Youth services in Sheffield get £500k boost

Community organisations in Sheffield have been given nearly £500,000 to help fund training and development of youth workers and leaders.

SY-NC, otherwise known as Sheffield Youth - Neighbourhoods and Communities, is a group of community organisations working in partnership with representatives of statutory services supporting children and young people, under the leadership of Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS).

The National Lottery funding of £498,577 will go towards the areas most affected by the exploitation and lack of resources for children and young people in the city.

Founder and strategic lead of SY-NC, Lloyd Samuels, said: “This is an amazing and exciting opportunity for the communities of Sheffield to ‘level up’ their community youth services.

“It’s important to celebrate and reflect on the hard work so far that made this possible. Unity is important if we are going to support families and young people to avoid exploitation and support communities to become more resilient.

“The project has already brought together numerous partners, from young people at the Reach Up project to Lord Lieutenant Andrew Coombe, who all agree that things have to change and that change has to be embedded in a sustainable, community-led model.

“We all need different levels of support coming through this pandemic and this project hopes to empower communities, individuals and organisations to provide that support when needed.”

Helen Sims, interim chief executive of VAS, added: “The SY-NC project will put much-needed resources into our local communities to get upstream of issues impacting our children and young people, keeping the welfare of young people at the heart of the city’s recovery from the Covid pandemic.

“We’re pleased to be working closely with partners across different sectors, ensuring that community, statutory and other services work together effectively and give young people the opportunities they need when and where they need them.”

Declining youth services in Sheffield have left many young people ‘slipping through the cracks’, resulting in some being ‘stuck in the system’ due to a lack of preventative projects and programmes.

SY-NC aims to find better ways to support young people, empowering communities to support them.

It seeks to improve collaboration across statutory, public, voluntary, community and faith sectors.

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