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Sheffield Wellbeing Festival set to help the city feel great!

Ahead of Sheffield Mental Health Week, which begins with World Mental Health Day on 10 October, the Sheffield Wellbeing Festival, is being held this Friday 29 July 2011 on Fargate, in the City Centre.

From 10am there will be a variety of stalls, activities and even stilt walkers all coming together in celebration of wellbeing and the wide range of wonderful services the city has to offer those experiencing mental health issues and their carers.

A collaboration between Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC), NHS Sheffield, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Mind, the day will see Fargate filled with stalls from organisations offering information on their services, volunteering opportunities and much, much more. There will be facepainting for the young (and young at heart!), as well as music and poetry.

The focus of the day will be on emphasising the steps we can each take to promote and look after our own mental wellbeing, as well as celebrating the services available in the city. Taster sessions will be on offer from 11am to 3pm, to help people find and maintain that wellbeing for themselves, and will include dance, zumba, boxercise and parachute games.

Janet Southworth, Public Health lead for mental health, NHS Sheffield, said: “Sheffield Wellbeing Festival is a chance for everyone to discover how they can take positive steps to improve their health and wellbeing. Looking after our mental health is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and the event is a great way for people to find out more and take some positive steps to feeling good.”

Speakers from Sheffield City Council will be present for the official opening at 1pm; Richard Webb, Executive Director, Communities, Miranda Plowden, Director of Commissioning, Communities and Cllr Mary Lea, Cabinet Member, who will also be starting off the ‘Walk a Mile for Wellbeing’ event at 1:30pm.

The walk is free to sign up to – plus the first 50 people to register their place will get a free water bottle and all participants will be entered into a free prize draw. Registrations will be taken from 10am at the Get Walking Keep Walking stall.

Timetable for the day:
10am – opens
11am – Dance taster session facilitated by Activity Sheffield
11:30am – Zumba taster session facilitated by Healthworks
12pm – Boxercise taster session facilitated by Manor and Castle Development Trust
12:30pm Presentation by Right Here Service User group
1pm – Official Opening
1:30pm – Walk a Mile for Wellbeing, organised by ‘Get Walking Keep Walking’ Sheffield Ramblers
2pm – Parachute Games facilitated by Manor and Castle Development Trust
2:30pm – Zumba taster session facilitated by Sheffield Mind and Body Project and Manor and Castle Development Trust
3pm – Music and poetry

For more information contact Sara Hill by calling 0114 2216174 or emailing: mentalhealthweek@sheffieldmind.co.uk

SOURCES OF HELP AND INFORMATION:

If you are experiencing mental health problems you can contact your GP or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. For more information please visit: www.sheffieldmentalhealth.org.uk Some of the myths about mental illness can be frightening. Get the facts, visit www.time-to-change.org.uk

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Sheffield tops bill as UK’s most productive Creative and Digital City

Ventana House at Sheffield Digital Campus, image supplied by Creativesheffield

Sheffield is the leading city for Creative and Digital Industries (CDI) in the UK and the most productive of all the cities assessed, according to a recent study.

Between 2003 and 2009, Sheffield’s CDI sector grew at a faster rate than the UK average and all 5 comparator cities – Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Bristol says the report by Trends Business Research Ltd.

James Wilson, Investment Manager for the Creative and Digital sector at Creativesheffield, said: “These fantastic results reinforce the fact that Sheffield excels in the Creative and Digital Industries and is real testament to the hard work and commitment that the companies who operate in the city devote to their work.

“This growth is also reflected in the take up of office space within the innovative Sheffield Digital Campus. The latest high-profile edition to Ventana House at the Digital Campus is the entertainment and communications giant Sky who is creating over 500 new jobs in the city. This has been a welcome boost to the city’s economy and the profile of the sector.”

Toby Hyam, Managing Director of Creative Space Management, added: ““Our specialist centres such as Electric Works at the Digital Campus are, despite everything, seeing higher levels of occupancy than ever before. There is no doubt that, for many small businesses, competition is particularly tough and trading conditions remain uncertain. Yet despite these challenging conditions, it is impressive to see businesses investing in new workspace both to improve their competitive edge and to create opportunities for growth.”

The report found the digital sector in the City Region to contain over 6,000 CDI firms, employ 20,900 people and create a turnover of over £1bn. The largest sub-sector was found to be Hardware and Computer Services, followed by Software. Sheffield exhibits particular distinctiveness in relation to the Craft and Design sub-sectors – providing a nod to the city’s manufacturing heritage.

