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Youth Clubs

Celebrating Youth Work: Alisha’s Story

Sadie White No Comments

As part of our celebrating youth work campaign we’re looking at the diverse ways in which youth workers have a life changing impact on the lives of Sheffield’s most vulnerable children and young people.

Here we hear from Rhonda, a Youth Worker in our Community Youth Team about her experiences working with a young girl at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation who with the intervention and engagement of our youth workers and other specialists was steered into a place of safety.

‘Alisha was a young Lithuanian girl living with her Mother in Sheffield. Alisha was assessed as being at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation and as a result of her mother’s personal issues and concerns for Alisha’s safety we referred the case to social care and Alisha was placed into foster care with supervised visits from her mother.’ Says Rhonda.

‘As part of our referral process we undertook an assessment and intervention plan to ensure that Alisha was capable of making informed and positive choices. As part of this I built up a trusting relationship and worked on topics such as self-esteem, positive choices, consequences and healthy relationships. Other issues were identified and we helped Alisha with issues around theft and smoking. Alisha engaged well with all her one to one sessions and eventually she gained confidence to attend youth provision in her local area where she made positive friendships.’ She continues.

After some time, it was agreed that as part of the child protection plan Alisha was on it was in her interests to be returned to Lithuania to live with her maternal grandparents.

‘As I had built such a strong relationship with Alisha, Alisha’s social worker asked me to accompany Alisha back to Lithuania.’ Rhonda says. 

‘The social worker and I picked up Alisha at 2am and it was a tearful goodbye for her and her foster carer. We arrived at the airport and boarded our flight to Frankfurt and then boarded another flight to Lithuania. Alisha was glad to be going back home but said that she would miss living in the UK and her friends, however she had a loving relationship with her grandparents.’

‘The young girl’s grandparents, social workers, her cousin and her husband and new born baby were all waiting for her arrival and it was an exciting moment for her and her family as there were lots of hugs and we were introduced to the family. We said our good byes and it was emotional for the social worker and I. The Lithuanian social workers were kind enough to call a taxi for us and waited with us for the taxi and we left the young girl with her family at the airport to start a more positive life with her family to support and care for her.’ Rhonda says.

The case with CYT has since been closed following no further concerns and a positive transition for Alisha back to her family in Lithuania.

Sheffield Futures new campaign ‘In Celebration of Youth Work’ celebrates and demonstrates the value of youth work within our communities. 

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 Sheffield Futures we want to celebrate youth work and all of its fantastic achievements. You can support our campaign by sharing our messages on social media, using the hashtag #YouthWorkMatters, or by running a fundraiser to help us to continue delivering quality youth work to young people in Sheffield city region. Every penny you raise will help transform lives and create positive futures. You could also support Sheffield Futures by becoming an Ambassador, and raising awareness of youth work and our impact by making key introductions, sharing our messages, attending our events and more. Contact us for more information: marketing@sheffieldfutures.org.uk

Your Safe Spaces #YouthWorkMatters

Tash Bright No Comments

The theme for this year’s International Youth Day is ‘SAFE SPACES’ something that Sheffield Futures knows all about. For thousands of young people, our youth clubs are a safe space to go, take part in recreational activities, meet and make new friends and learn the skills they need to succeed in life.

We asked young people what makes a safe space, why young people feel that the youth clubs are a safe space and how they could be improved to be more inclusive, accessible and welcoming.

Sheffield Futures runs 49 youth activities each week, including many local youth clubs. We are pleased that 81% of young people felt safe at their youth club, and only 5% did not, the rest were undecided.

Our consultation found that 85% of young people felt safe where they live, but 9% did not, the rest were undecided.

As Sheffield Futures is based at Star House, on Division Street, we wanted to see whether young people felt safe in the city centre. Only 60% of young people felt safe in Sheffield City Centre, 29% did not and the rest were undecided. We asked the group whether they felt safe in public spaces, such as Meadowhall, or at big events and 70% said that they did feel safe, whilst 19% did not. Two people said that they’d been attacked and/or mugged.

16% of the young people asked through our consultation did not feel safe at school, but 73% did feel safe. We wanted to know whether young people feel safe in open spaces, like parks. 62% did, but 20% did not.

Transport is always one of the top youth issues and we consulted to see if young people felt safe whilst they were on public transport: 78% did, and 13% did not.

We consulted with the group to see if they felt safe in places of worship and 70% did, but 19% did not feel safe.

Jude Smith, Sheffield Youth Cabinet at the Safe Spaces consultation on International Youth Day.


The theme for this year’s International Youth Day is ‘SAFE SPACES’ something that Sheffield Futures knows all about. For thousands of young people, our youth clubs are a safe space to go, take part in recreational activities, meet and make new friends and learn the skills they need to succeed in life.

This month we are using our sessions in youth clubs to find out what makes a safe space, why young people feel that the youth clubs are a safe space and how they could be improved to be more inclusive, accessible and welcoming.

