‘Like Glue’; An Upcoming Theatre & Training Event – Monday 25th February 2019

“Like Glue” is an upcoming theatre & training event. It explores the diversity of teenage relationships, healthy and unhealthy behaviour and the impact that intimate partner violence has on young people. Attending the training also gives delegates access to an educational toolkit that can be used to support further work.

Like Glue.png

This project has been funded by Merseyside PCC via Sefton council and is free for any professional working in Sefton to access. We would therefore like to invite you to book onto the event. Spaces are limited so please let us know if you would like to take advantage of this opportunity.

To book a place please contact access27theatre@outlook.com

 

Alzheimer’s Society Upcoming February Events

The Alzheimer’s Society is holding two events in the North and South of the borough during February.

The first is a Side by Side volunteer recruitment event taking place at the Lord Street Hotel in Southport on Thursday 21 February. They have a number of people living with dementia in the Southport area who are waiting to be matched with potential volunteers.

Alzheimers Society Side by Side

Download the flyer here



The second is a ‘Pop-up’ Memory Café taking place at Lydiate Village Centre on Friday 22 February. It’s a chance for people living with dementia and their carers to get together in an informal, relaxed setting. They can meet others in a similar situation and receive vital support and information. No need to book, just come along on the day.

Alzheimers Society Pop Up Memory Cafe

Download the flyer here

Healthwatch Sefton Opens Doors

Parents, people with a disability and older people are now finding it easier to get in to Maghull Health Centre after automatic doors have been fitted.

Local patient consumer champion, Healthwatch Sefton, has worked in partnership with the NHS to resolve the daily problem of accessing the centre after it was raised as an issue by patients during engagement work.

“Through a series of Enter & View visits to the health centre we listened to what people thought of the community services and, among other things, it kept coming up that they had difficulty using the double sets of doors to enter the building,” explained Wendy Andersen, Engagement Manager with Healthwatch Sefton.

Following their feedback reports, Healthwatch Sefton was in dialogue with the various NHS agencies over remedies to the situation and it was finally resolved in January when the automatic doors were installed.

The news has gone down a treat with local patient and wheelchair user, Jonathan Desmond, who also brought the issue to Maurice Byrne, Healthwatch Sefton locality representative for Maghull early on. He said: “The automatic doors are great and mean it is easier to use the centre.”

It is not only patients feeling the benefit because Gaynor Ferguson, receptionist at the centre, explained: “From a staff point of view it has made our jobs better because we no longer have to hold doors open for people which means we can get around quicker.

“I think it makes the centre feel more modern and that’s given us a nice boost. But it’s also better from a hygiene perspective.”

Wendy commented: “Thanks go to all those who spoke to us about this and other community services issues. And thanks also to the various NHS agencies we spoke to and helped to resolve the situation.”

To view the full Maghull Health Centre reports visit: www.healthwatchsefton.co.uk and to contact Healthwatch Sefton ring 0800 206 1304.

Help Us Help You by Choosing Pharmacy First

Sefton residents are being reminded they can get expert advice about any minor health concerns they may have from their local pharmacy, saving them a trip to their doctor’s surgery.

That’s the message from health commissioners in the borough as part of the latest phase of the national ‘Help Us, Help You’ campaign, focusing on the range of services and support available from pharmacies.

Pharmacy teams offer a fast and convenient clinical service for minor health concerns with no appointment needed and use of a private consultation room should it be required.

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “I urge everyone to make full use of their local pharmacist all year round; they use their clinical expertise together with their practical knowledge to give you the best advice.

“Health services can often become really busy and overstretched over winter. By visiting your local pharmacy with any minor health concerns, you will avoid waiting for an appointment.

“Our pharmacists can advise you on what over the counter medicines you may need in this cold weather and let you know about any side effects of medication so it is beneficial to ask their advice.”

According to NHS England 27 per cent of GP appointments in England could potentially be treated elsewhere. You can simply walk into your pharmacy, without an appointment and they will be able to offer you advice.

Help us, help you, before it gets worse. Visit www.nhs.uk/pharmacyadvice for more information.

Learn more about where you live through a Community Chat

Local residents are being encouraged to learn more about their communities through the new Community Chat events.

Residents can now engage even further with Sefton Council and its many different partners through the Community Chat events that replace the Constituency Forums.

Led by Sefton Council, the Community Chats are a more relaxed way for residents to talk to community groups, agencies, councillors and Council departments about any issues they have.

