Youth 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:

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 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:

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


February Half Term with Sheffield Futures

ceriannr No Comments

An unusually sunny February half-term was packed with fun activities for young people in Sheffield with Football, Ice Hockey and climbing on the menu.

Attendees of Norfolk Park Youth Club and Millan Youth Club and young people from the wider area got together with Street League at Goals Sheffield for a two-hour, 6-a-side mixed tournament.

We love working with Street League, who use sport as a gateway for education, skills and employment for young people aged 16-24. Elsewhere, young people enjoyed ice skating and climbing followed by a group meal to round off an active week.

“It was a great opportunity to get young people from different Youth Clubs and backgrounds together,” said youth work coordinator, John Moloughney. “The teams were totally mixed, even staff and volunteers got a game so it was a really great time.”

Woodthorpe Youth Club Social Action Project

Tash Bright No Comments

Young people from Woodthorpe want to improve their youth club, to make it a welcoming space that more young people can benefit from. Currently the community space, owned by Sheffield City Council, 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.”

WSAP have made a list of things they would like to change about the club and are working on a plan – leading up to a day of social action during the Easter holidays, where they will work with local businesses and partners. This project will involve young people-led fundraisers, asking the local community for their time, skills and expertise and bringing together businesses, decision makers and young people to make positive change in an area that has received negative press. Last June, the Guardian reported a rise in serious violence across Sheffield, focussing on Lowedges and Woodthorpe “two of the estates blighted by a murder and three shootings in recent weeks.”

WSAP are meeting weekly to discuss ideas, organise fundraisers, create videos and plan the redecoration of their youth club. The group said: “Youth club is a safer place than being on the streets. 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 inviting them to come down and see the club.”

The youth club stands back from the road, with little outdoor lighting to show that a session is on, which may attract new attendees. This is something that the group would like to change, with additional flood lighting so that they can make use of the club’s football pitch during the dark evenings.

Inside, the club needs a lick of paint and an upgrade to their furnishings. The group “met a street artist who we want to do a mural at the youth club. This project is giving us the experiences that we probably won’t ever have again. How many people will be able to say ‘I helped paint that wall with an artist’?!”

“I wanna do some spray painting because it sounds fun.”

The group are looking for support from local people, businesses and more to make their ideas a reality. 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.

Could you help WSAP? Call: 07766 751 614 or email:

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


Youth work matters: Shout about your successes

Sadie White No Comments

It’s increasingly important that we demonstrate what we do well to encourage young people in need to use our services, demonstrate our worth & expertise to potential funders, corporate partners & decision makers, raise our profile locally to drive fundraising efforts and to encourage collaboration with external partners to help us meet our targets. You are the ones delivering all the great outcomes for young people and we need to shout about these for the reasons above.

You told us that time is an issue for you and that you rightly need to focus on the day job, so telling us about your great work often falls off the list. That’s why we’ve developed a toolkit to help you and the young people you work with deliver information, photographs, video and case studies in a way that gets us what we need but isn’t onerous. We’re also keen to give the young people you work with the opportunity to demonstrate their positive experiences with Sheffield Futures through photo and video sharing. This was an idea floated by you in the East team meeting and we loved it! It might be young people in a youth club environment wanting to document what they’re up to or young people on a trip or at a Sheffield Futures event, whatever it is this will put the camera in the hands of young people and let them tell their story the way they want it told. We plan to use the Snapchat platform and you will find more details about what we need you to do to introduce this to young people within this toolkit.

What’s included within the Toolkit?

• Case study template: A quick and easy case study template that will capture all the information we will need from you in order to develop case studies that demonstrate specific examples of how you have helped a young person or young people. You can fill one in in minutes and email it to us or drop it in to us at Star House.

• Snapchat as a photo and video messaging tool for young people: Introduction & your role

• Posters encouraging young people to capture their experiences: Please put these posters and cards up and encourage young people to get involved and help us share all the great work you’re doing.

• Contact details sheet

• Social media poster: All of our social media links for young people to follow! Please put these posters up in your youth clubs and encourage young people to get involved.

A note on consent forms.

