Rotherham Together

Rotherham Together logo 300 x 300 v2

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on everyone in the Rotherham borough, and continues to bring uncertainty to our lives.

In September 2020, we created Rotherham Together - a monthly programme which provides everything from cultural events, such as talks, performances and screenings (some virtual, some in person),to a series of toolkits and guides which help us figure out our new normal together.

The programme is designed to explore the themes of:

  • Joy
  • Gratitude
  • Hope

Joy, Hope, Gratitude

It has been developed with a broad range of partners from across the borough including Grimm and Co, Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance, Rotherham NHS Trust, Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, Voluntary Action Rotherham and Wentworth Woodhouse.

If you are involved in a project, and would like to feature in the Rotherham Together programme, please email:

We look forward to hearing from you!

March 2021 Rotherham Together programme

We've got lots of free and exciting activities taking place this month.

Download latest programme

See previous programmes

Hope Fields

27th March Opening Programme

On the 27th March Hope Fields will be opened with an online event through @RMBCEvents Facebook page featuring performances from local musicians and choirs, and thoughts and prayers from community leaders, as we take time to remember, not only those we have lost, but the resilience, kindness and strength shown by our communities over the last 12 months and beyond.

For those visiting the site the beautiful ‘Flock’ installation, which was created by artists Planet Art for Wentworth Woodhouse and documents experiences of lockdown and the pandemic from the perspectives of thousands of residents across Rotherham, will guide visitors to the field and remain in residence for a month.

Love for the Lost

Hope Fields is designed to give us hope and focuses on the healing power of nature, but we recognise to do this people may also need a space to grieve. Whilst many did not want to see the names of loved ones who had been lost over the last year, some did and providing a space for this will be an important part of healing and recovery.

We were asked to create a space that didn’t focus on grief, but instead supported the recovery from it. Throughout January and February we spoke to many residents and families about how we could support them to make tributes without affecting the wildlife at the site, or detracting from the focus on hope and recovery, giving families a space to come together and look forward whilst being surrounded by nature which was such an important life-line for many during the pandemic.

Through these discussions many referenced the national Love for the Lost campaign using yellow hearts to symbolise those who were taken by COVID-19 and a desire to see this incorporated in some way. A quiet space at the entrance to the field will allow those who want to leave a tribute to hang a yellow heart with a personalised message on a tree. The hearts will be made from rice paper and will naturally degrade over time to ensure that there is no harm to wildlife.

Whilst we know that tributes are important to those dealing with loss, Hope Fields is first a foremost a place to breathe, heal and relax together. It has been designed to focus on the hope of new life and recovery as opposed to a more formal memorial garden. We have tried to respect everyone’s needs from those who want a space for personal tributes to those who want a space where they are not faced with sadness and grief, as such we ask that you do not bring other personal tributes to the site or bring tributes in to the field itself.

Find out about Hope Fields

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Hope Fields close up of bird art

People working on landscaping Hope Fields

Hand holding heart shaped post it note

Women of Hope Celebrating International Women's Day

8th March, 5pm

Following on from the Women of Hope events last October, as part of Black History Month, WOW Rotherham and WOW - Women of the World will be celebrating this year’s International Women’s Day with a panel of women discussing gender inequality, representation and leadership within communities across the borough.

Hosted by Jude Kelly, WOW’s Founder, the panel will share stories of life in Rotherham from the perspectives of five women with very different backgrounds and cultures, tackling issues of prejudice, misinformation, cultural pride, heritage, and community cohesion.

The panel will include:

Ganiat Ololade Oshodi-Shidi — Called Lola for short, and originally from Lagos Nigeria, Lola is a married mum of two and has been living in Rotherham for six years. She loves living in Rotherham because the community is full of lovely people, who have had a positive impact on her life. Lola is a member of Mama Africa Rotherham, a community group of African women living in Rotherham, and is an active member in the community supporting people who are new to the town, alongside her husband.

Haiying Lin — Born in China and single mother of three girls, Haiying has been living in Rotherham for 11 years. She is an active member of Rotherham Wah Hong Chinese Association and is passionate about being involved in her community, supporting her children to take part in their community group activities. Haiying also love reading.

Dina Margarita Pina — Mother to three girls and a boy, Dina has been in England for nine years now, and is originally from Portugal. A member of Mama Africa Rotherham, she is passionate about supporting people in her community and has helped many other EU communities through referrals. Dina is passionate about learning new things and supporting and empowering women.

