As part of our Listen To My Voice project, Children England is delivering training for service managers in Stoke-on-Trent that will help them in their work to support young people with special educational needs or disabilities who are making the transition to adulthood. These workshops enable them to identify some of the challenges for these young people and look at collaborative ways to help break down these barriers, ensuring that the voice of young people is taken into account and understood by services. More training is planned for September and October – read the article to find out more.
Community groups which work to divert young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour are being given the chance to bid for grants for projects running during the autumn half-term, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.
Jane Kennedy has confirmed that she is once again releasing a round of funding from the Police Property Act Fund (PPA), which allows money raised from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police to be used for good causes.
It is the eighth time the Commissioner has invited community organisations, charities and groups to apply for a vital cash boost of up to £5,000 grants for grassroots initiatives which are working to help young people to make the right choices. A total of £45,000 is available from the fund for one-off grants for organisations which are committed to improving community safety, reducing crime or supporting victims.
Jane has already awarded nearly £288,000 through the PPA to organisations that are making a difference in their communities. Since July 2015, the fund has been used to concentrate on youth engagement initiatives.
The Commissioner said: “I am pleased to once again open up the Police Property Act Fund for bids of up to £5,000 to organisations which are working to make their communities safer and better places to live by engaging with young people.
“Many communities across Merseyside traditionally see a rise in criminal and anti-social behaviour during the autumn half-term, particularly around Bonfire and Mischief Night. Historically, it is also a particularly busy time for the police and the fire service. Through these grants, I want to help alleviate these issues and prevent local young people from making mistakes they may regret in the future.
“Once a young person gets a criminal record it can blight their future prospects. If we can prevent them from making mistakes at a young age we can look forward to their positive contribution to their neighbourhoods.
“I want to see these grants used to support projects that complement the excellent diversionary work carried out by Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, ensuring that young people can enjoy the autumn festivities in a safe and enjoyable way which is properly supervised.”
Last year, more than 12,000 young people were able to join organised activities run through 22 different initiatives funded through the PPA over the Halloween and Bonfire Night celebrations.
Jane added: “Local people know their communities best. They know what works when engaging with their young people and I am looking forward to reviewing their ideas and initiatives for ensuring everyone can have a safe and fun Halloween.”
The PPA fund is administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, (CFM) on behalf of the Commissioner. CFM holds funds from individuals and organisations as donors who wish to support deserving causes in Merseyside.”
All applications must be submitted online via the Community Foundation for Merseyside by 5pm on Monday 21st August. Please visit their website http://www.cfmerseyside.org.uk/funds/police-property-act-fund to apply.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published an evaluation of Pause, a voluntary programme for women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care. Findings include: the programme had a positive and significant impact on the women who took part; the programme was effective in reducing the number of pregnancies experienced by women during their 18-month interventions; women’s access to, and engagement with, services, including GP, housing, and substance misuse services, generally increased over time.
Further information: Evaluation of Pause : research report (PDF)
The Department for Education (DfE) has published an evaluation project to transform children’s services in 10 local authorities by implementing signs of safety (SoS) practice which aims to improve the quality of direct social work with children, young people and their families. Findings from a survey of 471 social workers who participated on the project include: improved quality of their assessments since the adoption of the SoS programme; better communication with families, and greater inclusion of children and young people. Findings from interviews with 270 families showed that 52% were satisfied with the contact with social workers and believed their lives had been improved as a result.
Further information: Evaluation of Signs of safety in 10 pilots: research report (PDF)
The Department for Education (DfE) has published an evaluation of the ‘No wrong door’ (NWD) programme which aimed to improve accommodation, education, employment and training (EET) support for young people who are in care or on the edge of care. Findings include: evidence to suggest that NWD is contributing to young people remaining out of the care system; evidence of a reduction in criminal activity for young people that were supported by the NWD innovation; cessation and reduction in substance use for 32% of the NWD cohort; incidents of NWD young people going missing have halved (from 503 incidents to 253) since the year prior to NWD commencing.
