Liverpool FC legend Jamie Carragher was the VIP guest at the launch of a new community and health service shop in Bootle.
The former Reds defender officially opened the Strand By Me outlet at the Strand Shopping Centre, which will be used as a local base by a range of organisations working to improve the health and wellbeing of residents in the town.
Other guests at the launch included representatives of the partners in the new venture – NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sefton CVS.
The Strand By Me shop – based on a an idea by GP practices in Bootle to make sources of support more accessible to residents – is available for organisations to hire to promote their health-related services and offer information and advice to local people.
These organisations include public sector health providers, charities and voluntary, community and faith sector groups, who offer support with everything from stopping smoking and welfare rights to keeping fit and ageing well.
Speaking at the launch Bootle-born Jamie – who also runs his own young people’s charity, the 23 Foundation – gave his enthusiastic backing to the new facility.
He said: “As a local lad I’m passionate about anything that helps to improve community services in Bootle and the health and wellbeing of the people who live here.
“This new shop is an exciting new resource for the area which will provide a base for a wide variety of organisations that can help to achieve these objectives.”
Dr Craig Gillespie, Chair of South Sefton CCG, said: “This is a good example of how our local GP practices are working together with partners like Sefton CVS to develop new services, and it’s great to see their idea for Strand By Me become a reality. We hope people find the shop useful in providing them with information and advice about their health and wellbeing and we’d encourage anyone to pop in and take a look for themselves.”
Sefton CVS Deputy Chief Executive, Nigel Bellamy, added: “Strand By Me demonstrates the strength of partnership working across the public, private and voluntary sectors.