OPEN Arts Centre at Waterloo United Free Church – Starting 3rd April 2018

OPEN Arts Centre
Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2018 (Then weekly)

Time: 1pm – 3pm
Venue: Waterloo United Free Church, Swiss Life House, 16 Crosby Rd N, Waterloo, Liverpool, L22 0LQ

OPEN Arts Centre is setting up a Community Art Group, commencing Tuesday 3rd April 2018 at Waterloo United Free Church. The sessions will run from 1pm – 3pm weekly from 3rd April and the cost starts at £3 per week.

For more information please contact Mike;
Telephone: 07786 381 961

Waterloo United Free Church - Art Group April 2018

Sefton Fund Knife Wands to make Nightlife Safer

Knife wands are the latest piece of equipment being funded by Sefton Safer Communities Partnership to ensure the local night time-economy in the borough is as safe as it can be.

Thanks to the funding, Merseyside Police Community Officers and Targeted Police Teams, as well as local bars and clubs in the Sefton area, will be supplied with knife wands to help them identify people carrying dangerous weapons and keep club-goers from harm.

The wands will go towards enhancing safety in the area and cracking down on the number of serious and fatal stabbings that happen on our streets.

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:

“I’m delighted that through the Sefton Safer Communities Partnership we have acquired these extra security measures.

“The purchase of knife wands will help reassure our residents and visitors that Sefton is not only an enjoyable place to experience our vibrant night time economy, but also a safe one too.

“Many of our wonderful bars and nightclubs already have very good security in place but these wands will be of great benefit as both a deterrent and a symbol of reassurance.

“These wands and the wider Op Sceptre national campaign will compliment tactics already in place including weapon sweeps, knife arches, test purchasing and high visibility police patrols.”

Superintendent Matt Boyle said:

“These wands will act as a deterrent to those carrying weapons and a reassurance to the community that we’re doing everything we can to prevent knife related crime in the area.

“Liverpool City Council have already funded a roll out of the wands towards the end of last year following the tragic death of Sam Cook. Reports show these tools have been received really well and are key in keeping our communities safe.”

Merseyside is one of a number of police forces across the UK taking part in a week-long operation (Op Sceptre) aiming to highlight the work regularly being done across the county, and nationally, to combat the issue of knife crime.

As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives in the hope this ensures people can safely enjoy being out and about in the Sefton town centre and surrounding areas. I’m proud to be supporting Sefton Safer Communities Partnership as they roll out a further 45 wands and I hope this gets the message across that it isn’t acceptable to carry a knife.”

Anyone that would like to report any forms of knife crime is asked to contact us via our social media desk @MerPolCC or call 101. You can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Court grants Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into flawed Highways England consultation

The courts have granted Sefton‘s application for Judicial Review into the flawed Highways England consultation over Rimrose Valley.

Leader of Sefton Council Cllr Ian Maher, said: “I’m pleased that the court has granted us permission to proceed with our application for a Judicial Review to look into what we believe is a flawed consultation by Highways England when they decided that their preferred option was to build a dual carriageway through Rimrose Valley.

“When Highways England first announced that they would only be taking forward two options to ease traffic on the A5036 – a revamped A5036 Dunnings Bridge Road, which is already one of the busiest roads in the north, or a new £200m road through Rimrose Valley Park in Litherland – we told them that neither option would deliver the necessary benefits for our communities and to consult on a third option to build a tunnel.

“Yet they completely disregarded this approach and ploughed on with a flawed consultation which is why we had no alternative but to apply for a judicial review.

“Getting to this next stage means that the legal system clearly recognises that we have grounds to challenge the way the whole process has been handled.

“Their failure to include the tunnel as an option in the consultation process has deprived our residents of the opportunity to express a view – which is why we want to take action.

“Our case has been deemed to have enough evidence to take legal action and we’ll now prepare a strong case for the Judicial Review.

“We will fight this to ensure that that Highways England is ordered to re-open the consultation again, and give our communities a proper opportunity to be consulted on the tunnel option.

“Of course it is not too late for Highways England to reconsider their position, start their consultation process again including the tunnel option and avoid the need for ongoing legal action.

“We hope that common sense prevails.”

Panel endorses Police precept proposal

A proposal to increase the precept payable for policing in Merseyside was “reluctantly” endorsed by the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel at their meeting on Tuesday 6th February.

