Youth Clubs

Bridging the Gap: Improving Communication Between Young People and the Police

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Futures hosted a Festival of Debate event to discuss Bridging the Gap, improving communication between the police and young people in our city. The event looked at how can the police better communicate with young people, why wouldn’t a young person report a crime and what can be done to change that?

Following on from Sheffield Youth Cabinet’s knife crime consultations with young people, we wanted to start a discussion to see how we can work together for a better, safer Sheffield.

The group looked at community policing and how stronger links could be made between the police and young people. Feedback stated that “police should be aware of people’s mental health” and that when appropriate, “police should laugh with young people.”

The group felt that recruiting younger PCSOs would be beneficial and there should be a police presence in areas where it is lacking.

The group also discussed what areas are best to engage with young people and the wider community, what would work best for young people, that may not work for the wider community and whether communications needed to be improved with the whole community and not just young people.

They also looked at whether in a time of cuts, what alternatives might there be to improve police presence, including Neighbourhood Watch. Some young people felt that it was important to increase “early years school visits” to “reduce stigma of the police.”

The attendees were split into three groups and moved to three discussion areas, each group getting an opportunity to speak about the three identified themes. One theme was perceptions of the police in 2019.

Some of the young people said they “hate the police, they’re too quick to blame people who are non-white.”

“It’s not just colour, but also about what area you live in.”

“The police don’t go to areas where they don’t sell drugs, but they should go everywhere.”

“I see the police as a gang but they can keep people safe in some respects like abuse against children.”

One of the young people had a different experience with the police when they were with their Youth Justice Service worker. They described their experiences as positive.

The third discussion topic was online presence and what would work when trying to communicate with young people. The group said: “humorous videos, but not patronising ones” would be good and that it was okay for the police to “use all social media except Snapchat.”

“Communication doesn’t have to only be online, it should be face-to-face.”

“Police have a negative image and they need to work on how they’re perceived. Social media should help to humanise the police.”

One young person said “there is a perception of the police as being threatening.”

“There is a fine balance between uniform being for creating safety and enforcement.”

One said “there should be a guide to how to contact the police online, for young people.” “The police need to create a helpline which feels accessible to young people and is young people friendly.”

Young people fed back that their most used social media is Instagram, followed by Twitter, Snapchat, Whatsapp and finally Facebook.

Some believed that it would be appropriate for the police to use these channels and provide approachable and friendly content.

One young person said that it was important to “address online cyber crimes including selling drugs and methods for young people to pass on information.”

“Transparency is important and police posts could create get their messages out.”

The attendees then joined together with a Q&A session with the police. The group were joined by Superintendent Paul McCurry, Superintendent Melanie Palin and Sergeant Simon Kirkham to discuss some of the issues that were raised in the debates and discussions.

Young people challenged the police about racism in the police force and stated that the police had no presence in their communities. Sergeant Simon Kirkham offered to run sessions where the debate could be continued.

Sheffield Young Advisor Shuheb Miah said that conversation at the debate concluded that there was “ideological bias – police are proportionally from a white culture so they lean more towards their own culture without realising that others view them in a racist light.”

Shuheb continues, “The key issues were trust, faith and the effort to report to the police. Media portrayals create a typification of a certain criminal type which shapes the views the police have of offenders.”

Key issues from the debate include: “interaction and understanding, social exclusion/segregation and partiality (BME- 25% under 25 yrs)”

“United Nation convention of the rights of a child says: ‘Child’s state is a primary consideration in the context’ of them being vulnerable in juveniles justice.”

The Bridging the Gap debate attendees said that “999 police line isn’t very efficient when you’re in an emergency and waiting ‘on hold’ could become dangerous.” Solutions could include:
⁃ “Officers suggest an app is created that on use pinpoints location and creates an individual helpline with a member of the police who can help directly
⁃ Access to social media (Twitter) like the Facebook SY police page where surveillance can occur to monitor safety of online servers.
However… this runs the risk of a ‘surveillance society’ or the ‘Big Brother effect’ where protection conflicts with people’s private lives.”

Shuheb said that the group he was with spoke about the power that police held. One said: “They are bullies by making young people powerless and not listening to what they’ve to say in the wake of implementing justice.”

Others said: “If a good service is given by the police the this good experience will be disseminated to others who then share the positive experiences with the police which they will also expect to find if a situation arises with the police creating unity.”