Kate Saunders — Kate is a British woman born in Sheffield, was raised in Corby, Northamptonshire, but returned to Yorkshire to study at Thomas Rotherham College Sixth Form. She went on to study in Wales and taught children in London for 30 years, before specialising in English as a Second Language (ESOL). Kate is a mother of one and currently works at the Unity Centre for the food bank. She has vast experience of working with different communities in Rotherham and enjoys meeting people all around the world. She also enjoys learning Welsh which she started during lockdown.

Zaidan Ahmed MBE — Zaidan is a Muslim Pakistani woman who was born, grew up and was educated in Rotherham, and has four beautiful children. She has a Master’s in Education and has worked for the last 25 years in her hometown. Zaidan is passionate about creating equal opportunities for the communities she represents and supports, especially young people and women, so they can make the most of their lives and talents.

Jude Kelly — Founder and Director of The WOW Foundation, which runs WOW - Women of the World Festivals, and the former Artistic Director of London’s Southbank Centre, Jude has directed over 200 theatre and opera productions, founded a range of arts institutions and has commissioned and supported the work of thousands of artists across all genres.

The discussion will be followed by a Q&A with Jude to examine the barriers to leadership faced by women, and how this specifically impacts women in Rotherham’s diverse communities.

Their stories of Rotherham and Hope will form part of WOW - Women of the World’s international celebrations on International Women’s Day, broadcasting across the globe, and right here in Rotherham via the RMBC Discover Rotherham YouTube Channel.

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Event Partner: WOW Festival

Women of the World logo

Reading Friends

Rotherham Libraries are one of seventy-five library authorities running a Reading Friends initiative as part of the #ReadTalkShare campaign from The Reading Agency.

Reading Friends brings people together to read and share stories, aiming to make connections and reduce social isolation. Reading Friends is for everyone, whether you are an avid reader, are just discovering a love of reading, or if you would like to revisit the books or poems which have most inspired or comforted you.

You can enjoy a regular chat, either over the phone or via videocall, with one of their Reading Befrienders at a time to suit you. You can read a book together, talk about an article in a magazine, share details of favourite books or authors, or even help each other with a crossword!

To take part, simply call 01709 823886 or email [email protected] and look forward to your free welcome gift to help get you started on your Reading Friends journey!

If you would like to make a valuable difference in your community by becoming a future Reading Befriender, and have the time and enthusiasm to share, they would also love to hear from you, so please contact them via the above channels.

You can find out more about the Reading Friends programme on The Reading Agency’s website: www.readingagency.org.uk/news/

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Event Partner: Rotherham Libraries

Woman holding phone on video call

Kindness Project

Love is Louder, an initiative set up by REMA and Partners, has been successful in securing money from the National Lottery Community Fund, to enable them to spread kindness through creative outlets.

During the pandemic, the response in Rotherham to supporting one another has been incredible, so Love is Louder has worked with some amazing artists to capture this response.

Leigh DeVries, internationally recognised artist for her work on body dysmorphia, is running the project sharekindess Rotherham, driven by real stories of people in our community.

During extraordinary times of isolation and struggle, the project is dedicated to making kindness visible in Rotherham, and Leigh would love to hear about kind things that people have done for you, kind things you have done for others, or acts of kindness that you have witnessed.

Join the project in capturing and encouraging kindness at — www.sharekindnessrotherham.com

Textile artist, Gemma Nemer from The Button Tin, has a beautiful offering as part of the Kindness Project. Have you experienced kindness in lockdown? Who would you award of Medal of Kindness to? What was the act of kindness?

Share your nomination and thoughts over on Gemma’s Facebook page, and one very kindhearted nominee will be chosen at the end of March to receive their very own handmade medal as a big thank you — www.facebook.com/thebuttontin

Local artist Angie Hardwick of Ange Made Ceramics is working with the Swallownest community, creating a series of artworks linked to kindness. These will be displayed on the fence surrounding Swallownest School. Angie is inviting the Swallownest community to enhance and compliment the artwork with their own flowers.

Flowers are a symbol of kindness, gratitude, and appreciation. They can make people smile, lift moods, and brighten up areas. If you live in Swallownest and would like to be involved, please contact Angie on her Facebook page — www.facebook.com/AngeMadeCeramics

Funded by: National Lottery Community Fund

Event Partner: REMA & Love is Louder

Needlework with the words In Kindness

Woman doing online fitness session

No Leotard Necessary

Rotherham Ethnic Minority Alliance is offering residents of Rotherham an easily accessible way to keep active, no matter their circumstances.

