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Monday April 30th 2018

Sheffield BID board member focus: Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons, CEO of Sheffield Futures and Sheffield BID board member.

Gail Gibbons, CEO of Sheffield Futures and Sheffield BID board member.

Every month, Sheffield BID shines a spotlight on one of our board members to find out more about what they do in their day job, their involvement with the BID and their views on the issues affecting Sheffield city centre.

In April, we spoke to Gail Gibbons, CEO of Sheffield Futures – a large young people’s charity, based in Sheffield and delivering services in Sheffield and across the city region. Gail has been a board member since October 2017.

Hi Gail, please tell us some information about your career so far, including your current job and what that involves.
I am the CEO of Sheffield Futures – a large young people’s charity, based in Sheffield and delivering services in Sheffield and across the city region. Sheffield Futures delivers a wide range of young people’s support services, including a number of both statutory and non- statutory services on behalf of Sheffield City Council.

We provide mentoring and specialist support to those who need it most, and everything we do is designed to meet one or more of our four goals aimed at supporting young people in to successful adulthood – improving social skills, life skills and independence; enabling community participation and belonging; sustained progression in education, employment or training; and improving health and wellbeing. Young people’s voice and participation is a very important part of our work.

Overall my role involves setting our charities strategic direction, and making sure it is financially sustainable. As part of my role I sit on a wide range of multi-agency partnership boards and strategic groups.

Why did you join the BID board?

I first came to Sheffield as a student at the University of Sheffield and, apart from a spell abroad, have lived here ever since. I think it’s a fantastic city with so much to recommend it, so when the opportunity to join the BID board came up, I welcomed the chance to be involved in helping to support and shape the city centre. With my work hat on, I also thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for young people to help support the work of the BID. Sheffield Futures works with larger numbers of local young people many of whom will have a view on what they want to see in their city centre.

What do you enjoy about being on the BID board?

The chance to collaborate with a wide range of individuals and sectors – all of whom are passionate about the work of the BID. I’m new to the board so feel that I have a lot to learn.

Which BID project are you most passionate about and why?

Street Rangers. I love the fact that not only are the team doing a great job in helping to keep our city centre clean, but it has provided sustainable work to people who have come through the cathedral’s homeless charity, The Archer Project.

In general, what are your opinions of Sheffield city centre?

I think it’s definitely on the up – though with some way to go! The Heart of the City programme will make a huge positive difference. It’s also great to see initiatives like the city centre ambassadors and the Street Rangers out and about, as well as Alive After Five. There are more and more small independent retailers in the city centre which is great to see and the annual programme of festivals and events in the city centre just gets better and better.

What further work would you like to see the BID undertake to improve Sheffield city centre?
Expansion of the Alive After Five strategy, and increased partnerships between BID businesses and events planning. I’d also like to see young people getting involved in the work of the BID. Our priorities are important to young people. They are an important city centre demographic and their views would be valuable I think.

Thanks Gail.

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