Friday, 29 September 2023

Things in the Illingworth Library October 2023

Library Things


The next Randomised Coffee Trial will be happening in November. This is your chance to meet up with another Sheffield Children's colleague chosen at random. We always get great feedback from people who take part so why not give it a go? We do all the work of matching you up, all you have to do is meet up virtually or in person: sign up here

Things in the News

Vapes '95% safer' than cigarettes messaging has backfired


The BBC reports on the disastrous results of the positive messaging that was used when vapes first appeared, which focussed on their use as a way to quit smoking. The risk to children was not mentioned, as it was not anticipated that vaping would become popular among non-smokers and children. The BBC speaks with Dr Mike McKean who is vice-president for policy at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health


The Good Childhood Report

This year’s Good Childhood Report from the Children's Society reveals that many young people are unhappy with their lives. 10% of the children aged 10 to 17 who completed the Society's household survey in May and June 2023 had low wellbeing, and almost a third were unhappy with at least one specific area of their lives.

Ethnic inequalities in mortality in England

The King's Fund has published an interesting piece delving into data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which has provided the most comprehensive and up to date national profile of ethnic inequalities in mortality overall and from common physical conditions. It shows a complex picture of ethnic inequalities in mortality in England. 

What are Sheffield's 65,000 students studying?

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash
Online newspaper The Sheffield Tribune turns its attention (momentarily) from the battle over the Leadmill to the latest intake of freshers at our two Sheffield universities and asks what are all those new students going to be studying?


Things to do in October

Sheffield Photomarathon
Photo by Patrick on Unsplash
Photomarathon is back, on Saturday 28th October. Like all great ideas, it's simple and fun! Individuals and teams register in advance, then take 6 photos in 6 hours on topics announced on the day – anywhere in the city. At least one image per entrant (or team) will go on display after the event, in an exhibition showing one day in the life of a city from hundreds of different perspectives.



Off the Shelf Festival of Words

13th - 29th October brings the Off the Shelf Festival to Sheffield, with an absolute feast of events around the printed word, being a mix of free and ticketed events. An online event with a definite local flavour is this Showstopper featuring South Yorkshire's very own Rahul Mandal.



It's a Sheffield Thing

A totally biased spotlight on small businesses in the Sheffield area


Genuine Italian capuccino right here in Sheffield! Two brothers from Naples have opened 'Caffè Tucci' in Surrey Street, where the coffee is rightly getting a reputation as the best in the city. (They have recently opened a second outlet on Ecclesall Road). English football fans of a nervous disposition may want to avoid looking at the wall art: a certain Diego Maradona has the status of a hero in Naples, where he played for the local team. To say he features heavily in the café decor is a bit of an understatement.


Thursday, 31 August 2023

Things in the Illingworth Library - September 2023

Things in the news

Updates on vaccinations 

Where did the summer go? As September brings a return to school or a new adventure at college or university, vaccinations are featuring heavily in the news.

Around 1 in 8 new students have missed their meningitis vaccination, warns the UK Health Security Agency.

All first-year students starting college or university this September and returning students who are not up to date with all their childhood and adolescent vaccinations are at increased risk of serious diseases such as meningitis, septicaemia and measles as they mix with large numbers of other students. 'Freshers' Flu' is not just an urban myth. 

NHS England announces a September roll-out for flu vaccines for children.

From September, children in England will be targeted to receive their flu vaccine to prevent them from getting seriously ill from flu and to break the chain of transmission of the virus to the wider population. School aged children will be able to get the flu vaccine at school or at community clinics, children aged two and three years will be able to get an appointment with their GP practice. Further details are in the guidelines.

The Children's Commissioner and school attendance

Shocking figures from Rachel de Souza, the Children's Commissioner, on school attendance: 'Last year, the school absence rate stood at 7.5%, compared to 4.7% pre-pandemic. An increasing number of children have started to regularly miss school. A child is known as “persistently absent” when they miss 10% or more of possible sessions in school. In 2022/23, nearly a quarter (22.3%) of all children were persistently absent. Absence levels have remained stuck at unprecedented highs.'

From the King's Fund - AI could help with health literacy

Amid all the scare stories and hype around AI, the King’s Fund offers a note of optimism, suggesting that AI may be a useful tool for making health information accessible to all. As up to 61 per cent of adults have been found to have low health literacy levels, this is a real challenge. This post also gives a great insight into how AI works.


