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Video interview: SYCIL (September 2013)

In this video interview, Kim Nightingale, SYCIL’s [South Yorkshire Centre for Inclusive Living] Support Worker, discusses how Rotherham Community Transport‘s services have helped to improve the well-being of her clients.

A version of this interview was shown at Rotherham Community Transport’s management group meeting on Wednesday 18 September 2013.

Many thanks to Stephen Hewitson for co-conducting the interview.

Video interview: SYCIL (September 2013) from Chris Ledger on Vimeo.

Video interview: Shopper Bus (July 2013)

In this video interview, Rita Alderton talks about the benefits of using Rotherham Community Transport‘s Shopper Bus service.

A version of this interview was shown at Rotherham Community Transport’s management group meeting on Wednesday 18 September 2013.

Many thanks to Dave Cooper for co-conducting the interview.

Video Interview: Shopper Bus (July 2013) from Chris Ledger on Vimeo.

Champions Matchday clipping: FC Schalke 04 versus Galatasaray AŞ

In February 2013, I attended a week-long work placement at Champions Matchday, the official UEFA Champions League magazine.

During that week, I performed several tasks including writing sidebars about football teams and players.

One sidebar – regarding the second leg of FC Schalke 04 and Galatasaray AŞ’s round of 16 tie – was published in an exclusive stadium edition of the magazine.

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Champions Matchday clipping: FC Bayern München versus Arsenal FC

In February 2013, I attended a week-long work placement at Champions Matchday, the official UEFA Champions League magazine.

During that week, I performed several tasks including writing sidebars about football teams and players.

One sidebar – regarding the second leg of FC Bayern München and Arsenal FC’s round of 16 tie – was published in an exclusive stadium edition of the magazine.

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Rotherham business awards to be held in October

The Barnsley & Rotherham Business Awards are held every year. Image courtesy of Penn State via Flickr.

Details of an award ceremony, which will honour the achievements of South Yorkshire businesses, have been announced.

The Barnsley & Rotherham Business Awards will take place at the Magna Science & Adventure Centre on Friday 21 October.

It has been organised by the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce, which helps to support entrepreneurship and inter-trading.

“The Chamber holds the awards because our knowledge of the Barnsley and Rotherham business communities means we are in an ideal position to run an event, which truly celebrates the achievements of businesses on our patch,” said Francis Hall, the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce’s PR and Communications Executive.

“The Chamber has held a business awards ceremony for over 20 years, during which time our local firms have produced some fantastic examples of business success throughout the various challenges that different economic climates have provided.

“It is always fantastic to see these companies, and the people driving their success, rewarded for their superb accomplishments.”

The deadline approaches

The awards are expected to attract hundreds of guests who are keen to acknowledge South Yorkshire’s business scene and entries are now being accepted in ten categories, which include the Most Promising New Business Award and the Green Business Award.

Other awards are focused at specific industries such as the Excellent in Manufacturing Award, Excellence in Customer Service Award and Innovation & Technology in Business Award.

Mr Hall said that, even though the deadline for entries is Friday 23 September, there has already been a healthy amount of submissions, which are expected to gather pace once the summer holiday season is over.

He added: “From early September onwards, there is a whirlwind of activity as the entry deadline approaches.

“There is around a week for all the categories to be judged and for the shortlisted companies to be finalised, then it’s all about guessing who will win on the big night.

“There seems to be a tendency for South Yorkshire people and businesses to be rather coy about the great things they are doing.

“When you find out exactly what our businesses are doing, you realise how proud we should be of their achievements.

“Over the last three years, we have heard so much negativity with regard to the state of the economy and, while there is no doubt companies have faced serious challenges in that time, there are local businesses who have responded admirably and are thriving.

“The awards ceremony sends out the message that there are companies in our area who are shining examples of how businesses should operate, and that it isn’t all doom and gloom when it comes to our economy.”

Tickets for the award ceremony are priced at £60 plus VAT or £550 plus VAT for a table of ten to Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce members, and those who are not members can purchase tickets for £70 plus VAT or £650 plus VAT for a table of ten.

To purchase tickets for the ceremony or to download an entry form for the awards, please visit the Barnsley & Rotherham Chamber of Commerce website.

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This news story was self-published in August 2011.

Local arts organisation seeking artists to fill studios

The Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance is located at Corporation Street in Rotherham Town Centre.

A local arts organisation is seeking artists to fill spaces in their new studios, which will open in late 2011.

The Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance [ROAR], which was founded by professional artists in 2003, are currently refurbishing the second floor of the Westgate Chambers Building, after receiving a grant from the People’s Millions Big Lottery Fund in November 2010.

They qualified for the Bonus Award of £50,000, after securing the position of the highest voted runner-up in the People’s Millions contest.

The award enabled funding for their Artists’ Studios and Community Art Space, which will convert the top floor complex of Westgate Chambers into studios and community resource spaces.