It’s obviously important that all young people that intend to get involved with this are covered by a consent form so please make sure these have been collected and recorded on CORE+ or wherever you record your data. Thanks for all your help with this so far we’re really looking forward to working together on this. Gail and the Marketing & Communications team

You can access a copy of the toolkit on our Shared Resources (S) drive here  S:\4. Shared Resources\4.16 Branding, Marketing and Communications\Communications Toolkit


Specialist, continuous, one to one youth careers support delivers positive change

Sadie White No Comments

James, 18, had experienced multiple barriers to progression at school including undiagnosed dyslexia and lack of confidence and after a bad experience with his peer group had fully withdrawn, hardly ever leaving the house. With low self-esteem and difficulties managing anger, his relationship with his Mum also started to deteriorate. James’ prospects for a positive future were looking slim until he was referred to Sheffield Futures and Lucy, targeted youth support worker started to visit James at home.

Over the course of months and persistent visits to James, Lucy began to build a positive and trusting relationship. After getting to know him and his interests Lucy was able to encourage him to engage in activities outside the home to build his confidence and broaden his experience. ‘He had expressed an interest in Basketball so I engaged with the Sharks and with a local team with regards to him getting involved in playing – this had a great motivational effect. It took a lot of persistence getting James to attend and I could see it was starting to pay off as his confidence was starting to build.’ Says Lucy.

After initial success on a course with a sports provider, James progressed to another programme but unfortunately this broke down due to an incident with a member of staff. ‘I spoke honestly and frankly to James after this incident and James learnt quickly from the experience and moved forward in a mature way.’ Lucy says.

‘We moved James to another provider but this time James showed self-awareness of his difficulties managing anger and talked about the strategies he would put in place to manage them. Giving James the tools and strategies to manage his feelings worked and James is now training with this organisation.’ She continues.

James is now on a study programme doing very well and enjoying the programme. He is working towards GCSE level Maths and English which is a major achievement. He’s feeling much more positive in himself and engaging in positive relationships with a wider range of young people and adults. With a better relationship with Mum, he’s looking towards future goals with raised self-esteem and an ability to communicate more effectively. As a result of the positive experience James is having, his Mum is also studying towards her GCSE Maths and English which has raised the aspirations of the family as a whole.

‘It’s fantastic to see how far James has come on his journey towards a more positive future. Building a positive, supportive and trusting relationship with young people and their families over a period of time has so many benefits. If things don’t go right first time – as they often don’t- having that continuity of relationship means that you’re better able to help the young person jump the next hurdle in their journey as you know the history. It’s never easy to get back on track and achieve and having a trusted support that understands all the issues to provide the strategies and tools for managing negative feelings is invaluable for a young person experiencing difficulties.’ Lucy says.

International Volunteer Day at Sheffield Futures

Tash Bright No Comments

On International Volunteer Day, we spoke to our incredible volunteer Rachel Javed to find out why she volunteers for Sheffield Futures and how that helps young people in Sheffield. Thank you so much Rachel!

What inspired you to start volunteering for Sheffield Futures?

I have been involved with youth work since I became too old to attend a club myself, and so have experienced the benefits first and second-hand. Today’s young people face challenges unique to their generation, yet the social and educational structures that they require to triumph over these difficulties are increasingly hard to access. Sheffield Futures offers its volunteers the opportunity to become strongly involved with how the service supports young people, and this is what attracted me to volunteer here.

What do you enjoy about volunteering for Sheffield Futures?

My favourite aspect has to be the people involved. Thanks to the vibrant bunch who attend the youth clubs, no two sessions are ever the same. Whether playing pool, providing individual support or having a bit of a chat and a laugh with a group, seeing my relationship with these young people develop and strengthen over time is very rewarding. I’ve also met some lovely colleagues and continue to benefit greatly from their experience and guidance.

Would you recommend volunteering for Sheffield Futures?

I would wholeheartedly recommend volunteering with Sheffield Futures! Everyone at the service was welcoming and friendly from the word go, and it’s a great way to become more involved with your local community. Plus, you never know where the experience might take you!

Sheffield Futures train with the professionals at GB Boxing!

Tash Bright No Comments

In the run up to the GB Boxing Championships, Sheffield Futures took a group of young people from their youth clubs and young people from Empire Boxing Gym to meet the boxers and be coached by the professionals at their world-class facility. Many of the young people Sheffield Futures work with have not seen live sports before, let alone take a tour around the training facilities, meet the athletes themselves and ask questions about how to take their own careers forward.

Sheffield Futures corporate partners, GB Boxing, based at the English Institute of Sport, prepare and train the boxers that compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games. The partnership focuses on the use of boxing as a tool to bolster Sheffield Futures’ community involvement work and inspire Sheffield’s young people to achieve wider personal development through sport.


