Staff swap office for overalls in Sheffield club revamp

Volunteers at Darnall Youth Centre taking a breather from revamp work
Volunteers at Darnall Youth Centre taking a breather from revamp work
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A little help has gone a long way for a youth club in one of Sheffield’s most deprived areas.

The young people of Darnall are enjoying a newly-revamped centre thanks to the local businesses who offered manpower and expertise as part of Give and Gain day.

An army of volunteers from John Lewis, DLA Piper, Lloyds Banking Group, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield International Venues, Demex and Irwin Mitchell swapped their usual work attire for overalls in a day-long project to refurbish the community space.

Youngsters from Handsworth Grange School and Sheffield Park Academy also rolled up their sleeves to do their bit.

The event was organised by youth charity Sheffield Futures, which was struggling to find funds to carry out a much-needed revamp of the centre in the wake of council budget cuts, along with the Sheffield branch of Business in the Community.

Emily Marshall, volunteer manager for Sheffield Futures, said: “On the day we were tasked with cleaning, painting, sanding and weeding. Volunteering staff from Sheffield Futures are proud to be a part of this programme, knowing our time and effort will make a difference to the young people who attend the centre.”

The Darnall Road building has been painted, re-designed and is now home to some brand new artwork. The exterior also received a makeover.

Coun Jackie Drayton, Sheffield Council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, said “It’s wonderful to see so many local businesses coming together to refurbish the youth club.

“Many people have generously volunteered their services to support this centre at the heart of the local community where young people can meet socially in their spare time. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this project. I know it is greatly appreciated by the young people and will be really well used in the coming years.”

Michelle Dickinson, manager of Business in the Community, said: “With rising unemployment and dwindling youth services’ budgets, Give and Gain Day focused on young people.

“Working in partnership with Sheffield Futures, volunteers helped provide a more inviting place for young people to visit.

“Employee volunteering has the power to transform business and communities.”