OPINION: recognition is deserved

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They kept Sheffield’s steel factories running in the wake of the Second World War – but until now, the contribution of hundreds of Yemeni workers who emigrated to South Yorkshire has largely been unsung. But now, thanks to a new film called Sheffield Steel – Yemeni Dreams, city residents are learning about the vital role they played meeting the shortfall in skilled workers caused by the conflict. There are now around 100 surviving Yemeni steelworkers left, many of whom are now in their 80s, but most are likely to have vivid memories of a time when heavy industry still represented Sheffield’s economic backbone. Their stories need to be told and the film’s creators deserve praise for their worthwhile efforts.

Support for MP’s cause

The scourge of payday lenders is a well-worn tale – how they prey on the vulnerable, desperate and those easily gulled into believing they can meet extortionate rates of interest while returning borrowed money. So the proposed regulatory changes set to be brought in by the Financial Conduct Authority are welcome. Restrictions will be placed on the number of recurring payments firms are allowed to collect, and the FCA has pleged to ban misleading adverts. But, like Sheffield MP Paul Blomfield, we think the changes do not go far enough. Clear warnings and debt advice are good suggestions, but surely an outright ban on payday loans’ ludicrous interest rates is practicable and more than justified.

Be friendly

Friendship matters. So say the Oddfellows Society and they threw a fancy dress party in Sheffield to make the point. The aim was to encourage everyone to make time for friendship, something which is easy to forget but so rewarding to do. Friends can prove a lifeline in times of need and we would all do well to make more time for them.