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Star House

Work experience at Sheffield Futures

Tash Bright No Comments

My name is Jamie and I have just completed a two week work experience at Sheffield Futures as part of my Princes Trust Team programme. The Princes Trust programme is for young people and adults 16-30 years old and aims to support them to develop the skills and confidence needed to find paid work.  Below is my account of the work experience and what I learned about Sheffield Futures and about myself.

I knew a bit about Sheffield Futures before I started this work experience placement.  I used to attend youth clubs at Stocksbridge and Com.Unity when I was younger. When I turned 18, I started volunteering at Com.Unity and I have volunteered once or twice a week at Com.Unity since then (coming up to 3 years now).  Volunteering has given me the opportunity to build experience and to give something back to my local community and people I care about.

Over the last two weeks on my placement I have had the opportunity to work in a Sheffield Futures youth club called Leos. I helped to supervise the young people at Leos and supported them to get involved in activities like Hama bead sessions and walking in Norfolk Park.

I also spent some time with a Youth Worker, Aaron, and we worked in the Westfield area on detached and youth club sessions. We engaged with young people in the local area and I organised outdoor activities for them (including ‘football rounders’).

During my placement I also visited Star House and met Lee from the Involvement team. I learned about the number of things that Sheffield Futures do including in schools and youth centres. They do things like helping young people and adults find work, the UK Youth Parliament and lots more, including the different services that people have access to for the right support they need. Sheffield Futures also run the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young people and I was able to help sort and organise equipment that the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award team were going to use on one of their outdoor trips.

Overall I enjoyed it all and I achieved a lot out of this. I learned to be more outgoing, more talkative and more confident in new situations.

 At Leos I learned how to deal with lots of people with different learning difficulties and disabilities.  I am glad that I got to work at Leos youth club as it has given me more experience and given me more options on what sort of jobs I want to do. For anyone who wants to do their work placement with Sheffield Futures, do it, you will game so much experience out of it and it will be worth it.

Mid-Season REVISION TIPS!

Tash Bright No Comments

It’s nearly halfway through the exam season. The early nerves might have worn off but the end isn’t yet in sight and it can be a struggle to keep yourself motivated. So here’s a recap on those revision tips:

  • Mix it up. Instead of reading the same notes over and over, use flash cards, past papers, mind maps, quizzes, post-it notes or study videos. Switch between subjects to keep off the boredom.
  • Take short, regular breaks. The usual advice is that your brain needs a rest every 45 minutes. Try and step away from the computer or your phone; you can tell yourself that game will only take ten minutes but it won’t, will it? Go and talk to someone face-to-face or take a walk instead.
  • Drink water and eat healthy snacks to keep your brain sharp.
  • Sometimes revising with a friend can be helpful. Just make sure you don’t distract each other!
  • Concentrate on understanding rather than just memorising.
  • A little every day is more effective than last minute cramming.

Left it late?

  • Don’t give up. However little time you have left, you can still do something about it.
  • Don’t waste time kicking yourself for all the things you haven’t done. Keep calm and make a plan.
  • Decide on the priorities. What are your key subjects? Are there any you particularly need or where you’re on the edge of a good grade but not quite there? What are the most important topics for each subject?

The night before

  • Get together everything you’re going to need e.g. plenty of spare pens and pencils, calculator where allowed, water bottle (check the rules: normally see-through with no labels).
  • Don’t stay up late cramming. Have an early night instead.

On the day

  • Don’t worry about feeling nervous – everyone is, even if they don’t look it. A little stress can help motivate you.
  • Eat breakfast – your brain needs feeding.
  • When the exam starts, read through all the instructions and all the questions carefully.
  • If your mind goes blank, move on to the next question and come back to it later. Remember to breathe!
  • Answer the questions you’ve been set, not the ones you were hoping for.
  • Make sure you give yourself enough time for every question and keep an eye on the clock.
  • If you finish early, go over all your answers.

Afterwards

  • If you come out and realise you’ve made a mistake, don’t keep going over it but work out what you can learn from it for the next time.

If you need help at results time, we’re here! Your careers adviser may be in school on the day.

You can call into Star House for help with looking for jobs and apprenticeships: Monday-Thursday 9.00am-4.30pm.
Friday 10.00am-4.00pm.

If you need careers advice, ring on the day to check when an adviser is available.

Good luck and have a great summer!

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

We are having a makeover!

Tash Bright No Comments

You may have noticed a few things have changed recently at Sheffield Futures one-stop-shop Star House, namely the white box that has appeared to the right of our front door….

Now’s a good time to tell you that we’re having a makeover!

The white box in our reception area will be soon made in to two rooms for you to meet with our careers, duty and Door43 staff.

