Sheffield is packed with interesting places that are perfect for sharing with a partner. If you are stuck for ideas this valentine’s day, this list will give you some great suggestions for some dates with a difference. Traditional dates can become boring and predictable, so why not try something a little bit more unique this year?
Cocoa Wonderland is a beautiful vintage chocolate shop where a lot of the produce is made by the two lovely ladies running it. Kate and Ann were students at our very own Sheffield Hallam and bought the shop in 2010 before they had even finished their degrees. The handmade chocolates and vintage sweets which would make the perfect gift for any partner with a sweet tooth and their hot chocolate is to die for. A Beginner’s Guide to Sheffield described the place as “The kind of magical little shop that only exists in Disney films.”
Location: 462 Ecclesall Road, S11 8PX
On the outskirts of Sheffield lies the happiest place on earth. The quirky creatures are sure to make anyone’s day along with other fun animal friends, along with a chance to feed them. At just £3.50 it’s a cheap but cheerful day out.
Quicksaw Farm, Fulwood Ln, S10 4LH
Tabby Tea’s is a must go to for every cat lover out there. If a coffee and a cuddle with a kitty seems like your idea of true love this is the place to go. All the furry felines at the café are rescue cats and it a controlled and relaxing environment for both the customer and the animal. There is a £7.50 entrance fee for each person and it is probably best to book online in advance to avoid disappointment.
7 Cemetery Road, S11 8FJ
For the young at heart there is always Jump Inc! A 24,000 square foot trampoline park with many different styles of activities including obstacle courses to test your skills. It’s 9.50 for online advanced booking or you can pay on the door at £11. Sadly, Valentine’s day falls on a school holiday but with a valid student ID you can get in for a fiver in term time! Prices vary.
1-2 Meadowhall, Vulcan Road, S9 1EW
The Birdhouse Tea Bar and Kitchen is perfect for tea enthusiasts. All products are sourced with ethics in mind and brewed to perfection. The focus is artisanal blends of tea but if you are feeling daring, try the unique cocktails for a little bit more than a caffeine rush. The bar also serves food with a wide selection of vegan options. A place with a modern but cosy feel for a relaxed valentine’s day experience.
Alsop Fields, Sidney Street, S1 4RG
Are you a competitive couple? The treehouse is Sheffield’s first board game café. Choose from a large variety of choices with “everything from the newest designer titles to the old familiar classics.” The staff are on hand to help you master the rules of unfamiliar games and help you have a lot of fun. It’s a brilliant idea for double dates as 4 players are often the perfect amount.
Boston Street, S2 4QF.
Sheffield Escape Rooms
A real test of romance. With two locations and plenty of different scenarios to choose from, The Escape Rooms are bound to have something that will appeal to every couple. The basic concept is that participants must find a way to solve the puzzle and escape the room, with everything involving 18+ horror or psychedelic mind melts. Prices vary.
Avec Building 3-7 Sidney St, S1 4RG
236 Holme Ln, S6 4JZ
It’s been dawning on you since early January and even if you’ve been trying to ignore it, Valentines day is here and guess what… you’re still single. But surely there must be some benefits of being single at this time of year? Well there is and here’s five reasons why being single on Valentine’s Day is a good thing.
- The 2 for £10 Offers
Most places offer extremely good deals on Valentine’s, not only your typical chain restaurants like Prezzo and Nando’s (who offer some decent discounts on wine) but also your more quant and individual places in Sheffield. So, what a better time than to organise a meal out with some close friends.
- The Discounted Chocolate and Sweets
If you have that someone special to buy for on Valentine’s Day you know that you shouldn’t buy the discount sales on the chocolates, that’s your partners job. Whereas if your single, that box of Lindt that’s half price is just another box of chocolates that the shops discounted. I mean especially as a student, you want to indulge without having to spend that much money, so I mean a 50% deal on all your favourite confectionaries isn’t something you should turn down.
