Tag Archives: Rotherham

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.


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.


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.


This news story was self-published in August 2011.

Mental health charity aims to raise awareness of bullying

Rotherham Mind hope to raise awareness of bullying. Image courtesy of Pimkie via Flickr.

A mental health charity has announced a number of courses that will improve understanding of targeted bullying in Rotherham.

Rotherham Mind, based at 101 Effingham Street in Rotherham Town Centre, has launched a series of ‘Understanding Targeted Bullying’ courses – which will raise awareness of homophobic, racist and disability-related bullying.

“Positive mental health”

The charity, who are part of the national Mind charity, have developed the sessions in response to proactive work by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council in developing robust anti-bullying standards.

These day-long courses will be held on Tuesday 1 November 2011 and Tuesday 7 February 2012 from 9.30am to 4pm.

Nikki Ellen, Rotherham Mind’s Mental Health Trainer, said: “To the best of our knowledge, there are no other local Mind Associations in the country who delivers a similarly comprehensive training programme about young people’s mental health issues.

“Our courses are of direct benefit to the staff who attend because they provide a range of strategies for how to combat each of these types of bullying, are delivered by a teacher who has firsthand experience of dealing with the reality of these different types of bullying and it also raises delegates’ awareness of the prevalence and mental health consequences of each type of bullying.

“Positive mental health is the foundation for achievement at school and work – and also for happy, successful relationships.

“Bullying – through the fear, anxiety and isolation it causes – has a detrimental cost to both the individual and wider society.”

Reducing homophobic bullying

The courses are aimed at frontline professionals who are working with children that are being bullied and Rotherham Mind are aiming to address these issues by discussing strategies that will combat bullying.

The course was influenced by Stonewall’s 2007 report into the reality of school life where, for the majority of LGBT students, homophobic bullying is the second most prevalent form of bullying, after weight-related bullying.

Rotherham Mind are also holding an additional short course about homophobic bullying on Tuesday 20 March 2012 from 4pm to 5.30pm.

“Most teachers have received no or minimal training on how to deal with homophobic bullying or how to address the high incidence of homophobic language in the classroom,” said Ms Ellen.

“We thought it [is] necessary to begin to address these issues and raise awareness of how learning in a homophobic environment is detrimental for everyone because it breeds a lack of respect and tolerance, [which are] essential components of a cohesive society.

“We also wanted frontline professionals to understand how homophobic bullying can lead to truancy, underachievement and an increased risk of suicide, self-harm and depression.

“The current problems surrounding these forms of bullying are complex and varied.

“The majority of young lesbian, gay and bisexual students are unable to report homophobic bullying because they haven’t even come out, and so they have to suffer in silence.”

Highlighting vulnerability

The charity, which provides community mental health support across Rotherham, has trained over 150 delegates so far and these courses will ensure that even more delegates will be made aware of different types of bullying.

They are also holding two additional short courses about racist bullying on Tuesday 6 December 2011 from 4pm to 5.30pm and about disability-related bullying on Tuesday 28 February 2012 from 4pm to 5.30pm.

It is hoped the courses would help to reduce the amount of young people who are bullied because they have Asperger’s Syndrome.

Ms Ellen added: “We felt it [is] important to highlight how vulnerable a young person, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, is to being bullied and to provide frontline staff with an opportunity to learn how the unique characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome can make that young person more likely to be bullied by their peers.

“For example, a difficulty with reading social cues and an inability to lie can make that young person more likely to be bullied by their peers.

“Racist bullying is an area which most staff was aware of but wanted more strategies to equip them for how to deal with it.

“For young people with Asperger’s Syndrome, they may not even know that they are even bullied.

“And, for young people experiencing racist bullying, their experience of racism is often so all pervasive that, unless a white member of staff declares their anti-racism position, they may assume that there will be no action.

“Their experience may be compounded by racism from the wider community and popular press.”

Booking a place

The day-long courses are priced at £40 for delegates working in the Rotherham area and £80 for delegates working outside of Rotherham, while the short courses are priced at £18 for delegates working in the Rotherham area and £36 for delegates working outside of Rotherham.

