In terms of news, I have spent a semester doing patchwork which allowed me to become resourceful when looking for stories and helped me pursue my own contacts, and I have also worked as part of a newsroom in days organised by the university where we had a seven-hour day producing news-stories for the university’s news website, Sheff News.

Patch work:

Charity endures third break-in in a month

A twitter appeal had volunteers rallying to help a community centre in Gleadless Valley after it was vandalised for the third time in three weeks.

The Herdings, Heritage and Community centre was left in bad shape with a lot of its windows smashed and its poly tunnel knocked down and completely shredded by knife.

This comes a week after volunteers had come to repair the damage that was caused from the previous break-in that had left the garden in a similar state of disarray.

Maria Flude, 31, Deputy Chief Executive of Reach South Sheffield, said: “It’s a community growing project so people that have mental health issues or live locally can come and grow their own food and be part of a community group.

“That’s been completely destroyed this time.”

Locals and schools have offered their support and help to the centre and building companies like B&Q have donated materials for the rebuilding.

The volunteering has been taking place every Thursday with the locals working on rebuilding the poly-tunnel and re-planting the garden.

Steven Dexter, 30, a volunteer, said: “I’m here because it’s part of my roads and I’ve lived on here for years. My own folks used to come here also, my nan used to talk about it and everything’s sort of part of my heritage.

“I suffer a mental illness and to have something solid on a Thursday morning so I can come along and do, it’s very theraputing and I feel a sense of achievement when I’ve done something.”

Steps are also being taken to improve the security of the building with cctv cameras and the Smart Water burglary system due to be installed.

Kimberly Hinchliffe, 40, the director of the gardening project , said: “Everyone’s on the same boat and it could affect any group so I guess people realise that and want to help each other out”

The Reach South Sheffield is a non-profit organisation in Gleadless Valley that supports the improvement of mental, physical and financial well-being of south Sheffield.

In Memory of the Christchurch victims

People in Heeley gathered outside a Mosque in Plantation Road this morning in solidarity with the victims of the Christchurch shootings in New Zealand.

The gathering was organized by a neighbourhood group that spread the message through Facebook inviting people to join them outside Makki Jamia Masjid to support the Muslim community.

The green area near the church was packed with people holding signs and wearing anti-racism pins, and children drawing slogans like ‘We are all Together’ with chalk on the pavement.

Rosalie Banner, 38, who was there with her child, said:  “I’m here to show solidarity and show a bit of community support.

“I’m not religious on any level but I would like for anyone to be able to practice what they want to practice and gather how they want to gather, and it’s awful to think that some people are afraid of that.”

Information about the event was posted on Facebook with the hash-tag ‘They are Us’.

Jaded Saddiqi, 67, member of the Monitoring Group, called the phrase ‘a reflection of the fact that we’re all human beings wanting to live on this planet in a peaceful manner’.

Jennifer Mohammed Jones, 38, one of the organisers, said: “We believe wholeheartedly that people have the right to worship their religion free from fear.

“And I hope that if anybody has any negative ideas towards the Muslims in our community they can see how many people are gathered outside the Mosques today and realize that it is their ideas that are not welcome”

The shootings on 15 March took the lives of 50 people and left another 50 injured.

Green party candidate Paul Turpin, 43, who was also in attendance said the event brought ‘a sense that all isn’t going bad with the human race’.

A peace vigil was also held a few days earlier at the Sheffield City Center’s Peace Gardens where more than 200 people gathered in solidarity for the victims of the terror attack.

Sheffield families march for their children’s future

Families of Sheffield marched together to the city hall yesterday morning to protest for their children’s future.

The parents’ protest for climate change and air pollution was organized by local group Sheffield Green Parents.

At 11am families chanting and holding signs began their march from Devonshire Green with Peace Gardens as their finish line.

Alongside their parents were also small children chanting ‘Save our planet’ and waving their own banners.

Sally Marshall, 67, who was there with her granddaughter, said: “The government both here and around the world needs to actually take this problem seriously and stop putting money ahead of people’s health and ahead of the environment.”