- Your Wallet Won’t Suffer
I mean of course the meal and ridiculously overpriced gift is worth it for the one you love (right?) but I mean the damage it does to your bank account definitely isn’t something singles envy. Meaning that even if you do treat yourself to a few cocktails or a movie, it isn’t going to cost you nearly as much as your coupled-up friend on Valentine’s.
- You Don’t Have to Stress About That Romantic Gesture
The truth is… Valentine’s day is stressful, thinking about what to buy, where to go and what you think your other half would like is a seriously difficult job. So why bother, you don’t need to worry about that romantic gift or that awkward pause in the middle of your date, you have freedom.
- You Can Do Whatever You Want
Speaking of freedom, that brings me onto my last point, you can do whatever you want on Valentine’s, you’re not tied down to commitment. Go wild, watch whatever movie you want, binge on your favourite snacks, go to the cinema or out with your mates, but most importantly remember that being single on Valentine’s isn’t that bad an experience.
So go on, get yourself some chocolate, go on a night out or watch your favourite movie and overall be thankful that you don’t have to feel tied down on “the day of love”. Because singletons, we should be thankful for this day and it’s many great things we can take advantage of.
“There is a lot of positive stuff that’s come out of it, there’s been a lot of people connecting with each other”
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November every year to remember the lives lost to transphobic violence. This year in Sheffield it was commemorated with a candlelit vigil in Hallam Square where speakers gave moving tributes to those both living and dead.
The first ever commemorated transperson to be remembered was Rita Hester, who was murdered on November 28th, 1998. It was her memory which spurred the creation of the day, as a way to increase trans visibility and make others aware of the violence and discrimination which the community faces every day.
The event was organised by SAYiT and T-Boys, both of which are charities specialising in supporting young LGBT+ individuals within Sheffield and the surrounding areas. Members of the students’ unions and ASPECS (a support group for LGBT+ people with autism) were also present and made their voices heard- literally, as the event included both a minute of silence to commemorate and respect the dead, and a minute of noise to ensure that transpeople do not go unseen and forgotten in our society.
SAYiT volunteer Lee Lester, 33 said: “We also need to show visibility, we don’t need to be silenced. We need to be present and be unashamed and by doing that it sends out a message to the community.”
“There is a lot of positive stuff that’s come out of it, there’s been a lot of people connecting with each other, finding groups they can go to, sharing mutual interests and that’s what community is isn’t it?”
The event went smoothly for the most part, with supporters from across Sheffield gathering to pay their respects. While the occasional transphobic remark could be heard, for their part the speakers all did their best to remain calm and dignified.
“It’s not very nice sometimes to stand in a public space and risk the consequences. You are never quite sure what could happen and tonight proves that. There were a couple of people that did shout some stuff as they went past. It was very well handled but it does prove that it could be quite an intimidating environment for people. To see that many people that were comfortable to be there shows we are doing something right,” said Lee.
T-Boys is a group which specialises in the support of AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals who identify as transgender or questioning in some way, and additionally can also support the families of these individuals. They can be contacted through email or their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tboysyorkshire).
SAYiT (Sheena Amos Youth Trust) run several different projects, including Trans*formers, a group for young transpeople, and Off The Scene, a support group for LGBT+ youth 18-25 years old. Their phone numbers and email address can be found on their website (http://sayouthtrust.org.uk). It runs on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. It is based at Scotia Works on Leadmill road and has been running since 1999.
Lee said: “It is a safe place to come and hangout with people who are a little or lot like you, and just kind of really normalise being LGBT+ because it’s perfectly normal. It’s our job as workers to empower these young people to realise that it’s absolutely fine to be who they are.”
Vicky Laylor, 40, is a black transwoman who became a volunteer for SAYiT after supporting the community through social media. She was one of the many speakers at the remembrance event.
“Sheffield itself is a diverse city. We are quite culturally rich. But there’s one side of Sheffield that is supportive and open minded of LGBT but then you can go to another side of Sheffield and its like little Britain.”
Vicky has also done talks at secondary schools and plans to do more. She says some schools are very supportive but others seem to be afraid of what parents may think.
