The ‘Queen of Mill Spring Court’ Celebrates her 100th Birthday in Style

One Vision Housing tenant Margaret Clarke, known as Peggy to her friends, celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by dozens of family, friends and neighbours at her home in Mill Spring Court, Bootle.

Peggy, who has been dubbed the Queen of Mill Spring Court, was inundated with cards and gifts for her birthday, one of which was from another Queen, Queen Elizabeth II. In true Scouse fashion, Peggy said of the card: “Elizabeth and I are old friends, but she never sends me anything, just a picture of herself!” Peggy 1

Originally from the Marsh Lane area of Liverpool, Peggy was raised by her Aunt and later built a career as landlady of multiple Liverpool pubs, including the Walnut Tree pub on Well Lane. When Peggy wasn’t serving the thirsty throngs of Liverpool, she was busy raising three children and in her spare time she loved to dance.

Peggy now spends most of her time with family and friends at her home in One Vision Housing’s Retirement Living Scheme, Mill Spring Court, and every Wednesday she goes out for a few games of bingo.

When asked what her secret to a long life was, she replied: “I used to drink whiskey and Inever ate vegetables or bananas. Now, I don’t drink at all and I eat four bananas a day.”

 “I want to go down in age, not up. Next year I want to be 99 again!”

 After 21 years at Mill Spring Court Peggy’s favourite thing about the scheme is the people, but she says she enjoys bossing them around even more.

Peggy 2

OVH Independent Living Officer, Jeanette Tinsley, said: “Peggy is always active, out and about, and very cheeky. We call her our Queen, the Queen of Mill Spring Court. I want to be like Peggy when I’m 100!”

 The recently refurbished Mill Spring Court offers assisted living facilities featuring self-contained flats for community residents 60 years and over. Tenants can enjoy an onsite salon, library and garden plus communal activities such as bingo, breakfast/lunch clubs and more.

 For more information about One Vision Housing and their work in the community, visit


Campaign warns would-be offenders: Liverpool is No Place for Hate

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner is today joining with partners to warn would-be offenders of the life-changing consequences of committing a hate crime as part of the No Place for Hate campaign.

The multi-agency initiative is aimed at further preventing incidents of hate in Liverpool city centre, particularly in around the night time economy in key areas including the Ropewalks area and the Stanley Street Quarter and the main pedestrian routes from Lime Street Station.

Today, the Deputy Police Commissioner, Cllr Emily Spurrell, is joining with representatives from Merseyside Police, Liverpool City Council, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and bar and club owners to launch the campaign by distributing materials in the Concert Square area highlighting to potential perpetrators what the future may hold if they are caught committing a hate crime.

The message is clear – hate crime will not be tolerated.

And for those who do commit an offence, the consequences could be hard to live with; including a criminal record, a court appearance, a fine, the loss of a job and even a prison sentence.  A person who is convicted of committing a crime which is motivated by hate is also likely to face an ‘uplift’ to their sentence by the courts.

Posters and leaflets carrying the warning will be distributed to dozens of late night businesses across the city centre, including pubs, bars, take-away restaurants and shops, banners will be used in Concert Square and taxis will also be asked to carry the message.

The campaign, which is part of ongoing work by Liverpool’s City Centre Joint Agency Group (CCJAG) to address crime and disorder issues, will also be highlighted on social media. Banners designed by Gwladys Street Primary School student, 11-year-old Diya Dipesh, will also be hung in the square to remind people ‘it is a crime to hate’.

The public campaign will also be supported by an increasingly proactive approach within Merseyside Police which aims to educate those arrested for hate crime offences about the impact of their behaviour on their victims, with the aim of preventing further incidents. This will include perpetrators receiving an educational visit from a detective who will use real-life case studies and materials to bring home the effect of committing a hate crime.

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Emily Spurrell said: “Traditionally anti-hate crime campaigns in Merseyside have focussed on encouraging victims of hate crime to report incidents of hate either to the police or to national charity Stop Hate UK.

“This campaign is taking a different approach – we want to prevent the incidents from occurring in the first place. Our aim is to warn would-be perpetrators that the consequences for carrying out a crime motivated by prejudice and hostility could very well be life-changing.

“You are likely to end the night behind bars and that could lead to a court appearance, a fine, the loss of your job or even a prison sentence.

“And I want to make it absolutely clear that being drunk is no defence – hate crime is always criminal. If you wouldn’t behave in a certain way when sober, don’t do it while under the influence.

“While we have seen a 15% decrease in hate crime incidents in the city centre over the last year, we know there is more that can be done. We will never rest on our laurels and I hope this campaign will reassure all those who work in or use the night time economy, whether that’s someone working in a bar, a take-away or a late-night shop or someone who is in the city centre at night for leisure, that Merseyside Police takes incidents of hate extremely seriously. Robust action will be taken against those who commit offences.

“Hate crime doesn’t only affect the victim, it has a corrosive impact on the whole of society, causing fear and division. It will not be tolerated on Merseyside and that’s why we are launching this campaign to tackle this issue head-on.”

Merseyside Police’s Superintendent Mark Wiggins said: “Merseyside is rightly proud of being a diverse place to live, work and socialise and I am delighted that so many representatives from across the community are joining us for this campaign, which will be a powerful way of highlighting the consequences of hate crime for any would-be perpetrator. My message to them is this: treat everyone with respect and understand that committing such an offence can ruin your life and future prospects. There is no excuse.

