. Every penny you raise will help Sheffield Futures to transform lives and create positive futures.
  • Pledging to be a Sheffield Futures Ambassador and raising awareness of their work by making key introductions, sharing their messages, attending events and more.

Contact us, email: marketing@sheffieldfutures.org.uk or call: 0114 201 8647

Work experience at Sheffield Futures

Tash Bright No Comments

My name is Jamie and I have just completed a two week work experience at Sheffield Futures as part of my Princes Trust Team programme. The Princes Trust programme is for young people and adults 16-30 years old and aims to support them to develop the skills and confidence needed to find paid work.  Below is my account of the work experience and what I learned about Sheffield Futures and about myself.

I knew a bit about Sheffield Futures before I started this work experience placement.  I used to attend youth clubs at Stocksbridge and Com.Unity when I was younger. When I turned 18, I started volunteering at Com.Unity and I have volunteered once or twice a week at Com.Unity since then (coming up to 3 years now).  Volunteering has given me the opportunity to build experience and to give something back to my local community and people I care about.

Over the last two weeks on my placement I have had the opportunity to work in a Sheffield Futures youth club called Leos. I helped to supervise the young people at Leos and supported them to get involved in activities like Hama bead sessions and walking in Norfolk Park.

I also spent some time with a Youth Worker, Aaron, and we worked in the Westfield area on detached and youth club sessions. We engaged with young people in the local area and I organised outdoor activities for them (including ‘football rounders’).

During my placement I also visited Star House and met Lee from the Involvement team. I learned about the number of things that Sheffield Futures do including in schools and youth centres. They do things like helping young people and adults find work, the UK Youth Parliament and lots more, including the different services that people have access to for the right support they need. Sheffield Futures also run the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people and I was able to help sort and organise equipment that the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award team were going to use on one of their outdoor trips.

Overall I enjoyed it all and I achieved a lot out of this. I learned to be more outgoing, more talkative and more confident in new situations.

 At Leos I learned how to deal with lots of people with different learning difficulties and disabilities.  I am glad that I got to work at Leos youth club as it has given me more experience and given me more options on what sort of jobs I want to do. For anyone who wants to do their work placement with Sheffield Futures, do it, you will game so much experience out of it and it will be worth it.

Volunteer Week – Kimberley’s Story

Elliot Walker No Comments

There may be only two days left of Volunteer Week 2018 but we’re still celebrating and sharing all the fantastic work that volunteers do for Sheffield Futures. From supporting young people in our youth clubs, to helping adults in the Job Shop, to chatting with the group that attend our Well Being Cafe, to fundraising, our volunteers graciously give their time, effort, energy and more! We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you!

This week, we’re sharing the personal stories from our volunteers, letting you know how they got involved, who they help and who’s benefited!

Today, we have Kimberley’s story to share with you. Kimberley is a trained Occupational Therapist and has been volunteering at our Well-being Cafe for some time now. This is her story…


A couple of years ago, as an Occupational Therapist student, I completed some work with a young people’s charity for those who are not in education, employment or training. Seeing the difference that such work can make to young lives, I wanted to continue my involvement where possible, and having moved back to Sheffield in October last year and seeing (via Twitter) that Sheffield Futures were starting a new Well-being Cafe, I got in touch to see if I could volunteer! The process was really seamless and all the programmes and groups were explained so I could decide where I felt my skills would be best suited! 

I now volunteer once fortnightly at the Door 43 Well-being Cafe. In my volunteer role, I hand out cake and warm drinks, take part in activities alongside the young people attending, and have a chat or lend an ear if needed. 

The cafe does a great job of combining a friendly and welcoming atmosphere with engaging activities, centred around mental health and well-being. It provides an opportunity for young people to have a safe space to openly discuss strategies for maintaining mental well-being.

This has been my first volunteering role and I’m thoroughly enjoying my time spent at the cafe and helping out where I can with the group that do such a grand job! (Although I think my arts and craft skills needs some more practice!!)


If you want to make a difference and get involved with volunteering, you can find all our opportunities here!

Check back tomorrow, the last day of Volunteer Week 2018, to read another amazing and inspiring story!

Volunteer Week – Sara’s Story

Elliot Walker No Comments

Volunteer Week 2018 is on-going and we’re celebrating all the fantastic work that volunteers do for Sheffield Futures. From supporting young people in our youth clubs, to helping adults in the Job Shop, to chatting with the group that attend our Well Being Cafe, to fundraising, our volunteers graciously give their time, effort, energy and more! We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you!

This week, we’re sharing the personal stories from our volunteers, letting you know how they got involved, who they help and who’s benefited!

Today, we have Sara’s story to share with you. Sara started at Sheffield Futures supporting our Careers team at the Job Shop drop in. This is her story…


Having had 6 years away from working as a fully trained careers adviser, I felt I wanted to explore returning to a similar role. Volunteering seemed a good opportunity, not only to help others but also to gain an insight into how the job landscape had changed.

