Sheffield Futures launches new approach to youth work ‘Youth Sheffield’

YOUTH charity Sheffield Futures has revamped the way youth services are offered across the city and raised £20,000 to kick start new ‘Youth Sheffield’ programme.

The charity currently leads up to 40 youth work sessions a week, funded by Sheffield City Council. With the Council’s support, the charity is now transforming the way it works with young people, but says it needs ongoing funding and help from the wider community ‘to give young people the youth service they truly deserve’.

Gail Gibbons, CEO at Sheffield Futures said: “‘Investment in youth work is needed more than ever after years and years of significant Government cuts to children and young people’s services nationally.

“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.

“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 key.”

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

Ms Gibbons, said: “It’s so important that all young people, no matter their circumstances, are given the opportunity to access high quality youth provision. Sometimes that can mean engaging young people on their own territory, on their own terms, on the streets or in local parks for example.

“However, we hope that over time, we are able to bring more and more young people into our youth centres, but we can’t do this alone.

“To reach as many young people as possible, 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 well-being 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 the charity is 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 youthsheffield@sheffieldfutures.org.uk for more information.

For more information or to request an interview, contact the communications team at Sheffield Futures: Ceriann Rush ceriann.rush@sheffieldfutures.org.uk/07580714860 or Sadie White sadie.white@sheffieldfutures.org.uk/07818595333