Community centre renamed in honour of former Sheffield MP

Harpham sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2016
Harpham sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2016
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A community centre has been renamed in honour of the former Brightside and Hillsborough MP Harry Harpham.

The Brushes Community Centre in Firth park was renamed on Saturday, June 9, after the late MP who died in 2016 following a short battle with cancer.

Gill Furniss MP opens the newly named Harry Harpham Community Centre after her late husband with Paul Blomfield MP and Cllr Julie Dore

Gill Furniss MP opens the newly named Harry Harpham Community Centre after her late husband with Paul Blomfield MP and Cllr Julie Dore

The new Harry Harpham Community Centre was officially opened during a small event hosted by his widow, Gill Furniss MP.

Various people attended the event including councillor Julie Dore, and labour politician Paul Blomfield MP.

The opening coincided with the launch of the Harry Harpham Foundation, which will raise money for community projects - particularly focusing on those projects with a positive impact on young people through sports – in the Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough Constituency.

Harpham was once a coal miner, and stood with miners on the picket line during a year long strike in 1984.

Gill Furniss MP opens the newly named Harry Harpham Community Centre after her late husband with Paul Blomfield MP and Cllr Julie Dore

Gill Furniss MP opens the newly named Harry Harpham Community Centre after her late husband with Paul Blomfield MP and Cllr Julie Dore

He was elected as an MP for Brightside and Hillsborough in the 2015 general election, and was succeeded by his wife Gill Furniss, the labour candidate who won the by-election caused by his death.

Speaking after the event, Gill Furniss said: ‘’I was honoured and touched by all those who attended the event to mark the launch of the Foundation and the re-naming of the Community Centre after Harry.

"It was an intimate event, but with a great turn out which spoke volumes about how many people Harry truly connected with and made a huge impact on through his life.

"There were numerous speeches from friends and colleagues who shared their personal memories of Harry as they knew him – I was touched by their contributions.

Gill Furniss MP opens the newly named Harry Harpham Community Centre after her late husband with Paul Blomfield MP,

Gill Furniss MP opens the newly named Harry Harpham Community Centre after her late husband with Paul Blomfield MP,

"Ultimately, Harry loved Sheffield and he worked so hard to ensure that everybody, especially young people had opportunities available to them.

"Although Harry was taken from us too soon, I hope the Foundation and the Community Centre which have been set up in his name will provide support and opportunities for young people in our communities – I know Harry would be proud of that.’’

David Blunkett, formerly MP for Brightside and Hillsborough and a dear friend to Harry, also attended the event.

He said: “I was overjoyed when Harry succeeded me as the MP for Brightside and Hillsborough, in typical Sheffield tradition he was a working man who took his fight for local people all the way to Westminster.


‘’A trusted MP, he truly represented everyone one in the constituency and he would be overwhelmed that his local community centre has been renamed in his honour; a fitting and lasting tribute to his roots in the community along with a local charity set up in his name.

‘’His time was cut too short but the great work of the Community Centre and the Harry Harpham Foundation will ensure we will not forget him.”

To donate the Harry Harpham Foundation visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/sycf/harryharpham