Sheffield Futures greeted some very special guests on Friday as two House of Lords peers visited the young people’s charity to learn more about their work and impact on the local community.
Lord Nick Bourne, the Minister for Faith, was joined by The Big Issue founder, Lord John Bird, for a tour of interfaith and social enterprise projects that help confront social problems in the north of England.
After visiting the cathedrals of Ripon, York and Wakefield, Lord Bird and Lord Bourne – who recently wrote in The Big Issue about a tour he is carrying out visiting all 42 Anglican cathedrals in one year, and the valuable work that faith communities do to help those on the margins society – arrived in Sheffield to get an insight into some of the city’s unique social projects.
In particular, the Cathedral Archer Project – a homeless day centre based at Sheffield Cathedral – piqued their interest. The project aims to help individuals overcome homelessness by providing advice, training and services, including a dentist’s, which Lord Bourne described as “extraordinary”.
The peers then headed to Sheffield Futures (above), a charity that provides mentoring and specialist support to the city’s young people across a wide range of services, which has received support from Big Issue Invest, The Big Issue’s social investment arm. Sheffield Futures’ work creates young leaders and helps disadvantaged youth gain valuable skills and experience, which will set them up for future employment.
In 2015 it received £350,000 from Big Issue Invest’s Social Enterprise Investment Fund I for a three-year contract to provide support and advice on training, employment, social inclusion and personal development for socially disadvantaged young people aged 14 to 17.