Hopes and plans to keep us smiling

Greg Oldfield
Greg Oldfield

Amid all the doom and gloom, we’re looking for ways to cheer ourselves up. What’s the one thing you’d choose to do this year that would be guaranteed to put a smile on your face?

Louise Oliver

Jodie Marshall

Jodie Marshall

Partner at the Taylor Oliver Partnership

It’s been a heck of a year: earthquakes, the Eurozone crisis, global debt… and I lost a dear friend to cancer, so I’m now hoping 2012 will be brighter. If people around me are smiling that puts a smile on my face. It’s my husband David’s 50th birthday and, as a family, we’re off to stay with relatives in Beverly Hills. The Taylor Oliver team are excited about 2012 too – we plan to take on the world!

Kate Allatt

Stroke survivor and founder of Fighting Strokes charity

John Gilburn

John Gilburn

I’d take on a new personal challenge which involves my whole family. It would obviously be a Fighting Strokes fundraiser, but it would help me focus on a new goal. Perhaps some sort of bike challenge – maybe cycle to the coast? Or a group walking challenge?

This new year is about consolidating my life and adapting to the new me! I hope to continue building and rebuilding close relationships after my lengthy hospital absence and my confinement in my home in Dore. Here’s to a successful 2010, to the new year, my new life and my new start as Kate, who is not just a stroke survivor.

Linda Crapper

Property agent

Josie Walker

Josie Walker

Smile! Turn off all the TVs and block out the negative vibes. Health is the most important thing, so let’s enjoy life to the full. I’m going to ride my horse Mani more often, take my dog Chewy for lots of walks (or let him take me – he’s 12 stone now!) My main goal for 2012 is to celebrate my 50th with the holiday of a lifetime in South Africa with all my family: to live in the jungle with open fires, shower from a water bucket, see the lions and elephants. I want to watch the sun rising and relax!

Martin Webb

Account manager at HR Media

Sydney and the Olympics – yes please! It’s been a pretty tough year: my girlfriend had a major operation and we were involved in a major car crash… so 2012 is going to be one to remember for the right reasons.

linda crapper

linda crapper

We’re hoping to visit my mum in Sydney: I’ve not seen her for over two years, so flying out on my birthday would be the perfect present. And in August I’ll be in the Olympic stadium as Jess Ennis attempts to bring the gold medal home in the heptathlon.

Lucy Montgomery

Actress (April in Company)

Next year I’m most looking forward to the Olympics – not because I love sport or Britain but because I live in East London and can rent my house out for a million pounds a day. Perhaps I could spend the time in Sheffield?

Jillian Thomas

Financial planner

louise oliver

louise oliver

From a professional point of view, an early resolution of the Eurozone crisis would put a smile on millions of faces. On a personal level, I can’t wait to see Jess Ennis winning gold at the Olympics. If she can pull that off, no-one in the entire city will care two pins about the world’s finances, at least for a couple of hours! I’d also like to go to Norway to see the Northern Lights. This magical, wonderful and genuinely awe-inspiring phenomenon of colourful ribbons of light in the night sky leaves you mesmerised and enchanted – and next year is forecast to be one of the best for over a decade.

Margi Clarke

Actress (Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty)

Appear in a discotheque in space. I’m yearning for cosmic company so if there’s any ETs out there, I’m your witch!

Janet Simpson

Partner with lawyers Simpson Sissons & Brooke

It might not be glamorous or exciting, but the one thing I’d chose to do next year is to celebrate my father’s 80th birthday in June at home with all the family. Over the last few years the only time we’ve got together has been at funerals, so we should celebrate where we can.

There will have to be a pretty big cake – maybe in the shape of a football reflecting his 50 years as a referee or a mountain to signify his love of hiking or a prison cell from his days as a probation officer at Wakefield jail. Seeing everyone enjoying themselves will bring a big smile on my face.

Andrea Carrington

MD of Headlines Elite salons

My dream would be for the Headlines Elite salons to win the British Hairdresser Regional Awards – that would put a very big smile on my face. If we could go on and win the national British Hairdresser of the Year award I’d be even happier. But personally, I’d like to finally go to Machu Picchu, the ancient Inca site in Peru. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

Dermot Griffiths

Manager, Mercury Taxis

What doom and gloom? I know it’s cheesy but there are many parts of the world where people are desperate for clean water, shelter, democracy, holidays, cars and, of course, McDonald’s. So the one thing I’d change would be to have a more tolerant society. Rant over – I’m off for a Big Mac.

Ian Godbehere

Manager, Mercury Taxis

I’d be delighted to win the lottery, see Sheffield Wednesday come out top of the league and for England to win the 2012 Euro Championships. I’d also like to move into my new house without a hitch and push Mercury Taxis forward (hopefully not literally!).

