Union StUnion St

By zapier

Jimmy Thwaite

What do you do?

CONVRTS is a virtual reality content agency serving businesses and the public sector throughout the north of England.

Our aim is to allow small and medium-sized businesses and organisations to benefit from all the positives VR brings, without breaking the bank. Our solution is budget-friendly and platform-friendly. We deliver excellent value for money by producing immersive spaces that capture the attention of all who view them.

A CONVRTS 3D scan for business offers an opportunity to connect with new customers and visitors on a much more engaging level – often for less than the cost of traditional video. We take care of the entire process, producing a stunning VR experience that you can embed in your website simply and quickly.

How did you get into this area of work?

I’ve worked in branding and marketing all my adult life. I’m certain that VR will be the biggest disruption my industry has seen. The possibilities are enormous.We scan physical places, so it offers the chance to get out on the road and see new towns.We naturally align with anyone who offers a sales / marketing service to business. If you’re trying to convince a prospective client that you offer something that the opposition doesn’t, offer them VR!

Will you be looking to collaborate with people at Union St?

Absolutely – team up with like-minded individuals to offer a knock-out service to potential clients. A little bit like the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers!

See more example and details of Jimmy’s 3D imagery at www.convrts.com

 

By zapier

Richard Wright

How would you describe yourself?

Business services professional with a broad range of skills across marketing, business strategy and brand strategy. Specialties: Business development, brand strategy, brand research, brand identity, digital, shopper marketing

I have board level experience at helping clients identify opportunities and developing growth strategies to maximise those opportunities; ultimately helping them create the right brief for the right purpose and delivering against the brief.

What will you be doing at Union St?

Primarily I am focussed on my own internal project. I am available to help out with brand and digital strategy, particularly workshops at the project outset. In other words helping decide what approach it is best to take, what budgets to allocate to various service providers and how to approach the project as a whole.

How did you get into this area of work?

I have 20 years experience in solution sales within the professional services and creative industries sectors. My experience started primarily as selling and delivering large scale brand development and professional services projects. More recently I have been Managing Director of a graphic design agency, Client Services Director of a global digital agency and founded my own brand development agency.

What do you enjoy about this work?

I enjoy everything about my work, even the challenges. It provides an amazing platform to meet a wide variety of people from different backgrounds and work with some incredibly intelligent people.

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

For me Union St is a great place to work in a professional environment. Much of my time now involves working on my own so it would be great to meet fellow workers at Union St.

By zapier

Lucy Owens

What do you do?

I’m a coach and facilitator based in Sheffield. My development is all about helping people give and get the most from their working lives. The coaching work I do helps individuals to enhance skills and confidence in leadership, management, career and personal effectiveness. My training involves designing and delivering engaging, practical workshops to boost interpersonal and management skills. My facilitation enables groups to work more effectively together.

I work with a wide range of organisations, including universities, SMEs, public sector organisations and charities. And I work as an associate with the Beacon Counselling and Coaching Group, Bhayani HR and Employment Law, The Career Coach, Gradconsult and Red Vanilla.

How did you get into this area of work?

I’ve been working as a people development professional since 2001 – I started coaching and training at the BBC, after working as a BBC radio journalist. After coaching managers across the BBC, I went to work at Sheffield Hallam Uni in a learning/development role. I then set up Lucy Owens Coaching so that I could concentrate on training and coaching and work more flexibly to fit my work in with having two children. I love being able to help people thrive in their working lives. I do this by helping people build skills and confidence in doing job interviews, tackling a career crossroads, working more effectively in teams, developing leadership, management and personal effectiveness. I’d like to continue to work with individuals and teams in the public, private and third sectors. I particularly bring value through the workshops I run on team working and career development.

What do you enjoy about this work?

I enjoy working with individuals at different stages in their careers and want help with:
carving out a career path, performing effectively in job interviews, dealing with change (redundancy, retirement, returning to work after having children) and taking stock of their career and identifying a more fulfilling future career/job.

What could you offer other start-ups?

I’m happy to offer a 15% discount on individual coaching sessions and can offer reduced rates for charities/third sector organisations for workshops on team development, management and career development skills.

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

The pleasure of working in a convivial, collaborative, creative set-up. Plus the advantage of avoiding going a bit doolally from working at home!

Follow Lucy at https://twitter.com/LucyCoach

By zapier

Jane Shields

What will you be doing at Union St?

I coordinate Sheffield Creative Guild, a cooperative network for anyone working within the creative sector in the city. We connect, support and promote individuals and organisations of all persuasions and aim to raise the profile and status of the sector across the city and beyond. We also run lots of events and a creative timebank scheme.

My role is to do everything from marketing and events to finance and governance as well as manage the website and individual projects.

I have always been a theatre maker and performance artist and continue to create and develop my own work as a solo artist and with companies both in the UK and internationally.

My other passion is sewing and dressmaking which I do in any spare time I get and have been known to sell my products online and at craft fairs.

How did you get involved in this area of work?