I made contact with the Volunteer Officer at Sheffield Futures and, soon after, I was presented with an opportunity as a volunteer Adult Careers Adviser for the Job Shop. I started volunteering for Sheffield Futures one day a week, offering support, advice and guidance to adults seeking employment. Meeting clients, exploring their career ideas and offering support with job searches were the main tasks undertaken in this role.

I really enjoyed my time volunteering with Sheffield Futures and felt that the clients I worked with appreciated the time I spent with them, whilst supporting them back into employment. I gained a great deal of valuable experience which helped me build my confidence, having spent such a long time out of the business.

Whilst volunteering, the opportunity to work as a Careers Adviser for the Schools Team became available.

I went for an interview and was offered a job!

I started work as a schools Careers Adviser two days a week. I also hope to continue to offer the volunteering team more support as and when I can. I’m very thankful for the opportunities I’ve been offered so far!


If you want to make a difference and get involved with volunteering, you can find all our opportunities here!

Check back tomorrow to read another amazing and inspiring story!

Volunteer Week – Traci’s Story

Elliot Walker No Comments

It’s Volunteer Week 2018 and we want to celebrate all the fantastic work that volunteers do for Sheffield Futures. From supporting young people in our youth clubs, to helping adults in the Job Shop, to chatting with the group that attend our Well Being Cafe, to fundraising, our volunteers graciously give their time, effort, energy and more! We couldn’t do it without you, so thank you!

This week, we want to share the personal stories from our volunteers, letting you know how they got involved, who they help and who’s benefited!

Today, we have Traci’s story to share with you. Traci has been volunteering at one of our youth clubs for over a year now! This is her story…



I have been volunteering for Sheffield Futures, at Wincobank Village Hall Youth Club, for about a year now. I had always wanted to work with young people and, living so close by, I invested some time researching whether or not they would be holding a youth club there, when the Village Hall was opened. I was put in touch with Sheffield Futures at Star House where I went for an informal meeting to discuss what they were looking for and what I was hoping to get out of it.

Previously, I volunteered as an Appropriate Adult but at that time, about a year ago, I felt I wanted to be more involved in the “fun” aspect of working with young people. Since then, I have volunteered at Wincobank Youth Club once a week and I have got to know the local young people who come on a regular basis and, although I have now moved out of the area, I still try to get there when I can. 

We have lots of discussions about how these young people get on at school and at home, what they like to get up to in their spare time whilst listening to music and playing board games and computer games (and eating sweets). 

I would recommend volunteering with young people to anyone who wants to make a difference. Just be there to listen because, sometimes, that’s all they want. 


If you want to make a difference and get involved with volunteering, you can find all our opportunities here!

Check back tomorrow to read another amazing and inspiring story!

Thinking about volunteering?

Tash Bright No Comments

At Sheffield Futures, we rely on our fantastic volunteers who give their time and energy to ensure our services run smoothly and are the best they can be for the young people we support.

We asked Jess, one of the volunteers for Door43’s Wellbeing Cafe, to write a blog so that you can see what it’s really like to be a volunteer at Sheffield Futures, and how she balances this with studying at university…

I’m Jess and I am a Nutrition and Public Health student at Sheffield Hallam University. Before starting university in September 2016, I was determined to make the most of my 3 years in Sheffield and try to get involved with as many activities as possible! One of the first things that I did during Fresher’s Week was visit the volunteering team at the Students’ Union to ask about any possible opportunities. However, it wasn’t until the Sheffield Volunteering Fair at the Town Hall that I met the wonderfully enthusiastic Elliot on a Sheffield Futures stall and I knew that I needed to be involved with the amazing work that they do to support vulnerable young people.

On Tuesday 31st October 2017 I attended Door43’s Wellbeing Café for the first time and started my role as a volunteer. It has been amazing to see the café go from strength-to-strength and being able to support so many young people to be aware of their mental health. I have felt welcome, appreciated and respected since day 1 at the café, not only by the amazing team of staff members but also by the young people.

We all know how much of a difference just taking a moment to talk to somebody can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing and I am so proud that I have been able to facilitate that opportunity along with other incredible volunteers.

One aspect of volunteering at the Wellbeing Café that I did not anticipate, was the incredibly positive impact that it has had on my own mental health. Helping to set up the refreshments, preparing the resources and being involved in the activities has become something that I look forward to days before I attend. The flexibility of the role has meant that I have not been made to feel as though I am letting anybody down and this has helped with balancing this experience alongside my academic studies.

I could not finish this post off without thanking Elliot for this wonderful opportunity, but also to the Door43 staff for making me feel so welcome as a volunteer at the café. It is always a daunting experience going somewhere new and especially when you do not know exactly what to expect, but I have always been made to feel a part of the team and this has made my time volunteering here an absolute pleasure. Thank you!

Sheffield Futures volunteers join the #BIDSpringClean

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Futures staff and seven volunteers joined the Sheffield BID and other BID members to Spring Clean the city centre.

