H’s story

From learning to cycle to supporting our activity groups

H first heard of Darnall Well Being after receiving a Community Connector newsletter through the post. She was interested in cycling, so contacted us to find out more about the support we offered. H had previously cycled in India, in 1978 whilst at school. She had her daughters’ old bikes at home, and was interested in taking up cycling again. Initially, her family were concerned about her joining in with activities, especially since Covid measures were in place at that time.

Woman standing watching a man mend a bike
H at a bike maintenance session

H joined the one-to-one Learn to Ride session with our Women Only Cycling project, delivered by the Cyclagettes team in partnership with DWB with funding from Sheffield City Council. After 2-3 lessons in High Hazels Park, they went on to cycle on paths by the canal and then further afield. She also joined group cycling, going out into Peak District and renting bikes. From this, she went on to do a cycle leader course, and then to other activities we offered.

After attending Fun Football in Darnall in March 2022 as a participant, H went on to volunteer and take part in many activities including:-

  • Multi sports at EIS – delivered in partnership with Sheffield City Trust
  • Tinsley Women Only walk
  • Tinsley Chairobics
  • Fun Football – delivered in partnership with Sheffield & Hallamshire FA/ Sheffield United Community Foundation
  • Zumba – delivered via funding from Voluntary Action Rotherham
  • Yoga – delivered via funding from Voluntary Action Rotherham
  • Craft sessions – delivered in partnership with Canal & River Trust and with Voluntary Action Rotherham Funding
  • Various Green Social Prescribing (GSP) activities funded by the NHS, in partnership with various others e.g. Peak District National Park, ‘Friends of’ groups, and South Yorkshire & Bassetlaw Integrated Care Board

We have been able to support H to develop confidence and skills at a pace which is comfortable and appropriate for her, and this enabled her to volunteer at such a variety of activities. She first volunteered with other staff at each activity, but has since gone on to work for us as a sessional worker, and now is  independently supporting activities.

H is a vital member of the team and particularly skilled in supporting participants to be physically active, encouraging and motivating them. H is well aware of the extensive benefits of physical activity and able to convey these to the local community, in a way they can understand and relate to.

I really enjoy encouraging people, promoting the groups, chatting to people and making them feel comfortable, promoting physical exercise and supporting DWB staff. I like working and feeling valuable – I’m feeling happy, making new friends and feeling proud of myself helping others.


As a volunteer at DWB, she has attended various training courses including Emergency First Aid at Work, and Mindfulness delivered by Peak District Rangers as part of the Green Social Prescribing project.

As well as volunteering with us, she has also gone on to volunteer at Tinsley Community Allotment, and is attending the conversation club we delivered in partnership with SAVTE.

People standing outside a cavern
Supporting a Green Social Prescribing walk – H in white top, centre

Before starting cycling and participating in activities and volunteering, H had not left the house, other than with family, and had no friends or contacts in the local area. The opportunities at Darnall Well Being have allowed H to meet new people, develop friendships, improve her English and gain new knowledge and skills. Volunteering has given H a sense of pride in herself and also given her family pride, too.

The sense of achievement and pride, H has gained from realising what a valuable and skilled member of the team she is has noticeably increased her self-esteem and sense of purpose.

Jo, DWB team