Further information: Evaluation of the No wrong door innovation programme: research report (PDF)
The Department for Education (DfE) has published an evaluation of the effects of the Safe families programme on child outcomes in England. The programme provides vulnerable families with support for respite for children, friendship for the main carer and resources to help make the family home a healthy environment. Findings from the evaluation suggest that Safe families can divert cases away from the social care system, and that carers and children supported by the programme appeared to be satisfied.
Further information: Safe Families for Children: evaluation report (PDF)
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults has published a briefing report looking at the needs of children targeted by gangs and risks to their safety and highlighting how risks of grooming for criminal exploitation by gangs are not routinely identified when a child is reported missing to the police. Recommendations include: the Department for Education should ensure the risks of grooming and exploitation for criminality should be included on the curriculum for healthy relationships and taught in both primary and secondary schools; resources for parents and carers should be made available; a new national database for missing people implemented as soon as possible to make it easier for police to share information about missing young people across force areas.
Source: Missing People
The Children’s Society has published a report looking at ways for children’s services and the police to work together to share information about missing children to better inform risk assessment, and build local intelligence of places and adults that may pose a risk to children. Findings from Freedom of Information (FOI) responses from 104 English local authorities and 37 English police forces include: vulnerable children who run away are left at greater risk of abuse, harm and exploitation because important information about children is often not being shared between the police and local authorities; under two thirds (62) of local authorities that responded to the FOI do not share risk assessments with the local police for all looked-after children in their care.
Source: Children’s Society
The University of Manchester has published findings from a study of suicide by children and young people aged under 25 in England and Wales during 2014 and 2015. Information collected on 922 suicides includes: 9% of under 20s who died had been looked after children, and self-harm was reported in 52% of under 20′s and 41% of 20-24 year olds who died.
Source: University of Manchester
Further information: Suicide by children and young people (PDF)
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a review of the fostering system in England. The review, commissioned to inform the national ‘stocktake’ of fostering announced by the government in 2016, includes: a description of the current fostering system; a review of what works, and where improvements could be made to improve outcomes for children; a review of the evidence to identify gaps in the evidence base.
Further information: The fostering system in England: evidence review (PDF)
The Department for Education (DfE) has published statutory guidance setting out the legal responsibilities for those who exclude students from educational settings in England.
Ditch the Label has published the annual bullying survey for 2017 measuring young people’s experiences of bullying and looking at what it’s like to grow up in a digital world. Findings from a survey of more than 10,000 young people aged 12-20 across the UK show that: 54% of young people said they had been bullied at some point; of those bullied in the past year 37% developed social anxiety, 36% developed depression and 24% had suicidal thoughts; 69% of respondents said they had done something abusive to another person online.
Source: Ditch the Label
Further information: The annual bullying survey 2017
The Guardian reports that the Royal College of Psychiatrists have said that the number of children and young people seeking help from mental health services has spiked following recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.
Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons in England and Wales has published the Annual report for 2016-17. The report includes a chapter on children in prison and highlights concerns with Young Offender Institutions (YOI) and Secure Training Centres (STC) including: of the four YOI units inspected, only the two smallest were judged to be reasonably safe; all of the STCs were judged to be insufficiently safe, with poor behaviour management, high levels of violence and overuse of force to manage children.
Source: HM Inspectorate of Prisons
Further information: HM Chief Inspector of Prisons for England and Wales: annual report 2016–17 (PDF)
Ofsted is consulting on proposed changes to the inspection of voluntary adoption agencies (VAAs) in England. Proposals include: all VAAs will receive one inspection in a 3-year period and one overall judgement irrespective of the number of premises they use; the notice period for the inspection of VAAs is reduced from 10 working days to 2 working days. The deadline for responses is 04 August 2017.
The Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of East Anglia (UEA), has launched a website to support school and college staff in understanding abuse and neglect from the child or young person’s point of view. The iCAN website includes free training materials and resources for schools and colleges, and a framework to help teachers and other school and college staff to be alert to children and young people who may be experiencing abuse or neglect, and to better understand: to what extent children and young people recognise maltreatment and how they decide whether to tell someone about it; how they may show their distress, even when they can’t talk about it; and what children and young people think about the help they receive.
Further information: iCAN
NHS Digital is running a series of webinars in August and September to help healthcare organisations and local authorities learn more about Child Protection – Information Sharing (CP-IS) and how to implement it. The CP-IS project is linking IT systems together and helping organisations to change business processes so that child protection information can be shared securely between local authorities and NHS unscheduled care settings. CP-IS aims to ensure that health and social care staff have a more complete picture of a child’s interactions with health and social care services.
Source: NHS Digital
Further information: Implementing Child Protection Information Sharing (CP-IS)
lCP-IS: what is it and how does it work? (YouTube video)
Law firm Farrer & Co have published an article looking at ways in which organisations that work with children can create a culture or introduce a policy whereby all concerns about adults – including those that do not meet the threshold of an allegation – are shared and responded to responsibly and appropriately.
Source: Farrer & Co
The Department for Education (DfE) has published statistics showing the levels of permanent and fixed-period exclusions by school type in England. The figures show that disruptive behaviour was the most common reason for both permanent and fixed period exclusions; pupils with identified special educational needs (SEN) accounted for almost half of all permanent exclusions and fixed period exclusions. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has released interim findings from research which indicates that one in two pupils permanently excluded from schools have a mental health issue.
Further information: Permanent and Fixed Period Exclusions in England: 2015 to 2016 (PDF)
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a report looking at the reasons behind children being referred to children’s social services more than once. Analysis of data for 498,867 children referred to children’s services during the financial year 2010 -11 show that: older children are less likely to be re-referred; disabled children are noticeably more likely to be re-referred than non-disabled children, when their primary need is not their disability.
The NSPCC has published a summary of risk factors and learning for improved practice for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) based on findings from case reviews published since 2015. The summary highlights issues for learning including: listening to young people; understanding how young people use social media and awareness of the influence of websites which promote destructive thinking and behaviour; working with young people who don’t want to engage; and intervening early.
The Department for Education (DfE) has published findings from an evaluation of the effectiveness of the London Infant and Family Team (LIFT) service. The service used the New Orleans Intervention Model (NIM), a service approach that provides intensive assessment and treatment for families of children aged 0-5 years in foster care, which informs recommendations to the court about adoption or permanent return to birth families. LIFT which was delivered in Croydon by the NSPCC in collaboration with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The evaluation found that the LIFT service and NIM in general have the potential to address some of the challenges in Family Courts arising from a lack of analysis and evidence, leading to judges expressing concern about some plans that are presented to them.
Would you like to make new friends, help out in the community and take part in fun firefighting drills?
If so, then why not apply to be a Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Fire Cadet?
We are opening a new Fire Cadet unit in Southport this September and we are looking for young people aged 13-16 to take part.
Beginning on Wednesday, September 13 the unit will meet every Wednesday from 6-8pm. As a cadet, you will get to learn about fire safety, road safety and water safety, take part in outdoor activities, fundraise for your community and gain a certificate.
Interested? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Young carers from Southport recently took part in a unique pilot to help them meet challenges they face in their everyday lives.
The initiative from Sefton Council’s library service and Sefton Carers Centre, will enable young carers with a love of reading to indulge their passion while learning new skills.
Twelve girls from Greenbank High took part in the first session at Formby Library, after they were identified by their school as being at risk of falling behind in their studies due to their caring responsibilities.
At the pilot they were introduced to the library service’s e-lending service, Borrowbox, so that they do not have to worry about fines for late returns, while being able to reserve many more book and audio book titles.