The group tackled the underpass from Moorfoot to Ecclesall Road and found nine full bags of rubbish and some odd items:

  • About five sets of house keys
  • Three separate shoes (not full pairs)
  • T-shirts
  • Trousers
  • A holdall
  • And best of all, some swimming goggles!

Here’s a group shot of all the volunteers involved, including nine from Sheffield Futures (the biggest group!)


Smiley faces despite the cold and rain!


Litter picking action shots!


Our selection of solo shoes (how do you lose a shoe?!)

Student Volunteering Week: Inez’s story

Sadie White No Comments

Inez Lau is a final year student at the University of Sheffield and has been volunteering with us throughout her time in Sheffield. As it’s Student Volunteering Week we’re celebrating all of our valued volunteers and telling their stories about how they help Sheffield’s young people.

Inez’s Story

I’m Inez, a final year Journalism student at the University of Sheffield. I first heard about the work of Sheffield Futures when I was volunteering in one of their youth clubs. This was an opportunity I secured through Sheffield Volunteering, the University’s community volunteering service that helps students to make an impact in the City run by the Student’s Union.  As well as volunteering I’m also a youth ambassador for Sheffield Futures.

I’ve had a great year so far in terms of volunteering with Sheffield Futures as I’ve had the chance to attend charitable events, promote youth development in Sheffield, both online and in person to my university friends. My view is that children and young people are key to the success of the City and that’s why I’m proud to be working in support of Sheffield Futures. Volunteering and acting as an ambassador for Sheffield Futures has also really helped me to understand more about the culture of the City and understand more about the different communities.

Volunteering with local charities is a big part of my university life and it’s helped me to reach outside of the University bubble and settle in the City. Sheffield is a city with great potential and I reckon we should all go beyond the campus and explore what it’s offering to us. I encourage all students to volunteer within local communities and get the most out of our university life.





Student Volunteering Week

Tash Bright No Comments

It’s Student Volunteering Week and we want to celebrate our many volunteers who are also students.

Thank you to all of our student volunteers!

We currently have volunteers in all three of our Community Youth Teams working in our youth clubs across the city, and at our Door43 Wellbeing Cafe, held every Tuesday at our city centre venue, Star House.

Volunteering with Sheffield Futures will give you the chance to make a real difference to young people in Sheffield. It’s also a fantastic way to gain experience and build confidence. We are always looking for new volunteers at Sheffield Futures, so if you have some spare time and are looking to meet new people and make a great contribution to your local community please contact: volunteering@sheffieldfutures.org.uk or call: 0114 201 6609.

Read Shannon and Gabby’s stories below about how it’s possible to balance being a student and also a volunteer at Sheffield Futures…

Shannon’s Story

I first found out about Sheffield Futures through my Universities Careers Officer. He told me about the great volunteering Sheffield Futures offer. Since I started volunteering in the youth clubs with Sheffield Futures, I have been able to be totally flexible around university work, either volunteering one night a week or four I wanted to. The volunteering itself is great, especially if you’re curious about social/youth work careers! 

During the youth clubs you have the chance to mix with such a diverse group of kids, and here you have to opportunity to simply have a chat to them about their week or get involved with activities.

I am loving my team with Sheffield Futures, it has for sure opened my eyes to different career options, but most importantly given me invaluable experience. 

Gabby’s Story

Hello, I’m Gabby. I am currently studying Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield and on Tuesday evenings I volunteer for Sheffield Futures Wellbeing Café. I joined the Wellbeing Café’s team in October after finding out about them through my University’s Volunteering Hub. It caught my eye because it didn’t require a big commitment, it looked fun and gave me the opportunity to enjoy tea and cake!

At the Wellbeing Café I help run a wide variety of fun, engaging and interesting activities such as stress ball making, cake decorating, learning first aid, and problem solving. A lot of the sessions focus on self-care, self-love, being positive and reaching for your goals. Even I as a volunteer benefit from these sessions and I often leave feeling very uplifted and motivated.  My most memorable session was when a representative from the Amy Winehouse Project came in and opened up about his struggles with alcohol and drug addiction. It was very inspiring to listen to how he got through it all and where he is now.

At the Café I help to ensure all young people feel involved and have a relaxed and open atmosphere where everyone feels confident enough to contribute and be themselves. I provide a listening ear when necessary, forming trusting relationships with them. Another of my roles is also to help with making drinks and dishing out lovely snacks.  

Volunteering for the Wellbeing Café has not been a huge commitment whilst studying at the same time as it only requires two hours of my week. Sheffield Futures is also very conveniently located on Division Street making it easily accessible for me by walk from uni. The team have been very understanding when I have had exams and was unable to attend sessions. Having volunteered at the Café will benefit me in the future as it will look great on my CV and give me lots of interesting things to talk about in an interview.

I have always found the Wellbeing Cafe very enjoyable, always leaving feeling positive. It has been great meeting new people, especially the Sheffield Futures staff who are extremely friendly and supportive.  I am very proud to be part of an organisation that makes such a difference in young people’s lives with the support they provide them, creating positive futures.


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.