Young Person

“Being in Chilypep is like being in a Rubik Cube – sometimes you’re with people the same as you in your own group and you’re all the same ‘colour’, and that’s really nice because you all have the same kind of problems and can support each other. Then Chilypep mixes all the ‘colours’ up together, and we mix with the other groups and all get on, and then we can understand that even if we’ve got different problems or issues, we can help and support each other! It’s like Chilypep makes beautiful patterns with all the colours, but then we can go back to our groups (colour) if we need to! It really helps people to see other people’s problems and help each other no matter what group you’re from!”


“I have seen my daughter develop and blossom into a confident, aware and respectful young woman.
Chilypep has played a big part in this as it has exposed her to experiences, opportunities and people she would not normally have come into contact with. Chilypep has helped her develop her political awareness and sense of justice and fairness. It has supported her to develop her people skills in particularly difficult situations. She is now planning a career working with young people and continues to work as a volunteer youth worker in the city. Because of this positive experience she has also encouraged her peers to get involved with youth work.”

BME Community Development Team Manager PCT

“Personally and professionally Chilypep has given me lots of practical support and advice. They give young people the chance to develop their skills and the opportunity to work with organisations in many creative ways. This is both to empower young people to have a say and influence strategy, but also to support organisations to meet the needs of young people on their terms. I think everyone benefits from this way of working from the young people their families, organisations, workers and the community as a whole. People do not live in isolated boxes put are part of wider networks; Positive impacts in one domain influences many others. Often the benefits are immeasurable.”

South Yorkshire Police

“From an organisational perspective we benefited immensely through the survey (bespoke questionnaire devised by Chilypep but developed and delivered through the engagement with children and young people) as this gave me an insight into the perception of the police that local children and young people held. From this I was able to review and evaluate our service delivery and implement changes through the identified opportunities – I believe our changed strategy is working; although it’s fair to say we still have some way to go but our direction of travel is in the right way.
This has also benefited children and young people as we have more of an understanding and are engaging them in a more prosocial approach as opposed to authoritarian (in a nut shell we are not criminalising children and young people unnecessarily due to a change in culture and working

Sue Atkins, Director, Youth Association South Yorkshire

“CHILYPEP brings a clear and creative approach to a much needed aspect of the ‘Youth Agenda’. Participation of young people into the formal decision making processes of governance in all areas of community and civic life is a critical issue. Chilypep enables young people to take on and fulfil this role, and does so with energy a sense of fun and real commitment to the young people involved.”

Ian Drayton Southey and Owlerton Area Regeneration (SOAR) Partnership Manager

“They have helped me to develop and improve my knowledge and understanding of young people, and marshal my arguments about a positive image of young people to counteract the negative stereotypes that abound in the media and are perpetuated by people who were never young themselves.”

Leroy - Aged 21

DSC_0256 bisblack1“Volunteering at my local youth club at the age of 15 was my first experience of participation. I didn’t know it was though until I started working with CHILYPEP when I was 16. This all became clear to me when working through The Training the Trainers program. The course covered lots of different aspects from communication to equal opportunities and gave me lots of skills and knowledge to go on to train workers in participation.

When the course finished, some of us decided to come together as a youth forum. Our first task was to find out what issues and needs young people had in our area. We carried out a peer research project and consulted with over 700 young people. Chilypep supported us and gave us the training and help we needed. As the forum grew my role became more of a support to other young people and I was asked to be a voluntary worker. As well as this I continued to volunteer at youth clubs and other projects in the area building up my experience of working with young people.

At the age of 18 I started my NVQ level two in youth work and attended various other training sessions such as child protection and drugs and alcohol awareness. When I was 19 I worked as a paid sessional worker for CHILYPEP delivering the Training the Trainers program, introduction to youth work course and working on a detached project working with young people in parks, outside shops or wherever they hang around. At the age of 20 I started working part-time for CHILYPEP, supporting young people to carry out research and develop a youth forum. After 6 months I became full time and currently run several projects throughout Sheffield.”

Eloise J N - Aged 17

“I first heard about CHILYPEP from friends at school who would talk about “this project” that they attended meetings with and seemed to get them involved and enthusiastic about them. However I wasn’t directly involved until, as part of the school council, I put myself forward to become part of the proposed Joint Schools Council (JSC), which I later found out was the brain-child of the very meetings which my school-friends had attended.

CHILYPEP’s work in bringing together student representatives from Chaucer, Parkwood and Yewlands to form the JSC was inspirational. For the first time we felt and were truly instrumental, drafting our own charter, motto & constitution, building the organisation up ourselves and coming together to find that what we thought were important issues at one school, they were dealing with and faced the same at other “rival” schools.