“Last year’s decrease in hate crime in Liverpool City Centre is certainly encouraging, and shows the immense day-to-day efforts by police and our partners in education and enforcement. But if we can actually prevent these incidents from occurring in the first place, all of our communities will be more tolerant and peaceful places to live, work and visit.

“There is no place in our society for hate crime and Merseyside Police is committed to maintaining the right of all our communities to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect. We remain committed to taking action against those responsible for hate crime and building trust with the most vulnerable members of our communities.

“I would urge anyone who feels they have been a victim to contact us in the knowledge that we will take their concerns seriously and we will take prompt action to identify offenders and put them before the courts.”

Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Lead for Community Safety, Cllr Ruth Bennett, said: “Hate crimes seek to dehumanise people. They are born of ignorance and fear and attempt to divide communities. There can be no mistake, if we allow the spread of hate, we are as guilty as those who commit these insidious crimes and that’s not how we do things in Liverpool. We stand up to intolerance, we challenge the bullies and we simply say ‘no’ to hate. The one thing we all have in common is that we are all different, it’s something we cherish and celebrate in Liverpool. These posters send the clear message that there is no room for hate either in our hearts or in our city.”

If you have witnessed or experienced hate crime you can report it in a number of ways. You can contact Merseyside Police on social media desk via twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101. If you do not wish to speak to the police you can contact independent charity Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625 or

Top NHS England Nurses have ‘Inspiring’ Visit to Sefton

Health commissioners hosted a visit to Sefton from two of the most senior nurses in England at the end of July to showcase the good work going on in the borough to improve the quality of healthcare for local patients and residents.

Hilary Garratt, CBE, director of nursing for NHS England and deputy chief nursing officer for England and Margaret Kitching, regional chief nurse north for NHS England and NHS Improvement spent a day in the borough finding out about Sefton’s transformation programme to better join up or ‘integrate’ services for the benefit of patients.

Hilary and Margaret were invited to the borough by NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s joint quality team. Their visit began with a tour of south Sefton’s intermediate care service, which is run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and located at  Ward 35 on the Aintree Hospital site.

The visitors spoke with frontline staff who care for patients referred to the ward for further rehabilitation after being discharged from hospital. During their time on Ward 35 Margaret and Hilary also heard about more areas of quality improvement work being carried out by Mersey Care’s other community based teams.

In the afternoon our visitors spent some time with our chief officer, Fiona Taylor, chief nurse, Debbie Fagan and our joint Sefton CCG quality team to hear about the work they do to provide assurance around the safety, effectiveness and patient experience of the services we commission.

To round off Hilary and Margaret’s visit, we invited chief nurses and representatives from a range of other Merseyside CCGs and provider organisations to join a discussion session, where our visitors were able to hear more about how we work together towards improving the care of our residents in Sefton.

Chief nurse for the CCGs in Sefton, Debbie Fagan, said: “We were delighted that Hilary and Margaret were able to take the time to visit us and to hear about how we are working together across health and care organisations for the benefit of our patients. Our intermediate care service is a good example of this and it’s great Hilary and Margaret were able to speak directly with the professionals who provide the service and hear about the difference it’s making to patients in supporting them back home after being discharged from hospital.”

Margaret Kitching, regional chief nurse north, NHS England / NHS Improvement, said: “I was delighted to be part of this important event, seeing first hand, nurses and allied health professionals who are leading change at pace and scale to improve outcomes and experiences for patients and those we care for.

“Leadership at local and regional level is crucial and it was great to see such passion and determination across Sefton and beyond to work across boundaries and organisations to shape and lead integrated services of the future.”

Hilary Garratt, director of nursing, NHS England and deputy chief nursing officer for England, said: “It was fantastic to network with multidisciplinary clinical leaders and hearing from clinicians who are driving integrated transformation programmes that support early discharge.

“With commissioning and provider senior nursing leaders and allied health professionals working together in this way across Sefton and beyond, it was inspiring to see transformation happening in partnership, across the whole health and care economy.”

The Sovini Group is first housing group awarded Gold for supporting the Armed Forces

Sefton-based Sovini Group the Gold Award, their highest honour, in recognition for the Group’s outstanding support of the Armed Forces community.

The Sovini Group is the first housing group in the country to be awarded Gold since the scheme’s inception in 2014. The accolade follows their Bronze Award win in 2016 and the Silver Award in 2017.

The ERS recognises employers who actively support Reservists, Service leavers, wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, the Cadet organisations and service families, as well as inspire other organisations to follow their lead.

The property management and development group has long standing relationships with the Armed Forces community. They work in close partnership with Army Reserve unit 156 Regiment RLC and local organisations, Liverpool’s Veterans HQ and Veterans in Sefton, providing ex-service personnel with housing, training and employment opportunities.

A recent initiative between The Sovini Group with Veterans HQ has led to six local veteran families being rehomed and saved from homelessness since the start of 2018.

The company offers a volunteer placement programme, which supports veterans with their transition from the Armed Forces into employment within civilian life. Some of those who took part in the programme have gone on to get jobs within the Group, such as at Sovini Trade Supplies in Aintree.

The Sovini Group also employ a number of Reservists and provides tailored support including an additional 10 days leave for training and unlimited unpaid leave if they are mobilised.

