Fresh Futures Looks Back at a Successful 2022

And that’s not all. Can you believe we also packed ALL of the below into 2022, too!

  • We supported Children’s Mental Health Week, created by Place2Be, through our Thriving Kirklees Team, providing free activity packs and wellbeing guides and more!
  • We got a BRAND NEW website
  • We started a gardening group for our service users with Young Onset Dementia
  • We launched our 3-year strategy
  • We were FINALISTS for the Covid Hero Award at the Yorkshire Choice Awards
  • We ran mental health programmes with the Works Better team at Kirklees Council for our Brian Jackson College pupils.
  • We worked with Our Creative Connection to create a photography exhibition created by our Hopeful Families participants
  • We trained ALL our Service Managers in an accredited Management Training & development PRogramme
  • We hosted Safety Rangers for Year-5 pupils from disadvantaged schools – THREE TIMES!
  • We ‘Walked for YCC‘ taking on TWO walking challenges (Up Castle Hill in Huddersfield and the National 3 Peaks), raising awareness and funds for the charity.
  • We said good bye and good luck to another cohort of Brian Jackson College pupils
  • We launched a 3-year sustainability Action Plan
  • We ran our first ever ALL STAFF team day to develop the charity’s ‘One Team; One Charity’ ethos
  • We held a huge THANK YOU event for our employees and their families in the summer, plus a festive party at Christmas
  • We hosted a fashion show at Brian Jackson House to raise important funds for our services
  • We supported Ukrainian refugees through various projects including a Ukrainian job fayre and Christmas party
  • We hosted Stay and Play sessions for families through Hopeful Families where children could play whilst their parents and carers received essential support from professional mentors.
  • We celebrated Eid and Diwali across our sites with our employees and tenants
  • We were awarded the Household Support Grant by TSL Kirklees
  • We completed a big refurb project at Brian Jackson College, Heckmondwike with a cohort of volunteers
  • We sold Fresh Futures christmas cards, designed by a pupil at Brian Jackson College
  • We presented ‘Speak Volumes – the importance of amplifying children’s voices in domestic abuse perpetrator programmes’ as part of the White Ribbon Campaign with EdShift.

News Update: New Year’s Resolutions – What Will You Achieve in 2023?

New Year, New Opportunities!

January is always a time when we look forward and map out our dreams and goals for the year to come!

This year, why not consider some new year’s resolutions that are not only fun and innovative, but that could make a BIG difference, too!

Here are 6 new year’s resolution ideas for you to consider, and make 2023 a year to remember!!

1. Support YCC’s Charity Shop

YCC’s charity shop in Heckmondwike sells pre-loved furniture, white goods, and decorative items. We are always seeking support from our local community, whether you would like to donate items or your time, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Charity retail association also suggested three creative new year’s resolutions to support your charity shop!

P.S. Did you know that our Charity Shop has an eBay account for our Vintage pieces?

2. Get your business involved!

Could your place of work support a good cause? From regular giving such as unclaimed client funds, to pro-bono work and sponsored events in the name of Fresh Futures… there’s always plenty of fun ways that you and your colleagues could make a difference!

3. Tick something off your bucket list!

What’s that one thing you’ve always wanted to do? Shave your beard? Climb a mountain? Jump out of an aeroplane? Make 2023 the year that you set up a Just Giving Page in the name of Yorkshire Children’s Centre and MAKE IT HAPPEN! If you decide to carry out any activity or event for YCC, do let us know, and we can support you with sponsorship forms, publicity, and more!

Check out this list of Running Events that you could get involved in, in 2023!

4. Volunteer your time!

At YCC, we have SO MANY different opportunities for volunteers to get involved. From telephone befriending, and gardening clubs… to regular administrational support and fundraising… We’ve listed lots of different volunteer opportunities across our website. But if you have a special skill that you would like to bring to us, we would be delighted to hear from you! If you would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please email [email protected]

5. Make a one-off donation or set up regular giving

Perhaps you would like to make a one off donation to support one of YCC’s services, or maybe you are able to set up regular giving each month for the duration of Fresh Futures. Either way, THANK YOU SO MUCH! 100% of all donations made by the public go straight to Fresh Futures to help us continue and improve our services, reaching more and more people in need each year and fulfilling our charitable objective of improving lives and inspiring change. Please CLICK HERE to make a donation.