“The people and their behaviour rather than the race should dictate the treatment.”

One said “When an act is committed it is the behaviour/situation that is to blame and has influenced this act.”

Some of the group felt that their communities would not attend a conversation with the police. “Communities not wanting to attend as an already negative/tainted reputation with the police and they have a lack of faith.”

Shuheb’s overall views of Bridging the Gap event:
🙂 The event helped address issues especially the BME community view
🙂 Issue focus meant that the senior members could not work closely with the groups/members who felt affected by the police processes that did not benefit them.

😞 The police are cyclical by focussing the same old issues again and again when aspects like racism exist and simply talking about them will not remove these ingrained biases.”

      

Official launch event: Project 0114, tackling child criminal exploitation

Sadie White No Comments

Last night marked the official launch of Project 0114 – the project to tackle child criminal exploitation and associated gun and knife crime across the city. Led by Sheffield Futures and delivered in partnership with organisations across the city, the project, is set up with Home Office funding through Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner.  Project delivery partners are Sheffield City Council, ACT Sheffield, The Unity Gym Project, Broomhall Girls Group, Manor Castle Development Trust, My Life Project, Princes Trust, and Change Grow Live (CGL).

Speaking at the event Dr Alan Billings said ‘When I speak to young people the message is clear that they’re most worried about stabbings nowadays, and that’s got to change.’

‘Criminal gangs are targeting younger people, encouraging them to get involved in criminality. Young people, looking for friendship, are drawn into the gang and through the simple task of carrying a package, may be taking the first steps towards criminal behaviour.’

‘We all need to work together in partnership 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.’ he continued.

Project delivery partners running activities with young people at the event included The Corner, Unity Gym, Sheffield City Council, Broomhall Girls Group, My Life Project and Manor Castle Development Trust as well as Sheffield Futures charity partners GB Boxing who attended to run workshops with young people along with England Netball.

From June onwards, year seven pupils in secondary schools across the city, along with year six children in primary schools in targeted areas, will have six information and skills-based sessions focussed on preventing child criminal exploitation and exploring the effects of knife and gun crime. The series of sessions will be co-delivered by youth workers and specially trained young people in schools.

Young people will be provided with information about how they can seek support to move away from serious youth violence and to understand their rights and responsibilities in this area. This element will form a key strand of the new Violent Crime and Organised Criminality (VCOC) strategy in Sheffield.

A second strand to the programme will see youth work activities delivered for young people in targeted areas to provide safe spaces where they can benefit from the strengths and experience of delivery partners, learning new and inspiring arts, music, media and sports skills. The five areas of the city as identified in the VCOC strategy are Broomhall, North East Sheffield, Manor Castle/Arbourthorne, Burngreave/Pitsmoor and Lowedges.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures said, ‘Through Project 0114, we hope to equip our children and young people to be able to steer clear of the serious threat that comes from organised crime, child criminal exploitation and the associated violent crime we are unfortunately seeing become more and more frequent across the city. And, in the areas we know are being targeted by criminals intent on exploiting our young people we hope to engage children in inspiring activities and at the same time offer safe spaces where young people can learn and thrive.’

Spring at Herdings Youth Centre: Art & gardening therapy

Sadie White No Comments

Iain Jones, Youth Worker at Herdings youth club comments on a piece of work that has made life for a young person and their family a little bit brighter.

‘I’ve been encouraging our young people to try and grow things for the community garden at Herdings. We’ve had success with sunflowers, almost 60 germinated, we’ve lost some to the slugs and the hot days but we have loads. We have also been doing some painting and utilising some old pieces of wood and producing small art works on wood, it’s more permanent than paper.

During one of our quiet sessions, which is rare, one of our young ladies was explaining her family circumstances, the family is stuck in a flat with a small balcony and she said things are a bit stressful, Dad’s having mental health problems and is trying to grow some plants as a bit of therapy. So she painted a lovely sun set with clouds and birds with the intention of giving it to Dad. I gave her some sun flowers to give to him. The next week she bounced into the club saying dad was pleased with the sunflowers and he had put her painting in his special place on the balcony and was over the moon with it.’

‘It’s only a simple thing but over the last few months we’ve had problems with crime and vandalism and a near fatal stabbing and it touched me that all this young lady wanted was to just make dad happy.’

