Clare Fowler moved to Sheffield in 2009 to be closer to other family members who had ended up here through work and study. Clare trained and worked as a solicitor on the south coast. She specialises in employment and discrimination law at Howells Solicitors in Sheffield, advising individuals and employers. She lives in Crosspool with her husband and four children aged between six and 14. Clare thinks the best thing about Sheffield is the friendly people and the variety of things to do.
Parks and Green Spaces
I am sure most parents in Sheffield are grateful for the city’s fantastic parks, all with different playgrounds, woods, streams, animals, cafes, sculptures, and hiding places to explore and special events to enjoy.
I have a particular soft spot for the Spider Park in Lodge Moor as it’s the one where I’ve been braving the elements ever since my oldest child was born and we were “just visiting” rather than living here.
I’m also a great fan of growing your own and share an allotment with my parents, an arrangement which if I’m honest we benefit from more than contribute to, especially at harvest time!
I love live music and I’ve been able to see big bands at the Arena (Pulp a couple of years ago being a highlight), smaller bands at the Leadmill and the Student Union, and fantastic folk music in the back room of the Greystones.
The Music Hub is a fantastic service for younger musicians. I recently got to go and watch one of my kids playing in the Albert Hall in London thanks to one of their many groups, Sheffield Youth Jazz Collective, and am looking forward to “Hubfest” at Yellow Arch studios later this year.
I’m a walker and will take any opportunity to get outside, so I’m lucky to live on the edge of the valley and if I walk to the end of my road I can turn my back on the city and enjoy a stunning view out into the Peak District (and see exactly what weather is coming right at me down the valley).
Being able to access some pretty wild countryside so easily is an important contrast to the bustle of the working day and family life. And recently it’s been very good for sledging!
I have spent many happy hours in both Weston Park and Kelham Island Museums as well as at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Shepherds Wheel, and the Millenium Galleries.
And yet I still go back for more – there always seem to be new exhibitions, displays, demonstrations or something else to enjoy.
I think it would be quite difficult to name a sport you can’t try either as a spectator or participant in Sheffield. I must admit I’ve not tried playing ice hockey myself (yet) but have discovered you can have a fantastic night out courtesy of the Steelers with plenty of audience participation.
I’ve found that having children in football and cricket teams is an excellent way to find your way around and discover new parts of Sheffield and Hallam Cricket Club and Nether Green Juniors FC have both given us a friendly welcome.
I know from reading this column that many parts of Sheffield have a “village” feel but clearly I’m biased towards my home turf. I love the fact that I can’t seem to pop to the shops without stopping for a natter with someone.
I am a member of St Columba’s Church and a Trustee of 36th Sheffield Scouts based in Crosspool both of which have helped me put down roots in the community and meet a wide range of people beyond immediate neighbours.
We have the Crosspool festival every year, Crosspool panto and many other community groups and activities, run by dedicated volunteers, which provide opportunities for getting involved and getting to know people.
If that’s not going to make you feel right at home, then what is?