Dr Roy Williams, CEO of The Sovini Group said:

“It’s an honour to be the first housing group to achieve the Gold Award. By adopting the Armed Forces Covenant we help to make sure the people who make huge sacrifices on our behalf receive the recognition and support they deserve in the workplace and the wider community”

Private Tracy Newman, Customer Empowerment Officer, The Sovini Group said:

“The Sovini Group has been fantastic from the very beginning supporting me in my Army Reserves journey. The flexibility they have given me has been invaluable. When I talk to other Sovini staff during Armed Forces partnership events I see real interest from colleagues and going forward I hope to encourage more staff to get involved.”

Tobias Ellwood, The Minister for Defence People and Veterans said:

“The breadth and diversity of this year’s winners shows how business support for the Armed Forces continues to flourish. Their commitment is a testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation. We all have a role to play in ensuring that the Armed Forces community is not disadvantaged by service, and each of these employers is a setting an example as meaningful advocates for those protecting the nation.”

For more information about The Sovini Group, visit

Crosby Fun Day in Memory of Jon Raised £5,000 for Charities

A family in Crosby who organised a fun day in memory of their son have raised more than £5,000 for charity.

The event was  held to remember the life of Jon Coward, who passed away five years ago, and also to raise money for charities Winston’s Wish and Starlight Children’s Foundation.

It was held in Crosby Village with an outdoor fun day before an evening event inside Blues Bar, with hundreds of people attending to show their support.

Jon’s mum, Lin Coward, said: “The event was an overwhelming success!

“We raised more than £5,000 and well over 200 people attended the evening event.

“We are so grateful for all the raffle prizes donated by local businesses and everyone who helped on the day, including Blues Bar for venue and food.

“We’d especially like to thank them for the support of all our family, friends and the wider community.

“We remembered Jon in such an amazing way.”

Cash boost for community Halloween projects in Sefton

Community groups in Sefton which work to divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour are being invited to bid for grants for projects running during the autumn half-term, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

Jane Kennedy has announced that she is once again releasing a round of funding from the Police Property Act Fund (PPA), which allows money raised from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police to be used for good causes.

It is the ninth time the Commissioner has asked community organisations, charities and groups to apply for a vital cash boost of up to £5,000 grants for grassroots initiatives which are working to help young people to make the right choices.

A total of £45,000 is available from the fund for one-off grants for organisations which are committed to improving community safety, reducing crime or supporting victims.

The Commissioner said: “I am pleased to once again open up the Police Property Act Fund for bids of up to £5,000 to organisations which are working to make their communities safer and better places to live by engaging with young people.

“Many communities across Merseyside traditionally see a rise in criminal and anti-social behaviour during the autumn half-term, particularly around Bonfire and Mischief Night. Historically, it is also a particularly busy time for the police and the fire service. Through these grants, I want to help alleviate these issues and prevent local young people from making mistakes they may regret in the future.”

All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 5pm on Monday 14th September. Please visit their website to apply.

Summer Holidays don’t have to spell Unhealthy Habits

2018 Joint CCG Logo

The school summer holidays are a chance to relax, sleep in, and enjoy a break from homework, but it’s best to maintain some routines to stay healthy and avoid a ‘shock to the system’ come September.

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Routines such as regular bedtimes and mealtimes are important for keeping your children on the right learning path.

“Studies show that memory, learning, attention, mood, behaviour and physical health are all improved through sleep.”

Here are some top tips for healthy eating and drinking during the summer holidays:

There’s room for occasional treats during the holidays but it can get expensive to keep buying a round of ice creams for the whole family – try to plan ahead and take some healthier snacks with you on a day out.

Change 4 Life have some great ideas for healthier lunchbox and picnic swaps that are easy to prepare and fun for the whole family:

It can be difficult to keep food cool on hot days, so follow this advice from NHS Choices on how to prepare and cook food safely, including on barbeques:

Try to limit your intake of sugary drinks – even fruit juices contain sugar. Water is the healthiest option and the best for rehydration on a hot day. You can make the drinks more appealing to kids by adding novelty ice cubes or chopped fruit and cucumber.

Debbie added: “Eating healthily, regular exercise and good sleep all go hand-in-hand and will make the summer holidays more enjoyable and stress-free for the whole family.”

The Sovini Group raises over £10,000 for local charities at third annual Golf Day

The third annual Sovini Group Golf Day, sponsored by Premier Cleaning and Transport Services, raised over £10,000 for Sovini Charities and the Big Help Project.

Over 80 golfers from the housing and commercial sector gathered at West Derby Golf Course to compete in the sold out golfing event which was hosted by local comedian, Willie Miller. Sovini Golf 1

During the day golfers had the opportunity to win a variety of prizes donated by local companies and were also able to bid on auction items including signed LFC and EFC memorabilia, electronics, a new bathroom suite and more. Attendees raised over an amazing £10,000 for Sovini Charities and the Big Help Project.

The Big Help Project offers practical assistance to help people in Merseyside successfully break free from poverty and Sovini Charities support charitable causes including the Pride of Sefton which provides narrow boat journeys to underprivileged people in the local community.

Chair of the Big Help Project Peter Williams said: “We are absolutely delighted to be chosen again to receive this very generous donation from The Sovini Group. This donation will enable us to continue our services to support people across the city region.”

 The Sovini Group CEO Dr. Roy Williams said: “Our annual Golf Day is becoming one of our favourite events of the year. It’s such a great opportunity to raise valuable funds for some very worthy local causes. I would like to thank our principle sponsors, Premier Cleaning and Transport Services, along with everyone else who helped to make this event such a success.”