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!

  

Migration Matters Festival 14-22 June

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Sheffield continues to celebrate migration with the return of the UK’s largest city-wide Refugee Week event!

“Britain’s largest festival that celebrates the contribution of refugees and promotes understanding of why people seek sanctuary is more relevant than ever.” – New Internationalist, 2017.

Migration Matters Festival returns to Sheffield with its biggest line up to date for Refugee Week 2019, showcasing a large spectrum of local, national and international acts that will come together to celebrate the positive impact of migration in the city and the UK.

Sheffield Futures are proudly participating in Migration Matters Festival this year, with a photography exhibition by young people across Sheffield. The photographs will be shown on Monday 17th June at Sheffield Futures, Division St between 5-7pm and then for the rest of the week. Young people who have participated in the project live in Sheffield and represent the diverse communities that make Sheffield great, including Roma Slovak, Pakistani and Somali communities.

“Driven by this year’s Refugee Week Theme, ‘You, Me and Those Who Came Before’, the festival sheds light on how Sheffield and the UK has been forged by the generations of people whose cultures have shaped and made it a richer place. While the country has been plunged into uncertainty – a word we’ve all grown weary of, it’s essential we don’t lose sight of what makes this island great: its people.” – Sam Holland, Migration Matters Festival Director.

This year’s 8-day festival will take place from 14th to 22nd June with over 60 events during what will be the UK’s 21st annual Refugee Week. Migration Matters Festival is set to continue the important work of bringing communities together to enjoy a culturally rich mix of theatre, music, film, dance, spoken word, academic talks, and food – covering key topics such as LGBTQI+ identity, mental health and activism to name a few.

Migration Matters Festival is at venues across Sheffield, 14-22 June. Full lineup and how to book are at www.migrationmattersfestival.co.uk. All events are Pay-What-you-Decide to ensure that the festival is open and available to all. However, it is advised that tickets are reserved for most events through Tickets for Good who specialise in making events accessible to vulnerable audiences.

www.migrationmattersfestival.co.uk

Twitter/Instagram: @migmatfest #sheffieldisopen #MigMatFest19

Facebook: www.facebook.com/migrationmattersfestival

Day of action a success for Woodthorpe youth club

Sadie White No Comments

Friday the 5th April saw the Woodthorpe young people’s campaign to revamp their youth club, Woodthorpe Social Action Project (WSAP), spring to life as volunteers from local businesses Loadhog, as well as staff and young people from Sheffield Futures and local artist Marcus Method picked up their paintbrushes and set about transforming the space.

Woodthorpe, an estate in Sheffield and an area of high deprivation and anti-social behaviour currently has a youth club but attendees feel that more could be done to attract new club members who could hugely benefit from being part of the group. Youth workers in Woodthorpe have supported young people at the Sheffield Futures club to form WSAP.

‘The day has been a great success. It’s so fantastic to see the community spirit come alive with all the young people rallying together to transform their space.’ says Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures.

‘We’re really thankful to the six employees from Loadhog who have spent their day helping as well as donating funds for the paint. And we were all thrilled when local visual artist Marcus Method said he would create a wonderful mural for the building. Also a huge thanks to Sheffield City Council for their pledge to put a new floor into the club and importantly thank you to representatives from All About You and Sheffield Futures staff, young people and supporters for rolling their sleeves up and making today such a success.’ Gail continues.

MP for Sheffield Heeley Louise Haigh also attended on the day. ‘In recent months, I’ve been working with local councillors, the TARA, and the Police to tackle the serious crime and anti-social behaviour that have been taking place in Woodthorpe. The volunteers involved with the Woodthorpe Social Action Project hope that improvements to the youth club will also help the situation by providing a safe space and positive activities for young people.’ says Louise.

‘We should commend these young people who are taking the initiative to provide a better place for their friends and the local community as a whole. If you’d like to support their efforts, you can help by donating your time, money, or materials to redecorate the club.’ Louise continues. You can read more about Louise’s visit on her blog here.

Local visual artist Marcus Method has transformed the main room of the club with a fantastic, colourful mural.

Marcus Method is a Sheffield based visual artist. He works mainly on large scale painting projects although he also makes studio paintings, small sculptures and creates digital work.