They will be held in each of the respective Parliamentary Constituencies within Sefton; Bootle, Central Sefton and Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Corporate Services, said: “The Community Chat events are designed as an opportunity for local residents to really learn more about their communities.

“The format will be a market-place style at which there will be a number of tables for community groups, partners, ward Councillors and internal Sefton departments to attend.

“People can move around from table to table depending on their particular needs and learn more about things that affect their community.

“We really hope that this format will benefit our valued local communities so that they can attend in a more relaxed way at which they feel that the Council and its partners are more accessible and friendly.

“Dates for the Constituency Chats have been announced and I really hope people take the time to attend them.”

The planned dates for the Community Chats across Sefton are:

• Southport – Wednesday, February 13 at 6pm in The Atkinson Studio Room
• Bootle – Wednesday, February 27 at 6pm at Bootle Town Hall
• Sefton Central – Thursday, March 7 at 6pm at Formby PDC

Each forum is expected to finish around 8pm.

Another Chance to Visit a fascinating Exhibition with Artefacts from Bootle’s History

A special exhibition displaying artefacts from Bootle’s illustrious history is being brought back this February, due to popular demand.

The exhibition was first unveiled as part of a week long celebration of the town’s 150th Birthday, in October 2018.

Due to its success, Sefton Council is delighted to be bringing it back to Bootle Town Hall for another week.

It will be held in the Assembly Hall from 10am – 5pm on Monday – Friday (February 18 – Friday 22)

There will also be Bootle history talks by Hugh Hollinghurst on Thursday, February 21, at 10.30am and 2.30pm.

Visitors to the history talk are asked to pay £2 at the door.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “It’s great news that this exhibition is returning to the Town Hall. I am also excited to be conducting some of the tours myself.

“We had such a great response during the ‘150 Years of Bootle’ celebration, that we knew we had to bring it back to give even more people the chance to see these fascinating artefacts.”

For more information or to book tickets for the Mayors tour’s, please call 0151 934 2062 or email mayorsoffice@sefton.gov.uk.

Sefton Council’s Chief Executive to retire in May

Sefton Council’s Chief Executive Margaret Carney has announced that she will retire in May after 10 years in post.

Margaret, who has worked in local government for more than 40 years, told colleagues and partners that it has been the most difficult decision in her career but feels the time is right to hand over the baton to a new Chief Executive who can build on Sefton’s successes.

She said: “It has been an absolute privilege working with such hardworking, committed and passionate staff, councillors and partners over probably the most challenging period ever for local government and public services.

“I have loved working in Sefton despite the cuts. Not only is it where I work, it is also my home and I have seen first-hand how tirelessly and compassionately staff and councillors have worked to support our communities at a time of great uncertainty and worry.”

Under Margaret’s leadership, the Council has continued to provide hundreds of services to its communities and maintained a strong financial track record despite austerity.

She also spearheaded the development of a new and exciting vision for the future of the borough, working closely with partners, businesses, private sector organisations, the voluntary, community and faith sectors and the wider Sefton community. The Vision 2030 was borne and ensures the Council focuses on what is important for the borough and its communities in the future.

Earlier this year, the Council was praised for demonstrating real ambition for Sefton, for its strong track record of partnership working, place leadership and for having such a dedicated, passionate workforce by the Local Government Association’s (LGA) peer review team. This, Margaret says, is a real high to end her career on.

Sefton Council will start the search for a new Chief Executive immediately and Margaret will leave the Council on May 31 under normal retirement rules.

Tesco’s ‘Bags of Help’ scheme funds notice boards in Rimrose Valley

A community funding scheme run by Tesco in Litherland has enabled Rimrose Valley Friends to deliver four, hand-carved notice boards at entrances around the much-loved Country Park.

The initiative required members of the public to vote for their favourite cause using counters given to them in store.  Originally intended to improve just one entrance, the fund awarded stretched to notice boards being delivered to four entrances around the valley.  Beach Road and Gorsey Lane are already in place, with two more due to be installed soon at the Derwent Road and Brindley Close entrances.

Roy Bouffler, who designed and made the notice boards said: “It was a pleasure to create something for a place that holds special memories for me, as a child and then with my own children.  It’s a place of peace and tranquillity, which I have felt the benefit of.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Rimrose Valley is a great asset in the borough and The Green Sefton – and Natural Alternatives – team were happy to help, putting up Roy’s marvellous notice boards. They look great in situ, are a fine example of local craftsmanship and I’m sure will be well appreciated by our communities.”