Through a rather zig-zaggy path! I come from a theatre background and worked as a freelance performer, director and facilitator but also ended up working on a lot of education and community projects. As well as freelance this led me to working for different organisations in the city. The Guild was set up with support from ACE and the Culture Consortium and I was employed in April 2015 to lead the project. We have only been open for membership since May 2016 so we are only very young!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

The variety of what I do and all the many members and partners I get to work with. I love making creative things happen and supporting others to do what they dream of doing.That list is very long but really any working in the creative sector, I’m always keen to hear other peoples ideas and form partnerships and collaborations.

What type of individuals or organisations are you looking to work with in the future?

We try to make Guild membership affordable to all by having tiered pricing depending on your income level and different payment options but I’d be happy to talk about what else we could do to be inclusive to everyone.

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

A community. Working on my own can get lonely and so I’m hoping to meet people and make my work days a bit brighter!

Follow Jane at https://twitter.com/plainjaneshield and visit the Creative Guild at https://sheffieldcreativeguild.com/

 

By Matt

Tony Gibbs

What will you be doing at Union St?

I plan on making Union St my main base of operations – working on designs for clients, self-initiated projects and everything in between. While I’m at it’d be nice to meet new people and the opportunity to do a little networking is a bonus.

How did you get into this area of work?

Through lots of learning. I studied Graphic Design throughout School, College and University, and with each step upwards discovered more inspirations and more to like. These days my appreciation for both print & digital media keep me excited and enthusiastic about Design.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

There’s nothing quite like seeing something you’ve made out there in the big wide world.

What type of individuals / organisations are you looking to work with in the future?

Photographers/ Website Designers/ Illustrators and many others.

For fellow start-ups, could you offer an entry-level discount / price? If so, what would that be?

I would certainly consider it! I’m friendly and approachable so please do say hello.

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

A place to work, a place to meet and a place to eat. The odd new contact/ friendly face would be great too.

 

Follow Tony on Twitter via https://twitter.com/madebytone and on Instagram via www.instagram.com/madebytone/

 

 

By Matt

Amy Benson

What will you be doing at Union St?

I’ve just started a new job working remotely as a Front End Developer (I build the parts of website you see and interact with) for the UN. Only a couple of days in so far, but will mostly be working on helping improve their websites and apps, as well as getting confused by which time zones my colleagues are in.

How did you get into this area of work?

I kind of fell into web development while in an admin job for the NHS years ago, but it’s worked out ok and I’ve been a web developer for several years now, working mostly for digital agencies in Sheffield.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I enjoy lots of aspects of web development, but mostly I like to see that what I’ve been working on actually has a useful purpose and is helping people, even if it’s in a small way.

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

A good co-working environment with friendly people (and without my cat trying to hit me in the face).

Follow Amy at https://twitter.com/amyvbenson

By Matt

Becky Hunt

What will you be doing at Union St?

Copywriting and Social Media Marketing

How did you get into this area of work?

I began 6 years ago as a graduate, hunting for something other than the typical 9 to 5. I wrote a guide to Sheffield for a student website and got paid a tenner. Bonus. I realised maybe I could get paid to do something I enjoy – write.

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love the flexibility that comes with my work. Over the past 6 years I’ve written whilst travelling through the States, Asia and Russia. Travelling inspires my writing and has brought up new opportunities so it’s a happy circle of life.

What type of individuals / organisations are you looking to work with in the future?

A lot of my experience has been in Education, as a writer and a teacher, so that sector is probably my Mastermind subject. However, I’m very adaptable and have worked for a range of clients in Travel, Legal, HR, Retail, you name it. I’m always happy to have a chat and work on something new. Although I began as a Copywriter, I’m also a bit of a social media nerd. I do everything from long term social media marketing plans to day-to-day tweets, posts, snaps, the lot.

For fellow start-ups, could you offer an entry-level discount / price? If so, what would that be?

I’d like to in time. I’m just starting up again after a few years abroad but once I’m settled in Union St I’d love to chat to people about my Copywriting and Social Media services.

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

To begin with, it’s all about escaping the cabin fever of working from home! But since coming in to see Union St and what else it has on offer I’m really excited to get involved in collaborating, exchanging services and joining events, workshops, maybe even running my own.

Follow Becky at https://twitter.com/rebeccahelen

By Matt

Daniel Rose

What will you be doing at Union St?

At the moment I work from home, which can be quite solitary, so I’m hoping to work from union st a few days each week in order to work in a bit of a livelier environment! I am a qualitative research director for an independent market research agency.

How did you get into this area of work?

After graduating I answered an ad in the paper from trendy sounding company that was looking for a grad to join them to ‘research young people and help brands understand them better’. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life and that sounded like it could be a laugh and relatively interesting. So I applied, got the job, and 13 years later I’m still there

What do you enjoy most about your work?

Strategic problem solving…my job involves asking people their opinions on things, or sometimes simply observing the way they behave, and then using the ‘data’ we collect to generate hypotheses and make recommendations for how brands should communicate, behave or innovate in order to best meet the needs of their customers. It’s complicated at times but ultimately very satisfying when you reach the ‘answer’ you’ve been looking for

What type of individuals / organisations are you looking to work with in the future?