“I think it’s the student community that keeps Sheffield moving in the right direction for LGBT support as we have two big universities’ here.” She said.
It is common in Europe, to remember the end of the First World War and the fallen. But all countries have different customs and habits on this day. As a French student living in Great Britain, I notice some of them.
First of all, in France we celebrate the end of the war on the 11th November when here, it is common to commemorate it during on this day and on the following Sunday (Remembrance Sunday).
One of the main and most obvious differences is that, in Britain, already the week before, most people can be seen wearing a Poppy, as a reminder and homage to the war heroes. In France, the 11th is the only moment when we really remember and celebrate the date, and it slowly getting forgotten.
Indeed, the majority of people who experienced the First World War have passed and our generation sees it as a historic fact that does not have an impact on them. Most of them do not feel concerned by the past happening, and nowadays, patriotic feelings tend to disappear.
Despite the presence of the same idea in France, only a few people, a small minority, might be seen wearing a cornflower on Remembrance Day. Actually, it is often considered by people as a free day more than anything else. Each city has its own memorial and organizes a quite discreet ceremony on the 11th November but people rarely attend it.
There is also a national ceremony with the President of France, in Paris at “l’Arc de Triomphe”, broadcasted on the national television. There are other activities organised by different organisations, regions or city but they are not really popular. In Britain, one minute of silence in the whole country is held every year at the precise moment the war stopped 99 years ago. And on Sunday, like in France, there are several commemorations and ceremonies in the whole Britain.
Despite the fact that Britain was less directly impacted during the war, its way to remember on the 11th November has a deeper meaning and touches the whole nation. I am French but I think that my country should take example of Britain’s Remembrance Day.
“We must get to the bottom of people deliberately voting twice”
It’s known that the large majority of students in the UK voted remain in the European Union Referendum, 75% of young people wanted to stay in the EU; to be precise.
But… How many of these students voted twice?
When you vote in Britain, there’s a relaxed feeling towards it as you’re trusted to follow the law and legislations that support it.
But, as Sir Eric Pickles’s review of electoral fraud suggests, the ballot is not nearly as secure as it should be. Most students are registered to vote in their home town AND in their university’s constituency.
Charles Moore, a reporter for The Spectator, followed out an investigation to prove that the voting rules are too lax. He was able to vote in both London, his home-town, and Essex. He voted to leave the EU at his Essex polling station, then caught a train down to London, walked into his local polling station where he presented his polling card and was unchallenged.
Mr Moore walked into the booth and wrote on the ballot paper ‘I am spoiling my ballot because I have voted already. This second vote is my protest at how lax the voting rules are.’
Here in Sheffield, a first year student at The University of Sheffield at the time, William McConnell, was one who came forward stating that he was able to vote twice. He had to vote via a postal vote as he was not in the area at the time of the election, although he phoned up his local constituency criticising the fact that he had the resources and ability to vote twice, meaning many others would of had the opportunity also.
William explained how when he phoned up he mentioned how he had the option to vote twice, the council representative responded with “unless you’re reporting one specific case, this information is unactionable.”
Many Leftwing students have also boasted on social media about voting twice for Jeremy Corbyn in the latest General Election here in the UK. Meaning Corbyn didn’t even do as well as everyone thought.
More than 1,000 emails were sent to the watchdog by members of the public over the issue, while 38 MPs also complained about the alleged crimes.
Conservative Karl McCartney, who lost his Lincoln seat in the election, told the Daily Mail: “We have screenshots of students on Facebook saying that they voted twice.
“Potentially, this was a factor in my defeat. Of the 3,200 who registered to vote in the last 24 hours, 500 were already registered.”
Meanwhile, Heather Wheeler, Tory MP for South Derbyshire, told the paper that some students had admitted to voting up to four times.
The Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, said: “We must get to the bottom of people deliberately voting twice, which I understand is illegal.”
“We need to investigate that and ensure that parliamentary democracy, for which this country has been famous—this is indeed the mother of all Parliaments—upholds the rights of one person and one vote.”
