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Independent Advisory Group – South Yorkshire Police

I was over the moon to be asked to join an Independent Advisory Group for South Yorkshire Police recently.

It is a chance to offer input on how they police our communities and how they can better meet their needs.

The Independent Advisory Group (IAG) aims to discuss the impacts of policing on different communities and look at ways in which we can improve the policing service to the diverse communities within Sheffield.

A/Chief Inspector Shak Ahmed, said: “As a member of the IAG you’ll offer us helpful and constructive criticism, helping us to build and develop an insight into the needs and wants of communities who may be under-represented in Sheffield.

“This is a chance for you to challenge the way we think and share your beliefs on how we work, to ensure our work meets the requirements of members of the community as we are keen to ensure the group reflects Sheffield’s diverse communities.”

Sam Cleasby sheffield

As someone born and bred in Sheffield I care about my community and it’s important to me for the police to be held to account and ensure that underrepresented groups’ needs are met.

I have lived experience of disability and chronic illness as well as my professional experience of working with disabled people every day.  Disabled people are notoriously underrepresented in society and often the needs of disabled people are not appreciated and so I hope I can make a difference.

As well as this my background is ethnically diverse and it’s important to me that we consider the diverse groups of people in South Yorkshire.

I love Sheffield and I care massively about the disabled community and so I just hope that I can do something good for people in South Yorkshire. I know I’ll get told off for fitting another thing into my already hectic life but it means so much to me to give something back and to help others.

My first meeting is later this month and I am so excited! Wish me luck and if you have any thoughts on how the police can be more inclusive to disabled people, please do let me know!

Sam xx

 

Crohns and Colitis UK South Yorkshire

I am really proud to be a volunteer for the South Yorkshire group of Crohns and Colitis UK.

We are a small team who all have either Crohns or ulcerative colitis and we raise awareness, raise money and offer support to local people with IBD in our area.

A few weeks ago we had a race night in Hillsborough to raise money and have a great time. We were over the moon to raise over £1000!!

Crohns and Colitis uk South Yorkshire

We were thrilled to get into the Sheffield Star too.

We put on coffee mornings, attend events and put on our own and everyone is welcome.

Our next event is this Saturday at the medical education centre at Northern General hospital in Sheffield from 1-4pm. I will be doing a talk about the emotional and mental health aspects of IBD and there will also be talks by my wonderful surgeon Mr Brown and an IBD nurse.

Everyone is welcome, please do share the event and come along if you can.

 

Sam xx

Love Festivals, hate camping?

Love the idea of a festival but loathe the reality of sleeping in a tent, washing with baby wipes and shitting in a filthy portaloo?

You want to get yourself to Tramlines!

Tramlines festival in Sheffield is an award winning, city wide festival of live music taking place on 22nd – 24th July this year and is the perfect antidote to festival tent face.  Forget glamping, it’s all about music, glitter and ridiculousness and then getting in your own lovely bed at night!

Seriously, it’s a great idea for those of us who have disabilities or illnesses where the very idea of a festival sends chills.  Camping can be tough, camping at a festival with few facilities and acres of mud between you and your toilet can be a fucking nightmare.

Tramlines is a cracking deal for a weekend of music, at just £32 for a weekend ticket, it’s a full on bargain when you look at the cost of other festivals.  You can pay that for one gig!

reverend and the makers mark tierney tramlines

Photo: Tierney Photography

Sheffield is an amazing city for culture, music and nights out, and the awesome thing about Tramlines is that it is city wide. With a main stage at Ponderosa and second stage on Devonshire Green, you get the big festival feel and a cracking line up.  But what’s even better is the loads of little venues around the city showcasing bands, artists, film and culture.

Be sure to check out the Folk Forest in Endcliffe Park and the beautiful Sheffield Cathedral, as well as all the fringe venues around the city.

Your ticket gets you a wristband that allows you into a ton of venues and you can wander around the city and soak up the brilliant atmosphere and see bands and artists you would usually not know about.

This is a real bonus for those of us with accessibility needs. Festival sites are notoriously shit for accessibility, which can really put off people with illnesses or disabilities where they gave extra needs. Being city wide means you have a wider scope of places to visit and it’s a bit easier to check them out beforehand.

tramlines festival sheffield

Tramlines has accessible viewing platforms on the main stages and if you have a carer, they can get in for free!  There are a few Changing Places in Sheffield meaning if you or your pal needs a full access toilet, you have a choice. Check out the website here. 

