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In Celebration of Youth Work

Tash Bright No Comments

By Gail Gibbons, Sheffield Futures Chief Executive Officer

Last month, Lloyd Russell-Moyle – MP for Brighton Kemptown, introduced a private members bill to Parliament which aims to impose a duty on local authorities to provide a minimum level of youth services. At the same time, the All Parliamentary Group for Youth Affairs, launched an inquiry on the role and sufficiency of youth work.

The response from statutory and voluntary organisations working with young people has been wide-ranging and heartfelt.

Research shows that between 2010 and 2018 more than 600 youth centres have been lost from local communities and that funding for youth work has fallen by 60% during the same time period.

The number of degree level youth work courses has fallen to their lowest level in a decade, and youth work training budgets have shrunk because of the priority towards training of related professions – particularly social work.

The impact of sustained under-funding has had a devastating effect on both the youth work profession, and on young people themselves – especially the most disadvantaged.

Since 2010, youth work has to all intents and purposes dropped off the national policy agenda. Responsibility has moved from the Department for Education – first to the Cabinet Office, and now to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – divorcing youth work from the wider young people’s policy agenda – including policy for vulnerable groups.

The government has also dropped its commitment to a three year stand-alone youth policy statement, and youth work is rarely, if ever, mentioned in government announcements or communications.

Meanwhile, the government has invested heavily in a range of new young people’s enrichment initiatives – the most high profile being the National Citizen Service (NCS) and the #IWill young people’s social action (volunteering) campaign. Whilst these initiatives undoubtedly enrich young people’s lives through building skills and confidence – as delivery partners for both initiatives, Sheffield Futures can vouch for that – they can in no way replace youth work; and there is evidence to suggest that not enough disadvantaged young people are being reached through these programmes.

Sheffield Future’s approach to work with young people is based on core youth work principles wherever possible. Our approach is relationship based – recognising the need to build up trust with young people over a sustained period of time; it is strengths based – identifying young people’s assets and building on them; it is flexible – working with young people at their own pace which is not always linear; it is co-produced with young people – young people usually have the solutions; and it utilises enrichment activities as a means of engagement.

Good quality youth work is more necessary now than ever before. In these times of austerity, young people are facing unprecedented challenges in the navigation of their daily lives.

In recent years, we have seen the growth in serious youth violence; risk of exploitation; and the rise in young people’s mental health and emotional well-being problems.

We have also seen the struggle for many young people to achieve at school and to gain meaningful employment, and to engage in positive activities outside formal education settings. Young people themselves tell us about the daily pressures they feel under.

A youth workforce that is skilled and equipped to engage and support young people is in high demand. Increasingly, local authorities, schools, the police and health services are recognising the unique skillset youth workers bring to the table in addressing some of the most difficult and complex societal challenges. It is ironic then that funding to develop and sustain the workforce is on the decline.

With this in mind, Sheffield Futures is committed to celebrating youth work and everything it brings.

We firmly believe that both open access youth work, at youth clubs, and targeted support using a youth work model, are essential pieces of a partnership approach to supporting young people towards a better future.

Our young people led campaign over the coming months is all about the celebration of youth work and showing what it can offer. We invite you to show your support by….

  • Joining us at our International Youth Day celebration (free fun for all the family: 12.30 – 3.30pm on Friday 10th August at Ice Sheffield.)
  • Sharing the following message on social media: Since 2010, funding to vital youth services has been cut, with 600+ youth centres closed. This is having a devastating effect on disadvantaged young people. At @SheffFutures we want to celebrate youth work and all of its fantastic achievements. See: www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk/in-celebration-of-youth-work
  • Running a fundraiser to help Sheffield Futures to continue delivering quality youth work to young people in Sheffield city region. Every penny you raise will help Sheffield Futures to transform lives and create positive futures.
  • Pledging to be a Sheffield Futures Ambassador and raising awareness of their work by making key introductions, sharing their messages, attending events and more.

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

 

How to be employable (even if you haven’t got a job!)

Tash Bright No Comments

Our top five tips for Employability Day – 29th June!

1. Get a foot in the door

If there’s one thing every employer likes to see, it’s previous work experience. Many local companies are small businesses that look for workers who can fit in and get up to speed quickly. If you’ve already spent time in a workplace (and better still, have references from the employer) it will reassure them that you understand the basics, like the importance of turning up on time and working as a team.

If you’re still at college or uni then some part time work (provided it doesn’t get in the way of your studies) won’t just help the money go a bit further, it could really boost your job prospects.

Very few of us land our dream job straight away. Most of us have to play the long game and pick up skills and experience as we move towards our goal. Remember – it’s far easier to find a job if you’re already in work.

If you’re struggling to find a job because you don’t have experience then look at other ways into the market such traineeships, internships or volunteering.

