Sefton Council’s Chief Executive to retire in May

Sefton Council’s Chief Executive Margaret Carney has announced that she will retire in May after 10 years in post.

Margaret, who has worked in local government for more than 40 years, told colleagues and partners that it has been the most difficult decision in her career but feels the time is right to hand over the baton to a new Chief Executive who can build on Sefton’s successes.

She said: “It has been an absolute privilege working with such hardworking, committed and passionate staff, councillors and partners over probably the most challenging period ever for local government and public services.

“I have loved working in Sefton despite the cuts. Not only is it where I work, it is also my home and I have seen first-hand how tirelessly and compassionately staff and councillors have worked to support our communities at a time of great uncertainty and worry.”

Under Margaret’s leadership, the Council has continued to provide hundreds of services to its communities and maintained a strong financial track record despite austerity.

She also spearheaded the development of a new and exciting vision for the future of the borough, working closely with partners, businesses, private sector organisations, the voluntary, community and faith sectors and the wider Sefton community. The Vision 2030 was borne and ensures the Council focuses on what is important for the borough and its communities in the future.

Earlier this year, the Council was praised for demonstrating real ambition for Sefton, for its strong track record of partnership working, place leadership and for having such a dedicated, passionate workforce by the Local Government Association’s (LGA) peer review team. This, Margaret says, is a real high to end her career on.

Sefton Council will start the search for a new Chief Executive immediately and Margaret will leave the Council on May 31 under normal retirement rules.

Merseyside Police introduce ‘The Herbert Protocol’ for missing or vulnerable people.

Merseyside Police would like to introduce you to The Herbert Protocol – an initiative named after George Herbert – a War veteran of the Normandy landings – who lived with dementia.

‘We appreciate that caring for people with dementia is challenging – and that planning ahead and keeping safe is really important.  More than 60% of people living with dementia can at some point start to “walk about”.  Whilst this may only be into the garden or street and returning a short time later, people can get lost and go missing; leading to feelings of confusion, fear and vulnerability – particularly at night time or at times of extreme weather.

As part of making reasonable life adjustments, we want to help by putting a system in place that will help to give the emergency services the best possible information should there be a need for them to become involved in a search for someone with dementia.

All Liverpool City Region travellers advised to plan ahead of rail strikes

All travellers in the Liverpool City Region are being urged to plan their journeys and check before they travel ahead of strike action on both the Merseyrail network on and Northern services in early July.

Merseyrail services are affected on Saturday 8th and Monday 10th July,  Northern Services are affected on Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th and Monday 10th July.

While train users will be most directly impacted, the whole transport network is expected to be busier as people find other ways to travel.

Most Merseyrail services are planned to run every half hour from around 7am to 7pm and services will not stop at some stations. Passengers are strongly advised to check the Merseyrail website and Twitter feed before travelling  as it is possible that timetables will change prior to, as well as during, strike action.

Meanwhile, passengers who travel with Northern are also advised to check before they travel as Northern is planning on running more than 40 per cent of services on revised timetables between 7am and 7pm on Sat 8th July and Mon 10th July and between around 9am and 5pm on Sunday 9th July.

Services by other mainline train operators will continue to run as normal.

Key advice for everyone in the City Region needing to travel on these dates is:

  • Check before you travel: If you’re a rail user plan based on current information available, but be prepared to adapt your plans as timetables may change on these dates
  • Rail stations are likely to be busier as a result of reduced rail services. Don’t aim for the last scheduled train, get there early.
  • If you’re not a rail user, you’re still likely to be affected as people find alternative ways to travel. Leave longer for your journey and avoid travelling at peak times where possible.
  • Bus may be a good alternative, with an extensive network across the Liverpool City Region. Some services will be monitored and strengthened on key routes.
  • The Mersey Ferries will be a good alternative if you’re travelling cross river, free car-parking at Seacombe for 370 cars with frequent commuter services Monday to Friday.
  • Cyclists can use valid cross river tickets on the Mersey Ferries.
  • Stick to public transport wherever possible to reduce congestion on key routes such as the Mersey Tunnels and roads in and out of the City Centre.
  • If you have no option but to drive, consider car sharing.
  • Speak to your employer about whether there is any flexibility in working times or the possibility of working from home.

Further information and travel options are available:

For the latest on Merseyrail services visit the website  or follow @Merseyrail on Twitter. You can also call 0151 555 1111.

For the latest on Northern services visit the website follow @northernassist on Twitter or visit National Rail Enquiries.