Linda Gaskell of Rimrose Valley Friends added: “We’re delighted to be able to deliver the notice boards and to enhance several of the busiest entrances to the park.  The notice boards will contain a mixture of charity, campaign and other community notices, aimed at helping to bring the various communities which surround Rimrose Valley closer together.

“Work like this demonstrates that Rimrose Valley Friends as a charity is planning for the future of the Country Park and we are not put off by the threat of Highways England’s proposed road.

“Space is obviously limited, but any community groups or charities interested in submitting a notice should email enquiries@rimrosevalleyfriends.org 

Please note that advertisements will not be accepted.”

New Southport Mental Health Hospital Named as Hartley Hospital

The countdown is on for Southport’s new £20 million state of the art mental health facility to be named Hartley Hospital and fully operational in a year’s time.

The name recognises the historic origins of its location on the former Southport General Infirmary site next to what used to be the Christiana Hartley Maternity Hospital. The late Christiana Hartley CBE, one of the famous Hartley jam-making family, went on to become Southport’s first woman Mayor in 1921 and was an advocate for better health services, education, women’s equality and champion for children and the poor.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust chose the name Hartley Hospital after consultation with its staff, service users and carers and the wider community. The hospital’s internal areas will reflect names that connect it to the Sefton coastline, including Dunes Ward, Marsh Ward, Mere Suite and Marine Suite.

Chief Executive of Mersey Care, Joe Rafferty, said: “Hartley Hospital will provide the best standards of accommodation and therapeutic environments within our resources – it is a statement of our commitment to deliver on promises for better mental health services in Sefton.

“We are delighted to announce the name a full 12 months ahead of its completion. The local community embraced helping us name the building and its patient and visitor areas – we are grateful to everyone who came to roadshows or sent in some of the hundreds of suggestions. Co-production with the people who use our services and their carers is at the heart of what we do.”

Construction on the site, situated off Scarisbrick New Road, Southport, started just over a year ago. Phase One of Hartley Hospital is due to open this autumn to enable the existing Boothroyd older people’s service to move in, before demolition work of the remaining old buildings. Final completion will be by January 2020, when services will start to relocate from the nearby Hesketh Centre.

Names for the new hospital and its wards came from visitors to roadshows in The Atkinson, Life Rooms Southport, Hesketh Centre, Boothroyd Unit, Trust’s Members’ Meeting at Aintree Racecourse, as well as Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group’s Big Chat at the Royal Clifton Hotel. Hundreds of suggestions including on-line and face-to-face questionnaires were whittled down by a group made up of staff, service users, carers and local volunteers before the Project Board, led by Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel, made a final decision.

2019 is Sefton’s Year of Friendship!

Sefton Council is delighted to celebrate the official launch of Sefton’s Year of Friendship 2019.

A recent launch event was held at Waterloo Community Centre highlighted the positive impact friendships have on peoples’ lives. Over recent years there has been an increase in loneliness within certain groups across Sefton, which has a detrimental impact on health and well-being.

Job Vacancies: Help to Claim Adviser (x 2) with Citizens Advice Sefton (closing 5pm, 21st February 2019)

Citizens Advice is set to deliver a new service called “Universal Support: Help to Claim” which offers end-to-end support to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives.

More ‘Social Prescribers’ to Ease Pressure on GPs

The number of workers trained to prescribe social activities, like exercise groups and art classes, to GP patients who don’t need pills, is set to rise, under NHS England plans.

The aim is that “link workers” will support GPs and reduce their workload. A link worker’s role is to help patients find suitable community activities to improve their health and wellbeing.

Sefton Schools Championing Mental Health sought for New Award

The prestigious Educate Awards are returning for 2019 with a new category for mental health and wellbeing.

Founded by Kim O’Brien in 2012, the awards are the largest education awards in the North West and are an opportunity for schools to showcase their credentials across a number of categories.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Award is open to both primary and secondary schools across the region and recognises schools that are effectively tackling mental health issues among pupils and staff.

The award will focus on the long-term culture of a school and those with an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.

According to recent figures, mental health problems affect 1 in 8 children and young people (NHS Digital). This new award hopes to shine a spotlight on the support schools have in place to promote good mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Entries must show provision and interventions available for pupils and staff, a commitment to promoting mental health as part of school life and can include views from parents, pupils and teachers.