2. Put a CV together

Your CV is your calling card. It’s a summary of what you can offer an employer in terms of skills, qualifications and experiences. Many companies use them instead of application forms. Once you have a CV, you can also send a copy to any organisation without even waiting for them to advertise a job. This is called a ‘speculative application’.

It’s really important to keep your CV up to date and to tweak it every time you make an application so that it matches the requirements of the job.

3. Be savvy with social media

There’s a good chance that a company will check out your social media profiles when you apply to them. Think about what kind of impression you want to give an employer and make sure anything on your profile that you wouldn’t want your boss to see is out of public view.

Once you’ve started moving up the career ladder, think about joining LinkedIn, an online professional network. Some of the biggest companies use LinkedIn profiles rather than CVs.

4. Work on your skills

There are certain skills – sometimes known as ‘core skills’ – that are required for almost any career. These include dealing with people, using clear English, handling numbers, talking to people on the phone, organising your own workload, solving problems, understanding IT (not just games). Can you think of any jobs where you wouldn’t need some if not most of these skills? Neither can we, so make sure they’re highlighted on your CV.

5. Learn from setbacks
It doesn’t matter how good or how well qualified you are, there will be times in your working life when things go wrong. What sets apart the most successful people is how they respond to failure. England manager, Gareth Southgate was dismissed by Middlesborough when they were fourth in the Championship and only one point off the top. Instead of complaining or hiding away, he rolled up his sleeves and started again.

If you mess up in an interview or at work, ask for feedback. Find out what went wrong and learn from it so that you do better next time.

If you would like some support with job search or preparing a CV, our careers advisers work in many schools and colleges across the city. We also run services at Star House for young people who have left school and for adults. To find out how we can help, give us a call on 0114 201 2800.

Funding plea for young people’s mental health and wellbeing zone

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Futures, Sheffield’s young people’s charity is looking for support to help deliver a new much needed health and wellbeing zone as part of the Door 43 service which currently provides vital support for 13 – 25 year olds with mental health challenges. The new health and wellbeing zone is an essential addition which will make the Star House venue which currently hosts Door 43 fully fit for purpose.

With half of all mental health conditions appearing in young people before the age of 14 and one in four adults suffering a mental health problem in any given year, new services like Door 43 are heralded nationally as the way forward.

Commenting on the new health and wellbeing zone development, Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures says, ‘We have now begun work on phase one of a new health and wellbeing zone for young people, based at Sheffield Futures’ city centre venue Star House. Sheffield Futures has received incredibly generous grant funding from the Department of Health and we are looking for match-funding to complete the full build.’

‘We have seen very encouraging results from Door 43 so far and it’s really heartening to see the positive impact we’re having on the mental health and emotional wellbeing of Sheffield’s young people.’

‘We know that young people can be put off accessing mental health services as they associate these environments with the stress and anxiety that is often fuelling their issues.

The new health and wellbeing zone will offer a safe and welcoming space for young people to openly talk about their feelings and access early preventative support in a completely neutral environment where they can literally get away from it all, clear their head and become ready to access the support they need.’

‘So, we are reaching out to the business community to help us deliver this much needed resource for young people in Sheffield who need it most.’ She continues.

Door 43 integrates a range of health and wellbeing support under one roof, giving young people the flexibility they need in terms of access to different specialist support services such as counselling and other psychological therapies, awareness and advice work, health clinics, signposting and mechanisms for referral for those who require specialist mental health assessment. It is this preventative approach that aims to stop young people from requiring expensive, statutory, crisis-led interventions that often come when the damage has already been done.

When talking about how the Door 43 service has helped him, Darren Jenks a young person who has accessed Door 43 in the past said, “Door43 is a place I can go and offload about what has happened in my week. I don’t feel judged by the staff; they are all so easy to talk to. I feel like having that space every week makes a massive difference to my mood.” 

“When I’ve got loads of stuff going on in my head, I can book in to see someone at Door43 and they help me to make sense of it all and we can make a plan together and I feel so much better.”

All those interested in discussing how they can offer financial or other support should contact Tash Bright at Sheffield Futures on 0114 2018647 or email: marketing@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Take the Youth Cabinet’s Mental Health Survey!

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Youth Cabinet have started a survey about young people and mental health – to see whether schools and the government are doing enough and where young people go when they are looking for support. If you are 19 or under and would like to be involved, please take the survey here.

World Poetry Day: Poems to inspire and motivate

Sadie White No Comments

This World Poetry Day Vicky Morris, Writer, Educator & Creative Practitioner and one of our valued supporters and collaborators has kindly recommended a few poems to inspire, motivate and take from them what you will. Enjoy.

 

 

Work with young people? You need CSE training

Tash Bright No Comments

We are delighted to tell you that we have secured a new training date for our highly sought after training package and resource Friend or Foe? We are rolling out a new training date to support colleagues in Education, Social Care, Youth Work, Housing, Homeless Support, Youth Offending and Faith and Community Sectors (among others!) to get the most out of the resource and to feel confident delivering the package to young people.

