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Burngreave Messenger - Volunteer Posts


Volunteering at The Messenger

The Messenger wouldn’t exist without its volunteers. They are involved in all parts of running a community newspaper, from reporting to office admin. People volunteer for us for all kinds of reasons, from building their confidence and making new friends, to developing new skills and increasing their job prospects.

Volunteering is flexible, with opportunities during the day, evening or weekends … you can take on as much as you have time for.

We provide one-to-one support and training for volunteers, and can help you along every step of your journey with us. Our volunteers gain skills and valuable experience by being involved, and they make the Messenger a great community newspaper.

How you can volunteer

  • Reporting and writing – find out what’s happening in the area and report on events and issues
  • Interviews – talk to people and write their story
  • Photography – photograph local people, events and activities
  • Editing and proofreading – make stories fit on pages by taking out words or rewriting, and checking the Messenger for mistakes before it goes to print
  • Website – add content to the website

Residents can also be involved by:

  • Delivering the Messenger
  • Helping us check delivery
  • Keeping us up to date about issues and activities in your area
  • Writing a letter

Please note that we can only offer volunteering opportunities to members of the Burngreave community

If you would like to get involved contact us by:

Telephone: (0114) 242 0564


Burngreave Messenger,
Abbeyfield Park House,
Abbeyfield Road,
S4 7AT.

Alternatively you can fill out this form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Thank you!

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Here is a poem that was sent to The Burngreave Messenger by reader, Sylvia Reaney.



Our hands do many different things, our fingers wear our precious rings.

Our hands pick up a tissue when someone leaves says their goodbyes.

We pat our dog or our cat as they lay on the mat.

Oblivious of the full world we live in, shake hands with kind people is the only way to win.

So with hands together, kneel and pray, that people on earth will come one day.

Laughter will take place of tears, good will and love will last for all the coming years.


Poem by Sylvia Reaney.



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It’s goodbye from me

Alas, my time at the Messenger is coming to an end, and today is my last day 🙁
Meeting and getting to know the inspirational people and groups of Burngreave has been the highlight of my time here.  I have really enjoyed seeing what brilliant work goes on in this area. I have learned so much and am truly honoured to have been a part of such a unique, vibrant, diverse and welcoming community.
Thank you especially to all our volunteers for making my time here so worthwhile, and for each bringing something special to your volunteer role.
Thankfully, I will not be entirely departing from Burngreave, and some of you will see me around – particularly in the Fir Vale area – over the coming years, as I continue working on a freelance basis AND pursue a part-time PhD working with Roma women in Page Hall. (I will be exploring how the participatory arts can impact on belonging and agency. If this is something that interests you, do please get in touch on
Please direct any future queries directly to My replacement will not be recruited for until the new year, but I’m sure you will meet him or her in 2018!
Goodbye and all the best,
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Cartoon workshop this half term!

Where would the Messenger be without George & Brian, our very own comic strip, created by the very talented Edgar Lowman?!
                               Inline images 2
And not only that…Edgar is offering us a cartoon workshop on Thursday 2nd November 2 – 4pm at Abbeyfield Park House! Come along, learn how to do a three panel comic strip, and get a chance to have it published in the Messenger! It’s half term so bring your children along.
This is the second time Edgar has run this session. Participants last year had a huge amount of fun and learned some great new skills. It turns out it’s a lot simpler than you might think.
Please circulate amongst your contacts and email to register your interest.


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A photo gallery by our talented volunteers

Over the course of the last 12 months, Messenger volunteers and members of the Burngreave community have taken part in a total of six photography workshops: as part of the Community Journalism course, on volunteer-led photography refresher sessions, or on  the advanced photography course. We’ve handpicked just some of the great photos that have come out of these sessions. Most of these people were complete beginners. So what’s stopping you coming along to our next session and learning to take simple yet beautiful pictures? See if you can recognise where some of these were taken, or any of the people in the picture…and which is your favourite?

Photo by Sam Humphreys
Photo by Nelia Gea Cayuela
Photo by Danae Wellington
Photo by Celia Hodgson
Photo by Alex Hodgson
Photo by Patrick Kesemeyer
Photo by Patrick Kesemeyer
Photo by Ray Black
Photo by Ray Black
Photo by Ray Black
Photo by Rita Walcock
Photo by Deborah Blencowe
Photo by Arianne Zajac
Photo by Arianne Zajac
Photo by Cherifa
Photo by Cherifa
Photo by Laura Farah
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Laura Farah
Photo by Laura Farah
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Curtis Galloway-Husband
Photo by Rachel Smith
Photo by Rachel Smith
Photo by Kate Sheldrick
Photo by Kim
Photo by Kim
Photo by Graham Jones
Photo by Yassin Usuf
Photo by Nelia Gea Cayuela
Photo by Nelia Gea Cayuela
Photo by Nelia Gea Cayuela
Photo by Nelia Gea Cayuela
Photo by John Mellor
Photo by Kadidja
Photo by Kadidja
Photo by Michael Wright



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Volunteer’s ideas for the Messenger

Abstract Light Bulb with the word Ideas on white background.