6. Take 60 seconds to set up a free donation service forever!

Did you know that both Easy Fundraising and Amazon Smile offer really simple ways to donate money… without spending an penny yourself!! Both programmes are linked to your shopping baskets; so that whenever you ‘check out’ online, a percentage of your spend is donated on your behalf by the company. It takes less than a minute to set up and doesn’t cost you anything at all! Why not tell your friends how easy this is and see how many people you can get on board to double… or triple your impact!

Easy Fundraising – Learn More

Amazon Smile – Learn More

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you post about it on social media to help spread awareness of our charity. And don’t forget to tag us (@WeAreYCC) so we can follow, repost and support your resolutions along the way! 🙂

News Update: YCC’s 2023 Sustainability Action Plan Announced

During the January 2023 Sustainability Forum meeting, the representatives agreed the following 20-step action plan which will be rolled out throughout this year, ending with a re-assessment of YCC’s carbon footprint, to determine if our actions have resulted in an improvement of our score.

You can also view the full presentation considered during the forum meeting, in PDF format below.

If you would like to join the forum, attend a one-off meeting, or simply make any sustainable comments and/or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact YCC’s Sustainability Champion, by emailing [email protected].

Fresh Futures Mourns the Passing of Queen Elizabeth II As a mark of respect Fresh Futures will be closed on Monday 19th September and Re-open on Tuesday 20th September

Fresh Futures are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

As we offer our heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, we reflect with gratitude and admiration on an extraordinary lifetime of service.

During 70 years of remarkable service, the queen demonstrated an unstinting passion for charities and ensured her patronage of hundreds of good causes was integral to her public duties

Many of our children and adult service users will have known only Queen Elizabeth II as the monarch of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms, for their lifetimes; so the next coming weeks may be a strange and upsetting time for many across our communities.

Fresh Futures is here to support the communities, across Huddersfield, Heckmondwike and Batley, through our Community Friend and Community Champion work. and you can find details of these services on our website.

All Fresh Futures staff across all the Fresh Futures buildings will be observing the bank holiday Monday on 19th September 2022, to celebrate the Queen’s life during her funeral, and services will therefore be closed for this day.

#WeAreYCC

CONGRATULATIONS: BRIAN JACKSON COLLEGE LEAVERS

Another year and another cohort of leavers at YCC’s alternative provision school.

This year, several pupils came to the end of their journeys at Brian Jackson College, after completing two years with us, studying the national curriculum, gaining important qualifications and certificates, and learning important life skills.

Brian Jackson College is an Alternative Provision supporting pupils with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. We are based in Kirklees across 2 sites (Huddersfield and Heckmondwike).

This year’s cohort completed courses in core subjects such as English, Maths, Science & Financial Education; plus vocational subjects including food technology, motor vehicle maintenance and construction.

Our aim is to inspire all our pupils to be motivated and successful citizens, equipped to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. We have created a positive environment that offers a fresh start and encourages and promotes pupils’ academic, social, moral, spiritual and cultural learning.

“Where does the time go? We are SO PROUD of this year’s leavers, who fought valiantly throughout the pandemic to continue to achieve to the best of there ability. At the end of the academic year, we always try to spoil our pupils and give them a great send off. This year, all pupils were invited back for an afternoon of pizza and laughter. This included the staff showing off their dance moves. On behalf of myself and every one of the college staff, we wish each and every pupil joy and success on the next part of their journey, and remind them that we area always here, if they need us!” 

A message from Brigitte Barrowclough, Deputy Head Teacher at the Huddersfield college
In the summer, before the academic year came to an end, staff and pupils held an impromptu Sports Day which was great fun!

If you would like to learn more about YCC’s alternative provision colleges, please click HERE to visit the college website.

If you would like to fundraise for, support, or collaborate with the college, please contact [email protected].