Anyone and everyone really. In my work we are always collaborating with people from all sorts of disciplines – often the best answers come when you explore a problem from multiple perspectives, so I’m interesting in meeting people from all walks of life

What are you looking to get out of Union St?

A fun, dynamic working environment and the opportunity to meet new people – I’m new to Sheffield and need friends, so come and talk to me!!

 

By David Edwards

Jonny Butcher

Some lettings agencies in Sheffield are charging tenants up to £700 to sign a tenancy contract. This fee isn’t related to any additional work by the agency, they are already being paid by the landlord. Agencies are charging these fees simply because they can get away with it, (in Scotland such a practice is illegal).

Renters Rising

Issues like this motivated Jonny Butcher to become an organiser for Acorn in Sheffield. “Acorn develops and support communities to campaign for changes in their day to day lives. In the UK, Acorn is currently coordinating #RentersRising – a national project to build a renters union to campaign for a better deal for private tenants.

“Over the last 10 years the number of people renting privately has doubled. Private renters pay more of their income on housing than any other group, they live in the worst conditions and they have the least security. Private renting used to be a stepping stone to home ownership or social housing tenancies, but increasingly it is now a long term option.

Acorn in Sheffield

“I have just moved back up to my hometown Sheffield to start working on #RentersRising. My first step has been to make contact with private tenants across the city, which I have been doing through street stalls in different areas, making connections online and face to face meetings. By mid-November the aim is to have 15-30 volunteers who will attend a training event to provide them with the skills and resources to build the union in Sheffield. Acorn is a bottom-up organisation and our mission is to give people the support and tools they need to campaign for the changes they think are important in their locality.

“One of the things I really like about Acorn’s approach is that it attracts a wide range of people who see this as relevant to their lives, and it doesn’t just rely on seasoned activists. In a way there are similarities with the early trade union movement in that people are coming together to organise and campaign for a fairer deal regarding issues that impact on their daily lives, except for us the focus is on housing rather than employment.

Union St – “A petri dish for the new, networked economy”

“I decided to work from Union St for a couple of reasons. On a practical level it has a central location which is useful as I’m working across the city. At the same time Union St feels like a real hub of inspiring people, it has people with a wide range of skills and backgrounds – it’s kind of like a petri dish for the new, networked economy. There are also a number of the members who are involved in campaigning work around social justice, so I’m looking forward to swapping ideas and learning from each other.”

By Matt

Carina Ripley

What will you be doing at Union St?

I have recently graduated from an art degree in manchester and moved to sheffield. I am hoping that through working at Union Street I can start to build my network and community of people in Sheffield; a key part of my practice is based on community. Over the coming months I am looking to develop my project, Patchwork Stories into a social enterprise or community interest company. The project explores how storytelling and collective creation can be used to help people in come together during times of struggle of difficulty. I am an artist, a weaver and a storyteller. Following graduate and a move to a new city I don’t know quite what that is going to look like for me, I hope that Union Street can help me figure it out!

How did you get into this area of work?

I have known I wanted to be an artist since I was very young. Of course, for many years I didn’t really know what that meant…I have kept a sketchbook since I was about 10 and started making clothes with my Granny when I was 14. I started a foundation degree in 2012, thinking I would do textiles or fashion design. However through the course I found that people and stories were what really excited me – and that while I use a lot of textiles in my work, I didn’t want to be restricted by only using textiles. While I was on my foundation I started working with my Mum, a drama practitioner, on a join project called Patchwork Stories. It was born out of a dream and a conversation. Art and creative, community work has always been something that is important to my family. Working with my Mum has been an important part of my progression as an artist – it pushed me to develop professionalism and empathy as working with my mum wasn’t always easy! However, it also meant I was able to try things that seemed out of my comfort zone more easily, as I always know my mum will be there to help and guide me. I am know starting to develop the project further on my own. I have just finished a three year degree called Interactive Arts, it is an unspecialised fine arts course that encourages students to explore as many art forms as possible, with an emphasis on participatory and community work. During that time I ran lots of workshops, using weavings and printmaking with my friend Ting Waterhouse…and I reapplied this was how I wanted to build my career!

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I love the flexibility and excitement of not knowing exactly what I will be doing each day. I am at my happiest and most productive when I have multiple projects on the go. I love working with other people, there is nothing quite like helping someone else to master a new skills. Or watching a child use their creativity in a way you, as the workshop leader, hadn’t even imagined!

What type of individuals / organisations are you looking to work with in the future?

I want to work with people who love people! Organisations that have core values for storytelling, community and people.

 What are you looking to get out of Union St?

A community and a space to work that gets me out of the house and allows me to work without getting the urge to just clean the kitchen instead! I am also really excited about talking with Matt about social enterprise and gaining connections with small business, creative people and the University.

Carina is on Twitter at @CarinaRipley and online at carinaripley.com

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Jimmy Thwaite
Richard Wright
Lucy Owens
Jane Shields
Tony Gibbs
Amy Benson
Becky Hunt
Daniel Rose
Jonny Butcher
Carina Ripley