Use Merseytravel’s journey planner to see your travel options and visit the travelling around section of the website for more details on routes and timetables.

If you need additional help in planning your journeys call Merseytravel on 0151 330 1000

Information about services for industrial action on Sunday 23rd July will be published nearer the time.

SEFTON 4 GOOD APPEALS FOR SUPPORT FOR FREE SUMMER HOLIDAY MEALS FOR CHILDREN SCHEME

Sefton 4 Good is appealing for community groups and individuals to support a scheme to provide free summer school holiday meals for children across the borough.

The fundraising initiative says that many families find the holidays difficult because they rely on the free school meals their children receive during term time.

As a response to this situation, organisers are looking to co-ordinate a borough-wide network of local voluntary organisations and community venues who will be able to plug the gap by offering free meals to children and young people aged between five and 18 in the holidays.

Seven local organisations have already pledged their support to the scheme – two in Bootle, one in Litherland, two in Crosby and a further two in Southport.

Now Sefton 4 Good are appealing for specific support for this initiative and have set up a dedicated BT MyDonate page in a bid to generate crowdfunding support for the initiative, click here to donation. Donations can also be made by phone by texting SEFT44 followed by the amount to 70070.

Funds raised in these ways will help groups with purchasing supplies of food and drink, and organisers are also appealing for volunteers to help in the initiative.

Volunteers are needed to help prepare and cook meals, and also to assist with running activities at the various centres across the borough.

Nigel Bellamy, Deputy Chief Executive Sefton CVS commented: “This scheme aims to provide much-needed support to disadvantaged families who can face real financial problems in the school holidays.

“We’re hoping for a really good response from community groups and individuals, to enable us to provide a free meals service in as many borough locations as possible.”

Organisers are also looking for support and donations from local businesses for specific food supplies and equipment, and those who can support are asked to contact Sefton 4 Good for full details of what is needed.

Groups or individuals who want to get involved, or for those wishing to make a donation, can contact Sefton 4 Good by ringing 0151 920 0726 or by visiting www.sefton4good.org.uk.

New home for Crosby Village Post Office gets Stamp of Approval with Sunday Opening

  • Post Office services available seven days a week
  • Convenient, quick service, open-plan layout
  • Extra 24 hours of Post Office service every week
  • Banking services for personal customers and small businesses
  • Bill payment, banking, benefits and travel money
  • Postage, home shopping returns, Local Collect

 The Post Office is opening a new main style Crosby Village Post Office at McColls Retail Group, 15 – 21 Liverpool Road, Crosby, Liverpool, L23 2SA.

The new modernised Post Office will have four counter positions, three modern screened positions and a Post Office serving point at the retail counter offering selected services outside normal branch opening hours.

The branch itself will open from 9am – 5:30pm Monday to Saturday, with selected Post Office products and services available from the retail counter between 8am and 9am  and 5:30pm to 6:30pm, Monday to Saturday and 9am to 4pm on Sunday. The opening hours which will increase by an extra 24 hours a week will make the branch much more convenient.

Customers will be able to access a wide range of Post Office and mails services, including Special Delivery, Local Collect, home shopping returns, online banking cash deposits and withdrawals, sending funds abroad using Moneygram, and customers can pay bills, pre-order travel money, apply for travel insurance and top up mobile phones.

As the traditional banking network declines, customers for the majority (95%) of UK banks can also use their post office for online banking cash deposits and withdrawals and bill payments.

The date for the relocation has yet to be confirmed. Posters will be displayed in the current Crosby Village Post Office at Unit 5, Telegraph House, Moor Lane, Crosby, Liverpool, L23 2SF to advise customers of when the move will take place.

Sefton and Liverpool CCGs pause their plan to merge

Clinical commissioning groups in Sefton and Liverpool are pausing their plan to merge the three organisations.

NHS South Sefton CCG, NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS Liverpool CCG have made the decision so they can spend more time considering the implications of a merger for their patients, staff and partners.

Governing body members agreed the pause at a joint meeting on 6 June 2017 and their decision will now be recommended for approval at their next governing body meetings.

The three CCGs were required by NHS England to submit their formal merger application by July 2017, ahead of any agreed organisational change from April 2018. Governing body members have instead agreed to delay submitting their application and revisit their proposal in a year’s time. Importantly, this step takes account of the increasing challenges and demands placed on the NHS as a whole and, in particular at this time, by the three local health commissioners.

At the tri-governing body meeting, members agreed that the original July 2017 application deadline would divert the CCGs’ efforts away from their priority work over the coming year – a crucial period for each CCG.

