Tributes paid to much-loved former Sheffield councillor who died last week

Sheila Constance.
Sheila Constance.
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Tributes have been paid to a former Sheffield councillor, volunteer, businesswoman and dressmaker who died suddenly last week.

Sheila Constance served on Sheffield City Council from 2012-2016, and was also chair of Ecclesfield Parish Council.

Sheila with two of her grandchildren.

Sheila with two of her grandchildren.

She also volunteered and campaigned for a wide range of organisations and ran a sewing and alterations business in High Green where she taught dozens of students the art of dressmaking.

Her daughter, Sarah Tyler, said: “She helped everybody but was especially keen to help young people.

“One of her students who is just 10 years old has been in writing in her book of condolence.”

“She was always on the ball and always doing things to help people. Only in the last few days she was doing her classes and litter picking right up until the very end.”

Sheila with friends outside her High Green shop.

Sheila with friends outside her High Green shop.

In her political life, Sarah said her mum had served as chair of her local Labour Party and campaigned tirelessly on women’s issues and equal pay.

She had also been a school governor, was chair of the Friends of Charlton Brook, opened up her house to homeless young people as part of the Nightstop initiative and was a foster parent.

“So many people have been in touch saying how nice she was,” said Sarah.

“I have had hundreds of messages to that effect.”

Sheila was chair of Ecclesfield Parish Council.

Sheila was chair of Ecclesfield Parish Council.

“She did so many things and reached so many. It has really shocked people.”

Sheila died suddenly last week of suspected chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

She was just 65 years old and leaves three children including Sarah and four grandchildren.

She had suffered with chest problems from an early age but Sarah said had the sudden nature of her death had still come completely out of the blue.

Sheila working with the Friends of Charlton Brook.

Sheila working with the Friends of Charlton Brook.

Sheila’s business - Dressmakers Workshop on Wortley Road in High Green - became a Mecca for amateur sewers and designers.

One of her students - who only took up dressmaking as a hobby - ended up studying fashion at university before securing a job in the industry.

Pensitone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith said: “Sheila led Penistone and Stocksbridge Labour Party in its early years and did so with sound judgement and a commitment to making all members feel welcome and valued.”

“She was loyal, fair and kind to a fault and we will miss her enormously. She never wavered in her support of women and the pursuit of gender equality.”

Hundreds of mourners are expected to attend Sheila’s funeral including dozens of friends and colleagues from her time in politics.

The service will take place next Tuesday, March 20 at Grenoside Crematorium.

Sheila Constance.

Sheila Constance.

Her family say anyone who knew her and would like to attend is welcome to.