The line up this year is fab, I’d highly recommend it for a weekend out whether you’re a regular festival goer or a festival virgin.  Get tickets now before they sell out.  And if you want to see my lovely son playing loud guitars, head over to see Goathead at the Leadmill on the Saturday!
I’ll see you there bad asses!!!!

Love Sam xxx

tramlines festival sheffield

tramlines festival sheffield

 

tramlines festival sheffield
Disclaimer: This is not a paid post, I’ve not received any remuneration for writing about Tramlines, but my brill hubby Timm is a festival director and so I suppose I do indirectly benefit from the festival. Even if I didn’t though, I’d still highly recommend it. Cos it’s wicked. So buy a ticket. 

Sheffield Live TV

I was thrilled to be back on Sheffield Live TV last week with Simon Thake just before World IBD Day…

 

Talking Sheffield 17.05.2016 part 1 from Sheffield Live on Vimeo.

 

 

Sam xx

The Plug and CCUK 

Last year, The Plug nightclub in Sheffield got in touch with me, they’d seen my blog and the work I do and wanted to help.

They choose charities and donate the income from their guest list donations. So basically, if you are put on the guest list to see a band at The Plug, you are asked on the door for a small donation. Seems fair if you’re blagging your way in for nothing!

Anyway, they asked me who I’d like to donate to and I, of course, chose Crohns and Colitis UK.  I volunteer for the South Yorkshire branch of CCUK and so the money will go directly to the people of South Yorkshire which is just awesome!

plug sheffield charity crohns and colitis UK

I would like to thank The Plug for an astounding £732.62! This money will make a big difference and I am super proud of being part of this.

If you live in South Yorkshire and either have Crohns or Ulcerative Colitis, or if you have a close family member or friend who does and you want support and information, then please do get in touch, attend the coffee mornings and get involved!

CCUK are a charity so close to my heart, it is well worth joining the national charity for support and info and then getting involved in the group in your area.

 

Sam x

Sheffield Live TV!

I was invited onto Sheffield Live TV again to talk about this blog, Crohns and Colitis UK, Scope and the work I do.

I LOVE doing TV and radio, I used to get SO nervous but nowadays, I just really enjoy the experience.

Take a look!

Talking Sheffield 01.12.2015 part 2 from Sheffield Live on Vimeo.

 

Sam x

Feeling like crap but carrying on regardless

It’s ironic that today on World IBD day, I spent the morning at the GP surgery. For a week or so I’ve not felt quite right, increased toilet visits, urgency and a couple of accidents. I have also been struggling massively with joint pain.

I had a Twitter chat with IA Support (isn’t social media brill?!) who suggested possible Pouchitis and recommended I visit the doctors. I put it off as my anxiety over being taken back into hospital kicked in and I wanted to hide from any medical professionals but then yesterday my son held my hand and it hurt so much I had to let go.

I realised it was probably time to call the GP…

So with a temperature, bad joints, increased poos with urgency and blood and feeling like I have the flu I am so fatigued, my dr thinks the same and I have some big boy antibiotics to try and kick this bout of pouchitis in the ass.

Yet it is world IBD day which means though I’d rather be in a duvet den I am actually on the bus into Sheffield ready to go on BBC radio to talk about IBD!

Because though I am a BIG fan of listening to your body and stopping when you need to, today is just too important to me to cancel. I do everything I can to keep raising awareness, to #stoppoobeingtaboo and to help as many people as I can. And I do it all whilst fighting my own battles.

I know today I can reach a large audience of people with IBD, as well as carers, family and friends of those with Crohns or Colitis. And so I will carry on regardless because it means EVERYTHING to me to make a difference.

This shitty disease that keeps knocking me down every time I am feeling better. It has to be for a purpose. I have to believe that my life isn’t a struggle for no reason, and I choose to believe that reason is for this Sheffield lass with a big gob to help others.

And so Ill keep going today, through running to the loo and grinding aching joints and I will make a difference.

(Let’s not even DISCUSS my day trip to London tomorrow for business meetings!!!!)

Luckily I am going on holiday at the end of this week with my lovely Timm and the kids to see my fab in laws in Lanzarote. Not great timing as I’m worried about ruining the trip but at least I have some down time and can relax and rest.

