Sheffield Futures, a youth charity based in Division Street, is revamping the way youth services are offered across the city having raised £20,000 to kick start the new ‘Youth Sheffield’ programme.
The charity currently leads up to 40 youth work sessions a week, funded by Sheffield Council.
With the council’s support, the charity is transforming the way it works with young people but says ongoing funding and help from the wider community is needed ‘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 new city-wide youth service will be led by a team of youth work team leaders who will coordinate a curriculum of activities, including sports, arts and life skills.
This will be delivered across 20 youth centres and through street-based youth work.
Ms Gibbons added: “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.”
Youth Sheffield plans to develop Sheffield Youth Partnership, a youth work network to provide support to other organisations, share information and resources, and upskill those who work with young people.
Additional sources of funding, as well as support from community organisations and volunteers, are being sought to help the programme thrive.
For more information or to take part email: [email protected]