Sport Sheffield | The University of Sheffield

Everyone is welcome at the Burton Street Foundation

The Burton Street Foundation has been established for 15 years, and is a not-for-profit organisation serving the community. The Foundation specialise in supporting adults and older children with learning and physical difficulties, something for which Burton Street now has a national reputation.

Over 200 adults and older children with learning and physical difficulties enjoy Burton Street’s services and activities every week.

The Foundation work in a fully person centred way – all the building/rooms and sessions have been developed around the needs and preferences of their clients. Based in a complex of Victorian school buildings in the Hillsborough district of Sheffield, the centre has a studio, music room, sensory room, art room and activities room. The equipment in them, colours and lighting have all been influenced by the people who use them.

Clients are encouraged to participate at their level and given the time they need to contribute to the activity. The Foundation believes that everything their clients do has value, and is a form of communication they may not otherwise have the opportunity to express.

They also work with adults who are challenging, and can provide 1:1 support. Some of their best work has been in supporting some adults through difficult times and finding the best way to work with them by showing patience and empathy, allied to the experience and knowledge of the benefits of creative activities, economy, providing jobs in construction and supporting local business.

Here are some examples of the Burton Street projects:

Inside Out Project

This project provides day time activities for adults with moderate to severe learning disabilities.
Through creative activities clients can develop growth in self-confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem.

Through a highly skilled staff team, sessions are created to generate a fun and comfortable atmosphere so that people can feel safe and relaxed.


The staff at Burton Street love the Sport sessions it as much as those taking part.

The sessions are light hearted at all times, however, it is important not to prevent peoples’ competitive nature from flourishing. It is actually valued and nurtured responsibly as a rare opportunity for people to really let go.

The time comprises of some gym time lead by the gym manager, some practise time with ball skills etc., finished with a competitive game in sports such as basketball, football, cricket, and volleyball.

Everyone ends up laughing and sweaty in equal measure not realising that they have learned ball skills, improved their fitness, confidence and their team working skills.

Has to be seen to be believed!


The staff are skilled in art techniques and the ideas used are varied. There is an emphasis on allowing users to create their own work with a minimal level of assistance in a social and fun environment.

Being the first session after the weekend, spirits are often high and participants listen to music and chat amongst the group while producing some work people can be really proud of.

Food Skills

With this session the programme tries to stay away from the usual cookery format of making fairy buns and rice crispy cakes. Instead the sessions introduce cookery skills and ideas on healthy eating that the clients can take away with them and use at home.

There is a focus also on getting people to try things they have never tasted before as there is a notable trend for the people who use the centre, especially those who live in group homes, to have repetitive and unadventurous diets.

This is a session that people really look forward to and has quickly grown. The session users are encouraged to take ownership of the content and always have an input into what to make next.


Primarily the ethos behind the music session is to encourage people out of their shells to a point of self-expression through the use of musical instrument based games. By utilising the space and privacy within the building it is possible to create a safe and sometimes intimate environment where people can bang a drum as loud as they want to a point of ear bursting disruption or tilt a rain stick to mimic a single drop of rain on a cow’s nose in a Norwegian Fjord.

Certain activities in the music session are designed to encourage and empower clients where they feel a strong sense of control and self-awareness. On the other hand some activities are designed to encourage and illustrate the importance of listening, listening to listening as a means of analysing recorded music i.e. songs, song styles, feel, emotional response, country of origin etc.

Horticulture Society

The Burton Street horticulture society has been set up to support clients with learning difficulties. The facilities range from the Burton Street allotment, to the onsite sensory garden at Burton Street.

By encouraging clients to take an active part in running the allotment and sensory garden helps them to gain knowledge and experience of growing healthy produce and the importance of a healthy life style.


Recreational and Educational Activities for people with profound and multiple learning and physical disabilities.

The sessions provide a meaningful, relevant activity on a personal level. React at Burton Street isn’t just ‘somewhere to go’ or ‘something to do’. For this reason you won’t see the term ‘day centre ‘used within the centre.

Underpinning them all are three basic principles: Improving Communication, encouraging self-expression and promoting self-confidence.

But there is more………

Burton Street is a place where everyone can make a contribution. The on- site café, restaurant, function suite and conference centre all offer opportunities for adults with learning difficulties to gain training and work experience.

Altogether 53 charities, voluntary organisations small businesses, clubs and sports groups are based at Burton Street.

For more information about the charity please go to their website:


If you wish to make a donation to The Burton Street Foundation please click on the link below:



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