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

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

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

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

For more information please contact Mike;
Telephone: 07786 381 961
Email: m.s.newton@btinternet.com


Waterloo United Free Church - Art Group April 2018

Sefton Fund Knife Wands to make Nightlife Safer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Superintendent Matt Boyle said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We hope that common sense prevails.”

Panel endorses Police precept proposal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Chief Executive Officer – Full time £45k per annum

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shortlisting: Later that week

Interviews: Wednesday 14th March 2018

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

For more information call Sahir House on; 0151 237 3989 

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

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

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

Can you afford not to attend?

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

lldiagram

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

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

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

Workshop content

The Strategy workshop on March 21 will cover:

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

The Governance workshop on June 27 will consider:

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

The facilitator

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

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

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

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

[1] See https://www.charitygovernancecode.org/en

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are we looking for?

Previous Community Fund projects have included:

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

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

What should I do next?

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

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

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

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:

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

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: 28th February 2018

Contact the Authority by:

Email: communityfund2018-19@merseysidewda.gov.uk
Telephone: 0151 255 1444

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

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

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

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

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

v4g thermometer

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

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

To donate to the Volunteering 4 Good crowdfunding initiative, please visit www.sefton4good.org.uk/donate and for more information please call 0151 920 0726 or email info@sefton4good.org.uk  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your proposal should include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further details of the grant call the team direct on 0300 323 0181 or email LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk

The Prince’s Trust Programme returns to Southport

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

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

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

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

Good News for Adults as Youth Club taking on New Members

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

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

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

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

Learn more at the Parenting 2000 website.

Help Sefton Stay Clean and Green!

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

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

Learning Opportunities for the Whole Community in Sefton

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

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

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

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

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

Start warming up for a new career with Aspiring Instructors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact: 01704 500500.
Email info@seftonadvocacy.org

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

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


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

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

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

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

Sefton and Knowsley unite to help siblings #StayTogether in foster families

#StayTogether will be the message as fostering services at Sefton and Knowsley Councils come together for a special recruitment drive.

In Sefton and Knowsley there are over 750 ‘looked after’ children in need of foster placements, many of them in sibling groups.

Two events will be held, allowing anyone thinking of fostering to meet experienced carers who already foster families of brothers and sisters, while also learning about the approval process, support and learning with expert teams from both local authorities.

The first event will take place at Aintree Shopping Park, Saturday January 27, 10am – 4pm, while the second event will take place at Cables Shopping Centre in Prescot, Sunday January 28, 10am- 4pm.

Cllr. John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families at Sefton Council, said:

“It is great to be working together with Knowsley in this innovative way. Now more than ever there is an urgent need for carers for siblings, highlighting this is so important.

“The media bus is both unique and eye catching and gives us the flexibility to get out and about into the heart of our communities. Allowing us to create a clear call to action, it encourages people from all walks of life to consider how they could make a real difference to children’s lives.”

Cllr Marie Stuart, Knowsley Council Cabinet Lead Member – Children’s Services said

“We are delighted to be working with Sefton Council on this unique Fostering Information Event.

“It’s important that we work together to encourage more families to come forward and find out more about becoming Foster Carers with their local authority. We are always looking for new Foster Carers with our greatest need being for Foster Carers who could provide a safe and loving home for sibling groups, older children, and children with additional needs.

“We understand it’s a really big decision for people to make, but we offer excellent support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and offer financial allowances in recognition of the valuable role Foster Carers have in providing loving homes for the children in our care. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about becoming a Foster Carer to come along and have a chat with our friendly teams without feeling obligated or pressured in any way.”

For more information about fostering with Sefton, visit the Sefton Fostering website or contact the team on 0800 923 2777.

Be Active Launch’s February Half Term Programme

Sefton’s youngest residents are in for a half-term filled with fun and games as the ever popular Be Active programme returns in February.

With activities catering for children from reception age to 12-years-old, Be Active’s programme is available at leisure centres across the borough.

February Fun Day’s will see children take part in a number of enjoyable and challenging activities including obstacle courses, adventure games and dodgeball.

School of Rock dance mash-up workshops will give Sefton’s young performers the chance to learn new choreographed dance routines inspired by their favourite films and songs. There will also be the opportunity to take part in singing and enjoy dance and drama based games.

Be Active will also be taking advantage of the new and improved swimming facilities across the borough with a range of pool-based activities on the cards including a Wave Rave pool party complete with disco lights, music and pool dye.

Sefton’s youngsters can also take a break from dry land and enjoy the perks that come with living on the coast at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre where they can have a go at water sports including bell-boating, raft building and climbing.