Wilson continued: “The CDI companies within the city have achieved some fantastic accolades. A few examples include: Zoo Digital, which makes software for interactive DVDs, is gaining recognition in Hollywood; digital communications from QUBA has helped organisations like the BBC, Channel 4, Land Rover and the Carbon Trust to embrace the digital age; and WANdisco, a world leading infrastructure software provider based in Silicon Valley, established their European headquarters in Sheffield in 2008 helping Sheffield to become a world leader in replication software technology.”

Sheffield is also part of the Digital Region – the first major regional deployment of superfast broadband in the UK. “This provides Sheffield with a unique opportunity,” added Wilson. “Sheffield is quickly becoming the most connected city in the UK and has proved itself as a genuine leader in the Creative and Digital Sector. Therefore, in an age of austerity, Sheffield faces a bright future. The challenge for the city is to ensure that it continues to innovate and grow in order to capitalise on the USP that this creates.”

http://www.electric-works.net/

http://www.quba.co.uk/

http://www.zoodigital.com/

http://www.wandisco.com/

2Weeks 2MakeIt 2011 is open for applications

2Weeks 2MakeIt 2011, a ground-breaking music video competition taking place in Sheffield which randomly matches filmmakers with musicians to collaborate to create a music video, from start to finish, in just two weeks, is now open for applications.

Organised by the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network (SYFN), the competition – in its fifth year – invites competitors to make their new films, in preparation for a Gala Competition Screening of all the work in late May/early June 2011 at the Showroom Cinema.

Dr Rob Speranza, 2Weeks 2MakeIt Coordinator and Producer/Head of Operations at SYFN says: ‘There are great prizes in this year’s competition, including a cash prize, a record distribution contract, some development awards for musicians and fantastic ‘2Weeks 2Make It’ beer from Peak Ales.’

Those who are selected as competitors will be invited to a launch event taking place at the Sensoria Festival of Music and Film in Sheffield on 5 May 2011, at the Showroom/Workstation, Paternoster Row, S1 2BX.

‘During the daytime on the 5 May, we’ll merge our 2W2MI Industry Day with the Sensoria PRO Day,’ explains Dr Speranza. ‘There will be some great training sessions and masterclasses aimed at both filmmakers and musicians, providing guidance about making music videos, getting the most out of your budget, what clichés to avoid and much more!’.

That evening all the competitors will be randomly matched. ‘That’s when we say, ‘GOOD LUCK! You’ve got 2WEEKS 2MAKE IT!!’’ says Dr Speranza. The deadline to complete the videos will be exactly two weeks from the launch, on 19 May.

For more information about 2Weeks 2MakeIt check out SYFN’s short film about the competition on their website: http://www.syfn.org/2weeks.html

2Weeks 2MakeIt 2011 application forms are available on http://www.syfn.org/2weeks.html, or by emailing Dr Rob Speranza directly on Rob@syfn.org or speranza@btconnect.com.

For more information about Sensoria visit: www.sensoria.org.uk.

http://www.syfn.org/2weeks.html
www.sensoria.org.uk
http://www.showroomworkstation.org.uk/

Move over, Santa Claus – Sponduly.com’s coming to town!

Imagine getting the investment you really need to get your project off the ground? You’re there. Right, now imagine that investor turning round to you and saying they didn’t need you to pay their money back. Yes, you heard right.

Now you might be thinking I’ve had one too many cheeky Christmas Sherries, but not I’m talking the stuff of fairy tales or elves. Instead, I’m spreading the word about Sponduly.com – a very real entity which epitomises the goodwill and generosity we often limit to sharing just around this time of year.

Based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, founder and managing director of Sponduly.com, Jon Covey, explains more: ‘The idea for Sponduly started forming in my head about August this year, after I read a message from someone on LinkedIn, who was asking if anyone wanted to work with him for free, as a non-executive director. Reading that, I realised there were many people who’d work for free simply to help others and I also knew lots of people who needed that help. Sponduly.com is a community platform, which brings these two groups of people together.’

After months of hard work, developing the site and promoting Sponduly.com, primarily by word of mouth and social media activity, Jon’s brainchild continues to grow and currently has 12 live projects, who are seeking funding and any other support which could be offered, by one of the 89 members, who’ve signed up to the free media hub.

Jon’s idea could be considered to be particularly timely, considering the government recent policy strategy surrounding the idea of a ‘Big Society’, because Sponduly.com exists to support charities and community-based projects, as well as small, start-up businesses or enterprising individuals.

