Sefton businesses can register for free coronavirus tests for their employees with government scheme

The government has announced that, from Tuesday 6th April, the workplace testing programme will supply home test kits to companies with over ten workers where it is not possible to set up testing on-site. This could be due to a lack of space or because a company operates across multiple sites.

Over 60,000 businesses across the country have already registered their interest to provide rapid tests to key workers.

Businesses are encouraged to register before Monday 12th April in order to access free tests until the end of June, even if they’re not yet open or are not able to start using the tests straight away.

Any Sefton businesses looking to take part in this scheme can find out more and how to apply on the website.

Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership urge cautious return to Sefton’s beaches as outdoor restrictions ease

As national restrictions on the numbers of people allowed to meet up outdoors are eased, the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership is urging anyone planning a visit to take a cautious and considerate approach.

Partnership members, which include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and others want to ensure the safety of visitors and residents. As school holidays begin and we head towards the Easter weekend, they are asking people to ‘stay local’.

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“These are the very early steps out of lockdown but the message for all of us is still clear.

“While the relaxation of measures allows us to enjoy some outdoor socialising, it’s not an open invitation for us all to return to the coast, particularly if we don’t live locally. Travel must still be minimised, and people are being advised not to travel at busy times, so for some a trip to the coast may need to wait for the further easing of restrictions.

“It’s vital that we all continue do everything we can to allow the gradual lifting of restrictions to continue.

“That means getting vaccinated when we’re offered it, getting tested if we have symptoms and self-isolating when needed. Sticking to the basics of hands, face and space – even when meeting with others in outdoor spaces – remain vital. Social distancing and advice to minimise travel are there to protect ourselves, or families and our friends.

“We all want to be able to enjoy being outdoors again, but we are asking people to be considerate to local residents and to each other.”

Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said:

“The continued restrictions around Coronavirus have amplified the issues our Borough often experiences at coastal locations on busy weekends and Bank Holidays. We are welcoming people back cautiously, with the Green Sefton team ready for the spring and summer season, but we are still relying on people taking personal responsibility when they spend time at the coast.

“There is no single solution to many of the issues we face but we’re joining forces with our partners once more to implement measures to deal with issues such as littering and irresponsible parking. But we also need people to think sensibly about whether they need to come to the coast yet while restrictions gradually ease through the Government’s roadmap.

“What’s more, the Sefton coast is an internationally protected beautiful nature reserve and we would ask that people treat it with the respect it deserves.”

Last year, Sefton Council drew up a Coastal Visitor Action Plan, which will be reinstated again this year. The plan is there to ensure Sefton’s coastline is safe for residents, visitors and the Council’s own staff. Another planned measure is the continuation and extension of Beachsafe.

For more information, read more…

‘Meet The Funder’ with Canal River Trust – Thursday 15th April

Canal & River Trust warmly invites community group leaders and not-for-profit organisations along to our next ‘Meet the Funder’ session taking place on Thursday 15th April 2021, 2-3 pm.

The Canal & River Trust received a grant from Sport England to help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity for the communities of Sefton.

Funding is aimed at community groups working with Sport England priority audiences which research suggests are suffering more from the impact of the disease than is the case with the wider population. These groups are people from Lower Socio-Economic Groups, Black Asian or Minority Ethnic Communities, Disabled People and People with Long-Term Health Conditions (LTC).  This fund is designed to deal with ‘here and now’ issues that our sector organisations are facing as a result of the impact of COVID-19. It is about supporting organisations in the community now so that they have a future to plan for and minimising the impact of COVID-19 on activity levels in underrepresented groups. Projects should include delivery on your local Canal & River Trust  waterways, be located in Sefton and aim to reach Sport England target audiences.

Grant Request: The minimum grant request is £500, and the maximum is £5,000. Your project should be deliverable within a 6-month timescale (from the date you receive funding) and completed no later than 31 March 2022. 

