Shaping Care Together – Upcoming Business Breakfast (8am, Tuesday 2nd March 2021)

A listening exercise has been launched by health leaders in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire to take people’s views on local health and care services, and are keen to hear the views of local residents, businesses and organisations.

Shaping Care Together will explore how health and care services are accessible, effective and operated by skilled staff to meet everyone’s needs. Care should be integrated with other services so that patients are supported by the services they need as quickly and safely as possible. We need to build on what we have in place now, understand what works well and how things can be made better.

Views are being sought on the care people receive at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals and primary and community healthcare services, in particular:

  • frail and elderly care
  • when you have an urgent or emergency care need
  • services for children including those who have complex needs 
  • services for women who are pregnant and for the new-born
  • gynaecology – dealing with women’s reproductive system 
  • sexual health services for all genders
  • planned care, such as follow-up outpatient and/or subsequent admissions as part of ongoing treatment.

We are hosting an online Business Breakfast event at 8am on Tuesday 2nd March for an hour for local businesses to get involved. Register to attend here:

Please consider encouraging your staff/members to share their views, perhaps through your virtual meetings, bulletins or on your intranet. By helping us to increase engagement in the listening exercise, you will help to ensure your staff’s/members’ long term health needs are met by local services.

People who do not feel comfortable using the internet can call 01695 588025 to receive paper copies of a questionnaire. 

Shaping Care Together is the first stage of a process to understand patient experience and views. A report based on the feedback will be produced and published later this year. We will then involve all interested parties in exploring solutions for the future.

You can contribute to the listening exercise online at before Sunday 7th March.

Upcoming Group Development Sessions with Sefton CVS

To register your place for any of the sessions please email

Better Bid Writing: practical tips towards successful funding applications
Thursday 11th March 2021
Time: 10.00am -11.30am

Info: Our session will include guidance and recommendations to help participants understand what makes a successful application. We’ll consider how to identify and demonstrate need and define outcomes, particularly in response to Covid-19, with advice and recommendations for finding funding and preparing coherent, credible and deliverable proposals.       

New Mobile Testing Unit open from today as part of Southport COVID variant testing programme

From today, people living and working in Southport’s Cambridge and Dukes & Norwood wards who don’t have coronavirus symptoms, can now get a test at the new Mobile Testing Unit at Southport’s Theatre and Convention Centre.

Located on the town’s Promenade, at what some refer to locally as the Floral Hall, the new Mobile Testing Unit is now open every day, from 8am to 6.30pm. This is in addition to the Unit at the former Kew park-and-ride site in the Norwood ward, which is also open 8am to 6.30pm, seven days a week.


People in Dukes, Cambridge and Norwood wards can use either of the dedicated Mobile Testing Units.

Sefton Council has set up both sites as part of the programme to detect the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus. The Council has been notified of two, apparently unrelated, historic cases of the variant.

Everyone aged 16 or over within the target areas is being urged to get a test.



Use either

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “People who live and work in the areas of Southport being targeted in the search for the South African variant can now use either of these dedicated Mobile Test Units, as long as they don’t have coronavirus symptoms of a high temperature, persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell.

“It doesn’t take long to get a test and some people may want to call in for theirs while they are out taking their daily exercise.”

Local people are being advised to arrive at the test centres by 6pm to ensure they can get tested. A team will also be visiting affected area’s four schools this week, before the half-term holiday.


Door-to-door delivery and collection of home testing kits will start across parts of the Cambridge and Dukes closest to the town centre from Thursday (11th February). Where possible, those delivering home testing kits will wait while people test themselves and will then take away the completed swabs so they can be sent off for analysis.

Sefton Council has been reminding residents and business that anyone calling with one of these tests will carry clear identification. They will not ask for any money or request anyone’s financial details and neither will they enter people’s homes.

Testing guidance

To help you take a swab, the NHS has made step-by step guidance videos:


The Council has also been reminding everyone across the Borough that they should still be following national lockdown regulations to protect themselves and others.

Mrs Jones added: “We should all be staying at home and only be going out for essential purposes such as shopping for essential supplies, going to work if we can’t do so from home, providing care and their daily exercise.

“And while we’re out, we should be keeping to 2-metres’ distancing, wearing masks or face coverings and washing our hands frequently.

Shaping Care Together Events in North Sefton

Health leaders in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are inviting people to share their views and experiences of local healthcare by getting involved with Shaping Care Together, a programme of work designed to improve hospital services.

Shaping Care Together will explore how health and care services are accessible, effective and operated by skilled staff to meet everyone’s needs. Care should be integrated with other services so that patients are supported by the services they need as quickly and safely as possible.

Join the Every Child Matters and Health & Social Care Forums on Monday 22nd February 2021, 10:30am – 12noon for a Listening Event in support of Shaping Care Together in Southport and Ormskirk.

The event will take place via Zoom and booking essential, to register your place please email

There is also an online event on Wednesday 17th February 2021, 2pm – 3.30pm to share your views if you live in the Southport area and wish to have your say about health and care services in that area. To register your place click here…

Two more online events for those living in the Formby area to have their say will take place on Wednesday 3rd March 2pm – 3:30pm or alternatively 6:30pm – 8pm. You can register your place below;

Wednesday 3rd March 2pm – 3.30pm, book here…
Wednesday 3rd March 6.30pm – 8pm, book here…

Shaping Care Together is led by NHS Southport and Formby CCG NHS West Lancashire CCG and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and is the first stage of a process to understand patient experience and views before any proposals to solve the challenges faced are considered.