The full colour training pack includes:

  • A 14 session group work programme which builds a comprehensive programme on Healthy Relationships, Risk, CSE and E-Safety.
  • 10 exercises that can be delivered one-to-one with young people who are vulnerable to, or experiencing CSE.
  • 30 Flash Cards to support work with young people who speak English as a second language or who have Special Educational Needs.
  • A CD containing easy to print versions of all activities.

The pack is based on many years of experience of CSE case work from one of the oldest dedicated teams in the country. In addition, every resource has been “Youth Proofed” by the Sheffield CSE Young Advisory Group.

Training date:

  • Monday 19th of March – Sheffield Showroom Workstation, 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield  S1 2BX

The training includes lunch and refreshments as well as a discounted copy of the resource. The full day plus a copy of the resource is only £150 plus VAT. The resource is also available to purchase separately at a cost of £80 including P&P. To book your place, click here!

Alternatively, if you would like us to come and train within your area/team please contact: resources@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

If you have any questions about the resource or other training offered by Sheffield Futures please email: resources@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Get cheaper travel with new 16 -18 travel pass

Sadie White No Comments

All young people aged 16-18 who live in South Yorkshire are eligible to apply for a new bus pass. The new pass will allow young people to travel anytime, anywhere on a bus or tram within South Yorkshire for a single fare of 80p per journey and  half fare on trains in South Yorkshire. With the pass you can also apply for discounted seven day passes for travel within South Yorkshire.

You can apply for a pass now if you were born between 1 September 1999 and 31 August 2001.

You will need:

  • A recent passport standard photo
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of address

Apply online here and follow the process described below

My Money Diary

Tash Bright No Comments

I kept a money diary for the first week in January and I wanted to share the results below. A money diary is a great way to keep a track of what you’re spending money on. You’ll see that I spend most of my money on food, but also that bills don’t stop coming in just because it’s Christmas (unfortunately!) If you want to find out more about how to save money, how to get better at handling money, you can book on to one of our Money Masterclasses on this link!

The first thing I noticed about keeping a money diary is that it’s really hard to remember to note down every single time you spend money. It’s so easy to swipe your card, especially now you don’t need to enter a PIN number, and not give it a second thought. 

Something that was really helpful for this money diary was my mobile banking app. Through this, I can keep a track of all my transactions, including pending transactions (this is when I’ve bought something, but my bank card hasn’t changed hands, so when I’ve bought something online for instance.)

I also realised that if I planned in advance, prepared meals from home instead of buying something from the local shop, then I could go for days without spending money. Have you tried a money diary? If you did, please let us know how you got on, or even submit it for us to publish here and share your experience.

Monday 1st January

It’s New Year’s Day so I go for a walk to blow the cobwebs away after a Christmas spent eating and drinking. We eat breakfast at home and head out in the car to Derbyshire, where we’re almost blown away by very strong winds! After the walk, we go to our local pub for much-needed a pie (£9.50) and a pint (£3)

Tuesday 2nd January

It’s my final day of the Christmas holidays, so I start preparing to go back to work by splitting a big supermarket shop with my boyfriend (£40) but then, typical me, I realised there were other things I needed that I hadn’t purchased online and needed, so I popped to the local shop for cotton wool pads, cold and flu tablets, almond milk and some fruit to take to work (£7.73)

Wednesday 3rd January

It’s my first day at work in 2018! I walk to work and take my lunch, so I don’t spend any money at all!

Thursday 4th January

I’m quite pleased with myself for spending nothing on Wednesday and decide to do the same on Thursday. I take some homemade soup for my lunch and walk to work and back. After spending a week on the sofa over the festive break, it feels good to be walking to work and back, getting fit and saving money at the same time!

Friday 5th January

On Friday lunchtime, I decide to go to the cinema straight from work. As it was a spontaneous decision, I hadn’t prepared any food for dinner, so I had to go to the supermarket and grab something to eat. I ended up with a pasta salad (£1.80) and a bottle of water (£1). After the cinema, I catch the bus home (£1.50) because it’s late and I don’t want to walk home in the cold! On the bus, I realise I haven’t paid my share of the water bill (£30) so I pay the money via an app on my phone.

Saturday 6th January

After a hectic week, we have a quiet weekend and don’t leave the house too much. Our online shopping arrived and we have everything we need in the house.

Sunday 7th January

On Sunday I pop to the shop to buy some crunchy bread (£1.60) to go with a lentil soup we’ve made for lunch (it was delicious!)

 

TOTAL: £96.13

I’m quite shocked by this as I thought it had been a relatively quiet week where I hadn’t spent much. I’ll continue to keep a money diary and see where I could be making savings in future!