Zoe Pearson, one of the organizers, urged the council during her speech to ‘sort out this mess the climate is in’ by 2030.  

Holly Gibson, 39, a mother of two, said: “We’ve been talking for about 40 years about climate change, which is my lifetime, and not enough has changed.

“I’ve got children and I’d quite like them to have a future and their children to have a future. It’s up to us to do something about it.”

The peaceful protest ended with a picnic at Peace Gardens with performances from the Sheffield Samber Band as well as a local belly dance group.

Sheffield Green Parents is a local action group of parents that campaigns about climate change and sustainability. According to their site, they are a ‘platform for the smallest of voices to make big noises’.

This was the third climate change march taking place in Sheffield this year.

Other News-stories

Council Story:

A petition opposing the LGBT community’s new right to self-identification was presented at yesterday’s council meeting.

The petition was brought together by Women of Steel ReSisters, the Sheffield branch of a national feminist group, in response to the implementation of self-identification without it being officially approved yet.

The new scheme would allow transgender people to identify as their preferred gender without having to go through the current long process.

A consultation took place in October with the feedback document yet to be published, but Self-identification has already been implemented by some councils.

Mary Helen Cameron, 57, the representative of the group in the council and a member of the LGBT community, said: “Women who self-identify as men that’s not the problem, because women don’t have a history of molesting men.

“How many sexual offenders are going to think ‘I can go in there now and I can do what I want and nobody can send me out’?

“It’s like an invitation”

The current system for gender identification requires the applicant to have been diagnosed with Gender Dysforia and to have lived in the acquired gender for at least two years.

 “They have to think the effect of their male body being in a women space” said Ms Cameron.

“I’m sorry they’re going through gender dysphoria but until they no longer have that physiology then you have to use a separate facility.”

In the petition speech, she condemned people proclaiming the group trans-phobic rather than recognising a real concern about women left unprotected from potential male assaulters.

However, Ms Cameron, the speaker, later criticized the idea that being a woman is ‘a feeling’, calling the statement ‘ridiculous’.

 The treasurer of LGBT Sheffield, Neale Gibson, 59, who had been in the meeting, later said: “Trans women are women and that’s that.

“Once someone decides they’re going to transition, that’s it. It’s not easy to do and people don’t just do it on a whim, it’s a serious change of life.”

Leeds City Council is the latest to have implemented the self-identification scheme.

Construction workers in Sheffield working under ‘impossible conditions’ following the newest government guidance

Construction workers in Sheffield were left feeling ‘scared for their and their family’s health’ after new government advice urged people to go back to work.

In his latest statement on Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ‘actively encouraged’ people, especially workers ‘in construction and manufacturing’, to return to work if they cannot do their job from home.

Despite the Prime Minister’s advice to ‘stay alert’ and keep a two-metre distance, Sheffield workers revealed that adhering to social distancing is easier said than done.

Scott Hutchison, 53, who works in the piling industry, is driven daily to building sites in vans ‘packed with builders’. He said:

“There is no way to social distance when the inside of our vans are 1.8 metres.”

Mr Hutchison, who has been unable to go home because his partner is classed as ‘vulnerable’, revealed there are ‘next to no washing facilities’ at the sites.

 “It’s terrible, you’re lucky to just get cold water to wash your hands.”

During his speech Mr Johnson also announced the government is working on new guidance for employers to make workspaces ‘covid-secure’, but did not go into detail as to what that guidance will be.

Deepinder Singh, 45, a construction worker who returned to work on Monday, said:

“We travel in small vans with 5-6 guys, no one wearing masks or gloves and we can’t even sanitise the tools we use, which are passed from guy to guy.

“To earn money we are putting our lives at risk.”

Workers going back to work were also encouraged to avoid public transport ‘if at all possible’.

Rohan Kon, 28, campaign manager of Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise called the Prime Minister’s statement a demonstration of ‘this government’s blatant disregard for working people’.

She said: “Low-wage workers complain of feeling like they are being used as an experiment to see if a second spike will occur.”

According to Miss Kon, some employers have used the social distancing rules to ‘bully workers’, punishing them ‘for breaking impossible rules’.