Things to do in September

September is a busy month in Sheffield, with Art in the Gardens at the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 September and the Sheffield Festival of Walking Friday 8 – Sunday 17 September. 


The festival of walking coincides with Sheffield Heritage Open Days, also from the 8th - 17th, which offer a chance to visit historic sites you may not have access to for the rest of the year. If you're free on Friday 8th September at 10.30, then I strongly recommend the behind the scenes tour of Sheffield Town Hall, which was Sheffield's tallest building for nearly 70 years, until the Arts Tower at the University of Sheffield came along in 1965 and spoiled the party.


It's a Sheffield Thing

Our monthly feature highlighting independent businesses

For well-organised cooks who plan ahead (and me, in a good year), September is the start of the festive cooking season, when thoughts turn to getting a head start on fruit cake and steamed puddings. My favourite source of dried fruit and cooking ingredients is the zero waste shop 'The Bare Alternative' on Abbeydale Road in Sheffield. Zero waste shopping reduces the amount of plastic in a weekly shop and allows you to buy the exact quantities of dried goods that you need. They also stock all sorts of alternatives to everyday products, including plastic-free chewing gum because yes, most chewing gum contains plastic

Monday, 31 July 2023

Things in the Illingworth Library - August 2023

 Things in the Library


The Illingworth Library has now settled in to our new temporary home at 26 Northumberland Road. We have study spaces with laptops for staff use, feel free to email or call to book a study space.


Things in the news

Childhood immunisation rates start to recover

The World Health Organization and UNICEF report that global immunisation services reached 4 million more children in 2022 compared to the previous year, as countries stepped up efforts to address the reduction in immunisation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, the number of  'under-vaccinated' children worldwide is still over two million more than in 2019.


Guidelines for feeding young children

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities have published their Independent Report Feeding young children aged 1 to 5 years. Recommendations include: “Children aged 1 to 5 years should be presented with unfamiliar vegetables on multiple occasions (as many as 8 to 10 times or more for each vegetable)”

Health in 2040

The Health Foundation has published projections of how our ageing population will affect the numbers of people living with severe illness in 2040, finding that much of the pressure that this will create will fall on Primary and Community Care.

The Women’s Health Strategy, one year on

A year on from its Women’s Health Strategy, the UK government has announced a package of new measures to boost the health and wellbeing of women and girls. New developments include: the first dedicated area for women and girls on an NHS website; support for bereaved parents who have experienced pregnancy loss and £25 million to help create women’s health hubs.

Things to do in August

For food lovers

A new street food market will be launched on the weekend of 5th and 6th August on the concourse outside Sheffield Station. I would say it’s ‘full steam ahead’ for a weekend of food and live music, but Exposed magazine got that pun in first.

For fans of dance and music

On the same weekend, as part of South Asian Heritage Month The Sunrit Culture Group present Threads of Unity: South Asian Dance, Music and Fashion in Sheffield City Centre at the Millennium Gallery on Saturday 5th August 3-4pm. 

On Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August 3-5pm, the National Universities Brass Band will be giving a free concert in Sheffield Cathedral, as the finale to their summer camp. The programme is best described as eclectic, ranging from Rossini to the theme from 'Thunderbirds'.


It's a Sheffield Thing

Our monthly feature highlighting independent businesses

A real Sheffield institution this month: Shaw's Ironmongers have been trading in Sheffield for more than a hundred years. Behind this unassuming front on Duchess Road is a treasure trove of everything you'll ever need for repairs around the home. I turn up with a broken widget or mystery wall-fixing and ask 'Do you have one of these?' I've been asking this question for five years now, so far the answer has always been: yes, they do.

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

Things in the Illingworth Library - July

Our New Temporary Home 

June 2023 was all about change in the Illingworth Library! 
The Library has been on the move: we are now in our new temporary home, on the first floor at 26 Northumberland Road (the Estates building). We are open from 9am – 4.30, Monday – Friday, with study spaces for 6-8 people. Laptops are available to use; please email or call to book a study space. This will be our home until the Helipad build is completed.

We will continue to provide all your Library services:  Literature searches, training (where you are, on Teams, or at at Northumberland Road), and supplying articles to support your work and learning. Our click and collect service enables you to borrow books; you can return items to Northumberland Road or to the book return box in the restaurant.

