Citizens 4 Good Scheme Opens for Latest Round of Nominations (Closing Friday 29th June 2018)

Sefton 4 Good and the Mayor of Sefton’s Office are opening the latest round of Citizens 4 Good nominations.

Citizens 4 Good is a recognition scheme that wants to highlight the good deeds, kindness and support that local people provide to other members of their community.

Nominations can be made by anyone who thinks a particular person deserves to be recognised, including friends, neighbours, work colleagues, schools, community organisations and local councillors.

“Since launching last August, Citizens 4 Good has recgonised 37 people for their kind acts and support of their communities,” says Mike Howlett, Senior Citizenship & Volunteering Officer for Sefton CVS “

Shortlisted nominees will be invited to a celebration event where they will be presented with a certificate by the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson.

“We are so pleased that Citizens 4 Good has been so well received,” commented Cllr Robinson “And look forward to recognising even more Sefton residents for their good deeds..”

The deadline for nominations is Friday 29th June, with the celebration event taking place on Thursday 12th July at a venue in Bootle from 5pm.

To nominate a Citizen 4 Good go to www.sefton4good.org.uk where you can complete an online nomination form, or alternative Download a copy here.

For further information about Citizens 4 Good call 0151 920 0726 or email info@sefton4good.org.uk

The Great Get Together in Sefton! (22nd June)

The Great Get Together is inspired by Jo Cox, who was killed in 2016. The weekend aims to bring communities together and celebrate all that unites us through a weekend of neighbourhood celebrations across the country from the 22nd – 24th June. It’s promising build on the success of last year with to be the biggest community celebrations this year!

In the words of The Great Get Together themselves; “We’re inviting people to get together with their neighbours to share food and celebrate all that we hold in common. It could be a street party or a shared barbecue, a picnic or a bake off. What matters is that we have fun and bring communities closer together.”

What’s on in Sefton

If you would like to get involved there are several events happening on the 22nd throughout the borough.

North Sefton at Southport Community Centre

GGT_ poster v.2 - Southport CC

For more information about Southport Community Centre – southportcommunitycentre.org.uk

Central Sefton at the Feelgood Factory

GGT_FeelGood poster v.2 2018
For more information about about the Feelgood Factory – www.feelgoodfactory.org.uk

South Sefton at Strand By Me Shop

Will be holding a Get Together at their shop in the Strand Shopping Centre from mid-morning until the afternoon. Volunteers from the Strand will be leading the event, however members of the public are welcome to drop in throughout the day.

For more information about Strand By Me  – seftoncvs.org.uk/projects/strandbyme/

If you are inspired to hold your own Get Together further information of how to get involved throughout the weekend is available at – www.greatgettogether.org

 

 

NHS Commissioners ‘Proud’ to have been Shortlisted in Prestigious National Awards

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG say they’re proud to have been finalists in the prestigious HSJ Value Awards 2018, recognising the best efficiency and improvement across the NHS.

Together, the CCGs were awarded the title of highly commended in the communications category for their work associated with communicating their Repeat Prescription Ordering Scheme (RPOS) at the national ceremony in Manchester.

RPOS was designed to significantly improve medicines safety for some of the borough’s most vulnerable residents, by reducing the amount of wasted and unused drugs stored, without supervision, in their homes. At the same time, the scheme aimed to reduce the high cost of these wasted medicines, achieving at least £500,000 savings in its first year of operation.

The CCGs worked one-to-one with vulnerable patients, created short videos and also toured Sefton to help explain the scheme by explaining the risks caused by stockpiling drugs at home, and helping patients to have medications reviewed regularly to fit their needs.

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs, said: “It was a real honour to be at the awards ceremony and to be judged the only highly commended scheme in the communications category. We’re really proud of the work we have done to be shortlisted.

“We identified early that close collaboration with our communications and engagement team would be central to the success of RPOS.”

Lyn Cooke, head of communications and engagement at the CCGs, added: “It was essential for the communications and engagement team to be involved from the inception of the pilot and its initial design, through to its evaluation and wider roll out to the rest of Sefton.