The campaign manager also said that with the reductions in furlough payments many ‘struggling’ low-paid workers will have to decide ‘between paying rent and buying food’.

Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise is a campaign movement initiated by the Sheffield Trades Union Council.

Sheffield Hallam students feel discouraged and ‘disgusted’ by their university’s refusal to implement a safety net

A petition demanding that Sheffield Hallam University implements a safety net policy for its students has reached over 5000 signatures.

This petition comes after various universities across the country enforced the policy to ‘ensure that students are not disadvantaged as a result of the current unprecedented circumstances’.

Students from the university expressed feeling stressed and worried after losing countless hours of teaching due to the recent outbreak and the four-week long University and College Union strikes preceding it.

“We have paid 9,500 this year for a couple weeks of teaching.” said Daniel Chapman, 23, a third year psychology student at Hallam University.

“The rest has been us teaching ourselves entirely with now no access to any resources with the university being shut.”

Students became especially frustrated after having emails voicing concern ignored by the university or responded with ‘blanket copy-and-paste emails containing no significant information’.

“My mental and physical health is absolute dirt now.” said AJ Hadley, 22, another psychology student. “I have no motivation, feel unheard and disregarded.

“I’m absolutely disgusted by their conduct – or here-there lack of.”

According to the petition, the safety-net policy ensures that students end the year with at least their average grade ‘so long as they secure at least 40%’.

Sheffield Hallam also came under fire earlier this month for falsely introducing the no-detriment policy under the disguise of deadline extensions, online exams, and automatic passes for first years.

Lauren O’Donoghue, 22, is an English Literature student at Hallam trying to balance school-work while full-time working for an organization coordinating community responses to the pandemic.

She is also one of many students suffering from anxiety.

Miss O’Donoghue said: “A robust no-detriment policy would remove a huge amount of pressure for me.

“Knowing that my current circumstances won’t mean that my grades take a massive hit would reduce my anxiety and actually ensure my grades would be better as a result.”

We have contacted Sheffield Hallam University for a comment, but due to staffing issues arising from Covid-19, they have not been able to respond. 

Universities that have implemented the policy include the University of Sheffield, York University and Warwick University.

An art student gathers rainbows for Sheffield’s NHS

An art student from Sheffield has been collecting ‘rainbows’ from Sheffield citizens in a show of support for the NHS.

Madeline Noble, 22, a Fine Arts student from Leeds Arts University, jumpstarted the ‘Sheffield! Show us your rainbows!’ project in the beginning of April, asking people to submit drawings of rainbows for a collage in honour of the NHS.

The project quickly received submissions by people aged from over 60 to just two years old drawing rainbows on paper, rocks, garage doors and even the streets.

Miss Noble, whose own mother works for the NHS, said:

“These people [NHS workers] are working incredibly hard and although I am sure they know how much they are appreciated, I believe it is important that they get reminded of how brilliant they all are.”

Miss Noble started the project in a bid to also promote positivity saying there are a lot of people ‘currently living alone and feeling lonely or bored’.

She went on to express her own admiration for her mother who is one of the key factors behind the project.

‘Living with a key worker is strange because it almost seems as if my life has been put on pause while my mum is going 100 miles an hour’

Lindy Pearce, 40, of Wharncliffe Side, Sheffield, joined the project in honor of his sister who is a nurse taking care of virus-stricken patients.

“I have a sister on the front line and she is exhausted, scared for her family.” he said. “She remembers the faces of those who come in as people and leave in a box.

“It feels like I am slowly watching a fun, loving person turn into a robot.”

Many NHS workers have also turned to social media to express their gratitude for the encouraging rainbows and messages appearing on people’s windows.

A recent Facebook post by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals said that, Dr Susie Thoms, an anaesthetics registrar at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, was left ‘bursting with pride’ looking at a ‘rainbow wall’ fellow residents had helped create in her village.

 “It brought a little bit of joy and positivity in a fairly stressful time.” said Dr Thoms.

As of today, ‘Sheffield! Show us your rainbows!’ has gone live online and has already received hundreds of views.