This follows a pledge by the government to roll out mental health lessons to all schools from September 2020 as part of a redesigned national curriculum.

Kim O’Brien, founder of the Awards, says: “As children and young people continue to face many pressures, raising awareness of mental health and emotional wellbeing is so important.

“Schools play a vital role in this support and we are looking for strong examples of how schools are creating an environment where children can thrive with good mental health.

“The mental health of teachers and staff is just as important and entries can reflect various school initiatives which tackle mental health issues among pupils and staff.”

Alongside this new category, 20 others are returning for 2019, focused on everything from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths), arts, careers, sport to individual awards for school support stars and teachers.

Since launching in Liverpool in 2012, the awards has grown rapidly and now recognises schools and colleges right across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Kim adds: “We are delighted to launch the call for entries for 2019 and are looking forward to celebrating another year of outstanding education in the North West.”

Entries are now open and the deadline is midnight on Sunday 23rd June 2019. The shortlist will be announced prior to the awards ceremony and the winners will be revealed on 15th November at Liverpool Cathedral.

For further information including full details of how to enter, please visit www.educateawards.co.uk.

Metro Mayor Launches Consultation on Charter to Improve Working Conditions

A bid to improve working conditions for thousands of working people across the Liverpool City Region began today, as Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launched a consultation on a Fair Employment Charter.

The survey focusses on what people would like to see in a Liverpool City Region Fair Employment Charter that would support employers in delivering improved working conditions as they grow and create jobs.

Trustee Positions with Swan Women’s Centre

An exciting opportunity has arisen at SWAN Women’s Centre.

Swan Women’s Centre is looking for a number of Trustees and we welcome both men and women from under represented sections of the community who have the skills that we require. Trustees do not receive remuneration, but reasonable out-of-pocket expenses are payable. They would particularly welcome those who have lived experience of mental illness.

The centre is a mental health and wellbeing charity that has been providing a wide range of services for young women and adult women since 1989. They have a team of 8 paid members of staff and over 50 volunteers who contribute towards the work that the charity delivers. This year over 1000 women used the centre.

Applicants will have the ability to contribute significantly to strategic planning and governance of the charity and have skills and experience in one or more of the following fields: General business/management; Strategic planning; HR and training; Finance and accountancy; Health and Social Care/Mental Health; Property; Marketing and Fundraising.

You can learn more about what they do by visiting our website: www.swanwomenscentre.org or please visit the Charity Commission https://www.gov.uk/guidance/trustee-board-people-and-skills for further information regarding the role of a Trustee.

If you would like to apply for the role of Trustee then you can either download the application form from their website under Join us or ring or email us and an application form will be sent to you.

If you would like to know more about the role then please feel free to contact Karen Christie, Chief Executive ceo@swanwomenscentre.org 07804894241 or Rosemary Gordon Chair of Trustees rosemarygordon18@gmail.com 07796140063

Start Your Career on the Beach as an RNLI Lifeguard

The RNLI is in search of new recruits to spend the summer working on some of Sefton’s most popular beaches, with applications now open for 2019’s beach lifeguards.

Lifeguards on our beaches are essential in supporting the RNLI to reduce the number of people who drown at the coast, and to help keep people safe by providing essential local safety advice to the thousands of visitors who make their way to Sefton’s coast each summer.

RNLI lifeguards patrol over 240 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands, including Crosby and Ainsdale. At the forefront of the RNLI’s lifesaving work, they responded to over 15,500 incidents and helped over 24,000 people in 2017. Successful applicants receive world-class training in search and rescue, lifesaving and casualty care techniques, good rates of pay and the chance to develop valuable skills for a future career.

Find out more about how you can make a difference and apply to be part of this amazing lifesaving teams at https://rnli.org/lifeguardjobs2019

Sefton’s Public Engagement Panel has Reached it’s 10-year Milestone

Sefton Council is delighted to be celebrating Sefton’s Public Engagement and  Consultation Panel’s 10th Anniversary.

The Council and several partners developed the panel to ensure they collectively listen to residents and give them the opportunity to have a say in the services that are delivered.

One of the ways this is done is by going out into our communities to carry out engagement and consultation activities. It is the panel’s responsibility to ensure these consultations are delivered effectively.