New Assistant Librarian

The other change is that I (Ruth Flagg-Abbey) have joined the Library as Assistant Librarian, following Jess's departure in April. I have started to settle in, and am enjoying being part of the Library team here. I am looking forward to meeting Sheffield Children's colleagues over the coming months. I will be publishing the monthly blog, hoping to keep the eclectic blend of information and interest. As a Librarian, I am always looking for new ways to access information. And old ways too, as you can see. 


Things in the news

Free sight tests in special schools

Sight tests carried out in special schools will be delivered free of charge, following this recent announcement from the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England. The scheme is due to start in 2024 to 2025 and should support around 165,000 pupils. Children in special schools are 28 times more likely to have serious eye problems than the general population and they experience more barriers to accessing eye services; this can only be good news.

Sharp rise in eating disorders: "The only thing we could control was what you ate and how you looked"

The BBC reports on a 'staggering rise' in the incidence of eating disorders among teenage girls between 2020 and 2022. During the pandemic, prolonged access to social media, more focus on body image and less face-to-face contact may have led to feelings of low self-esteem and psychological distress, particularly among adolescent girls, according to the study. Social media may also have exposed young people to content which increased the risk of developing an eating disorder.  

Caring for the carers

The King's Fund has published a report looking into the role of unpaid carers, with the  aim of finding ways to improve the support which they receive. The 2021 Census found that 4.7 million people are caring for another person, so this question touches many of us personally as well as professionally. 

Young people who have a long wait for a cancer diagnosis have a reduced quality of life

A report from The National Institute for Health and Care Research suggests that longer times to cancer diagnoses were associated with lower quality of life, anxiety, and depression among young people. These findings are part of the BRIGHTLIGHT cohort study of 830 young people aged 12 – 24 years which the researchers say was the first large study of the psychological and quality of life experiences of times to diagnosis among young people. 

Things to do in July in Sheffield

For garden and wildlife lovers

The Marvellous Meadows event on July 2nd 10.30am - 4 pm will give an inside view of the work of Green Estate, including tours of the Pictorial Meadows beds (booking essential). Green Estate recently received a King's Award for Sustainable Development, as reported here.

The Manor Lodge is also open and is well worth a visit, although maybe not to stay for the 14 years that Mary Queen of Scots spent in Sheffield (some of it in the Lodge) as an unwilling ‘guest’ of the Duke of Norfolk.  (Sundays, April – September 10am – 4pm). 

For the curious

'Sounds of the Stacks' in the University of Sheffield's Western Bank Library from 17th - 21st July is open to all and sounds intriguing: "This site-specific installation temporarily transforms Western Bank Library’s Level 2 into an interactive sound environment. You are invited to walk through the stacks and explore a collection of low-volume compositions made with sounds related to the building ranging from the quiet turning of pages and the rattling of book trolleys to recordings of fairground organs from The National Fairground and Circus Archive."

For music fans

Sheffield in July must mean that it's time for Sheffield's contribution to the music festival scene: Tramlines. If you get a bit misty-eyed about the good ol' days when Tramlines was free, then there are two whole days of free music at the People's Park in Heeley at Pax in the Park over the weekend of 21st - 23rd July. The lineup includes the Oughtibridge Brass Band and John Otway, so there's surely something for everyone! 

It's a Sheffield Thing

As I am a functional cook at best (to quote my oldest friend: 'Ruth, that's not really cooking; that's catering'), we have a new feature for the 'and finally' slot.

Like most newcomers to Sheffield (I've only been here for 17 years), I am constantly surprised by the wealth of small businesses in and around the city.  So I hope to highlight one of these every month, to spread the word about the joy of shopping locally. To start, what else but a bookshop? 

In the most unlovely of locations, on the ring-road in Shalesmoor is Kelham Island Books and Music. Don't be put off by its exterior which is '1970s awful': pop in for five minutes, you may well be there an hour later, browsing along its well-ordered shelves and finding a bargain copy of that natural history book you've been meaning to read for ages. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Things in the Library - March

Library Move & other changes

The Illingworth Library will be temporarily moving to Broomhill Community Library from Monday 20 March because of the Helipad build. We will still have some study space, and on Tuesday 1-5 and Thursday 8.45-5 the building will only be open to Sheffield Children's staff, so those are good times to come for quiet study. We will have a presence in the dining room on the main site and a drop box for returning books. We will be operating a click and collect service so you will still be able to borrow anything you need, from the main site. We will still be able to do literature searches, training (where you are, on Teams, or at Broomhill), document supply and most things we currently do. We will be back in the Stephenson Wing in early 2024.

