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In summer 2015, Sharon Smith and her daughter Laura walked into Stannington Library with the suggestion that the library allow them to start a group for aspiring writers. Library volunteers agreed to a three-month trial for the group and now, three and a half years later, the group has gone from strength to strength.

Writers group members in Stannington bid farewell to group founder Sharon Smith (front left) and her husband Graham

Under Sharon’s leadership, Stannington Library Writers Group has become a real success story, with three anthologies published featuring the work of local writers. Following this success, Sharon was invited to establish a similar group in Ecclesfield Library, and she advised Frecheville Library when they set up their own group.
But these have been not her only contributions. Sharon also went on to be a regular volunteer, and for the last year a trustee of the charity that manages the library. She has been central to the introduction of GDPR compliance in Stannington Library and she has been a key member of the team specifying the new computer installations that are about to be introduced.
Beyond the library, Sharon has also been secretary and an active member of Stannington Tenants & Residents Association. Now, with a new job in prospect and family matters to attend to, Sharon and her husband are leaving Stannington for Leicester, their original home.
They will depart with the good wishes of all whose lives they have touched, and leave behind them many positive memories.

STAND was formed in 2013 after Sheffield City Council announced its decision to close sixteen libraries (including Stannington) unless volunteers took them on. STAND was registered as a charity in 2014 and is funded by grants, donations and fund-raising activities. The library is run by a team of dedicated volunteers.