How coronavirus lockdown has brought neighbours on 'the best street in Sheffield' together

A Sheffield road has pulled together during the Covid-19 nationwide shutdown, offering to do each other’s shopping, picking up prescriptions and raising £500 for local charities.

Sunday, 24th May 2020, 9:54 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 1:27 pm

While the government attempts to ease the country out of lockdown, many vulnerable and high risk people across the UK are still self-isolating to avoid catching the coronavirus. One community in the city has united and rallied around their neighbours who most need help during the shutdown, earning them the self professed title of ‘the best street in Sheffield’.

Neighbours on Leebrook Avenue in Owlthorpe, have offered to do each other’s shopping, pick up prescriptions and donated bags of toiletries to coronavirus hospital wards in Sheffield and Rotherham during the lockdown.

The community, who set up their own group chat to keep in contact during pandemic, have also raised over £500 for local worthy causes by holding socially-distanced raffles, quizzes and auctions.

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Neighbours on Leebrook Avenue in Owlthorpe have labelled themselves 'the best street in Sheffield'.

Residents also raised £150 for St Luke’s Hospice – a cause close to the community’s heart as they cared for one neighbour before he died.

Mortgage adviser Katherine Stagg, who helped set up the Leebrook Avenue group chat, explained how things have changed since lockdown.

"We said hello to each other in passing before but it's amazing how we have all come together as one unit”, she said.

"Now we make sure if next door is alright and if they need anything.

People on the street dressed up to honour the 75th anniversary of VE Day earlier this month.

"I think before it was just a general 'you alright' but now you want to make more conversation because you don't see your own friends and family.

"I don't think we will ever forget living on this road, definitely not.”

The 40-year-old said she was inspired alongside committee members, Lynda Clarke and Asa Fitzpatrick, to do something to help hospital staff and Covid-19 patients after one of their neighbours contracted the virus.

Leebrooke Avenue resident Karl Thomas, who is now recovering from coronavirus, received treatment from the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

The street pulled together to raise donations for Covid-19 patients in hospital.

“He was really poorly and so we kept his spirits up through the group chat and decided to donate bags of toiletries to the wards”, Katherine added.

“He returned home when we were doing the national anthem on VE Day and he walked up the street and everyone started crying.

"He was in tears when he came up to me and he said if he didn't have this group and the words of support then he wouldn't have seen a way through.

"He said the spirits of this road kept him going while he was in hospital, it was honestly so emotional, he cried.”

Committee member, Asa Fitzpatrick dressed up to commemorate VE Day.

Despite the government’s lockdown easing plans, allowing people to have unlimited amounts of daily exercise and make extensive car journeys, the road shows no sign of slowing their fundraising.

Last week, neighbours decorated their houses to replicate a pub for their street-wide, socially distanced quiz to raise more money for charity.

Katherine said: “It's made us all feel part of a big extended family.

"There's not one person on this group who wouldn't do something for somebody else whether that's getting their prescription, going to the supermarket or helping them borrow something.

"Everyone has tried to help.”

Katherine Stagg, co-founded the road's group chat which has lifted the community's spirits during lockdown.
Lynda Clarke helped to set up the road's community group which has allowed them to keep in contact during the crisis.