Over the next few years, people who live in the Sharrow & Abbeydale areas of the city are going to have opportunities to talk about what it’s like to be growing up, living, and getting on in Sheffield. And a lot of other people are going to listen.
A common refrain throughout this city is that as things change and life gets that little bit harder, the powers that be (like the “Town Hall”, and the police) don’t know what it’s really like to live in some of the less prosperous areas of Sheffield. “If only you listened more…..”
The corridor from London Road out along Abbeydale Road to Carter Knowle (and the streets off) isn’t the poorest area of the city; and by no stretch of the imagination is it the richest. There are long established communities and more recently arrived communities; smaller terraced housing and larger detached houses with gardens; people of working class backgrounds and people of the professions; plenty of facilities (including religious centres) which local communities have built, some recently and others over a century old – and communities of no faith.
In all of these communities, stories are waiting to be heard: stories about what it is like to live in Abbeydale and Sharrow, stories about what is great about the area, and what needs to improve. We want you to take part, and to tell your story.
These stories are already being told. School children throughout the area are telling us how they feel about where they live, and where they go to school. In particular, where they feel courageous – and where they feel less confident, and why that should be.
We want you to be involved and part of this project. There will be help available if you need it. Students and staff from The University of Sheffield will be helping people tell more stories: stories about people who’ve lived in the streets for years, and the stories of people who’ve only recently moved in. About what attracted people to Abbeydale and Sharrow – or about what worries them about the street and the area they live in now.
Why do these stories matter? What will telling and sharing the stories achieve? On one hand, organisations that provide services and support for the people of Abbeydale and Sharrow frequently don’t live here; and this is an opportunity for voices to be heard “from the other side”. On the other hand, it is hoped that in the process of thinking together, working together, disagreeing together, the people and the communities that live in the area will act together more thoughtfully and effectively.
The Big Story of Abbeydale and Sharrow is made up of lots of smaller stories: stories of communities, of individuals, of organisations and businesses. This project is about listening to those stories and responding to them.
For more information, or to get involved contact: