The Orrell Trust’s Memory Cafe is heading to Bootle (starting 25th January)

The Orrell Trust is launching a Memory Café later this month to help support people living dementia or memory loss and their carers’.

The group will enable people who are living in similar circumstances to meet on a regular basis to take part in gentle exercise, games, sing-alongs, arts and crafts and memory box workshops.

Sefton in Top 10 Performance for NEETs

Sefton’s performance in helping young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) is currently in the top 10 of local authorities nationally.

Figures are released by the Department for Education regarding the annual publication of national participation figures of young people aged 16 to 18.

Statistics are also released of NEET (not in education, employment or training) and NET (not in education or training) figures based on results from the annual labour force survey (LFS).

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “There is some fantastic work that is provided across Sefton in helping and supporting young people find work, training and staying in the education process.Latest figures collected locally reveal Sefton is currently ranked 144 out of 152 local authorities. Rankings are national comparisons from 1-152 where 1 equals worst performance and 152 equals best in that indicator. National figures will be released later in the year.

“These figures that show how Sefton is in the top 10 of local authorities for helping NEETs is amazing news for the whole of the borough. “It is vital that we encourage young people to make positive choices about their future – promoting options around training, different career options, job applications and interview skills.
“In the long run this can make a huge difference not just to the individuals’ and their families, but the community and our local economy as well.”

For more information about Sefton@Work visit www.seftonatwork.net

Hundreds of businesses boosted thanks to Sefton Economic Forum

More than 100 business leaders from across the city region have attended the latest Sefton Economic Forum to find out how they can expand and plan for future successes.

Run by InvestSefton, the winter Sefton Economic Forum took place at Formby Hall Golf Resort on December 7th, with more than 110 local businesses present to discuss the North West economy and Brexit.

Hosted by Karen Potter, local businesswoman and estate agent, the popular forum included guest presentations from Brian Sloan, Deputy Agent from the Bank of England; Dr Thomas Horsley, Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool, who provided an update on Brexit; Natalie Atkinson, CEO at Southport Football Club, who shared the club’s ambitious plans and Alison Hadaway, Business Manager at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa.

Following the informative talk, businesses networked at the Growth Hub Marketplace, discovering a wide variety of support for their enterprise, from investment opportunities to health and fitness in the workplace and more besides. Sefton Council’s Active Workforce team was also present.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “It is great to see the economic forums go from strength to strength, helping leaders to grow their businesses and create opportunities for the workforce across Sefton and the Liverpool City Region.

“All of our speakers gave great insights into the business climate, especially in light of Brexit and the challenges we need to meet in our local economy, something we can do more effectively as a business community coming together and working collaboratively.

“After the forum finished, businesses spent time in the Growth Hub Marketplace and met with representatives from over 20 different business support agencies who provided vital information on what help is available to boost business.

“InvestSefton consistently curate engaging forums and organise a vibrant marketplace showing the best of Sefton’s businesses – I’m looking forward to the next forum”

For more information about further Sefton Economic Forum events call 0151 934 3452 or email info@investsefton.com

Friends of Sefton Coast celebrate bumper Year Of The Volunteer campaign

Everybody knows Sefton has few and far between rivals for the title of most beautiful British coastline!

The 22 miles spanning between Southport and Seaforth are some of the most iconic, idyllic and important stretches of coastline in the UK and are home to a menagerie of fauna and flora.

But it takes a lot of work to make our coastline the sandy success that it is!

The Green Sefton coast and countryside division are supported by hundreds of volunteers called the Friends of Sefton Coast, who give up just a small portion of their time throughout the year to keep our coastline beautiful.

Through the 2018 Year Of The Volunteer, an incredible 2,300 people volunteered 5,200 hours of their time over 76 clean-up events that saw thousands of bags of rubbish cleared from our coastline.

From beach cleans to buckthorne bashing, there’s always plenty to get your teeth into on the Sefton Coast and Green Sefton are always looking for more people to get involved.

To find out more about our list of events and activities between January & March 2019, or to get involved, check out the Friends of Sefton Coast Calendar

To register as a FOSC volunteer, click here

Treasure Sefton wants to showcase your Mental Health Service

Treasure Sefton, a mental health group associated with Sefton in Mind and Sefton CVS, is calling for mental health services across the borough to submit a poster to be displayed at a poster exhibition at Southport Community Centre.

Treasure Sefton aims to celebrate Sefton through creative activity and mindfulness and the exhibition will showcase the services in Sefton that contribute to the wellbeing of the region.

Services and groups in Sefton are invited to design an A3 poster that promote their service, what it does, and how it helps to improve the lives of those who live and work in Sefton.

This poster should include the service name, the location served, and the best place to find information about the service. It can be created using any means including drawing, painting, collage or digital design.

This is a brilliant opportunity to engage service users and staff either through a collaborative piece of work or a competition.

Please accompany your poster with a short text that formally describes the service and mission, and includes address, contact details, opening hours, and means to access (self-referral, GP referral etc).  You can email this to treasuresefton@seftoncvs.org.uk.

The deadline for entries is noon on Monday, 4th February. Hard copies can be handed in to Treasure Sefton, c/o Sefton CVS, Southport Community Centre, Norwood Road, Southport or emailed to treasuresefton@seftoncvs.org.uk.

Upcoming courses from Woodvale and Ainsdale Community Association

Giving a ‘BOOST’ to Local People

Are you stuck in a rut? Do you have time on your hands?

Woodvale and Ainsdale Community Association are running a FREE 6 week course funded by The P.H. Holt Foundation to help give local people aged 18+ a BOOST.

