SHASBAH – Be Our Guest

Guest Blog From Sheffield Association For Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus

We are delighted to welcome Beth Hobbs, Marketing and Communications Officer from Sheffield Association For Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus (SHASBAH) to our guest blog this month.

Hi Beth, thanks so much for writing a guest blog, we’re always keen to share information with our visitors about other organisations and charities who provide support. Can you please tell us a little bit about SHASBAH?

SHASBAH is a charity based in Sheffield, which helps people who have spina bifida and hydrocephalus to get the most out of life! We were founded in 1964, so we have lots of connections to other charities, medical professionals and services in our local area. Our small staff team is supported by lots of dedicated volunteers, who help make our mission possible.

That sounds fantastic! What kind of services do you offer for people with Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus?

We offer regular social groups, where members can get to know each other and get out and about. These can become a good part of their weekly routine. Our trained befrienders will meet up one-to-one with any member at their request, providing a listening ear and some much-needed social contact. We also keep in touch with regular communication on social media and in our seasonal newsletters. These are how we inform members and supporters of our events and shine a light on relevant stories or opportunities.

We love to give our members the opportunity to try out new experiences. For example, we’ve organised lots of trips to Ladybower Fisheries for accessible fishing and boat trips. Thanks to some funding we received last year, we were also able to take our young people off for a couple of ‘Adventure Days’, where they could try archery and zip lining!

A few times a year, we also put on bigger events, such as our Winter Party and our Wheel, Walk and Wobble. These are a great opportunity for everyone to catch up and to celebrate our community. Our mascot, Shasby the Little Forgetful Fox, is sure to put in an appearance.

Aw, I think Shasby and Bendrigg Bear could be great friends! We’ll have to introduce them some day.

Have you got any upcoming events or exciting projects you can share with us?

Our regular groups are ‘Park Up and Play’, a parent and child group which meets in parks across South Yorkshire, depending on the requests of our members. ‘Chat Away’ is our adult social group, meeting every other Friday to go on trips out. ‘Barnsley Inclusive Playgroup’ is a new children’s playgroup for families based in the Barnsley area.

There will definitely be some special events and get-togethers happening over the summer. You can find out more about our upcoming events on our website.

Thanks for telling us more about your social groups, connecting people is so important and something we aim to do here at Bendrigg through our services too. Is reducing isolation one of your key aims as a charity? 

Yes, absolutely, we aim to reduce isolation through befriending and fostering relationships between members. For members and their families, loneliness is sadly a common experience. We love that we can plug people into a local network of others with similar conditions, so they can find people that they relate to.

We recently spoke to a family whose one year old son was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. They said that one of the hardest parts was that people didn’t know how to treat them after their son was born. SHASBAH was the first place where they could meet other children in person who have spina bifida and hydrocephalus. This was very valuable to the parents, who met other parents that understood what they were going through. It’s also very important to them that their son grows up knowing that he’s not the only one with his health condition.

Another of our aims is to advise our members on issues such as education, health, housing and benefits. Accessing help in these areas is usually a very complex process for people who already have a lot on their plate. Our staff and volunteer teams have first-hand experience in navigating these systems, so they are well-placed to provide help.

“We just wanted to say a big thank you for the input regarding trying to find a new school for our daughter. The process is still ongoing but having a letter of support has been very helpful and the advice has been much appreciated.”

Thank you so much for telling us all about your work. It’s been great to learn more about the services, impact and aims of the charity.

If anyone would like to access any of SHASBAH services you can find out more on their website here : or you can contact the team at or by calling their office on 0114 3177945.


Be our guest! We are keen to share information with our visitors about the various services across the disability sector. If you would like to write a guest blog like Beth, please get in touch with Martha – our Marketing & Fundraising Officer.