WSAP are enthusiastic to do something positive for young people in their area. They are meeting weekly to discuss ideas, organise fundraisers, create videos and plan the redecoration of their youth club. WSAP are still looking for donations and funds to help them make the youth club fully for purpose.

WSAP is fundraising and asking the local community for cash and equipment donations to improve the club, if you can help, please see: http://ow.ly/OHSh30o6pAE

 

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!

  

Woodthope youngsters’ drive to transform community centre

Sadie White No Comments

Woodthorpe youngsters’ drive to transform community centre

A group of inspirational young people, looking to transform their youth club have started a campaign to revamp it into a welcoming space that will attract more young people in the community.  

Woodthorpe, an estate in Sheffield and an area of high deprivation and anti-social behaviour currently has a youth club but attendees feel that more could be done to attract new club members who could hugely benefit from being part of the group.

Youth workers in Woodthorpe have supported young people at the Sheffield Futures club to form the Woodthorpe Social Action Project (WSAP).

‘We want to make the club more homely and inviting for people who haven’t been or maybe don’t even know Woodthorpe has a youth club. Youth club is a safer place than hanging around on the streets and somewhere that young people can come and have fun, get involved with positive activities and be with their mates. We want to make it look better and we’re going to get involved as much as we can. We’ve written letters to MPs and Councillors letting them know what we’re doing and inviting them to come down and see the club.Says Cole,founder of the WSAP.

‘We’ve made a list of things we would really like to change about the club and are working on a plan with our youth worker at Sheffield Futures that includes a day of social action on the 5th April in the Easter holidays, where we are going to get involved in making the transformation happen working towards a grand unveiling in August.’ Says Ash, co-founder of WSAP.

‘We’re also really excited as Marcus Method, a Sheffield artist has kindly offered to do a mural for the club which is brilliant!’ Says Ash.

WSAP are enthusiastic to do something positive for young people in their area. They are meeting weekly to discuss ideas, organise fundraisers, create videos and plan the redecoration of their youth club. Gary Beatson from Sheffield City Council (SCC) was impressed by WSAP’s promotional video, which shows the group discussing the project and their plans for the youth club. Gary has since met the group and, after discussing the project with Senior FM Managers in SCC, they have kindly pledged to fit a new floor and lighting for the SCC-owned venue, which will go a long way to transform the space.

Commenting on the WSAP Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley and Shadow Policing Minister says ‘It’s fantastic to see such inspirational young people working hard to bring benefits for the whole of the Woodthorpe community. These young men and women are taking the initiative and working hard to provide a better place for their friends to be as well as the whole community and that is to be commended.’

Local business Loadhog have pledged to provide six volunteers to assist with the re-decoration of the youth club, painting the walls in colours that have been approved by all youth club attendees. On Friday 5th April, volunteers, WSAP, Sheffield Futures youth workers and colleagues will work hard to transform the space.

WSAP is fundraising and asking the local community for cash and equipment donations to improve the club, if you can help, please see: http://ow.ly/OHSh30o6pAE

WSAP are looking for good quality donations that will stand the test of time in a busy youth club:

Main room:

  1. Decorating materials – all prep materials and paint
  2. Furnishings – soft furnishings, 4 sofas, chairs, picture frames, roller blinds, disco ball!

Chill room:

  1. Furnishings – sofa and soft furnishings

Kitchen:

  1. Fridge
  2. New kitchen & installation

Music room:

  1. CD Mixer
  2. Earphones
  3. Storage
  4. Chairs
  5. USB / SCART lead
  6. Mixer stand

Could you help WSAP? You can make a cash donation here http://ow.ly/OHSh30o6pAE or call 07766 751 614 or email fundraising@sheffieldfutures.org.uk if you have time or skills to help.

-Ends-

Media contacts

For more information and associated imagery please contact:

Sadie White, Media and Communications Officer

Email: sadie.white@sheffieldfutures.org.uk or call: 0114 201 6622

Natasha Bright, Marketing and Communications Co-coordinator

Email: tash.bright@sheffieldfutures.org.uk or call: 0114 201 8647

Notes to the Editor – About Sheffield Futures

We are an independent charity, which supports young people and adults to achieve their full potential in learning, employment and life. We deliver a wide range of services to young people and adults from our city-centre multi-agency one-stop-shop and from our delivery sites in local communities.

We are passionate about making sure that young people’s voices are at the heart of everything we do, and have a particular focus on working with disadvantaged and hard to reach young people and communities.

We work closely with our partners across the statutory; voluntary, community, faith; and private sectors to work together to support young people, adults and communities towards a better future – and we welcome opportunities for furthering our partnership work

#YouthWorkMatters – How Tyler moved towards his dream job with the help of youth workers.

Tash Bright No Comments

Going to youth club is so much more than socialising with your friends.

Tyler was thirteen when he started attending his local youth club at Wincobank. He enjoyed it so much that he began to visit a different youth club, Millan Centre, a bit further away so that he could go to three sessions a week. He says he enjoyed “socialising with friends. Going to youth club was my time to relax and get away from worrying about school and work.”

I’m slowly getting to where I wanna be and all my youth workers have got me there.

As Tyler continued attending the youth club, he came to an age where he could help assist the youth workers as a Young Leader. A Young Leader is a certified achievement for young people who have helped at their youth club. Tyler helped to set up the space for the youth club sessions, and help to “manage the naughty kids” by getting them to calm down and focus on a planned activity.

Through Sheffield Futures, Tyler began and completed his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Completing an award looks fantastic on your CV, gives you the skills you need in work and life and provides an opportunity to be the best you can be no matter who you are or where you’re from. Whilst Tyler didn’t enjoy the expedition section of the Award, he successfully gained his Bronze Award – giving him another achievement to add to his CV.

At Wincobank and Millan Youth Club, Tyler helped to ‘youth proof’ Sheffield Futures services and documents, making sure that the services were fit for purpose: to help young people and that any documents designed to be used with young people were engaging and interesting. Helping to youth proof services gives young people the chance to have their say whilst building confidence – it also ensures that Sheffield Futures are putting young people at the heart of everything they do.

At 16, Tyler began a games design course and spoke to his youth workers Sam, James and Lucy about his future options. Sam helped Tyler to write his CV and James helped him to prepare for interview questions. With Lucy’s help – motivating Tyler to follow his dreams and apply to become a Sports Coach – Tyler took the leap and got the job!

Recently, Tyler applied to become a teacher, with the hope of working towards becoming a sports teacher. After receiving a reference from his youth worker Lucy, we are pleased to say that he has been offered and accepted the position.

Tyler said:

“Going to youth club is so much more than socialising with your friends. My youth workers really helped me to think about my future and take steps to getting there. They gave me so much guidance. I’m slowly getting to where I wanna be and all my youth workers have got me there. Thank you so much for all you’ve done.”

 


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

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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.

Update: Woodthorpe Social Action Project! #WoodthorpeSAP

Tash Bright No Comments

Young people from Woodthorpe want to improve their youth club, to make it a welcoming space that the whole community can benefit from. Currently the community space is used by two groups, including Sheffield Futures Woodthorpe Youth Club. Attendees at the youth club have formed a group: Woodthorpe Social Action Project (WSAP) who “want to make the youth club more homely and inviting to people who haven’t been here before.”

The group have met with local Councillors to show them the space and the changes they would like to make. Here’s Ash showing them the paint samples they have chosen and how they voted as a group to decide which one to go with!

WSAP also met with Ryzard and Mo from All About You who run a session for young people with learning difficulties at Woodthorpe Youth Club.  They discussed what they were planning to do with the centre and how they plan to incorporate the young people from All About You group’s ideas and needs. 

They also discussed other opportunities to get involved in community action through All About You including using the outdoor areas and painting outside!

The group have been busy meeting local Police Community Support Officers to discuss their work, which led to a conversation about the area and local young people’s issues. The group discussed knife crime and young people’s solutions to the problems.

WSAP met with local employer, Loadhog, who have generously offered to support their social action project. Staff from Loadhog will be offering support painting and decorating on the main social action day (Friday 5th April) and the young people are delighted to have been offered their help. The group received a tour of the site and discussed ways in which they would try and help. 

The group are looking for support from local people, businesses and more to make their ideas a reality. Before any decorating can take place, there are repairs that need to take place and equipment which is no longer in use to be removed. WSAP will be holding fundraisers and asking the local community for donations to improve the club, but are also looking for donations of time and skills for the repair work.

Could you help WSAP? Call: 07766 751 614 or email: fundraising@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

“Anything that anyone can do would be great because this is a second home to us.”


#YouthWorkMatters

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.