The course recognises that people learn from one another and gives people the opportunity to talk about their experiences. Participants learn to set achievable goals, develop the skills to communicate with confidence, recognises existing skills whilst gaining new ones, looks at time management and how to work together with other people. During the course participants will also produce a CV and gain an accredited level 2 First Aid qualification (the First Aid Course will be one full day training held on a Thursday).

The course starts on the 17th of January and runs from 12 – 2:30pm on Thursdays. If you are interested in attending this course please contact the centre on 01704 573084 or email sarah.woodvalecentre@btconnect.com as places are limited.

BOOST Course JAN

High Five

High Five is a fantastic, free, 5 week course run by two experienced youth workers who have a background/ training in Youth Mental Health and Counselling.

The sessions throughout the course include:

  • What is Stress and how can we manage it
  • Resilience
  • Relaxation
  • 5 ways to wellbeing
  • Thinking styles
  • Coping techniques and more!

Throughout the course we include group discussions, interactive games and support for any individual work. Held in a friendly, safe environment on a Monday evening from 6:30pm – 8:30pm for young people aged 13-18.

We have had fantastic feedback from previous courses with statements such as:

“She seems to have new strategies, understanding of anxiety and is always really positive after each session” and “I am deeply grateful to the team at Woodvale for the skills they have taught and the time, understanding and compassion they have shown”.

If you are interested in attending this course please contact the centre on 01704 573084 or email sarah.woodvalecentre@btconnect.com

High 5 Jan.jpg

Plaza Cinema’s Dementia Friendly Screenings

Plaza Dementia Friendly Screenings

Screening Dates for 2019

Thursday afternoons:
Doors open 1.30pm
Film starts 2.00pm

MONTH DATE TIME
January 2019 Thursday 24th 2.00pm
February 2019 Thursday 28th 2.00pm
March 2019 Thursday 21st 2.00pm
April 2019 Thursday 25th 2.00pm
May 2019 Thursday 23rd 2.00pm
June 2019 Thursday 20th 2.00pm
July 2019 Thursday 11th 2.00pm
September 2019 Thursday 26th 2.00pm
October 2019 Thursday 17th 2.00pm
November 2019 Thursday 21st 2.00pm
December 2019 Thursday 12th 2.00pm

The Plaza’s regular Dementia Friendly screenings will take place on the third Thursday of the month at 2.00pm with a carefully curated programme blending musicals and classic films, designed to prompt memories and open up conversations about shared experiences.

They will be held in screen 1, the Plaza’s largest screen, now restored to its former art deco glory, the perfect environment to recreate the experience of going to the pictures.

For further information about these specialist screenings please contact Christine Physick on 0151 928 1530 or email; christine@plazacinema.org.uk

Sefton Sexual Health Service – Consultation for Community Organisations

Sefton Sexual Health Service is considering bringing the age of access for free Emergency Hormonal Contraception in Community Pharmacies down to under 25s only.  In order to make sure there are no adverse consequences for women accessing this service and local participating pharmacies, an equality impact assessment must be carried out.

Please click here to participate in the consultation

The Swan Centre – Young Women’s Project (supporting young women aged 14 – 18)

Swan Young Womens Project - Banner.png

Swan Women’s Centre launched a project earlier this year, supporting young women age 14 – 18 from South Sefton. We work with young women who are experiencing issues with mental health and well-being. It is based around group counselling and creative therapeutic activities.

The groups are facilitated by a qualified counsellor and supported by a qualified youth worker. We provide a safe, confidential, empathetic, and non-judgemental space where young women can talk about their concerns and feelings.

“We had great success in the first project. We supported young women facing a variety of issues which included trauma after bullying, managing negative behaviour and raising self-esteem. Each young woman gave positive feedback and made visible steps forward with confidence in positive self-expression and communication.”

They are now taking referrals for more young women as we will be delivering the project again in January 2019.

 If you identify any young women who would benefit from this project, we would welcome referrals. Young women can also self-refer.

An one to one assessment is given by appointment with a counsellor, prior to attending the project. This will take place at the Swan Women’s Centre. They will explain what is on offer and the young person can ask any questions. Together you can decide if the support group would be something the young person will benefit from.

Please phone Emma on 0151 933 3292 or email her at vbc@swanwomenscentre.org to make an appointment.

The group runs for 12 consecutive weeks on Tuesdays, early evening between 5pm -7pm.

For more information;

Swan Young Women’s Project brochure

Swan Young Women’s Project poster

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – Call for Views about Same Day Healthcare in South Sefton

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is inviting people to give their views and experiences about using and choosing different urgent care services when they need immediate or same day health advice or treatment.

The commissioner, which plans and buys the majority of healthcare for south Sefton residents, is encouraging people to get involved as part of a review of ‘urgent care’ services.

Urgent care includes services for physical and mental health problems ranging from pharmacies, GP practices, GP out of hours services, the NHS 111 phone line and website, walk-in centres, accident and emergency (A&E) departments and 999.

Between mid-December 2018 and January 2019 the CCG is asking people to complete a questionnaire about these services for adults, children and young people. The information gathered will be used to help develop proposals for how urgent care could look in the future.

Dr Craig Gillespie, GP and acting chair for NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “From our conversations with residents over the past few years we know that some find the current range of urgent care services difficult to choose from and confusing. Sometimes when people don’t know which service to choose they use accident and emergency, which puts extra pressure on hospitals, and means that people might have to wait longer for their treatment.