Although, this was back in June and nothing has been said since. Is it going to be resolved, preventing those who voted twice to do it again?
The sound of guitars and trumpets mix with the smell of sizzling burritos and tacos in the small food outlet on Arundel Street, Sheffield.
Stepping into The Street Food Chef is like crossing the Sheffield/Mexico border. A visit here sees an explosion of Mexican heritage and culture through a fusion of sounds, sights and smells.
With the blend of Mexican music, begging you to stand and dance the salsa (pardon the pun), the pictures of Mexican cuisine and lifestyle on the walls, a visitor here is treated to a unique experience.
Mexican cuisine has grown in popularity in recent years. Across the UK tacos and burritos are becoming regulars on pub menus whilst Mexican fast food chains prosper, Taco Bell and Chiquito being examples of this.
But The Street Food Chef stands out, for the sole reason Richard and Abi Gollard started the Mexican food company, because of its emphasis on fresh and healthy ingredients.
Whilst the menu offers a range of tacos, quesadillas [tortillas filled with cheese and meat] and Mexican platters, the primary reason for visiting The Street Food Chef is for the burritos.
You choose from five fillings: chicken in tomato sauce, chicken guacamole, pulled pork, beef brisket or a vegetarian option of chili beans, peppers and onion. My go-to is the chicken in tomato sauce burrito.
The Street Food Chef provide a unique ordering experience. Behind a warming yellow counter is an open kitchen, busy with the flipping of tortillas and the aroma of Mexican spices. This excitement and style is no doubt reflected in the food.
Here, you choose your burrito’s filling, then size: regular, large or ‘grande’.
There are five choices of salsa ‘Verde’ (mild), ‘Picante’ (medium) and Habanero (extra hot). On top of this are a choice of extras: streaky bacon, cheese or guacamole. Whilst these extras sound tantalizing, I often find there’s no need as the burrito is always packed to the extreme, almost exploding in your hands. What a joyous explosion this would be.
Once ordered, you take a seat at a rustic looking table and enjoy the feeling of being in a Mexican favela.
If the size of the burrito doesn’t shock you, then the succulent flavours should. In one mouthful you are treated to a Mexican blast of pan fried chicken, smoky tomato sauce, accompanied by black beans, rice, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa. This combination of ingredients is not excessive or ‘too much’. Instead, in your hands is a seamless balance of food that fills you up but without that greasy feeling a fast food chain would.
This summarises The Street Food Chef, simplicity and authenticity delivered with a touch of class.
The Street Food Chef, in just one step, shifts you from a cold street in Sheffield to a warm and lively Mexico, I challenge you to name another food outlet that delivers this with such style and flavor.
Mental Health Issues Among Students
“But also, the whole topic of mental health is a lot less taboo than it used to be and many more people are coming forward”
‘Mental health’ means state of an individual’s mind, it is regarding a person’s condition with their psychological and emotional well-being.
It tends to be the case that if your mental health is good, you feel confident and capable of dealing with life and other people around you. However, if your mental health is not so good, your life can seem so much more difficult making you feel as though you are not coping very well.
Although, it is normal to have your ups and downs in life and many people have mental health issues every now and again. But, if you feel like your grass never gets any greener, which ends up making you feel hopeless and as though there is nothing you can do then it’s plausible that you may be suffering with a mental illness. This could be anything ranging from anxiety and panic disorders to substance abuse and addiction.
Among students and teenagers the more common mental illnesses are; depression, anxiety and eating disorders. These impact the way you think and behave and these illnesses need treatment, just like any other illness.
Alarmingly, mental health issues have risen by 70% among teenagers and young adults in the last 25 years.
I spoke with a 2nd year student who struggles with severe anxiety and she said: “There is an increase of pressure on young people to get good grades at school because, more importantly now, it’s more difficult to get into university and get a job with there being a smaller job market and more people seeking for jobs.”
“But also, the whole topic of mental health is a lot less taboo than it used to be and many more people are coming forward which I think has contributed to the increase of people being diagnosed.”