The panel includes representatives from Sefton Council, South Sefton and Southport Clinical Commissioning Group, Sefton CVS, Sefton Young Advisors, Sefton Equalities Partnership, Merseyside Police, Mersey Fire and Rescue Service and Mersey Travel.

To find out more about how you can get involved follow this link; http://ow.ly/gEU130noiwn

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services and Chair of the Public Engagement and Consultation Panel, said:

“We are all extremely happy that after 10 years this panel is still going strong and long may it continue. Working together and sharing the panel’s expertise has enabled us to successfully advise on 168 consultation and engagement activities, meaning we have listened to the views of thousands of residents from across the borough.

“I am also very proud that this panel has been held up as an example of extremely good practice in relation to how we engage with the public and with our partners.

“We are committed to delivering quality services which work in the best interest of residents, workers or visitors to Sefton. To do this, we recognise that we must engage with the public when making decisions and we encourage as many people as possible to give us their views.”

Sefton Council launches Sefton’s Year of Friendship 2019

Sefton Council is delighted to celebrate the official launch of Sefton’s Year of Friendship 2019.

A launch event held last Thursday, January 24th, at Waterloo Community Centre highlighted the positive impact friendships have on people’s lives.

Over recent years there has been an increase in loneliness within certain groups across Sefton, which has a detrimental impact on health and well-being.

According to national research, the effect of loneliness and isolation can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is more damaging than obesity. It is closely associated with depression, suicide risk, impact on quality of life and can result in more visits to GPs and admissions to hospital.

The Year of Friendship will showcase the many different forms of friendships, and help to signpost people to groups and activities to help them build new networks – helping those who could benefit from friendship the most.

Throughout the year, work will be aimed at reaching out to those people who need it most and will be themed around many key areas, including diversity, older people, specialist groups and younger people to open conversations about loneliness, how people are affected and where to get help.

Having 2019 dedicated to the Year of Friendship will build on the Council’s Core Purpose of facilitating confident and resilient communities to help achieve the ambitions of its Vision 2030, contributing to the themes ‘A Borough for Everyone’ and ‘Together we are Stronger’.

There will also be an opportunity for community groups to get involved in a project to create friendship bracelets that will be used at the end of the year to create a lasting representation of Friendship. Any groups interested in getting involved can email communications@sefton.gov.uk to request materials and further information.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance and sponsor for the Year of Friendship, said: “Friendships touch people’s lives in so many positive ways, providing comfort and support, fostering community development, and improving health and wellbeing.

“I am delighted to be the sponsor for 2019 Sefton’s Year of Friendship. We now have the opportunity to work alongside groups and organisations across the borough to highlight and celebrate the wonderful work that’s helping to bring people together. It’s something we are really looking forward to celebrate by bringing our inclusive communities even closer together.”

The Year of Friendship follows on from the success of the Year of the Volunteer 2018 that culminated in a huge increase of the numbers of volunteers in Sefton who delivered 118,689 hours of service in 2018.

To find out more about the Year of Friendship and how you can get involved visit www.sefton.gov.uk/friendship

Popular Cycle Event ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ Returns for February Half Term

Back by popular demand during the October half term school holidays, Sefton Council is proud to offer a number of ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

Children aged four and above can learn to ride a bike unaided at sessions in both Litherland and Southport.

The events, which take place a number of times throughout the year, always have a very high success rate, as staff from the Council’s highway safety team offer a range of practical advice to young riders and their parents.

Sessions are free but pre-booking is essential.

Join in the fun at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, February 19th between 9am-12pm or Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday, February 21st from 9am to 12pm.

To register, please call on 0345 140 0845.

Volunteers Launch #SeftonCrowd to Help Transform Lives across Sefton

Sefton Council has launched a brand new crowdfunding initiative to help community groups and volunteers create incredible projects to transform the borough.

The local authority has teamed up with national crowdfunding platform Spacehive to create the #SeftonCrowd, a community led initiative which can help groups and individuals to improve the communities where they live.

Supporting a project can cost as little at £2 and funding may also be available via Sefton Council’s Community Transition Fund.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The creation of #SeftonCrowd is a fantastic legacy to our Year of the Volunteer project and supports our 2019 Year Of Friendship in a huge way.

“We want this initiative to encourage, support and create community projects which make a huge difference to our brilliant borough.

