Following a rigorous recruitment process that included the voice of young people and stakeholders, Sheffield Futures are delighted to announce that Roo da Silva (they/them) will be joining the charity on 1st November 2023. 

Roo, a Sheffield resident, has over 10 years of experience in CEO, Founder and non-executive roles, and comes to Sheffield Futures with a long standing commitment to supporting young people. Most recently, they led the growth of a disability focused charity into a national youth-led movement for disability inclusion, and have continued to work as an independent mentor and coach.

In the interviews, Roo was ranked first by both the Stakeholder and Young People’s interview panels and impressed Trustees with their energy and creativity, as well as their professional knowledge and experience.

“We are delighted to welcome Roo to our charity. The continuity of Sheffield Futures’ work is vital for young people in Sheffield and being confident about the on-going leadership to take this work forward is a real boost.”

Chris Humphreys, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Speaking about the new role, Roo commented:

“I feel privileged to be joining an organisation doing such important work with and for Sheffield’s young people. I am looking forward to getting to know the young people at the heart of our work, and our voluntary, public, and private sector colleagues and partners with whom we share goals and vision. I can’t wait to get stuck in to supporting our passionate and knowledgeable team to continue Sheffield Futures’ drive to meet the needs of all young people in our diverse and proud city.”

Current CEO, Karen Challis, will be retiring from the charity in December, enabling a short period of handover including an introduction to our partners and networks.

Sheffield Futures are delighted with the news that we have successfully renewed our Green Mark Level 1 accreditation! Green Mark provides an internationally recognised environmental certification for organisations that want to assure their clients and employees that they are operating to recognised environmental standards. As a young people’s charity, we want to know that we’re playing our part in providing a clean, green future for the next generation. 

About the process: 

To achieve accreditation, we submitted information about our policies and practices and provided evidence of the progress we have made over the past year; this was then reviewed by a Green Mark auditor. 

The Green Mark process has helped us create a framework to make sure we have the correct tools to monitor and reduce our emissions going forward, as well as communicating internally and externally how we are doing this.  After becoming certified, Green Mark sent us a certificate, window stickers and some digital materials to share the news of our accreditation. 

Here are some of our environmental policies: 

  • Continuously improve the environmental performance and integrate recognised environmental management best practice into our operations.  
  • Measure and take action to reduce the carbon footprint of our activities by setting progressive environmental objectives & targets. 
  • Reduce waste and increase recycling at Star House and when working from home i.e. paper, plastics, toner cartridges. 
  • Ensure all staff have an awareness of environmental management and through our training programmes ensure environmental leadership throughout our business. 

For any other organisations considering environmental accreditation, these are some reasons why we would recommend it: 

  • Sustainable practices such as saving energy, reducing water use, using less materials and creating less waste can save more money than you think. 
  • Evidence of environmental credentials can help with securing funding and increases the likelihood of other organisations wanting to work with you. 
  • It is possible to run a charitable organisation without compromising on social and environmental responsibilities. 
  • Accreditation can also help to engage stakeholders and communicate your sustainability achievements to the world.

It feels incredible to say that Sheffield Futures is now a Disability Confident Leader. It took us a while to get there (hampered first by a global pandemic, and then taking time to find the right organisation to validate our application), but we’ve done it!

We’ve been a committed Disability Confident Employer for many years, and Two Ticks accredited before that, but Leader requires organisations to look in detail at what they do to support disabled applicants and employees, and to commit to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

For us this has meant looking at our processes to see how we could do things better. For example, we now have multiple ways of applying for vacancies at Sheffield Futures, and our new electronic application form process means recruiters don’t see any personal data at all, making shortlisting processes as objective as possible. We took the advice of our colleagues about where to advertise roles, and their recommendation for the inclusion of a Q&A page on our website, which focuses on all the kinds of questions they told us matter when considering an employer as a disabled applicant.  

We looked at our learning and development, rolling out Disability Inclusion e-learning for employees and arranging Disability Equality training for our leadership team (delivered by the wonderful Disability Sheffield/Voluntary Action Sheffield), along with providing disability specific training for our delivery teams. We’ve created a Reasonable Adjustment and Support policy for our colleagues, and train and support our line managers in how to use this to support employees who have ongoing health conditions. We put in place new health-related benefits and deliver regular internal sessions about health and wellbeing. Our commitment to mental health of course also continues – we’ll tell you about our commitment to Mindful Employer another time!

So, what now? We continue to focus on our commitment to the standard, and to help other employers in their Disability Confident journey. There is so much more that we can do at Sheffield Futures – we may be Disability Confident leaders now, but this certainly isn’t the end of our Disability Confident journey, it’s just the beginning…

Our huge thanks go out to our colleagues who helped us achieve this accreditation, and to ABL Health who supported us by providing helpful feedback and validating our application before submission.

Want to know more about Sheffield Futures as an employer? Take a look at our commitments and benefits package.

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