Job Vacancy: Mentoring Project Worker with Merseyside Offender Mentoring Project

Job Title: Mentoring Project Worker
Grade: £22,402
Location: Sefton CVS Office, Prison & Community based

Hours: Full time 35 hours per week
Accountable to: Project Co-ordinator

Job Purpose:        

The Mentoring Project Worker will work on many aspects of the Merseyside Offender Mentoring Project. This post will be supporting offenders of all ages or those at risk of offending, both in custody and in the community. This post is funded by Merseyside Police Violence Reduction Partnership.

This varied and exciting role will see the post holder undertaking face to face assessments with prospective mentees, source suitable volunteer mentors and oversee and support the matching process. This post will see the job holder attending regular stakeholder meetings with statutory partners and supporting the volunteer recruitment and training process.

The successful candidate will have a proven track record of providing information, advice and guidance to ex-offenders or working with young people in a similar role. They must demonstrate an understanding of the barriers faced by ex-offenders of all ages when resettling into the community, and possess excellent planning and organisational skills.

The preferred candidates will also have experience of working with volunteers.

DBS check and full Prison MOJ security clearance will be required for this post.

Job Description & Person Specification (Word / PDF)
Application Form (Word / PDF)
Guidance Notes (Word / PDF)
Diversity Monitoring Form (Word / PDF)
Criminal Convictions Declaration (Word / PDF)

The closing date for completed applications is 5pm, Monday 12th April 2021.
All completed applications and any enquiries to be sent to

Tell Healthwatch Your Care Home Story

Healthwatch Sefton, the local independent champion for health and care, wants to hear people’s experience of what it’s been like being in a care home during the past 12 months.

Diane Blair, Manager of Healthwatch Sefton, explained: “During this pandemic, we have not been able to plan our Enter and View visits into care homes and, as a result, have not been able to talk to residents, their relatives, or staff about how care is provided within care homes.

“Visiting is a central part of care home life. It is crucially important for maintaining the health, wellbeing and quality of life of residents. Visiting is also vital for family and friends to maintain contact and life-long relationships with their loved ones and contribute to their support and care.”

To gather people’s stories, Healthwatch this week launched the campaign Care Homes: Your Story. Your Say!

Diane added: “By asking people to share their stories with us we can then get a picture of the impact the pandemic has had on people who have been living in care homes. We are also welcoming feedback from relatives and friends who may not live local but have someone they care for in one of our Sefton-based homes.”

All feedback shared is anonymous. To share your story go to:

If you don’t want to fill in this form and would prefer to speak to someone about your experiences, give the team a call on 0800 206 1304.

More information on the campaign can be found on the Healthwatch Sefton website:

Job Vacancy; Healthwatch Sefton – Signposting, Information and Administration Officer

Job Title: Healthwatch Sefton Signposting, Information and Administration Officer
Grade: £17,072
Location: Burlington House, Waterloo, Sefton.
Hours: 35 hours per week
Accountable to: Manager, Healthwatch Sefton.

Job Purpose:
To be the main point of contact for members of the public who want to access the Healthwatch Sefton Signposting & Information Service and Independent Complaints Advocacy.

To provide Healthwatch Sefton with up to date intelligence on key trends from the Healthwatch Sefton Feedback centre.


Job Description & Person Specification (Word / PDF)
Application Form (Word / PDF)
Guidance Notes (Word / PDF)
Diversity Monitoring Form (Word / PDF)
Criminal Convictions Declaration (Word / PDF)

The closing date for completed applications is 5pm, Monday 5th April 2021.
All completed applications and any enquiries to be sent to 

VS6 Assembly part 2 of 2 – Sector Consultation on Draft VCFSE Manifesto

The VS6 Partnership would like to invite you to our Liverpool City Region VCFSE Draft Manifesto 2021-2024 Consultation assemblies taking place on Monday 22nd March 2021.

The purpose of this event is to share with you our 2021 – 2024 VCFSE manifesto for the City Region and to gather your views and feedback on the manifesto in advance of the upcoming LCR Metro Mayoral elections in May. The manifesto has been developed following VS6’s sector engagement over the past few years, drawing out key areas and recommendations for action from publications developed following various events held with the sector to ensure that the manifesto is produced in collaboration with those it represents.