The ever popular Everton Soccer School will also be returning to the sports-filled line-up catering for future sports stars of all abilities.

In a bid to get more young people into different sports, Sefton Council is running a number of ‘Come and Try Sessions’. The classes cover a range of activities, including archery, gymnastics and fencing.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“I’m delighted to see the latest half term line-up from Be Active.

“It is wonderful to see so many activities on offer across Sefton that are not only fun, but also provide fantastic opportunities for Sefton’s young residents to try out new things and learn exciting new skills.

“I look forward to seeing another packed half term of activities across Sefton!”

For more information or to book your place please call Be Active on 0151 288 6286 or visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beactive

Calling all Sefton schools! The Educate Awards launches for 2018

The Educate Awards is thrilled to announce entries are now open for 2018’s ceremony, in association with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh as title sponsors.

Many Sefton schools were celebrated at last years ceremony including Netherton Moss Primary School, Formby High, St Michael’s CofE High School and Bedford Primary.

The awards, founded by Kim O’Brien in 2012, is the largest education awards in the North West and celebrates every aspect of the school’s curriculum, teaching and staff.

From inspiring teachers, superb support staff to innovative projects across the curriculum, the awards recognise the work of schools and colleges which are delivering outstanding education and helping students achieve their full potential.

The awards are free to enter and open to all government funded and independent private educational establishments, including primary, secondary, further education providers and special needs schools in the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and Lancashire.

Kim O’Brien says:

“The Educate Awards is an important platform to celebrate education and give those working in schools who transform learning, the credit they deserve.

“We would love to hear about the teachers, support staff and exciting projects happening in schools right across the Liverpool city region!

“We are delighted to launch the call for entries for 2018 and are looking forward to celebrating another year of outstanding education in the North West.”

Associate sponsors include Winstanley College, All About STEM, Liverpool John Moores University, CER, Progress Schools, Liverpool Learning Partnership, School Improvement Liverpool, The Foundry Agency, LSSP, The Bishop of Liverpool, The Rt. Revd. Paul Bayes, DMR David M Robinson Jewellery & Watches and BMD Law.

The deadline for entries is midnight on Sunday 24 June 2018. The shortlist will be announced prior to the awards ceremony and the winners will be revealed on 16 November at Liverpool Cathedral.

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

 Award categories

  • The Communication Award
  • Eco School Project of the Year
  • Spirit of Enterprise Award
  • SEND Provision Award
  • Innovative and Creative Literacy Award
  • STEM Project of the Year
  • Outstanding Arts in a Primary School
  • Outstanding Arts in a Secondary School
  • Career Aspiration Award
  • Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Primary School
  • Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Secondary School
  • Community Partnership Award
  • Outstanding Teaching of Life Skills
  • Innovation in Education Award
  • School Support Star of the Year
  • Teacher of the Year
  • Leadership Team of the Year
  • Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider
  • Most Inspirational Secondary School
  • Most Inspirational Primary School
  • Wow Recognition Award

Entries now open for Sefton’s Community Triathlon

Entries are now open for the Sefton Community Triathlon which will take place on April 29th 2018.

Sefton Council is working with Epic Events to launch the event which, as well as the triathlon, will also include music, entertainment, stalls and other activities for the family.

Open to both children (aged 8+) and adults, it’s the perfect opportunity for novices to experience their first ever triathlon. The distance for the adult event will be a 200m swim in Crosby pool, a 6km cycle on grass and a 2400m run along the prom. Distances are shorter for children.

Active Sefton has put together a timetable of swim, cycle and run activities taking place throughout the borough to help those who need some extra training support.

The swim section of the event will be held at Crosby Leisure Centre’s swimming pool before athletes complete the cycle course on grass followed by the running element of the race which will take place along the prom.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It’s great to see that sporting events like a triathlon are on offer in Sefton.

“The Sefton Community Triathlon will offer beginners the chance to try their hand at an incredible sporting feat and where better to do it than on our wonderful coast.

“Good luck to all those taking part and most importantly, have fun!”

For more information about the race and to find out how to sign up, visit http://www.epicevents.co.uk/triathlons/sefton-community-triathlon.html

Sefton Health Experts offer Five Tips to help you avoid the Flu

Leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG have joined together to offer expert advice to residents on how they can best avoid catching the flu this winter.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Flu can have really serious effects for many vulnerable people including the elderly, young children, pregnant women and those living with long term health conditions.