The Future of Adult Social Care – LGA’s Green Paper & Consultation (closing 26th September)

The Local Government Association (LGA) has launched a public consultation and accompanying Green Paper on the future of adult social care.

The consultation is seeking views on future funding options for adult care recipients and unpaid carers. The green paper is a really interesting read and highlights the important role that voluntary organisations play in adult social care. It’s also a good starting point for a conversation about more personalised, preventative and community based support and about new funding models.

You can read and download the green paper here: 

Please take part in the consultation if you’re interested in sharing your views with the LGA. The consultation is open until Wednesday 26th September 2018. You can access it here:

‘Tomorrow’s Land: Social Innovation and the Collaborative Economy’ International Conference (10am-4.30pm, Thursday 22nd November)

Working together for the benefit of people and planet – Small actions can make a big difference!

Regenerus invite current and future social innovators; social entrepreneurs; trainers, teachers and educators, business advisors, networkers, decision makers and policy makers, in fact…..anyone who wants to open up their mind to new possibilities, to design and shape social innovations to solve some of the challenges we face and collaborate to create a brighter future.

Thursday 22nd November, 10am – 4.30pm (or late!)
7 Mann Street
L8 5AF
View Map

Join us to get thinking creatively, connecting and plotting to create new solutions for a better world and keep the conversations going…….…stay late with live Music into the evening

Click here to download the event poster or alternatively click here to visit the Eventbrite pageImage result for regenerus logo

Emmaus Resident Receives Community Award from Friends Group

A member of the Emmaus Merseyside community which supports people who have experienced homelessness has received a special award from Friends of Bowersdale Park.

On Thursday 2nd August, Phil Gibbon, who lives and works at homelessness charity Emmaus Merseyside was presented with The Community Award by Friends of Bowersdale Park. The presentation was made at the annual Bowersdale Park Family Fun Day, in recognition for the work Phil has undertaken in the Seaforth community.

Phil said: “I was very surprised to get the award from the Friends of Bowersdale Park. I think I got the award for supporting local events and helping to organise and run the community litter picks with my fellow Emmaus Merseyside companions. The Community Award presented to Phil Gibbon

“Since we first had a stall at last year’s Family Fun Day, Emmaus Merseyside has got more involved in the local area, helping as much as we can. It’s great that the local kids and adults are engaging in these activities and we’re seeing a general improvement in the area with people becoming more invested in what they’ve got.”

Emmaus Merseyside supports formerly homeless people by providing a stable home and meaningful work for as long as they need it. The charity runs three social enterprises in Merseyside, taking in and selling donated and refurbished furniture, household goods, bric-a-brac and vintage pieces.

Bruce Mercer, Support Worker at Emmaus Merseyside, commented: “We’re very proud of Phil and others within our community who have got involved in activities to improve the local area. This community recognition is fantastic for Emmaus Merseyside and we hope to contribute even more to Seaforth and Sefton over the coming years.”

To find out more or support Emmaus Merseyside, head to

If you would like to get involved or donate an item call 0151 928 1588 or visit the visit the Emmaus charity reuse shops or superstore at 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton L21 3TW.

The 23 Foundation fund is now open – Closing 10th September

Background Information: Jamie Carragher, Liverpool FC’s number 23 set up the 23 Foundation with the Community Foundation for Merseyside at the beginning of 2009 with the proceeds from his charitable Testimonial match and matched funds secured from the Government.

What is the focus of the fund: The 23 Foundation seeks to support groups in Sefton and Liverpool that are helping disadvantaged people in need and those suffering from hardship.

How much is available: The maximum grant available is £2500

Who can apply: Voluntary or community groups with a constitution or set of rules in the group’s name, which includes CICs and Social Enterprises and individuals.

Which areas are covered: Groups working in disadvantaged areas of Sefton and Liverpool.

Examples of the sorts of projects that may be funded

  • Groups working with homeless people
  • Foodbanks
  • Self-help groups
  • Projects that help people back into employment
  • Projects to reduce social isolation for vulnerable groups
  • Debt advice sessions
  • Domestic violence projects
  • Projects that help people overcome drug and alcohol problems

The closing date is Monday 10 September 2018

For more information Click here

To apply visit;

Civil Society Strategy Launched

Yesterday the Government launched the first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years, which will build stronger communities by bringing businesses, charities and the public sector together, and put communities and charities at the heart of decision-making.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, unveiled the new vision, which looks at how people, places and the public, private and social sectors can be supported to contribute even more to the creation of social value – having a positive impact on society. It will help connect and empower people to improve the areas they live, as well as bringing together these different sectors to help enrich lives and build a fairer society for all.

A lot has changed in the last 15 years. There are growing numbers of businesses looking to make a more positive contribution to society and set up primarily to do good. Charities clearly remain at the heart of civil society. But the potential for cross sector partnerships has never been stronger.

By bringing these areas together, we will unlock the huge potential of civil society, help it grow and support the next generation. This Strategy should be seen as a companion to the Industrial Strategy. While the Industrial Strategy focuses on productivity and economic growth, ours is a blueprint for community and social growth.

For more information on the Civil Society Strategy check out;


Source: NCVO

Today the government has published its long-awaited civil society strategy.

With parliament in recess and right in the middle of the summer holidays, it seems an odd time to launch something that will inform government’s relationship with civil society for the next decade.

I doubt there are many holidaymakers who will want to use their data allowance to download a document that is over 120 pages long, so we have read it for you, and summarised the key things you need to know.

What does the civil society strategy say?