“My anxiety makes certain situations more difficult. When I’m in a tutorial or something that involves participation and they pick on me to voice an opinion or answer a question I freeze up because I don’t want to speak in front of people. This makes me avoid many social situations and university has definitely made me notice how bad my anxiety actually is.”
Ian Maher, Sheffield Hallam’s University Chaplain and a member of the Student Wellbeing Team, one of their practitioners, helps students and staff who are struggling with mental health issues and stresses. Mr Maher believes that the reason behind mental health issues being on a steep increase is due to: “huge pressures on students in this generation, probably more so than any other time in human history.”
Mr Maher’s advice to anyone who is struggling is to: “never bottle your feelings up and to always talk to someone, anyone, talk to a friend or family member if you don’t feel comfortable seeking help within the university.”
“The worst thing anyone can do if they are suffering is to feel as though you have to carry it on your own.”
If you think you (or someone you know) might have a mental disorder, it is best to consult a professional as soon as possible. Early identification and effective intervention is the key to successfully treating the disorder.
You can register with the Sheffield Hallam Student Wellbeing Service where recommendations can be made to help you, such as; self-help resources, a wellbeing group session, an appointment or external support.
Tel: 0114 225 2136
“They are human beings and they are struggling to live”
Sheffield is a hard place to be homeless. I’m not the only person who sees six or seven rough sleepers every day without fail, while walking through the city centre.
Shamefully I admit that the suffering of these people, who have very little to their name, was often pushed to the back of my mind and forgotten, up until recently.
As part of my University course, areas of study include writing news articles. For one of my news pieces, I chose to write about the homeless in the local area.
In gathering information I spoke to those who experience first-hand rough sleeping, former homeless people who are now in work and to University researchers who have spent many years studying this area. This really opened my eyes to the intricacies of daily hardships felt by those living on our city’s streets.
Speaking to David Smith, a rough sleeper from South Yorkshire, he said that because he hasn’t got a ‘local connection’ to the Sheffield area, the council cannot class him as ‘Statutory homeless’, which is whom they give priority to. All David was told by the council is that he would have to return to Doncaster.
Being stuck in a situation where the council do not owe him a housing duty, a three day bedsit from The Archer Project was the best that David could get. In his words ‘that was it’.
It’s widely known that yes, some homeless people cause their own downfall, be it through alcohol or gambling abuse and many people are less than sympathetic to their often self- inflicted problems.
But they are human beings and they are struggling to live.
The closure of Park Hill flat’s ‘Tent City’ was a shame to read about. The camp provided homeless people with security and allowed charity aid to reach them easier. It was a safe place for them, instead of sleeping in the city centre where all sorts of danger may lurk. We forget that being homeless doesn’t just mean sleeping on a rough surface and having little money.
It also means danger, whether that be aggressive drunks late at night or danger of being arrested. My friend David told me once of a now septic cut he’d gained from climbing a carpark fence to find a safe sleeping area.
The current housing system employed in the UK, is just not fair. In England, Scotland and Wales, in order to be classed as ‘Statutory homeless’, you must tick each box of a certain criteria, which in my view, is rather stringent. You must prove you are eligible for public funds (which relates to your immigration status), prove you have a ‘local connection’ to the area, prove you are ‘unintentionally homeless’ and show yourself to be in ‘priority need’.
Yhdatabank.com figures show that Sheffield Council rejected 75% of housing applications in 2015/16, meaning only a few applicants were given ‘Statutory homeless’ status.
For someone like David, who cannot prove he has a local connection to the area and therefore isn’t a council priority, he will continue to live on the streets. There’s no disputing the council’s procedure on giving housing priority to more at risk groups such as pregnant women, or those with mental illnesses or vulnerable young people. But with rough sleeping up 8% in the Yorkshire and Humber region in 2016 the local authority should be doing more to take people off our streets in Sheffield and into some form of accommodation.