“This review is the first step towards making sure that our services really meet local needs, so we are encouraging as many people and NHS staff as possible to get involved and tell us what it’s like to use or work in these services and how they could be better and easier to choose from in the future.”

The review will also consider how new NHS national guidelines for urgent care services and the introduction of ‘Urgent Treatment Centres’ might be put into place in south Sefton.

NHS South Sefton CCG is carrying out its review with partners across north Merseyside as patients often use urgent care services across this wider area. So, the CCG is also encouraging residents in Southport and Formby who use urgent care services in north Merseyside to complete a survey.

Visit the NHS South Sefton CCG website to complete an online questionnaire or find out more www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk.

Healthwatch Sefton is helping us to make the questionnaire available to anyone who may find it difficult to take part online. So, for help to complete a questionnaire, request a paper version, or for another format call Freephone 0800 206 1304, email info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk or text 07434 810 438.

 

Sefton Services throughout Christmas and New Year

Restricted services will be in place during Christmas and New Year as most Sefton Council staff are required to take unpaid leave as part of continuous cost-saving measures.

Similar to previous years, residents can still access a range of information and transactions via the council website – sefton.gov.uk.

Emergency contacts on December 24, 27, 28, and 31 between 9am-5.30pm:

Children’s Social Care: 0151 934 3114
Adult Social Care: 01704 704389 (North)
Adult Social Care: 0151 529 3761 (South)

For Social Care emergencies at all other times call the Emergency Duty Team 0151 934 3555

This includes checking bin collections, applying for licences, reporting environmental issues or paying Council Tax and business rates.

As a result of the unpaid leave, to be taken on December 24, 27, 28 and 31 most council buildings will be closed, contributing to significant savings as part of the budget setting process.

Services that will continue to operate include critical social care services for adults and children, a limited street cleaning service, Registrars, domestic and commercial waste collections and urgent highways issues, including gritting.

Residents are also being encouraged to recycle as much waste as possible and use the household waste recycling centres across the borough.

Similar to other years, the green wheelie bin collection for garden waste will be suspended from the end of November and will return in March, 2019.

Some Sefton Council-run leisure centres will be open at varying times during these dates and users are advised to check here for opening times.

A list of social care emergency phone numbers is attached below (see notes to editors).

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader of Sefton Council, said: “The Christmas shutdown has been in operation for a number of years now and it contributes to the savings we have to make due significant reductions in Government funding.

“Over the course of the financial year, our hard working staff have their pay reduced in order to take four days unpaid leave.

“Other savings from the closure period come from the reduced need for heating, lighting and running buildings, equipment and vehicles. This all helps contribute to the £64m of saving we need to make a balanced budget by 2020.

“While reduced services are being operated, we will still maintain key services for some of the most vulnerable residents in our communities. However, it is still clear to see that austerity is not over and the harsh Government cuts are still biting us with a noticeable impact on our residents.”

To access a range of service and transactions online, visit sefton.gov.uk. An automated phone service will be in place between December 22 and January 1, 2019 (inclusive) on 0345 140 0845 and most service requests will only be actioned beyond January.

Choir Raises £1,800 for Hospital Leukaemia Patients

A choir raised £1,800 from a concert to support people with leukaemia being treated in the Medical Day Unit (MDU) at Southport hospital.

It was presented by former patient Colin Pomfret, a former patient, with his wife Brenda, who are members of the choir.

The community choir, based at Ainsdale Methodist Church, Southport, gave a concert of songs from movies and musicals in July. It was attended by Lynn Sugden and Kate Hughes from the MDU.

Important information to help rough sleepers in cold winter months

Sefton Council has a range of services for rough sleepers throughout the borough which are available all year round.

Services, run by Light For Life, are at hand as we to try and reduce the number of people sleeping rough in Sefton, especially during the colder winter months.

This is especially important during the cold winter months between December 2018 and February 2019.

Light For Life’s winter shelter, which will open as weather conditions dictate, will be offered at Southport Eco Centre and will be open from 10pm to 7am with light refreshments and a warm, dry, safe environment for people to access.

As part of this service, outreach teams will proactively seek out rough sleepers and encourage them to access the night shelter.

If you are concerned about someone’s wellbeing, please direct them to the Shelter or to the sit up services available all year round.

The help of the public is always appreciated and to report an incident of rough sleeping in Sefton please call the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team via Light for Life on 01704 501256 or 07918 746042 outside normal office hours and weekends.

Alternatively, email housing.options@sefton.gov.uk and provide details of the location and any description of the person. We will acknowledge your email and give you a response to your report.

Sefton Council also commission Sefton Supported Housing Group to provide a Homeless Sit Up service.

These services are available nightly and you can book in between 8pm to 9pm. and it promises a safe, warm and caring environment where service users will be given a mat and sleeping bag.

There are also shower facilities and hot food & drinks until 8am the next morning.

Services are provided at BOSCO House, Merton Road, Bootle (0151 944 1818) or New Start, Leyland Road, Southport, (01704 547 741).

Veterans in Sefton have also been commissioned to provide support to people who are currently serving or who have served in the Armed Forces, both regular and reservists, their families and dependents, who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

ViS are based at The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre in Bootle.

For any further information call 0151 257 6371 or attend the ‘NAAFI Break’, Wednesdays 10.30am – 12.pm.

Sefton Promises Festive Fun for all the Family this Christmas!

A host of festive treats, fun filled activities and shopping bonanzas are in store this Christmas across our beautiful borough.