“Through working closely with the medicines management team, we maximised on their expertise as pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to speak to people about their medicines and to ensure that the repeat prescription ordering scheme would work for them.

“To be shortlisted in the HSJ awards has been a real honour and recognition for all the hard work carried out by our colleagues in medicines management supported by our communications and engagement team.”

Alastair McLellan, Editor, HSJ, said “In July the prime minister has promised to reveal a historic funding settlement for the NHS. However, this welcome and long overdue boost will not remove the need for the NHS to deliver high quality healthcare which is also value for the money spent on it. Indeed, the extra money is likely to come with even greater scrutiny on NHS efficiency.

“The finalists and winning entrants of the HSJ Value Awards all demonstrate that the NHS is constantly seeking ways in which to enhance both the quality of care while making every penny count.”

NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG were one of nine organisations shortlisted in the communications category of the HSJ Value Awards 2018, with local specialist mental health, addiction, learning disability and community health services provider Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund will reopen on 26th June 2018 closing 31st July

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund will reopen on 26th June 2018 at 10am and close on 31st July at midnight.

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund aims to give community groups in England the support to start setting up their community business. Groups accepted onto the programme will receive one to one business development support and be invited to apply for a small grant to fund development and start-up costs, such as feasibility studies, legal and other fees connected with developing governance, taking ownership of a building or other asset, community engagement, business planning and more.

The programme is run by Locality and offers:

  • Specialist support with creating a development plan for your community business
  • Mentoring and visits to inspire you and enable you to learn from peers
  • Regional networking and events to learn from experts in the field
  • The opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £15,000

Interested community groups can already read the guidance and register for the ‘Is Bright Ideas right for you?’ webinar on 18 June.

Job Vacancy; Citizens Advice Sefton Money Adviser – Closing 27th June 2018

Citizens Advice Sefton

Role: Money Adviser – Money Advice Team
Location:  Sefton (based in Southport)
Salary:  £23,398 – £24,790
Hours:  35 hours per week
Pension: 7% Employer contribution
Annual leave: 28 days plus bank holidays


Sefton CAB are looking for an experienced Money Adviser to join our Money Advice team.  Ideally, you will be an approved Debt Relief Order Intermediary, and will be accredited with the Money Advice Service but if not then you should be willing to undertake the training required.

You will be someone who enjoys working within a busy environment and working holistically with colleagues to provide the support people need who are experiencing debt problems in Sefton.

For more information visit seftoncab.org.uk/jobs or email recruitment@seftoncab.org.uk or telephone 0151 282 5650 Ext 108

Closing date for applications: 27th June 2018 (5pm)

Interviews: 5th July 2018

Downloads

About Citizens Advice Sefton

Application Form – Money Advisor

Money Adviser Job Description

Guidance Notes

 

 

Suicide in England and Wales Increasing among Young People

The Guardian reports that figures obtained by the Brent Centre for Young People through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request indicate that overall the number of deaths by suicide among those age 10 to 19 in England and Wales has increased by 24 per cent from 2013/14 to 2015/16. The number of deaths by suicide in the same age category increased by 107 per cent from 2013/14 to 2015/16 in London itself. The Brent Centre calls for more investment in mental health services to better support young people.

Source: Guardian 

Further information: Brent Centre for Young People

Factors Affecting Children’s Mental Health

The Children’s Society and Barnardo’s have published a study that explores how factors at age 10 and 11 can affect children’s mental health at age 14 and 15. Data was analysed from the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) and a new longitudinal analysis. Key findings include: children with poor family relationships at age 10 are more likely to have mental health problems like depression and anxiety by age 14. Recommendations include: training for mental health leads in schools to identify and act on problems that can harm children’s mental health; and more advice and services for parents worried about their teen’s mental health.