Dr Kesia Reeves, a principal research fellow at the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social research at Sheffield Hallam University said that national legislation prioritises certain groups of people who are deemed the most in need. However, this
The atmosphere was great and the staff couldn’t be faulted with how they tried their darndest to find you the perfect tipple
This week Sheffield held its 43rd annual beer and cider festival at Kelham Island industrial museum. From the 18th to the 21st October, the grounds of the museum were filled with quirky beers and ciders from across the country. Also, there were gluten and lactose free options allowing everyone’s needs to be fulfilled.
Personally, I’m not a beer person and only like really fruity cider so I was sceptical about going to the festival at first. Although, as soon as we, my housemates and I, got there my opinion was instantly swayed.
The place was packed with people laugh and enjoying themselves when we got inside. The atmosphere was great and the staff couldn’t be faulted with how they tried their darndest to find you the perfect tipple.
After buying our tokens, we headed to one of the three bars, that was lined with 200 different types of beer and ciders. I took the advice from the staff behind the bar and started with mango cider. My housemates and myself went on to sample all sorts of different drinks such as a stout called Nutty Ambassador that tasted like Nutella and coffee. If I were you, I’d give that one a miss. However, my favourite drinks of the night were; Pilgrim, which was a pumpkin spice beer, very fitting for the season and Peach Ice Tea pale ale.
Across the festival there was plenty to do such as traditional pub games, such as; bottle cap throwing and table skittles. Raffles, quizzes and live bands were running throughout the day. A variety of food stalls could also be found across the courtyard.
My housemates and I cannot wait to go again next year. I recommend this everyone, even if you’re not a big drinker there is something there for you to enjoy yourself.
The festival will return next October at the Kelham Island Industrial Museum.
Freshers flu is a broad term used to describe the sickness you tend to get in the first few weeks of university as a fresher, but it’s not uncommon for it to hit second and third years too. It is not a myth. It’s hard to avoid, harder to get rid of and horrible to experience.
With so many different people coming from various places it is inevitable that germs we are unfamiliar with will spread. The combination of filthy student halls, unhealthy eating and immune systems wrecked by alcohol means that it’s easy to often end up feeling under the weather, not just at the beginning of the year.
Symptoms often include fever, sore throat, severe headache, vomiting and discomfort. These can be similar to meningitis traits. If you notice blotchy skin, muscle pain or a stiff neck it is important to get medical advice as soon as possible.
As much as it’s almost impossible to avoid it, it’s a good idea to try and take precautions at uni to stop yourself dropping ill too often.
First of all, stop saying yes to that half-finished food your flatmate has offered you, especially when you know they are already sick. Make sure you are cleaning your surfaces and keep hygienic. It might be worth while carrying some hand sanitizer with you.
Make sure you are eating well. It’s easy enough to be caught up in all the takeaways and the freedom of buying your own foods but it’s well worth having lots of vitamin C and keeping hydrated. Berocca’s could be an alternative boost towards recovery.
Sleep is another big issue. You might want to try and form your summer sleep pattern into something a little more timetable friendly. You won’t thank yourself in your 9am lecture if you decided to be up until 3am or give in to the calling of a sesh.
Gross as it is, sweating it out is the fastest way for some people. Rolling yourself into a blanket burrito and getting lots of sleep is a great idea.
Freshers flu isn’t just made up of physical factors. The combination of the sickness and all the stress and excitement of starting or returning to university has a strain on your mental health. It doesn’t hurt to take a break from it all and give yourself some TLC with some Netflix.
The most important thing is to stop drinking when you start to feel unwell. It’s the advice you don’t want to hear or listen to but the only way to get better is to get your immune system to fight whatever it is your suffering from. A typical fresher’s week will cause your body to only work at a quarter of the rate to recovery than it normally does.
Taking a lot of painkillers can pull you through these dark times and will help you ignore the flu and get on with your university work. It’s not a good idea to take a lot of them of mix them with alcohol though.
Signing up for the university GP means you’ll always have help nearby if you need it. You can do this at the Student Health centre at SHU Room 5110, Surrey Building, Pond Street, Sheffield, S1 1WB. 0114 225 2134.