Michele Todd is a partner in the private client department at HLW Keeble Hawson. Born in Newcastle, Michele’s family moved to South Yorkshire when she was just 18 months old, but she still supports Sunderland fervently and considers herself a Geordie.
Michele lives in Harthill with her three ‘boys’, lawyer husband Steven and cats Basil and Sylvester.
Harthill is a lovely little village featured in the Domesday Book. Surrounded by woods with its own reservoir, my village is a pleasure to come back to after a hard day’s work. My home, a former Tudor coaching inn with lots of history, has my three boys. A special mention must go to Harthill Co-Op - it’s the life and soul of the village with fantastic staff for whom nothing is too much trouble.
South Yorkshire people are so friendly! Coming from the North East, I feel it’s the same kind of atmosphere - when I get the tram we’ll all be chatting. It’s that ability to have a laugh and a joke that is unique to the North. Probably growing up with my mum on our own, I have a particular heart for older people who can often find themselves alone.
Weston Park Hospital
To some extent, I have to say this hospital and its charity have changed my life. Being an only child, when my mum died suddenly of ovarian cancer in 2008, in some ways I felt cast adrift. Rachel Thorpe, charity director at Weston Park, contacted me and gave me the opportunity to be part of it.
I value the chance to help others who are so ill. I’m frantically fundraising for the new chemotherapy suite at the moment. We keep families together a bit longer - mum and I only had six weeks from diagnosis to her death and you can’t put a price on that time.
Sheffield’s food scene
Sheffield has come on in leaps and bounds in terms of places to eat. And drink, from the likes of the lovely Old Vicarage at Ridgeway, to Seven Spices for a quick curry. For me, you just can’t beat Mamas and Leonies. This Italian restaurant in Tudor Square offers a sense of comfort. It’s been there for so long and the food is always lovely and feels authentic.
I love the fact that I can get a little bit of the V & A here in Sheffield. The Vivienne Westwood Collection was a particular favourite. She and Karl Lagerfeld are my favourite designers - a lot of fashion designers now come from an art background, but these guys know how to cut cloth.
It may not be the biggest bookshop, or as cheap as the internet, but for me Waterstones in Orchard Square is a lovely place to be. Half an hour of quiet browsing is great therapy away from the crowds and the noise – an oasis of serenity in the city centre. I love reading and let’s face it, at Christmas you can’t go wrong with a book!
Old Cathedral Vicarage office
My firm has two offices in Sheffield and another in Leeds and Doncaster, but the Old Cathedral Vicarage office in St James Row is my favourite, and the staff make it the friendliest place I have ever worked. We all get on really well, I have lovely clients and there is a great sense of history about the place. They aren’t the smartest offices - you’d never find us being the set of a high profile legal drama, but when we have a party to put the Christmas decorations up or the carols drift through the door as the choir practices in winter, it’s special.
View from the Halfway tram
This view makes Sheffield feel like home to me. Before I finally got a parking space in town, I spent five years sitting on the tram to and from work. On a summer’s morning, you can see that lovely view of the city you don’t notice nearly so much driving a car. You can really see how green our city is.