The college also has an Amazon Wish List, which includes appliances for the cooking and art classes, plus educational books. You can view this, HERE.

Safety Rangers Takes Place at YCC’s Brian Jackson House for the First Time

Between 13th and 24th June, Fresh Futures hosted their Safety Rangers event, delivering safety sessions to 247 year 5 pupils from six local schools: Clough Head, Fieldhead Primary Academy, Lowerhouses J&I, Netherhall Learning Campus, Newsome Junior School and Warwick Road Primary.

For the first time since the event was developed, Safety Rangers took place at YCC’s Brian Jackson House in the centre of Huddersfield.

Pupils learned about the importance of a balanced diet and where to find important vitamins and minerals to fuel their bodies.

The event is coordinated by YCC’s Thriving Kirklees team and runs for two weeks at a time, every week day. The day is run by Katie Lockwood – Thriving Kirklees 0-19 Service Manager; and Jodie Kavanagh – Thriving Kirklees Service Support Worker in partnership with local services.

Working on physical health

Safety Rangers focuses on three key areas:

  • Practical Safety
  • Emotional Health and Wellbeing
  • Physical health.

Each session is designed to educate the pupils to live safely; and the fun activities the pupils undertake ensure that the information is easily retained after they leave the event.

“I enjoyed my day because I learnt about something.
“I liked that you could be open with your thoughts and feelings.”
I liked that it was very calm and if you got something wrong it was okay”

Various Pupils who attended the June event
Learning about Emotional Health and Wellbeing from the team at Northorpe Hall. The pupils took part in a meditation exercise and discussed the importance of looking after your mental health.

Safety Rangers Sessions:

Morning Sessions:

  • Road Safety, delivered by Kirklees Road Safety
  • Anti-Social Behaviour, delivered by Safer Kirklees and West Yorkshire Police
  • Fire Safety, delivered by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Afternoon Sessions:

  • Emotional Health and Wellbeing, delivered by Northorpe Hall Child and Family Trust
  • Physical Health and Nutrition, delivered by Huddersfield Town Foundation
  • Physical Exercise, delivered by Huddersfield Town Foundation

Jodie Kavanagh who coordinates the event behind the scenes and facilitates the event during delivery, said that,Safety Rangers is made possible by a partnership of local services who give their time to deliver important safety and health messages to the pupils who attend. From the feedback, you can see that pupils and teachers alike find these sessions to be informative, useful and, of course, fun. We’d like to thank the aforementioned organisations for their help and participation, and we look forward to delivering again this coming October.“.

Safety Rangers runs four times a year, and usually takes place at Huddersfield Fire Station (winter events) and Dewsbury Fire Station (summer events). If you would like to learn more about Safety Rangers events, please visit our website.

Pupils sit down to learn about Physical Fitness from football players of Huddersfield Town

A fantastic event with vitally important messages, well organised. Would definitely recommend and wish to come again.

Teacher

Volunteer of the Month: June

We love this time of the month: when we get to shout about our amazing volunteers and the quite literally life changing work that they do to help Fresh Futures run smoothly and effectively.

This month we are giving a very special THANK YOU to Luke Russell, who has been volunteering for Fresh Futures for a year and a half so far, as a telephone befriender.

We caught up with Luke to find out a little more about his volunteering journey.

