Why I am determined to become an official Sheffielder

Every working day, Miriam Francos gets to see magic happen. From wrestling to board games, she tells us what she loves about Sheffield.

Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 9:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 6:08 pm
Miriam's 'idea of heaven' is being in the Treehouse cafe.
Miriam's 'idea of heaven' is being in the Treehouse cafe.

One of her tasks as senior communications officer at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in North Anston is to photograph the magic moments staff create for hospice children and their families.

Miriam, 25, joined Bluebell Wood three years ago, after gaining a degree in anthropology. She lives in Doncaster, but is determined to become a Sheffielder: “I’ve loved the city’s cosmopolitan vibe since I was a teenager and spend most of my weekends exploring there,” said Miriam, who is saving up to buy her first house in the city.

Treehouse Board Game Cafe

Feature on the Great Escape Game in Sheffield. The Alcatraz room. Photo: Chris Etchells

I followed the build of this café with anticipation, after reading about it on social media back in 2017.

When I was at university in Kent my housemates and I loved trying out new board games, which people might think is unusual for students, but I’d recommend it as a really good way of making friends and finding out about each other’s personalities.

I have been going to the café since it opened, and my family took my dad, an avid board game player, for his birthday. My favourite board games are co-operative ones, such as Pandemic and Forbidden Desert. On a Saturday, hanging out in Sheffield and having over 300 games to choose from is my idea of heaven.

Tabby Teas Cat Cafe

My family has always had cats, and I hoped a cafe would come to Sheffield.

The staff at Tabby’s are really friendly, and so are the ten or so cats who live there and lounge around all over the place while you eat cake. It’s really relaxing to be amongst them and their antics make for great Instagram shots - my favourite is Jigglelump, a big fluffy marmalade who reminds me of Ninja, my childhood cat.

SheFest at the Crucible

SheFest was launched in 2016 by a group of female social entrepreneurs. The aim is to celebrate and empower local women and promote gender equality, and to increase the number and diversity of women engaging in International Women’s Day celebrations.

I attended this International Women’s Day fringe festival two years ago. I am a feminist and am passionate about women’s rights. I like events where women can speak openly in a supportive space and I left really impressed - with new friends, a new business contact and a big confidence-boost. Everyone was full of positivity, which I found inspiring.

Mamma’s and Leonie’s

I absolutely love this restaurant- I’ve been going ever since I was in primary school. It was where my mum and dad used to go when they were dating and it’s been the backdrop to many of our family celebrations – from A level results to birthdays.

Temple Night Club and the City Hall

These venues couldn’t really be more different, but they have both been home to Breed Pro Wrestling shows, run by the home-grown professional wrestling company based in Sheffield. I’ve been a fan of wrestling for about six years and I was introduced by a friend at university. Initially, I was a bit sceptical, but the theatre of it really drew me in.

Whether you’re watching a high-octane match between wrestlers who have been feuding with each other for months, or a comedy match with larger-than-life characters, you get really involved. Their motto is ‘positive mental attitude’ and they are all about good mental health and wrestling is a positive influence.

The Great Escape Game

This Vicar Lane destination is where the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice staff held a recent get-together.

I didn’t expect to spend my morning attempting to escape from a submarine with my manager and some of the hospice care team, but that’s what we did.

I’m not the best at puzzles but I was able to suss out at least one of the clues. Though, to our shame, we didn’t manage to escape the room before our time ran out.