So, this additional time created by a pause will allow the CCGs to concentrate their efforts in two areas. Firstly, in ensuring the CCGs continued focus is on improving financial and health service performance for the distinct populations they serve in line with their individual statutory duties, whilst secondly, developing a more considered and robust business case that clearly demonstrates the benefits of merging to their GP practice members, local residents and other key partners.

Membership of the North Mersey Local Delivery System (LDS) means the CCGs will continue to work together on system wide programmes that benefit and affect the populations they serve. Good progress and pace has already been made, without the upheaval that organisational or structural change would bring to the CCGs at this present time.

Current areas of joint work include work to transform hospital services. Other areas for future closer collaboration will now be explored and could include RightCare benchmarking, continuing healthcare and funded nursing care.

You can find out more about the CCGs from their websites:

www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk or www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk and www.liverpoolccg.nhs.uk.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service offer Advice to local residents

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service is providing advice and reassurance to residents who may be concerned about the safety of high-rise buildings following the fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

Although Sefton Council doesn’t own any high rise buildings they are keen to share the advice.

Merseyside Fire & Rescue carry out a risk-based inspection programme of all premises, including high-rise residential premises, to ensure that they comply with current legislation. They also carry out regular training exercises in high-rise buildings to make sure people are ready to deal with fires of this type.

The advice for residents living in high-rise accommodation is:

Know Your Escape Plan

  • Make sure you are familiar with emergency evacuation procedures provided by the landlord or owner for your building.
  • Make an escape plan so that you and your family know what to do if there is a fire in your flat.
  • Practice this plan, make sure everyone understands it and knows where the door key is.

Should a fire Break Out

  • If it is too dangerous to follow your planned escape route because stairs and hallways are full of smoke, ring 999 and stay inside the safest room. Keep the doors closed and use towels or bedding to block the smoke at the bottom of the door.
  • Use the stairs, not the lift, when leaving the building in the event of a fire.
  • If there is a fire in another flat in the building, you are usually safest in your own home unless you are affected by the heat or smoke.
  • If there is a fire, never assume that someone else has called 999 – make the call yourself.

Fire safety in your Building

  • Keep exits and passageways clear of any obstructions.
  • Ensure doors to stairways are not damaged or faulty and report any defects promptly to the landlord or owner for your building.
  • Close all internal doors at night to prevent the spread of fire.
  • Never tamper with internal fire mains (dry riser) inlets on landings. These provide water to firefighters in an emergency and could cost lives if not functioning properly.
  • If you see a dry riser vandalised, report it immediately to the landlord or owner for your building.
  • Never use or store bottled gas cylinders in high-rise flats.
  • Never park so you block access to high-rise flats. Access roads are designed so fire engines can get as close as possible to fight fires.
  • Don’t start cooking if you are very tired or have drank a lot of alcohol- never use chip pans, use oven chips instead.
  • If you smoke, make sure you put cigarettes out properly, and don’t smoke in bed or while sleepy.
  • Check your smoke alarms regularly.

If family members have any concerns over elderly or vulnerable relatives living in high rise premises then call Fire Service Direct 0800 731 5958 or email fireservicedirect@merseyfire.gov.uk

Strand By Me – A new Place of Welcome opens in Bootle

A new Place of Welcome has opened in the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle last week in the Strand by Me Centre which is a joint initiative by Sefton CVS, Sefton Council, South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and the Strand Centre. It offers an open approach to people shopping in the Centre and is also staffed by volunteers from the Strand House Residents Association and others.

Conal Devitt the centre lead commented, ‘We are really pleased to offer a Place of Welcome to people in our Centre whoever they are or wherever they have come from. This, we believe is a unique partnership offering a wide range of services including developing hospitality and bringing people’s skills together.’

Pictured above are John Davis (second from left) with friends and visitors at the opening of the Place of Welcome which will be open to all comers on Tuesdays at 10am until 12 noon for refreshments. Places of Welcome harness people’s gifts and energies over a cup of tea and a biscuit and a warm welcome. Pop along anytime.

Strand By Me is located on the ground floor of Bootle Strand Shopping Centre opposite Wilko, for more information click here!

Places of Welcome is a network of small community organisations, including faith communities, who offer an unconditional welcome to local people for at least a few hours a week.

The primary aim of the Places of Welcome network is that “Every neighbourhood has places where all people feel safe to belong, connect and contribute.”

If your church or community organisation would like to give it a try or would like more information contact our team or go to http://www.placesofwelcome.org/

Click here for contact information of locations around the UK.