This programme will last throughout 2021 and there will be many opportunities for local people to have their say.

For more information visit:

£165,000 waste prevention fund for Liverpool City Region community groups

A share of £165,000 is up for grabs to help community groups make the Liverpool City Region a cleaner and greener place.

The funding has been made available for community and voluntary groups, schools and not-for-profit organisations, who can reduce household waste, encourage recycling and resource re-use and prevent carbon emissions. The projects will also have to demonstrate wider positive impacts on the environment, health and education.

The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2021/22, which has been running annually since 2006.

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “We know that there are a lot of communities concerned about climate change and sustainable living. Giving groups the opportunity to get involved in looking after their environment can only bring benefits to all and can help us appreciate items as valuable resources rather than something which otherwise might be just thrown away.

“We’ve seen that previous projects have continued to deliver benefits beyond the first year, through their legacy and ongoing impact on behavioural change, and in many cases through new or continuing activities.”

Successful applicants can be awarded up to £30,000 for schemes which operate across all six districts in Merseyside and Halton, and between £1,000 and £8,000 for projects which work solely at one local authority level.

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

Previous Community Fund projects have included local recycling guidebooks, cookery clubs to improve people’s diet and reduce food waste, restoring old furniture to sell for charity and refurbishing unwanted rugs for resale.    

One organisation to benefit from the Community Fund is the British Dietetic Association who received £25,000 in 2019/20 and £29,000 in 2020/21 for the Let’s Get Cooking and Let’s Get Saving in Merseyside projects. The funding has been used to reduce avoidable household food waste through a series of training clubs, school visits, a waste-saving tips pamphlet and a community event. Community fridges have been placed around the region, which form a part of a national network. The fridges are maintained by local communities and each save on average half a tonne of food per month.

Let’s Get Cooking Project Manager Suzanne Mitchell said: “The funding was crucial in allowing us to run the Let’s Get Cooking and Let’s Get Saving initiatives over the past couple of years, which has helped the local community improve their cooking skills and reduce food waste, and to help those who need to access fresh and healthy food.”

Councillor Tony Concepcion continued: “Covid-19 has obviously affected our ongoing projects, but they’ve adapted very admirably whether that’s through remote learning and training videos, or simply keeping socially distanced during activities. Local groups need funding now more than ever and we’re excited to see what new projects come in.”

Interested groups can download the application pack via the MRWA website The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Sunday 14th March. If groups aren’t sure whether their project is appropriate for consideration then they can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via email to MRWA before Monday 21st February.

Successful projects should receive the funding by mid May 2021 and will have ten months to deliver their schemes by 31st March 2022. Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:


Sunday 14th March 2021, 11.59pm.

Volunteers thanked for their support with the fight against COVID-19

Over 250 volunteers from all walks of life are being thanked for coming forward to offer their different skills to support with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Sefton.

Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) are working in partnership on the volunteer programme with NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG and the call for people to sign up has been met with an overwhelming response.

Retired nurse, Barbara Fearns is amongst the volunteers providing support in one of the four dedicated local vaccination centres, which are run by Sefton GP practices working together in groups – known as Primary Care Networks – to immunize their patients in order of priority. Barbara is a marshal, ensuring residents know where they are going when they arrive at the centre to ensure they receive their vaccine in a quick and safe way.

Barbara, who retired in 2012, says: “I am thoroughly enjoying my volunteering role. I feel privileged to be a small cog in a big wheel in rolling out the vaccine. It’s giving me something to do during lockdown and it is nice to get out and see people.

“I feel quite emotional seeing how grateful people attending are to be vaccinated. In their words-‘it’s hopefully a step closer to normality’ I am so proud of our NHS.” 

Volunteers are carrying out a range of vital roles depending on their background and skills from marshalling like Barbara, to signing in patients and other key admin tasks. Along with volunteers from the public, the vaccination programme has been supported by GP practice staff and CCG staff.

Chief officer of the CCGs in Sefton, Fiona Taylor, has also returned to the front line to help out with the COVID-19 vaccinations and is thanking all of our volunteers for supporting them at this busy time.

Fiona said: “We are so grateful to all volunteers who have helped out at our vaccination centres, from our clinical staff helping to vaccinate patients to GP practice staff, members of the public and CCG staff helping to register patients and ensure that they are kept safe whilst coming in for their vaccine. The support has been phenomenal and it has been great to work with Sefton CVS to organise the volunteer recruitment.

“I have been helping at a site in Bootle myself to vaccinate patients and it’s been an absolute pleasure and very humbling to be able to make my contribution.

“I’m really proud of all the team working so hard to keep our residents safe during this pandemic and grateful to everyone who is helping.”

The COVID-19 vaccination scheme in Sefton has been supported by volunteers from right across the borough who have given up their time to contribute to the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.

GP practices and the CCGs are reminding everyone to be patient and to follow the current restrictions and guidance and play their part in the vaccination rollout by following these steps:

  • Do not contact your GP practice or the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
  • When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
  • Please attend as close to your appointment time as possible to avoid queues and to keep safe
  • Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives by socially distancing, wearing a mask or face covering and washing your hands regularly

You can find general information about the COVID-19 vaccine here:

Dedicated testing for South African variant underway

Today (Wednesday 3rd Feb) will see a new, dedicated Mobile Test Unit open in the PR9 area of Southport, as part of national measures to identify and stamp out the South African variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Located at the former Kew Park and Ride site, the new mobile units will be open from 8am to 4pm, which will be extended to 8am to 8pm within the coming days. Sefton Council has set up the new mobile site specifically for people living and working within the affected area.