  1. Name:  Luke Russell.
  2. Tell us a little about yourself? I live in Huddersfield and work for a manufacturing company in nearby Meltham. I spend most of my time on my main interests which are cooking (& eating!), reading, and attending live music events. 
  3. How long have you been volunteering for the charity? Just over 18 months. 
  4. Please explain your volunteering role in a nutshell: As a telephone befriender, I make weekly phone calls to some elderly individuals in the local community. After the first few calls of getting to know one another, these typically become nice informal chats to talk about anything which has been going on for them and myself recently, and anything else which might have been on their mind. 
  5. What made you want to start volunteering with YCC? I’d been wanting to take up a volunteering role for some time, but had struggled to commit myself to an opportunity. During the 2020 Covid lockdowns and the growing awareness of community loneliness, which was particularly acute in some groups including the elderly, I saw this role advertised in an email and felt I couldn’t help but commit some time to helping in any way.  
  6. Sum up a typical day of volunteering for you? The befriending role is great for someone like myself who works weekday office hours as I can easily fit the time into the sociable hours I have after finishing work. Typically, I’ll try to call straight after finishing my job for the benefit of my friends, and just have a natural conversation with them about what’s happened in the last week, and anything which they want to talk about from their lives – I planned my holiday in Scotland last summer around trips one of my contacts used to make and often tells me about – he has such fond memories of Arran we had to check it out! I’ll make the odd note during the call, and then once we’ve finished our conversation, update the volunteering app with the call details. 
  7. And finally, what advice would you give to people considering volunteering with YCC? The main thing is making sure you’re honest with yourself about what you can fit in and find an opportunity accordingly. The Telephone Befriending role really suits me with the time I am able to commit with work and other commitments, and building relationships overtime is very rewarding as someone who enjoys bouncing off people.  

If you feel inspired to become a telephone volunteer like Luke, or if you would like to volunteer in any way for our charity, please contact Lucy on 01484 519988 or email [email protected]

News Update: Fresh Futures Reaches out to Ukrainian Families Refugees with Job Vacancies

Refugees Welcome!

At Fresh Futures we support vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people, and their families.

It goes without saying that refugees can be extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged when they arrive in the UK.

Refugees experience conditions of vulnerability, marginalisation, and poverty, in addition to high stress of displacement, which can seriously affect health and wellbeing, in particular for women, children, and older people.

That’s why Fresh Futures are looking to take action quickly. We have been in touch with the DWP, to support their programme and offer work to people arriving from Ukraine and Afghanistan. Once employed by us, we will be able to mentor, train, support and develop any individuals, as we do with all of our staff.

We have many available roles currently vacant within our charity and would be proud if any refugee wished to apply for any of them.

We will keep you posted of any positive outcomes.

#WeAreYCC#WeAreOneCommuinty

A “Refugees welcome” banner hanging on Madrid’s town hall building.

Thank You So Much: Companies Donate Unclaimed Client Funds

Did you know that companies can donate their unclaimed client funds?

Unclaimed client funds are sums of money which lie dormant in client accounts of many solicitors and accountants, for years. It’s often the case that the rightful owner cannot be traced, a company has closed or they have failed to provide instructions on how the funds should be dealt with.

Unclaimed client account balances cannot be used for any other purpose, so they can be a burden on annual audited accounts. If your business holds funds in dormant accounts, then we would be delighted to receive them to help us support the children, young people and their families that need us – and we can provide a suitable indemnity for individual client amounts exceeding £500.

In April 2022, two incredible companies did just that.

Ramsdens Solicitors donated £484.13 in unclaimed client funds.

Holden Smith Law donated £374.32 in unclaimed client funds.

Fresh Futures would like to take this opportunity to thank both Ramsdens Solicitors and Holden Smith Law for their very generous donations – and for considering our charity to receive the funds. These donations will play a significant role in allowing us to broaden our reach and deliver a positive impact to even more families in need over the coming months.

Learn more about how YOU can donate your unclaimed client funds HERE.

Meet the Team: Matt Lumb

It’s #MeetTheTeam time!

Name: Matt Lumb

Job Title: Food Tech Teacher

Time in the role: Almost 6 years!

What’s something people don’t know about you? I love cycling and gaming

Your role in a nutshell: I deliver practical food tech sessions, encouraging all pupils to understand cooking on a budget and also exploring foods from around the world. Pupils work towards completing a number of AQA unit award qualifications which develop their future independence and life skills, building confidence and self esteem.

Why do you like working for YCC? I enjoy working with a great team and helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.

What’s one of your favourite work memories? Cooking Christmas dinner for everyone at Brian Jackson College (Heckmondwike) and just seeing the appreciation and enjoyment from all the kids and staff.

And finally, what advice would you give to people considering working at YCC? Be ready to think on your feet and ALWAYS have a backup plan.

Contact details: [email protected]

#WeAreYCC