Sheffield Young Carers worker Helen Bolt shares her Favourite Things about home city
Helen Bolt coordinates the Family Project at Sheffield Young Carers, a charity that supports young people who help to look after a family member who has a disability, health condition or addiction issues.
I started working for Sheffield Young Carers in 2016. My own life experiences have made me very passionate about my work with young people and families in Sheffield: I was affected by parental illness in my own childhood and, although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, I was a young carer myself.
SYC’s Family Project aims to reduce the amount of caring that a young person is taking on and to improve life for the whole family. We provide intensive one-to-one support, high-quality group support and regular trips and parent networking events.
A mum of two who is still happily married to the man I met 27 years ago, I am a hippy at heart and I love festivals, food and nature.
Live music is a huge part of my life and The Leadmill holds a special place in my heart. I’ve seen a vast array of amazing bands there over the last 30 years. Many, like Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys, long before they became big names.
Although I’m now far too old for clubbing, I still enjoy watching live music at The Leadmill and recently saw my husband’s hero Billy Bragg there. I love its earthiness, the friendliness of the crowds – and even the sticky floor!
It’s such an integral part of Sheffield’s musical history. I hope The Leadmill survives these unprecedented times and continues to flourish, so that my children will have the opportunity to create amazing memories like mine.
Rother Valley Country Park
I’m very blessed that Rother Valley is on my doorstep. I particularly love walking my dog or cycling around the lakes early in the morning and at sunset. Once the crowds have dispersed it’s a beautiful place to recharge my batteries and reconnect with nature.
It’s been interesting watching the new Gulliver’s Valley Resort take shape over the past few months. Sadly, my own children are a bit too old now. But I work with many young carers and families who are really excited and, once it’s safe, I would love to arrange a trip for them.
Cutlery Works at Kelham Island
As a big foodie I love to go to Cutlery Works for a bite to eat and to meet friends. I love the variety of food on offer and friends with different dietary needs are always well catered for.
I usually need a good lie down after a visit: the temptation of the deserts is always too strong!
Being family and dog-friendly is an added bonus. It’s great that Sheffield is continuing to develop venues that cater for the whole family.
Sheffield has the biggest, most vibrant theatre scene outside London. It’s always a treat to see live theatre but recent favourites have included Standing at the Sky’s Edge and Everybody’s Talking about Jamie.
At Sheffield Young Carers we’re very lucky to be supported by Sheffield Theatres, who regularly donate tickets to the young people and families we support.
It provides a rare opportunity for them to experience a live performance and for many it’s their very first time.
Without the amazing staff at Jessops I wouldn’t be here. A serious complication of grade IV placenta previa during my first pregnancy led to an 11-week stay on complete bed rest. I will never forget the kindness of the staff, how they cared for me and did their very best to keep my spirits high during what was a very frightening time.
Thanks to their dedication, my daughter was safely delivered (albeit a little early…) and we are both here to tell the tale.
When I was younger, I never imagined that Sheffield would one day host the best metropolitan festival in the country!
From small beginnings to the vast celebration of music and culture it’s now become, watching Tramlines grow and develop has been truly inspiring and makes me proud to call Sheffield my home.
Sheffield is full of creative people with a can-do attitude. As a city we’ve had to overcome significant periods of detrimental change, but creativity, co-operation and hope have always carried us through. Tramlines represents what we can achieve by working together.