Apprentices at Formby Library, who have developed their videography skills through the pioneering Chapters apprenticeship scheme with Sefton library service, passed on their knowledge in workshops they delivered to the young carers.
Supporting the apprentices was Louisa, a library assistant in Formby Library, who herself has been a young carer. The workshop was a huge success, culminating in a young carers book review, which you can watch at:
Cllr. Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities said:
“It is very heartening to see these young women grasp the opportunity presented to them with such aplomb. It is also pleasing to see our libraries and Sefton Carers Centre working together to make a real difference to young people’s lives.
“Sefton’s library service is consistently delivering new and innovative programmes tailored to our communities, helping them to tackle a wide range of issues, from social isolation to joblessness and much more besides”
“If you have not done so already, visit your local library. You will find they are vibrant places with a world of information, advice and help in a welcoming, fun environment.”
Andrea Watts, Head of Communities at Sefton Council said:
“For many young carers, reading books can be about escapism when they cannot meet their peers outside of school. Introducing them to the e-lending service is such a simple but brilliant idea – I hope this is the start of something special.
“Young carers juggle lots of different worries that can affect their mental well being, so we should not underestimate bringing the girls together for this pilot. It enabled them to socialise and have fun around their love of books and meeting apprentices and staff at the library.
“That their first book review was so composed and polished, is something that both they and the library apprentices should be very proud of.”
If you know a young carer who struggles due to their caring role, tell them about Sefton Carers Centre. You can contact Sefton Carers Centre on 0151 288 6060. You can also discover support for young carers by asking at your local library.
Free golf lessons are available for children at the Summer of Golf interactive village in Southport town centre.
The village, in the Town Hall Gardens outside The Atkinson, has been set up by Sefton Council and Southport BID for visitors and residents during the Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale.
Special golf lessons just for children aged three and above are taking place with PGA professionals.
The lessons are from 11am-noon and 3pm-4pm on Thursday, July 20 and 10am-11am on Friday, July 21.
Just head to the interactive village to find out more.
The Star Centre will be offering a Young person’s drop in: Every weekday 3.30 to 7.30pm & Saturdays 1 – 4pm
Call in for informal & friendly advice, support & information on subjects such as low mood, relationship concerns, worry, stress or anxiety.
- Counselling & therapies
- Wellbeing courses
- ADHD Foundation
For more information Click Here
Young People Sexual Health Drop-in – starting Wednesday 26th July
Then Every Wednesday
3.30pm – 5.30pm
Linacre Lane, Bootle, L20 6ES
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher was on hand to deliver a donation to a local primary school to help them transform a waste land into an outdoor learning facility.
The former Reds star, from Bootle, delivered a £798 cheque to Rice Lane Primary School, in Walton, after his official charity, the 23 Foundation, agreed to lend their support.
Staff at the school want to carry out a wide-scale refurbishment of an piece of land within the school grounds which has been used as a “dumping ground” and turn it into a space for children.
A spokesperson for the school said: “At our school, we have an outdoor quad area that is currently going to waste. It is used as a dumping ground and we felt that this could be a valuable space for reading, mindfulness and some outdoor learning opportunities.
“We set up an Enterprise Team to start raising money to go towards revamping this area. We put on some movie nights and charged children after school, made a few competitions in school and we put on a staff race night.
“We have recently put on an Enterprise Extravaganza. Each class had £10 start up money and had to make a profit. The children designed their advertising and stall and came up with their own money making idea.
“I heard about the 23 Foundation and got in touch. After numerous discussions, the foundation offered some match funding and to reach out to companies and businesses they have links with to try to further support us.
“We would like to thank Jamie, Les Wright and everybody else at the 23 Foundation for their huge support and ideas so far and hope that this is a lasting relationship for us.
“It isn’t always easy to raise money as we have so much going on in our school, so the support is valued and we know that revamping this area would not have been possible without their generosity.”