Love Sam x

The 10 best things about Sheffield

I bloody love Sheffield and so thought I’d share with you the 10 best things about the mighty Sheffield… (In my humble opinion)

 

1. We breed the very best folk

Jarvis Cocker, Arctic Monkeys, Jessica Ennis to name but a few.  Sheffield is home to a huge amount of amazing people, the great Sean Bean, Joe Cocker, Michael Palin also hail from our great city.

But it’s not just the famous folk, the people of Sheffield are the warmest, funniest, most generous in all the land.  After the farce of the Sheffield Half Marathon this year (officially cancelled minutes before the start) Sheffielders came through and did us all proud with local people handing out bottles and cups of water to the runners who ran anyway.

People of Sheffield are proud and no matter where they live in the world, Sheffield is always in their hearts…

jarvis cocker best sheffield folk

Totes braggy photo of me and Jarvis…

2. The Snooker makes us all fans and experts once a year

Once a year, everyone in Sheffield becomes a snooker fan! The World Snooker Championship held at Sheffield’s mighty Crucible Theatre is a sporting highlight that shines a light on our great city.

It matters not if you never look at another snooker table for the rest of the year, throughout the championships Sheffielders are experts on 147 breaks, snooker tactics and we all DEFINITELY once saw Ronnie O’Sullivan in town…

cue ball snooker sheffield

 

 

3. We have the best music scene

Sheffield has always had strong ties to live music, we have some great larger venues, but even better smaller ones that host such a range of music that fit to all tastes…  From Corporation to The Plug, Leadmill to the The Harley.

Music in Sheffield is exciting and I believe this is because we nurture young talent, a good Sheffield band take a place in your heart and are supported strongly.  And because Sheffield is the world’s biggest village (see number 10) everyone knows everyone in the music scene… This is a nice thing! Going out in town means bumping into the who’s who of Sheffield music and collaborations and musical appreciation are rife.

Go take a look at Exposed for a foray into Sheffield music awesomeness…

Some Sheffield musicians are Arctic MonkeysBring Me the HorizonPulpDef LeppardRichard HawleyLongpigsMilburnReverend and the Makers, The Long Blondes… to name but a few!

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4. We have our own festival… Tramlines

Sheffield has it’s very own inner city Glastonbury, Tramlines festival is HUGE and takes over the whole city with venues all across Sheffield from the main stage through to bars, pubs, parks and pretty much every space going.  It’s one weekend a year where music lovers, families, hard core festival goers and festival virgins alike don a wristband and experience three days of music, arts and Sheffield love.

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5. Hendersons is KING (and we are a bunch of foodies!)

Hendersons Relish… It’s a Sheffield staple.  We hold Hendersons to our heart and have a ridiculous amount of love and pride for this spicy relish!  We sing about it, make art from it, dress up like it.  It’s as big a part of Sheffield as the now destroyed Cooling Towers (See number 9!)

“It was Mr Henry Henderson who first began manufacturing his own special type of sauce back in the late part of the 19th century. Originally manufactured at 35 Broad Lane in Sheffield, Henderson’s Relish is still being made and has been in uninterrupted production within half a mile of the site from which the first bottle was filled.”

hendersons relish art jarvis cocker

This image of Jarvis Cocker is painted in the spicy yorkshire sauce

You can buy prints of this amazing work here by Neil Antcliff.

hendersons relish sheffield

But we aren’t just about the Hendos, Sheffield is fast becoming a foodie capital with amazing places to eat.  Pub grub is so much more at The Great Gatsby by Shyboy Cantina and for something a little smarter the amazing Wasabisabi is a must.  Sheffield Food blogger Feast and Glory is a great place to look for reviews and ideas on where to eat next time you are out!

 

6. Sheffield is the greenest city in the world!

61% of Sheffield’s entire area is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District National park. There are more than 250 parks, woodlands and gardens in the city, and an estimated 2 million trees, giving Sheffield the highest ratio of trees to people of any city in Europe.  There are 4 trees to every person in Sheffield… I love that fact!!