All places must be booked by the day before the course’s start date.

For further information or to make a booking, contact Lee Wilkes, Rotherham Mind’s Administration Officer, on lee@rotherhammind.co.uk or 01709 554755.


This news story was self-published in August 2011.

100 years of Scouting marked with Cub Pack reformation

Scouts, Cubs and Beavers provide indoor and outdoor activities for young people. Image courtesy of Anja Johnson via Fickr.

A century of Scouting in Rotherham has been marked with the reopening of the Woodsetts Cub Pack.

The Rotherham Scouting Division was founded in 1911 and, since then, it has provided indoor and outdoor activities for young people aged from six years.

The division currently provides 16 Scouting troops in Rotherham districts – such as Brecks Lane, Kimberworth, Maltby, Rawmarsh and Swinton – and there are also several Cub Packs and Beaver Colonies in the town.

Explorer Scout sessions have also been introduced, which are aimed at young people aged from 14 to 18 years.

It is the fourth section of Scouting and involves weekends away, where they have completed the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and the Three Peaks Challenge.

Henry Tompkin, Rotherham Scouting Division’s District Administrator, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Scouting in Rotherham has continued for 100 years and we have organised a number of great events to celebrate.

“The highlight, of which, will be our District Camp at Walesby, which is to take place [from Friday] September 16 to [Sunday] September 18.

“Over the years, scout groups have come and gone – but we are delighted to know that one group existed in 1911 and still runs to day – that being the first [and] formerly 14th Rotherham-based [group] at Kimberworth.

“Scouting remains popular as it provides an active and stimulating programme, which proves attractive to our many young members – as well as the many adults who offer their time and service to ensure that scouting can continue in Rotherham.

“We hope that all who are members of Scouting become better citizens from the experience.”

Re-opening the Pack

To mark the 100th anniversary of Scouts in Rotherham, the Cubs Pack in Woodsetts will be reopened next month.

Cubs are aimed at children – aged between eight and ten-and-half years – who come together to learn through crafts, visits and outdoor activities.

They also have the opportunity to attend Cub camps, and can attain 33 activity and seven challenge badges.

The pack will restart on Monday 12 September in Woodsetts Methodist Church, which adjoins the Rotherham Scouting Division Headquarters.

Mr Tompkin said that, although the pack is likely to begin with a relatively low number of Cubs, it will be allowed to build up, as the new leaders become more experienced.

“Woodsetts had a cub pack before, but this was forced to close when the leader at the time was unable to continue,” he added.

“Now a new leader has stepped forward and she, along with an assistant she has recruited, has completed her training and assisted by members of the District Team in the short term, she will take over the running of the new pack.

“There has been a very favourable response to the announcement that the pack will recommence and quite a lot of interest has emerged.

“Having the pack will mean that recruitment into the existing scout troop should improve [and] hopefully, in the long run, a Beaver Colony will also be re-started – that too having to close, through lack of leaders.”


This news story was self-published in August 2011.

Sessions for wildlife enthusiasts become school holiday hit

RSPB Dearne Valley’s nature reserve includes grasslands, butterflies, orchids and ducklings.

A pilot wildlife activity has been popular with young people this summer.

Conservation charity RSPB Dearne Valley has been running weekly Tuesday Tales sessions during the school summer holidays, which allows children and parents to listen to tales of wildlife at the RSPB Dearne Valley’s Old Moor reserve.

The sessions have the aim of sparking the imaginations of young wildlife enthusiasts and are currently run by volunteers.

Julia Makin, Visitor Experience Officer at RSPB Dearne Valley, said that despite a lack of promotion, each session has attracted approximately ten children and their parents.

“We are lucky enough to have a volunteer who is training to be a professional storyteller,” she added.

“Chris Fitt and her husband, Bob, volunteer in a number of capacities here on the reserve, but this special talent is one that we are fully exploiting.

“We thought that it would be a really nice way to enhance the reserve experience for our younger visitors.

“All the stories have a wildlife theme, and involve music and rhyme too.