Additionally, today a team will start delivering the 10,000 home test kits, that were delivered to Sefton Council last night, to addresses in the area affected.

Made up of Council and Fire Service staff reassigned from other roles and local voluntary service members, the team will take the test kits to homes and businesses. Where possible, they will wait while people test themselves then deliver the swabs to a collection area. They will also be able to provide advice and information including details of how to self-isolate if necessary and the support available.

Results showing whether people have tested positive for COVID-19 will come through in about two days, as is normal with this kind of PCR test. Analysis of the swabs to identify the presence of the South African variant at Laboratories is expected to take up to 10 days.

Sefton Council is reminding local people that anyone involved in this process will carry clear Council identification and that they will not be asked for any money or to provide financial details. They will never enter people’s homes.

Sefton’s Director of Public Health, Margaret Jones said: “Having been told that the variant had been identified in the Borough late on Saturday, I am pleased that we have been able to get this testing for the area up and running today. It is a real testament to the way everyone has worked to make this programme work.

“We want everyone aged 16 and over in the affected area to take one of these specific tests, either using the home test kit that will be delivered to them or by using the dedicated Mobile Unit at the former Kew Park and Ride site. This will help us identify and nip this variant, which could be more transmissible meaning that it could spread more quickly, in the bud.”

Despite its potentially greater transmission rate, there is nothing to suggest the vaccines that are currently being rolled out across the country.

Responding to questions that have arisen nationally about what lockdown measures people in the affected areas should be taking, Mrs Jones said: “We are not asking people in the affected area of Southport to do anything different from anyone across the rest of the Borough or the rest of the country.

“It remains vital that all of us protect ourselves and others and that means sticking to the national lockdown regulations.

“We need to stay at home except for essential purposes such as shopping for essential supplies, going to work if we can’t do so from home, providing care and going for a coronavirus test if we need one.

“And if we do go out, we all need to make sure we are maintaining at least 2-metres’ distancing, wearing a mask or face covering while out and about and washing our hands frequently.”

Mrs Jones went on to explain that people across the rest of Sefton, outside of the part of the PR9 postcode being targeted for the variant that if they develop coronavirus symptoms, they need to book a test by calling 119 or visiting  

She also explained that SMART testing sites, at Southport’s Splash World, Bootle Leisure Centre and Aintree racecourse were only for people with no coronavirus symptoms who are key workers and people with caring commitments during the lockdown. People in these groups should be going regularly for SMART tests, which tell people if they are carrying the COVID-19 virus without knowing in as little as 30 minutes.

Further information, including tips about support during self-isolation, can be found at

Carers in Sefton are asked how Covid-19 has impacted them

Healthwatch Sefton is backing the latest ‘Because We All Care‘ campaign in asking carers to share their experiences of the care their loved ones have received – both good and bad – across care homes, GP services, hospitals or in the home during the pandemic.

Diane Blair, Manager of Healthwatch Sefton, explained: “Unpaid carers have played a greater role than ever before in supporting people with their care needs, an incredible contribution in the fight against COVID-19. In addition to the direct support they provide, carers can play an essential role in sharing feedback about the care their family and friends receive.”

Research undertaken by Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Healthwatch has shown that unpaid carers are already more likely than the general population to provide feedback on health and social care experiences on behalf of loved ones, with 67% reporting they give positive feedback on care.

Carers in Sefton are being asked to share their feedback on local health and care services

Vicky Keeley, CEO at Sefton Carer’s Centre, commented: “Unpaid carers provide a vital service in Sefton and have suffered greatly in this pandemic. Carers need support for themselves and also as carers in their caring role. It is more important than ever for carers to be recognised.”

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, added: “Unpaid carers are the backbone of our health and social care systems and their commitment and compassion have never been more vital. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on both them and those they care for whilst also prompting a huge rise in the number of new people taking on caring roles, ranging from shopping for food and collecting medicine to providing emotional support.

“And that is why we’re asking everyone who looks after their friends or family members to share their experiences of care services with their local Healthwatch.”

To share feedback with the Healthwatch Sefton team ring Freephone 0800 206 1304, email:

Or leave feedback direct on where there is an option to leave your comments anonymously as a carer.

For details on Sefton Carers Centre, visit

COVID-19 vaccination roll-out gathers pace in Sefton

As the roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations gathers pace across the NHS, our GP led services in Sefton continue to make good progress immunising priority patients.

Working together with the borough’s two clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), GP led services are working hard to vaccinate those most at risk of COVID-19 first – this meant starting in late December with care home staff and residents, people aged over 80 and frontline health and care staff – before moving onto the next priority groups.

As well as operating from local vaccination centres, roving teams of immunisers have been going directly into care homes to vaccinate residents and staff.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, explained: “Since December our GP practices have been working together in groups to deliver the vaccinations as quickly as possible to those most at risk by inviting them into a community centre in Sefton to be immunised safely and we’re making good progress.”

Sefton’s GP led services are just one part of the national vaccination programme. A regional vaccination centre has also opened at St Helens rugby league club’s stadium, which is an additional option and some pharmacies in Sefton will also join the national programme by the end of January.

Dr Gillespie continues: “The regional vaccination centre in St Helens is in addition to our local GP led services. We understand it won’t work for everyone and if you do get a letter to go there and can’t travel or don’t want to go there please don’t worry. You will still be contacted by the GP led service to be invited for your vaccine in the centre nearest to you.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Importantly, we are still asking you not to contact your GP practice or another NHS organisation to ask for your vaccination – or to request one for a member of your household or carer.