From the JSC some members were elected to another CHILYPEP project, the Area Wide Youth Parliament (AWYP). This brought together members from many different projects, some who new each other, and some who would probably never had met. The cross-section of people was amazing, but that CHILYPEP had brought us all together and were facilitating us in training ourselves, working together and getting down to try and do something about the issues that really mattered (and still matter) to us all was (and is) even more so.

Since that first invitation to join the JSC I have worked on projects surrounding school nurses and health, toilet facilities and student representation, built up Young Peoples’ organisations and been trained in discrimination awareness, communication and debating, and children’s rights. I have even written and presented questions in a “political speed-dating” session with city councillors and even written, produced and performed in an Anti-Bullying film.

When my term on the AWYP was over I was encouraged to join the North Sheffield Youth Forum (NSYF) and helped organise a Young Peoples festival (mish-mash), was trained and earned an ASDAN in peer mentoring as part of a wider peer mentoring project and designed and am now part of a cultural awareness project.

In short, CHILYPEP has given the young people of Sheffield one of the most valuable things they may ever have, the support and backing to get involved and heard where otherwise they might be sidelined and ignored. They have nurtured involvement and a sense of worth where otherwise there might have been none, combating a disengagement that might have otherwise led to apathy that we are constantly told is a “scourge of society” and something government is desperate to fight.

As a direct result of the work of Chilypep I am engaged and aware, taking part in activities that will put something back into the community and gaining experience and considering options that I otherwise wouldn’t have thought possible. Projects like this are invaluable, and I can only hope that more people continue to benefit from them and go on to help others, the sheer diversity of a projects impact means that those involved can never be truly thanked, but I hope that this testimony does in part.”

James Collins - Aged 20

“At the very young age of 15 I first began volunteering for Activity Sheffield, doing sport coaching in Colley Park and through them I got involved volunteering for Chilypep and the volunteer network project volunteering at all different groups at Remington Youth Club on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights. With Chilypep I did lots of training and volunteering. I did my introduction to youth work, child protection, equal opportunities and I did my 1000 Millennium Volunteer award.

When I was younger I didn’t really want to be bothered with helping other people and when I saw people that were very close to me die it inspired me even more to help people and through helping and volunteering for the youth project and the training that I did, it helped me to get to know myself better, and realise that I could offer things to the community. This really boosted my confidence and inspired me to do my Community Sports Leaders Award. Then I did my Football Association Coaching level one and other national governing body awards and then started to set up my own junior football club for boys and girls where I was secretary and manager of the club. Since then I have gone from strength to strength I have now done my City and Guilds Sport and Leisure progression award level 1 and 2 and then moved onto my BTEC National Diploma in sport. In the summer I am going to the United States to coach soccer for 3 months then I am coming back to go to Sheffield Hallam University to start a four year degree that will qualify me to be a physical education teacher, if it wasn’t for all the different projects like Chilypep and activity Sheffield I wouldn’t be where I am right now.

I didn’t get the grades that I wanted in school and all the different projects basically turned my life around and through Chilypep gave me the boost of confidence, inspiration and motivation to succeed where I am right now, I would like to thank all of the different projects that have helped me in the past especially Chilypep because they have been fantastic and I would further recommend to any other young person to look into themselves and look what also they could achieve by volunteering and helping others because also it could change your life.”

James is now working in the USA coaching football to children and young people

Rachael Fiander, Primary School Teacher

My journey with Chilypep began about 10 years ago (aged 13) when I became a young researcher with them fora project aimed at finding out what the young people of North Sheffield thought of their area and how they wanted to improve it. The way CHILYPEP worked with me, and the other young people on the project, made us feel like we really could make a difference and that we were doing something worthwhile. They worked tirelessly to promote our cause with larger organisations that could make a difference and helped us to become confident enough to talk with these as well as with the young people and communities we wanted to help.

From this initial project, we (the young people) wanted to set up a youth forum for North Sheffield to continue working on issues that arose from the research and try to work towards improving the area, as young people in the research had suggested. CHILYPEP facilitated and supported our set-up and meetings and this group ran for many years, doing various projects. My time with this group really helped me to be the person I am today. CHILYPEP empowered us to take control of our forum, sharing leadership roles, and this helped develop my self-esteem and confidence, as well as vital other skills for future work, such as organisational skills and working in a team. The opportunities to work with and present to adults, as well as young people, also further developed our communication skills and confidence.