This case study is part of our new campaign: In Celebration of Youth Work, where celebrating and demonstrating the value of youth work within our communities.

#YouthWorkMatters

UK’s largest youth consultation tackles the biggest issues for young people today

Tash Bright No Comments

Sheffield Futures is taking part in this year’s Make Your Mark ballot, the largest consultation of young people in the country.

VOTE NOW

In a national annual ballot running from 23rd August until 10th October, young people across the country will be asked what issues matter most to them, in order to determine what is debated by the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) in the House of Commons in November. Voting takes place through ballot papers issues in schools and youth clubs throughout the UK and online. Please vote here!

Ten topics will be available to choose from on the Make Your Mark ballot paper, with the five most popular topics among young people going on to be discussed by Members of Youth Parliament in their November debate, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, and broadcast live on BBC Parliament.

Last year’s Make Your Mark ballot saw nearly 950,000 young people voting, making it the largest youth consultation of its kind in the UK.

Sheffield Futures support UKYP to campaign on the biggest issues facing young people today. Sarah Stevens, Sheffield Futures Young People’s Participation and Development Manager said: “It’s so encouraging that more young people are getting engaged with the issues which affect them, are challenging these issues and making sure that action takes place.

UKYP campaign to ensure those who can make positive change hear young people’s voices. Make Your Mark ensures that all the top youth issues are raised in schools, to local MP’s and commissioners. We are very proud of all they have achieved.”

This year, young people will be asked to choose their top issue out of the following

  • Mental Health – Mental health services should be improved with young people’s help; and should be available in schools.
  • End Period Poverty – Sanitary products are an essential item. The Government and the NHS should make them free and accessible for all who need it.
  • Votes at 16 – Give 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote in all elections / referendums.
  • Put an end to Knife Crime – Too many young people’s lives are lost to knife crime; the Government need to do more to help end the knife crime epidemic.
  • A curriculum to prepare us for life – Schools should cover topics like finance, sex and relationship education and politics.
  • Support Youth Services – Youth services help young people but in recent years they have been cut. Youth services need better financial support and security.
  • Equal Pay for Equal work – Give young people the same amount of pay, if they are doing the same work as adults in the same job.
  • Let’s tackle Homelessness – Every person should have a place to live and the opportunity to live comfortably. Let’s make it happen and put a stop to homelessness.
  • Transport – Make public transport cheaper, better and accessible for all.
  • Welcome Refugees – UK Everyone deserves the right to live without fear of death and persecution so we believe that refugees should be welcomed into communities in the UK.

Creating safe community spaces in our youth clubs #YouthWorkMatters

Tash Bright No Comments

Some of our weekly youth clubs have a reputation of being quite tricky places to work, with the attendees disliking new people in their space, including staff.

When a new worker entered the youth club, she found a tense atmosphere and the young attendees did not speak to her. The worker tried her best with the group, greeting them as they came in, which helped to break down the barrier. Gradually, the group started to banter with the youth worker, as she was terrible at remembering their names.

Over time, the group started to accept her and would talk to her about the issues that were important to them, including racial discrimination. Through friendly debates about culture, the group felt the benefits of having someone from a different background in their space at the youth club.

The group gave the worker a deeper understanding of what life was like for them, with one commenting: “If you are not well-connected then you are not safe walking down the street.” Others were dealing with the pressure of believing that they had a family reputation to uphold, despite being young men who enjoy playing computer and board games.

For the group, the youth club is a safe space where they can be themselves, they can ask difficult questions and engage in discussions that otherwise would not happen.

When the youth worker moved on from the youth club, the group – who would never normally write anything down – presented her with a handwritten card. They posed for a photograph with her, when they would have strived for anonymity in the past. The youth worker said: “I feel very privileged to be accepted from this community. Change is hard for everyone regardless of age but how we manage that change is key to its success.”

 

* Tree painting from Woodthorpe Youth Club, not the youth club from the case study.


The theme for this year’s International Youth Day is ‘SAFE SPACES’ something that Sheffield Futures knows all about. For thousands of young people, our youth clubs are a safe space to go, take part in recreational activities, meet and make new friends and learn the skills they need to succeed in life.

This month we are using our sessions in youth clubs to find out what makes a safe space, why young people feel that the youth clubs are a safe space and how they could be improved to be more inclusive, accessible and welcoming.

This case study is part of our new campaign: In Celebration of Youth Work, where celebrating and demonstrating the value of youth work within our communities.

#YouthWorkMatters

Youth Clubs CLOSED (end of August)

Tash Bright No Comments

All Sheffield Futures Community Youth Teams youth clubs will be closed for the week of 27th August – 31st August.

International Youth Day celebration!

Tash Bright No Comments

International Youth Day (12th August) is aimed to draw attention to youth issues and was started by United Nations in 2000. Every year, Sheffield Futures host their annual Youth Day celebration event, providing free fun activities, displays, information stands and more, for all the family.