As well as the donation, the 23 Foundation also offered the class who raised the most money a trip to Jamie Carragher’s Soccer Schools for some football training.”
A sensory garden to help educate youngsters about nature, has opened in the town. The garden has been created within the community area of King’s Gardens on the Promenade thanks to the hard work of local volunteers.
The Friends of King’s Gardens group worked with the Green Machine – made up of representatives from Holy Family, Holy Trinity, Meols Cop, and Linaker Primary School, to plan, design and plant the garden for everyone to enjoy.
As part of the project the children learnt about the five senses and how these could be applied to create a unique sensory garden. Sefton Council’s parks and greenspaces team supported the project and a detailed plan was developed.
The garden includes grasses to make gentle sounds when the wind blows, herbs that smell of coca cola, curry, peppermint, and lavender, strawberries to taste, flowers to create a stunning visual effect, and touch boards that were made with objects from Sefton’s coast.
The garden is open every day and can be easily accessed via a ramp at the end of the Lower Promenade.
Young visitors to Sefton’s libraries will be making their own stories during the school holidays as they enjoy a rich programme of fun learning opportunities.
All libraries will continue to host craft days, StoryTime and RhymeTime sessions throughout the summer holidays.
In those libraries with the the mobile zoo, there is a charge of £2.50 per person for this activity.
Bootle Library will be busy throughout August, with a Fun Day (3 August); finding fun ways to explore the relationship between buildings and people with Emily Speed and the Possibilities Club (7-11 August, 12-3pm), hosting a mobile zoo (10 August, 10.30-11.30am) and free print workshops (24 August, 10am-1pm) with local artists from The Bluecoat in Liverpool.
Crosby Library will be playing host to a wide range of fun activities during the summer holidays. Children and young people can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge from 3 July, with this year’s theme of Animal Agents. They can also enjoy craft sessions (every Wednesday, 2.10pm), the mobile zoo (8, 14, 22 August), Lego club (every Saturday, 10.30am – 12.30pm) , print workshops and more.
Formby Library will provide a haven for children and young people throughout the summer, with free craft sessions (25 July and 10, 30 August, 2.30-4pm) for children up to 8 years of age; mobile zoo* (3, 17, 24 August, 2.30pm), print workshop (22 August, 1.30-4pm).
Formby will also host Sefton Rangers with their wildlife craft session on 7 August, 2.30pm.
Meadows Library (Maghull)
At Meadows Library in Maghull they welcome the mobile zoo on 4 / 11 / 18 August, 2.30pm and Sefton Rangers on 21 August.
There will also be free summer craft days on 2 and 16 August.
The summer holiday programme at Netherton Library begins with a free print workshop (31 July, 1.30- 4.30pm), which is followed by the mobile zoo* (10 August, 2.30- 3.30pm); Sefton Rangers animal craft (15 August, 2.30- 3.30pm)
The mobile zoo and the Sefton Rangers will be bringing wildlife to Southport Library, which is set in the beautiful surrounds of The Atkinson.
Special animal themed craft sessions for children will take place 28 July and 1 September, 10.30 -11.30 am.
Southport Library will also have RhymeTime and StoryTime sessions alongside the usual craft days.
– Summer of Golf –
School holidays will not yet be in full swing as The Summer of Golf takes over Southport during the week of the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. Families can enjoy a huge range of golf themed activities, from playing some of the world’s most famous holes in the golf simulator to competing on the putting course and more…
– Head to the Coast –
Sefton’s beautiful coastline will be a hive of free activities for the whole family, whether hunting mini-beasts in woodlands or going wild on fun days, there is lots to enjoy. You can discover what is happening on Sefton’s coast by visiting 2017 The Year of Sefton’s Coast.
Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre will be helping young people to harness their skills on the water with the KIDZ H2O programme. During the Summer school break, they can take part in Adventure Days where they will enjoy sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, bell boating, open canoeing, climbing, raft building, rowing, problem solving and stand up paddle boarding. Adventure Days take place Monday-Friday, 9.30am -4.30pm, with wraparound care for working parents from 8.30am – 5.30pm. Adventure Days are priced
Splash World in Southport is offering visitors a free splash every fourth visit from 1 May – 30 September. Find out more about this fantastic offer and admission prices at the Splash World website
– Be Active –
The coast is not the only place where children and young people can let off steam, as the Be Active summer programme gives them lots of fun physical activities and some respite for parents too! This summer’s programme includes gymnastics, archery, Rampworx, Judofit, Born to Move music classes, carnival themed dance classes, baby ballet and fitness bootcamps.
Be Active will again be hosting the very popular football camps, which will be in partnership with Everton FC.
– Out and about in Sefton’s parks –
There will be lots of excitement in Sefton’s parks at the Community Fun Days where families can enjoy bouncy castles, go-karts, fairground rides, circus skills workshops, face painting, crafts and more. Fun days take place 22 August, Sandbrook Road, Ainsdale, 25 August, South Park, Bootle, 29 August, Hightown and 1 September, Rainbow Park in Melling.
– Outdoor Cinema Screenings –
Southport’s King’s Gardens will be hosting another series of the popular outdoor cinema screenings, showing Hairspray (21 July), Grease (16 August) and Pete’s Dragon (2 September). While the screenings are free, the Friend’s of King’s Gardens ask that visitors consider a minimum donation of £2. Food is available on site but visitors can bring their own. It is also recommended that visitors bring their own seating and blankets.
– Cultural pick ‘n’ mix at The Atkinson –
The Atkinson in Southport will he hosting another cultural pick ‘n’ mix for families during the summer holidays.
The Hairy Maclary and Friends Show takes place 31 July and is for children aged 2 years and over. It is a magical performance that combines music and singing with children’s favourite Hairy Maclary tales.
The popular family film showings will be returning throughout August, showing every Wednesday at 2.30pm. This summer, families can enjoy Finding Dory (2 August); Sing (9 August); Jungle Book (16 August) and Beauty and The Beast (23 August). Tickets for these films are priced at £3 per person.
– Create your own story with Sefton’s libraries –
Young visitors to Sefton’s libraries will be able to write the story of their own Summer by getting involved in a rich variety of activities and events, including: The Summer Reading Challenge, mobile zoo, Sefton Rangers wildlife sessions, print workshops with artists from Liverpool’s Bluecoat, Lego club, arts and craft sessions, family fun days and more.
– Aim High with Family Fun Days for disabled children –
Sefton’s Aiming High for Disabled Children Service will be giving children and young people in Sefton a fun summer of engaging activities. In order to take part in this fantastic short breaks programme, children need to be registered with Aiming High’s Short Breaks team.
For those not already registered with the service, they will be hosting a series of Family Fun Days at Christ the King High School in Southport and Rowan Park School in Litherland. These special events are a great chance to find out more about the service and register your child(ren) with them while enjoying activities such as the mobile zoo, bouncy castle, face painting and more.
To find out more, contact Aiming High on 0151 288 6811 or by email
– Young people look North for a unique summer arts project –
Young people in Sefton will be using their creativity and artistic talents to think about their place in the world as part of a special exhibition during the school holidays.
The Our North project is a series of workshops and culture walks at The Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, created especially for young people in Sefton to work toward an Arts Award accreditation.
Derived from the North exhibition at The Open Eye, the workshops look at issues of identity, discrimination and culture through photography and fashion, especially through the lens of young people and their identity.
The workshops take place 1, 8, 10, 15, 22 and 29 August and are a partnership between Sefton Council’s youth services, the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool John Moores University, FACT and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
To take part in this unique opportunity, contact Sefton Council’s Integrated Youth Service on 0151 934 4899 or by email