“All creative ideas and proposals are welcome and we encourage as many groups and individuals as possible to consider a crowdfunding campaign through the #SeftonCrowd.

“Support is available to help you develop your campaign from both Sefton Council and Sefton CVS will be available to help you reach your target.”

Chris Gourlay, Spacehive CEO, added: “The Spacehive team are excited to launch the Sefton Crowd alongside the council and its partners.

“Together we’ll be encouraging everybody to share innovative ideas to shape their part of Sefton, and providing the support and technology to help make them happen”

Community groups and volunteers who are interested in creating a #SeftonCrowd project can attend a special workshop at Crosby Lakeside Activity Centre on Wednesday, February 13 to learn more about putting together a proposal.

To register for the workshop visit www.seftoncrowd.eventbrite.com

For more information about #SeftonCrowd visit www.spacehive.com/movement/seftoncrowd

Freshfields Animal Rescue Celebrates 40 Years of Love

The rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of everyone at Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre this week, as the charity celebrated its 40th birthday.

Based in Ince Blundell, the animal loving charity has been providing a rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming centre for abused, abandoned and unwanted animals since 1979.

As part of the ongoing festivities for what is a year-long celebration of how much the centre does for animals and their human friends, an afternoon tea was held and attended by the Mayor of Sefton

Cllr Dave Robinson, the Mayor of Sefton, said: “Today is about recognising the very special part that Freshfields plays in the life of our local community, especially during Sefton Council’s 2019 Year Of Friendship.

“Over the past 40 years, the local community has come to depend on Freshfields as a vital resource, to which they can bring animals in desperate need, and know that they will be treated with compassion, dedication and excellent medical care”.

The Mayor was delighted to be asked to unveil a plaque revealing the number of animals that Freshfields have cared for in the last 40 years – an astonishing 89,734 animals!

Helen Stanbury, Director of Freshfields, said: “Any charity like Freshfields can only carry out its vital work thanks to the people that come together in support of it. Those people support us in an endless variety of ways and they come to us from so many different walks of life.

“Donors, sponsors, volunteers, adopters, staff; there are just too many absolutely vital roles to list them all. Today is a chance to say thank you to you all.”

Helen added: “We’d love to hear from you if you are 40 this year! Why not link up with us to celebrate, by taking part in our Sponsored Abseil Challenge or anything else you can think of? Please check out our Facebook page Freshfields Animal Rescue or contact our Fundraising Manager Emma Jensen at emma@freshfields.org.uk.”

Health Commissioners have a Chat to Mark ‘Brew Monday’

On Monday, 21st January people across Sefton were urged to put the kettle on, sit down and take the time to have a chat with friends, family and colleagues for ‘Brew Monday’.

A simple act like having a brew and talking with friends may seem trivial but it can actually make a big difference to someone who is struggling with their mental health.

That is why this year NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG both took part in Brew Monday, with members of staff taking time out of their day to sit and chat with colleagues.

Fiona Taylor, chief officer of the CCGs, said: “It’s good that we’ve managed to find the time to take a break from our busy schedules and spent some time in conversation with our colleagues.

“Simply asking someone how they’re doing can have a huge impact on the way they’re feeling.

“We always encourage our staff to speak to their friends and family about how they’re feeling. Brew Monday is a great opportunity to start the conversation about your mental health, be it with your family, friends or GP.”

‘Brew Monday’ was originally launched by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust who host events across the region each year to raise awareness of their ‘zero suicides’ initiative, which is a commitment to eliminating suicide for all those in their care. The Life Rooms in Bootle also hosted a ‘Big Brew’ session to mark what is often billed as the most depressing day of the year.

Amanda Comer, Service Lead at Access Sefton, said:

“One in four adults and one in ten children will experience some sort of mental health issue each year, but sometimes people don’t know what help is available and how to get it, or may feel embarrassed talking about how they are feeling.

“The state of our mental health can be affected by many different factors, including life events like separation or bereavement, work-related stress, and physical health issues – among other things.

“It is really important not to ‘suffer in silence’, and talking to someone about your mental health can go a long way towards helping you feel better.”

If you are feeling anxious or depressed, you can contact Access Sefton for free NHS talking therapies for common mental health conditions. The service is available to anyone aged 16 and over and registered with a Sefton GP.  For more information visit Access Sefton online at www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton or call 0300 303 2708.