Jon is looking forward to more people to sign up to the media hub for free, as well as further projects coming onboard the good ship Sponduly.com.

So if you’re looking to spread some Christmas cheer all year round, don’t wait for Santa to pop down your chimney. Simply check out: http://www.sponduly.com/

Join Sponduly on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Sponduly

Follow Sponduly on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spondulycom/160036084018631

Merry Christmas one & all!

Review: Andy Kirkpatrick ‘Off the Wall’

Andy climbing El Cap. Photo: Speakers From The Edge

For those who’re not familiar with Sheffield, the city has a thriving climbing and general ‘outdoors’ culture, thanks largely to its geographical make-up (built on seven hills, located a stone’s throw away from the Peak District). So last week, when I attended ‘Off the Wall’ – a talk by experienced internationally-acclaimed mountaineer and comedian Andy Kirkpatrick, at The University of Sheffield, I expected the climbing fraternity to be out in force. Yes, the weather was arctic, but I couldn’t help thinking the ‘extreme’ conditions were rather apt (I arrived in walking boots, feet buried in two pairs of thick socks).

A quick once-over of the audience revealed a wide cross-section of young and old with a healthy balanced male/female ratio, who clearly hadn’t been deterred by the cold either. Once Andy launched into his show, we were soon hit with great doses of heart-warming humour and gentle semi-confessional observations, as he took us on a journey to try to understand what lies at the bottom of his inherent urge to climb, with the aid of stunning photography revealing some of the many wild places he’s conquered.

I’m not a climber (although I’m a passionate hill-walker) but my lack of knowledge or experience, didn’t affect my enjoyment of the night, as Andy’s well-paced show has a universal appeal – it’s a stand-up show, adventure photo-mentary and motivational talk all rolled into one.

One iconic mountain Andy focuses on is El Capitan, in California’s Yosemite Park. As he tells us he’s climbed El Cap, as it’s often called, 18 times, there’s no hint of alpha male, puffed-up chest posturing. Instead Andy gave us a hilarious anecdote about the merits of using pain au chocolat as a universal, language-busting measuring system, when explaining dimensions to fellow climbers from far-flung corners of the globe.

Andy on the Reticent Wall, El Cap. Photo: Speakers From The Edge

One point in the show really struck an inspirational chord with me, when Andy spoke about the thin line between bravery and zaniness/stupidity, which can equally apply to intrepid mountaineers, as it can in other areas of life. If the crazy, madcap or maverick survive their hare-brained adventure to tell their tale, they’re hailed and remembered as heroes.

Speaking to Rebecca Varley, of Sheffield-based company Speakers From The Edge, who organised ‘Off the Wall’ and also represent the best motivational speakers from the world of adventure, exploration and human endurance, after Andy’s show, she explained how Andy tailors each show to his audience, so Sheffield’s version had a bit more ‘climber speak’ than others in the tour. Maybe I know more about climbing than I thought!

Andy’s obviously a natural climber and fantastic entertainer to (well-trodden) boot. Go see him, if you want to experience a unique night that which takes comedy & motivational speaking to new undiscovered heights.

Andy’s last date of this current tour is on Monday 14 February 2011, at the Buxton Opera House. Click the following link for more information:

http://www.speakersfromtheedge.com/node/219

Interested in buying an ‘Off the Wall’ DVD? Click the following link:

http://www.andy-kirkpatrick.com/shop/product/off_the_wall

To find out more about Speakers From The Edge visit:

http://www.speakersfromtheedge.com/

Follow them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SpeakersEdge/

Follow Andy Kirkpatrick on Twitter: http://twitter.com/psychovertical

Sheffield mobile application goes live

From left: Marc Turley, East Midlands Trains; Cllr Paul Scriven, Sheffield City Council; Brendan Moffett, Creativesheffield; John Pickering, Irwin Mitchell; Darren Pearce, Meadowhall; Tim Pryor, Lloyds TSB.

Launching today, Sheffield is set to become one of the first UK cities to have a mobile application designed for city promotion. Available for download from today, it’s compatible with both iPhone and Android systems.

This news comes hot on the heels of the launch of Sheffield’s new brand strategy and visual identity, which aims to take a more coherent and coordinated approach to marketing the city to three key audiences of Talent, Trade and Tourism.

Brendan Moffett, Director of Strategic Marketing at Creativesheffield who commissioned the application, says: “The launch of this application comes following consistent requests from the city’s business community to be armed with more materials, both printed and digital, in order to sell the city externally to clients, customers, colleagues, potential investors, visitors and acquaintances.