John Gilburn

MD, Owlerton Stadium

Flying has been a dream of mine for many years. I’ve taken a couple of flying lessons and loved it, so if time and money were no object, buying my own plane and learning to fly solo would be top of the agenda. I love the idea of being able to dictate when and where I travel – leaving behind the traffic jams and British Rail timetables! What a wonderful tonic to take off for Paris on a Saturday afternoon, enjoy a stroll past L’Arc de Triomphe and a leisurely lunch before flying home. My own plane would certainly put a smile on my face.

Mark Woodward

Green Directions conference centre

What would really put a smile on my face would be to enter a diving synchro competition with my son Fred, 16. He’d be mortified – he’s part of the elite diving squad at Ponds Forge, trains six days a week and has represented his country three times. I started diving in my late 40s and, despite being a reasonable sportsman, am making painfully slow progress. But the joy of the moment will bring forth the smile – there might even be a flicker on Fred’s face.

Mike Pidgeon

Thornbridge Brewery

I’d like to enjoy some sunshine and ambiance in the most amazing country I’ve visited in the past 50 years – Argentina. I’ll be flying to Buenos Aires to watch a bit of football, before going south to Patagonia for whale watching.

First stop would be Avellaneda to see Racing Club v Independiente; then it would be dinner at Campo Bravo to enjoy steak without equal and a bottle of the finest Malbec. Later I’d fly down to Gulfo Nuevo, home to breeding Southern Right whales – words don’t do justice to the experience of getting up so close to a 60ft, 55-ton whale. Follow this with a trip around the rest of the peninsula to see sea lions, elephant seals and vast colonies of Magellanic penguins. A smile on my face? You bet!

Colin Davies

Woodthorpe Development Trust

The best way of cheering yourself up is to do something for someone else, it makes you realise there’s a whole world of people out there who need a helping hand. I’m planning to do a 55-mile, one-day sponsored charity bike challenge from Leeds to Sheffield in March. I want to involve people from the Woodthorpe area to raise money for the local community through Woodthorpe Development Trust. Half of the proceeds will go to a chosen community project and the other half towards setting up a new community action initiative in partnership with the Hope City Church and Megacentre.

Tony and Aprille Broomhead


Our children – they bring a smile whatever the weather, the economic climate or simply not having as many pennies in our pockets. Next year Olivia will be old enough to get involved with arts and crafts and baby Seth will be hitting milestones thick and fast – sitting, crawling, standing, walking and the best: “Mamma… Daddy”. Just thinking about this makes us smile. Simple things.

Shelli Cooper

Executive officer for charity SCOOP Aid

One thing to put a smile on my face next year has to be sidecar racing. There’s nothing more exciting than dicing with a rival team into a left-hand corner, both passengers hanging out over the Tarmac as the drivers fight to get the best exit on to the straight. Nick and I race our 1972 Lynx Imp classic sidecar outfit around the country, competing in the Classic Sidecar Championship. We get to play on some of the best racetracks in the UK including Brands Hatch and, next year, Silverstone.

This season we achieved third place in the European Vintage Cup, so next year we’re off to Denmark to see if we can win it. Now that would put a smile on my face!

Greg Oldfield

External Relations Manager, Sheffield University

I’m looking forward to the university’s Festival of the Mind in September. I’ve been working on it for a while now and events will include performances, talks, cultural events and public demonstrations, which will hopefully put a smile on lots of faces, not just mine! The festival will run from September 20-30, details: www.sheffield.ac.uk/festivalofthemind

Josie Walker

Professional mediator

I would go on a leisurely summer-long road trip around Britain visiting all the friends whom I wish I saw more. It would be a lovely holiday, just me, my partner and our dog, taking time to stop anywhere we fancied. We’d stop off and camp in beautiful countryside and have no timetable or ‘mad rush’ that is usually in our lives. How relaxing!

Jodie Marshall

Founder, A Mind Apart Theatre

Being passionate about dance and drama, the thing that would put a smile on my face is performing at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. But since that’s unlikely to happen, I aim to join my friend Jenny Muhlwa of Belrobics who plans to put 50 belly dancing women along the Olympic torch relay! Even better, my vision is for a flash mob of performers along the entire routes of the torch from Eckington to Sheffield city centre!

Heather Redmond

Head Guide, Chatsworth

I spend most of my time indoors, so my favourite thing would be to venture outdoors into Chatsworth’s beautiful gardens as soon as the tulips start to come out and take a relaxing walk, seeing them come back to life. I’d enjoy a good old-fashioned picnic next to the Grotto Pond, watching the fluffy baby ducks bobbing around. Chatsworth changes so much throughout the year, it’s almost like hibernation during the closed season – I can’t wait for spring already!

Ray Smith

General Manager, Napoleons

I love the water – it was one of the reasons I joined the Navy many moons ago – so anything involving that would be guaranteed to put a smile on my face.

I’d take my daughter to Florida, spending time in both the water parks and on the coast. She loves the water as much as I do and it’s always nice to get some sun! Living in a land-locked city I do miss the open water, so where better than a sunshine coast for some swimming, snorkelling and seafood dinners.

Mark Woodward

Mark Woodward

Mike Pidgeon

Mike Pidgeon

Shelli cooper

Shelli cooper