Favourite Things: Living life to the full in Sheffield, a city that always inspires

Jaqui Copley with daughters Nicola, left, and Alison, right
Jaqui Copley with daughters Nicola, left, and Alison, right

Jaqui Copley is the semi-retired director of Elite Swim Ltd and a tireless fundraiser. She lives in Ecclesall with her husband, Dave, their two grown-up children and three stepchildren.

In July 2014, Jaqui was diagnosed with myeloma, an incurable bone marrow cancer. Since then she has undergone radiotherapy, chemotherapy, spinal surgery and a stem cell transplant. Although myeloma is relapsing and remitting – meaning it returns – she is in remission and enjoying life to the full. Jaqui has enjoyed around 45 ‘jobs’, starting with selling rose petals in water (perfume) aged five at the end of her parents’ drive in Woodhouse, to running a swimwear and clothing business which she started in her 40s. She now helps to fundraise for Sheffield Hospitals Charity and was proud to be asked to be part of their Eradicating Myeloma Appeal. Jaqui’s family and friends have lots of fundraising events planned for 2017. On Wednesday there will be a fashion show at Ferndale Garden Centre, with tickets on sale at the centre in Coal Aston.

Bluebells in Ecclesall Woods. Picture: Andrew Roe

Bluebells in Ecclesall Woods. Picture: Andrew Roe

Family and Friends

I simply have the best husband, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren and friends in the world. I am so close to some of my friends that I regard them as family too. When I was recuperating from my treatment, I spent a long time at home and used to be upset because I couldn’t think of a ‘bucket list’. Then I realised that my bucket list was all around me because I enjoy nothing more than spending time with the people I love. My husband, Dave, runs Boatworld – a firm his parents started in Eyam 50 years ago this year building boats.

The Sheffield Food scene

I love all sorts of dining experiences from Nonnas to Ashoka to the Mexican Street Food Chef. It’s great that we have so many different types of food on offer. Nicola, my eldest daughter, has recently started a fully immersive and multi-sensory dining experience called Temporary, held on the last Saturday of every month in unique venues, showcasing amazing street food vendors.

The Team at Royal

Hallamshire Hospital

Without whom I wouldn’t be here: Professor John Snowden, Dr Andy Chantry and their very dedicated team have been truly amazing – thanks for keeping me alive guys! They are now working hard on finding a cure for myeloma, so it’s all hands on deck for me and my family and friends to raise funds. It’s such a painful, hard-to-detect, cancer that we all really want to be involved in eradicating myeloma.


One of my proudest moments is winning Funny Business in which I performed comedy centred around my husband Dave (the stud muffin) involving a lonely goat, a striptease, a Miley Cyrus parody and a hammer.

This is a competition run by Weston Park Cancer Charity for local business people to perform five minutes’ stand-up comedy, held at the City Hall each October.


Not Sheffield I know, but the people are almost as friendly as Sheffielders and have a great sense of community so it makes me feel at home. My youngest daughter, Alison, lives there with her husband, Richard and their Labrador, Mellow. Every so often Dave and I need a Whitstable fix to see my lovely daughter, to walk on the pebbled beaches, eat seafood on the water’s edge with a glass of wine, finished off with a freshly cooked doughnut and hot chocolate – heaven!

Granddogs and Walking

Walking with Gizmo (Yorkshire terrier), Mellow (golden Labrador), Lilly (working cocker spaniel) and Bernie (funny little beagle thing) in Graves, Millhouses, Endcliffe, Ecclesall Woods and Whitstable (when visiting Alison) gives me so much joy. I usually perform a walking meditation in the early mornings – for which I am very grateful to the Sheffield Buddhist Centre at Walkley who taught me.

Ferndale Garden Centre

My friend, Helen, is a director here and it really is one of my favourite places to go. Although I’m not a gardener I love the beautiful flowers, the fantastic homemade food, the fact you can take dogs and the ‘beach’ during the summer to which I take my grandchildren every year.