Latest news: Council Meeting – 1st July

Over 8,000 people signed the petition against Sheffield City Council’s plans to axe our City’s trees so forcing the Council to hold a full public debate at their next full Council meeting on Wednesday 1st July.  For heads up  about this resounding success follow this link Sheffield’s threatened trees – update which also includes a request to write to your local councillor to exert even more pressure on them.

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Sheffield’s threatened trees

2015-06-11 16.45.492015-06-11 16.46.00Sheffield City Council’s moratorium on axing Sheffield’s  trees is on hold for now according to Sheffield Star’s report indicates that the new rules brought in to manage trees is unlikely to result in a reprieve for much loved trees even with sensitive engineering solutions.  As is the case with many of Sheffield’s mature and native tree population, the recently introduced policy allows for mature trees to be felled where they affect the curb or pavement.  Over 2000 trees have been felled to date and thousands more are expected to be scheduled into the tree felling programme.

Sheffield Council apparently pays its contractor, Amey, a flat fee for running Street Force which is responsible for all road maintenance. It is bow being mooted that the Council’s  new tree policy was introduced to help Amey make large savings by replacing mature trees  with low cost, low maintenance, saplings.

Research shows significant health benefits of trees in urban areas, positive impact on helping to reduce asthma with an impact on environmental issues.

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Help keep the ban on bee-killing pesticides

Help keep the ban on bee-killing pesticides

by signing this petition to Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ask her to decline any exemptions to the European ban on bee-killing pesticides (known as neonicotinoids) because without bees we  will have very little food to eat

You can sign the 38 Degrees petition from this link.

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Active Ageing: Sheffield’s Pro-active approach? What’s it all about?

Active ageing is the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security to enhance quality of life as people age. Active refers to continuing participation in social, economic, cultural, spiritual and civic affairs, rather than just the ability to be physically active or to participate in the labour force.‘  

Other important work in this area has been done by New Economics Foundation (nef) which has identified five criteria for Ways to achieve Wellbeing are based around activities and simple things we can do in our everyday lives to:

  • Connect
  • Be Active
  • Take Notice
  • Keep Learning
  •  Give.

Research carried out by Alan Walker and Tony Maltby and published in their paper IJSW paper on Active Ageing 2012 explores ageing,  active ageing as it affects policy across the EU and its political impacts since the 1980’s and has changed the way that older people are perceived from passive welfare beneficiaries to politically active.  They also explore the meaning of active ageing and how to maximise participation and well-being as people age.

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THAW – helping to improve the quality of life for elderly people with mental health issues

Today we went to the THAW – Technology for Healthy Ageing & Wellbeing Conference at University of Sheffield.  An all day event, we missed most of the first half owing to other commitments.

Highly interesting -it focused on evaluating computer and other electronic devices for their ease of use and accessibility for people with impairments ranging from hard of hearing to mobility and medical conditions which impacts on social inclusion.  Equipment that we evaluated included the obvious such as the whole range of tablets and mobile devices to less obvious appliances such as automated medication dispensers and electric gauges- the kit used to identify where to find electric cables in plastered walls thereby preventing the dire consequences of self-electrocution. 🙂

THAW’s continuous and on-going research focused around how technology can support mental well-being in later life.  The event literature states that the purpose of this event was to encourage people from all walks of life to learn how technology could be used to identify depression, alleviate loneliness or be used as therapy.  Based at the UoS Portobello site on Maplin Street.  We heard three PhD students outline their research interests.  They received an immense amount of constructive feedback from the event design, presentation of the kit, bugs or other issues affecting the software or equipment.  They are very keen for people to make contact, be involved with their research and related activities.

As impressive was the attendance and turnout.  The buzz in the room was exciting and energising as people worked with each other from a multi-disciplinary environment from Commissioning or Care Home Managers as well as pensioners and young people working in this environment.

In addition to meeting new people, we also renewed contact with people who had attended our recent events on improving the quality of life for people in later life.

Great event on an incredibly interesting and worthwhile area of work.  For anyone who wants to develop their interests in this area, THAW’s contact details are: or  Email or call Corinne Wills on 0114 222 6123.

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New Event: Active Ageing: Sheffield’s pro-active approach

Join us at our latest Active Ageing event  –  Tuesday 30th June;  online eventbrite booking  Registration: 13:45 for 14:00 start; finish 17:15 – with Laura Evans, Head & Professional Lead of Occupational Therapy at Sheffield Teaching Hospital Teaching Trust.  Laura  will set the scene for a planned simulation on how it feels to experience typical conditions which can affect our enjoyment as we go through life.  We’ll also be joined by three other experts in related areas:

  • Tony Prescott, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, The University of Sheffield and Director of Sheffield Robotics;
  • Jenn Rowson, Lecturer, Design & Simulation, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield;
  • Alaster Yoxall, ‪Principal Research Fellow, Lab 4 Living, Sheffield Hallam University.

By popular demand our third event will explore benefits, risks and ethics. Report from our 14th July Crowd Wise event, attached, identifies issues and concerns raised. Help th experts appreciate thes effect of these issues through your lense, experiences and outlooks.

Donations gratefully accepted either via paypal on the home page of our website or at the event to help cover the cost of producing our event report and media.

Fully wheelchair accessible.


Who is this event for?  Our event is open to everyone from all walks of life and any background whether you want to find out more, are working in the field or want to tackle major issues with influential decision-makers

What is the purpose of this event? This event is the third in this series to explore how we can help improve the quality of life for Sheffield’s ageing population.

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?  Everyone is welcome and has something valuable and important to say

What are my transport/parking options getting to the event?  Centrally located on Arundel Gate, opposite the Lyceum and Crucible

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions? Drop us a line to or give us a call on 07702 491 705.

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Event: Improving life for elderly people

30th June 2015 at Norfolk Building, Sheffield Hallam University


  • Tony Prescott
  • Jenn Rowso
  • Alaster Yoxall

Eventbrite online booking

More to follow shortly.

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