Sefton has already started to buzz with merriment as thousands of residents get into the Christmas spirits, whether it be sampling wonderful Christmas ice rink, donating to the Mayor’s Toy Appeal, enjoying a day out at our leisure centres or taking advantage of late night local shopping!

We’ve put together all the info you need to know to make sure you have the most wonderful time of the year!

Shopping

Whether it’s the hustle and bustle of South Road, the bargains of Bootle Strand, the boutiques of Lord Street, Formby’s Chapel Lane or Central Square in Maghull, Sefton is a huge shopping spree waiting to happen all year round.

And it’s no different at Christmas! A number of retailers across the borough are taking part in Late Night Shopping hours on Thursday evenings in the run up to Santa’s arrival, while local businesses are well prepared for a surge in present buying, last minute scrambles and a flurry of winter buys.

A host of Christmas chalets surround an incredible ice rink in the Town Hall Gardens, Southport from December 7 with yuletide treats galore!  The rink compliments Southport’s other vibrant shops, stunning Christmas lights and the amazing new 60 foot digital Christmas tree.

In Formby Chapel Lane is already buzzing with festive shoppers while South Road, Waterloo is the perfect place for a mouth watering meal and a warming drink!

You can book an ice skating session in advance by visiting www.visitsouthport.com

Toy Appeal

Christmas is a time for giving. And what better way than to donate to the Sefton Mayor’s Toy Appeal?

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, is asking as many people as possible across the borough to get behind this year’s Christmas gift appeal.

toyappeal

The annual request asks all residents in Sefton to try and provide presents for some of the borough’s most deserving children and make this Christmas extra special for them.

Gifts, for children of all ages, can be taken to either Bootle or Southport Town Halls or dropped off at any Sefton Council library, leisure centre or Asda in Southport and Bootle by Friday December 21.

Splash World & Leisure Centres

Splash World is open as usual every weekend on the run up to the festive period until December 17th.

During Christmas, Leisure Centres across the borough, as well as Splash World, will have a temporary change to its opening times.

To find a full list of festive opening hours for your local leisure centre, please click here

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and Bus Alliance Provide Free Bus Tickets to Foodbanks

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram will announce that the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, along with bus operators Arriva and Stagecoach, will provide 3000 bus tickets – 500 for each of its six local authority areas – for the city region’s foodbanks to use to help those with the greatest transport needs.

The announcement comes ahead of Sunday’s Merseyside Derby, as Fans Supporting Foodbanks are calling for more support for the city region’s foodbanks, which are dealing with unprecedented demand.

Fans Supporting Foodbanks is a unique partnership between Everton Supporters’ Trust and Spirit of Shankly, who have come together to tackle foodbank shortages.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “As the UN special rapporteur Philip Alston said earlier this month, this country’s foodbanks are acting as a safety net, literally saving people living in abject poverty from starving to death. It is an affront to common decency that this should be the case in the fifth richest country in the world, but while this is the reality we will support those committed volunteers who provide this service across our city region.

“This weekend the whole city region is coming together to support our foodbanks and I am proud that we are playing our part by making 3000 bus tickets available across all six of the city region’s local authority areas. It’s heart-breaking that we should have to do this but this is a duty that we cannot shirk.”

Half of the cost of the 3000 bus tickets will be paid for by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, with the other half paid for by Arriva and Stagecoach. The tickets will be distributed to foodbanks across the city region, who will distribute them, at their discretion, to clients with the greatest transport needs.

Howard Farrall, managing director, Arriva Merseyside, commented: “Christmas can be a very difficult time of year for many and so it is more important than ever to reach out and help those in need. We’re proud to be supporting this initiative and hope to make things easier for those looking to travel to food banks around the Liverpool City Region.”

Rob Jones, managing director of Stagecoach Merseyside, Cheshire and South Lancashire, said: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the Metro Mayor and our city partners to provide free bus tickets to make it easier for people living in poverty to get around. We know access to transport is vital and helps to connect communities and enable people to take up opportunities they may not otherwise be able to.

As an Everton Football Club sponsor, we already work closely with the Club and their charitable arm, Everton in the Community as well as supporting a range of charities and community organisations across the city region, and it’s wonderful to see that the spirit of community is so alive in our city.”

Dave Kelly, Chair of Fans Supporting Foodbanks, said: “We applaud Steve Rotheram for his actions and for his help, advice and support.

“The impact of austerity and the migration over to Universal Credit on the 5th of December will have a profound effect on the most vulnerable people within our communities.
“Our statistics indicate that on average a Foodbank user will have a six-mile round trip to collect a three-day emergency supply of food.”

Emmaus Merseyside to host Christmas Crafts Market – Saturday 8th December

Homelessness charity Emmaus Merseyside is inviting supporters to a Christmas Crafts Market on Saturday 8th December at the charity’s Seaforth superstore.

 The Emmaus Merseyside Christmas Crafts Market will take place on Saturday 8th December from 4pm. The event will include a range of festive stalls for all tastes and budgets with real and reusable trees, hand-made reindeers and wreaths, decorations and stocking fillers. All funds raised from this event will support people affected by homelessness.

Visitors to Emmaus’ Christmas Crafts Market will have the chance to meet Santa, hear choir singing, get involved in a DIY decoration workshop and enjoy tasty festive food and drinks as part of the Let’s Cook Project. There will also be a teddy bear tombola and a chance to donate food and household essentials to a local food bank to help fight holiday hunger this Christmas.

 Angela Quinn, Business Manager at Emmaus Merseyside, said: “We have some fantastic items crafted by our Emmaus Merseyside community members that will be available for sale. Purchasing products that have be handmade by our companions is not just investing your money in a worthy cause, it inspires new skills and confidence. All the proceeds from our Christmas Crafts Market event will assist in the housing and development of people who were previously affected by homelessness.”