Sefton: John Davis at john.davis@togetherliverpool.org.uk

Twitter: @PlacesOfWelcome

Facebook: @placesofwelcome

 

ANFIELD LEGEND OPENS SEFTON’S NEW STAR CENTRE

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was the VIP guest this week when a Bootle-based charity launched its new positive mental health service for children and young people across Sefton.

Staff at Venus invited the retired Liverpool and England defender to officially open the new Star Centre, based in the renovated former Orrell Arts Centre building on Linacre Lane.

Around 100 guests attended the opening ceremony, including representatives of organisations that have helped to fund the project, and partner agencies in the new service.

The Star Centre building has been refurbished with the support of the Tudor Trust, the Clothworkers Foundation, One Stop and the Steve Morgan Foundation.

The main funding for the centre’s core services has come from NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, with additional support from the John Moores Foundation and Jamie Carragher’s own 23 Foundation.

The partners in the services include Sefton Council Well Young Person’s Team, Sefton Emotional Achievement Service, the ADHD Foundation, Alder Hey CAMHS and Mersey Care.

Venus is a well-established organisation providing a wide range of support services for children, young people, women, parents and families.

The charity has created the new centre to provide a friendly and welcoming space where young people up to the age of 18 can access information and advice on mental health issues, as well as group support and a variety of therapies.

Services on offer will include counselling, CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy), psychoeducation, peer support, family therapy, training for parents and group activities addressing issues such as the transition from children’s to adults’ services.

starcentre2.jpg

Venus Family Support Manager, Georgina Harvey, explained: “The key features of the Star Centre’s approach will be its friendliness and its informality.

“Young people will be able to self refer, and simply drop in for advice, guidance, signposting and referral to other sources of support. It will be a place they can go for someone to talk to, and a place they can walk into and ask for help.”

Peter Wong, Children Young People and Maternity Commissioning Manager for the two CCGs, added: “Making services more accessible is something that young people have told us loudly and clearly.

“We also know that we need to support services to work more closely together in meeting the emotional health and wellbeing needs of our local children and young people.

“We are pleased that we can support the Star Centre in taking forward both of these key aims, and we are proud of what the new centre will offer young people in Sefton,” added Mr Wong.

Georgina Harvey also thanked Jamie Carragher for taking time out to perform the official opening, saying his presence would help to raise the profile of the new centre across the borough.

Jamie – who grew up in Bootle’s Marsh Lane area – congratulated Venus and its partners in the Star Centre initiative, saying it would provide a much-needed new source of support for vulnerable children and young people from throughout Sefton.

The Star Centre is based within the former Orrell Arts Centre/Orrell Library building on Linacre Lane, Bootle L20 6ES.

It will be open to young people Monday to Friday from 3.30-7.30pm and on Saturdays from 1pm-4pm, with a parents/carers drop-in session earlier in the day from 10am-1pm.

For more information about the Star Centre contact Venus on 0151 474 4744.

NCVO: “A Snap General Election – What Should Charities Be Doing?”

Source: https://blogs.ncvo.org.uk/2017/04/18/a-snap-general-election-what-should-charities-be-doing/ 

In a political world where leaks are routine, Theresa May’s announcement of an election campaign seems to have caught everyone by surprise. Charities will not have made detailed plans for an election, so it’s worth thinking about what we should be doing to make sure we’re part of the debate.

What happens next?

The first hurdle to cross will be to call an election under the procedure set out in the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. Labour’s announcement that they will be voting for a motion to call an early election means it should be a formality to get the two thirds of MPs required to satisfy the requirements of the Act, avoiding the need for a formal vote of no confidence and a 14 day period in which another party could seek to form an alternative government.

Parliament will dissolve 25 days before the nominated election date, but this can be amended by statutory instrument, as was done in 2015 to allow a longer campaign. We’ll have to wait to see when the campaign begins in earnest, but in practice it has already begun.

How can charities prepare?

The first thing for charities to do is refamiliarise themselves with Charity Commission election campaigning guidance to ensure they are compliant with charity law surrounding campaigning during elections and the Lobbying Act.

Much has been made of the effect of the Lobbying Act on charity campaigning during elections and you should make sure you are familiar with the law, but remember that most charities are unlikely to meet the definition of controlled expenditure if they campaign on a cross-party basis on the substance of policies.

The dynamics of a snap election are going to be very different than normal, when we have a rough timescale even if we don’t know the exact date. Candidate engagement is going to be much harder, not least because a significant proportion of those who will be standing on 8 June will not have been selected yet, and a major hustings plan will be more difficult to co-ordinate.