Source: The Children’s Society 

Further information: Factors affecting children’s mental health over time (PDF)

Child Health Profiles for 2018 Published

Public Health England (PHE) has released the child health profiles for 2018, providing an overview of child health and wellbeing for each local authority in England. The profiles present data on key health indicators, including: childhood obesity; young people and alcohol; and young people’s mental health. PHE has also created an interactive version of the profiles for local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Source: PHE

Further information: Overview of child health (profiles) Overview of child health (interactive tool)

Volunteer Opportunity; Treasurer for The Atkinson Development Trust (closing 1pm, Monday 2nd July 2018)

Role: Treasurer
Location: The Atkinson, Southport
Hours: We hold monthly meetings for two hours at 5-7 pm
Accountable to: The Atkinson Development
Closing date: 1pm, Monday 2nd July 2018


The Atkinson Development Trust is a charity run by a small, committed group of skilled volunteers who have a shared love of Sefton and The Atkinson. Established in 2015, we’re still growing and developing.

Our aim, in short, is to raise money. What interests us is what we can do with the funds we raise. We all believe in the transformative power of art. And we believe that communities thrive best when they have civic pride and a sense of place.  So, the Trust was established to work in partnership with The Atkinson to use its collections to make a positive impact on local people’s lives.

The Treasurer’s role is to:

  • Oversee the financial affairs of the organisation, ensuring they are legal and constitutional
  • Ensure that proper records are kept and effective financial procedures are in place
  • Oversee the production and adoption of annual budgets, financial reports/returns, accounts and audits
  • Appraise the financial viability of plans, proposals and feasibility studies
  • Liaise with Trustees making them aware of their financial obligations and ensuring the financial viability of the organisation
  • Lead on appointing and liaising with auditors/an independent examiner
  • Contribute to the pool of expertise and advice i.e. making advice and expertise available to the Board, staff and volunteers
  • Make an active contribution in organising fundraising on behalf of The Atkinson Development Trust
  • Govern i.e directing and controlling the organisation through collective decision-making.  This is a mandatory requirement of every Trustee.

Please see the attached for more information about the role:

Treasurer recruitment -supporting info

Treasurer job description

If you have any questions please email us at: atkinsontrustees@sefton.gov.uk

The Atkinson website is: https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/

Spotlight on Men’s Health!

Living Well Sefton partners are offering a host of activities to appeal to men during this week’s Men’s Health Week. This year’s event has a focus on men and diabetes and all the activities aim to encourage men to look at what they eat and how they keep active.

In the south, Netherton Feelgood Factory and May Logan Living Well Centre in Bootle, have a timetable with the following for men to choose from: walking groups, craft and arts groups, yoga, gardening clubs and an informal mental health drop-in.

On Thursday (14th) at the May Logan in Knowsley Road there is a men’s sports group. Drop in from 1.30pm to relive your favourite memories from the world of sport. While on Friday (15th) the Feelgood Factory has a man’s social club. For £1 you can enter the Man Cave from 1.30pm.

While in Southport, Brighter Living Partnership’s men’s group has lined up a week of taster sessions.

Group member, Andrew Lloyd, says: “Coming to the men’s group has made such a difference. Before I would have just sat at home but now I’m mixing with people from all kinds of background and I get so much out of it.”

Anne-Marie Morrison, Community Resilience Development Officer with Living Well Sefton, explains: “During Men’s Health Week we’re giving a real taste of what we hope to offer for the rest of the year and we want men to come along, try them out, and then tell us what they’d like to get involved with.”

Tuesday morning – drop in and try your hand at the games club from 10.30am and treat yourself at the community café
Tuesday afternoon – drop in from 1pm for Steps to Health and Making Every Contact Count training sessions
Wednesday – Dave, a personal trainer, will be putting on a circuit training session (11am-12noon) designed for all abilities and people are asked to sign up if interested
Thursday –  a popular fixture at the centre is the lunch club at 12.30pm but book in advance as places are limited
Friday – remember your pop corn for Film Club from 1pm

For those who try out the taster sessions and become a part of the men’s group there is also the chance to undertake training with the goal of becoming peer mentors.