Reduce Your Risk of Cervical Cancer by getting a regular Smear Test

Health commissioners and Sefton Council are supporting Cervical Cancer Prevention Week (Monday 21 January – Sunday 27 January) which aims to raise awareness of cervical cancer and the importance of screening.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS Southport and Formby CCG and Sefton Council are encouraging women (aged 25 to 64) to have cervical screening to reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer. The test detects human papilloma virus (HPV) and signs of early abnormal cells.

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and primary care cancer lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Cervical cancer affects around 3,000 women in the UK every year, making it the most common form of cancer for women under the age of 35. According to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, 75 per cent of these cases can be prevented through testing.

“In both NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG the uptake of cervical screenings by eligible women in 2017/18 had decreased from the previous year. The decrease in the uptake of this screening is worrying; we strongly encourage all eligible women to have regular cervical screenings.”

Dr Debbie Harvey, Macmillan GP at NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “Women aged 25 to 49 are offered screening every three years and 50 to 64 year olds are every five years. When it’s time for your next smear test, you should be sent a letter inviting you to make an appointment. It’s quick and simple and it looks for the human papilloma virus (HPV). If positive for the virus, your sample will then be tested for early abnormal cells.

“Contact your GP if you think you may be overdue a test. Screening appointments can now be made with practice nurses and if it’s more convenient you can also book to have your screening with the 7-day GP service that operates evenings and weekends.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is concerning to see that the uptake of cervical screenings in Sefton has declined; this means that many women may unknowingly be living with abnormal cells or signs of HPV.

“I urge all women in Sefton who are eligible for a smear test to make an appointment with their GP and help protect their health.”

Robert Music, chief executive of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “Cervical screening is the best way to help prevent cervical cancer. Yet screening uptake in England is at a 21-year low. This is especially concerning as we are seeing the number of diagnoses rise.

“That is why during this year’s Cervical Cancer Prevention Week, it is more important than ever to ensure that people understand the steps they can take to reduce their risk of this disease.”

For more information on cervical cancer and what the screening test involves, please visit: www.nhs.uk/cervicalcancer

‘Scarred for Life’ Quiz Night in aid of Sefton 4 Good (Thursday 21st February 2019, 7pm)

Join the writers of ‘Scarred for Life’, Stephen Brotherstone & Dave Lawrence on Thursday 21st February as they host a quiz night covering the darker side of pop culture in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

NHS South Sefton CCG & NHS Southport and Formby CCG: Will you be part of Europe’s biggest healthcare survey?

More than two million people are being given an opportunity to tell the NHS about their experiences of using services at their GP practice. The GP Patient Survey invites a sample of people aged 16 and over from over 7,000 practices across England to take part.

Cyber Security Training for Small Charities and Community Groups (2pm – 4pm, Tuesday 26th February 2019)

Sefton CVS are running this free training created by the National Cyber Security Centre specifically catering to small charities and community groups to help you understand cyber security and apply practical solutions that will keep you safe online.

Meet The Funder – ‘Reaching Communities: Lottery Funding’ (Friday 22nd February & Friday 1st March)

Sefton CVS are pleased to announce two upcoming Meet The Funder events with the Big Lottery Fund taking place on Friday 22nd February (South Sefton) and Friday 1st March (Southport). This is a fantastic opportunity for local organisations to find out more about the Big Lottery Fund programmes and how they can apply! 

‘Stabilising Lives’ – A short film from Merseyside Offender Mentoring Project

The Merseyside Offender Mentoring Project, managed by Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), provides mentoring and befriending support to offenders from HMP Liverpool, HMP Kirkham and HMP Risley before and after release, with the aim of helping them to resettle positively back into the community.

Macmillan Listening Event – Friday 8th February 2019

Following the success of a previous listening event, Macmillan Cancer Support has organised another one in Crosby next month.

At the initial event, people said:

  • That Community Cancer health care services needed to change
  • Macmillan Cancer Support needed to deliver care earlier and closer to people and patients
  • They needed to deliver it in a more joined up manner with other health, wellbeing, and care support

Now they want to hear your thoughts, feelings, and ideas about future Community Health Care Services in Cheshire & Merseyside based on your experiences or the experiences of family and friends.

The listening event will be on Friday, 8 February at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre between 10am and 12noon.

For more information or to book a place at the event contact Joe on 0151 330 0552 or email joehemington@expandinghorizons.co.uk or Claire on 07458 062979 or email clevans@macmillan.org.uk

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