Manifestos

One of the key milestones of any campaign is the publication of party manifestos. When an election date is known, parties will be working on the policy contained in those manifestos for a year or more beforehand. Obviously that detailed work can’t be completed before June, so expect shorter Brexit-focused manifestos that draw a lot on 2015 policies.

The parties’ policy gurus will already be thinking about what goes in, so finding out quickly who to submit recommendations to will be important for charities that want their voice to be heard in the campaign and in the next parliament. One word of caution, approval for new radical ideas is going to be much harder to achieve in such a short timescale, so aside from the obvious need to influence policies around Brexit, I would focus on encouraging parties to reaffirm existing commitments.

What will we be doing?

For our part, we’ll be making the case for the voluntary sector and volunteering to help solve many of the country’s problems. We know that volunteering can be an amazing route to improving skills and making new connections, changing people’s lives and bonding communities closer together. We know that voluntary organisations can run high-quality, efficient public services, for example, but that they’re often excluded from doing so. And most pressingly on the policy front, we’ll be highlighting the important role that the sector has to play in shaping Brexit policies. We want to make sure that Brexit doesn’t mean weakening or removing important safeguards for people and the environment. Charities must be involved in advising on and scrutinising proposals at every step of the way.

NCVO’s chief executive, Sir Stuart Etherington, has already called for European nationals in the UK to be allowed to stay. Charities will need visa arrangements that work for sectors such as social care and medical research, which depend on the involvement of staff who’ve moved here from around Europe. And charities must be involved in designing replacements – better targeted, more coherent ones – for EU programmes in areas such as employment and skills training.

It’s going to be a much busier couple of months for charity campaigners than we were expecting, but as always an election provides an excellent opportunity to make the case for the changes we want to see, and to make sure that the voice of charities is heard loud and clear.

Fillies GFC Community Building – LOCAL GROUPS! Please take a minute to complete our Survey!

The Fillies GFC are seeking views from partner organisations working in Sefton (in particular South Sefton) about a new community building and outdoor facilities they are hoping to develop that will respond to the needs of the local community.

Feedback will help to establish the support and potential demand for the building and facilities from partner organisations, and will build upon positive feedback already received from local residents.

Please click here to complete the short survey

For more information about the Fillies GFC, please click here

Smokefree Sefton – Your new stop smoking service

Solutions 4 Health has been appointed by the Local Authority to provide stop smoking services across the city for the next 3 years, starting on April 1st 2017. The new service will be called Smokefree Sefton.

Solutions 4 Health is a leading national provider of smoking cessation, already operating stop smoking services for some thirty councils, including Berkshire, County Durham, North Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Blackpool and North Yorkshire with recent awards including Liverpool and Devon, and helps over 30,000 smokers to quit each year.

The successful model to be deployed in Sefton is based upon a combination of outreach to priority groups in their community and workplace with partnership working within the health economy, so a full range of services are made available, making it as easy to quit as to smoke.

Leena Sankla, Public Health and Lifestyle Services Director for Solutions 4 Health adds: “We take a very positive approach and are all about reducing health inequalities through supporting and empowering people to improve their health and wellbeing. After all, smokers are four times more likely to quit successfully when they have professional support.”

Both the Local Authority and Solutions 4 Health believe that smoking cessation is everyone’s business and see this development as a major step in the goal of making Sefton ‘smokefree’. Solutions 4 Health will be working closely with all of you to ensure that staff receive relevant training and that there are seamless referral processes in place so that smokers can rapidly receive our help and support.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Sefton Council said “The new Specialist Stop Smoking service will help residents in Sefton achieve a smoke free life. The service will encourage individuals to change their behaviour and attitudes toward smoking, making quitting for good more achievable.”

Banish the January blues with your local talking therapies service

How’s your New Year and 2017 so far? If you’re not feeling as happy as you would like to be and would like someone to talk to, why not give Access Sefton a call this winter?

The time after the festive period can often feel like an anti-climax and leave you feeling low. Speak to your local, friendly NHS service for advice and support on how to handle the January blues.

Access Sefton provides help for people experiencing a wide range of common mild to moderate mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress, as well as other common mental health conditions such as Obsessional Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Services include face to face or telephone consultations and workshops to people aged 16-plus who live in Sefton and are available from a number of accessible locations across the borough. The service is delivered in partnership by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and Insight Healthcare on behalf of the borough’s two clinical commissioning groups, NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG.