“We are asking people not to turn up at a regional vaccination centre without an appointment. Our GP led service will be in touch as soon as it can book you in for the vaccine. We are also asking you to stay safe and follow the restrictions in place, even if you have had your first dose of the vaccine which gives you a good level of protection but not the maximum. You may be partially protected but others around you might not be so please remember, hands, space, face.”

If you haven’t already been vaccinated at a GP led service and receive the letter from the national service, providing you can travel to the regional vaccination centre safely, we recommend that you book using the details the letter provides.

If you are unable or don’t want to go to a regional vaccination centre, you can choose to wait and get your vaccination from your nearest GP led service, this might not be at your usual GP practice but details of that will be shared with you when you are contacted.

Some residents may be offered their vaccinations in hospital if they are an inpatient or an outpatient during the vaccine roll out. Hospitals are also vaccinating health and care staff.

This is the biggest vaccination programme the NHS has ever undertaken. It is a huge challenge and the local NHS is working hard to overcome any logistical issues as they may arise.  The exact weekly roll-out of the programme will be largely shaped by the vaccine supply from the manufacturers.

You can find out more about the programme here;

Shaping Care Together – Help to Shape the Future of your Local Health Service

Health leaders in West Lancashire, Southport and Formby are inviting people to share their views and experiences of local healthcare by getting involved with Shaping Care Together, a programme of work designed to improve hospital services.

Like NHS services across the country, our local hospitals face significant challenges. Some have been with us for years while the urgency of others has been made clear during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shaping Care Together will explore how health and care services are accessible, effective and operated by skilled staff to meet everyone’s needs. Care should be integrated with other services so that patients are supported by the services they need as quickly and safely as possible.

Views are being sought on what currently works well at Southport and Ormskirk hospitals as well as in primary and community healthcare services and in particular, what steps should be taken to improve the following:

  • frail and elderly care
  • when you have an urgent or emergency care need
  • services for children including those who have complex needs
  • services for women who are pregnant and for the new-born
  • gynaecology – dealing with women’s reproductive system
  • sexual health services for all genders
  • planned care, such as follow-up outpatient and/or subsequent admissions as part of ongoing treatment.

Despite the challenges our hospitals face, local access to care has been improved by providing services in the community during the evenings and at weekends.

Shaping Care Together is the first stage of a process to understand patient views and experiences before any proposals to solve the challenges faced are considered.  This programme will last throughout 2021 and there will be many opportunities for local people to have their say. No decisions have yet been made and they are seeking views which will inform their thinking and proposals for change.

Over the coming months there will be lots of different ways for people to get involved but first views can be shared on the dedicated website:

  • Fill in the survey here
  • Find more information here

(If you would prefer a paper copy of the questionnaire, please call 01695 588025)

Shaping Care Together is led by NHS West Lancashire CCG, NHS Southport and Formby CCG, and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Patients raise concerns over hospital discharge

A national Healthwatch report (which includes local insight from Sefton), highlights how patients are grateful to hard-working doctors, nurses and care staff for continuing to deliver compassionate care in difficult circumstances. This work was supported by the British Red Cross.

But an investigation into hospital discharge processes shows the majority of patients (82%) surveyed nationally did not receive recommended follow-up visits after discharge.

Patients felt unready to leave hospital and missed out on vital follow-up visits and assessments according to new Healthwatch and British Red Cross research into hospital discharge arrangements during the first five months of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the investigation did also uncover a number of positives including increased collaboration between services and positive feedback from the public for healthcare staff working under pressure.

As part of this national review, Healthwatch Sefton carried out work to better understand the impact of emergency measures implemented earlier this year to free up beds for COVID-19 patients.

Healthwatch Sefton carried out eight in-depth interviews with key staff involved in the discharge process in the Sefton area, working as part of the Southport & Formby health and care system.

Alongside this, more than 500 patients and carers across England took part in a national survey which gathered people’s experiences from late March to late August.

Some of the key findings included:

  • 82% of respondents did not receive a follow-up visit and assessment at home, one of the key recommendations of the policy
  • Some people felt their discharge was rushed, with around one in five (19%) feeling unprepared to leave hospital
  • Over a third (35%) of respondents and their carers did not get a contact for further advice, despite this being a recommendation
  • Overall patients and families were very positive about healthcare staff, praising their efforts during such a difficult time

Healthwatch Sefton Manager, Diane Blair, said: “Being involved in this national review was a challenge in terms of the number of in-depth interviews we had to undertake in a short space of time but in listening to the local experiences of professionals from a number of different perspectives we learnt a lot about how the system has been working and suggestions for how we could improve local services for the future. We spoke with Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, care home managers, community providers, a social worker and a GP. ”

As a result of the findings, recommendations from Healthwatch and the British Red Cross were given to help manage a second wave of COVID-19 hospital admissions.

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:In March, hospitals were asked to discharge patients with little or no notice and the speed with which this took place was important but led to mistakes. We do not want to detract from the heroic efforts of those on the frontline, who often put themselves at great risk to care for their patients, but services and system leaders have now had more time to prepare.

“It’s essential we learn from what people have shared with us about the impact a poorly-handled discharge can have on them and their loved ones. Taking action now will not only reduce the risk to patients but will also help improve the way people leave hospital in the future.”

