Jeff & Sue: Go To Sleep

A local woman uses Amitriptyline sleeping tablets to drug her husband so he wont want to go to the pub.

Jeff and Sue have been married over 40 years and have three children who are all grown up. Jeff is an ex-miner who is now retried where as Sue used to work in the local corner shop. Jeff worked as a pony boy in his younger days, assisting the pony’s bringing heavy loads of coal.

They currently live in a bungalow on George street, Ryhill Wakefield. Sue enjoys going round to her neighbour Christine’s house to play “Zumba Fitness” a Wii fitness game.

Jeff is a big fan of real ale, a local delicacy in South Yorkshire, which he drinks down his local Workings Mens Club over a game of Snooker. He says “I prefer it to larger because it’s got none of them nasty gasses and it guz darn better”

Sue doesn’t like him going down the pub every night as she is worried he will run into trouble on the way home or will spend too much money. In order to stop him from going, she occasionally slips Amitriptyline sleeping tablets in his tea so he is too tired to go.

Amitriptyline is a powerful sedative often used to treat insomnia and depression.

Jeff is aware of Sue’s sneaky way of getting him to stay in but doesn’t seem to get too annoyed when it happens. With next to no figures available on an issue like this, i wonder how wide spread drugging ones spouse is throughout this country.

Drop In Kitchen Barnsley

More people used Barnsley drop in kitchen in 2014 than in any other year.

The Drop in Kitchen, based in the Addaction centre but run by a separate organisation, was originally set up to help the outsiders of Barnsley. The homeless, the drug addicted and those who have recently been released from prison. Providing front line care for those in desperate need.

Set up by a local church, the charitable organisations ethos is to help who ever shows up regardless of their circumstances. Unlike other food banks in the area, you do not have to be referred and have your income assessed to come to the Drop In Kitchen. They will provide a hot cooked meal, a food parcel and 2 items of warm clothing or sleeping bags to who ever comes in.

However over the past year they have had an unprecedented increase in numbers, averaging at around 100 breakfasts each morning they are open.

“The sort of people we are getting in has changed drastically” said volunteer Brian “Where as before we were mainly getting those addicted to drugs and the homeless, now we are getting more pensioners, young people, families and day labourers. People who normally wouldn’t use our services are finding themselves in hard situations and having to reach out for help ”

The drastic increase in numbers at Barnsley Drop In Kitchen can be attributed to austerity decisions made by the government. Many people on low incomes have had their work load reduced and contractual benefits slashed due to the popularity of zero hour contracts. Many others are finding themselves with less income due to controversial benefit reforms, particularly young people who are unable to claim full housing allowance until they are over 25.

Gateway Foodbank In Barnsley

Volunteers at Gateway Foodbank tackle local poverty.

Originally the first foodbank in Barnsley, Gateway, a local christian charity, now gives out hundreds of donated food parcels to some of the most vulnerable people in the community.

There are now over ten food banks operating in Barnsley, most of which are run by local charities and the Trussell Trust, many are maned entirely by volunteers from the local community. Yet despite the increase in available foodbanks, Gateway are still experiencing an increase of people using their services.

One of the volunteers said “we’ve had more people use us over the past months, one of the key reasons being a delay in benefits payments”

According the the Trussell Trust over 900,000 people used foodbanks in the year 2013-2014, and increase from the previous year; 346,992. The three top primary referral causes being, benefit delays, low income and benefit changes.

Barnsley Community Centre Under Austerity Pressure

Volunteers at Barnsley community centre feel the pressure of austerity.

More people have been using Barnsley community centre, run by Unite Trade Union, as a result of controversial benefit reforms.

Set up in the old N.U.M headquarters, the community centre is run on a volunteer basis and offers a number of services to some of the most vulnerable people in Barnsley.

Some of these services include help and advice on claiming benefits, universal credit, assisting people struggling with the bedroom tax and offering computer training courses geared at getting people into work.

They have been under increased pressure recently as more people are turning to local charities to get their basic necessities.

Joe, a volunteer at the centre said “we are a vital lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people here in Barnsley, offering much needed advice and assistance.”

Many people in Barnsley are confused by the new benefit reforms and are struggling to provide for themselves, many others have been tipped over the edge by reforms such as the bedroom tax.

South Yorkshire Advanced Manufacturing Park

New development and investment is taking place in the South Yorkshire Advanced Manufacturing Park to create the “Silicon Don Valley Dream.”

When walking around the advanced manufacturing park in South Yorkshire, it’s hard to believe that this was the once site of the infamous Orgreave Colliery. Now home to over 40 businesses ranging from small start ups to huge multinationals such as Boeing and Rolls Royce the space has come a long way to shaking off the negative connotations of the past.

Once an area of pain for many Yorkshire men, it is now becoming a positive beacon, bringing new housing, jobs and business to South Yorkshire.

“Over 1,500 jobs have already been created” Said AMP manager John “and for every 1 job created, it is estimate that 4 other jobs are created to support their work”

The AMP is attracting investors from all over the world to set up in Sheffield.

Boeing have teamed up with Sheffield University at the AMRC training students in advanced research testing.

The site is also home to Yorkshire’s first Rolls Royce plant.

The final goal is to use the vast empty space of the Orgreave site to develop a new community hubbed around the growing advanced manufacturing park, creating an area people want to move to and live in.

New housing has already been built in Waverley to accommodate the new workers with more underway. Much of the housing has modern designs with eco friendly features such as solar panels.

Klesch Group To Buy Tata Steel Works In Scunthorpe

India’s Tata steel is in talks with billionaire Gary Klesch to sell off Scunthorpe long steel products after hiving off a division that employs thousands of workers.

The sale was announced along with the sale of several other UK sites including Clydebridge in Scotland and Dalzell Teeside, after the plant made a loss the previous year due to long product steel being down in the global market.

Trade unions, unite and GMB, representing Scunthorpe steel workers have said Tata steel had failed to consult them prior to announcement.  In a joint statement they said: “The fact that Tata Steel wants to abandon half of its European operations and pull out of an entire strategic market does not bode well for the future and ends Tata Steel’s vision to be a global steel player.”

Many workers worry about the future of their jobs as the announced sale could lead to an eventual closure of the plant.

Klesch Group are in talks with tata steel about purchasing the site, rumoured at low price.

Many worry that Klesch Group may strip the assets and sell the site to turn a profit. In response to this Klesch said “I am not going into Scunthorpe to asset strip. I have never asset stripped in my life and would not know where to start.”

“We will come to Scunthorpe as a standalone operation without the services used by Tata Steel, so we will have to employ an evaluation team of between 125 and 150 people to go on site. “I am well aware capital investment has to be made on the Scunthorpe site but that is all part of the due diligence process.”

However others are not so confident, Mr Greatrex asked Prime Minister David Cameron whether the bid to buy Clydebridge by Klesch Group, “with its record of asset stripping in France and Holland”, is “in the public and national interest”.

The announcement comes at a bad time for Scunthorpe, an area already suffering the effects of the austerity and heavily dependant on the steel industry.

Audacious Art Experiment

Young people in Sheffield have set up a unique DIY arts centre and record label adding to the already thriving DIY scene in Sheffield.

As you walk up Brhamall lane you may hear the distant sound of crashing cymbals and the constant hum of bass. Amongst the jungle of office space and trades buildings is “The Audacious Art Experiment”, a DIY art centre and record label geared at showcasing the communities best talent.

Set up by a group of friends, they offer a fully kitted out practice room and artistic space for anybody who wishes to collaborate. Many local bands use the space to record albums which The Audacious Art Experiment then promote and sell in their shop.

When asked to describe their ethos they said “If you make music, or just like what you hear… if you create art, take photographs, or saw some that blew you away… if you met some people who inspired you, or would like to meet them… then let us know, and we’ll share what we know.”