Before delving into the specifics, it’s important to recognise that the initiative itself, setting out a long-term vision for government’s work with civil society, is a really positive one. For too long, we have been missing a unifying thread across all government departments in their approach to civil society.

The starting point of the strategy – and one that runs throughout the whole document – is also important: recognising the role that civil society has in tackling some of today’s greatest challenges, and the need to make sure it is involved in developing new solutions.

It may get lost in the length of the document, but there is a message here: charities can be confident in their right to speak in public debates, and not shy away from having a role in shaping policy and speaking up on behalf of those they support.

Key themes and announcements

The civil society strategy aims to create ‘thriving communities’ through strengthening ‘five foundations of social value’.


The aim here is to give people a sense of control over their future and their community, and to support them in taking action on the issues they care about.

  • There are a number of initiatives already happening to this end, such as the Place Based Social Action programme, the training of Community Organisers and the #iwill campaign.
  • In addition, the strategy will look at how to further embed and scale up people taking action as a core part of public services, starting with a commitment by NHS England to strengthen volunteering and providing more opportunities within the NHS.

This is a good thing, and something we called for in NCVO’s Manifesto. We have always said that public services are better when charities and volunteers are involved. Charities are already involving people who use public services in running those services, helping to improve them, so it’s important that we build on this.


The strategy aims to create places where local communities are empowered and take responsibility for where they live. As well as enhancing existing opportunities such as community rights, there are some interesting new commitments:

  • The launch of a new ‘Innovation in Democracy’ programme that will pilot creative ways for people to take a more direct role in decisions that affect them. This could include citizens’ juries or mass participation in decision-making on community issues online polls.
  • An additional £35m of funding from dormant accounts to Big Society Capital and the Access Foundation to develop new models of community funding. Although the risk here is that the excessive emphasis on ‘social investment type’ models will continue.

The social sector

That’s charities and social enterprises to you and me. The strategy’s focus is to ensure charities and social enterprises are confident about their right to speak up, and have a strong role in shaping policy.

The government will:

  • renew its commitment to the principles of the Compact
  • convene a cross-government group to work with civil society to establish the principles of effective involvement in policy-making
  • work with the Electoral Commission and the Charity Commission to send a strong message about charities’ right to campaign. This means we can probably expect some reviewed and hopefully improved Electoral Commission guidance on the non-party campaigning rules.

This is probably the strongest set of commitments, showing how there is a real desire to improve engagement and dialogue in public debate, and sending a strong message about the importance of organisations using their voice to inform policy.

The private sector

The strategy seeks to build further initiatives and support for responsible businesses, those which put social and environmental responsibility at the heart of what they do.

Much of this is already happening, for example through the Inclusive Economy Partnership and the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Financial Inclusion Programme’, but the strategy will give it a boost by:

  • Establishing a responsible business leadership group.
  • Setting up a new, independent organisation which will work with partners across the private and social sectors to tackle financial exclusion (using £55m from dormant accounts funding).

The government’s intention to set up a new body – even if it is meant to be independent – is likely to be met with a certain degree of scepticism by the many organisations that are already doing great work to improve financial inclusion. We will need to see the details of what the role and remit of this new body is, to allay any concerns that it isn’t just going to replicate existing activities.

The public sector

The aim here is to ensure collaborative commissioning, so local players are involved in a meaningful way in creating and delivering public services:

  • An increase in social value commissioning across all levels of government, and an extension of the principles of the Social Value Act to goods and works as well as services.
  • A revival of grant making, also referred to as ‘Grants 2.0’. By re-evaluating and promoting the use of grant funding, government is reflecting the fact that grants form part of a healthy funding mix, and can often ensure best value for money.

So, is there anything new?

The announcements about recommitting to the Compact, establishing a new cross-government group to ensure better involvement in policy-making, and the revival of grants are all new initiatives to be welcomed. But it would be fair to say that the majority of the strategy repeats existing commitments or, at most, builds on work that is already under way.

Even the initially exciting statements about funding from dormant accounts, after a memory refresh (or a quick Google search) turn out to be old news. The £135m to invest in providing homes for vulnerable people and support local charities, the £55m to allocate to a new independent organisation to tackle problem debt, and the £90m youth initiative to help the most disadvantaged transition into work all date back to earlier this year.

We would like to have seen more detail in some areas: in particular how the government intends to approach dormant assets and the role that community endowments can play in providing a long-term sustainable funding source. There is an estimated £2bn in dormant assets, and a growing consensus within charities that the resulting funding should be used to start a real revolution in community ownership and participation. Yet three years have passed with limited progress, and the absence of any mention in the Strategy is somewhat disappointing.

Is it a strategy, or is it a plan?

‘Is there a difference?’ I hear you ask. Well, at the risk of being pedantic, yes there is. And unfortunately this ‘strategy’ lacks the long-term commitments and principled approach that upgrade it from being merely a plan.

As we said when the strategy was first announced, it should be a blueprint for government to achieve its vision. As such, it should be based on some fundamental principles that will inform the government’s long-term approach, and we suggested what some of those principles should be.

That overarching vision is currently lost in the list of things that government says it wants to do, most of which are achievable in the short and medium term. Longer term challenges have not been addressed, raising the question of whether the 10-year timeframe has been quietly dropped.

The ‘strategy’ is therefore probably best seen as a good first step, the start of a programme of work that hopefully will inform policy across all departments, and will gradually build a strong relationship between government and civil society.

NCVO Code of Ethics Consultation – Closes 26th September.