Read the full report on the Healthwatch Sefton website, via

Letter to all voluntary, community and faith organisations on behalf of Cllr. Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member – Communities and Housing

22nd January 2021

To – all voluntary, community and faith organisations

Dear all, 

I would like to thank you for your continued support to our local residents and communities and for your ongoing support to Sefton Council throughout this pandemic. Your response to supporting our vulnerable residents has been amazing with many of you doing befriending calls, shopping, food support, dog walking and general wellbeing contact. Without you and the contribution of your volunteers many of our residents would have struggled in this last year.

As you know our priority now as a country and as a borough is to get this pandemic under control and the only way to do that is to follow the guidance and the rules around social distancing, washing hands and covering our faces. Your help to cascade these messages within your communities is needed now more than ever.  We also need to ensure that we are not doing anything that may undermine the key messages, such as organising community events or anything that brings together large groups of people for litter picking or environmental clean-ups etc. In normal circumstances I would be the first person to encourage this type of activity but now is not the time to be doing such activities, however well intended.  It is fine for households to undertake litter picks but only with the people they live with and I would ask you through your social media channels to perhaps encourage families to get involved in keeping their own streets and local parks clean and to do safely and only with those people that they live with.

We need the support of our community and voluntary organisations to model the behaviours that we would like our wider residents to follow and I am asking for your help to ensure that the clear public health messages and guidance is followed. That is the only way we can get back to normal. All Covid advice and information can be found here: COVID-19 in Sefton

There is light in sight though with the roll out of the vaccination programme and I just want to thank many of you for your support around the delivery of this. I know Sefton CVS are recruiting volunteers to support the roll out so please go the link and sign up and encourage your members and your residents through your social media pages to get involved. For more information on the volunteering roles and to sign up to become a Vaccination Volunteer please visit;

Finally I hope to be able to go out and visit many of you in the coming months when we are able to get back to face to face gatherings and community events and activities.

Many thanks

Cllr. Trish Hardy,
Cabinet Member – Communities and Housing

National Academy for Social Prescribing; Learning Together Programme – closing 25th January 2021

Learning Together is a flexible programme of regional learning and development activities for voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise groups and organisations supporting their communities’ needs through COVID-19.

The programme is free to join and is designed for VCSE organisations, tailored to the needs of your region by your Thriving Communities Regional Lead.

There are up to 100 free places in each of the 7 NHS regions across England.
The commitment for the programme is 2 hours a month max.

For more information visit;

To apply please complete the online form linked here, by 25th January and send to

Include-IT Mersey Digital Champion Volunteers offer practical IT support to residents

It’s a difficult time for digitally excluded residents across the Liverpool City Region, so Include-IT Mersey have decided to expand their offer of digital support. Digital Champion volunteers are currently providing some basic IT support via telephone  and are pleased to be adding some group Zoom session as well.
These instructional sessions would be for small groups of 2-5 people and would cover topics such as setting up and using emails, online shopping and IT for home schooling.  
Digital Champions can support residents to download and use Zoom in the first instance before carrying out the session.
If your organisation has a small group that would like to access this support, or would like to refer someone for telephone support please contact Lauren on 07860 846 605 or to discuss your requirements and book a session.

The VCF Sector and Transformation – Shaping the Future (closing 5pm on Friday 5th February 2021)

Over the next year (possibly 1st April 2022), CCGs will be replaced by local Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs.) these will in turn report to the Cheshire and Merseyside Integrated Care System (ICS) or Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP). The new governance arrangement will bring together support networks for both primary and secondary care with a strong focus on Place.

Sefton as a place, has a strong VCFSE infrastructure. Your organisation contributes to the strength and diversity of the sector in Sefton, creating our own culture, customs and practice. By sharing with us your evidence of what’s important and what works well in Sefton, you will help us to make the strengths and opportunities in the VCFSE sector in Sefton, visible to health and care commissioners as the transformation of the health and care system begins to  be remodelled

Please click the link below to participate in the survey before the closing date of Friday 5th February 2021.

Click here to participate in the Shaping The Future survey

Job Vacancy; Parenting 2000 – Early Help Family Practitioner (closing Sunday, 31st January 2021)

Parenting 2000 are seeking to recruit an Early Help Family Practitioner to provide support through the Sefton Turnaround Families initiative to help families resolve problems at an early stage before they grow into something that is more difficult to overcome.

The successful candidate will ideally have experience in a similar setting.  We are looking for a self-starter that can show the initiative to work alone but within the needs of the organisation.

Salary:  £22,443 per annum, plus Company Pension, 35 hours per week.
Initially the position is for a fixed term to 31st March 2022, continuation will be subject to funding.

How to apply:  Please apply by filling our application form as we are unable to accept a CV for this post.
To access the full details and our  application form , please visit

Closing date: 31st January  2021

Appointment is subject to satisfactory references, right to work in the UK & an enhanced DBS check.

Parenting 2000 is an established Charity based in Sefton, recognised for its strong track record in providing innovative professional, evidenced based, high quality interventions to support children, young people and families.

Together Liverpool ‘Feast of Fun at Home (Wednesday 27th January 2021)

 Together Liverpool is delighted to offer Feast of Fun at Home grants for churches across the Diocese of Liverpool this February.

We are looking to support churches with grants of up to £500 to host home-based food activities for children and young people in their communities this February. The activities we are looking to support are:

  • Church-led, but can involve other community partners, faith groups or schools
  • Enable your church to strengthen connections with families, children and/or young people in your community
  • Include healthy food as an element of your activity

Activities can take place over one or multiple days, and may be focused around February half term, Pancake Day or any other day during the month of February.