“For this reason the following advice also includes tips that will help residents to limit the spread of flu within their community and I strongly urge everybody to take the advice on board.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “People with chronic long term health conditions or reduced immunity should get vaccinated even if they have no symptoms. A bout of flu can greatly worsen any existing condition and increases the risk of complications like pneumonia.”

Dr Andy Mimnagh, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG added: “A flu vaccination is an important part of staying well over winter. If you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply contact your GP practice and ask for advice, we’ll be happy to help.”

  1. Get the flu jab
    The best way to protect yourself and others from flu is by getting the flu vaccination. The vaccination is free for those aged over 65, pregnant women, people living with long term health conditions, young children aged 2 and 3 and to registered carers.If you’re not eligible for a free vaccination you can purchase it for as little as £10. Speak to your local pharmacist for find out more about this service.
  2. Know the symptoms
    It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of flu in order to help you to best treat its effects and avoid passing the illness on to others.Symptoms include a sudden fever, aching body, feeling tired or exhausted, chesty cough, sore throat, headache, difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, diarrhoea or tummy pain, nausea and being sick.
  3. Get the right advice
    If you think you may have the flu try to avoid visiting your GP or pharmacist to reduce the risk of spreading the illness. Instead call the free NHS helpline service 111 or visit the NHS Choices website.Be sure stock up on flu and cold remedies in advance so that if you become ill you have everything you need at home. Remember that antibiotics should not be used to treat flu and should only be used upon the advice of your GP.
  4. Wash your hands
    Washing your hands regularly using soap and warm water will help you to prevent the spread of germs that can cause flu. By washing your hands you will destroy bugs that you may have picked up from touching surfaces used by other people, such as light switches and door handles.Not only will this reduce the chances of you catching the flu yourself, but it will also help to limit the spread of flu across Sefton.
  5. Be mindful of others
    Try to avoid having unnecessary contact with other people if you or they have symptoms of flu.If you think you have symptoms of flu be mindful of the people around you. Catch coughs or sneezes in tissues and bin them immediately. Try to reschedule plans with friends or family to when you’re feeling better.Remember that while many people can recover from flu themselves within about a week, it can become extremely serious for more vulnerable residents.

 

 

To find out more about flu and the flu vaccination visit the NHS Choices website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/flu/

A Healthy Start to 2018

Sefton residents are being encouraged to take advantage of activities offered by local community groups to kick start a healthy new year.

Local partners of wellbeing organisation Living Well Sefton have something to appeal to a wide range of people looking to keep to their new year resolutions. Additionally, the Living Well Sefton mentors work on a one-to-one basis over a period of time with people to set – and achieve – realistic lifestyle goals.

Active Lifestyles – the Active Ageing Programme is a free 12-week programme designed to help with the prevention of falls for those aged over 65 in South Sefton with classes held once a week at different sites. People’s strength and balance will be improved through a series of exercises and there is also a social element to the programme.

Brighter Living Partnership – a free16-week Brighter Mondays course covering arts and crafts, cooking and healthy eating sessions as well as learning coping skills and days out starts on Monday, 29 January between 1pm and 4pm at its base in Southport Community Centre, Norwood Road, PR8 6HQ. “Through the programme we want people to meet new friends, learn new skills and pass on their own knowledge and experience,” explains Matty Smith, senior Living Well Sefton mentor.

Citizens Advice Sefton – whether it’s wondering if you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, needing help with benefit forms or trying to cope with debt after Christmas then the Living Well Sefton mentor can help. “These types of money worries can affect your health and wellbeing but the mentor supports people over a period of time and it could be that our other partners can also help,” says Jane Groves, Operational Development Manager.

Feelgood Factory – to help increase people’s mental wellbeing, the Netherton-based healthy living centre is running several Think Differently, Cope Differently courses. The first of these free five-week sessions to learn coping skills begins on Thursday, 8 February from 10am to 12noon at the Feelgood Factory, Glovers Lane, Bootle. A further one is being run at the Woodvale Community Centre, Meadow Lane, Ainsdale, PR8 3RS at the same time on Thursday, 21 February.

Fun4Kidz – social activities include craft classes and photography club, plus a job club, food banks and, through a Reaching Communities grant, the L30 Community Centre group is planning to extend these in 2018 to include programmes, workshops and events that the Netherton community say are important to them. Debbie Stephens, Chief Executive, remarks: “These additional sessions will help local people and families to start friendships which will also strengthen the Netherton community.”

May Logan – the Bootle-based healthy living centre has just the thing for those in pursuit of a healthy life. There is a free health walk every Thursday starting at 10am when people can have a chat while strolling and on a Wednesday between 1pm and 3pm the Roots gardening project welcomes anyone interested in learning about growing fruit and vegetables.

