It was someone’s mistake at school that led to me being involved with Sheffield Futures.

One day, when I was in Year 10, my teacher rushed into the classroom and said, “Kate, pick four friends, it’s the Festival of Debate at the Town Hall today!”. My school had forgotten to organise to send anyone.

“Kate, pick four friends, it’s the Festival of Debate at the Town Hall today!”

It was the first time that I’d been in that kind of environment and I really enjoyed it. At the end, someone from Sheffield Futures stood up and read a poem about the importance of youth voice and representation. That was the inspiration for me getting involved in Sheffield Futures.

As a Young Advisor I’ve been on a debate panel alongside the Chief Crime Commissioner, worked with other young people to create a project tackling criminal exploitation, and youth-proofed a Safeguarding Policy for Sheffield City Council. I’ve also been featured in The Star and on Hallam FM.

Since October 2021, I’ve been on the Board of Trustees for Sheffield Futures. I bring a youth perspective, but more than that – I’ve grown up with this organisation and am passionate about it evolving so it remains fit for purpose for the next generation of young people.

“My experience with Sheffield Futures has been life-changing and has influenced the direction of my education and career.”

I’m just one girl from Manor Top, but hopefully my story gives you a sense of the life-changing support that Sheffield Futures delivers to people like me every day.

Kate Hardy, Young Advisor and a Trustee of Sheffield Futures