Shirecliffe & Southey Green

A, Kelvin, Sophie and Harry talk about the north-south divide

A I’ve just come to Tesco’s to do some shopping.

Kelvin My name is Kelvin. I’m just currently here visiting my family.

Sophie I’m from Sheffield, originally from Walkley sort of area. I actually now live in Southey Green area, because I work at the Northern General Hospital.

Harry I’m 81, retired, and just pottering about.

Do you think Sheffield is a fair place to live?

A I think it’s fairer than a lot of other places. I don’t think it’s that bad, as some other places. I think we’re quite accepting people in Sheffield.

Sophie I think it’s quite an adaptable city. I myself have multiple disabilities.

Kelvin Yeah, it’s quite a nice place. It’s quite diverse, a lot of cultures, a lot of people.

Harry Oh yes, definitely.

Why is that?

Harry Well, there’s everything here that people want, isn’t there?

Are you aware of any inequality in the city?

Kelvin From personal experience, it’s happened to me at times, people have been a bit racist. I don’t know, they could be racist, but...

A I’m from a council estate. There’s people in posher areas in Sheffield, like places such as Worrall, Loxley, Stannington... those kind of areas. People from council estates sort of... not necessarily have a good opinion on people in those kind of areas. Which is not my point of view. I don’t think they’re posh snobs but some people do!

What do you think causes inequality?

Harry I wouldn’t like to say what causes that really. I don’t think I’m qualified to know.

Kelvin I don’t know. Lack of knowledge, lack of enlightenment. People don’t explore. They don’t move around. They just stay in one part, and that’s what they’re used to.

On average, a girl born in Ecclesall will live around ten years longer than in one born in Burngreave. Were you aware of this and do you have any idea why?

Sophie I can’t see why that is – whether they must generally have a different type of community, have different types of food available in the area. I don’t know whether that might be the case.

A The cost, compared to eating junk food, to healthy food... There’s a big difference. You can go in, and to buy five fruit and veg is more expensive than what people can afford. It’s just not doable for some people.

Who do you think is treated most unfairly in Sheffield?

Sophie I don’t know. I think everybody gets the misfortune of being treated unfairly at some point in their life.

Kelvin Everyone’s treated quite equally, but sometimes it could shift from one type of people to another.

A Definitely got to be people under the age of 25. I think that they’ve just been branded as a sort of a bad generation in Sheffield. I think that there’s not enough done on actually how much good young people do in Sheffield.

20% of households in Sheffield are living in relative poverty (household income less than 60% of the national average).

Sophie Personally I don’t see people generally looking like they’re in poverty.

Harry Well, it does. For this day and age it does surprise me, yes.

A It goes back to the divide in Sheffield, where there’s one side of Sheffield that’s wealthy and has those kinds of things, then there’s this side that doesn’t really.

Whose responsibility is it to deal with issues of inequality?

Sophie I think everybody has power to do something themselves. Everybody can lead a life and a path that can lead to a better life. It’s all down to yourself. However, we do have certain people who are appointed.

A Local councils are quick to blame the government for cutting funding for them, and the government blame local councils for not doing enough with the funding they do get.

Kelvin We shouldn’t really say the government should do everything. We should take it upon ourselves to actually change our environment.

What is fairness?

Sophie I believe I’ve lived and I am living a fair life.

A Fairness to me means everyone having the same opportunity.

Harry Fairness means to me having enough to eat and everybody living happy. No animosity or anything. Just everyone getting on together.

We shouldn’t really say the government should do everything. We should take it upon ourselves to actually change our environment.

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