We are currently storming ahead in a vote for Sheffield to be the best UK city for country lovers

These facts come from the Creative Sheffield site;

  • Despite its urban location almost three-quarters of the city is taken up by natural vegetation and waterways.
  • More than a third of the city is located in the Peak District National Park – no other city has a National Park within its boundary.
  • In addition you’ll find 150 woodlands and 50 public parks all within Sheffield and it is rumoured that there are 4 mature trees to every person living here!
  • Over 44 per cent of Sheffield residents live within a five minute walk of a wood and half the city’s population live within 15 minutes of the open countryside. Imagine that!

sheffield green city

7. We have our own language

After thas finished tha snap tha can av some spice, orate?

Gi’or wi thisen, thas gorra get dahn thi jennel.

Neyow.

Understood? I love the confusion on people’s faces when they listen to a full on Sheffield accent, like the Full Monty but further…

In case you were wondering the above statements say

After you have finished your food, you can have some sweets, alright?

Give over with yourself (stop yourself, calm down), you have got to go down the alleyway between two buildings.  (It is DEFINITELY a jennel and NOT a ginnel…)

 

8. We have a band who play ukeleles, make puns and swear a lot… Everly Pregnant Brothers

I love a ukelele.  I love puns.  So I was always going to love Everly Pregnant Brothers! A group of Sheffield men, including artist Pete McKee and singer ‘Big Shaun’, they play Sheffield ukelele versions of classic songs such as No Oven, No Pie (No woman, No cry) and Hendos (Yellow).

everly pregnant brothers timm cleasby the picture foundry

A Tramlines favourite, EPB are everything that is right and good in silly, funny music that doesn’t take itself too seriously…

If you are over 30, you may remember the Hole in The Road?! Yes? They sang about that too…

9. We all mourn the loss of the cooling towers

The Cooling Towers were an important part of Sheffield, the beacon on the M1 that said you were nearly home (or just getting to Meadowhall, yeah yeah I know I should probably have included Meadrall/MeadowHell or it’s many incarnations but you know, it’s just a massive shopping centre!!)

When they came down in 2008, a city mourned. There was an attempt to save them by artists, but alas they were demolished and an icon disappeared.

You can buy beautiful art prints by Jonathan Wilkinson here, seen below.

cooling towers sheffield

 

But plans to reuse the site for a £500,000 public art project are to go ahead and so perhaps we will soon have a new icon to behold!

 

10. We are the biggest village in the world!

We really are!  Despite a population of over 550,000, Sheffield manages to redeem the feeling of living in a large Village.  Perhaps because the city centre is the heart, with clusters of great areas surrounding or perhaps it is just the great people of Sheffield.  Either way, you know on a stroll through town or a wander on Ecclesall Road you will most likely bump into a lot of people you know!

views of sheffield

Sheffield just has a great feel to it, it has a character and an authenticity that Sheffielders hold close to their hearts.  It is a great place to live and whenever I have been away for a while, coming back into the city always lifts my soul and makes me smile.

 

Sheffield and proud x

 

You are So Bad Ass… Timm Cleasby

On my old blog I started a series of interviews with some of the interesting folk of Sheffield, one of them is my favourite bloke of all time, my husband, Timm.

I talk about him a lot on So Bad Ass as he is a huge part of my journey, illness and recovery and so thought it would be nice to share it here.

 

 

With a music career that spanned two decades, Timm has worked for so many bands, there are too many to mention so I’ll just mention a few of the Sheffield bands, Reverend and the Makers, Richard Hawley, Human League and Arctic Monkeys.

In early 2005 Timm started working for Arctic Monkeys, he spent the next 6 years touring the world with them, watching the band grow from a bunch of teenage kids to one of the most popular and influential bands of our generation.

Then after almost 20 years in the business, he decided he would stop.  That he wanted to do something different.

Photograph: Timm Cleasby

We have three kids together and touring 9 months of the year just got too much.  He tells me that one day he was sat in a suite in some exotic location, in the bar downstairs were a group of young, beautiful famous faces partying.  And all he wanted was to be back at home with me and the kids.  So he stopped touring…

He was interviewed by Mixed in Sheffield, about his life and work in the music industry, its a really interesting watch, take a look.

So how do you move on in your work life from touring the world with musicians? Well, we knew it had to be something that he loved.  So he took his years as an amateur photographer and put them into use.  We set up a photography company, The Picture Foundry, and have spent the last few years building it up into an amazing business where we work together every day and Timm is at home and there for his kids every day.