Together Liverpool are intending to support a range of activities across the diocese, and are particularly interested in supporting new activities. We are looking forward to hearing your ideas of how these grants can best be used to serve your communities.

To apply, all you need to do is complete this short form and return it to our Food Insecurity Lead Executive Naomi Maynard by Wednesday 27th January.

Sefton YA’s; Combined Authority Spatial Development Strategy Consultation Survey

Sefton Young Advisors want to hear from children and young people (age 11-18) across the Liverpool City Region’s six local authority areas (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) on behalf of the Combined Authority in regards to the Spatial Development Strategy.

We want to know;

– How young people would like to work with the Combined Authority
– What young people think about the Spatial Development Strategy this covers
– What young people think about the current policies

The areas that this survey covers are;

– Health and Wellbeing
– Inclusive Economy
– Climate Change and the Environment
– Place Making and Communities

We would be very grateful if young people (11-18) could take time to complete this survey and let us know their thoughts  – the survey takes approximately 4 minutes to complete.

Click here to view and share the survey…

Sefton YA’s & Violence Reduction Partnership; Violent Crime Survey

We want to hear from children and young people (11-18) from Sefton.

Sefton Young Advisors have been commissioned by the Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) to get the view of Young People regarding violent crimes in the area. The VRP is made up of services such as the Police, Fire and Rescue and the Local Government.

Violent crime can be defined as: physically or threatening to physically hurt someone and includes crimes where a weapon is used. (for example a gun or a knife). We are interested in gathering young people’s views on:

– The types of violent crime in the area
– What services are known to be available for victims and offenders
– How to reduce crime in the area
– What would make you feel safer in your area

Their thoughts can impact direct change in their area so we would be very grateful if you could share this survey with any youth groups or individuals to gather their thoughts. This survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Click here to view and share the survey…

Liverpool City Region’s leaders urge those working during lockdown to get SMART tested

People who must risk leaving their homes and mixing with others during lockdown are being urged to keep getting repeated tests for Covid-19 within the Liverpool City Region.

The successful Liverpool pilot to deliver SMART testing was rolled-out across the City Region just before Christmas; to target everyone in the area and find positive people who were not showing symptoms.

However, with a national lockdown in place and most people urged to stay home, the 20 non-symptomatic sites across the City Region are now being used to target key workers, and those who have to mix with others because of either paid, or unpaid, caring commitments.

Although people often see key workers as emergency or “blue light” staff the LCR pilot is aimed at everyone who has to continue mixing because of their job role. This includes both public and private sector workers such as essential shop and supermarket staff, taxi drivers, postal workers and many other key services that we continue to rely on during lockdown.

The leaders of the six City Region Local Authorities and Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, are urging people in such roles to continue coming forward for the rapid test.

“SMART” testing refers to Systematic, Meaningful, Asymptomatic, Repeated Testing, and around 250,000 people have now been tested as part of the pilot. Repeatedly testing those who have no symptoms, in a targeted way, has helped to keep infection numbers lower than many other areas in the North West.

Everyone must continue to be vigilant however as the new variant of Covid-19 is spread more easily than the first. This means that staying home if you can, maintaining a safe distance from others, washing your hands and avoiding touching your face are more important than ever.

Anyone who must mix with others during lockdown, for legitimate work or care reasons, can simply turn-up for rapid, regular and free testing without having symptoms of Covid-19. People taking the test usually get their results within the hour.

In addition to the City Region testing facilities, a new non-symptomatic test centre has also been set-up in Cheshire.

All six Local Authorities in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) are taking part in the pilot programme.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the six City region Local Authorities, the Metro Mayor, and Acting Mayor of Liverpool, said: “The last thing any of us wanted to see in the New Year was another national lockdown. However, we have seen the figures, showing the number of people contracting the virus and the number of people now in hospital as a result of Covid-19.

“Sadly, we have also seen the number of deaths to Covid-19 increase as well. So, we would urge everyone to stay at home where they can and continue to get the basics of hands, space, face, right.

“There are of course many heroes who must continue to work throughout a lockdown, and these are not just contained to health and emergency workers. We want to ensure that, with this opportunity to carry out free, repeated, and rapid testing in the City Region, that we encourage as many of those people to come forward.

“We have people who work in essential retail, schools, nursing homes, local authorities and transport, and many more besides, who are keeping our vital services running throughout this national lockdown.

“We want to make sure that they are as protected as possible while helping us to continue with the essential services and provisions we need. Our thanks go to everyone who risks their own health to keep providing these services and do everything we can to keep them safe and keep them getting tested.”

Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council

Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council

Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council

Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Wendy Simon
Acting Mayor of Liverpool

Executive Director of Sefton Council, Andrea Watts, who is helping to co-ordinate the LCR testing pilot, added: “SMART is a huge opportunity for the Liverpool City Region and I’ve no doubt that we can continue to identify key workers and carers who may be Covid positive without showing symptoms throughout the lockdown.

“Targeted repeat testing, two or three times a week, of these groups can make a real difference to the way we live-through and exit out of lockdown while the roll out the vaccine continues.

“Together, we can keep testing those key workers who do not have symptoms – while of course still being extra cautious around ensuring we do the basics – hands, space, face.”

For more information on when and how testing is available in Sefton, and an interactive map of non-symptomatic testing locations, please go to the Sefton Council website or go to

Public Health leaders urging public to stay at home, to fight COVID and reduce extreme pressure on hospitals

Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones has joined her colleagues across the region to urge people to follow by the latest lockdown rules and stay at home.

The plea from Directors of Public Health, who are leading the local public health response to COVID, comes as COVID cases have alarmingly increased in communities putting NHS hospitals under extreme pressure.

Essential reasons

Under the rules, people are strongly requested to stay at home and only leave the house for essential reasons such as getting a COVID test, food shopping, work, education, exercise or helping someone vulnerable. A full list of what is permitted is available at

Ian Ashworth, current Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside Directors of Public Health Board said, “The next few weeks are going to be extremely difficult and it will be some time until we see the impact of the lockdown take effect. People need to stay at home as much as possible. Only shop when necessary. Exercise away from other people. If you cannot work from home and have a symptom free test centre in your area, get tested regularly so you can self-isolate before symptoms show. We are working hard with health and government partners to speed up and unblock barriers to the rollout of the vaccine for the most vulnerable groups but this will not happen overnight. We now have a number of licensed vaccines which will mean more vaccines becoming available locally. In the meantime, we need people to double their efforts to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”


The COVID-19 vaccination programme has seen over a million vulnerable people and those that care for them vaccinated so far. Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic and an effective vaccine is the best way to protect people from COVID. Members of the public will be invited by the NHS when it’s their turn for a vaccination and it is important that everyone who is offered the vaccine takes it to protect themselves and others. Directors urge those waiting for their vaccine to be patient and not contact the NHS or their GP surgery as it will take time for the vaccine to be rolled out to all priority groups.

If residents follow the rules and stay at home, then lockdown restrictions will end sooner and people can look forward to better times ahead. Directors would like to thank everyone who has been doing their bit for so long, and understand they desperately wish to see an end to the restrictions, but it’s more important than ever that people now put in that extra effort to keep friends, family and communities safe.


If you develop symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell) you can obtain a test by visiting or calling 119. If your test is positive you must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately. More information on self-isolating can be found at

Anyone needing support during this difficult time should visit which has details of 24/7 crisis helplines and resources to help mental wellbeing.

Find out more information about COVID-19 in Sefton.

Venus Charity; Kings Centre Activity Survey

Venus are applying to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a grant to develop the Kings Centre in Bootle and bring the building back into community use.

They are looking for your feedback on what types of activities and events you would like to see at the King’s Centre. This information gather will be used to make recommendations for the activity programme and which local stories you would like to see brought to life and celebrated. 

To complete the survey please click here

Mental Health Matters launches new Talking Matters Sefton Service

Mental Health Matters (MHM) has successfully launched Talking Matters Sefton. Talking Matters Sefton is the new name for the support service that borough residents can access for help with their mental wellbeing.

Developed in partnership with NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups, the service ensures that patients can continue to access high-quality talking therapies as conveniently as possible, which is more important than ever in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its impact on mental wellbeing.

Talking Matters Sefton (TMS) is designed to help anyone aged over 16 in the borough, to deal with common mental health difficulties. These may include depression, anxiety, panic, phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or post-traumatic stress disorder. Staffed by a team of highly skilled mental health professionals, the service is focused on delivering a person-centred approach to help people achieve positive outcomes.

Individuals looking to access support from the service can self-refer online, via email, or over the phone. Referrals can also be made through a Sefton GP.

Click here to read more…

Sport England Tackling Inequalities Fund for Merseyside (18th January 2021)

Merseyside Sport are working with Sport England on the Tackling Inequalities funding programme, which will support people in the four priority groups across Merseyside to be more active with the additional challenges faced due to Covid-19.

This funding will support organisations in the community for ‘here and now’, so that they have a future to plan for, and could support one or both of the following objectives:
1.    Providing financial support to organisations that are experiencing financial hardship
2.    Providing opportunities for priority audiences to be active at this time by adapting offers or providing new offers

For further information and apply for the funding click here…

The National Lottery Community Fund; Local Connections Fund (opened 5th January 2021)

The Local Connections Fund is a new £4 million fund to help charities and community groups in England that are working to reduce loneliness by helping them build connections across their communities.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and The National Lottery Community Fund are investing £2 million each.

This will be used to fund hundreds of microgrants, between £300 and £2,500, so that small, local organisations (with an annual income of £50,000 or less) can bring people and communities together.

The first round of funding will be open for applications on 5 January and close on 26 January 2021. Successful applicants must have spent the money and finished their project by 31 March 2021. A second round will follow in the summer.

Find out more on the National Lottery Community Fund website.

Community Coronavirus Testing for Residents in Sefton

Testing for people WITH SYMPTOMS

Across January, drive-through Mobile Testing Units will operate once again. These sites are for those with symptoms – a new persistent cough, a high temperature or a loss of sense of taste or smell – and can be booked by calling 119 or visiting

For more information regarding locations and opening times, please click here…In addition, local walk-through test centres are open every day from 8am to 8pm, providing easy access to COVID-19 tests for people who do not have access to a car and for those who have symptoms and should not travel by public transport.The four local test centres are located at:

– Bootle Town Hall, L20 7AA
– Crosby Library Car Park, Haigh Road, L22 OLQ
– Netherton Activity Centre, Glovers Land, L30 3TL
– Southport Town Hall, PR8 1DA

Those with symptoms seeking tests, need to book ahead of going to either the walk-through or drive-through sites. It’s quick and easy to book by calling 119 or going online at

Testing for people NOT displaying any symptoms

Walk-through SMART COVID-19 testing for residents who DON’T have COVID-19 symptoms is now taking place. SMART testing will tell you if you have COVID-19. You will get your result in 30 minutes. Find out more about COVID testing for people who DO and DON’T have symptoms.