We’ve added these couple of rooms because the back bit of our office (the grey bit!) is going to be made over to turn it in to our new Health and Wellbeing Zone.

So what does this mean for you?

In the long term, it means that we’re creating an inviting safe space for you to access health and wellbeing services, including our very own Door43.

 

In the short term, this means that some appointments will have been moved around, but your worker will contact you if your meeting is affected by our building work. It also means that Door43 drop-in may be affected. It will still be available, but there may be slight waiting times. Any appointments with regular visitors will be re-arranged accordingly.

If you are unsure or want any more information, please contact your worker or call our reception team on: 0114 201 2800.

Can’t wait to show off our brand new look! Please keep checking back for updates.

Easter Opening Times

Tash Bright No Comments

Hello

Just a little reminder that Star House is closed for Easter weekend, we won’t be open on Friday, Saturday or Monday but we’ll be back in on Tuesday.

Have an excellent chocolate-filled weekend!

International Women’s Day with our CEO Gail Gibbons

Tash Bright No Comments

On International Women’s Day, 8th March, we wanted to introduce you to our Chief Executive Officer, Gail Gibbons. Gail became CEO of Sheffield Futures in 2014 after over twenty years working in the public sector in both children and young people’s services, and mental health. She qualified as a social worker in 1995 and since then has worked in a range of social work positions in local government, before taking up roles across strategy, policy and commissioning in both local government and health.

Gail says: “The best thing about my job is the variety. Every day is different and you never know what’s going to happen. Although I would say that even better than that, is that even though I have been doing this job for many years, I still feel passionately about the making a positive difference to the people who use our services. It’s great to hear about when young people have gone on to do something really positive or that Sheffield Futures have made a real difference to someone’s life.”

Gail is involved in a wide range of local and regional partnerships, and is passionate about improving outcomes for young people and ensuring the voice of young people is heard. This commitment to a better future for the city’s young people extends to chairing the Sheffield Inclusion Centre’s Management Committee as she feels strongly about effectively meeting the needs of excluded pupils and sits on a wide range of multi-agency partnership boards – including the Safer and Sustainable Communities Partnership Board as the third sector rep, and the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board..

In addition to this, Gail is also a Board Member of the Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID). This is a role she is excited about, as it is very different from her other board commitments. The BID’s objectives are to work together for a busier, cleaner, safer city centre that is easier to access and navigate for the benefit of us all. Gail says: “Increasingly I think it’s important that Sheffield Futures, statutory services and private business work together to achieve common aims.”

Under Gail’s leadership, Sheffield Futures is evolving and all services are designed to meet our four goals:

  • Improving social skills, life skills and independence
  • Enabling community participation and belonging
  • Meaningful progression in to education, employment and training
  • Improving health and wellbeing

Gail says: “Over the next five years, everything we do will be to achieve one of those goals, We recognise that young people’s needs are changing and we need to be ever changing too to meet that demand.

We are still Sheffield focussed, but increasingly we are working regionally and sometimes nationally, and we want to continue and strengthen this work”

This brings us to our final question. It wouldn’t be a blog for International Women’s Day if we didn’t ask which females inspire Gail the most and why? See if you can identify the theme between them all!

Gail says: “Maxine Peake is definitely someone I really admire because she’s a fantastic actor but she’s also very committed to particular causes. Her life has been interesting, from growing up with political left-leaning parents to taking on interesting acting projects that are not necessarily big blockbusters. She speaks a lot of sense about many things, not to mention the fact that she’s a fantastic actor.

“The other person that springs to mind is Vivienne Westwood. I don’t like everything she says but I like her because she speaks her mind and I love her clothes. She has backed causes I feel strongly about, including anti-plastic and other environmental issues. I really admire her.

“I’m fascinated by Wayne and Geraldine Hemmingway. They both live through feminist and ethical principles and together they have done some amazing things, not only in the fashion world (with Red or Dead) but now they have moved in to sustainable housing and sustainable living with the Festival of Thrift and Festival of Making.

“I’m currently reading a biography about Eleanor Marx, who is absolutely fascinating in terms of being one of the first political feminists. She lived a hugely interesting life and was very influential in lots of strike action and political change, particularly in connecting women’s issues with worker’s issues. She was not afraid to speak out despite criticism… Again, she was a very strong and principled woman. What a fantastic collection, wouldn’t it be great to have a dinner party with them?”

National Careers Week 5-9 March!

Tash Bright No Comments

At Sheffield Futures, we never miss an opportunity to help you to get to where you want to be. On National Careers Week, we’re hosting four events to help you get your CV in shape, look at your options, find out more about local employers and the fantastic opportunities in Sheffield and the chance to think about your future.

