The Sheffield estate where community spirit is thriving

Community spirit is alive and well on one Sheffield estate - having been rekindled by a former pub landlord and landlady who moved to the area six years ago.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 1:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 3:40 pm

When Sue Underhay, the former landlady of the Sherwood pub in Frechville, moved to the Carpenter Gardens estate near Base Green with her husband Michael, most people kept themselves to themselves.

However, after Michael - or Murphy as he is now affectionately known - got talking to neighbours outside their flat, the neighbourly couple made a big effort to change all that.

The estate now holds coffee mornings at their community centre twice a week - every Tuesday and Friday - with around 25-30 people attending each one.

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Carpenter Gardens estate coffee morning.

And they also go on twice-yearly trips to destinations including Scarborough and York Christmas markets - and even had a special festive meal and drinks at the Fairway Inn in Frechville earlier this month.

Sue, now aged 70, said: “We started just with a bit of cooking and teas and coffees but it has gone from strength to strength.

“For some of the people who come down, it is the only time they get out.

“They come dressed up and say it is the thing that gets them out of the house.

Carpenter Gardens estate coffee morning.

“You don’t realise how horrible loneliness is until it happens to you.

“We’ve recently been poorly and the thought of being ill when you are on your own is just horrible.

“People who lived next door to each other had never met before this.

“It has made a proper community.”

Carpenter Gardens estate coffee morning.

And Sue says the community spirit that her and Michael, aged 72, have helped foster is now so strong that when she recently underwent a breast cancer operation, the people who they had helped pulled together for her.

“One of my neighbours came round to do all my ironing,” she said.

“And when I went back to the coffee morning after missing a week after I’d had my operation, they made me sit down and let other people do everything.

“But that is just how everybody is. It is so lovely - and it is a really big team effort.”

Carpenter Gardens estate coffee morning.
Carpenter Gardens estate coffee morning.