Youth Work

Wellbeing tips from Christos: Healthy body = healthy mind and workout video

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More ideas for fitness from Christos here:


Door 43 wellbeing worker Christos has taken over the Door 43 Insta channel today and is focused on the importance of exercise within the daily routine for young people. Exercise is so important to keep bodies and minds healthy. Healthy body = healthy mind.  Give Christos’s workout a go too and let us know your thoughts!

Wellbeing tips from Terri: How to be more present, increase self awareness and reduce anxiety

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Sheffield Futures wellbeing worker Terri has some great tips to share on how to increase self awareness and be in the present moment to help drive down feelings of anxiety and stress.

Listen to the birds in the background, just allowing yourself to focus on the birds tweeting is calming, makes you want to get out in nature and be in the moment – at a 2m distance from everyone else though of course!

We launch a new city centre youth club on Division Street

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Young people aged 13-17 can now attend a youth club in Sheffield city centre on Thursday evenings, led by our charity.

The new club, at our Star House HQ on Division Street, is one of 21 centres across the city where our youth workers lead up to 40 youth work sessions a week, mainly funded by Sheffield City Council.

Aaron Daniels, Youth Worker at Sheffield Futures, said: “Star House is such a great addition to our network of ‘Youth Sheffield’ youth clubs because it’s so central with lots of good transport links, and it’s a big open space that enables us to host different activities the young people are interested in, such as dance workshops.

“It’s the first time we’ve opened a youth club in the city centre, and it’s wonderful to see young people from all across Sheffield coming together.

“We’ve got lots of activities to get involved in each week, but if young people just want to come and hang out with their friends then Star place is a perfect place to do that too.”

The club recently held a launch event where young people had fun with a green screen photo booth, make up artistry and a live DJ set.

Star House youth club, 43 Division Street, is open Thursdays 5-7pm. You can find out more about all of the youth clubs we run across the city here or email [email protected] with any questions you might have.

Youth work pilot aims to safeguard vulnerable missing young people

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A pilot scheme tasking professional youth workers to help prevent vulnerable young people from going missing is underway in Sheffield.

The scheme, funded by the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, involves youth workers from Sheffield Futures working with looked-after children, who go repeatedly missing from residential care homes across the city, to help them avoid harmful situations.

Until now, this work to seek missing young people has been undertaken fully by the already over-stretched police and children’s social care.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures, said: “Professional youth work skills are a natural fit for this work to establish and maintain relationships in communities. Youth workers can use their knowledge of how young people develop through their teenage years, how to tackle challenging behaviour, de-escalate conflict and safeguard young people.

“It makes sense that these skills are employed to engage young people who are vulnerable, hard to reach, at risk of exploitation and are repeatedly going missing, and we’re already seeing promising signs that this approach can work.”

The pilot, which began in January aims to reduce the number of times a young person may go missing, and build relationships with young people to increase their ability to keep themselves safe.

The scheme enables youth workers to work in close partnership with children’s social care to gather valuable information on where young people might go as well as actively seeking them and work with South Yorkshire Police when necessary for powers of access to property, or when facing criminal behaviour.

Superintendent Lee Berry, Joint Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “Young people go missing from care homes for a variety of reasons. This behaviour leaves them vulnerable and at risk of exploitation. The work of Sheffield Futures is crucial in reducing the number of times a young person goes missing and working with them to understand why they are going missing and how they could be at risk of harm.

“By reducing the amount of missing episodes, this work is not only beneficial to the well-being of the young person, but also all services involved in supporting the young person.”

Street Doctors partnership empowers young people to save lives

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

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

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

“We’re working together with schools and vital partners in the communities to educate young people and offer early intervention to ensure they understand the risks and can make good decisions – if approached by organised crime gangs on the streets.

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

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

Project 0114 was set up with Home Office funding through Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner focussed on tackling child criminal exploitation and associated knife and gun crime across the city.

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

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

Gail Gibbons CEO appointed Go Lab Fellow of Practice

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Our CEO Gail Gibbons has been nominated as a Fellow of Practice at the prestigious Government Outcomes Lab based at The Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University.

Go Lab hosts the global knowledge hub for those considering, designing and delivering new approaches to improve social outcomes. Each year Go Lab appoints a small group of leading practitioners from across the public, private and voluntary sectors to support the mission to advance research and practice in how governments tackle complex social needs.

Gail has been appointed as a Fellow of Practice as a result of experience developing the Social Impact Bonds model and outcomes based delivery. Gail has experience of leading two Social Impact Bonds (SIB) at Sheffield Futures. Future Shapers was a DWP Youth Engagement Fund SIB delivered between 2015-2018 – supporting young people ‘not in employment, education or training (NEET) or at risk of being NEET. Project Apollo (2018-2021) is a Department for Education (UK) Social Care Innovation Fund SIB supporting care leavers into education and employment.

‘It’s really exciting to have been appointed as a Fellow of Practice by Go Lab and I’m really looking forward to sharing knowledge and expertise built up through leading innovative approaches such as the SIB model at Sheffield Futures and contributing to such an important knowledge hub. I’m equally looking forward to working alongside other appointed Fellows who all share my passion for improving social outcomes for those most vulnerable in society.’ said Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures.