Please join us at Sheffield Futures, Star House, 43 Division St, S1 4GE on National Careers Week!

 

CV Clinic on Monday 5th March 2pm – 4pm

Call in to find out what makes a great CV that’s going to get you the job and career you need. An Advisor will be on hand to give help, advice and prompts to improve your CV or help you to start to create on.

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National Careers Week Wellbeing Cafe on Tuesday 6th March 5pm – 7pm

Door43 are hosting a special Wellbeing Cafe with Sheffield Futures Ambassador, sports journalist Liz Byrnes and Really NEET Project’s Sophie Maxwell. These two inspirational women will be talking about their careers and running a short workshop afterwards.

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Options Drop-In on Wednesday 7th March 2pm – 4pm

Call into Sheffield Futures to find out what’s hot and what’s not in terms of local jobs. Find out what employers are looking for and what jobs are on offer in your local area.

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Inspiring the Future’s Engineers on Thursday 8th March 11am

An interactive workshop with Tom Reynolds, Design Engineer at Gripple

Think like a design engineer. Bringing design engineering to life. Discover the career possibilities. What problems could you solve?

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Choose Your Future on Friday 9th March 2pm – 4pm

Come along to speak with staff around your career options and your career choices. We have plenty of information on offer around any area of work or career you fancy.

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

Star House Christmas Opening Times

Matt No Comments

To everyone who accesses services at Star House, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Our opening times over the Christmas week will be:

Friday 22nd December; 8.30am – 2pm

Saturday 23rd December; CLOSED

Monday 25th December; CLOSED

Tuesday 26th December; CLOSED

Wednesday 27th December; 9am – 5pm

Thursday 28th December; 9am – 5pm

Friday 29th December; 9am – 5pm

Saturday 30th December; CLOSED

Monday 1st January; CLOSED

…then we’re back to our normal opening hours.

 

Call: 0114 201 2800 or Email: enquiries@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Tweet: @SheffFutures

Facebook: @sheffieldfutures

Instagram: @sheffieldfutures 

My journey as a youth worker #YWW17

Tash Bright No Comments

First and foremost let me introduce myself, my name is Nazmin Jahan and I am a youth worker based in Community Youth Teams West.

Let me answer a question I’ve been asked a numerous amount of times in the past: “how did you end up working with young people and why youth work?” 

Well, it all started on that fateful day I decided to walk into Star House by myself, after seeing a vacancy on the Sheffield Futures website for Youth Work Apprentices. At this point in my life I was an 18 year old young person, from a Bengali-Muslim background, who had just finished a long two years at sixth-form. I was not a very confident person to say the least, I was nervous about the littlest things for example, making phone calls, meeting new people and attending appointments.

Something I will always remember vividly is the careers interview I had the day I walked into Star House. I was a nervous wreck! It was my first time attending something I found on my own accord and something no one had spoon fed me. So, I’m waiting in the reception area, looking very lost, when a women approaches me and asks me if I am Nazmin, to which I respond yes. I am then led down the hall way (which felt like a very long walk). I am sat down and asked questions like what my grades are like and why I’m interested in the vacancy, I answer each question with a lot of thought.

After all the questions and my very thought-out answers, I am told to come in next week where I will start my ‘Step into Youth Work’ introduction at YASY. I am delighted, but I’ll admit Googling ‘what does a youth worker do?’ when I got home, and I don’t think I would still be able to answer that question and have a definitive definition nearly 7 years on.

That’s how it all started. I worked hard to overcome my anxieties: catching buses, working out where to go, breaking down barriers with young people so on and so forth (whilst also being a young person myself.)

I would not be where I am without the help of my colleagues. When I started I was astonished about the passion youth workers had, and how much experience others had. I was fully supported in all the areas of work I did. If I wanted to deliver a group work activity I was allowed, if I wanted to support a young person face to face I was given guidance and help. Without that support and encouragement I don’t think I would have made it to where I am today, or even be a part of this service.

Youth workers have amazing tool kits – it may differ from one to another but everyone will bring something different to the table. For me, interpersonal skills and being able to break down barriers is essential. It’s like carrying a tool kit with you wherever you go, but you are that toolkit. You use that when you want to; you use it when there is trouble in the youth club or to diffuse conflict, when you approach a group of young people for the first time on detached youth work.

Youth Work is something that will never age, it’s much needed. Working with young people of all ages, from different backgrounds and experiencing different things. You are that support mechanism and that one thing they may look forward to, even if it is one day a week.

Looking back at myself as an 18 year old, I am appreciative of everyone who encouraged and supported me and yes, youth worked me.

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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.