Do you want to help develop any of these ideas that our volunteers have had?

  • awards for shopkeepers and schools and streets for keeping their area clean, i.e. litter free, e.g. competition between the schools, year, class, individuals
  • classes on: money management, event organising, project planning, tax returns, languages (Slovak, Urdu, African, French, Spanish, Mandarin), Customs of different nations
  • an open day for Burngreave Messenger with competitions for local residents – best home grown vegetable, best cake, painting, photograph, craft project, children’s section, best self portrait, entries to be sold at auction?
  • make the Messenger newspaper more young people friendly, e.g. fake news, kids page, cartoons and drawings, etc.
  • storytelling ‘page’ for website – (write story in 200 words or different kind of challenge each issue)
  • competitions to engage the community: photograph / poetry – ideas for themes: “space in between”, “things left behind”

Get in touch by either:

  • sending an email to
  • calling our office landline on 0114 242 0564, or
  • texting our office mobile number on 0737 747 0334
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Latest training updates at the Messenger

We’ve been busy as always at the Messenger. We delivered another fun-packed community journalism course in May, from which we have a few new budding volunteers, as well as some re-energized existing volunteers. We will be delivering a new four-week course in September, equipping members of the Burngreave community  with skills in photography, interviewing and writing for the Messenger. Watch this space for details.

We delivered training on how to run a local campaign, with lively discussions about litter, more facilities for children, and making signs more meaningful to people with English as an additional language. Some of the ideas can be seen in June’s environment issue about litter.

One of our highly talented volunteers, James, ran a photography refresher session, giving our existing volunteers some tips and pointers about how to take a good photo.  The session was extremely well received.

Coming up over the summer are sessions on film making (fully booked I’m afraid) and advanced photography (also soon to be advertised).  In the Autumn we are planning more exciting sessions on photo editing, audio recording and editing, cartoon drawing, event planning, public speaking and presentation, and writing with pizzazz! Dates to be published very soon.

We have also been out delivering training to St Catherine’s and Oasis Fir Vale schools, Shirecliffe 39th Scouts and a WEA ESOL class, all of whom have had articles published in the Messenger. Sessions are tailor-made, with the aim of empowering and upskilling community groups, to get their voices represented in their community paper. If you belong to a group which you think could benefit from training, please get in touch with

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The Shirecliffe Scouts by Irshad Akbar

Irshad wrote this article as part of the community journalism training run by the Messenger in May this year. The Shirecliffe 39th Scout group has also recently done some training with us and have since produced two great articles. Irshad is the Scout leader and gives his perspective of the group here. This is what he wrote:

Many children, especially from the Muslim community, do not get involved in after-school extra-curricular activities. This is due to the children attending their respective ‘Madrasso’ in the evenings.

A group of community volunteers approached the Scouts Association about setting up a Scouts section in the Burngreave area.

The Scouts section, that includes Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and young leaders, was established in April 2016.

Through scouting activities, children and young people learn through play. The children work on activities that enable them to acquire scouting badges. The badges that the children can acquire include community, music, sports, education, orienteering, camping etc.

The aim of Scouting is to engage children and young people in positive activities that will help them to change their minds and attitudes and develop new skills.

Through the Scouting Association, the 39th Sheffield interact with both district and county-wide activities. This enables integration, understanding of different cultures and promotes community cohesion.

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Latest volunteer and training updates at the Messenger

We’ve got off to 2017 with a flying start! We have already delivered social media training to nine members of the Burngreave community, and are busy getting ready for upcoming community journalism training. Email or call 0114 242 0564 if you’re interested.

We have also delivered outreach training to Owler Brook young journalism club and staff at SAGE Greenfingers who have now written articles for our March issue!
We have four new volunteers on our team. Welcome to the fold, Sam, Tasneem, Nelia and Deborah! Both Sam and Tasneem have been busy in the office uploading to the website and learning the Editorial ropes, and Sam has already had a couple of articles published.

A few of the volunteers who joined us last year have had their editorial debuts in the February and March issues. As well as Sam, these include Laura and Farhaan. Well done guys! We look forward to many more.

We are just starting with these regular updates on our volunteer blog. If any of our volunteers have any news or can think of anything we’ve missed, please let us know…


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Food, films, fun and ‘fank yous!’

Story by Osama Maghder Montfort |

Group of people sitting on a row of chairs and smiling at the camera
Volunteers watching the film

On 21st January, the Messenger held its biannual volunteer event at Abbeyfield Park House.
The event started at 2pm and brought together some of our volunteers, new and
old, to strengthen ties, inform about new courses, gather ideas about how to
celebrate volunteers’ contributions, and eat cake and drink coffee and tea!
Later on Burngreave Messenger volunteers joined Green City Action after their
AGM meeting, to watch the film ‘Project Wild Thing.’ The film aimed to bring
people back to nature whether out in the wild or in the city itself, and was enjoyed
by everyone. The event finished at 5pm after a lot of food and fun.

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