The position of Fellow of Practice is pro-bono and Fellows contribute in many different ways, from providing input to research and analytical work, speaking at events, authoring and reviewing papers, and sharing learning to strengthen the global community of practitioners. In 2020 the nine Fellows’ experience spans a range of sectors and countries. More information about Go Lab and the 2020 Fellows can be found here.

Youth club opening over the Christmas period

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All Saints – Closed Tuesday 24 December and re-open on Tuesday 7 January.

Earl Marshall -Closed Wednesday 25 December and re-open on Wednesday 8 January.

Milan – Closed from Tuesday 24 December and re-open on Tuesday 7 January.

Osgathorpe – Closed from Monday 23 December and re-open on Monday 6 January.

Stocksbridge – Open on Monday 23 December. Closed from 24 December and re-open on Monday 6 January.

Shiregreen-Closed on Friday 27 December and re-open on Friday 10 January.

Verdon Street – Closed on Thursday 26 December and re-open on Thursday 9 January.

Wincobank – Open on Monday 23 December. Closed from 24 December and re-open Monday 6 January.

Wordsworth -Closed from Tuesday 24 December and re-open on Tuesday 7 January.


Com.Unity – Closed on Tuesday December 24 and will re-open from Monday 6 January.

DEC – Closed on Tuesday December 24 and will re-open from Monday 6 January.

Leo’s – Closed on Tuesday December 24 and will re-open from Monday 6 January.

Norfolk Park – Closed on Tuesday December 24 and will re-open from Thursday 2 January.

Tinsley – Closed on Wednesday December 25 and will re-open from Thursday 2 January.

Woodthorpe – Closed on Tuesday December 24 and will re-open from Monday 6 January.


Common Ground – Closed on Friday 27 December and re-open on Friday 3 January.

Herdings – Closed from Tuesday December 24 and re-open Friday 3 January.

Lowedges – Closed from Tuesday December 24 and re-open from Tuesday 7 January.

Star House – Thursday 26 December and re-open on Thursday 9 January.

U-Mix – Closed from Tuesday December 24 and re-open from Tuesday 7 January.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Youth Work Week 2019 blog: Young people treated fairly and equally 

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Simon is a Youth Work Team Leader at Sheffield Futures. As part of Simon’s role, he delivers Youth Sheffield in the North of the city. Youth Sheffield is Sheffield’s city wide youth service. Youth Sheffield provides safe spaces where young people can feel comfortable and confident and take part in enriching activities, keeping them safe and supported to make the most of their lives. For today’s #YWW19 theme, Simon talks about how Sheffield Futures works to ensure young people in Sheffield are treated fairly and equally.

I’m a professional youth worker and have been involved in youth work for the last 20 years. My role within Youth Sheffield is to oversee all the youth clubs and youth workers in the North of Sheffield.

To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt, ‘If we can’t build a future for our youth, we must build our youth for the future.’ I believe that good quality, properly funded youth work can fulfil this function and as a society we owe it to young people to give them the best life chances.

Young people in Sheffield are starting from a very unfair and unequal position and unfortunately, the data shows how this trend is growing. To provide a flavour, in line with national trends, the most up-to-date data (August 2014) shows an increase in child poverty, with 24.7% of children recorded as living in poverty in Sheffield. That’s nearly a quarter of children. However there’s growing concern about increased differences in Sheffield between different parts of the city. In Ecclesall ward, 3.3% of children were living in poverty, whilst in Firth Park the figure was 14 times higher at 42.9% of children. The report suggests that there are clearly lots of causes of child poverty however that it’s likely the national welfare reforms are a significant driver of changes seen in levels of child poverty. Specifically the lower benefit cap that took effect in 2017 and has taken the number of households in Sheffield affected by the cap from 113 to an estimated 900 households. In total, those households contain 3,446 children. (Data taken from State of Sheffield Report 2017)

So, the playing field is far from equal yet Article 2 of the UN Convention rights of a child states that “No child should be treated unfairly on any basis”. This clearly sets out that no matter who you are, where you come from or your background you shouldn’t be treated unfairly because of this. Yet at some point in all our lives we have been treated unfairly or not as an equal to others based on our backgrounds, where we live as a result of perceived abilities in life or for other reasons.

Youth work readdresses this balance in that through coming into a youth work setting, young people are plugged into a range of support, advice and guidance as well as inspiring enrichment activities that act as a safety net and go some way to restore a sense of fair and equal treatment by society. In this setting they are exposed to positive role models. Our youth workers across the city are providing quality youth provision in safe and welcoming environments for young people. They treat all young people fairly and equally regardless of their post code, colour, creed, religious or political views or finances.  Through Youth Sheffield, we endeavour to put young people first and foremost, providing a safe and inspiring space where they are treated fairly and equally and are fully supported to make the best of their lives.

If you or a young person you know would benefit from getting involved in any of the initiatives mentioned here and would benefit from support please reach out to Sheffield Futures. Tel 0114 2012800 or [email protected]

Find out more about your community youth club here

All youth clubs closed tonight – Thursday 7 November

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Due to the adverse weather conditions we have taken the decision to close all youth clubs across the city tonight. Please stay safe and dry.

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.