The panel, which is made up of councillors from all Merseyside local authorities, has a statutory obligation to review the Commissioner’s Police Precept Proposal each year.

Having considered the evidence presented by the Commissioner, the Deputy Chief Constable and their support staff, the panel reluctantly agreed unanimously to endorse the Commissioner’s proposal for a 7.23% increase in the precept. However, in doing so, the panel asked that a number of recommendations/ comments be placed on record and brought to the Commissioner’s attention.

Cllr Carla Thomas, Chairperson of the Merseyside Police and Crime Panel, said:

“We endorsed this rise extremely reluctantly, because we recognise that the only alternative would be for resources within Merseyside Police to be reduced even further . This would have an extremely detrimental impact on the level of service being provided to the community.

“The panel very much felt that the Commissioner was left with no alternative but to request this increase, due to the woeful shortfalls in Government funding for the police.

“However we were also in unanimous agreement that, whilst this rise does represent the only option currently available to prevent further reduction in officer numbers, it highlights how inequitable the current system is. By relying on council tax precepts to plug gaps in funding for policing, those who struggle already with their monthly outgoings – of which their Council Tax bill is a significant part – are hit the hardest.

“In reluctantly endorsing this increase we’d also urge the Government to urgently reconsider their approach to police funding and how shortfalls are impacting on both service provision and on the wallets of those least able to afford to pay.”

 You can read the Police and Crime Panel’s formal response here.

Sahir House are Recruiting a New CEO – Closing Tuesday 6th March 2018

Sahir House has been offering HIV support, information and training across Merseyside since 1985. It offers a wide range of services to people living with or affected by HIV; HIV related training; up to date HIV information; prevention and testing; and opportunities to volunteer.

Chief Executive Officer – Full time £45k per annum

They are looking to recruit a suitably experienced CEO to guide the charity through its next stage of development. In particular they are looking for someone who can demonstrate:

  • Significant senior management experience in the voluntary sector (or closely related filed)
  • The ability to work with stakeholders including: service users, volunteers, politicians, clinicians, commissioners, staff and supporters
  • Strategic awareness and the ability to lead change in the organisation and in the sector
  • Good core senior management skills, including strategic management of: finance, marketing and human resources

Applicants should send a short CV (up to two pages) and a covering letter demonstrating both: how they meet the criteria in the person spec and their vision for how they would take the charity forward (another two pages max).

‘Sahir House is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community. We especially welcome applications from groups which reflect Sahir House service user groups – HIV positive people (and other disabled people), people from Black and Minority Ethnic groups, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people and refugee communities.’

The post is subject to a 6 month probationary period, satisfactory references and DBS check.

Closing date for applications: 12 noon Tuesday 6th March 2018

Shortlisting: Later that week

Interviews: Wednesday 14th March 2018

Full job description and person specification can be downloaded from the website here

For more information call Sahir House on; 0151 237 3989 

Upcoming Leadership Links sessions in partnership with NCVO – Wed 21st March + Wed 27th June 2018

Wednesday, March 21st: Strategy – From the vision to implementation (Book Here)
9.30am-4pm at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre (£70.00 per person)

Wednesday, June 27th: Good governance in the charity board room  (Book Here)
9.30am-4pm at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre (£70.00 per person)

Can you afford not to attend?

With the overhaul and launch of the new Charity Governance Code[1] in July 2017, we now have a clear set of aspirational standards for good governance in charities.  Covering eight areas on a foundation that Trustees understand their role and their organisation, the Code sets-out recommended practice from clarity of purpose to board room behaviours.


Leadership Links are development and networking opportunities targeted at local voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector leaders, coordinators and managers based on a selection of important organisational issues, with two workshops remaining in the current programme.

These one-day, custom events will provide you with skills and greater confidence to review and formulate your organisation’s strategy and to see it through to operational effectiveness, and examine the governance implications of board participation and oversight.

Suitable for chairs, trustees, chief executives, and other senior managers, these two remaining workshops will help you to improve your leadership and management practice within the context of enhancing responsibility and accountability, and provide you with opportunities to learn from others.

Workshop content

The Strategy workshop on March 21 will cover:

  • What is a “strategy”? It’s what you achieve, not just what you do
  • Why it matters
  • How do I get one? Some tools, processes and techniques to get you going
  • Who does it? Good question – who do you think?
  • How will I know if I have been successful? Thinking about impact.

The Governance workshop on June 27 will consider:

  • Dealing with uncertainty – what do we need from our board in today’s world?
  • Sustainability and succession – what needs to happen to build and retain the board we need?
  • What’s holding us back from that and what can we do?
  • How systems, processes and administration can support board development
  • The components of effective recruitment, induction and ongoing board support
  • The benefits and approaches to board review
  • How you will implement changes for your organisation?

The facilitator

Following a general management career in the private sector, Howard Exton-Smith has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant, trainer and coach specialising in personal and organisational development, strategy and governance, and the management of change.

He works at the intersection of the private, public and third sectors to build capacity by strengthening individuals and organisations.  Client-centred and flexible, Howard employs a collaborative and facilitatory style to solve problems and participatory techniques to foster learning and ownership.  He is a Belbin Team Roles Accredited consultant.

From a background in psychology, marketing and professional services, Howard has extensive experience of delivering successful learning, development and capacity-building programmes with a range of audiences.  He leads NCVO’s open-programme finance, risk and change courses and is also responsible for creating bespoke, in-company, courses when required.

Howard has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and North America and has been a Trustee and Chair of a UK charity.  He holds an MSc in Management.

[1] See

Bootle-based YKids is on the look out for volunteers; Volunteer Open Evening Tonight! (8th February 2018)

Are you over the age of 18? Would you like to to volunteer for a charity, working to improve the lives of children, young people and families in Bootle?

Join Ykids in their newly refurbished building- 98a Linacre Lane on Thursday February 8 at 6pm to find out about the range of opportunities available for volunteers.

Most roles are children & youth work focused and YKids is particularly looking for people who have time in the evenings- ideally at least one day per week. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has, or is looking to work in education to help our in its after schools program.

During this evening the team will let you know all about Ykids as an organisation, the work it does, and what roles are available. It will give both staff and volunteers a chance to get to know each other.

Please note, this is an information evening- all new volunteers will also have to complete an informal interview, induction process and DBS check (criminal record). If you have any questions about this please contact:

There are also be opportunities to work within an office environment on tasks such as admin or fundraising- please contact YKids for further information about this sort of opportunity.

The £115,000 Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund for 2018/19 has launched! Deadline 28th February 2018

The funding has been made available for Merseyside and Halton community and voluntary groups, schools, faith groups and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions.

The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £25,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

What are we looking for?

Previous Community Fund projects have included:

– creating a sensory learning garden from re-used materials in St Helens
– the development of a shop in Wirral to sell used clothes
– the repair and re-use of unused furniture for redistribution to the local community in Halton
– cookery skills clubs to help reduce food waste across Merseyside and Halton
– sewing classes in Knowsley
– timber waste re-use at a local community farm in Liverpool
– improving online retail skills for a charity shop in Sefton

This year bids must tackle one or more of the four priority household waste materials which have been identified by MRWA as key, namely Food, Plastics, Textiles and Furniture. An analysis of waste in Merseyside and Halton in 2016 highlighted that a greater amount of these materials could be re-used or recycled. Projects can also include other household waste materials, for example paper, card, metals.

What should I do next?

Interested groups should complete and submit an Expression of Interest with MRWA.

If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Community Fund entry.

Projects will have ten months to deliver their schemes and will be expected to get started by June 2018.

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:

– Download the Stage 1 Expression of Interest Form (pdf)
– Download the Stage 1 Expression of Interest Form (Word)
– Download the Guidance (pdf)
– Download the Terms and Conditions (pdf)


Contact the Authority by:

Telephone: 0151 255 1444

Volunteering 4 Good Grants – Donate Now to support Sefton’s Year Of The Volunteer 2018

As part of the Year of the Volunteer 2018 campaign, Sefton Council and Sefton CVS have teamed up with Sefton 4 Good to launch a special grant initiative specifically aimed at groups and organisations who work with volunteers.

Following on from the huge success of the Year of the Coast, the tireless work of Sefton’s thousands of volunteers will be celebrated in a yearlong campaign to raise awareness of how much volunteers do for the borough.

Sefton 4 Good have launched an online crowdfunding appeal to raise funds for a dedicated grants initiative called Volunteering 4 Good. The initiative has been given a kickstart from Sefton 4 Good funds and Sefton MBC’s Transition Fund, and the more money we raise through crowdfunding means that more groups and organisations will benefit for this year-long initiative.


v4g thermometer

The Volunteering 4 Good grants will be open to groups later this year with the aim of developing local volunteer-involving projects, and we hope to raise funds to increase the amount of money available to Sefton groups.


To donate to the Volunteering 4 Good crowdfunding initiative, please visit and for more information please call 0151 920 0726 or email  

Ability Plus; A new Forum for those with Disabilities in Sefton

Ability Plus is a new forum which aims to provide a voice to people living with a disability in the borough of Sefton. The aims of Ability Plus will combine the purposes of previous groups Sefton Access Form and The Ability Network to become a vehicle for anyone wanting to consult or engage with Sefton’s disabled community to get a better understanding of the needs of disabled people and the experiences they have of services. Members will also have the chance to share their experiences with other members of Ability Plus.

Ability Plus is a pan disability network, meaning it is open and represents people of all disabilities. Members of Ability Plus are all experts by experience, and  will act as a critical friends to services across the borough giving feedback on their services and the experiences disabled people have.

 The overall aim of Ability Plus is to make Sefton accessible, safe and welcoming to any disabled people living, working or visiting Sefton. Ability Plus is supported by Sefton Council and Sefton CVS.

 You are invited to the first meeting of Ability Plus which will take place at Bootle Town Hall on Monday 19th February at 1.30pm. At the meeting, we will discuss the terms of reference for the group and agree the scope of future meetings – we hope to see you there.

 If you have any queries about Ability Plus, or would like to attend the meeting, please contact Paul McCann on 0151 934 3202 or

Minibus Opportunity from Sefton Council – submit your proposal by Friday 16th February

Sefton Council have a minibus that needs a new home! The vehicle is a 17-seat Ford Transit with a gross weight of 4600 kg and was first registered in July 2015.

There has been a lot of interest locally, however Sefton Council are aware that an asset like this would help many local voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector groups and organisations across the borough.

To ensure all Sefton-based groups have a chance to ask for the minibus, Cabinet Members has asked that any group or organisation interested in taking ownership submits a short proposal of how you will use the bus, and importantly, how you will support other groups who may also like to use the bus.

Your proposal should include:

  • How do you propose to use the minibus and how this will benefit wider community in Sefton?
  • How you will enable the minibus to be used by other organisations who may want to hire the minibus?  

Please submit your brief proposal – no more than one single-side page of A4 – by email to by no later than Friday 16th February 2018.

Wellbeing Boost for Communities – Living Well Sefton launch new round of Community Resilience Grants

Living Well Sefton, the local collaboration of wellbeing partners, is pleased to announce the fourth round of its Community Resilience Grant is now open.

Launched on national #TimetoTalk day, the theme for the grants is mental health. Community groups and community-minded individuals are being encouraged to apply for funding for projects designed to improve the mental wellbeing of their local communities.

The Community Resilience Grant has already supported local communities on a range of projects including enhancing wellbeing through gardening or craft workshops, tackling social isolation, providing cooking classes to improve healthy eating, and lots more.

Karen Nolan, co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, explains: “Many people in our communities have benefited through the projects we have already funded. We’d love to discuss your ideas on how to improve wellbeing in your neighbourhood. A small grant can make a big difference!”

Grants available include up to £2,500 for applications from organisations and £500 to individuals, who are supported by a organisational partner. Grants are subject to specific criteria being met and will be approved by a judging panel. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 3 April.

Anyone interested in applying can complete the online application form on the Living Well Sefton website: where there are also guidance notes on how to complete the form as well as the criteria for applying. Paper versions of the organisation and individual application forms can also be found on the website.

For further details of the grant call the team direct on 0300 323 0181 or email

The Prince’s Trust Programme returns to Southport

The Prince’s Trust Team Programme is coming back to Southport. Team Programme is 12 weeks long with an additional 3-week work placement at the end. It focuses on promoting community engagement, employment skills and teamwork. Team is for those between 16 and 25 years old, who are NEET or working under 16 hours. We have two modules called Community Project and Supporting Others in the Community aimed at engagement and giving back to the local area.

If you know of any young people suitable for team, or a project and you need volunteers for in the Sefton area, please refer them to our phone numbers on the Prince’s Trust Leaflet attached or contact us directly for a chat.

We are based in the building behind Parenting 2000 on Mornington Road, Southport. Feel Free to pop in Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Our next team start date is 22/01/2018.

For more information contact the Southport team on mobile;
07849 069 574 or 07860 839 294
Or download the informational flyer here;
The Prince’s Trust Team Programme 2018

Good News for Adults as Youth Club taking on New Members

Sometimes for parents or carers of 11-17 year olds is having them out of your hair for a few hours, even more so if you know they are enjoying fun, educational activities and making new friends.

The Alchemy Youth Club in Crosby is accepting new members and takes place every Monday and Wednesday, 6pm – 9pm.

For the small price of £1 subs, young people can chill out, spend time with their friends in a safe managed space, while also taking part in a wide range of fun activities including sports, arts and crafts.

They can also gain advice and support from qualified youth workers.

Learn more at the Parenting 2000 website.

Help Sefton Stay Clean and Green!

The green fingered and community conscious are invited to take part in litter picks and gardening at Killen Green Park in Netherton, March 2, 10am and The Pinfold woodland in Crosby, March 9, 10am.

The litter pick at Killen Green Park will be followed by refreshments and a talk about the park at the L30 Community Centre in Netherton.

Learning Opportunities for the Whole Community in Sefton

Whether taking up the call to a career in teaching or developing your skills for the retail sector, Sefton’s Adult and Community Learning Service has something for you.

There is the Teaching Assistants course, which takes place from February 2, 9.30am 11.30am. Every Tuesday, there are English and Maths assessments, 9.30am -12.30pm, and ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) assessments, 12.30pm – 2pm.

If you want to grow your career in the fast paced world of retail, check in with the Retail Academy at the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle.

There will be sessions in Basic Manicure and Nail Care, Monday February 5, 10am – 12pm; Mindfulness, Tuesday, February 6, 10am – 2.30pm and Managing Stress, Friday, February 9, 10am – 1pm.

For more information, visit the Adult Community Learning Service online or contact the service on 0151 934 4546.

Start warming up for a new career with Aspiring Instructors

If you are unemployed and passionate about sport, fitness and being outdoors, did you know that from March 2018, you could be on the road to a new career in those industries in just 16 weeks?

The Aspiring Instructors course is delivered by Active Sefton and boasts a success rate of 75% for participants finding work placements as a result of the course.

The programme includes practical work placements, nationally recognised qualifications and free coaching.

To find out more or to book a place on the Aspiring Instructors Open Day, contact Active Sefton on 0151 934 2610.

A New Focus For Advocacy: Sefton Pensioner’s Advocacy Centre (SPAC) & Sefton Advocacy announce merger

Sefton Pensioners’ Advocacy Centre and Sefton Advocacy are very pleased to announce that they are merging and that the new larger charity will be known as Sefton Advocacy.

Following a period of talks and consultation, the two charities decided that in order to keep providing high quality advocacy services to the people of Sefton it was in their best interests to merge and become a larger, single charity.

Sefton Pensioners’ Advocacy Centre is currently a leading force in the field of older peoples’ advocacy projects, as one of the largest independent charities with an exceptional local and national reputation.  They have over 20 years’ experience of supporting the voice of older people with specific focus on people living with Dementia, Older people affected by Cancer, Housing & Care Projects and facilitating five older peoples’ forums across Sefton.   Sefton Advocacy’s expertise lies in the fact that it continues to be the only generic service within the Borough that offers one-to-one advocacy, help, information and advice. We have seen a growth of referrals with many more residents turning to our volunteer led service for support throughout the year.  As a charity, we offer a wide range of benefits to ‘Our Sefton Community’, ensuring that there is a long-established service for anyone with a problem to access.

The merger has come about in order to ensure that all residents of Sefton can continue to have the support of Advocacy.  In these times of austerity, the board’s of both organisations decided that to take advocacy forward in a sustainable way it was in everyone’s best interest to merge.  The new charity will be a single place of contact for Advocacy across Sefton and has the potential to develop new and innovative projects and areas of support.

Alison Ayres, Service Manager of Sefton Advocacy, says, “Providing the most vulnerable with an independent voice can have a transforming effect upon the individual and the wider community. A merging of these two organisations will strengthen this service and voice for Sefton residents. “

Andrew Booth, Director of Sefton Pensioners’ Advocacy Centre and the new CEO of Sefton Advocacy, said, “The support of Advocates and the strategic role for Advocacy Organisations are needed now more than ever. This merger will help us provide more one to one independent support for our communities, across all age groups and enable us to grow to meet the needs we, and our population, are identifying.” 

Sefton Advocacy, Unit 15 & 16 The Shakespeare Centre, 43-51 Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AB.

Contact: 01704 500500.

Health and Wellbeing Event at St Nicholas Church – 8pm 26th February 2018

Well Being & Mental Illness Event
Monday 26th February
Time: 8:00pm
St Nicholas Church, Bridge Rd, Crosby, Liverpool L23 6SA

We are all aware of our physical well being, however, as a nation we tend not to think about our mental well being.  At St Nicholas Church we recognise the growing need to support both our congregation and the wider community with mental well being.

What do we mean by mental well being?  As with physical well being – we all have mental well being.  You may have fantastic mental well being, but the likelihood is that at some point in your life your mental well being will need some TLC too.  The spectrum to consider is wide, ranging from supporting people who may be feeling isolated or lonely, to guidance and support for individuals and families who may be dealing with difficult mental health diagnoses. Throughout life we will all experience periods of increased stress, unwelcome change and grief, all of which impact our mental well being and our ability to function at the level we are used to.  1 in 4 people will experience depression in their life.  Anxiety related conditions manifest in many ways and some of us will be diagnosed with more sever conditions such as bipolar, psychosis and schizophrenia and of course, as we age, dementia becomes a significant threat to us all.  In truth, if we don’t experience poor mental well being ourselves, there is a great likelihood that we will experience it second hand and be in a position where we need to support someone in pain.

At St Nicholas Church we want to support people facing a difficult time.  We have started by Kathryn Smith, Gill Bell and Keith Thornborough talking together about this, we have ideas including a ‘friendship café’, ‘craft & art group’ and ‘walking group’ to try to improve isolation and loneliness in the community and ‘mental health focus group’, ‘peer support groups’ and ‘buddying systems’ for individuals and families dealing with more demanding mental well being issues.  Other ideas may come to light as we gather a group together.

We would like to talk more about these ideas and to make sure we focus our energies in the correct place we’d like our community to guide us on what is needed.  We will be holding an open talk mental well being session on 26th February at 8pm in the church hall.  In this session we will have a ‘This is Me’ testimonial from Kathryn Smith discussing her experiences with mental illness.  We will hope to discuss what ‘Well Being and Mental Illness’ means to you, and we will seek input and suggestions to future initiatives to help support the community further.  This session is for anyone feeling isolated and lonely, with first or second hand experience of mental health issues and for anyone who has a general interest in mental well being within our communities.  Please come along to help start the conversations.

Child welfare as justice: why are we not effectively addressing inequalities?

Summary: Explores questions raised by the Child Welfare Inequalities Project, a four-nation comparison of child welfare interventions in the UK. Looks at theoretical ideas from political theory, psychology and moral philosophy to explore whether inequalities in child welfare interventions should be addressed.

Authors: Gavin Davidson, Lisa Bunting, Paul Bywaters, Brid Featherstone and Claire McCartan
Journal: British Journal of Social Work (Vol.47, No.6), September 2017, pp 1641-1651
Go to publication

Exploring peer mentoring as a form of innovative practice with young people at risk of child sexual exploitation.

Summary: Explores peer support as a response to child sexual exploitation. Presents findings from a qualitative study of the Manchester Active Voices (MAV), a young people’s service which works with young women who have been exploited or are at risk of gang exploitation. Finds that peer mentoring may have emotional, practical and interpersonal benefits for vulnerable young people.

Authors: Gillian Buck, Angela Lawrence and Ester Ragonese
Journal: British Journal of Social Work (Vol.47, No.6), September 2017, pp 1745-1763
Go to publication

‘Pupil mental health crisis?’ survey report 2017: examining the current state of mental wellbeing in young people and children in the UK.

Summary: Findings from a survey of 603 school leaders and governors across the UK looking at pupil mental health. Findings include: 58 per cent of respondents said there is insufficient mental health provision for pupils available within their schools; 86 per cent said that social media has directly impacted the mental health of pupils; and 83 per cent said mental health issues have increased in the last five years.

Authors: Hub4Leaders and Leeds Beckett University
Publication details: [Leeds]: Hub4Leaders, 2018
Go to publication

Life in ‘likes’: Children’s Commissioner report into social media use among 8-12 year olds.

Summary: Looks at the ways younger children use social media platforms and the effect on their wellbeing. Findings from focus groups involving 32 children aged 8 to 12 years old include: the most popular social media were Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp; social media was important for maintaining relationships, but this got more difficult to manage at secondary school, where friendships could break down online. Recommendations include: broadening digital literacy education in schools beyond safety messages, to develop children’s critical awareness and resilience, focusing on the transition stage from primary to secondary school.

Authors: Children’s Commissioner for England
Publication details: [London]: Office of the Children’s Commissioner, 2018
Go to publication

Peer-on-Peer Abuse Toolkit.

Summary: Toolkit to help schools prevent peer-on-peer abuse, identify it at an early stage and respond to it appropriately. Offers guidance on developing and introducing a peer-on-peer abuse policy. Topics covered include: developing an overarching policy and introducing it to the school community; tailoring your policy to your school’s specific context; risk assessment; appropriate language and approaches; ongoing protective work. Includes a template peer-on-peer abuse policy.

Authors: David Smellie, Adele Eastman, Katie Rigg and Carlene Firmin
Publication details: London: Farrer & Co, 2017
Go to publication

A model of engagement with children, young people and planners in the development of Children’s Services plans.

Summary: Describes the process for developing a model for enabling children in Scotland to take part in and influence how adults plan and run services for them in their area. The model was developed by Edinburgh Children’s Partnership as part of a pilot initiative to devise a methodology for engagement that is jointly owned by children, young people and professionals.

Authors: Scottish Government
Publication details: Edinburgh: Scottish Government, 2017
Go to publication

Children England – Latest News

Briefing: The Children and Social Work Act
We’ve published a summary of the Children and Social Work Act (Part 1), and brought together useful briefings and commentaries relating to these provisions. It includes

  • Corporate Parenting Principles for local authorities
  • More educational support for previously looked after children
  • Significant changes to local safeguarding arrangements
  • Statutory relationships and sex education in all secondary schools

700,000 children living in unsafe rented homes
Analysis by the Labour Party shows that 1 million rented homes in England are unsafe and that almost 700,000 children are living in them, at risk from fire, vermin and other threats to their health and safety. Labour’s Bill to make homes fit for human habitation is currently going through the House of Commons
Child poverty exceeds 50% in some areas
The End Child Poverty campaign has published new figures for child poverty in each area which show that in 87 wards, a child is now more likely than not to grow up in poverty. They also indicate:

  • The areas of greatest deprivation have seen the greatest percentage point increases in poverty
  • The major cities continue to be the places with highest child poverty, including London, Birmingham and Manchester
  • There is huge variation between areas, with the local authority having the smallest number of children in poverty being the Isles of Scilly, at 5.17%

Sam Royston, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, said,
‘It is scandalous that a child born in some parts of the UK now has a greater chance of growing up in poverty, than being in a family above the breadline. There can be little doubt that the Government’s policy of maintaining the benefits freeze despite rising prices is a major contributor to the emerging child poverty crisis.’

Insufficient progress on children’s health
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has published its 2018 report The State of Child Health in England. Whilst finding that some progress has been made in guidance for local authorities on child obesity and in collecting child health data, there is no evidence of change in areas such as:

  • Reducing child deaths
  • Developing research capacity to improve child health
  • Reducing child poverty

Children’s centres not being Ofsted inspected
Research by Action for Children has revealed that almost 1,000 children’s centres have not been inspected by Ofsted for over five years. The government’s freeze on children’s centre inspections was originally a short-term measure but two years later is still in place. Action for Children is calling on the Secretary of State Damian Hinds to review early years services and provide “a bold vision for the early years”.

The impact of free school meals
The Education Policy Institute has published extensive evaluation of universal free school meals for infants (UIFSM). Across the full calendar year, the estimated proportion of infants from the lowest quartile of household income receiving a free meal in the previous week increased from an estimated 25 per cent shortly before UIFSM’s introduction (equivalent to 34 per cent in a given school week) to 62 per cent (equivalent to 84 per cent in a given school week) afterwards. The research also found:

  • Some teachers thought attainment/progress in class (39 per cent); ability to complete deskbased activities (36 per cent); and ability to concentrate, not getting distracted (36 per cent) had increased as a result of UIFSM, with none reporting a deterioration.
  • 30 per cent of school leaders felt that pupils’ overall health had improved as a result of UIFSM being implemented, while 54 per cent of 57 teachers surveyed felt that the policy had had a positive impact on the health of children eligible for FSM.
  • 56 per cent of parents surveyed felt their child was more likely to try new foods following the introduction of UIFSM.

People power – supporting localism
The Commission on Localism, run by Locality and Power to Change, has published its research on how well policies supporting localism are working and what more is needed to empower communities. It calls for ‘radical action’ and recommends:

  • A strengthened partnership between local government and local people. For local government to embrace community-led solutions, including by transferring community buildings to local community organisations, more local control of budgets, and to strengthen community organisations who can make it easier for people to get involved in local activities
  • Central government to create a stronger framework for local decision making by strengthening the Localism Act including increased powers  for communities to take over important buildings with a new Community Right to Buy, to influence public services, through a new ‘services partnership power’, and by granting new powers to strengthen neighbourhood forums
  • Localism to be at the heart of the devolution agenda to ensure initiatives truly strengthen the power of community, enhance community accountability and neighbourhood control.

Framework, evaluation criteria and inspector guidance for the inspections of Local Authority Children’s Services.

Summary: Outlines the framework and guidance for inspecting local authority services for children in need of help and protection, children in care and care leavers in England, to be used from 2018. Describes the inspection principles and arrangements for standard, short inspections, and focused visits. Sets out arrangements for monitoring the progress of inadequate local authority children’s services, and for the action planning visit following an inadequate judgement. Explains the roles and expectations of inspectors including the inspection methodology. Includes information about evaluation criteria and grade descriptors.

Authors: OFSTED
Publication details: London: Ofsted, 2017
Go to publication

The relationship between childhood adversity, attachment, and internalizing behaviors in a diversion program for child-to-mother violence.

Summary: Explores the relationship between childhood adversity, child-mother attachment and internalising behaviours (anxiety or depression) among a sample of 80 young people arrested for violence against a mother. Key findings include: high prevalence rates of childhood adversity; insecure attachment predicted depression among females and previous experience of maltreatment and/or witness to parental violence predicted anxiety among females. Highlights this is the first study to explore childhood adversity among a sample of perpetrators of child-to-mother violence.

Authors: Eva Nowakowski-Sims and Amanda Rowe
Journal: Child abuse and neglect (Vol.72), October 2017, pp 266-275
Go to publication

“It’s just everywhere”: a study on sexism in schools – and how we tackle it.

Summary: Explores the experiences and views of students and teachers about sexism in schools. Uses data from a survey of 1508 secondary school students and 1634 teachers at secondary and primary schools in England and Wales. Findings include: 37 per cent of female students at mixed-sex schools have experienced some form of sexual harassment at school; 24 per cent of female students at mixed-sex schools have been subjected to unwanted physical touching of a sexual nature while at school.

Authors: National Education Union, UK Feminista, Sophie Bennett, Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted
Publication details: [London]: UK Feminista, 2017
Go to publication

County Lines Violence, Exploitation and Drug supply 2017: National Briefing Report.

Summary: Provides a national overview on the threat of ‘county lines’ drug supply, violence and exploitation, a model which involves networks from urban centres expanding their drug dealing activities into smaller towns and rural areas, often exploiting young or vulnerable people. Findings from a survey of police forces in England and Wales, Scotland and the Metropolitan Police include: 65 per cent of forces reported that county lines activity was linked to the exploitation of children; and 26 per cent of forces reported evidence of child sexual exploitation. The National Crime Agency estimates that there are at least 720 county lines across England and Wales, the majority of which will involve the exploitation of multiple young or otherwise vulnerable people.

Authors: National Crime Agency
Publication details: London: National Crime Agency, 2017
Go to publication