More details from:
May Logan on 922 8588
Feelgood Factory on 291 8010
Brighter Living Partnership on 01704 517818
Living Well Sefton on 0300 323 0181

FREE Upcoming Training: Charity Legals with Brabners (Thursday 14th June)

In this FREE seminar, Brabners Charity Law solicitors will consider some of the latest and topical issues impacting on charities, their regulation and practice including:
  • The Law Commission’s review into technical issues in charity law
  • Issues for consideration arising from the recent Oxfam and Presidents Club revelations
  • Summary of Charity Commission regulatory cases
  • Hot off the press latest information
Time: 10am – 12 noon
Venue: Sefton CVS, Burlington House, Waterloo, L22 0LG (map)

To book your place online, please click here. Alternatively, please email; training@seftoncvs.org.uk or call 0151 920 0726

ADHD Foundation Conference; “ADHD in 2018, Neurodiversity and Mental Health.” – 8th/9th November

“ADHD in 2018, Neurodiversity and Mental Health.”

It is the largest ADHD themed conference in the UK- the focus of the conference on the 8th November is clinical and medical and the 9th November, education.

Bursary places available to all teachers,SENDCOs, School Leaders, doctors and nurses with an interest in ADHD for £120 per person per day.

Book early– sold out by mid- September in both 2016 and 2017.

The programme on the 8th November includes presentations on optimising treatmentfor ADHD,best practice models for nurse led ADHD clinics,the latest research into ADHD and Genetics, Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis in high functioning ADHD, Mental Health and Comorbidity.

Key speakers include:

Professor Anthoni Ramos Quriga, Head of Psychiatry at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona who will be delivering a keynote presentation on his groundbreaking research into the use of both mindfulness and virtual reality as a treatment for ADHD.

Professor Sandra Kooij, Head of the Dutch Expertise Centre for Adult ADHD and the Founder and Chair of the European Network for Adult ADHD, will be leading a session entitled, “ADHD, Sleep amd Mental Health.”

The programme on the 9th November includes presentations on supporting learners with ADHD, ASC , Tourette’s Syndrome and Pathological Demand Avoidance, addressing anxiety, supporting parenting, developing good sleep hygiene for SEND learners,active learning and using assistive technology effectively.

Key speakers include:  

Professor Barry Carpenter OBE.

Honorary Professor at the Universities of Worcester (UK), Limerick (Ireland) , Hamburg (Germany), Flinders, (Australia) and the Director of the Centre for Special Education at Westminster College, Oxford.

Professor Carpenter will be delivering a keynote presentation on “Creating Mental Wealth in children and young people with ADHD.” and a breakout session on his ground breaking work exploring the unique needs of Girls with Autism.

Dr Simon Bignall.

Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby, nominated for the Times Higher Education,‘Most Innovative Teacher of the Year’ Award. Research interests include Autism, Asperger’s & ADHD, with a PHD in “ADHD and Children’s Language.”

Dr Bignall will be delivering a key note presentation on supporting learners with the overlapping symptomology of ADHD and ASC.

For booking information, go to www.adhdfoundation.org.uk and click on “Book Now” on the Home page and fill in the booking form.

For more information, contact colin.foley@adhdfoundation.org.uk

Download the 2018 ADHD Conference Programme Here

ADHD Foundation Conference 2018.png

Autism Friendly Film Screening at the Plaza Community Cinema – 18th June

The next Autism Friendly Film Screening at the Plaza Cinema will be on Monday 18th June, at 5.30pm. As usual low level lighting in the auditorium will be maintained and screen the film at a reduced volume.

Details below:

The Isle Of Dogs (PG)

1 hour 41 mins.
Animation, adventure, comedy
Frame stop animation
Director: Wes Anderson. Also director of Fantastic Mr. Fox.

STARRING:
Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand and Yoko Ono

STORYLINE:
Set 20 years into the future …. an outbreak of dog flu has spread through the city of Megasaki, Japan, and Mayor Kobayashi has demanded all dogs to be sent to Trash Island. On the island, a young boy named Atari sets out to find his lost dog, Spots, with the help of five other dogs… and many obstacles along the way.

