Lodgemoor native Rowena Bletcher is the employment and skills worker at Roundabout, Sheffield’s youth homeless charity, where she guides and motivates young people towards sustainable education, training and employment.
It took Rowena a while to find her calling. She embarked on a career change in her 30s and achieved a degree in criminology and psychology from Sheffield Hallam University.
She is an avid runner and now lives in Walkley with her husband Garry and son Michael.
People of Sheffield and the Roundabout team
Until I started working for Roundabout I didn’t realise how many people are involved in running this incredible charity supporting vulnerable young people and I truly believe they are a reflection of the friendly, open-hearted, caring people of Sheffield. They are brilliant at being creative in the way they fundraise and support people and our current Bangers and Cash project is a great example. There are 23 car bonnet artworks, designed by local artists, currently on display in the Winter Garden to raise money and awareness of Roundabout’s work. These are all sponsored by local businesses, who will showcase the bonnets on a banger rally to Monte Carlo in September - what a creative way to show off who we are and what we do. I believe that, even if you’re not from Sheffield, people who end up living here adopt our local mentality, where we open our arms and support each other as much as we can.
I started running 10 years ago and I’m a big advocate for running for both physical and mental health. Whether I head out to Rivelin, Ladybower, Bradfield Dam or Forge Dam I’m greeted by acres of greenery. It’s a big bonus point for Sheffield and I don’t think any other city can compete. The downside is the hills, but the views from top are amazing and usually make it worth the effort. I’ve done two Sheffield half marathons and I’m doing the city’s 10k next in September. My son will be joining me for his first event run and I’m so proud of him. He’ll be raising money for Olly’s Fund, which supports his younger brother on his dad’s side who has Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy.
My nana and granddad, Peter and Alice Harrison, spent a lot of time at Ladybower as granddad was a keen fly fisherman and treasurer of the Ladybower Fly Fishing Association. I went with them a lot as a youngster and have fond memories of him in his massive waders, puffing away on his pipe with his flat cap on. There’s a memorial bench for him there now and I always wave when I go past and visit as often as I can.
I like the old style ‘proper’ pubs at Kelham Island. We had our wedding reception at the Shakespeare - a noisy affair with a rock band, which was an incredible atmosphere. It’s a great building with a fab beer garden. I like the Riverside for food too and wandering round the museum and Victorian Christmas market.
I love Def Leppard, particularly with them being local. I’m thrilled to have tickets for their Hysteria tour at Sheffield Arena later this year, I was on phone the second ticket lines opened to get them. I’ve told my husband they’re his early Christmas present but I think he’s realised they’re just as much for me. If they’re reading this and fancy sending me some VIP tickets I wouldn’t say no!
The tapas is fantastic, particularly the mushroom risotto and mozzarella wrapped in parma ham, which I never want to share! I’ve been going since it was on Trippet Lane and while it’s completely different now I like the atmosphere in Leopold Square.
Ranmoor has a big place in my heart with lots of happy memories. My granddad had his butcher’s shop at Ranmoor, which is now a Chinese takeaway on the corner next to the Bull’s Head. He worked there since he was 14 so I spent much of my childhood in the back of the shop messing around. They only gave it up due to ill health, I imagine they’d still be running it now if they could. Mum worked at the Bull for a while too, so I flitted between the two.