If you need to speak to someone, getting access to the service is easy – ask your GP or self-refer online here. You can also pick up the phone and call 0151 955 3200 to arrange an appointment.

We offer a wide range of talking therapy treatments from a number of convenient locations across the borough of Sefton, as well as online or over the phone.

Merseytravel Sefton Bus Review

Sefton is the latest area to be reviewed as part of a wider review of the whole Liverpool City Region bus network, with the aim of creating an improved and simpler network.

It’s also about ensuring that the increasingly limited funding we have for supported services – those services that are funded by Merseytravel as they are not commercially viable – are used in the most effective way and focused where there is most need.

People who live or work in Sefton will be able to comment on proposed changes to the area’s bus network during a final consultation period starting on Monday 16th January through until Thursday 26th January.

Details of the proposed changes, dates for drop-in events and access to the online colsultation can all be found here : http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/Pages/Sefton-Bus-Review.aspx

Mayor of Sefton helps launch Southport counselling service The Philippi Trust

A SPECIAL counselling service has expanded in Southport with the help of mental health advocate the Mayor of Sefton.

Launched on Lord Street recently, the Philippi Trust is a Christian Charitable Trust which offers both counselling and counselling training.

Cllr Iain Brodie Brown, the Mayor of Sefton was on hand to help give a boost to the opening of the trust’s new centre which joins other sites in Bolton, St Helens, Blackpool and elsewhere in the North West.

Philippi Trust have previously operated in Southport out of a small room at the Lakeside Christian Centre, but their expansion heralds a new era for the charity.

A spokesperson for the Philippi Trust said: “We also have Philippi International with branches in Namibia, South Africa, Germany and Ireland. Our website is http://www.philippitrust.com

“We have been operating in Southport for the last few years out of one room in Lakeside Christian Centre, but with the addition of a number of new counsellors, we were struggling with the limitations that created.

“We moved to our new premises at 419 Lord Street, and we now have 2 counselling rooms and a Family Therapy Suite where we can see couples and children.

“We also have a Training area where we hope to run counselling courses in the near future.

“Our counselling rooms are also available for hire, on application. Our qualified counsellors all offer their time voluntarily, but we also offer placements for University and College students to come on placement to complete the hours required to qualify.

“ Our hours of opening are Monday 9am – 2pm, and Tuesday/Thursday 9am – 8pm and anyone can come for counselling, whether of faith or of no faith, by either phoning us on 01704 807660 or by completing the e-form on our website.

“Unlike private counselling centres, who can charge between £35-£55 per hour, we operate on a donation basis, where we encourage clients to give within their financial ability.”

Everton In The Community unveil community hub – ‘The People’s Hub’

A SNEEK peak inside Everton’s new community hub has revealed what it will offer for residents in the area.

Everton in the Community gave locals a chance to look inside the The People’s Hub before it officially opens in the Spring.

The facility is opposite Everton Free School in the shadows of Goodison Park, and is designed to create a ‘community campus’ and will be a home for the charity.

Everton’s community staff members have already begun moving into the site and it has already become a hive of community activity, housing many of the charity’s award-winning projects.

EitC executive director Phil Duffy, who led the tour, said: “We’re delighted to open the doors and start using our new Community Hub, helping us to further strengthen our work within the local area.

“This facility allows us to offer members of our community a safe-haven where they can socialise safely and access employment, training, education and volunteering opportunities.

“We can also provide support around physical health, dietary and provide access for isolated members of our community to engage with us via our programmes.

“We want everyone in the area to know that we are always here for them, should they ever want to visit or require support.”

Everton Ambassador Graeme Sharp, who also received his first look around the new facility, said: “It’s been a pleasure to meet so many inspiring participants and it’s great to see them enjoying the Hub so much!

“During my time as an Ambassador at Everton, I’ve been lucky enough to see some amazing work by the charity – this marks another step forward for our football family and the community we represent, we can’t wait to open the completed campus next year.”

Merseytravel Bus, Train & Ferry Services over Christmas

Here’s a roundup of bus, train and ferry services across the Christmas and New Year period.

Full details including timetables and late night bus and train services are in the Merseytravel Christmas and New Year Transport Guide.

Customers are advised to pick up a guide from any Merseytravel centre, view online in the travel updates section of the Merseytravel website or contact Traveline for details 0151 236 7676.

The Kingsway (Wallasey) Mersey Tunnel and the Queensway (Birkenhead) Mersey Tunnel will be open throughout the holiday period.

Christmas Eve – Saturday 24 December

•     Buses will run to their normal timetables, but services will finish earlier than usual.

•     Wirral, Northern and City line rail services will run to Saturday timetables with an earlier finish.

•     Mersey Ferries – The River Explorer Cruise will run, departing from the Pier Head at 1100, then hourly until the last service which will depart from the Pier Head at 1500, arriving at Seacombe 1520, Woodside 1530 and finishing at Pier Head at 1550.

Christmas Day – Sunday 25 December

•     A special network of free bus services, funded by Merseytravel, will run between approximately 12 noon and 7pm, serving most of the region’s/area’s main hospitals.

•     No other bus services will run on Christmas Day.

•     No trains will run.

•     Mersey Ferries will not operate.

•    There is FREE travel through both the Birkenhead and Wallasey tunnels between 2200 on 24th December and 0600 on 26th December.

Boxing Day – Monday 26 December

•     Some bus services will run to normal timetables, with an earlier finish. Some will not operate.

•     Wirral and Northern lines will run a limited service calling at selected stations.

•     City Line trains will not operate.

•     Mersey Ferries will not operate.

Tuesday 27 December

•    Some buses will operate a Sunday service, some services will not operate

•    Wirral Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•    Northern Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•    City line trains – there are service alterations due to engineering works in Central Manchester. For details of the Christmas and New Year services over this period, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or contact the service operator

•    Northern Rail trains between Preston – Ormskirk and Kirkby – Wigan – Manchester will run to their normal timetables.

•    ArrivaTrains Wales trains will run to a Bank Holiday service (every 2 hours)

•    Mersey Ferries – The River Explorer Cruise will run, departing from the Pier Head at 1100, then hourly until the last service which will depart from the Pier Head at 1500, arriving at Seacombe 1520, Woodside 1530 and finishing at Pier Head at 1550.

Wednesday 28 December:

•    Some buses will operate a normal or Saturday service, some services will not operate

•    Wirral Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•    Northern Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•    City line – there are service alterations due to engineering works in Central Manchester. For details of the Christmas and New Year services over this period, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or contact the service operator.

•    Northern Rail trains between Preston – Ormskirk and Kirkby – Wigan – Manchester will run to their normal timetables.

•    Arriva Trains Wales trains will run to a Bank Holiday service (every 2 hours).

•    Mersey Ferries – The River Explorer Cruise will run, departing from the Pier Head at 1100, then hourly until the last service which will depart from the Pier Head at 1500, arriving at Seacombe 1520, Woodside 1530 and finishing at Pier Head at 1550.

Thursday 29 December

•    Some buses will operate a normal or Saturday service, some services will not operate

•    Wirral Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•    Northern Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•    City line there are service alterations due to engineering works in Central Manchester. For details of the Christmas and New Year services over this period, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or contact the service operator.

•    Northern Rail trains between Preston – Ormskirk and Kirkby – Wigan – Manchester will run to their normal timetables.

•    ArrivaTrains Wales trains will run to a Bank Holiday service (every 2 hours).

•    Mersey Ferries – The River Explorer Cruise will run, departing from the Pier Head at 1100, then hourly until the last service which will depart from the Pier Head at 1500, arriving at Seacombe 1520, Woodside 1530 and finishing at Pier Head at 1550.

Friday 30 December

•    Some buses will operate a normal or Saturday service, some services will not operate.

•   Wirral Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•   Northern Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•   City line there are service alterations due to engineering works in Central Manchester. For details of the Christmas and New Year services over this period, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or contact the service operator.

•   Northern Rail  trains between Preston – Ormskirk and Kirkby – Wigan – Manchester will run to their normal timetables.

•   Arriva Trains Wales trains will run to a Bank Holiday service (every 2 hours) – see Wirral Line timetable leaflet for full details.

•   Mersey Ferries – The River Explorer Cruise will run, departing from the Pier Head at 1100, then hourly until the last service which will depart from the Pier Head at 1500, arriving at Seacombe 1520, Woodside 1530 and finishing at Pier Head at 1550.

New Year’s Eve – Saturday 31 December

•  Buses will operate a normal or Saturday service, but will finish earlier than usual.

•  Wirral Line trains will run to Saturday timetables with an early finish.

•  Northern Line trains will run to Saturday timetables with an early finish.

•  City line there are service alterations due to engineering works in Central Manchester. For details of the Christmas and New Year services over this period, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or contact the service operator.

•  Northern Rail trains between Preston – Ormskirk and Kirkby – Wigan – Manchester will run to their normal timetables with an early finish.

•  Arriva Trains Wales trains will run to a normal Saturday timetable with an early finish.

•  Mersey Ferries – The River Explorer Cruise will run, departing from the Pier Head at 1100, then hourly until the last service which will depart from the Pier Head at 1500, arriving at Seacombe 1520, Woodside 1530 and finishing at Pier Head at 1550.

(Some bus services are running later than usual for the Liverpool Vs Manchester City Match (kick off 1730). Please visit www.merseytravel.gov.uk/anfield for full travel information).

New Year’s Day – Sunday 1 January 2017

•     Some services will run to normal timetables with an earlier finish, some will not operate.

•     Wirral Line trains will run to Sunday timetables.

•     Northern Line trains will run to Sunday timetables.

•     City line – there are service alterations due to engineering works in Central Manchester. For details of the Christmas and New Year services over this period, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or contact the service operator.

•     Northern Rail trains between Preston and Ormskirk and Kirkby – Wigan – Manchester will run to their normal Sunday timetables.

•     Arriva Trains Wales trains will run to a normal Sunday timetable.

•     Mersey Ferries will not operate.

Monday 2 January 2017

•  Some buses will operate a normal Sunday service, some services will not operate

•  Wirral Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•  Northern Line trains will run to Saturday timetables.

•  City line trains – there are service alterations due to engineering works in Central Manchester. For details of the Christmas and New Year services over this period, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50 or contact the service operator –

•  Northern Rail trains between Preston and Ormskirk will run to their normal timetable.

•  Mersey Ferries – The River Explorer Cruise will run, departing from the Pier Head at 1100, then hourly until the last service which will depart from the Pier Head at 1500, arriving at Seacombe 1520, Woodside 1530 and finishing at Pier Head at 1550.

Wirral Loop Line Track Renewal

From Tuesday 3 January 2017 Network Rail will be renewing the track that runs beneath the river between Liverpool and Wirral and around the Wirral loop line. The work will be carried out over three phases.

For full details of how your train will be affected during the works visit www.merseyrail.org/trackrenewal or pick up a Passenger Information Booklet from your local station booking office

Traveline – 0151 236 7676

Traveline will be open normally between 0700 to 2000 on Mondays to Fridays and 0800 to 2000 on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays except for the following days: 24 December 0800 –1800, 25 December – closed all day, 31 December 0800 –2000.

For travel disruption information, particularly during any severe weather, please visit the travel alerts section of our website www.merseytravel.gov.uk/travel-updates

Introducing… Almitas Trust CIC

Almitas Trust CIC are a non-profit organisation, working innovatively to provide quality accommodation and support to vulnerable families.

As a novel service provider, they offer a new approach to providing parents and their babies with the support that they need, while they work with professionals to make long term plans for the children. Almitas support parents and professionals to help childrens needs to be met and their primary focus is the best interests of the child. Whilst parent/child foster placements are available, they are not the best fit for every family group that needs support. The individual circumstances, or needs of a parent or their family, can often preclude them from accessing a foster placement. Almitas Trust aims to bridge that gap, by providing true 24/7 professional, individualised support, which may not be provided within the regular family setting of a foster placement.

Almitas Trust work with other local non-profit organisations including the Venus Project, the Whitechapel organisation, Sefton Women and Children’s Aid and the Rotunda, providing clients with access to a wide range of services at minimal cost to overstretched Local Authorities.

Where possible, couples are supported to build a family unit, with access to houses or flats for young parents and their children.

Support can also include:

  • Facilitating contact transport and supervision
  • Childcare & development information and mentoring
  • Development of basic life skills such as time management, cooking, health and hygiene
  • Access to benefits advice
  • Access to counselling services

By working with parents, families and associated professionals, Almitas aim to promote positive parenting in a safe environment for children, and to empower our clients to adjust, learn and grow.

Click here to visit the Almitas Trust CIC website, and find out more about the work that they do.

Southport & Formby Community Services Survey

Since December 2015, Southport and Formby CCG have been asking local residents to give their views about the range of NHS treatments that are known collectively as community services – including blood testing, care for feet and leg ulcers, district nursing, pain control and community matrons.

Take a look at some frequently asked questions about thecurrent review and re-procurement of community services.

The views received up until the 31 March 2016 will inform the re-procurement of these services. People can still tell the CCG about their experiences of using these services after this date using the online form.

Across the NHS, commissioners have contracts with organisations like community health trusts and hospitals, which set out standards for the services they provide. Commissioners also have a legal duty to carry out re-procurement exercises for these contracts from time to time, and this helps to ensure that healthcare constantly meets expected levels of quality.

Find out more about Southp