How Sheffield's students can make themselves at home

28 Sep 2020

As autumn sees a new cohort of students arrive in Sheffield for the first time, things are far from normal for everyone, so it’s certainly a strange time to be a fresher in a new city.

Here, Louisa from Benchmark Recruitment, offers a reassuring welcome and some top tips for students experiencing Sheffield for the first time… 

“A massive hello to you from Sheffield! And importantly, thanks for coming. Our home is what it is because of people like you adding to our culture, our way of life, and ultimately our businesses. Speaking of which, our cafes, shops, pubs and arts venues are really glad to see you too. I’m heavily involved in our business community and I know how many of them rely on our students getting out and experiencing the city.

Sheffield City Council has been working closely with as many of our independents as possible to make everyone feel safe and comfortable whilst still enjoying life in this great city, and it’s really easy to do thanks to all the systems in place.

Don’t forget though you’re also in The Outdoor City. 61% of this city is green space and the Peak District is literally on the doorstep, so enjoying life is pretty easy in that respect in Sheffield (just invest in some waterproofs!).

Plus you can still access loads of amazing cultural stuff online thanks to digital offerings like Web/Site by Site Gallery and brilliant events like Off The Shelf and Doc/Fest. In that vein, keep in touch with the Make Yourself At Home initiative to find out about local happenings right now. That’s easiest by following @VisitSheffield and #SheffieldMakes and you’ll also like @ourfaveplaces who run a fab local guide to culture:

You’ll soon see we’re not as in your face as some other cities, and that we know how to relax as much as we know how to have a good time. But we’re a friendly bunch who look out for each other, which is good to know as a student, because you’ve got your university, the city, and all the locals trying to do their best for everyone even in these tough times.

So please keep following advice and instructions from your university or college and the city council. It’s really important for us all that the things you will find to love about this city can stay open for everyone to enjoy and for people to work in.

If you want to keep updated on how we’re managing Covid-19 then I really recommend following our amazing Director of Public Health, Greg Fell- you can find him @felly500 on Twitter. He knows his stuff and is super approachable.

We really do want you to make yourself at home here. We hope you have an amazing time and that you can contribute to a city we think is so special. Maybe you’ll even stick around afterwards and be your own success story in one of our businesses in tech, digital, health, sport, advanced manufacturing… or maybe you’ll be the innovator doing something none of us ever foresaw.

Whatever it is, we’d love for you to be part of our future because our businesses value your brains, ability and vision. So let’s all support each other by doing the right things, right now, that keep our people well and our economy functioning.”


Louisa Harrison-Walker is the founder of Sheffield recruitment firm Benchmark, a Director at the Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Chairperson of the City Growth Board and a trustee of charity St Luke’s Hospice. Follow her @LouisaBenchmark.

This article was originally featured in Exposed Magazine in October 2020 as part of a feature for new and returning students.