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  • Writer's picturePete

Talking community with the elves!

Last week I had the pleasure of recording a podcast for @HelpSheffield. For those of you that don’t venture into the busy Sheffield Twittersphere, @HelpSheffield is a fantastically useful source of knowledge about what’s going on in the Steel City. Set up in 2013, the @HelpSheffield account has long been my ‘go to’ for community news or for finding out about new initiatives. And as a community initiative it’s about as genuine as they come, run without pay or reward by a dedicated, but anonymous small band of elves!

Trying to squeeze everything I’m involved with into 21 minutes was no easy task. It’s fair to say that I wear many different hats, and that tends to be just the way I like it these days. Not only do I like the flexibility that having all the different hats brings (have I overused the hat metaphor here?!) but I can easily see the connections between the various activities I’m involved in.

Much of what I do is about bringing people together. In my role in the Community Team at the Co-op, I’m supporting my colleagues to connect with some of the many amazing local groups and charities working in Sheffield. With Singing In… it’s about bringing communities together to sing and make some wonderful music. But it’s always about how much more we can achieve when we come together to work as a group.

It was good to be able to plug my volunteer work for the Shout 85258 text service. Keeping our mental health in check is so important, especially at a time when the pandemic is forcing so many of us to be isolated in our own homes. Singing with the choirs definitely gives me a lift, even in these strange online times, and working in the community sector has made me aware of the numerous initiatives that are out there to help. But having a national service to fill some of the gaps, particularly for anyone who needs support in the middle of the night, is very reassuring.

So thank you to the elves for giving me the opportunity to shout about some of the things I’m proud of, and thank you for shining a spotlight on the great things that happen in our fine city.

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