REMA were successful in securing funding from the Inequalities Grant Funding from Yorkshire Sport to create an online platform to give Rotherham residents this free access to physical activity.

COVID-19 has been restrictive in stopping many people from remaining active and keeping mobilised, so along with the talented Zoe Carter of Zoe’s Dance and Fitness, they have designed online classes as front room activity, accessible for all ages and abilities, and pre-recorded so that they can be done at any time.

Please see the links below to Zoe’s YouTube channel, as well as her Facebook page. There will be approximately 3 — 5 new videos a week and the project will continue until July.

www.youtube.com/channel/ UC6Un9ckVvAx8FIzbAblVThA

www.facebook.com/Zoes-DanceFitness-402805077133626

The project is supporting Moving Rotherham which is encouraging Rotherham residents to keep active, so why not share pictures or videos on social media of yourself, or you and your family being active using the hashtag #movingrotherham to encourage others.

Funded by: Yorkshire Sport and Sport England

Event Partner: REMA and Zoe’s Dance & Fitness

Woman in wellbeing session

No Leotard Necessary

The Maltby Together Project is designed to help get the community of Maltby moving and participating in activities that not only benefit their health, but also enhances knowledge and leadership skills, in a social environment.

Providing fitness and sport-based health and wellbeing sessions within the Maltby community, the project will also focus on encouraging participants to embark on a journey of personal development and positive change. The sessions are fully funded and delivered by qualified and experienced coaches to further develop personal skills, leadership skills and improve overall physical and mental health.

Sessions are currently virtual via Zoom until Covid restrictions are lifted.

If you are interested in joining the project, please contact us via — email: [email protected]

Phone: 07805881441

Facebook Messenger: @PivotalHealthandWellbeing

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Event Partner: Pivotal Health and Wellbeing

Beat the Street

Beat the Street is a free walking and cycling game which gets people out and about in the local area, having fun and keeping healthy.

The game is designed to inspire people to make small changes to improve health and help embed physical activity into everyday life. The Rotherham game is due to start in mid-April, dependent on the current COVID-19 situation.

Developed by a team of doctors and physical health experts, Beat the Street is the perfect way to get everyone moving safely after lockdown. Physical activity is proven to boost physical and mental health and immunity, which helps the body resist bacteria and viruses including COVID-19.

Played outdoors in household groups, Beat the Street is the perfect way to exercise safely during the pandemic. Contactless Beat Boxes mean that players can collect points without touching surfaces.

For further info visit the Beat the Street website

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Beat the Street logo

Couple cooking at home

Cohesion Cooking

These great cooking sessions, brought to you by Rotherham United Community Sports Trust, will run over four weeks starting on Thursday 4th March, from 5pm, delivered via Zoom.

Each week there will be a different demonstrator cooking their favourite dish for all participants to follow step by step.

Recipes and ingredients will be delivered to each participants house, with Covid-19 protocols in place. Then, you simply log on to Zoom, follow the demonstration, and enjoy some great food and conversation.

To book on these sessions please go to:

www.rucst.co.uk/pl-kicks-yoyo-session-locations and scroll down to fill in the form.

Event Partner: RUCST

Rotherham Smiles Together

In 2012 the United Nations General Assembly established International Day of Happiness to be celebrated worldwide on the 20th March, recognising the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world.

To mark the day this year, we are taking to social media and asking people to join us for Rotherham ‘Smiles’ Together. Smiling is the universal sign of happiness, and has some great benefits too, including lowering stress, boosting the immune system, and helping us to stay positive.

It has been a difficult 12 months for us all, with the wearing of masks impeding the simplest, but most wonderful of human gestures; the smile. So, let’s all come together online, show our gorgeous grins, and get Rotherham smiling!

Look out for our post over at RMBCEvents’ Facebook page on Saturday 20th March when we will be inviting you to post a photo of yourself smiling, you and your family smiling, or even a photo of your happy pet!

www.un.org/en/observances/happiness-day

#InternationalDayOfHappiness

#RotherhamSmilesTogether

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Woman holding melon slice

Man signing with hands

Big 10 Minute Sign and Sing

Rotherham Music Service are trying to get as many people involved in the national campaign, Big 10 Minute Sign & Sing.