 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, clothes and vintage pieces.

 To find out more or support Emmaus Merseyside, head to www.emmaus.org.uk/merseyside. If you would like to get involved or donate an item call 0151 928 1588 or visit the visit the Emmaus charity reuse shops or superstore at 38 Sandy Road, Seaforth, Sefton L21 3TW.

New Sefton base for Police Community Support Officers

A team of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from Merseyside Police has moved in to a new base at Magdalen House as part of Sefton Council’s move to locality-based working.

PCSOs Emma Cooke, Anthony Holden and Helen Holt will work from the ground floor of Magdalen House alongside a range of council services focusing on early intervention and prevention.

This way of working will allow the council and its partners to share information, resources and data more collaboratively. The PCSO team will also be able to work from agile suites at Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall.

Formerly based at Marsh Lane Police Station in Bootle, the PCSO’s relocation to Magdalen will see them collaborate with colleagues across the council to help children, families and vulnerable adults in Sefton tackle problems at an early stage.

Their immediate focus will be to identify people who regularly contact Sefton Council and Merseyside Police for help.

Emma Cooke, who has served as a PCSO for 10 years, says the team are already seeing the benefits of working at Magdalen House after moving in eight weeks’ ago.

PCSO Cooke said: “It’s great to be part of a big team and be able to share information immediately with partners. The aim of the Early Help plan is to work together to help our communities become more resilient, and having a base at Sefton Council means we take a more joined-up approach.

“Everyone at Sefton has been really welcoming and we are looking forward to getting to know everyone in the different teams.”

PCSO Helen Holt said the move will help all partners focus on the needs of local partners and communities more cohesively. She said: “Working together will help us identify areas of demand and allow us to share that information quickly with teams at Sefton Council.

“We’ll be able to cooperate and offer a service that is structured, focussed and tailored to the needs of the community.”

Anthony Holden, who has served as a PCSO for three years, says he is enjoying being in the new environment and is looking forward to closer partnership working. He said: “We already feel at home in Magdalen and it’s great to working with colleagues at Sefton as part of a ‘one-team’ approach.

“We hope our work will help reduce demand and allow us all to work smarter together for the benefit of individuals and families across Sefton.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:” This move will really help us work as one team with partner agencies, to share resources and information to make us more resilient and effective.

“Having the PCSOs in Magdalen House means we can easily work together to help vulnerable people across Sefton, getting them help at an early stage to prevent their problems from escalating and ensuring they are well supported.”

Take the Polar Express at Your Community Cinema

The Plaza Cinema in Waterloo is great value during these cold winter nights and their programme of festive films are booking up fast. 

On Sunday, December 2nd this much-loved community cinema is showing a modern Christmas classic, The Polar Express, where a young boy takes a journey of a lifetime to show the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. 

At only £4 per ticket a trip to the flicks is affordable for the whole family. 

Find out more at The Plaza’s website

Sefton bin collections at Christmas & New Year: All you need to know

Refuse and recycling collections in Sefton will continue over Christmas and the New Year for residents across the borough, with minor alterations to collection dates.

Sefton’s collection crews will be observing the usual Boxing Day bank holiday on Wednesday, December 26th meaning that there will be a slight change to regular bin collection days.

For collections which would normally take place on Monday and Tuesday, residents are asked to present their grey or brown bins or sacks for collection on Thursday, December 27th.

Wednesday and Thursday collections will take place two days later on Friday, December 28th and Saturday, December 29th respectively.

For the week commending December 31st, Monday’s collection will take place as normal, while the remainder of the week’s schedule will be collected one day later in line with the New Year’s Day bank holiday.

Food waste collections will follow the same Christmas schedule and normal service will resume from Monday, January 7th, 2019.

Separate arrangements for trade waste collections over Christmas and the New Year will be made and businesses affected will be contacted directly by Sefton Council.

Similar to other years, the green wheelie bin collection for garden waste will be suspended from the end of November 2018 until March 2019.

Residents are also reminded of their rubbish responsibilities when disposing of waste at recycling centres over the festive period. Any rubbish left on the highway outside a recycling centre is considered fly-tipping and offenders can face substantial fines.

To check collection arrangements or for further information on all waste and recycling services, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/bins or follow us on Twitter @seftoncouncil.

New Apprentice Travelcard could save LCR Apprentices more than £400 a year

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has officially launched one of the country’s best discounted travel schemes for young people in training.

The Apprentice Travelcard will give all those on apprenticeships aged 19-24 half-price bus travel across Merseyside, in line with the great affordable fares 16-19 year olds already enjoy.

Announced earlier this year by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram alongside Bus Alliance partners Stagecoach, Arriva and other Merseyside bus operators, the Apprentice Travelcard is aimed at removing one of the main barriers to entry for young people wanting to start apprenticeships – access to affordable transport.

The Apprentice Travelcard will allow holders to purchase weekly and four-weekly passes in line with great value Solo fares for under-19s, allowing unlimited travel across the Merseyside bus network and potentially saving users more than £400 a year.

The roll-out comes just a month after the Metro Mayor launched a ‘Big Bus Debate’, a large-scale public conversation about the bus system in the Liverpool City Region and how new devolved powers could be used to drive improvements in service and give greater control to passengers.

Holders of the Apprentice Travelcard must be enrolled participants on registered apprenticeship schemes.