Living Well Sefton mentor Natasha Wilksberg is starting a free body yoga fusion session at the Knowsley Road centre from Thursday, 25 January at 4pm until 5pm involving a mix of kettle bell, body weight and yoga exercises for women aged over 18. Steven Richards, a Living Well Sefton mentor, explains: “We are aiming to improve healthy eating behaviours and fitness levels for residents living within Sefton by providing exercise sessions which can be sustained within a home environment.”

Smokefree Sefton – Public Health England’s new year smokefree campaign highlights how smoking kills 79,000 people per year in England (1).  Smokefree Sefton is an e-cigarette-friendly service which can help anyone wanting to stop smoking and have clinics throughout the borough offering free advice and support. “By quitting cigarettes 2018 can be wealthy as well as healthy,” says Colette Kearney, Team Leader.

For more information on the partners and their activities, ring the central number 0300 323 0181, email: LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk or visit the website: www.livingwellsefton.org.uk/

Liverpool City Region lead the way on local energy

Liverpool City Region has been nominated to host a new North West Energy Hub, which will help consolidate the region’s strengths as a leading player in sustainable energy.

Endorsed by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Combined Authority Boards, the Hub will provide expertise and resources to help local authorities and LEPs across the North West prioritise and deliver local energy projects.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is considering funding the Hub as part of its Local Energy programme, which was announced in the Clean Growth Strategy last October.

The Hub will cover the five LEP areas in the North West (Cheshire & Warrington; Cumbria; Lancashire; Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region) who will work together to coordinate local action to support the energy agenda.

Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, said:

“This is great news for the Liverpool City Region and will enable us to further consolidate our reputation as one of the UK’s leading regions for sustainable energy.
“We are already home to a hugely important low-carbon cluster, with 1400 companies, employing 23,000 people and contributing £2bn to the city region economy. And through projects such as harnessing the power of the River Mersey, we will build on that in the years to come.
“Clean, low carbon energy production is the key to the future economic prosperity of our city region. Combining predictable and plentiful renewable energy with world-class digital connectivity will give us a unique competitive edge as a global investment destination.”

Welcoming the North West Energy Hub, Liverpool City Region LEP Chair Asif Hamid MBE, said:

“This is not just fantastic news for the City Region but also for the wider North West. For us, the opportunity to host the North West Local Energy Hub in the City Region is a chance to show national and regional leadership in the energy agenda that has been identified as a key priority of the City Region, for the LEP, Metro Mayor and the Northern Powerhouse.

“Importantly, the creation of a Local Energy Hub will also enable us to identify projects suitable for low carbon investment aligned with our city region strategic ambitions which, in turn, can enable our local economy to seize opportunities and implement projects that will deliver investment, jobs and local growth.”

The Local Energy Hub is expected to commence in April 2018. The appointment of the Liverpool City Region LEP as lead for the Local Energy Hub and associated funding are subject to Government approval.

Sefton Mayor’s Charity Ball tickets go on sale

Tickets have gone on sale for the 2018 Mayor of Sefton’s charity dinner

Taking place at the stunning Floral Hall, Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Saturday March 17, all money raised from the dinner will go to the Mayor of Sefton’s Charity Fund.

This is later annually dispersed throughout the borough to local charities.

The evening starts at 6.00pm with a drinks reception followed by a 3-course meal, live auction and raffle

Special guest compere Tony Ravel will host proceedings with live music from Blackpool based band The Blackaways.

Tickets, which cost £35, are on sale now subject to availability.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said:

“The annual charity dinner is one of the major highlights in the Sefton Mayoral calendar and I am very much looking forward to welcoming many guests on the evening.

“All the money raised throughout the evening goes towards the Mayor’s Charity Fund, which in turn helps so many wonderful charitable and voluntary organisations right across the borough.”

For more information or to book your tickets call 0151 934 2062 or email mayorsoffice@sefton.gov.uk.

Ditch Those Stabilizers Returns for 2018 Half Term Fun

Back by popular demand during the February 2018 half term, Sefton Council is delighted to offer a number of ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

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

The events have a very high success rate and staff from the Council’s highway safety team will offer a range of practical advice to young riders and their parents.

Sessions are free but pre-booking is essential. Join in the fun at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, February 13 between 9am-12pm or Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday, February 16 from 9am to 12pm.

Parents of youngsters that have taken part in previous sessions have said: “Thank you to you and your team for this morning’s cycling session.

“It was brilliantly run and the positive attitude and enthusiasm of you and your team was evident from the start. Great tips, great advice, and great results.