Whether you are home schooling or in-school part time you can get involved in this music performance event and learn a new skill, Makaton signing to music, and get involved in something creative and fun from home.

For more information visit: www.southamptonmusichub.org/big10

Event Partner: Southampton & Isle of Wight Music Hub

ROAR Thurcroft Troll

Writer and Artist Rob Young has been engaged to work with young people in Thurcroft to create new mythologies around Thor the Thurcroft Troll, and to write and illustrate stories to bring his character to life.

This builds on the previous project where Paul Slater and Katrina Whale ran creative workshops with the young people, and designed Thor as a public sculpture which is currently being manufactured to be installed on the field behind The Gordon Bennett Memorial Hall in Thurcroft.

Rob will be running virtual workshops and is preparing a suite of social media platforms for people to participate in the project.

Made possible thanks to funding from Building Stronger Communities.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @ThorThurcroft

FBpage : @Thor of Thurcroft

Funded by: Rotherham Council Event Partner: ROAR

Clay Trolls

Laptop with online meeting on screen

Creative Communities

Rotherham Creative Learning is offering a wealth of adult learning opportunities, available to all Rotherham residents 19+ through online live sessions, video tutorials, and written instructions.

From Clay Pot Crafts and Easter Gonks to Nature Garlands and Spring Fabric Wreaths, the courses are creative and practical with no prior skills required and are currently free. Whether you are looking to gain skills to further your career, help you to find a job, or improve your wellbeing and confidence, they have something for everyone.

For more information about any of the courses and how to access them, please visit Rotherham Creative Learning’s website or email them at [email protected]

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Event Partner: Rotherham Creative Learning

Looking Ahead

Waterloo Kiln

Collaborative Connections

Rotherham Museums, Arts and Heritage, has been working with communities around three of Rotherham’s Heritage Sites, and with the support of funding from Historic England have created new community groups associated with Keppel’s Column, Catcliffe Cone, and the Waterloo Kiln.

The project has brought together community groups who have co-produced three exciting and innovative creative programmes at the sites including improvements to signage, a creative programme for local schools and an art installation.

These three programmes are designed to increase awareness, accessibility, and appreciation of these unique heritage sites. More information about the final events on site will be available shortly. Engagement activities and the final event are planned to take place in Spring 2021 subject to Covid-19 restrictions. For more details follow Clifton Park Museum on Twitter or Facebook.

There is still time to get involved with the community groups or contribute towards the final arts works. If you would like to find out more, please contact Christine Evans at Rotherham Museums, Arts and Heritage [email protected]

Funded by: Rotherham Council & Historic England

Event Partner: Heritage Services

Youth Culture Exhibition

Youth Culture & Social History in Rotherham

For the first time ever Clifton Park Museum will be co-producing an exciting exhibition led by the Young Curators Group.

They want you, the people of Rotherham, to start digging through your shoe boxes, under your beds, and up in your lofts to help create a picture of youth culture in Rotherham from 1960’s – 2021.

We want to hear your stories, showcase your objects, and flip through your photos to help us to tell a story of youth culture, both past and present.

From Punk Rock to TikTok, Vinyl to Vine, we want to collect and share your memories and objects past and present, exploring what youth means to you.

The Youth Curators Group are looking at five main themes and need your help to bring this exhibition to life:

  • Music
  • Fashion
  • Bedrooms
  • Communication
  • Games and Gaming

If you would like to get involved in this exciting opportunity and include your objects and photos in our upcoming exhibition, please contact Collections Officer: [email protected] or Youth Heritage Officer: [email protected] for further details.

The deadline for expression of interest is 5pm on the 11th March 2021.

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Event Partner: Heritage Services

Made in Rotherham

Dust off your paint brushes, sort out your crochet hooks, and get planting those seeds — Made in Rotherham, as part of Rotherham Show, is back for 2021.

There’ll be a wide range of categories, so whether you love to grow fruit and veg, like to get your bake on, have a flare for photography, or go bonkers for blooms, why not enter Made in Rotherham, and show off your skills.

Events may still be a little different this year, but there’s a chance to make, bake, grow, and create to showcase the best of what Rotherham has to offer!

Schedules will be out soon with details of this year’s categories, so if you would like to receive one, please email your details to [email protected]

Funded by: Rotherham Council

Selection of vegetables