Sheffield Futures Community Youth Teams have seen the benefits boxing can bring to young people otherwise at risk of falling into risky antisocial behaviour, including:

  • Healthy eating and lifestyle: Maximising physical ability through nutrition and healthy lifestyle
  • Mental health: Feel good factor achieved through exercise and team sport
  • Social skills: Interaction and engagement which builds confidence and enjoyment in positive social interaction
  • Self-control & anger management: Self-control of skills and the ability to be mentally strong in exercising this
  • Self-defence and safety: Helping young people to deliver safe skills for self defence
  • Racism and homophobia: Discussion of legendary boxers that had been publicly victimised due to their race and the ethical implications
  • Gender: Conversations around the evolution in women’s boxing and its increasing popularity

Sheffield Futures awarded funding to tackle criminal exploitation of young people

Sadie White No Comments

South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, has been awarded over £500,000 of Home Office funding for a Sheffield partnership project led by Sheffield Futures focussed on tackling child criminal exploitation and associated knife and gun crime across the city.

The project named by young people consulted as ‘Project 0114’ will be delivered by Sheffield Futures in conjunction with delivery partners, Sheffield City Council, ACT Sheffield, The Unity Gym Project, St Marks Church, Broomhill, Manor Castle Development Trust, My Life Project, Princes Trust, and Change Grow Live (CGL).

Due to begin in January 2019, Project 0114 will include an education programme for all secondary school pupils across the city as well as year six pupils in primary schools in areas deemed to be most at risk. A second strand to the project will engage children aged 10-13 identified as at risk of grooming for gang involvement and serious violence with positive enrichment activities.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures comments, ‘We are really pleased to have been awarded the funding to deliver targeted activities to help children and young people vulnerable to criminal exploitation and associated serious violence across the city.’

‘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.’

Co-delivered by youth workers and specially trained young people and utilising a youth mentoring approach, the schools based programme will involve a series of information and skills based sessions focussed on preventing child criminal exploitation and the effects of knife and gun crime. 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.

The programme targeting children identified through evidence as at risk of being groomed for gang involvement and associated gun and knife crime will be delivered across 5 areas of the city: Broomhall, North East Sheffield, Manor Castle/Arbourthorne, Burngreave/Pitsmoor and Low Edges.

Focussed on arts, music, media or sport the engagement activities, in local communities, the project will pull on the strengths of delivery partners and will ensure strong safeguarding pathways for those identified as most at risk.


Youth Work Week 2018: Kirsty Roy

Sadie White No Comments

It’s Youth Work Week this week and we’re talking to youth workers from across the organisation as part of our #youthworkmatters campaign to celebrate the varied ways our youth workers help young people from across the city.

Here we talk to Kirsty Roy a youth worker in our Door 43 emotional health and wellbeing service.

Kirsty Roy, youth worker – Door 43

What does your role as a youth worker involve?

It involves working with lots of different young people from all across the city to help them address emotional, practical and other  emotional health and wellbeing needs. I use my skills to relate to young people from all walks of life experiencing diverse problems, including problems that start in the home such as poverty, to problems in school whether it’s achievement or stress, to problems with low mood and depression.

How do you help Door 43 deliver for young people?

I help Door 43 deliver positive results for young people for example by giving them the tools and advice to help them get themselves into a better place emotionally which then sets them up to be able to deal with the challenges they face. It’s not about telling them what to do but it’s about coaching them and giving them the tools for example, coping strategies and building the resilience to cope with life’s set backs. Ultimately, I help them to uncover the answers and the right way forward for themselves.

What do you think are the challenges for young people?

I could go on forever. I think today’s young people have real challenges. From the current issues we have with knife crime and gang culture to dealing with the pressure of school without becoming stressed and anxious to problems at home such as poverty and peer on peer pressure. The list goes on. Young people are expected to deal with all of this when they’re young and inexperienced and don’t have the life experience and resilience to deal with it. It’s a really tough call.

How important is youth work to young people?

Very important. Absolutely essential. Without youth workers or youth clubs or anyone positive in a young persons life I can say I feel very sure that as well as the obvious detrimental effect and suffering for young people, the negative impact on our communities will be great. What I like about youth work is that it’s an early intervention for young people and it’s about giving them the information and tools to make positive choices. It gives them a positive influence which for some young people is unfortunately completely absent from their lives. We don’t tell them what to do we just advise them. The cut backs show that crime rates are going through the roof. I fear for what would happen if funding for youth services is cut back any more.

You can find out more about Door 43 here

Door43 – Emotional, mental and sexual health support

How you can support us:

Find out more about how youth work transforms lives by following our #YouthWorkMatters campaign on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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

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


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.