Today’s Star columnist: Patrick Meleady

UGC Columnist Patrick Mileady
UGC Columnist Patrick Mileady
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Having returned to working in Burngreave after 15 years I was dismayed to hear people in influential positions putting down the area.

Just as 20 years before I found these perceptions to be incorrect. Sadly there presents to be a prevailing view of Burngreave in terms of deficit and decay and yet it is one of the most valuable assets that Sheffield has, full of wonderful people and excellent services.

Until the 18th century, much of Burngreave was agricultural land except for a number of woods and a mediaeval institution, the St Leonard hospital.

During the 18th and 19th centuries Burngreave became a sought-after location for many of Sheffield’s industrialists and professionals. In the late 19th and early 20th century and beyond, Burngreave underwent residential development to house steel, tool and cutlery workers.

Burngreave has had changes in its population, making it the most vibrant and diverse communities in South Yorkshire. It has for generations been home to the white English community and has welcomed and embraced new minority ethnic members.

In our diverse society, being inclusive and meeting the needs of all communities is fundamental. It is also a means of creating and sustaining, a better society.

Burngreave provides lessons for other areas on how to ensure communities and neighbourhoods are places in which people from all backgrounds can live, learn, socially engage and work in cohesion, while responding to challenges such as services for our children, families and older people, improving neighborhoods, exchanging ideas, and drawing on the best of each person’s talents and experiences to secure better outcomes for all. A sense of belonging and cohesion among all groups is striven for. It is a vibrant community, containing the best of old and new Sheffield – where differences and commonalities are valued and celebrated and social participation promoted.

Pitsmoor Adventure Playground typifies the spirit and greatness of Burngreave, with the area’s children playing together and learning from each other and its families taking on gigantic challenges against all the odds but winning through.