Kate Stephenson is events manager for Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, and chair of the Inspiring Women forum. The Chamber provides business advice, training, events and support to companies of all sizes. Kate is originally from London but now lives in Barnsley with her partner of 12 years, a teacher. Kate’s father was born in Yorkshire, so she’s got Yorkshire blood, but has yet to drop her ‘rs’ from words like bath and laugh despite colleagues’ friendly jibes.
The main reason I love Ponds Forge is it being its home to The Sheffield Business Awards. The glittering black tie dinner is a celebration of business success, attracting about 1,000 people for one night in December. This event is time consuming and sometimes stressful, but so much fun. David and Lisa at Ponds Forge are exceptional, and we all work so well together as a team. Ponds Forge is also where I spend every Monday night, playing my beloved sport of netball.
Sheffield City College
The campus on Granville Road is well worth a visit. It is home to the Sparks Restaurant, which is a member of the Master Chefs of Great Britain. All food is prepared and served by the students so they can learn skills in the kitchen as chefs or front of house as serving staff. The campus also has its own spa, beauty rooms, nail bar and hairdressing salon where the public can get first class treatment at massively reduced prices. Well worth a visit!
The Cutlers’ Hall
Many of the business community will have had the pleasure of finding out what’s behind those huge silver doors. I get such a buzz from seeing people’s faces when they come to one of our events and they’ve never seen the venue before. The Cutlers’ Hall is a place that we should be proud of. As an events manager, to be able to use a beautiful, historical city centre venue is such a privilege.
Sheffield Brewery Company
Sheffield is full of microbreweries, pubs which serve fantastic ales, and people who are passionate about brewing. The Sheffield Brewery Company is based in the old “Blanco” polish factory in Neepsend, which is designed, as my dad would say like a “proper pub.” It’s well worth booking a tour and seeing first hand how the brewing process works, seeing the old cellar complex and sampling the real ales.
Sheffield railway Station
Once a Londoner, always a Londoner? Not quite true actually, as I love the station because it means I’m going off to see family, my nephew Ted, and my friends, and it gives me the London kick I sometimes crave. It also means that I’m coming home to Yorkshire, returning from the hustle and bustle of London. Back to the land where people talk to you if you’re in a queue, where 90% of the time I meet someone I know as I walk through town, and a place where I smile to myself every time someone actually uses the phrase ‘ey-up’ and not as an impression.
My passion is theatre and the arts. I have grown up immersed in theatre. My degree was in theatre and my first business after graduation was theatre based. I believe that theatre and the arts really can have an impact and be influential for change. My best friend from childhood is a successful actor (once we created our own theatre in the basement of my old London home and called it The Cellar Theatre, charging our parents to come to see our plays!) Treading the boards is not an option for me (I can’t remember lines and think the whole thing is terrifying), but I get the buzz from being dressed in black and being very much behind the scenes.