Organisation which helped thousands of Sheffield families closing down

Katie Hayward, volunteer and Director of Little Sheffield.
Katie Hayward, volunteer and Director of Little Sheffield.

A community group which provided a lifeline to thousands of Sheffield parents and children through organising family friendly events is closing down.

Volunteer-run Little Sheffield has for more than four years provided support to city families by arranging a wide range of fun events including community cinema shows, pushchair walks and nature trails.

It was also a hive of information for things such as swimming lessons, playgroup sessions and anti/post natal classes.

But the group announced on Facebook that it is coming to an end due to a mixture of factors, including competition from businesses and busy volunteers simply not having enough time to keep it going.

The post read: "We have decided to hang up our Little Sheffield hoodies. We never dreamed it would become so big, and we're so grateful to you all for your support because without you it would be nothing. It's been one awesome ride and we're gutted that we won't be taking it any further.

"We tried our best to make it sustainable, but with so many other businesses out there relentlessly fighting for the same market it has been extremely challenging for us as a community focused group to compete.

If we could wave a magic wand and continue our community work, we would do so without hesitating. But unfortunately, we are real people with real families and there is a limit to what we are able to do."

The project has been funded by the Big Lottery Fund but the group said its closure was "more of a time and energy issue than a money issue."

Popular events organised by the group include the Little Sheffield Show attended by hundreds of people at the Millenium Gallery and Winter Gardens in the summer.

Parents and supporters expressed their sadness at its closure on the group's Facebook site.

Nicole Madgwick said: "So sad to read this. What will we do without you?"

Victoria Penman added: "I’m sorry to hear this - your website has been a brilliant resource for us finding out what’s on."

Laura Passo posted "Your website is invaluable to so many families."

The team added that they are hoping to pass on some of their work to other organisations so their services can at least continue in some form.

The website will be live until the end of the year but the events listings will end after November.