A love letter to yourself

Tash Bright No Comments

I have been working with a young woman for two months at Door43. When she first came to the service she was feeling very low in self confidence and would quite often say things to put herself down. I could see that she is a fantastic person and has many assets, but instead of reminding her about her achievements I wanted her to recognise them herself. She asked me if there was anything she could be doing over Christmas to practice self-care, and I set her a challenge of writing a love letter to herself.

At first she laughed at me and said this is “way too cheesy”, but eventually I convinced her to give it a go and even if she came back to see me in January with one point, it would be a great achievement.

She came back after the Christmas break with the following list and said it was really difficult, and at times she struggled to write the points down, but that now she has done it, she is proud. She plans to use the letter every time she is having a rubbish day or feeling a bit off, when she re-reads it she can remind herself of how amazing she is and the best bit is that these points have all come from her.

 

Dear you, I love you because:

You are amazing. Even if you don’t believe that, it is true. You need to believe in the people around you and trust them on this fact.

You are helpful when your friends are down. You always put your friends first. You’re always there to talk to and always happy to help them.

You are confident. Stop hiding behind this shy person and show people who you really are.

You never give up on yourself. You try as many times as you need to to succeed. Keep going.

You don’t let your mental health define you. Instead, you make it a part of your life and you now want to work with teenagers who have mental health issues, which is great!

You are brave. You have gone through so much in 2017. You were in hospital with no idea what to do and you became this brave person and got through it.

You are funny. You always make people laugh; no matter what mood they’re in.

You are determined. You have dreams that you will never give up on.

You are good company; you are always lovely to be around. You keep everyone in good mood and spirits, even when you are down.

You are the most organised person I know – this is a good thing. You have everything you need at all times – this is not a bad thing!

You are always early and if you were ever late you would panic like mad.

You are friendly and kind to everyone even if you don’t know them. You take the time to talk to everyone around you even if they are the opposite of you.

You are a hard worker. You always give 100% to any work you get given, if even if you don’t really feel like it.

You are creative, you knit, create and enjoy arts and crafts and you need to carry being creative as it’s a part of you.

You are a whizz at jigsaws, you love doing them to music.

You are beautiful with or without make up. You always wear make up to hide who you are when really you are beautiful like a rainbow.

You set your heart on something and you do it.

You are a star, you’re a star in lots of people’s eyes for different reasons (mainly good, so keep being the star you are).

You are you and that’s fine.

“Today is going to be a good day and here’s why. Because today, no matter what else, today, at least you’re you. No hiding, no lying, just you. And that’s enough.”

Love, me. x

Free Money for Life masterclasses by young people for young people

Sadie White No Comments

A series of money masterclasses to equip young people with the skills to become more cash confident and in charge of their financial destiny will be delivered by Sheffield Futures during the first half of this year.

It’s understood that 60 per cent of young people aren’t taught money management skills within education and 42 percent of young people can’t interpret the difference between being in credit and overdrawn on a bank statement. The Money for Life project, a national initiative aimed at young people between 16 and 25 and the result of a collaboration between UK Youth and The Mix, comes in response to these worrying statistics that point towards the need for financial education and support for our young people to enable them to live successful lives in control of their financial destinies.

Using fun and interactive activities and led by trained young people, the Money Masterclasses consist of four one to two hour modules and will cover the following topics:

  • You and Your Money: Young people are introduced to financial basics from reading a bank statement to understanding how tax works.
  • Surviving ‘til Pay Day: All about budgeting and making money go that little bit further. Young people are taught how to create a budget that outlines ways to save.
  • Independence Day: How to survive away from home, from paying bills to furnishing property and getting the best value for money.
  • Your Money Talks: Understanding credit scores, what they are and what we can do to improve them. We ask young people to think about the importance of every day spending decisions and the implications these have for the future.

Commenting on the project Sarah Stevens, Young Peoples Participation Development Manager at Sheffield Futures says, ‘With ever more complicated financial products on the market and the sometimes dire implications for people when they don’t understand them, financial literacy is becoming increasingly important. It really is essential that we are responsible and provide our young people with the information and tools to become financially literate and able to navigate their way through the financial aspects of life.’

‘We’re really pleased to have been chosen to deliver the masterclasses for young people across Sheffield to help fill the knowledge gap and enable young people to become financially responsible and self-sufficient citizens.’ Sarah continues.

The programme is ideal to be delivered to groups of students in higher education or as part of traineeships or apprenticeships. Those responsible for young people in this capacity or young people aged 16-25 and living in the Sheffield area that may benefit from the Money for Life project can register their interest at the following link www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MFLREG

You can find out more about Money for Life on our website at www.sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Money For Life is funded by Lloyds Banking Group and Sheffield Futures has been chosen as the delivery partner for Sheffield.

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.