Chris Nall, aged 29, is a youth worker with Forge Youth, part of Network Church Sheffield. He came from Nottingham to the University of Sheffield in 2003 to study geography. After completing a leadership training year with his church and completing FA coaching courses, he developed a heart for working with young people and sport. Forge Sports started in 2008 to see sport played with respect for each other and to allow young people to explore the Christian faith. Chris loves cooking, sport, Nottingham Forest, hanging out with friends and dabbling in gardening and landscaping. He lives in Walkley with his wife, Rowann, son Elliot and Wentworth the rabbit.
Beeches of Walkley
It’s our inner city farm shop. Chris and Donna Beech started with a butcher’s, added a fruit and veg shop and now have all sorts under one roof – quality meat, fruit and veg, a deli counter, a great beer range, greetings cards ...
They have worked really hard to get the shop going and have generously supported our youth work on trips where many young people can’t afford to go. Don’t shop there when you’re hungry, though. It’s dangerous.
Bole Hill Park
I love this park. At the bottom is the hallowed turf of my football team FC Philly, a team we started through our church. We really want to play football in a way that honours our faith and other people. We’re not perfect, but that’s what we try to do.
There’s also a BMX track and a park with swings, which my little boy loves, and a multi-sports court. There is also a great view over Stannington where you can sit on the rocky outcrops – a bit like Pride rock in the Lion King – and contemplate life.
The Blake Hotel
In Blake Street, Walkley, the best old-man pub around. It lay derelict for ages until it was resurrected not long ago.
Great local ales, whiskies too, nice beer garden and a belting pub quiz, although it’s a bit hard sometimes for my brain! I love going there to catch up with friends or relax at the end of a day.
The fact I can be 10 minutes to the city centre and 10 minutes to the Peak is incredible. Bradfield is my favourite Sunday afternoon location in the summer. Grab an ice cream, maybe from Our Cow Molly up the road, then sit and watch the cricket in the sun.
My wife and I had our wedding reception and photos there: A beautiful place with beautiful memories.
The Admiral Rodney
This pub and restaurant in Loxley. My wife and I love the food and the feel of the place and whenever we want to go and eat out, it comes up as a suggestion. We’ve spent loads of time up there with each other and with friends. There’s also a park across the road for the boy (and me).
Dam Flask reservoir is just down the road – good for a short walk round and Bradfield a bit further up the road. I don’t think we’ll get bored of going there.
Goodwin Sports Centre
I have so many memories of playing football here, through university inter-mural, football training, kickarounds or Forge Sports projects. We lost an inter-mural final there, but we don’t talk about that! The centre, in Northumberland Road, is not far from my house, and Scott and the team have always been really accommodating and helpful.
It is also the home of the Sheffield Christian Youth League, which is one of our projects. It’s a five-a-side league that is a resource for churches and youth groups across Sheffield. We’re there each week trying to encourage values of respect and building community. Supporters, trusts and local businesses really got behind it.
la Vaca Steak House
I’m not sure if it’s come across or not, but I love food, especially steak. I love this place, which is in Glossop Road, Broomhill. They might do things that aren’t steak, but I’ve never looked at that part of the menu. It’s not complicated. A massive steak rocks up on a plate and nothing else on it. You can then choose your sides. It’s really simple but really good. It’s nice and small with a good atmosphere.
St Thomas Philadelphia Campus
It’s where I am based working for Forge Youth. It’s such a privilege to work with an inspiring team of staff and volunteers who love God and love other people. My job is to work with sport and young people, and it’s an amazing job.
This place, near Shalesmoor on the edge of the city centre, is a bunch of warehouses, so it’s not much to look at, but it’s all about the people and it’s full of people who inspire.
Ten years and counting... an awesome journey.