He also runs Responsible Fishing UK with his best friend James Brunt, creating natural art installations and working with children and young people to encourage arts and play.  He keeps his finger in the music pie as the Productions Director for Sheffield festival, Tramlines.

Let’s get to the interview…

Name, age, gender

Timm Cleasby, 40, Bloke

What do you do?

Photographer, Artist, Organiser of festivals

Photograph: Andy Willsher

How has living in Sheffield and Yorkshire affected your life and attitude?

Living in Sheffield has affected my life in so many ways, I moved here when I was 19 and from then on it’s shaped my life, from studying photography at Stradbroke college to getting dragged into the music industry gigging with local bands in the early 90’s. It’s also inspired much of my work and style in photography, I love industrial settings, probably due hanging out in too many dodgy warehouses and industrial ruins. I would have never had the opportunities I have had without being in Sheffield.

It’s affected my attitude in many ways too… coming originally from Barnsley it was a bit of a shock living in Sheffield, the multicultural nature of the city and the many characters and sub cultures that made up Sheffield in the 90’s challenged most of the conceptions I’d had living in Barnsley in such a positive way… and I’m glad it did.

Yorkshire has provided such an amazing place to live, I’ve had many chances to move away (London, Aus, USA) but I’ve always felt at home here, even though I’ve spent most of my life away Sheffield and Yorkshire has always been the place I come home to.

 

How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Grumpy, Creative, Beardy, Happy, Bloke

 

Tell me something peculiar about yourself.

I have “Dude” tattooed on my left shoulder and the owner of a tattoo shop / bar called White Trash in Berlin, Germany has “Sweet”…. Yep we were drunk.

I’m going to be a 40 year old Grandpa

I like Fish Fingers and Custard

 

 

What are your future aims?

To have an amazing photo studio in a beautiful house that we can use as locations inside and out

To be a great dad / grandpa

To reach old age with my lovely wife but still act like kids

To have my own festival with my Best pal James

 

If there were a zombie apocalypse, what would your survival plan be?

Fight, fight, fight… Gather as many tools, weapons and vehicles as I can and FIGHT.

 

 

What is your favorite thing about Sheffield?

The fact the within 20 minutes I can be in the city or amazing country side or a big shopping mall.

 

Find out more about Timm at The Picture Foundry.  Follow him on twitter, like him on Facebook.

 

 

Love Sam x

The Steel Giant and does a bad ass shit in the woods?

Today has been a big day for me in getting back to life, exercise and being outdoors. Since my j pouch operation I have had a few days out but today was the first real time I was out and about with no easy and quick toilet access and I was scared!

Physically I’m doing loads better but mentally I still struggle from time to time. I worry about having accidents, about not being able to live the life I want because of fear, I worry that I’m abnormal. But today had lifted my spirits and boosted my confidence!

I went for bike rides around Rother Valley Park today with my friend Caroline, Timm and all the kids. I only learnt how to ride a bike a few years ago so it was a bit nerve wracking but we had a fab time!!

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Then Timm, the kids and I went on a bit of an adventure, it was supposed to be a planned walk to see the Steel Giant but we were running late and missed the group. So we googled and found a ramblers walk and decided to go it alone.

Starting at Darnall train station I have to admit the start of the walk was not quite what I was expecting but as is the wonderful thing about Sheffield, within minutes we were in woodland.

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We then found The Steel Giant, a sculpture hidden away in the woods by the Sheffield Parkway.

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We had a great time exploring parts of the city we’d never seen before. Then the thing I was most frightened of happened. I was desperate for the loo… I couldn’t hold it and we were no where near any toilets. The question ‘does a bad ass shit in the woods?’ has been answered today…

You know what though? I had been stressing thinking this is the worst thing that could happen. That I’d be mortified and it would be the end of the world. Turns out it’s quite funny and now I’m telling you about it… I’m almost glad it happened as now I don’t feel stressed about it happening again. It happened, it wasn’t ideal, but I dealt with it and the world is still turning.

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I share these embarrassing things because unfortunately they are things us IBD folk have to face. But when shit happens (literally) you can either let it ruin your day or thank your lucky stars you have nappy sacks and baby wipes in your bag and laugh it off! I pick the latter…

I mean, look how pleased I am…

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So my lovely, beautiful, wonderful readers. Remember that when shit happens as long as you are a little prepared and can find your sense if humour, everything will be ok.

Much Love

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Sam xxx