Favourite Things: People and places that add vibrancy and appeal

Jackie Freeborn at Leopold Square.
Jackie Freeborn at Leopold Square.

Jackie Freeborn is a daughter, wife, mother, nanny, MD, volunteer and friend – depending on the day of the week. She is married to Terry, and they have worked together for the past seven years developing Skin Care Yorkshire Ltd. Terry was previously a professional musician, while in her spare time Jackie supports a local charity she co-founded – The Work-wise Foundation, which helps young people prepare for the transition from education into working life, as well as chairing Women in Business for Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce. Jackie is proud of the Yorkshire values passed on to her from her parents. Jackie is a Leadership Fellow of Windsor, was awarded the International Athena Award in recognition of her leadership, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence. A proud mum to Ben and Becca, she has a grandson and loves her new job as nanny.

The City Centre

The main hall of Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield is edged with portraits of Mastler Cutlers throughout the years. The ceiling is ornate in design and must have impressed the hall's first visitors in Victorian times.
picture Mike Cowling.

The main hall of Cutlers' Hall in Sheffield is edged with portraits of Mastler Cutlers throughout the years. The ceiling is ornate in design and must have impressed the hall's first visitors in Victorian times. picture Mike Cowling.

I live in a village on the outskirts of Rotherham so I just love the city feel, the buzz, the variety of stuff I can find there – shops, restaurants, bars and especially the diversity of culture. I love it when people meet me at a little café or restaurant hidden away in a street I haven’t explored. If I was wealthy enough, I’d have a city centre apartment and live there Monday to Thursday.

Leopold Square

Ah, what a lovely space this is. I love that it honours its past and the bits of history dotted around, leaving its footprint on this vibrant phoenix that has been brought to life. I love it best at night – and I love the choice of eateries. It feels very European: should I be saying that, now we are on Brexit countdown?

The Theatres

I don’t mind which one. I love the Lyceum as you can see all the lovely historical features, but I enjoy The Crucible because of its layout. You can see and hear everything with ease. My daughter bought me tickets to see the Northern Ballet here, it was my first experience of ballet and we were both enthralled by the beauty of movement, the creativity of costumes and the beautifully produced music.

Sentinel Brewhouse

I’m not a beer drinker – I like the occasional G&T and have red wine in my DNA after living in France many years ago – but my induction to real ale was at Sentinel. This place has opened up my taste buds and I really enjoy their beers and how Alex and Jay have created a fab place out of what was a carpet warehouse – the food is great too.

Cutlers’ Hall

I am very fortunate to have access to this beautiful building. I am a Friend of The Cutlers’ Company, due to the work the charity I co-founded does, as it encourages and supports young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. So many people don’t know about this building which is of great historic importance. It’s like a palatial Tardis! Two weeks ago we took 60 schoolkids there – I adore the awe in their faces when we show them round and they see all the history that’s hidden away there.

Meadowhall & John Lewis

Meadowhall is like Marmite – love it or hate it. But I do love it for a few reasons. My favourite shop is House of Fraser – I love department stores, so much to look at and buy. Plus Meadowhall helped me establish Business in the Community in South Yorkshire many years ago. The Source Training centre is a really great learning zone, they do loads for young people. And then there’s the cinema. I love John Lewis too.

The Cathedral

A magnificent building, and I do love the way it has been restored. I always get a shiver down my spine when I am there, just so many emotions. The work of the Archer project is astounding: homelessness really gets to me and I’ve slept under the stars there to raise cash for them. There is a little piece of grass that has fond memories for me, despite the freezing cold.

The Culture and People

People and culture give a place its personality, vibrancy and appeal. I have the most amazing group of great friends. We’re like a sisterhood, always encouraging and supporting each other. It’s a bit of a passion of mine, getting more females in positions where we can influence decision making. The Suffragettes gave their lives so we could have the opportunity to do this.