Favourite Things: Finding life’s solutions in Sheffield’s cuisine, sport and film

Jamie Wilson, IT manager of Impelling Solutions outside Hillsborough which is one of his favourite places in Sheffield.
Jamie Wilson, IT manager of Impelling Solutions outside Hillsborough which is one of his favourite places in Sheffield.

Jamie Wilson is an IT manager at Impelling Solutions Ltd, based at The Circle on Rockingham Lane in Sheffield city centre.

He has been involved in providing IT support and advice to schools for most of his working life, from starting the local authority, running his own business, and recently joining Impelling.

Craft and Dough is a popular hangout.

Craft and Dough is a popular hangout.

Jamie, who turns 40 this year, spends most of his free time with his wife, Avril, and their two young children. They recently got a puppy and have been enjoying more walks around Sheffield.

A huge Star Wars fan, Jamie’s cat, dog and children are all named after characters in the sci-fi films.

BBQ collective at The Hop, west one plaza, sheffield

We recently went to The Hop in Sheffield city centre for a Christmas do with work and it was an amazing experience.

At the time, BBQ Collective were there as part of a residency. As soon as you walked in the place, there was a wonderful smell of BBQ food – and a long, well-staffed and well-stocked bar.

There was a large selection of different beers to try and friendly staff to guide you to the right one.

The ‘chef’ was incredibly knowledgeable about the food we chose and informed us all about the different cuts on offer.

Hillsborough Stadium

This is my other big passion – Sheffield Wednesday. I’ve been a fan since birth but my dad took me occasionally to Owls games from the age of eight.

One Christmas, just before my ninth birthday, my brother and I had our main and last Christmas presents to open.

My brother’s present was a huge box and mine was the smallest parcel I had ever seen.

I was half way through a full strop when I saw what was inside – a half season ticket for Sheffield Wednesday. Never has a mood changed so quickly as I ran around the house in sheer delight. I can’t say I’ve always felt like that watching Wednesday, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve made lifelong friends though going to watch matches and nothing beats a sunny afternoon when we win.

Aughton Early Years

This might be a little bit different for a favourite thing but I’ve chosen Aughton Early Years for the awesome friendly feeling you get when you’re in the centre.

The Aughton Early Years’ centre consists of a young children’s facility, pre-school, foundation stage one and the best family support centre.

I’m a little biased as for the past four years I’ve volunteered as a governor there to help run the centre by supporting the staff.

My own children have gone through the centre from the age of seven months until they left aged four for ‘big school’.

I’ve also been supporting them with their IT for 15 years in various guises.

The staff do a tremendous amount for the local community and offer support to children, their parents and grandparents.

Everyone in the Aughton/Aston area is encouraged to drop in for activities, which include coffee mornings, first aid courses and job advice. We now also have an extended area covering many Rotherham areas from Catcliffe to Thurcroft.

The centre makes a real difference to every child’s life who has been there and I’m proud to help and love spending time there.


While we don’t pay a regular visit here, the location and different venues makes it a nice easy choice to entertain the children and have some fun.

We love a cinema trip – complete with popcorn and drinks. Sometimes we’ll have a game of 10-pin bowls and a quick go in the arcade.

Occasionally we even get the chance to go without the kids and socialise with friends in one of the eating places there. And the odd drink too, of course!

Craft and Dough – Kelham Island

We’ve visited Craft and dough a few times – through work nights or just with friends. Book a table early as it takes a while to select your drinks from the number of craft beers on offer – a huge choice.

The pizza and food is also beautiful – and the quantity of food matches up to the quality – we often end of taking food home with us. For a relaxed atmosphere, great food and a huge choice there aren’t many better places.