When I turned 18, I began some short-term employment for CHILYPEP, working with the youth forum and its new members, this time from the side of an adult. I have since, also, worked on other projects as an employee of CHILYPEP, encouraging young people in different groups to discuss issues important to them and their areas, and to work on trying to solve or improve these together. Working within the adult team at CHILYPEP came second-nature, since they had already worked with me as a young person and empowered me to take a lead then.

There is a spirit and ethos at CHILYPEP, promoted by the manager Lesley, that really puts young people at the top-nobody who works there just does it for a job; they really care about young people and are willing to put in the most effort to ensure young people are engaged, empowered and happy. This is why I (and many others) felt I could trust them as a young person and have stayed and grown with them since.

The life and work experiences that CHILYPEP gave me have been invaluable. As well as a positive impact on my personal, social and moral development, the time spent there has also helped me to secure places at Universities and future employment positions more easily. I know this to be the case for others also and hope it continues to be so for the many people they continue to work with.


I just want to take this time to thank you for all of the support you personally have given me and the team throughout the years. I have come to acknowledge that Chilypep’s support has really paved the way for the Young people at YMA. The skills we have gained within the project has helped us tremendously in life. 4 have finished University, 2 of are in good jobs, and 1 is currently in a University placement. Plus many more positive stories that I have missed during my time at university.

I understand we were really hard work at times, so many thanks to you and your team for keeping on with us. I should have shown my gratitude a long time ago, but time just seems to fly by real fast now a days.

Many thanks, Robel


“We’ve got lots of skills from the group; participation, design
skills, communication, public speaking, awareness around mental
health and mental health illness, creative consultation, campaigning,
debating, evaluation and analysis skills, product design.”

“I’ve gained valuable experience that has helped me into employment
in a youth work setting, Chilypep staff have gone above and beyond
to support me in all areas of my life.”

“I’ve made friends, lots of friends through STAMP.”

“I joined STAMP because of my own experiences of Mental illness, I’ve gained new friendships, a network of contacts and so many skills. I discovered a passion for helping people, Mental Health and youth work.”

“I have been involved with the VOYCE participation Group for 15 months now. It has given me confidence, a qualification as a trainer and skills. VOYCE means a lot to me as I have 2-3 ASDANS which is half a GCSE. It has helped me with family as in giving me help over what to do”

“I have been involved with VOYCE PG for 1 year now. I feel I have made the best friends ever and I would have missed meeting the two best workers in the world if I hadn’t joined. My favourite moment was when I got my first ASDAN through VOYCE”

“I have been a member of VOYCE PG for 2 years, with a 1 year gap in between. The VOYCE project participation group has given me a foundation within myself which is helping build back my self esteem and confidence and helping me be more happy.”

“I have been a member of the VOYCE participation group for 3 years! My favourite moment has been making journals, eating home made cakes and presenting train the trainer [to other young people]. I feel more confident expressing my feelings and I feel more confident speaking to councillors and presenting to others. I come to VOYCE PG every week to every session and I am always on time and I always have my folder and VOYCE diaries with me [I was voted secretary of VOYCE PG]”

I have been a member of VOYCE for 3 years. My favourite part of VOYCE is having fun with everyone, residentials and influencing young people, carers and professionals. I have gained confidence, organisation skills, qualifications as a trainer and loads of ASDANs. It has helped me with my career and getting through college. VOYCE PG is my 2nd family. VOYCE is amazing”

“CHILYPEP has been an inspiration in setting the gold standard around consultation with young people. The Burngreave Community Study Support Consortium and Yemeni Community Association have worked closely with CHILYPEP to make sure that the voice of ethnic minority young people was heard in the Council’s consultation around the Every Child Matters outcomes and to involve young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in the panels for assessing Youth Opportunities Programme applications.”
Burngreave Study Support

“The Project gave me a deeper understanding of what ‘participation’ truly means and also gave me a strategic model that I could understand and work with.
They have given me lots of practical support and advice and are unique in combining a clear understanding of strategy with great operational expertise in working on the front line with young people.”

Health Improvement Manager
Sheffield Primary Care Trust

CHILYPEP does a fantastic job empowering young people and making organisations and managers sit up and take notice of what life for young people is really like and what their needs are. They have built up a superb track record and do a really important job for people in North Sheffield and for the city as a whole. It has been an enormous pleasure to work with Lesley and her team over the years.
Burton Street Project

“I think Chilypep is a great idea. There should be more initiatives like it to involve young people as it raises their confidence and makes it possible for them to participate in raising awareness of issues that affect young people from their own perspective.”