Source: NCVO

Many charities, especially those working with children and people in vulnerable circumstances, already have their own codes of conduct. But these are understandably specific to their particular circumstances and areas of work.

Although charities face different challenges depending on how large they are, the work they do and where they operate – we believe there are some values and principles that are relevant to everyone.

What NCVO  have set out to do with this code of ethics is to develop an overarching set of ethical principles that could act as a framework for all charities.

We want the code of ethics to help every organisation: whether they work in social care, international development, health, arts or anywhere else. Every charity should be able to use the code to review their own policies and practice – and then decide what needs to change, based on their particular work and specific values.

Endorsement and use of the code will be voluntary, but we hope as many organisations as possible will sign up to it and put it into practice – both as a helpful tool in its own right and as a clear signal that charities want to deal with problems where they arise.

Children England; Are You able to DBS Check the Posts You Need to?

Children England would like to hear from any of our members who are finding that the definition of ‘eligible roles’ for a Disclosure and Barring Service check is causing problems. We’re aware that there are some roles considered by charities to require a DBS, such as charity shop volunteers, which are not included in the government’s definition of eligible roles – meaning charities struggle to obtain the checks they feel are necessary.

Government is currently talking to the sector about possible improvements to the DBS system so now is a good opportunity for us to gather your experiences and make sure they’re taken on board when any changes are made.

Email Chloë with your organisation’s comments on DBS eligibility criteria.


Bootle Lost Castles Project seeking volunteers!

Bootle’s Lost Castles project is starting to construct its castle today (Thursday August 9th) located in North Park, Bootle Leisure Centre. Volunteers are welcome to come along & get involved!

Elevation and construction: Thursday 9 August at North Park, Bootle (Bootle Leisure Centre)
Demolition: Sunday 12 August at North Park, Bootle (Bootle Leisure Centre)

Looking at Bootle’s industrialised shoreline today it can be hard to imagine a time when the town was not a busy seaport. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, Bootle was a picturesque coastal village.

In the next few years Bootle became so popular as a tourist destination it was described as ‘…the most popular bathing town on the Lancashire coast’. It became a weekend resort for Liverpool’s growing population.

William Miller, a wealthy solicitor, was one of a number of local businessmen to build seaside villas on the coast. Miller’s villa was designed to look like a castle, he also made money by hiring out bathing huts to the growing number of tourists.

By 1855 thousands of day-trippers were visiting Bootle Bay, much to the dismay of contemporary writer Henry Grazebrook:

‘…myriads of the unwashed from the purlieus of Liverpool, repair to this spot, and at high water advance boldly into the sea, male and female promiscuously, each supplied with a square of yellow soap.’

Bootle’s tourist invasion was short-lived. The lines of bathing huts and fashionable salt-water baths gave way in the 1860s to docks, warehouses and workers’ housing, expanding ever outwards from Liverpool.

How to Get Involved

We are looking for community groups, organisations and individuals to come along and help make this unique project happen.

There are a diverse range of roles to get involved with:

• Volunteering to help build the castle (July 31 – August 3 & August 9)
• Volunteering on the day of the main event (August 11)
• Creative performances at the event

To register your interest or to find out more visit the Sefton website or email

Information About the Access To Food During The Summer Holidays

This summer, Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) are coordinating a network of community venues and local organisations to offer children, young people and families access to food during the school holidays—especially those who would normally be in receipt of free school meals during term time.

Click here to download the information flyer 

The groups and organisations involved in this year’s initiative will be providing open access during August on the days and times listed below.


12noon – 2pm           The Inclusion Network, Bootle
6pm—9pm                Parenting 2000 (Crosby)

12noon – 2pm           The Inclusion Network, Bootle
5.30pm – 8.30pm      Parenting 2000 (Southport)

12noon—1.30pm     Waterloo Community Association
5.30pm – 8.30pm      Parenting 2000 (Southport)

12noon—1.30pm     The Orrell Trust, Bootle
12noon—1.30pm     Waterloo Community Association
6pm—9pm                Parenting 2000 (Crosby)

New Realities Partnership Award – Help recognise staff or teams at Sefton Council who have helped make a difference!

Sefton CVS are asking local voluntary, community and faith sector groups to nominate an individual or a team within the local authority who have demonstrated the key principles of the  New Realities Partnership Agreement and provided help or support to local non-profit organisations. 

The New Realities Partnership Award will go to the individual or team that have adopted a ‘can-do’ attitude when working with voluntary, community or faith sector groups. 

  • Demonstrated a positive ‘can-do’ attitude when working with a local group or organisation
  • Providing assistance in overcoming a barrier or obstacle that would otherwise impact on the group’s work
  • Understood the value and role of the local voluntary, community and faith sector in making Sefton a great place to live and work
  • Demonstrated a ‘common sense’ approach to working in partnership with the local voluntary, community and faith sector.

Any of which that results in a positive outcome, promotes the benefits of partnership working and makes a difference in the local community. 

Click here to download the Nomination Form (Word / PDF) 

Closing date for nominations: 12noon on Friday 21st SeptemberPlease submit all nominations to: or complete the online form below. 

What is New Realities? 

Click here to download the New Realities Partnership Agreement, or click here to visit the New Realities web page.