And on that note, it is change all round as I (Jess) will be leaving at the end of March for a new job, and this is my last blog. It has been a pleasure to get to know you during my time here, and I'm sure the blog will be back quickly under new management.

 Mental Health

The Centre for Mental Health reports on new figures showing that there is an urgent need to invest in preventing mental ill health and further improve treatment, especially for children and young people too often forced to wait and travel long distances for care. 

This gap between demand and provision has grown as poverty, which drives mental illness, has increased and as public health and other council services, which prevent ill health, have had their budgets cut by about a quarter. These cuts have fallen most heavily in areas of high deprivation, meaning that people are getting poorer, more ill and with less preventative services to support them. Combined with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, this is causing and worsening population mental health and driving demand for mental health services that is not being met.


NICE has recommended four digital technologies that can help children and young people with mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or low mood, once they achieve regulatory approval. The guided self-help digital cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) technologies can be used as an initial treatment option for those aged 5 to 18 while evidence is being generated. This topic is the first to be published as final early value assessment (EVA) guidance, new NICE guidance that provides conditional recommendations on promising health technologies that have the potential to address national unmet need.

 Introducing Solid Foods

The Department of Health & Social Care have introduced a new campaign on weaning babies onto solid foods. A new survey has found that half of parents are confused about the timing of weaning and how much food their babies should be given. An online weaning hub has been developed to support parents, including NHS-endorsed advice, videos and tips, plus simple healthy recipes.

Gene Therapy

A new gene therapy has been used on the NHS for the first time. The therapy treats metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), which is a fatal genetic disorder. The therapy, Libmeldy, has been used in a toddler, Teddi, who was diagnosed with MLD after her older sister recieved the same diagnosis. The life-saving gene therapy works by removing the child’s stem cells and replacing the faulty gene that causes MLD before re-injecting the treated cells into the patient. As it can only be used before the disease progresses, sadly it couldn't be used on Teddi's sister Nala.

Child Development

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities have released the data from the child development outcomes 2 to 2 and a half, 2021-22. The data show annual experimental statistics on child development at 2 to 2 and a half years. Information is presented at local authority of residence, regional and England level.

Things to do in Sheffield in March

Sheffield Beer Week

From 6-12 March Sheffield Beer Week is here, featuring unique beer tastings, walks, tap takeovers, meet-the-brewer sessions, brewery tours, online talks, exhibitions, food matching menus, and more. Sheffield is a fantastic city for beer lovers, full of great pubs and breweries - find out what's happening here.

Music for the Arts Tower


On Friday 17 March at 8:00 pm you can pop over the road to the Arts Tower and it's iconic paternoster lift to experience a concert that's a little but different. Featuring musicians in lifts, architecturally inspired sound loops and off-the-wall experimental music, Platform 4 and Lorenzo Prati will perform 'Music for the Arts Tower'.



Recipe of the Month

A celeriac appeared in my veg box this month and I didn't know what to do it with. Soup! I thought. I found this really simple recipe, which is given some extra loveliness with the pesto. It was delicious with some fresh bread and it didn't last very long! 


Friday, 3 February 2023

Things in the Library - February

HPV Vaccines

The UK Health Security Agency have expressed concern that the number of eligable children who are getting the HPV vaccine in the UK has declined. HPV vaccine coverage decreased by 7% in year 8 girls and 8.7% in year 8 boys in 2021 to 2022 when compared to the previous academic year. The vaccine has dramatically lowered rates of cervical cancer and other infections. 

Child Poverty

Children in the north are the most vulnerable to the cost of living crisis, according to the Child of the North, the All Party Parliamentary Group. Their report found that during the pandemic, 34% of children in the North (around 900,000) were living in poverty, compared with 28% in the rest of England, and that families in the North are more likely to live in damp, poor-quality housing. 

Sudden Unexplained Dealth in Childhood

The first ever debate on Sudden Unexpected Dealth in Childhood was held in Parliament on 17th January. This debate discussed the need for national medical education, more research, and more public information, highlighting that the NHS website doesn't have any information on SUDC. 

Children's Rights

The UN Equality & Human Rights Commission has produced a report on Children's Rights in the Great Britain. They highlight violence against children in custody, a significant increase in mental health issues and decline in happiness, and increasing child poverty. The report issues a number of recommendations for the UK and Welsh governments, including a focus on mental health services.