Application packs are available from training providers and at Merseytravel Travel Centres, further details are available at merseytravel.gov.uk/apprentice

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Apprenticeships are a vital pathway to work for young people across the Liverpool City Region, leading to skilled and well-paid jobs.

“But we know that the cost of travel has been putting some off taking-up apprenticeship opportunities. That’s why I’m so pleased that we’ve been able to introduce this scheme which could save hundreds of pounds a year for apprentices under the age of 25.”

Can You Make a Difference to a Vulnerable Teenager’s Life?

Sefton Council has launched a recruitment campaign to attract foster carers interested in looking after teenagers.

The Council has created new specialist teen foster carer roles and is looking for people who can provide intensive one-to-one care to some of Sefton’s most vulnerable young people who would otherwise be placed in residential care.

A package of support has been developed to reflect the complexities of this challenging but rewarding role, which includes a bespoke training package, peer support and competitive pay.

Council John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:

“There are many different reasons why a teenager has come into our care. Most will have had a difficult start to their life, often including problems related to drugs or alcohol, physical or emotional abuse. Young people may appear angry, resentful or stressed, when really what they need is the love, stability and support of a good caregiver.

“Because we recognise the complexities of fostering a teenager we have created these new roles as foster carers could really help to make a difference and re-write a teenager’s story for the better. We’re looking for carers who can build and maintain a meaningful relationship with young people, and understand the impact of a young person’s past experiences and how that affects their behaviour. There is a misconception that teenagers can be a handful, however, what we have to remember is that the behaviour of each individual has been influenced by their past. We need carers to help them develop and provide them with a sense of belonging.”

A job advert has been launched and is targeting professionals who have some prior experience of working with young people in a structured environment, such as policing, emergency services or youth work/probation.

If this sounds like a role for you, visit; http://ow.ly/qXLG30myBH for more information, together with a job description and application process.

Sefton’s Bathing Waters wash away the competition

Whether you swim, paddle, or simply enjoy a stroll along Sefton’s beaches, you can be assured, once again, that the quality of the water is of a high standard.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published statistics that reveal that Formby, Southport and Ainsdale all boast clean bathing waters.

Formby beach has yet again been rated ‘Excellent’ – the highest, cleanest class – while Southport and Ainsdale beaches both retain ‘Good’ ratings for their water quality.

Green Sefton, Sefton Council’s dedicated eco-team, has been working tirelessly to maintain and improve the high standards of Sefton’s coastline, which has a direct positive effect on bathing water quality.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Our thanks must go to the wonderful Green Sefton team, our beach clean volunteers and partners who work all year round to keep our bathing waters and beaches both clean and safe.

“We are delighted that our bathing beaches have once again been recognised by Defra and have repeatedly passed stringent water quality testing.

“For a number of years residents and visitors across Sefton have been encouraged to learn more about bathing waters and how they can play a major part in helping us improve the water quality in the borough.”

There are a number of ways you can help maintain, and improve, local bathing water standards, by taking action both at home and at the beach.

• Only flush the 3P’s down the toilet – poo, pee and paper. Everything else goes in the bin!

• Pour cooled kitchen fats in the bin, not down the sink.

• Pick up after your dog.

• Don’t feed birds at the beach and keep outdoor areas free of food waste.

• Always put litter in the bin or take it home if it’s full

For more information about Sefton’s beaches and coastal areas visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beaches.

Your Chance to Make a Difference

healthwatch-sefton

If you are passionate about what is happening in your local community and want to make sure their voice is heard when it comes to improving health and social care services, then Healthwatch Sefton wants to hear from you.

The local consumer champion for health and care services is looking for two people to volunteer, one as Locality Representative for the Seaforth and Litherland area, and one for Hightown.

Maureen Kelly, Chair of Healthwatch Sefton, explains: “This is Sefton’s Year of the Volunteer and we are lucky to have a dedicated group of volunteers who help us gather people’s experience.

“We want to make sure Sefton residents can feed back about the health and care services they use by building on the areas where Locality Representatives cover.”

Locality Representative duties include: to alert Healthwatch Steering group of any issues raised by local residents when using health and social care services; take part in Healthwatch Sefton engagement events; attend regular Healthwatch meetings to discuss these sorts of issues.Ken Lowe has been volunteering as the Locality Representative for Birkdale and Ainsdale for several years and explains the role for anyone interested in joining the team. “You have to enjoy meeting people and you have to enjoy getting out there. The role is about going round and speaking to people because you start to see things aren’t always the way they should be.”

To register interest in taking up one of these volunteer posts contact either Diane Blair, Manager, or Wendy Andersen, Engagement and Participation Manager, on 0151 920 0726 (extension 240) or by emailing: info@healthwatchsefton.co.uk

£115,000 Waste Prevention Fund for Merseyside and Halton Community Groups

A share of £115,000 is up for grabs from a community fund to help make the region a cleaner and greener place.

The community fund 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.

The money is coming from the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia Community Fund 2019/20, which has been running annually since 2006.

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.

The impact of the 2017/18 Fund saw 12 projects deliver 28 full time equivalent jobs (created or safeguarded), participation by 486 volunteers, 29,435 people directly engaged, 1222 tonnes of waste material diverted from landfill and a 1181 tonnes reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions.

Previous Community Fund projects have included:

– creating a sensory learning garden from re-used materials at a college in St Helens

– the development of a shop in Wirral to sell used clothes and develop sewing and textiles re-use skills

– the repair and re-use of unused furniture for redistribution to the local community in Halton

– bicycle repair and maintenance workshops in Knowsley

– using cookery clubs across Merseyside and Halton to improve people’s diet, to reduce food waste and make financial savings.