Alternatively please watch the short animation video below:


Online Nomination Form 

Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk 2018

Liverpool Memory Walk

Unite with us and over 5,000 people who will be taking part in Liverpool Memory Walk this year. On Sunday 9 September we welcome thousands of like-minded people to Croxteth Park (Liverpool) for a walk in the park! Choose from a 2km accessible route or a longer 10km route and raise sponsorship before you go! Sign up here. Also we have the Liverpool night walk at Aintree race course on Saturday 29 September – sign up here.

Don’t fancy walking? Why not donate your time and help us on the day as a volunteer? You could be marshalling, handing out medals or helping cheer people along! Register to volunteer here

Your Walk. Your Way

If you want to gather colleagues, friends or family together and enjoy a day out why not organise your own Memory Walk, your way? Register for an organisers fundraising pack and pick a date that suits you in order to get the ball rolling. If you have any questions about organising your own, from a walking lunch or a challenging hill trek, then don’t hesitate to get in touch!  Please visit the website for our FAQs, contact us on, or call 0300 330 5452.

DONATE NOW and support the Sefton 4 Good Charity Abseil with the Mayor of Sefton (Saturday 18th August)

On Saturday 18th August a team of brave volunteers, including the Mayor of Sefton Cllr Dave Robinson will be taking on 150ft free fall drop over the main entrance of the iconic Liverpool Anglican Cathedral in a bid to raise funds for Sefton 4 Good.


Alternatively, click here to view the BT MyDonate page 

Our team of volunteers from Sefton Council, Sefton CVS, WEA and other local partner organisations will be taking part in a bid to raise as much money as possible for Sefton 4 Good  so we can continue to support local good causes in Sefton, and make Sefton a great place to live and work.

Please show your support for the Sefton 4 Good team and donate online to support the abseil – anything you can give will go towards supporting good causes across Sefton.

Saturday 18th August,
Approx. 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral
St James Mount
L1 7AZ

Please see below for footage of last year’s Sefton 4 Good abseil.

Help to Make a Difference to Lives of Children with Disabilities in Sefton

Do you have some spare time on your hands during the school holidays or any evenings or weekends free? Would you be interested in helping disabled youngsters have fun in inclusive settings across Sefton?

If so you could really make a difference to peoples’ lives. As part of Sefton Council’s Year of the Volunteer campaign, we are encouraging residents to consider volunteering for Aiming High. This is a very important service which gives support to children and young people with disabilities and their families.

All year round the dedicated team provide specially tailored sessions which young people can access. This includes sport activities, outside play, music, dance and so much more!

As we approach the school summer holidays, Aiming High are looking for more volunteer helpers for their summer programme which is packed full of fun and engaging things to do.

This will be a great experience for anyone who wants to join in and have some fun with  amazing young people and staff.

It’s also an excellent opportunity for school leavers or students who want to work in a similar field such as social care, teaching or as a sports instructor.

Don’t worry about your experience as full training is given. If you’re interested and want further information contact the Aiming High team on 0151 288 6816

Check out our featured video below with the Aiming High team. We caught up with Laura Cunningham who has been one of our amazing volunteers. She helps out twice a week in our after school club for children with severe learning difficulties. She has now gained employment with Aiming High for the summer programme.

Sefton’s Public Health Annual Report Now Available!

Sefton’s Director of Public Health, Matthew Ashton, is delighted to release this year’s Public Health Annual Report (PHAR) which focus’s on children and young people growing up healthy and happy.

Presented for the first time in video format, the report explores how children and young people from across the borough approach mental health and wellbeing. Using real-life stories, the film looks at how young people deal with issues such as exams stress, anxiety, worry and looks at the support available throughout Sefton.

In addition to the video, please click here to download the report (PDF) and please visit for more information.

Have Your Say on the Government’s Clean Air Strategy

The UK government is making changes to its approach to tackling air pollution and has launched a consultation to find out what the public thinks about its plans.

This is a great opportunity for Sefton residents to input their views on how they feel air pollution is being tackled at a national level.

The government’s draft Clean Air Strategy 2018 sets out actions to improve air quality by reducing pollution from a wide range of sources. The consultation will be open until August 14 and would like to collate views on the actions being proposed to reduce air pollution and its effects, and to hear whether the public has any further suggestions.

The consultation will cover each of the main themes of the strategy document: understanding the problem; protecting the nation’s health; protecting the environment; securing clean growth and innovation; reducing emissions from transport; reducing emissions from farming; reducing emissions from industry; and leadership. The consultation also asks for views on the strategy as a whole.

If you’re interested in providing feedback you can find out more about the Clean Air Strategy and how you can submit your response by visiting: 

The deadline for feedback is August 14th.

Sefton Council will also be facilitating an engagement event on Monday 6th August  at Waterloo Community Centre that will allow residents to come together to help form a joint response to the national consultation. This event will not cover the strategy in its entirety but instead will focus on two key themes; understanding the problem; and protecting the nations health.

There will also be an opportunity at the event to find out more about what Sefton Council is doing at a local level to improve air quality, as well as finding out about what more can be done by individuals to make a difference.

Places at the event are limited and those interested should contact to request a booking form.

Threshold Festival Comes to Southport this Weekend! Saturday 28th July

Southport is set to host the latest in a series of small outdoor culture festivals appearing across the Liverpool City Region. 

Grass-roots, multi-arts festival Threshold have teamed up with Independents Biennial and The Atkinson, Southport to deliver a free, family friendly outdoor mini-festival on Saturday 28th July, coinciding with the launch of Sefton Open 2018.

Location: The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport, PR8 1DB.