It can be found at:

Photographer gives a spotlight to key workers ‘keeping the country running’

A photographer from Heeley has captured a series of portraits of key workers in Sheffield to showcase the people ‘keeping the country running’.

Alexandra Wallace, 29, started ‘Key workers in crisis’ after she found herself out of work trying to ‘make something useful of her time’.

Posting the pictures on her instagram account Miss Wallace highlights the mixture of people working tirelessly and how their jobs have changed during the pandemic.

She said: “Every time I talk to someone I just feel quite overwhelmed by it all because they’re just doing such amazing things.”

Before she came up with ‘Key workers in crisis’ the 29-year-old described going through ‘a dark period’ during which she was left fearing about her career.

“My partner is a graphic designer so he can still thankfully work but I just needed to do something worth doing… to keep me sane I guess.”

Her project, for now limited to the Heeley area, includes people working as nurses, teachers, a warehouse operative, and even a radiographer.

 “Sometimes you have a mom with three kids working full-time,” she said. “Then you’ve got people who are single working 12-hour shifts, it’s such a mix of people.”

Samantha O’Byrne, 32, one of the people captured by Miss Wallace, is a specialist nurse in organ donation who now works from home ‘on bereavement helplines’.

She said: “What Alex has done is truly touching.

“She has given a face to the people going out every day and working tirelessly to keep this community going.”

Russell Priest, a radiographer from Northern General Hospital, has spent the past month checking suspected coronavirus patients.

“It’s been a very difficult period for everyone and we have lost a lot of people” said Mr Priest. “Alex’s project opens our eyes to the different people and jobs that have kept this country from plunging into darkness.

“I’m just a radiographer but some of these people have saved actual lives and they should be seen.”

Miss Wallace plans to organise an exhibition showcasing the portraits once the lockdown is over.

“I think more people need to see these wonderful people and the work they did.”

You can view her work at .

Court Report

A 53-year-old woman from Sheffield earned £2,240 posing as a healer with ‘mystical powers’ before being caught, Sheffield Crown Court heard today.

Shona Barlowe, of Sterndale Avenue, Woodseats has pleaded not guilty to two counts of fraud for convincing two chronically ill people to pay handsomely for ‘herbal medicine’ meant to relieve pain.

Barlowe advertised herself as a ‘natural healer’ with a PhD and 30 years’ experience in ‘ancient and medieval remedies’.

Prosecuting, Richard Neall, who called the defendant a ‘cynical charlatan’, said: “She was prepared to swindle two desperate people who each had APT disease, which they feared conventional medicine could not cure.”

Elizabeth Hughton-Barnes, 37, a music teacher from Barnsley battling throat cancer, spent around £840 on the ‘medicine’ before her daughter reported the healer to the police.

She started meeting with Barlowe twice a week after finding the leaflets that Barlowe had planted in her neighbourhood.

In every visit Mrs Hughton-Barnes paid £30 for a bottle of medicine.

 “Barlowe does not have a PhD,” said Mr Neall. “She once worked as receptionist at a dental practice but has not worked for 15 years and has no medical qualifications.”

The ‘medicine’ sold to both victims was a mixture of watercress leaves, aspirin, and pepper ground up in tap water, the court heard.

Mrs Hughton-Barnes was even asked to pay for a trip to Mexico under the pretence that Barlow had found ‘rare mountain herbs’ there that could cure throat cancer.

An email sent by Barlowe to one of her lovers that was later recovered by the police wrote: ‘There is a sucker who will pay for me to have a holiday in Mexico. Fancy joining me?’

Barlowe also started treating Matthew Fallowes, 23, a window cleaner married to one of her cousins, for psoriasis.

She had learned of his psoriasis at a family party and started selling him similar bottles of ‘medicine’ for £50 each.

“She cruelly told him the liquid was a mixture of rare Spanish herbs which could cure his ailment,” said Mr Neall.

Barlowe earned a total of £1400 from Mr Fallowes.

The prosecution called Barlowe ‘nothing but a liar and a fraud’, urging the jury to convict her ‘on both counts’.

The trial continues.

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