Raising artists’ profile

Work on the refurbished building started in March – which is expected to be completed in November – and applications are now open for artists, who are wishing to rent any of the six art studios in the building.

“We wish to raise the profile of the project and let artists out there know that studio spaces are available for the first time, we believe, in Rotherham Town Centre,” said Karen Sherwood, the CEO of ROAR.

“Although the studios are currently almost all taken, we will, of course, need to create a waiting list as artists change their minds, have a change of circumstances [or] might leave and we want to make sure this is a fully sustainable project with a coherent business model.

“We are looking for this development to be home to the creative practitioners that need it.

“We, therefore, expect that it will be occupied and used by artists working across all disciplines [including] visual arts, performing arts, musicians, poets, circus artists, creative writers [and] dancers.”

Lots of excitement

The building will also include a reception area, shared kitchen, broadband WiFi and individual electric supply, and there will be the opportunity for the artists’ work to be exhibited.

Ms Sherwood said that there has already been interest in the available studios and a number of core tenants have been confirmed.

She explained: “[There’s been] lots of excitement in the artistic community mixed with a degree of scepticism, as one might expect, [and] with many high hopes that this may just be the catalyst needed to re-invigorate and re-ignite interest in and passion for the arts across all its forms.

“ROAR will use this development as a base for its operations [and] as an arts development agency.

“If ROAR works successfully as an arts development agency, then it will be there to nurture and develop existing talent – not just for those working in the building, but for anyone working in the arts anywhere in the Rotherham borough.

“ROAR believes that the arts can and do have economic and social benefits for the wider community, and that the arts should play a vital role in the regeneration of Rotherham.

“ROAR knows [that] plenty of talent exists in Rotherham and wants all those talented people to understand that you do not have to leave Rotherham to become and remain successful.

“Support where it is needed is what ROAR aims to achieve.”

The rental rate per annum for artists’ studio spaces is expected to be around £6 per square foot, inclusive of rates, and the deadline for applications is on Sunday 28 August.

For further information on the project, contact Ms Sherwood on karen@rotherhamroar.org or 01709 252535.

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This news story was self-published in August 2011.

Royal Shakespeare Company confirms visit to Rotherham

The Royal Shakespeare Company will be performing ‘Hamlet’ twice at the Magna Science & Adventure Centre.

The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) has confirmed that they are visiting schools and other venues in Rotherham this autumn.

The visit to Rotherham is part of the RSC’s nationwide tour of ‘Hamlet‘ to schools and theatre venues, and starts a new way of reaching audiences who may not normally have access to their work.

There will be daytime performances in schools for young people, and evening and weekend performances that are aimed at families and the wider community.

The RSC will be visiting Wickersley School and Sports College on Tuesday 4 October, Wales High School on Wednesday 5 October and Winterhill School on Thursday 6 October.

Two evening and weekend performances will be held at the Magna Science & Adventure Centre on Friday 7 October at 7.30pm and Saturday 8 October at 2pm.

Most of the visits to the schools will be followed by a schools workshop, led by the actors, and a Q&A session should also accompany the performances.

Benefiting young people

The tour marks a special occasion for the RSC because, although they have visited schools in Rotherham before, it is the first time that they have visited the town as part of a nationwide tour.

It is part of the RSC’s Learning and Performance Network – which aims to provide schools with a sustained relationship with the RSC, provide innovative and professional development opportunities for teachers, and ensures that all students within the programme has a positive experience of Shakespeare.

The visit to the town will be co-presented by Inspire Rotherham, which is a local authority that aims to ensure that young people in Rotherham are accurate and fluent in literacy, oracy and written skills by the age of 11 years.

Inspire Rotherham have helped to put the RSC into contact with various schools in Rotherham and the tour will introduce young people to texts by Shakespeare.

It is also hoped that it will further young people’s learning and development in the future.

“When I went to call Inspire [Rotherham], they are very excited and the schools have been brilliant,” said Lizzie Rawlinson, the RSC’s Education Partnerships Co-Ordinator.

“They are thrilled to have us and we are thrilled, as well. Everyone is excited about this new way of working.

“It’s been great: ticket sales have been going well, children are excited, and Magna have done a great job in getting families involved.

“It has been 100% successful, so far. They will get the opportunity of seeing a professional production in a venue that is accessible.

“They can’t always visit productions in Rotherham and Sheffield, and this will give them the opportunity to see a production on their doorstep.

“They’re a great introduction to Shakespeare and it doesn’t matter if they’re not into Shakespeare, as they are great for families and children.”

Tickets for the RSC’s performances at the Magna Science & Adventure Centre are available to the public, and tickets cost £10 per adult and £5 per child.

They can be booked via Magna’s box office on their website or 01709 720002.

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This news story was self-published in August 2011.