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Sheffield Futures: Helping everyone make good life choices

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Sheffield Futures offers a range of services for young people aimed at helping them with every aspect of their lives. We chatted to Sheffield Futures' team member Ceriann Rush, to find out what the organisation has been up to in 2019 and what the future holds.

What have you done this year? What are you most proud of?

There's so much to be proud of this year, but launching our new approach to youth work in the city, Youth Sheffield, has been a real highlight.

We believe that investment in highly-trained youth workers, who can not only involve young people in enriching activities, but help keep them safe and inspire and support them to make the most of their lives, is vital. This is why we raised £20,000 to kickstart our new programme.

Sheffield Futures currently provides up to 40 youth work sessions a week across Sheffield, funded by Sheffield City Council. With the support of the Council, we're transforming the way youth work is provided across the city.

The refreshed city-wide youth service is now led by a new team of youth work team leaders who coordinate a curriculum of activities, including sports, arts and life skills. This curriculum is delivered across 20 youth centres, and through street-based youth work, for those who do not feel able to access a club.

We need ongoing funding and help from the wider community

What are your challenges for 2020 and how could your work in Sheffield be better supported?

To give young people the youth service they truly deserve in Sheffield, now and in the future, we need ongoing funding and help from the wider community.

There have been years and years of significant government cuts to children and young people's services nationally. Now we're seeing, not only in Sheffield but across the country, major problems such as the rise in young people's mental health issues, exploitation of vulnerable young people and associated violent crime.

To support as many young people as possible in the coming years, particularly those who are most in need, we must work closely with partners such as the Council, South Yorkshire Police and many of the other fantastic organisations we have in this city that have young people's wellbeing firmly at their heart.

As part of this work, Youth Sheffield plans to develop a new youth work network, known as Sheffield Youth Partnership, to provide support to other youth work organisations, to share information and resources, and upskill those who work with young people locally.

The £20,000 donation made by Sheffield Futures has launched the programme, but we're looking for additional sources of funding to help expand and continue the work, as well as support from community organisations and volunteers.

Organisations and individuals that would like to collaborate and be part of the Sheffield Youth Partnership or support Youth Sheffield can email for more information. We'd love to hear from you.

Find out more about Sheffield Futures here.

Flick Jackson

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