By Alana Roberts
Run by the mysterious ‘Elf’, Help Sheffield is on hand with advice for all your Sheffield-related issues – from trying to find the best place to eat, or bizzarely how to set up a brothel.
“Someone tweeted me saying’ Can you help me and my friend set up a brothel?’ I just retweeted it and said not my area of expertise anyone out there want to give a hand!”
The man behind the hat lives in a mystery location in Sheffield and classes himself as 407 in elf years.
He started the twitter nearly three years ago after getting a request for help from a friend.
It then spiralled from there as ‘The Elf’ says, “I just thought it might be nice to help.”
Help Sheffield initially started on Facebook, but after a conversation over a pint, ‘The Elf’ and a friend started the now popular twitter page – which now has more than 16 thousand followers.
However, the man behind Help Sheffield intentionally searches for people seeking help – a technique which seems, unlike similar accounts which he says can take up quite a bit of his time.
“I search for different things such as Sheffield help, Sheffield want or Sheffield need. I actively stalk people and answer their questions whether they want me to or not.”
The aim is for the idea to catch on and for more people to carry on helping each other.
The requests are not always that reasonable, but ‘The Elf’ tries to reply with humour.. unfortunately this can be met with hate.
“Some people are just arseholes, but you deal with it.”
“If I had notifications on my phone it would drive me insane.”
He tries to keep up to date whenever he can, and says in that since he started the account he hasn’t wanted to give it up once.
Instead, he either ignores it for a few hours or replies with sarcasm, “Someone people quite like that.. but I think other people despise me for it.”
He even keeps the account going when he is on holiday!
And as for the identity as an ‘Elf’ he says, “People really bought into the idea, they aren’t bothered who I am. A few people know who I am but most people think I’m a woman.”
“They assume that because I’m being helpful I’m a woman.. I don’t know whether I find that a good thing or not.”
However, it has had a positive impact on ‘The Elf’, making him want to do more to help our community with his now extensive knowledge of Sheffield.