The VCFSE manifesto is split into three headline areas which focus on developing a healthy and sustainable VCFSE ecosystem, driving inclusive economy principles for the sector and championing our communities. The items within each section signify our ambitions for the sector and our asks of the Combined Authority to work with us to help realise our aspirations for the city region.

Download the VCFSE Draft Manifesto 2021-2024

For more information and to register your place see below

Job Vacancies with Sefton CVS – Crisis Cafe Project

Sefton CVS are seeking applicants to join us in establishing a new out of hours service for people looking for support having experienced, or are experiencing, a mental health crisis. 

This new team will establish an out of hours café covering the evenings of Friday, Saturday and Sunday to offer individual and group support to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing. The Southport Crisis Cafe will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 5pm to 11pm. Find out more about the project – Crisis Cafe Project Outline

Applications are now being invited for a part time Crisis and Recovery Senior Support Worker, 21 hours per week, £12,396 (£20,661 pro rata)

Guidance Notes (Word / PDF)
Job Description & Person Specification (Word / PDF)
Application Form (Word / PDF)
Diversity Monitoring Form (Word / PDF)
Criminal Convictions Declaration (Word / PDF)

Closing date for applications: 5pm on Monday 10th May 2021 

All completed applications and for any enquiries, please email
Please note all roles are subject to a DBS check.

Government Roadmap – Easing of lockdown restrictions as of 08/03/2021

As of Monday 08th March 2021, the Government Roadmap which will see a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions in England comes into being. Below is an outline of the 4 stages for easing these restrictions :

Step 1 – 8th March

  • All children and students will return to face to face education in schools and college.
  • Wraparound childcare and other supervised children’s activities can resume where they enable parents to work, seek work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group
  • Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor provided they are tested and wear PPE.
  • The Stay at Home requirement will remain, but people can leave home for recreation outdoors such as a coffee or picnic with their household or support bubble, or with one person outside their household.
  • Some university students on practical courses will be able to return to face to face learning.

Step 1 – 29th March

  • Outdoor gatherings of either 6 people or 2 households will be allowed, providing greater flexibility for families to see each other. This includes in private gardens.
  • Outdoor sports facilities, such as tennis and basketball courts, will be allowed to reopen, and people can take part in formally organised outdoor sports.
  • At this point, the Stay at Home order will end, although many lockdown restrictions will remain. For example, you should continue to work from home where possible, and overseas travel remains banned, aside for a small number of reasons.

Step 2, no earlier than 12 April:

  • Non-essential retail, personal care premises, such as hairdressers and nail salons, and public buildings, such as libraries and community centres, will reopen.
  • Most outdoor attractions and settings, including zoos, and theme parks, will also reopen although wider social contact rules will apply in these settings to prevent indoor mixing between different households. Drive-in cinemas and drive-in performances will also be permitted.
  • Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen – but only for use by people on their own or with their household.
  • Hospitality venues can serve people outdoors only. There will be no need for customers to order a substantial meal with alcohol, and no curfew – although customers must order, eat and drink while seated.
  • Self-contained accommodation, such as holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen.
  • Funerals can continue with up to 30 people, and the numbers able to attend weddings, receptions and commemorative events such as wakes will rise to 15 (from 6).

Step 3, no earlier than 17 May:

  • Outdoors, most social contact rules will be lifted – although gatherings of over 30 people will remain illegal.
  • Outdoor performances such as outdoor cinemas, outdoor theatres and outdoor cinemas can reopen.. Indoors, the rule of 6 or 2 households will apply – although we will keep under review whether it is safe to increase this.
  • Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.
  • Larger performances and sporting events in indoor venues with a capacity of 1,000 people or half-full (whichever is lower) will also be allowed, as will those in outdoor venues with a capacity of 4000 people or half-full (whichever is lower).
  • In the largest outdoor seated venues where crowds can spread out, up to 10,000 people will be able to attend (or a quarter-full, whichever is lower).
  • Up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings, receptions and wakes, as well as funerals. Other life events that will be permitted include bar mitzvahs and christenings.

Step 4, no earlier than 21 June:

  • It is hoped all legal limits on social contact can be removed.
  • We hope to reopen nightclubs, and lift restrictions on large events and performances that apply in Step 3.
  • This will also guide decisions on whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events.

In the meantime, the vaccination programme continues at pace, with the announcement of a new target to offer a first dose of the vaccine to every adult by the end of July.

For those of you who have yet to receive the vaccine, if you would like to find out more about the vaccine or what you can expect at your appointment then please visit here – You can also book and manage your appointment if you are currently eligible to receive the vaccine using this link.


It was also announced on the 16th February that shielding for those identified as clinically extremely vulnerable will continue till the 31st March. If you are shielding at the moment, there is additional support available to you if you need it. You can receive support with your food shopping and request priority access to a supermarket delivery slot. To access this support available to you, please visit here – Please note you will need to have your NHS number to hand when you are asked to register or login.

If you would like to read the guidance on shielding, you can do so by clicking this link

Job Vacancy with Compassion Acts; Influencing & Partnerships Manager (Closing Fri, 26th March)

Influencing & Partnerships Manager
Hours: up to 33 hours per week
Salary: £13.13 per hour
Contract: Fixed term until 31 August 2023

Do you want to make a difference in the campaign to reduce poverty and promote social wellbeing in our local communities?

Do you have a passion for reaching out to decision makers, leaders, entrepreneurs, educators, faith & community groups?

Can you turn that passion into tangible actions and real partnerships which transform perceptions about poverty and Foodbank use and which bring people together for a common goal?

For more information and the personal specification, download the full recruitment pack here

Apply to Richard Owens, CEO, Compassion Acts, St Peters Centre, St Peters Road, Southport PR8 4BY
Or email with a CV and full covering letter.

Closing date for applications: 26th March 2021
Preliminary interviews via Zoom: 31st March 2021

Final interviews, including a presentation: 7th April 2021

Compassion Acts, is a Christian charity committed to reducing poverty and increasing wellbeing. It was formed in 2017 and rebranded in 2019. Our best known service is Southport Foodbank (Trussell Trust model) but we also have four other projects which are all about reducing poverty and increasing social wellbeing;

Food Pantry – Next Steps – Community Money Advice – Welfare Benefits Advice

Volunteer Centre Sefton Training (Wed, 17th & 24th March)

Motivating & Retaining Volunteers’ will explore the reasons why volunteers choose to volunteer, and how understanding these can help organisations to retain their volunteers for longer.

The session is delivered through a combination of formal training and experiential discussion, encouraging participants to share their own experience and practice with their fellow learners via online video networking platform Zoom. This is a two-part course which be delivered as two 90 minute sessions:

Part 1: Wednesday 17th March, 10am – 11.30am
Part 2: Wednesday 24th March, 10am – 11.30am 

Ideally participants should attend both of these sessions. To book your place on this training sessions please email

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Upcoming Group Development Sessions with Sefton CVS

To register your place for any of the sessions please email

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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



Use either

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

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

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


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

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

Testing guidance

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


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

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

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

Shaping Care Together Events in North Sefton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information visit:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday 14th March 2021, 11.59pm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dedicated testing for South African variant underway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For details on Sefton Carers Centre, visit

COVID-19 vaccination roll-out gathers pace in Sefton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find out more about the programme here;

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

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

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

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

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

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

·        frail and elderly care

·        when you have an urgent or emergency care need

·        services for children including those who have complex needs

·        services for women who are pregnant and for the new-born

·        gynaecology – dealing with women’s reproductive system

·        sexual health services for all genders

·    planned care, such as follow-up outpatient and/or subsequent admissions
as part of ongoing treatment.

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

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

·        Fill in the survey here

·        Find more information here

(If you would prefer a paper copy of the questionnaire, please call 0151 920 0726)

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

Patients raise concerns over hospital discharge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some of the key findings included:

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full report on the Healthwatch Sefton website, via

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

22nd January 2021

To – all voluntary, community and faith organisations

Dear all, 

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

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

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

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

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

Many thanks

Cllr. Trish Hardy,
Cabinet Member – Communities and Housing

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

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

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

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

For more information visit;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to participate in the Shaping The Future survey

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

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

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

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

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

Closing date: 31st January  2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We want to know;

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

The areas that this survey covers are;

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

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

Click here to view and share the survey…