“Wherever you are in the world, Toronto, Tokyo or Tinsley, we want you to be able to show the people you meet how brilliant Sheffield is – simply at the touch of a button.”

The application currently has four key features: Business, an ideal way to communicate to potential investors and external organisations what makes Sheffield an attractive place to do business; Culture, a great snapshot of Sheffield’s vibrant arts, sports and entertainment scene; Photos, providing a look at modern Sheffield; and a link to join Sheffield’s LinkedIN group, allowing people and businesses to make important contacts within the city.

Councillor Paul Scriven, Leader of Sheffield City Council, comments: “It is fantastic to see Sheffield at the cutting edge of using new media to sell the city. I’m always talking Sheffield up when I meet people from around the UK and the rest of the world. So it’s great news that I can finally do Sheffield justice when explaining about our wonderful city by using the features included on the app.”

This work has received private sector support from Irwin Mitchell, Lloyds TSB, Meadowhall and East Midlands Trains.

John Pickering, National Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell, adds: “This application will be particularly useful for organisations and individuals who are regularly asked about Sheffield’s USPs at meetings and conferences outside of the city. Being able to show people on my mobile phone will create a fantastic impression of the city and make my job a lot easier when explaining why Sheffield is a great place to live, work and do business.”

Councillor Scriven concludes: “I urge everyone to download this free tool and show it to their friends, family and business contacts so that we can all become ambassadors for this great city of ours.”

The application was designed by Iris Associates and is only the first step towards developing the city’s cross-platform communications into 2011.

Rotherham: The Little Town That Can

by T. Rafiq

Rotherham is a town that has been through some difficult times lately. However, we are also a little town that never gives up. We might not have the grandeur of big cities like York, but our ambitions are grand.

We’re scrappy and we’re tough and we punch well above our weight. We have a heart as big as the Pennines and we will always surprise you.

Rotherham has been short listed for a People’s Millions Big Lottery Fund grant of £50,000. We are competing against a York based project in a contest of David vs. Goliath magnitude, which we definitely have the stones to win.

If we win – when we win – this money will go towards establishing a permanent arts centre and community resource in the centre of town on the spacious top floor complex of the Westgate Chambers building. It is the magnificent brainchild of Karen Sherwood and Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance, also known as R.O.A.R.

Westgate Chambers will be a place where Rotherham artists from every discipline will be able to gather to create and trade and exhibit: painting, sculpting, writing, performing, music, cinema, new media and any other craft you care to name will find a home here.

It will also be a place where every member of the community will be welcomed to appreciate and participate in the wonderful and liberating world of art. You never know who you might discover here: the new Hockney, the new Spielberg, maybe even the new you. For you might very well unearth your own hidden talent, something that no one has ever seen before – something that will blow people’s minds all the way to the Wonderland of Wow!

R.O.A.R. has already managed to uncover some dazzling treasures of artistic wonder concealed here in Rotherham:

Jill: the finger painting dynamo whose canvass is the very bones of the North, slate and granite she has salvaged from skips and derelict factories, things that others thought were of no more use or worth, but she takes these things and turns them into visions of unique beauty.

Leslie: a gentleman who as overcome profound deafness and the loss of his beloved wife to cancer, a man who creates magnificent miniatures in oils and fibreboard as breathtaking as any majestic Rembrandt.

Gemma: the walking, talking living doll who lives in a button tin and makes magic with a needle and thread, and buttons and rags all the colours of the rainbow.

And then there’s me. Who am I? I am Rotherham, and my best is yet to come!

But for us to triumph, we need your help. We need your votes. The official voting for the People’s Millions is on Monday 22nd November 2010. Phone lines will be open between 9am and midnight – the phone number to cast your vote will be publicised on the day of voting in the Daily Mirror newspaper, on the People’s Millions web site and on the R.O.A.R web site.

Before then, you can find out more about our project and register your support for R.O.A.R. and Rotherham at our official People’s Millions page by clicking the following link:

http://www.peoplesmillions.org.uk/2010-finalists/yorkshire/rotherham-roar

I must stress that registering your support before the official voting date does not constitute a firm commitment on your part; it simply gives us a rough idea of how much support we might be able to expect.

Needless to say, you would earn eternal gratitude if you then followed through with this support with a solid vote for R.O.A.R. on 22nd of November.

Pass this on to your friends and family and anyone you happen to bump into. A brighter future for Rotherham is in all our hands.

Thank you for your time.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/

http://www.rotherhamroar.org/index.php?page=24