Time: 11am-3pm

Entry: FREE

The event is one of the Independents Biennial’s five special commissions taking place during the visual arts festival, which runs until October 28 in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, Wirral and St Helens. The sister festival to Liverpool Biennial, it champions and supports emerging and grassroots art and artists on Merseyside.

The day of events by Threshold, including a mix of visual arts, performance, storytelling and music, will take place at the renowned Atkinson arts centre from 11am – 3pm.

The line-up of offerings, open to all, includes the following:

Interactive performance and theatre shows from ‘Funny Looking Kids: Comedy Club’ and Storytelling from the magically talented Gav Cross.

A visual arts programme including interactive live sculptural and drawing workshops, using live performances on the day for inspiration from: Pamela Sullivan (creator of detailed and fascinating installations); and Jazamin Sinclair (creator of satirical acerbic storyboard illustration series Illustrated Prosody).

Music entertainment will come from: ‘Operation Lightfoot’, a music and arts collaboration directed by composer Luke Moore; stand-out, powerful country rock & roll from Amber Stone; and folk-punk sounds with biting lyrics & harmonies from Jazamin Sinclair.

“Threshold has grown up in the creative boom of Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle as a multi-arts festival, which is fiercely independent and inclusive-roots. We deliver quality above all from grass-roots, brilliantly talented artists.” Chris Herstad Carney, Threshold Festival Director.

“Working with Independents Biennial and The Atkinson is really close to our hearts. The main focus of the day, as with all Threshold events is to enrich people through art and music, but most importantly for it to be a fun experience for all!”
 Jazamin Sinclair, Threshold Festival Visual Arts Curator.

For more information: 

Threshold Festival:

The Atkinson:

Sefton Open 2018:

Independents Biennial:

Bootle Residents Sketch in the Great Outdoors

Whether you’re a novice or a veritable Vincent van Gogh, sketching outdoors is a fun, relaxing way to spend time with others.

The North End Sketch club in Liverpool’s Stanley Park is branching out from its artistic roots and going on tour, as organiser and artist Jayne Lawless teams up with the Human Library in Bootle to take participants to parks and green spaces across Bootle.

The North End Sketch Club takes place every Friday, 11am until August 10. Everyone and anyone is welcome, just turn up to Bootle Library on the day. 

Find out more about the Human Library Facebook page. 

Job Vacancy; Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Support Manager – Closing Thursday 2nd August 2018

Dementia Support Manager
Hours: 30 per week
Salary: £18,970.29 pa
Contract type: Permanent

Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, improve care, fund research, and create lasting change for people affected by dementia.

About the role
Sefton dementia support involves dedicated dementia support workers giving support, information and guidance to a person with dementia, or their carers and wider family or friends, whether in their home, at the office or at other locations, face to face, by phone, letter or email. Working closely with a range of health agencies & community groups. Our regular support groups include memory cafés, Singing for the Brain, reading & activity groups, these take place at various community venues throughout the borough

About you
They are looking for a well-motivated and creative manager with excellent communication skills with an understanding of dementia, to lead a team of support workers within a small but busy environment. Experience in the voluntary sector is desirable.

You will be responsible for the overall management of the staff working in the service and accountable for the delivery of high quality support services both in support groups, one to one support and our carer information & support programme.

To find out more about the role visit and to apply; 

For further information about the role you can also contact or telephone 01704 539 967 or 01704 540 023.

Job Vacancy: Wirral Based Charity WIRED; Payroll Officer – Closing Friday 10th August 2018

WIRED – Payroll Officer
Hours: 35 hours per week – Permanent
Salary: £17,290 pa

Wirral based charity WIRED require an experienced payroll administrator to work within the WIRED Payroll Service based in Wirral. WIRED’s busy payroll department provides Direct Payments Payroll, Managed Budget administration (Social Care Funds) and Small Business Payroll services to a range of clients across the North West.
The successful applicant will be experienced in accurate and timely payroll production in accordance with statutory regulations, a proficient IRIS Payroll Professional operator with strong skills in Microsoft Word and Excel and a good communicator with high attention to detail. An aptitude for figures is also essential. Key areas of work will include:

  • Calculating Payroll using IRIS payroll professional system
  • Calculating the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP)and Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP) schemes and the processing of joiners and leavers
  • Providing advice to clients in relation to pay, taxation and National Insurance.
  • Recording sickness and other absences
  • Completing various forms required by HM Customs & Excise
  • Processing Clients Pension submissions and payments to NEST
  • Processing Managed Budget Clients salary and payments via bank transfer
  • Maintaining and analyse financial records using MS Excel
  • Producing end of year records for multi-company payroll

HOW TO APPLY: Download and complete the application pack available via

For more information contact Gill Tudor on 0151 522 7990 (Finance Department, option 6 on telephone system)

Closing date: 10th August 2018

URGENT HELP NEEDED! ‘In Another Place’ are looking for storage space!

Local theatre group In Another Place are desperately in need of storage space and are appealing to local organisations, businesses and individuals for help!

In Another Place are a registered charity who work in collaboration with community groups and offer large creative art projects. The group also work with smaller specialist groups – including gospel choirs, school groups, puppet theatre and festivals/exhibitions.

The group are urgently looking for new storage space – ideally a space approximately 3,500 sq.ft with large entrances and vehicle access.

Can you help In Another Place? If so, please contact Andrew Thompson-Smith, Construction Manager for In Another Place on 07809 644245 (Mobile) or 0151 924 2018 (landline). Alternatively please email

For more information about In Another Place, please visit or watch the short introductory video below: