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Monday, 19 January 2009

The New Darnall Herald Asks: 'What is Darnall Forum All About?'

To read the rest of the articles in this month's Herald please go to our website,

To find out what Darnall Forum is all about, please read on!

Darnall Forum brings together people who live and work in Darnall, Acres Hill and Attercliffe. Its vision statement is:
  • To create a listening space for the community, and
  • To work in partnership with other agencies and organisations to improve local services and help regenerate Darnall.
Anyone who lives or works in Darnall can become a member of the Forum simply by filling in one of our membership application forms.

The members of the Forum Board, who run the Forum, are all volunteers from the different faith and ethnic groups in the area. They are elected by the members of the Forum at its Annual General Meeting. The Forum Board has 14 members, nine male and five female. Ten are from Black Minority Ethnic backgrounds and four are White. The Forum also has six full-time staff who work with local people.

Darnall Forum used to be funded by the European Union and still receives some public funding from the City Council, including the local councillors who sit on the Darnall Area Panel. This is to help the Council deliver local services and consult local residents. However, a growing proportion of our income comes from ‘social enterprise’, which is work we do for other organisations in Sheffield and across the region. Any profit that we make is ploughed back into providing better services for people in Darnall.

Darnall Forum is a voluntary sector organisation. It is a not-for-profit company and a registered charity.

If you need this article in another language or format call 0114 249 0099


A public meeting organised by Darnall Community Forum on Tuesday 6 January has reassured members of the public about plans for a new health centre in the community.

The meeting addressed local concerns about the size of the new centre, and also one local general practice’s plans to relocate to a different building. Local MP Clive Betts said: “I have a pretty strong view about where Darnall's new community health centre should be built. It has to be easy for everyone to get to and ideally it should have room for all the local primary care services.

Simon Kirk, the Director of Strategy at NHS Sheffield, said: “ NHS Sheffield is not able to compel all local GP s to come together under one roof. Our priority is to create a new facility for the 21st Century, with a minor surgery suite, counselling rooms which could also be used by the community, an office base for the Darnall Well-Being organisation - a local charity - paid for by the Trust, and treatment rooms for services like podiatry and physiotherapy.

"We're not building a community centre, but we do want a great health centre that will be flexible and meet people’s needs. We have identified three sites where it would be possible to accommodate the centre - Staniforth Road , Station Road or Main Road . We are keen to gather the local community’s thoughts on these locations, including feedback from this meeting, as well as further community consultation, and then showing the community more detailed plans, before making a final decision.”

In response to a suggestion from Mrs Sylvia Hamilton , Chair of Darnall Forum, he said that he would consider asking the Forum to carry out soundings for the PCT with different community groups in Darnall. Mr Kirk went on to say that the new health centre should be open by the end of 2010.

Cllr Mary Lea said, "Darnall centre is where people come to shop, to visit the library and to drop into the forum, it’s also well served by buses, and we need to keep the centre of Darnall thriving – that’s why the Darnall councillors and Mr Betts would like the new health centre to be built in the centre. This isn't just a question that affects the health of the people in Darnall, it's vital to the health of Darnall as a community."

Speaking for the residents of the Littledale Estate, who would be the most adversely affected if the new Centre is built on Staniforth Road , Mr s Val Lancaster said: "We sometimes feel like the forgotten community." Residents of the estate pointed out that there was no direct bus service linking them to Staniforth Road .

Clive Betts added: "I think we may need a community gym on people's doorsteps to encourage them to adopt a more healthy lifestyle." He said that the government's 'Change of Life' initiative could help to fund a gym inside the new facilities.

Cllr Mazher Iqbal said that he believed Darnall Well-Being would be able to run a gym as a social enteprise. He said: "Darnall Forum could help them to set up a not-for-profit gym, and we, the councillors of Darnall, could work with the current administration to see if we can get things moving quickly so NHS Sheffield can take advantage of the recent drop in land values and construction costs."

Mr Kirk pledged to be creative in his thinking, "But I'm also trying to be entirely realistic," he said. "There's been a long history of people in Darnall discussing what they would like in a new health centre; now we've got to the point of deciding what we can actually afford, however, I will consider very seriously any proposals that are put to me."

Taxi Drivers Needed as Health Champions!

  • Are you a taxi driver from the South Asian Community (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka)?
  • Do you know you are 50% more likely to develop heart disease compared to other ethnic groups?
  • Do you have a family history of heart disease or diabetes?
  • Would you like to be one of our Health Champions?
  • If the answer is 'yes' then why not book a place on our Coronary Heart Disease Awareness training?
  • Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th of February 2009
  • 9.15am —3.30 pm
  • The PMC (Pakistani Muslim Centre) on Woodbourn Road.
  • Keynote Speaker: Dr Mahendra Patel
  • (South Asian Heart Foundation & Bradford University)
  • For further information and to book a place please contact:
Permjeet Dhoot on 0114 3051081 / Lyn Chafer on 0114 3051069

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Resurfacing of Staniforth Road Postponed

The resurfacing of the Staniforth Road carriageway that was scheduled to be carried out between Tuesday 20th January and Friday 23rd January has now been postponed because some other work is being done first on the gas main.

Please contact the Council's Highway Programme team - Phil Cawthorne or Barry Goforth on 0114 2736562 for any further information.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Happy New Year!

As Christians come to the end of the important festival of Christmas, which is also a time for family reunions and the giving and receiving of presents for many other Darnall residents, we wish you all a happy new year!

Why not resolve to get more involved in what's happening in our community, starting with the meeting about community health facilities on Tuesday? (See the 22 December post for more details.) Or why not sign up for a course or become a community volunteer? Please get in touch to find out more!