Moving to Sheffield when I was young gave me better education opportunities

Paul Harrison is area manager for the Alzheimer’s Society covering South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. He was born in Rotherham, and moved to Sheffield in 1971.

Wednesday, 12th June 2019, 8:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 3:55 pm
Paul Harrison shares his Favourite Things about Sheffield

Over the years he has lived in several areas of this beautiful city, Malin Bridge, Chapeltown, Hillsborough, Southey Green, Norfolk Park, Nether Edge and now Crosspool.

He works for the Alzheimer’s Society as the Area Manager covering South Yorkshire & Lincolnshire based in Sheffield. There are 850,000 people diagnosed with dementia in the UK. In Sheffield there are 6,550 people with a diagnosis with hundreds of families affected by dementia.

The Alzheimer’s Society in Sheffield has Dementia Advisors who can offer advice and support. We also work closely with other organisations across Sheffield to support people affected by dementia to live as well as possible. Having a diagnosis doesn’t mean life is over. So many people living with dementia are actively involved with their communities.

Mamas & Leones

This Italian restaurant on Surrey Street seems to have always been in my life, a bit like the queen! The restaurant opened in 1968 and a firm favourite with many Sheffield theatre goers. I celebrated my 18th birthday here way back in 1978. It has remained a family favourite. One of my favourite dishes is their fruit pizza; I haven’t come across this at any other Italian restaurant. People go ‘oh dear’ when you talk about it, but the mix of fruit and cheese really works… give it a try.

Hassop & Monsal Trail

When I want to clear my head, think about solutions to a problem or just enjoy a walk, this is my favorite place to take a stroll. Just outside Bakewell, you park at the Hassop book shop. There are cycles to hire if you want to be more energetic . The trail is a former route of the Midland Railway between Blackwell Mill, in Cheedale and Coombs Road at Bakwell. Joining at Hassop book shop gives you a choice of left for a short walk to Bakewell or right to Monsal Dale with old tunnels and breath taking views.

WEA: History of Sheffield History

The Workers Education Association run a year length course on the history of Sheffield from Tudor times to present day. I took this course 3 years ago. If you love history, if you love our city, this course is amazing. I learnt so much about the people who have lived and died in Sheffield, which makes it the great city it is today. I had no idea that In Tudor times, Sheffield had the biggest deer park in the country, nor how the Earl of Shrewsbury nearly went bankrupt due to the cost of keeping Mary Queen of Scotts at Sheffield Manor. We learned about the development of social housing and the education for all children in Sheffield, the gang wars, the development of stainless steel to the Picasso visit to Sheffield in 1950 and the peace dove installations in the roof tops around the Peace Gardens. You can spot them if you look carefully.

Nether Edge

I lived in Nether Edge for 10 years. Nether Edge is an amazing neighbourhood and so full of history. To walk around its streets on an autumn day, with all the trees shedding their leaves is stunning. So much happening in the community, catering for all tastes. From history groups, wild life walks and the well organised and spectacular Guy Fawkes bonfire night in Chelsea Park run by the scouts. And then there are some friendly pubs, along with the farmers market.

Rivlin Valley

I spent my childhood living at Malin Bridge. Many Sundays were spent with my family walking the nature trail with its history of water mills which played a key role in the evolution of the cutlery and steel industries of the city. In school summer holidays (early 70s) with my friends, our mums would pack up some sandwiches and we would be out all day, swimming in the dams or floating on inflated tyre inner tubes. It’s an easy walk through woodland and open grass areas where you can have a picnic.

Eccelsall Road and Spoilt for Choice

On a Saturday morning you will find me and my husband Phillip at a little café called ‘Spoilt for Choice’ on Eccelsall Road. This is our weekend treat after a busy 5 days at work. They produce some wonderful food and sandwiches at lunch time and the best coffee. My personal choice on a Saturday morning is their porridge. It’s just the best, thick creamy with honey, nuts and fruit, a great start to a Saturday. Eccelsall Road was once known as the “New Bond Street of the North” with its stylish shops etc. Today it’s mainly restaurants and cafés but it still has a buzz about it, especially when the university students are around. It’s a great place to have a coffee and people watch.

The Burton Street Foundation

The Alzheimers Society office in Sheffield is based at the Burton Street Foundation complex on Burton Street. The main building is a former school, probably built in Victorian times and featured in scenes from the Full Monty Film. But it’s not about the buildings, it’s what happens there. The Burton Street Foundation provide a supportive community, a safe place where people, young and old with disabilities can reach their potential. Its an amazing place which invests in it’s community, providing employment opportunities. There is a café which gives people a shared social experience along catering kitchens and a restaurant which can cater for all social functions. It’s great having a base there, you meet so many interesting people.

Park Run – Hillsborough Park

Before breakfast on a Saturday morning, I take part in the Park Run at Hillsborough Park. Park runs are amazing, bringing whole communities at different levels of running abilities together. Every Saturday morning about 400 people gather to run or walk the 5K which is 3 times around the park turning out in all weathers. Up to last October I hadn’t run since leaving school. I joined ZEST Couch to 5K running group and found the enjoyment of running and the friendly people you meet on the way.