This year’s theme for International Youth Day is ‘safe spaces for youth,’ something that Sheffield Futures is proud to provide across the city, with weekly youth clubs and their one-stop-shop for young people at Star House on Division Street.

“Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves.” say United Nations.

On Friday 10th August, Sheffield Futures held their celebration at Ice Sheffield. Over 300 young people and families attended the event and enjoyed face painting, football, henna, a graffiti workshop, bucking bronco, bungee run, music, hair glitter, a dance display and more.

Sheffield Futures corporate partners GB Boxing held a training session with three coaches for young people. GB Boxing prepare and train the boxers that compete for Great Britain at the Olympic Games and are based at English Institute of Sport.

Sheffield Futures organised a variety of youth organisations to provide information for attendees, with stalls from Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Door 43 the emotional wellbeing service for young people, Talent Match SCR, Chilypep, Change Grow Live, Pet-Xi, Sheffield Alcohol Support Service, SAYiT, Sexual Health Sheffield and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.

At the event, Sheffield Youth Cabinet and Sheffield UK Youth Parliament asked where young people felt safe and here are the results:

  • 85% of young people felt safe where they live
  • 29% of young people did not feel safe in the city centre
  • 73% of young people felt safe at school
  • 70% of young people felt safe in public spaces
  • 62% of young people felt safe in open spaces
  • 13% of young people did not feel safe on public transport
  • 81% of young people felt safe in a youth club
  • 70% of young people felt safe in places of worship

The event was kindly sponsored by SIV, and would not have been possible without their support.

In Celebration of Youth Work #YouthWorkMatters

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….

  • 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

 


The theme for this year’s International Youth Day is ‘SAFE SPACES’ something that Sheffield Futures knows all about. For thousands of young people, our youth clubs are a safe space to go, take part in recreational activities, meet and make new friends and learn the skills they need to succeed in life.

This month we are using our sessions in youth clubs to find out what makes a safe space, why young people feel that the youth clubs are a safe space and how they could be improved to be more inclusive, accessible and welcoming.

This case study is part of our new campaign: In Celebration of Youth Work, where celebrating and demonstrating the value of youth work within our communities.

#YouthWorkMatters

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.

International Youth Day – 10th August!

Tash Bright No Comments

International Youth Day is on Sunday 12th August and Sheffield Futures will be hosting our annual celebration on Friday 10th August at Ice Sheffield, Coleridge Rd, S9 5DA at 12.30-3.30pm.

This event is fun for all the family and a chance for young people from all over Sheffield to get together and enjoy sports, displays, graffiti, music and loads more.

The theme for International Youth Day is Safe Spaces, where young people can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves. Sheffield Futures provides many of these spaces in Sheffield so we feel like it’s also a celebration of our hard work creating these spaces too.

Would you like to be involved?

We are looking for staff with hidden talents who may be able to face paint/do henna tattoos or screen printing! Whatever you can do that would be an activity for young people on the day, then please get in touch with Elliot Walker. (elliot.walker@sheffieldfutures.org.uk)

 

Challenge & adventure in the Peak District

Sadie White No Comments

At the end of May, our youth workers took 18 young people from our Woodthorpe and Westfield youth clubs and our Door 43 service out into the Peak District for a day of education, challenge and adventure. The educational activity, delivered in partnership with Endeavour Training and the Peak District National Park authority enabled these young people from very diverse backgrounds, most of whom had never ventured into the Peaks before, to interact socially, broadening horizons, building confidence and healthy attitudes as well as breaking down prejudice and negative stereotypes.

Travelling by tram and train demonstrated to our young people just how easy it is to access the national park. Disembarking at Grindleford, our young people were introduced to a Peak District National Park ranger who provided information about the running of the park and associated environmental challenges and got involved with using tools to maintain accessibility of paths as well as carrying out an environmental survey that involved understanding the ecosystem and identifying plants and insects. After a short walk in the beautiful countryside our young people were given the opportunity to really challenge themselves and push personal boundaries with an abseiling activity.

Commenting on the young people’s reactions to the abseiling activity, Danny Maybury, youth worker in our East team says, ‘Many of the young people taking part in the activity experienced fear just at the thought of taking this death defying plunge, and murmurs of self-doubt echoed around the group upon arrival. With a little encouragement and self-belief however, the challenge was enthusiastically met. The impact of this victory could be plainly seen on the gleeful faces of the young people who took part.’

John Moloughney, Deputy East team manager also said, ‘It was fantastic to lead an activity to deliver educational, social as well as healthy outcomes for these young people and see the delight on their faces as they challenged themselves in such a beautiful location. I’m really keen that we continue to build upon links with organisations such as Endeavour and the Peak District National Park Authority to deliver more in collaboration for Sheffield’s young people.’

A trip is being planned for October and any young people interested in attending should contact John Moloughney.

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.