“We have absolutely loved the session learning skills to carry this on and enjoy cycling together as a family!”

Pre booking is essential due to popularity. To register, call Sefton Council, on 0345 140 0845.

Appeal for Volunteers at Merseyside Homelessness Charity

Homelessness charity Emmaus Merseyside is on the hunt for local volunteers to support its community and charity shops in Sefton and Liverpool.

The charity has a number of roles available covering retail, admin, social media, upcycling, furniture repair, gardening and van driving. Emmaus is looking for individuals with suitable skills and experience, as well as a commitment to volunteer at least one day per week.

Emily Oldnall, aged 23 and from Crosby, is a volunteer admin assistant helping at Emmaus Merseyside’s community building and has been giving her time to the charity for the past 18 months. Volunteer Emily Oldnall at Emmaus Merseyside

Emily said: “The Emmaus Merseyside community is only down the road from where I live so I thought I’d get in touch and see what the role was about. I come each week doing research, sourcing products, keeping records updated and any other admin duties I can help with. I like being part of the Emmaus community and feel like I’m giving something back to charity.”

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.

Angela Quinn, Business Manager at Emmaus Merseyside, said: “Our local volunteers are a much valued part of the Emmaus Merseyside team. We’re keen to expand the range of roles we offer and hopefully there are opportunities that will appeal to all ages, skills and interests. If you would like to get involved then get in touch or visit us to see first-hand what we’re all about.”

Emmaus Merseyside offers all volunteers an opportunity to develop their skills and gain experience for a worthwhile cause. Training is offered where possible and all volunteers receive dinner and travel expenses on the days that they volunteer.

To find out more about the roles on offer at Emmaus Merseyside visit the ‘Get involved’ section at www.emmaus.org.uk/merseyside. If you would like to apply to become a volunteer, please call 0151 928 1588 or visit the visit the Emmaus Charity Superstore at 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton L21 3TW.

Emmaus Merseyside's Charity Superstore and workshops

CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED TO ENCOURAGE LOAN SHARK VICTIMS TO REPORT

A NEW campaign designed to encourage victims to come forward and report loan sharks after the Christmas period has launched this week.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) – a specialist team that investigate and prosecute loan sharks – have launched their ‘Why I Borrowed’ campaign to encourage people to report illegal money lenders if they or someone they know have been bitten.

The ‘Why I Borrowed’ campaign tells the real-life stories of victims who have been put through a harrowing time because of a loan shark.

One victim – who fell into £7,000 worth of debt with a loan shark – almost took his own life because of the distress caused by the lender.

Another victim, who had a loan to purchase a vehicle to be a taxi driver, was beaten up in front of his wife and told by the lender that the women in his family would be raped if he fell behind on repayments.

The IMLT worked with North-East Scriptwriter, Debbie Owen, and the Prison Radio Association to produce the videos warning others against borrowing from loan sharks.

Tony Quigley, Head of the Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharking can have such a detrimental impact on our communities; it is a crime that often goes unreported because victims are scared of the repercussions or they don’t realise that what is happening to them is illegal.
“We want to reassure victims that they are not the ones breaking the law and that help and support is available. We hope this timely campaign warns others against borrowing from loan sharks and encourages more people to come forward and report.
“If you or someone you know has been the victim of a loan shark, we urge you to seek help by contacting us on 0300 555 2222 or visit www.stoploansharks.uk. We will take information anonymously and in confidence; we have a team of dedicated support officers who will be with you every step of the way from the moment you make the call.”

Another video tells the story of a Filipino nurse who was threatened by a colleague who she had a loan from. The lender threatened to start rumours and expose Danao on Facebook if she did not pay up.

A recent survey conducted by the IMLT revealed over 15% of loan shark victims met the lender in the workplace. Over 60% of borrowers said they were in a state of worry, stress, depression or severe anxiety because of their involvement with a loan shark. When questioned about the abuse they received from the lender, a shocking 46% said they had been abused verbally and/or threatened with physical harm by the loan shark. The survey also revealed that nearly a third of victims had also considered committing suicide; 25% of those said this was due to their involvement with a loan shark.

The campaign videos can be viewed on the Stop Loan Sharks YouTube channel:
Danao’s Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF4-8AGbVVw&t=24s
Jay’s Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLrYnBc0AuE&t=46s
Matthew’s Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwkKKbSfftQ&t=18s

(also available to view on http://www.wearestraightline.com/ (a website offering inspirational, bespoke content, information and support to people involved in the criminal justice system).

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,500 people.