– improving online retail skills for a charity shop in Sefton

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 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.

The Liverpool-based Granby Toxteth Development Trust (GTDT) is one organisation to have benefitted from the Community Fund. The project has used the funding to engage residents around Lodge Lane with waste reduction and recycling messages.

Dr Lindsey Guy, Chief Executive of GTDT, said: “We have been delivering recycling and waste management projects for several years around the Granby Toxteth area, and recently more further afield. Funding from MRWA and GTDT’s own Big Lottery funding – L8 Living Sustainably – has enabled us to develop a transferable model which works successfully with many different communities and groups.

“For 2017/2018 we continued to work with these, and new, communities as well as working with MRWA to develop our models of good practice within communities to create packages of support which promote good re-use and recycling practices and help to change people’s behaviour.”

Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA), Councillor Tony Concepcion, said: “We’ve made this money available for new and existing projects which can have an impact on their local community and make Merseyside and Halton a cleaner and greener place for us all to live and work.

“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.”

Interested groups should complete and submit a Stage One form with MRWA. If applicants are shortlisted then they will be asked to fill in a more detailed Stage Two entry. Successful projects will receive the funding in April 2019 and will have twelve months to deliver their schemes.

Organisations interested in this year’s Community Fund can:


DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF STAGE ONE APPLICATION:

Friday 4th January 2019.

MRWA will be holding a Community Fund Application Workshop to help interested groups get advice on applying for funding. The workshop will take place on Thursday 6th December 2018, 10.00am, at Liverpool Quaker Meeting House, 22 School Lane, Liverpool. For tickets please visit; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mrwa-community-fund-201920-application-advice-workshop-tickets-52933845557

Charity Craft Fair at Southport Hospital – Sunday 9th December

On Sunday 9 December, a Christmas Craft Fair will be held at Southport hospital. Stalls will be located in the gymnasium area of the Northwest Regional Spinal Injuries Centre, from 12th noon until 4pm.

Local crafts people are welcome to sign up for a table at a cost of £10 each. People are encouraged to come along to sell their crafty creations or Christmas themed gifts and decorations with the message that all are welcome.

Visitors on the day can chat to local charities, browse the stalls and enjoy refreshments and Christmas entertainment.

The fair will raise much-needed funds for the refurbishment of the spinal injuries centre’s garden. This garden is used for recreation and rehabilitation by patients, many of them being long-term residents.

To sign up to take a table, donate raffle prizes or get involved in anyway, please contact suzanne.clarke8@nhs.net or amanda.williams17@nhs.net

Meet the Sefton mums pushing their way back into shape

New mums in Sefton are bouncing back into fitness with the help of Active Sefton’s Active Buggies.

Active Buggies is an energising fitness class that helps new mums kick start weight-loss, feel fabulous and meet like-minded mums. The best thing is that there’s no childcare needed and children of all ages can attend.

The buggy friendly classes make the most of prams as exercise aids with mums jogging, squatting and lunging their way back into shape.

Mums are invited to join the classes following their six week doctor’s check and the first session is free.

Led by Active Sefton’s trained fitness instructors, classes are tailored to meet specific fitness goals with alternate activities offered to meet different abilities.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It can be so difficult for new mums to juggle their new arrival with keeping fit and healthy.

“I’m so happy that there are classes like Active Buggies available in Sefton that can help women feel confident and make those first steps back into fitness.”

Kate Wilkie takes part in the sessions held at Dunes Southport. She said: “This is an awesome class! The instructor is so passionate about exercise that you can’t help but enjoy it. I really like that she’s a mum herself so she understands the challenges we face as new mums and never makes a big deal out of a meltdown or emergency nappy change!”

Anne-Marie Watson attended the classes following the birth of her first child and couldn’t wait to return after baby number two. She added: “This is a great class tailored for new mums and the best thing is that it’s child friendly.

“It has allowed me to meet other mums who are on a mission to gain confidence and get back to their healthy lifestyles. I love it!”

Classes are held at Litherland Sports Park, Meadows Leisure Centre, Crosby Lakeside, and Dunes Splash World. The full schedule is available online at https://www.sefton.gov.uk/activebuggies.

Watch this short video to find out more about what the sessions offer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA6vdaAVyqk

For more information contact the Active Sports team on 0151 288 6286 or request to join the Facebook group ‘Active Buggies’

Sefton stands by veterans in need with £45,000 donation

Sefton Council is continuing its support of ex-armed forces personnel across the borough with a £45,000 contribution to the Veterans in Sefton (ViS) charity.

As part of the local authority’s ongoing commitment to reducing homelessness, Sefton has agreed to provide this funding to help assist ex-armed forces personnel who are homeless, or who are threatened with homelessness, to find accommodation.

£30,000 will now be handed to the charity in two stages, with £15,000 contributed in 2018-19 and £15,000 in 2019-20.

This follows an initial £15,000 which was donated earlier this year from Sefton Council’s Combating Homelessness Budget.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Through its incredible work, Veterans in Sefton (ViS) have given immeasurable physical and mental support to ex-armed forces personnel and their families.

“ViS mentors are all ex service personnel and have a high understanding of Armed Forces culture and can understand all the difficulties that are presented in the transition from military to civilian life.

“So far mentors have been able to help 46 veterans to find a home, improve their accommodation or save them from eviction.

“This additional funding will go a long way in helping ViS continue in their efforts to combat homelessness within the veteran community. As a borough we have over 25,000 veterans living in Sefton and we want to do as much as we can to help them in any way possible.”