‘Meet The Funder’ Session with Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust – Thurs 14th January

Our next ‘Meet the Funder‘ session is with the Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust.

Date: Thursday 14th January 2021
Time: 10.00am -11.00am

Info: The Eleanor Rathbone Charitable Trust supports small and medium sized, grass roots charitable organisations in Merseyside, with priority given to those benefiting women, girls, young people and families, who are economically deprived and/or socially excluded; unpopular and neglected causes.

More details at:

Venue: By Zoom Video Call

To register your place please for a link to the session.


Marine in the Community with Marine FC yesterday launched its 2021 calendar. The theme is one of Hope & Faith and is done in partnership with several of the local schools of Crosby and Sefton. The children have produced work to give the community a lift out of these dark days and in to a New Year of Hope. This is coupled with the fantastic run in the FA Cup that Marine has had so far and highlights 12 memorable moments captured in photographs displayed in the calendar providing Faith in our Club as they take on Tottenham Hotspur in the New Year.

The work has been supported by Merchant Taylors’ School and backed by local companies who have helped sponsor the calendar, providing prizes and vouchers for the schools and children who took part.

Any profit raised from the sale of the calendars will go back into the Marine in the Community charitable trust and support the great work they continue to do in the community, like the free lunch deliveries and knock on the door it has been doing since March each week for the elderly, vulnerable and isolated, which it continues to do so, even now.

The launch took place at Marine and welcomed David Fairclough (Ex Liverpool legend), Paul Leary (Marine FC Chairman), David Wickes (Headteacher Merchant Taylors’), and Helen Tantouri (Headteacher, Valewood Primary).

Marine Chairman Paul Leary said:

“This is the best example of how a community project can work. Marine FC, Marine in the Community, Merchant Taylors’, Crosby primary schools, Radfield Homecare and many local businesses got together with a vision to produce a Hope & Faith calendar for 2021. The calendar designed, created and printed kindly by Merchant Taylors’ is a high quality production that includes drawings by local primary school children that portrays faith, hope, love, joy, compassion and kindness. Each month includes a photograph of Marine’s epic FA cup progress to show joy, happiness and celebration.”

Marine in the Community Director Graeme Gardiner said:

“I am delighted with the outcome of this very special project that involved so many people and children from the local schools. I would like to thank them and the local businesses that helped finance the project. The calendars will be available in the schools and in local shops as well as the Club shop at Marine FC”

Father Christmas flies by to support Sefton Mayor’s Toy Appeal

A very special visitor stopped by from the North Pole this week to check in on the Mayor of Sefton’s Christmas Toy Appeal.

Taking time out of his busy schedule, Father Christmas helped to deliver toys collected by Litherland Youth and Community Centre, who have supported the appeal for many years.

Fifteen sacks of gifts were delivered to Bootle Town Hall from the club, which will be distributed to children across the Borough in time for Christmas Day.

Cllr June Burns, Mayor of Sefton, said: “It really has been quite overwhelming but utterly joyous to see the amount of support we’ve received from the entire Borough for this year’s appeal. People have continued to show their kindness, giving what they can for others, to ensure that everyone has a special Christmas this year.

“Father Christmas was so impressed by the whole of Sefton’s efforts so far, and he asked me to pass on his thanks to each and every person, business and community group, like the amazing Litherland Youth and Community Centre, who have contributed this year. It’s shaping up to be the best year ever for donations, so I would like to echo that thanks as well – we really couldn’t do this without your support!”

Earlier this week, the Mayor of Sefton received a cheque for £2,048 from this year’s online crowdfunding effort, as well as contributions from local community groups and businesses. Volunteers will use the donations to buy a range of toys and gifts for teenagers, children and toddlers to enjoy this Christmas.

Joe Farrell, an Early Help School Attendance Officer from the Council, delivered the cheque to the Mayor and is just one of many volunteers who will be helping to sort gifts and support the safe delivery of them to families around Sefton.

In his spare time, Joe who is a keen angler, has raised more than £2,500 through his own fundraising efforts. He has donated £1,500 to the toy appeal and will be supporting other Sefton community causes with the rest of the funds.

Joe Farrell said: “I’m inspired each year by the hard work and dedication of my colleagues and fellow volunteers who support the Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal.

“This year, fearing a possible shortfall in funds and restrictions putting a stop to some of our usual fundraising events, I felt I had to go the extra mile to support the appeal. Together with the support of my fishing community online as well as friendship circles and sponsors, I have been able to successfully raise over £2,500 to date.

“I have donated £1,500 into the toy appeal already and I am going to support the fantastic work of some of our community organisations across Sefton with the remainder of my fundraising.”

Donations continue to be shared, with special thanks to St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary and Birkdale High School, who have shared toys and gifts with the appeal this year.

Another local fundraising hero, trainee doctor Lucy Wright from Birkdale, has raised £500 by selling her homemade cakes. The former Greenbank High School student has purchased gifts from the proceeds of the cake sales, which will now go to the appeal and put smiles on the faces of many children this Christmas.

New and unwrapped toys, gift vouchers, toiletries, pyjamas and stocking fillers for all ages, are still welcomed as part of the appeal. Items can be donated in the following ways:

  • Dropped off at the in-store donation point at Asda Central 12 in Southport
  • Dropped off at libraries and leisure centres (opening hours may be varied so people should check before making a drop off)

People need to drop off their donations by Tuesday 22nd December 2020, in time for them to be sent out for Christmas Day.