Youth Clubs

Success for Sheffield’s youth election as voters turn out in their thousands

Tash Bright No Comments

Young people across Sheffield voted to decide who will be elected to join Sheffield Youth Cabinet, to voice their issues and concerns on a local, regional and national level. 2017 has been the most successful year for local young people voting in the Youth Cabinet Elections, with a total of 11,581 votes!

All over Sheffield, schools and youth clubs have been promoting the Youth Cabinet Elections, with posters advertising the school’s candidates as well as proud parents tweeting support on Twitter!

Birkdale School said: “Our lower school assembly handled the topic of democracy and we all voted [in the Youth Cabinet Elections this February.]”

Handsworth Grange said: “Pupils will be voting and showing their support. Good luck to our own Fozia Sultana.”

The candidates presented their manifestos in early February, which included their policies on important issues such as mental health, cheaper transport and a curriculum to prepare young people for life as well as other concerns.

The Elections announcement took place at Sheffield Town Hall and celebrated the achievements of the previous Youth Cabinet Members since they began their posts in 2015. Exiting members told of how they met with Members of Parliament and discussed the local issues they championed, which were then raised in the Houses of Parliament.

Lare Fergie said: “The past few years have been truly wonderful, and it has been an honour to represent the young people of Sheffield. One thing that has really stood out to me is that we can make a real difference.

Back when I was first elected, I had very little experience politically; I attended protests and was incredibly passionate about what I believed in. But since then I’ve managed to make some very real changes. I’m currently working for the Royal College of Psychiatrists alongside NHS England, writing pioneering policy, and pathways. I’ve spoken at countless conferences, to commissioning groups, and politicians. I’ve done TV, radio and newspaper interviews raising awareness of mental health problems… The list could go on.”

The group wished the new candidates well as they started their term in office.

Certificates were presented to the group for their achievements over the last year and each member was congratulated by Sue Mia, former Involvement Worker at Sheffield Futures who retired in March 2016. Sue said: “One of the best things about being a youth worker is seeing young people blossom, learn to have their say and I’m sure you will all go on to be a great success.”

MP Gill Furniss welcomed the event, saying: “Becoming a Youth Councillor will give you the confidence to speak on behalf of all young people in Sheffield. That confidence will help you to work with MPs and make a difference on a national scale. I’m so pleased that many young people have voted in this election and it is important that you all vote, and have your say in the future. Hopefully we will see you on the Council soon and in Parliament after that!”

The new Sheffield Youth Cabinet for 2017 – 2019 are:

Elected Youth Councillors for West Sheffield are; Arman (King Edwards VII School), Benjamin (Tapton School), Ismail (High Storrs School), Lara (Tapton School), Luke (King Edwards VII School), Rebecca (Tapton School) and Sam (Tapton School).

Successful Youth Councillors representing East Sheffield are; Abbi (Park Academy), Fozia (Handsworth Grange Community Sports College), Kate (Outwood Academy), Sapha and Shauna.

Elected Youth Councillors for North Sheffield are; Aisha, Jennifer (Hinde House), Joanna (Firth Park Academy), Leo (Yewlands Academy) and Megan (Ecclesfield School)

Lara Fergie, Youth Councillor for East Sheffield delivered a closing speech and thanked the participants for all of their hard work, saying: “Events like this give me hope that young people really do have a voice and I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the next two years.”

The schools which participated in the voting process also received accolades. Schools were given a Democracy Award for their achievements with the Bronze award for 50% or more students voting, going to Park Academy, Newfield School and Stocksbridge High School.

Over 70% or more of students at the following schools voted, earning the schools the Silver award: Birley Community College, High Storrs School, Meadowhead School, Chaucer School and Hinde House.

Yewlands Academy received votes from 100% students, earning the school the only Gold award.

Sheffield Youth Cabinet Elections 2017

Tash Bright No Comments

What is this election?

This election is an opportunity for you to vote for a candidate to become a member of the Sheffield Youth Cabinet. Each candidate has written a manifesto to explain what they hope to achieve in this role.

What do the Sheffield Youth Cabinet do?

The Sheffield Youth Cabinet aim to represent the voice of all young people aged 11-18 who live in Sheffield. As a part of their role they work on campaigns to make adults and other young people look at and listen to the issues that you want seen and heard. This work is voluntary. They are all passionate about making Sheffield and the UK a better and fairer place for young people.

Where and when can I vote?

  • A Ballot Box will be or has been delivered to your school.
  • You can vote in your school or possibly in your local youth club or at a youth group that you go to.
  • You can vote anytime from the 6th of February to the 14th of February 2017

Why should I vote?

  • You are voting for a young person who wants to make a difference for you and other young people.
  • Democracy and living in a fair and equal society is important for everyone.
  • These are not adult politicians making decisions about your future, these are young people giving you a voice now.

How do I vote?

  • Take 5 minutes to watch and listen to the Manifestos – coming soon to the Sheffield Futures website/Facebook and in your schools.
  • Decide which candidate you think would do a good job.
  • Think about the issues that they have said they will try to improve.
  • Put a cross or tick next to the candidate that you choose on your voting slip.
  • Put your voting slip in the ballot box.

If you have any questions please contactLee Raven – Youth Worker, Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division Street, Sheffield, S1 4GE

Twelve Days of Sheffield Futures!

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Sheffield Futures, showed they could rock around the Christmas tree by releasing a video of staff performing the Twelve Days of Christmas, with a charity twist!

The Marketing and Communications team and re-worked the song to celebrate successful activities raising funds to give Sheffield’s young people the future they deserve. Throughout the year Sheffield Futures run activities and campaigns aimed at giving young people education and employment opportunities, whilst also helping young people at risk in Sheffield. The local charity has done lots of vital youth service work over the last 12 months, so to finish of the year on a light-hearted note, they put on their Christmas hats and sweaters and showed that although they play a positive part Sheffield’s future, they may not have a future in music.

Whilst the harmonies may be few and far between, the Christmas spirit comes in bucket loads. You can see the full version of the video on the Sheffield Futures YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4-Jj63Oa58 and the video is also being released in 12 segments on social media until Christmas Eve. The song’s lyrics detail many of the ways that Sheffield Futures help young people to succeed, “Sheffield Futures gave to me life guidance for a better me!”

One size does not fit all – #YouthWorkWeek

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Futures has developed a model to ensure the youth work skill set is not lost despite the current climate of cuts to youth services. The recent Unison report ‘The Damage’ shows how cuts to youth services are damaging young people’s lives. In Sheffield, we are determined that this will not be the case.

It’s well known that there have been many cuts to youth services, with 350 youth centres closed nationally since 2012.

A teenage attendee at Woodthorpe Youth Club said: “Youth work is so important to us because our youth workers are always there for us even when we don’t deserve it, and won’t ever give up on us even though it feels sometimes like everybody else has.”

In Sheffield over the last six years, youth clubs have closed and opening hours and funding for activities have been reduced. The need for youth work does not reduce with funding cuts though. Youth workers support teenagers with everything from health, to employment, to citizenship and community involvement. The relationships that young people form with youth workers are invaluable, support is tailored and responsive to change in need. However, whilst youth work engagement and support skills are in high demand for one to one work with vulnerable young people, funding for traditional youth work services is reducing – leaving a skills gap.

Jon Boagey, National Youth Agency said: “In recent years youth work organisations like Sheffield Futures have responded to the pressing needs of the most vulnerable young people. Investment has shifted in this direction but we also need to fund programmes that support young people before their needs become acute.  Sheffield Futures has managed to continue supporting open access youth work and hopefully resources will be available to do this in the future.”  

This Youth Work Week, award-winning youth charity Sheffield Futures is celebrating the skilled work force that is often described as a lifeline for young people. All qualified youth workers have been given additional training so that they can deliver much-needed one to one support, assessing and supporting vulnerable young people at risk of poor life chances.. This flexible delivery ensures that young people have workers who delivers open access youth work in clubs as well as supporting them on a one-to-one basis through a case work approach. In Sheffield, youth workers are part of multi-agency youth support teams.

