Archive | 11:36 am

Free Dementia Workshops at Tesco Supermarket Upperthorpe, starting 22nd March 2017

16 Mar




Education centre opens at Sheffield Botanical Gardens

16 Mar


A new education centre was officially opened at Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens today (Wednesday 15 March) by the Duke of Devonshire, Peregrine Cavendish.

The Duke, who is a patron of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust, welcomed guests to the new Dorothy Fox Education Centre.

Named after the extremely generous donor who made the project possible, the centre aims to transform the use of the gardens as an educational resource for people of all ages in Sheffield.

It has a library and three flexible classroom areas which can be combined to create a large lecture area. It will also offer educational opportunities for schools and practical courses for adult learners, as well as a programme of lectures, demonstrations, art classes and photography courses.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Since the Botanical Gardens opened in 1836, the site has provided generations of Sheffielders with a beautiful spot of tranquility and natural beauty.

“I hope that this new education centre will help to inspire people to enjoy the gardens, which are a real jewel in Sheffield’s crown.

“I would also like to thank our very generous donors, and groups including the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust (SBGT) and the Friends of the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield (FOBS) for their support, ceaseless fundraising and hard work.

“Without them, creating this new education centre would simply not have been possible.”

The Grade II-listed Botanical Gardens were created in 1836 by Robert Marnock, a leading horticulturalist and landscape designer of his day. In 1951 the gardens, which cover 19 acres, were leased to Sheffield City Council from the Sheffield Town Trust.

The site now has 15 different garden areas featuring collections of plants from all over the world, including Mediterranean, Asian, American prairie-style, woodland and rock-and-water plantings.

It also plays host to a calendar of functions and events, including the annual Art in the Gardens festival which draws in art and culture lovers from all over the North.

Development of a new education centre and educational activities has been a long-term aim since the completion, in 2005, of an ambitious restoration project which saw the pavilions and gardens returned to their former glories.

Since then, the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust and FOBS have continued to raise funds for the improvement of the site. Further money has also come in from private donations, from gifts from local charitable foundations and through legacies from generous supporters including FOBS members Barbara Holland and Mildred Rushby.

Dorothy Fox, after whom the centre is named, was a Sheffield woman who loved the gardens so much that she left a house in her will to the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust.

Her substantial legacy funded much of the development of the new education centre, so it was felt only fitting to dedicate the name of the building to her.

The new education centre replaces a temporary and outdated classroom block and will enable botanical, horticultural and heritage-based educational activities for people of all ages.

The development, which will merge learning with outdoor life, also adds to Sheffield’s growing reputation as The Outdoor City.

Jill Sinclair, chairman of FOBS, said: “We are thrilled by the opening of the new centre, which gives us chance to develop some exciting new initiatives.

“It has the potential to put Sheffield on the map as a major venue for horticultural education in the north.”

Joe Kavanagh, on behalf of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust, said: “Many past and present trustees, patrons, members of FOBS and the Gardens Team have worked very hard to deliver this education centre.

“Constant fundraising by FOBS and the Trust, continued support from the Freshgate, JG Graves and Church Burgesses charitable trusts and some wonderful legacies have provided the funding.”


Take Part in the Big Lunch 2017, the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours

16 Mar



big lunch

The Big Lunch, the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours, is fast approaching, and this year we’re hoping it’ll be bigger and better than ever. We’ve joined forces with the Jo Cox Foundation to launch The Great Get-Together: the biggest community celebration since the Jubilee. The weekend will see two days of community celebrations, culminating in The Big Lunch on Sunday 18 June.

When is The Big Lunch?

The Big Lunch takes place annually in June. The date for The Big Lunch 2017 is Sunday 18 June, but you can hold a Big Lunch on any date that suits you and your community. Request a free Big Lunch starter pack here.

The official date for The Big Lunch doesn’t suit, can I still take part?

Of course! The most important thing about having a Big Lunch is bringing people together, so if the date doesn’t suit you or community we absolutely encourage you to hold your Lunch on another date. Many people hold Big Lunches throughout the year, and also at different times of the day. The Lunar Lunch is a great way to bring your community together after nightfall if a day time get together won’t work for you or your neighbours.

What is The Big Lunch’s involvement with The Great Get-Together?

Since its inception, The Big Lunch has been striving to create a ‘Thanksgiving day for neighbours’, to create opportunities for neighbours to come together. We felt that the ‘more in common’ values that Jo Cox advocated throughout her work echoed our own, and thus a partnership with The Great Get-Together and the Jo Cox Foundation made sense. The anniversary of Jo’s death is 16 June, and The Great Get-Together weekend that follows is all about furthering what we are all trying to achieve: community connections and stronger relationships.

We believe that there is no limit to what can be achieved if you do not mind who takes the credit and we hope that combining these events will achieve the biggest community celebration the UK has seen since the Jubilee. Building community spirit and coming together is our main goal. The Big Lunch forms part of the weekend — it has not been replaced by The Great Get-Together, and we expect that many Big Lunches will still take place without necessarily being part of The Great Get-Together.

Why The Big Lunch is great for communities

  • Over 70% of attendees feel The Big Lunch is good for the community
  • 94% of attendees believe The Big Lunch will have a positive impact on their community
  • 88% of organisers feel better about their neighbourhood as a result of hosting a Big Lunch
  • 65% of people who organise a Big Lunch go on to do more in their community
  • 74% of people who do The Big Lunch feel an increased sense of community
  • 38% of people who do The Big Lunch feel a surge in their own self esteem

The value of connected communities

  • £32 billion is the cost of disconnected communities to the UK economy
  • But connected communities share £15 billion worth of resources and help
  • £2.7 billion is saved by health services because of initiatives like The Big Lunch, but this could be £7.9 billion if more people took part
  • People make 20 connections on average when they take part in community activities
  • For 1 in 20 people, talking with a neighbour is the highlight of their day
  • 1 in 8 people involved in community activities go on to exercise together
  • 1 in 8 people involved in community activities go on to do something cultural together

See more about our research on the value of Connected Communities at:

Contact us via: Tel; 0845 850 8181 (local rates apply)

Connect with us on social media : Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @edencommunities

We really do hope that you will still choose to organise a Big Lunch and that the momentum gained through The Great Get-Together will inspire more people to take part in The Big Lunch for years to come.

You can find more information about The Big Lunch at: and more about The Great Get-Together at:

Councils and local authorities will no doubt play a huge part in supporting communities make The Big Lunch happen within their neighbourhoods. We know staff put a lot of time in helping promote larger events, assisting organisers with the nuts and bolts, and of course, helping with temporary road closures. While only 19% of Big Lunches last year took place on a closed road (many take place in parks, gardens, schools and
other communal spaces).

Sheffield City Councils road closure request is a simple process, all information can be found here:

If you would like help in promoting or assistance in setting up a Big Lunch within the wards of Broomhill & Sharrow Vale, City, Hillsborough and Walkley then please contact Teresa Bond, Tel: 0114 2053049 or email