“Chris and Bob choose which stories, songs and rhymes to sing depending on the age of the audience in front of them.”

Exploring the reserve

There are three 30-minute sessions that are held every Tuesday at 11am, 1pm and 2pm.

Children and parents, who have attended the sessions, have also had the opportunity to explore the reserve that includes grasslands, butterflies, orchids and ducklings.

They can also enjoy the Kids Go Wild adventure playground – which includes climbing frames, swings and slides – and can hire Wildlife Explorer backpacks from the reserve’s shop that provides bug jars, binoculars and guidebooks.

Although Tuesday Tales is a pilot scheme that ends on Tuesday 30 August, a further session will be held during the autumn half-term break on Tuesday 25 October.

Ms Makin said: “Participants, parents and children alike seem to really enjoy it. Chris’ style is very inclusive and most people are captivated.

“Feedback has mentioned how much it has added something to the day out and kept people on the reserve for longer.

“It encourages reading, writing, music and imaginative exploration. It puts them in a receptive and proactive mindset for self-guided activity on the reserve, such as wildlife spotting.

“It helps to attract and engage a new family audience, which is key for the RSPB and its sustainability in the future.”

Entry to each session is charged at £3 for adults and £1.50 for children, but there will be no entry fee for RSPB members and all places will need to be reserved.

For further information, contact RSPB Dearne Valley on Old.moor@rspb.org.uk or 01226 751593.


This news story was self-published in August 2011.

Clifton church to put together musical production in six days

The first West End production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ was in 1973.

An ambitious project, that aims to prepare and put on a musical production in under a week, starts tomorrow at a local church.

St James Church, located at Cambridge Street in Clifton, is holding a production of Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir Tim Rice’s musical ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ next week.

The church is looking for volunteers from Year 3 or above at school to come along and take part in the production.

The main role of Joseph is still open, and the church is looking for other performers – including actors, singers and dancers.

They are also requiring young backstage hands, as they will be making costumes and scenery for the production.

Preparations start tomorrow

Preparations for the production start on Monday 22 August at 10am – which will include auditions, rehearsals, costume making and set design.

The production will be performed publicly at St James’ Church on Saturday 27 August at 7pm.

The play is based on the Biblical story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis and confirmed performers include the recently formed Clifton Youth Choir.

Reverend Abi Thompson, the vicar of St James Church, said: “St James has a strong musical tradition, and is working particularly hard at the moment to provide a place where young people can make music together in a way that is fun and allows children from across the community to make new friends.

“The Clifton Youth Choir was launched in January 2011, and the ‘Joseph’ project seemed a good way of providing a holiday activity to bring together current members of the choir and potential new members who love to sing songs from the shows and dance and perform.

“I visited schools before the holidays began to talk about the project and encourage people to get involved.

“There seemed to be lots of enthusiasm – [we are] just hoping they haven’t forgotten about it.

“We have volunteers already planning costumes and set designs, and the collection of brightly coloured fabric to make the ‘Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ is going well.”

A community project

Reverend Thompson said that the production is a way for getting young theatre enthusiasts involved a community project.

She added that, although putting together a musical production in under a week is a challenge, the project will demonstrate their skills and talents to Rotherham residents.

“[It’s] terrifying. But I think the people of Rotherham are up for a challenge,” she explained.

“It’s an opportunity to create something incredible in a week – to be part of a real challenge, which will truly be something to proud of. It’s a chance to meet new people, too.

“I know how the summer holidays can begin to drag at this stage. I’m hoping it will provide something really different to do.

“We need loads of energy and enthusiasm, and a whole range of gifts and talents.

“It’s not just actors and singers, but backstage hands and costume makers, set designers, and people who are good at making sure there is always a cup of tea available!”

Any young volunteers, who are interested in taking part in the production, should turn up at St James Church on Monday 22 August at 10am, where roles will be found for everyone.

There will also be no admission charge for the public performance, but attendees can make a donation towards the cost of the project.

For further information about the play, contact Reverend Thompson on rev.abi.thompson@gmail.com or 01709 363082.


This news story was self-published in August 2011.