Louise Ellison, Community Youth Teams Manager at Sheffield Futures said: “The city of Sheffield is committed to ensuring that youth work skills and youth services are not lost. The City Council contracts Sheffield Futures to run youth services including regular youth clubs. Sheffield Hallam University deliver the Youth and Community Work degree, showing that in our city, there is both a need and people wanting to deliver

Sheffield has developed a flexible approach to youth work, developed to the individual and community need. For instance, the ‘curriculum’ delivered at Sheffield Futures youth clubs, is developed to meet the needs of the community and young people who attend. Youth work takes many forms in the city, and includes group work, one-to-one sessions, open access youth clubs and detached work, on the streets where young people are. Services are delivered by multiple agencies, including specialist workers who help young people to think about their future and take steps towards education, employment and training.

Ellie McMahon, Youth Worker at Sheffield Futures said: “I think youth work is so important because the transition from childhood to adulthood is one of the most difficult and confusing times in a lifetime, and youth work provides a safe and supportive environment for young people to find who they are and get answers to things they otherwise would not ask. It also teaches things that school doesn’t, and does so in a completely non-judgemental and inclusive way.”

A Day in the Life of a Youth Worker – Ellie’s Story

Tash Bright No Comments

First things first I think it’s fair to say that no two days in the life of a youth worker are the same.

The practical side of a day in the life consists of a bit of paperwork and admin to ensure that records and outcomes are up to date, but the meaningful part and the reason that we all do what we do changes not only day to day or hour by hour, but young person to young person and the tell-tale sign of a good youth worker means that their approach will changes to ensure that each young person’s needs are being met in that instant.

Those needs will vary; and you will find yourself giving emotional support in relation to various issues, to giving practical support in terms of looking at education post 16, or strategies to cope with mental health in an instant. Your support will take the form of 1:1 sessions with more vulnerable young people, to group work sessions around different curriculum topics within a youth club setting as well as becoming an expert pool and table tennis player to ensure that each young person’s experience of being youth worked is a positive one. You will even find yourself walking the streets in the cold and rain, trying to find out why young people would rather be there, than in a safe, dry environment like a youth club.

You will find yourself managing behaviour and diffusing conflict between friendship groups and relationships within a youth centre as well as making sure that equipment and the building are suitable for the young people you are working with at that time, and finally you will find yourself rapidly becoming a Masterchef as a sure fire way of engaging young people is through their belly.

In short a youth worker is truly a Jack of all trades and master of ALL, each day youth workers must be prepared to think on their feet and make split second decisions with the interests of each young person at heart, as it is their privilege to be a part of that young person’s transition from childhood to adulthood and be a positive role model and supporting influence that will be remembered by each young person they have worked with long after they have reached adulthood.

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.
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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.

http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/international-youth-day/

Young people with special educational needs win trip to the British Science Museum

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Sheffield Futures has secured a £500 grant to take 33 young people with special educational needs and disabilities to the British Science Museum as part of British Science Week.

Competition was tough with the British Science Week 2016 Community Grant Scheme receiving 218 applications for just 50 grants.

The trip took place on Saturday 19th March and was the final activity as part of a month-long project, which started in February, to raise awareness of careers and study opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

We run three specialist youth clubs for young people aged 13-25 with special educational needs and disabilities who meet weekly and engage in learning activities.

One of the main aims of the groups is to focus on the young people’s futures and potential education, employment and training opportunities. This unique project will offer them the chance to think about a career in scientific subjects. The trip will also be a valuable social experience for the group and for many will be their first visit to London.

The trip will be evaluated to find out what the young people have learned and to inform planning for similar future activities for this group.

Louise Ellison, Community Youth Team Manager for the West of Sheffield, will be travelling to London with the group. She said: “The group of young people will have an opportunity for informal learning in an engaging and fun environment with the support of peers and trusted, experienced youth workers. This is an exciting opportunity for young people who would not normally get the opportunity to visit our nation’s capital.”

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.