Why Language Matters

NSPCC Learning has published the latest post in its Why Language Matters blog series, looking at why you should never use the term ‘child pornography’. The blog looks at the impact of terminology on safeguarding children, and advocates for the use of the term ‘child sexual abuse materials’ to accurately describe the materials and to avoid minimising the seriousness of both the crime and the harm caused.

Things to do in Sheffield in February

It's LGBT History Month and you can see what the Showroom and Sheffield Libraries are doing to celebrte the 'Behind the Lens' theme. You can also see the new play Birds and Bees at the Tanya Moiseiwitsch Playhouse in the Crucible.

Secrets of the Stacks, 4th February, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm


If you're not already spending all your time with Shefield Libraries this month you can see what happens underneath with Secrets of the Stacks, "a light-hearted, torch-lit, exploration of the vast basement of the Central Library. Navigate the hitherto unchartered regions, that are not normally seen by the public. Allow your senses to become dislocated among the labyrinthine bookshelves on this vaguely historical, mildly accurate, thoroughly researched, completely made up, yet hugely enjoyable tour."

A Soft Rebellion in Paradise, Millennium Gallery

In the late 18th century and into the 19th century Paradise Square was Sheffield's main public meeting place, where people gathered to protest and demand change. Today, it's the centre of the city's law quarter. In 2019, artist Chloë Brown used it as the location for her short film, A Soft Rebellion in Paradise.

Recipe of the Month

Please look away if you're Italian, as not only does this cacio e pepe recipe not use pecorino, it uses gnocchi too. Gnocchi cacio e pepe is extremely quick, extremely low effort, extremely delicious, extremely peppery. 



Friday, 6 January 2023

Things in the Library - January

  Internet Safety & Mental Health

In partnership with Samaritans,  HEE's eLearning for Healthcare have developed a new elearning resource aimed at assisting people who provide support around suicide and self-harm to have vital conversations about online safety. The internet plays a big part in many people’s lives and can often be an important source of support and information. However, some online activity can be harmful and act to exacerbate thoughts and behaviours around suicide or self-harm. It is important that the role of the internet is not overlooked when supporting a person experiencing feelings around these issues.

Group A Strep

Analysis by UKHSA suggests a nasal spray vaccine that offers protection to children against flu may also help reduce the rate of group A strep infections. Dr Jamie Lopez Bernal, Consultant Epidemiologist for Immunisation and Countermeasures at UKHSA, said:

"Our findings suggest that the nasal spray vaccine programme, which offers very good protection against flu, may also help contribute to reductions in the rates of GAS infections among children. Children who catch influenza are at greater risk from subsequent infections, including group A strep, so these findings provide yet more reasons for parents of eligible children to bring them forward for the flu vaccine."

Newborn Genomes Programme

100,000 newborns will have their complete DNA sequenced, screening for arounf 200 treatable disorders through the Newborn Genome Programme, the BBC reports. It is thought that this will save many families years of tests and uncertainty searching for a diagnosis for their child. The programme is a collaboration between the NHS and Genomics England.

Cost of Living Crisis

The President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Camilla Kingdon, has given an interview to the BMJ in which she discusses how social deprivation in the UK is increasingly affecting children’s health, citing housing and nutrition, specifically the UK's high asthma rates and high use of food banks as problems that are increasingly discussed with families. She calls for policy changes and interventions to improve child health, including expanding free school meals.

Health Literacy

Health literacy is about a person's ability to understand and use information to make decisions about their health. You can use this map to see health literacy data across the country. 

Things to do in Sheffield in January

It's a quiet month, but if you fancy leaving the house, here's a couple of places to go:


Sheffield Heritage Fair

On 28th-29th Janurary, Millennium Gallery will be celebrating the history of Sheffield by showcasing the work of heritage groups, as well as opportunity to chat with over 40 local groups. This is a free event. 

Showroom Cinema

January is the perfect cinema month. If you like foreign and independent films, the Showroom is your place. Sheffield's biggest independent cinema has a great January programme, highlights include Holy Spider, Alcarràs and Lingua Franca.

Recipe of the Month

I am absolutely not here to tell you to eat healthily in January, but this is one of my favourite lunches at
the moment and it's does contain cucumber. It's the opposite of a winter indulgence but it's so good it transcends seasons - takeout-style sesame noodles with cucumber. It takes five minutes to make, it's packs in some powerful flavours, and it's also very good looking.