How on earth do you describe something in-built into the characters of people from diverse communities across a city of over 600,000 people?
The best way is just to say this: most days you’ll have a conversation with a stranger.
If that puts you off, then fair enough - but to everyone here that’s part of the charm. We might not always get on and there’ll be plenty of disagreements, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be friendly.
We welcome people here, and this video which features Shauna Coxsey, GB Climber at the Tokyo Olympics 2021, hopefully gives you a bit of a feel for the city whilst also giving you the impression that we're a nice bunch.
Writing for GQ in 2019, David Levesley got it spot on: “It's a city of people who immediately behave as if they’ve been putting up with you for years. This is a city that isn't trying to be London.”
Some of that probably traces back to industrial times when Unions in the city were like blood ties, and the sense of community was everything. More recently it’s possibly to do with our badge of being ‘The people’s republic of South Yorkshire’, which stemmed from the left-wing leaning local politics and a stubborn, steadfast belief in doing things our own way.
As the first City of Sanctuary, it was only fitting that we welcomed Amal on her journey from the Turkey/Syria border to highlight the realities of what refugees undertake. Her welcome - and the preparation behind it - is documented in this video.
That’s why we feel it’s so important to highlight the role that Civil Society plays in shaping the character of the city… often people can’t put their finger on why it’s friendly here and how it feels different to other cities, but it could be down to the fact that for the most part people in Sheffield have a passion for caring, doing the right thing, and accepting those around them.
More examples of friendliness and community in our city