The first Birley Blitz event took place on Thursday 25 July. In response to complaints of litter in Jaunty Park by local residents your local Labour Councillors have joined together with local residents, the Youth Justice Service, staff from Parks and Country side, Sheffield Futures and the East Youth Forum. Also helping out on the day were Richmond Ward Councillor Lynn Rooney and Clive Betts, Labour MP for South East Sheffield.
Councillor Karen McGowan said “a big thank you to all those who took part, they worked extremely hard and we managed to collect over 50 bags as well as some other more unusual items such as a headboard, a carpet, a leather jacket to name but a few.”
Staff and young people from the Sheffield Youth Justice Service participated in the Birley Blitz – ‘keeping our communities clean and green’. Armed with gloves, brushes, bags, barrows and litter picks this was an opportunity for young people working with the Youth Justice Service to make a restorative contribution to the local area whilst also developing links with local residents and increasing their awareness of environmental issues. A lavish spread was provided and prepared by other Youth Justice staff and young people which was a welcome sight at lunch time for hot and hungry volunteers.
Sheffield Futures East Youth Forum joined in the Birley Blitz to clean up Jaunty Park as litter is one of their priorities this year. Ryan Pickersgill is taking the lead in this area on behalf of the East Youth Forum and said “we are here representing all young people of the East to keep the area clean and tidy. I hope in the future that people will use bins and also come and join us in future clean ups”
Councillor Bryan Lodge said “It was a great turn out for this first event and I hope people will join us for the next Birley Blitz event which will be on Saturday 14 September 2013. We will be meeting at Scowerdons Community Centre at 10 a.m. the event will end at 1 p.m. and everyone is welcome”.
Birley Ward Labour Councillor Karen McGowan and Maria Flude, an Officer from Voluntary Action Sheffield visited the Birley Spa Lunch Club at Hackenthorpe Community Centre on 8 July. Over 45 people attend and have lunch prepared and served through the South Yorkshire Probation Trust Community Payback scheme. Under the scheme courts can sentence offenders of certain crimes to undertake between 40 and 300 hours of work for the community. It’s unpaid work carried out by offenders in the community, and is a national scheme delivered locally by South Yorkshire Probation Trust.
Councillor McGowan met the two key organisers Joan and Lily who themselves are pensioners and said “these ladies are amazing they do an excellent job in keeping this club going. Many of these older people wouldn’t get out if it wasn’t for clubs like these it’s not just about the food (although this is excellent value at £3 for two courses) but it’s the social side of being able to play bingo and talk to people.”
If anyone is interested in volunteering at this lunch club or anywhere else in the city or wanting information on the nearest lunch club for them please contact
Maria Flude – Tel: 0114 2536698 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Birley Ward Labour Councillor Karen McGowan and Beighton Ward Councillor Ian Saunders joined staff from McDonalds at Drakehouse on Sunday 21 July. They were also joined by the young people from the East Youth Forum and members of the community to litter pick main roads in the Beighton, Waterthorpe, Sothall areas. Councillor McGowan said “It was amazing to see how much litter was collected in such a short space of time. I initially thought the majority of litter would be from take away food but this wasn’t the case. The largest amounts came from plastic bottles, cans and cigarette packets. We collected over 40 bags and McDonalds litter made up less than 10% of what we collected. I would like to thank everyone who took part for getting up on a Sunday morning they all worked very hard and made me feel very welcome.”
The Sheffield Futures East Team have released details of activities planned during the school holidays. Details of events that may be of interest to young people within the Birley Ward include sessions at Hackenthorpe Community Centre, Four Wells Drive on Tuesday evenings between 6:30pm – 8:30pm. A number of special sessions are planned around internet safety, guns and knive crime and bike crime. Further details are available from
Last Saturday, Birley Ward’s Labour councillors attended the South Yorkshire Festival at Wortley Hall, along with members of Birley Ward Labour Party.
This was a wonderful event, with many stalls from trade unions, local Labour branches and community organisations from across the region, as well as stalls selling all manner of arts, crafts and foodstuffs.
Birley Ward members and councillors had a great time in the sunny weather, fundraising and discussing with festival-goers how best to fight the cuts foisted on Sheffield and South Yorkshire by this pitiless Conservative/Liberal Democrat government.
Councillor Denise Fox said: ‘It was great to see so many people at the festival that are determined to fight for those suffering from the coalition’s policies. The cuts on local services and the bedroom tax are having a terrible effect, and it’s all thanks to the government that the Sheffield Liberal Democrats support. The message to them from today is clear: the people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire won’t stand by while you attack the most vulnerable’.