PREVIEW:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5104604/videoplayer/vi2651502617?ref_=vi_nxt_ap

Children in Need of Help and Protection: Call for Evidence

The Department for Education (DfE) has extended the closing date for the consultation on children in need of help and protection until 01 July 2018. The call for evidence seeks to understand: what makes a difference to the educational outcomes of children in need; how some children in need can achieve better educational outcomes than others.

Source: DfE

Internet Safety Strategy Green paper: Consultation Outcome

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Home Office (HO) have published the government response to the consultation on the Internet safety strategy green paper published in October 2017. A white paper, to be published later in the year, will set out plans for legislation including the social media code of practice and transparency reporting and online advertising as well as considering new policy areas on safety including: age verification; policies aimed at improving children and young people’s mental health; tackling issues related to live-streaming; and further work to define harmful content.

Source: DCMS and HO

Further information: Government response to the internet safety strategy green paper (PDF)

Consultation outcome: internet safety strategy green paper

NSPCC #WildWestWeb campaign

Parental Alcohol and Drug use: Toolkit for Local Authorities

Public Health England (PHE) has published a toolkit for local authorities to help identify problematic parental drug and alcohol use in their area, and to understand the impact this can have on children and young people living in the same household. The toolkit includes data on local prevalence and unmet need amongst adults who live with one or more child and misuse substances. It aims to: help local authorities commission services to reduce and prevent harm to children and families; and address the effects of adverse childhood experiences and to safeguard children.

Source: PHE 

Further information: Children & Young People Now

Support for 16 and 17 Year Olds

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and The Children’s Society have launched a survey on support for 16 and 17 year old children in need and young people’s transitions to adulthood. The survey asks questions about: the support available for 16 and 17 year olds who are subject to a child in need plan or a child protection plan, or receive early help; how the support helps prepare them for adulthood; and changes needed to improve support for vulnerable 16 and 17 year olds during transition and into young adulthood.

Source: BASW 

Further information: Survey monkey (link to take the survey)

Data Protection Act 2018

The Data Protection Act 2018 received Royal Assent on 23 May 2018. The Act, which replaces the 1998 Act, provides a legal framework for data protection in the UK. It is supplemented by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). Schedule 3 Section 15 outlines exemptions from the GDPR relating to health, social work, education and child abuse. When the UK leaves the EU, the GDPR will be incorporated into the UK’s domestic law under the powers in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, currently before Parliament.

Source: UK Parliament 

Further information: Data Protection Act 2018 (PDF)

Exam Stress

The NSPCC has released figures which show that Childline delivered 3,135 counselling sessions relating to exam stress in 2017/18, with 683 of these (22%) taking place in May 2017. Young people’s concerns included: an overwhelming workload; pressure from their parents; and worries about whether they would get the grades they want. Some young people contacting Childline also said the prospect of taking exams was having an adverse effect on their mental health.

Source: NSPCC Date: 25 May 2018

Further information: Childline

NSPCC Conference: How Safe are Our Children? Growing Up Online

The NSPCC’s annual conference takes place on 20-21 June 2018 in London. The conference will feature talks from sector leaders and explore the latest research and insight on keeping children safe in the digital age. Speakers include Digital Secretary Matt Hancock MP, who will deliver the keynote address on day one; clinical psychologist Professor Tanya Byron; and experts from O2, Facebook, Snapchat, the Internet Watch Foundation and CEOP. The conference will also see the launch of the NSPCC’s How safe are our children? 2018 report, a comprehensive overview of the latest child protection data from the UK.

Source: NSPCC conference: How safe are our children? Growing up online

Further information: Conference schedule (PDF)

NSPCC #WildWestWeb campaign

Relationships and Sex Education

The NSPCC and the PHSE Association have published lesson plans and guidance to help schools teach relationships and sex education (RSE). The resource includes lesson plans for teachers spanning Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 (age 10-16) covering subjects including: transition to secondary school; online safety and online friendships; consent; sexualised behaviour; unhealthy relationships; and sharing sexual images. A guide for teachers to support the delivery of the Making sense of relationships lesson plans has also been published.

Source: NSPCC: Making sense of relationships: PSHE lesson plans for key stages 2-4 on personal safety and healthy relationships

Youth Sector Evidence Roundtables Scoping Aspirations for an Evidence Base

In June 2018 the Centre for Youth Impact and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) are hosting a series of roundtables that will explore the role of and potential for an evidence base for informal and non-formal youth provision. The overarching goals of these roundtables are to understand: what difference would an evidence base make? What is currently holding us back from establishing or growing a shared evidence base? And what role should the government and other stakeholders play in order to support the creation of such an evidence base?

Hosted by Brathay Trust and Youth Focus North West

Date: 28th June 2018

Location:The Grange Community Resource Centre, Pilgrim Drive, Manchester, M11 3TQ

Time: 12.30pm arrival, with a 1pm start to 4pm

At this event we will discuss:

  1. What are the aspirations for an evidence base for the youth sector? Whose aspirations are they?
  2. What are the most important features of an evidence base (for example, collective ownership) that would enable it to fulfil aspirations?
  3. How would an evidence base inform design, delivery, evaluation and the sustainability of youth provision?
  4. What is the role of stakeholders in advocating for, developing, maintaining and using an evidence base for the youth sector?

The potential role of an evidence base for the youth sector is yet to be defined and we hope that you will be able to join as we as we explore this important topic.

Please RSVP  to jake.leeper@youthimpact.uk

Children England News

Vision for new secure schools
The Ministry of Justice has published its vision for the two new secure schools it announced in December 2016, comprising 70 – 80 places in total. Ultimately anticipated to replace prisons and young offenders institutions for children and young people in the justice system, the new type of institution will offer “bespoke provision for individual children that has education, healthcare and physical activity at its heart – a therapeutic environment in a secure setting.” It’s not yet clear whether these places will replace or create additional capacity in the secure estate.

Social Work England
Colum Conway, currently Chief Executive of Northern Ireland’s social work regulator, has been appointed to become the Chief Executive of the new regulatory body Social Work England. The government has published its response to the consultation on the new body, and summarised the changes it will make as a consequence, including:

  • The investigation, case examination and adjudication roles in the fitness to practise system must be separate
  • Interim orders can now only be made by adjudicators, rather than case examiners
  • Social Work England will not have power to suspend approval of education courses or training as a remedial measure
  • Under default powers, the Secretary of State will have the power to appoint an independent person to take over the regulator’s functions or give effect to a remedial direction

Mental health assessment pilots for children in care
The government has confirmed that, after some delay, the pilots for mental health assessments of children coming into care will start later this year. The areas running pilots, and the organisations contracted to manage and evaluate them, are yet to be announced.

Young women aged 16 – 19 most likely to experience abuse by partner
The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that of all the age groups, young women aged 16 – 19 were most likely to have experienced partner abuse in the year ending March 2017 (7.6% compared with 6.2% for women aged 16 – 59). Other groups of women with higher than average rates of abuse from a partner included:

  • Women who had a long-term illness or disability (12.4% compared with 5.1% who did not)
  • Women who identified with Mixed/Multiple ethnicities were more likely to have experienced partner abuse (10.1%) than any other ethnic group

Women living in households with an income of less than £10,000 were more than four times as likely (14.3%) to have experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months than women living in households with an income of £50,000 or more (3.3%)

Sefton Council’s Southport Heritage project wins National Lottery support

Sefton Council has received initial National Lottery support for the Southport Townscape Heritage Project.

The Council managed to beat off fierce competition from 23 other submitted bids nationally to be one of only 5 areas within the UK awarded the grant.

The grant (which is made possible by National Lottery players), will fund a project which aims to:

• Enhance the quality and strength of the linkages between the town centre and the Seafront so that the two become better integrated
• Increase the levels of economic activity within the target area to reduce the number of vacant and underused properties.

The project will focus on historic properties between Lord Street and the Promenade in order to complement the previously awarded Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of Kings Gardens and the recent £2m award from the Coastal Community funds for the pier.

Development funding of £70,100 has been awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to help Sefton in partnership with Southport BID progress their plans to apply for a full National Lottery grant of £1.6m at a later date, which it is hoped will contribute to a combined funding pot of around £2.4m.

The project aims to carry out essential conservation work, involving structural and external repair of historic buildings; the reinstatement of authentic architectural features (e.g. traditional shopfronts, windows) and works to bring vacant floor space in historic buildings back into use.

The project will also bring community and educational benefits to the town and in conjunction with partners such as Southport Civic Society and education and training providers, will include a programme for promoting the heritage of the town including education, training and skills development for the repair and looking after historic buildings. It is hoped that this will bring about significant volunteer opportunities.

The target area for the project is located within Lord Street and the Promenade Conservation Areas which includes a rich and nationally significant collection of historic buildings, layout and landscaping. This heritage is important to residents, businesses and visitors alike, contributes to the economy of the town as well as giving a strong sense of identity, local pride and community value.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Planning and Building Control, said: “Considering we were competing against other local authorities for this funding and how massively oversubscribed it is, the fact we are successful is a testament to the strength of our bid.

“This was a real team effort and involved a lot of hard work with our planning and conservation officers along with partners.

“The project will focus on the areas between Lord Street and the Promenade linking up the town centre with the seafront to build on the recent Heritage Lottery Funded restoration of King’s Gardens and the Coastal Communities Fund of £2m for Southport Pier.

“We strongly believe the money will enhance these links so that the two areas become more integrated while increasing economic activity with the aim of reducing the number of vacant, underused and poorly maintained properties.”

Rob Uffendell, Chair of Southport Business Improvement District, said: “This is a great example of an effective and strong public and private sector partnership working together to attract external funding to Southport.

“BIDs aren’t just about delivering events and organising marketing and promotional campaigns. There is increasing evidence that investors and funding bodies are becoming more attracted to areas where BIDs operate and that has to be good news for the future development of our town”.

Southport Townscape Heritage Project has initially been granted round one development funding of £70,100 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, allowing it to progress with its plans. Detailed proposals are then considered by HLF at second round, where a final decision is made on the full funding award of £1,625,000.

The Sovini Group help local Merseyside family with autism-friendly garden

Cash for Kids and The Sovini Group have been working together in collaboration with Cobalt Housing Association to create an autism-friendly garden for a local Merseyside family. Cash for Kids has facilitated the project, whilst The Sovini Group have delivered the works.

The Sovini Group which incorporates One Vision Housing, Pine Court Housing Association, Sovini Property Services, Sovini Trade Supplies and Carroll Group is a property management and development group based in Merseyside operating throughout the UK.

Cash for Kids mission is to respond to the needs of children in their communities, they aspire to enable all children to live life to the full and achieve their individual potential. They support children ages 0-18 who are disabled, disadvantaged or suffering from abuse or neglect. In 2017 they raised over £23 million and supported more than 709,000.

The family were in need of some outdoor space for their two children, George and Jack Knowles who suffer from autism. After approaching The Steve Morgan Foundation for sensory toys the family realised their garden wasn’t autism-friendly or suitable for the sensory toys, for example the fences could be easily climbed on, and they needed artificial turf as the little ones often enjoyed playing in the mud and putting bits of plastic from the ground in their mouths. The children couldn’t play in the garden without constant supervision.

Soon after discovering the garden wasn’t suitable, the family began to search for the costs involved in transforming it into an autism-friendly escape for the kids. They quickly realised the costs involved would be completely unaffordable at around £6,000, this was when they were put in contact with Cash for Kids and The Sovini Group.

A sensory garden stimulates all senses in a non-overwhelming way; sight, touch, taste, and sound, through the use of different artificial plants, materials and toys.

Southport Food & Drink Festival 2018 starts TODAY!

Thousands of culinary explorers are expected to attend the free, three day, annual Southport Food and Drink festival this weekend.

The superb setting of Victoria Park, Southport will host the Sefton Council run festival of fabulous fare and delicious drinks between Friday and Sunday (June 1st-3rd).

Street food stalls serving a variety of international flavours and healthy treats will be tantalising tastebuds throughout the three days.

Foods on offer include crepes, gourmet burgers, hot wings, churros, spiral potatoes, paella and curry, to name just a few of the culinary delights visitors can enjoy.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Southport Food & Drink Festival is a fabulous event for all the family, with plenty of entertainment taking place alongside a vast international array of food and drink.

“The festival gets bigger and better every year and we look forward to welcoming people of all ages to this superb free event.

“This is just the start of an extensive events programme taking place across our beautiful borough throughout the year which we are very proud of.”

A huge variety of food and drink producers from the region will also set up shop in Victoria Park, showcasing the very best creations imaginable; from Posh Pots to Retro Shots, herbs and spices, to pies and puddings.

The atmosphere is brought alive with live music throughout the day, including a children’s festival where circus workshops, food themed activities and more to keep little ones will be entertained all day long.

Southport Food and Drink Festival runs from 10am-6pm between Friday June 1st and Sunday June 3rd.

For further information and to plan your day visit www.VisitSouthport.com

Plaza Cinema to Hold Special Screening as part of its 20th Birthday Celebrations

Plaza Cinema has been showing a selection of specially chosen films this year to help celebrate its 20th birthday – but next month will be extra special as  the screenwriter of the chosen film will be one of the guests and will even hold a question and answer session afterwards!

The community venue turns 20 in July and manager Martin Fol is showing 20 films across 2017 to help celebrate.

On Sunday, June 11th, at 8pm, the Plaza will show 2004 comedy-drama film Millions, with screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce scheduled to attend and answer questions from fans.

The writer, who lives in Blundellsands, created the screenplay for the film while it was actually being made by adapting his previously published book of the same name.

The novel Millions was subsequently awarded the Carnegie Medal, which is a British literary award that annually recognises one outstanding new book for children or young adults.

The Plaza Cinema officially turns 20 on Tuesday, July 18th and more details on event plans will be revealed closer to the time.

Call to Support Local Fundraising for Life-Saving Cancer Research

A group of fundraisers led by a Formby cancer hero are looking for local people to pledge their support and help them raise money for life-saving cancer research.

Each year around 148 people in the Sefton region will be diagnosed with cancer and one in three of those will die from cancer or cancer related diseases.

The Sefton-based fundraising group for the charity North West Cancer Research is now looking for volunteers to act as regional cancer heroes and raise money for cancer research.

Jim Brown, 72, from Formby,  set up the group earlier this year after working with local cancer support group The Daisy Chain. Wanting to widen his support for cancer-based charities, he set up the fundraising group with his two friends Kevin Dunne and Hilda Boyd.

Jim who has lived in Formby all his life, was first inspired to work with local cancer charities after his wife Joan was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago.

He said: “When we got Joan’s cancer diagnosis, it was a shock for us all. But thanks to treatment, which included surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she’s now doing much better.

“Watching her go through her treatment was hard, but she has been so brave throughout it all. It was then that I knew I wanted to do something to help others and offer support for them and their loved ones.

“Research is an incredibly important part of the cancer journey. It’s more than just finding a cure for cancer, but it’s also about developing treatments which not only kill cancer but are easier for patients to cope with and do not have the horrendous side-effects that many treatments do today.

“I’ve been to the research labs at the North West Cancer Research Centre in Liverpool and spoken with the researchers the charity supports. It was great to see what the money we raise will be spent on and encouraging to hear some of the advances that their researchers are already making.”

The group is inviting volunteers to join them as they help raise money for this life-saving cancer research. They are looking for people to help organise fundraising events in the local community.

Jim added: “You can give as much or as little of your time as you like and any contribution no matter how big or small goes a long way in helping the fight against cancer.”

To find out more contact Jim on brownchest@yahoo.co.uk or call 01704 574787.