Dave Smith, CEO of Veterans in Sefton, added: ““We are very proud to be chosen by Sefton Council to deliver a solution to veterans’ housing issues and it is a privilege to be working together to help those in need.

“We would like to thank Sefton for all their help and continued support going forward.

For more information about the Veterans In Sefton charity and the work that they do visit www.veteransinsefton.org

Report focuses on issues around learning disabilities and children

A new report on children with learning disabilities reveals that half aren’t diagnosed in childhood and those who are won’t collect their

The report, published earlier this month by the UCL Institute of Health Equity (IHE) shows the Government’s emphasis on ‘fairness’ and fixing a ‘broken society’ has failed for hundreds of thousands of children with learning

The IHE report – A fair, Supportive Society – shows the most vulnerable in society, such as those with learning disabilities, will die 15 to 20 years sooner on average than the general population – that’s 1,200 people every

The IHE’s Director, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, highlights the fact that this difference is not an inevitable consequence of the underlying condition that led to the learning disability. He comments: “This is a direct result of a political choice that destines this vulnerable group to experience some of the worst of what society has to offer: low incomes, no work, poor housing, social isolation and loneliness, bullying and abuse. A staggering 40% of people with learning difficulties aren’t even diagnosed in childhood. This is an avoidable sign of a society failing to be fair and supportive to its most vulnerable members. We need to change this. The time to act is now.”

•  In 2010 the IHE published a government-commissioned review of health inequalities, Fair Society, Healthy Lives. Its recommendations prioritised policies to allow a child to maximise his or her opportunity to lead as healthy and as long a life as biologically possible.

•  Instead 18-year-olds today face the possibility of a shorter life than their parents; and 18-year-olds with learning disabilities may well not live long enough to draw their

•  Around 40% of people with learning disabilities are not identified in childhood.

•  More than 1,200 children and adults with a learning disability die prematurely every year.

•  Children with learning disabilities are at increased risk of mental health conditions, including depression; half of the increased risk of mental health difficulties is attributable to poverty, poor housing, discrimination and bullying.

•  Despite just 2.9% of the whole population having learning disabilities, a quarter of young people in custody have learning disabilities.

For the full report, please click here to see it online.

Sovini Group receives Royal Gold Award for supporting the Armed Forces

The Sovini Group has been recognised for their support of the Armed Forces community in a ceremony in London, where they were presented with the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.

On Monday 12th November, The Sovini Group received its Gold Award alongside 50 other organisations in a presentation at Lancaster House led by the Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson.

The award is the Ministry of Defence’s highest honour for organisations, and recognises their outstanding support for Reservists, Service leavers, wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, the Cadet organisations and service families.

The property management and development group has a long standing commitment to the Armed Forces community. They work in close partnership with local organisations such as the Army Reserve unit 156 Regiment RLC, local veteran charities and Brunswick Youth and Community Centre.The Group was previously awarded Silver in 2017 and Bronze in 2016.

The Sovini Group’s work with Liverpool Veterans HQ and Veterans in Sefton has led to over 30 local veterans being rehomed and in many cases saved from homelessness. As part of the rehoming process, the veterans are offered goods to help them furnish their new home and there is ongoing tenancy support for more vulnerable tenants.

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

The Sovini Group also employ a number of Reservists and support them through company initiatives such as an additional 10 days leave for training and unlimited unpaid leave if they are mobilised.

Dr Roy Williams, CEO of The Sovini Group said: “It’s an honour to achieve the Gold Award. By adopting the Armed Forces Covenant, we help to make sure the people who make huge sacrifices on our behalf receive the recognition and support they deserve in the workplace and the wider community”

Dave Smith, CEO at Veterans in Sefton, said: “It’s been amazing for us as a veterans charity to work with an organisation like The Sovini Group, who’ve put so much into the Covenant and reached Gold Award standard and put Service Level Agreements together to help veterans. It’s very refreshing to work with an organisation with that high standard and commitment.”

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

For more information about The Sovini Group, visit sovini.co.uk

Mayor’s Toy Appeal: Make a Family’s Christmas Extra Special

Sefton’s Mayor is once again asking as many people as possible across the borough to get behind this year’s Christmas gift appeal.

Each year thousands of kind hearted residents donate toys, gifts and stocking fillers to some of the borough’s most deserving children to make their Christmas extra special.

Gifts, for children of all ages, can be taken to either Bootle or Southport Town Halls or dropped off at any Sefton Council library or leisure centre by Friday December 21.

Residents can also donate at the Asda stores in Bootle and Central 12 in Southport. Gift tokens are particularly welcome to be given to older children.

All presents will then be distributed to children and young people throughout the borough by volunteers from Sefton Council and Sefton Children’s Trust on behalf of the Mayor.

Cllr Dave Robinson, the Mayor of Sefton, said: “Every year thousands of people who live or works in Sefton donate a present for the annual Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal.

“Their generosity is amazing and I’m hoping 2018 will be no different as we make Christmas that little bit more special for those less fortunate.

“Any donation is welcome and we are looking for gifts for all ages from babies and toddlers to teens.

“To ensure we can get the right gift to the right child may I please ask that the gifts be new and are left unwrapped.”

Letty Draper, ASDA Community Champion, added: “Please take the time to either donate an unwrapped new gift or toy in to the Christmas gift trolley at either of our Bootle or Southport stores.

“You can find the donation points by the in-store Christmas tree. Thank you for all your support and let’s make Christmas better by donating a gift.”

For further information on the Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal please call 07837863075.