Civil Society Strategy Launched

Yesterday the Government launched the first Civil Society Strategy in 15 years, which will build stronger communities by bringing businesses, charities and the public sector together, and put communities and charities at the heart of decision-making.

Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, unveiled the new vision, which looks at how people, places and the public, private and social sectors can be supported to contribute even more to the creation of social value – having a positive impact on society. It will help connect and empower people to improve the areas they live, as well as bringing together these different sectors to help enrich lives and build a fairer society for all.

A lot has changed in the last 15 years. There are growing numbers of businesses looking to make a more positive contribution to society and set up primarily to do good. Charities clearly remain at the heart of civil society. But the potential for cross sector partnerships has never been stronger.

By bringing these areas together, we will unlock the huge potential of civil society, help it grow and support the next generation. This Strategy should be seen as a companion to the Industrial Strategy. While the Industrial Strategy focuses on productivity and economic growth, ours is a blueprint for community and social growth.

For more information on the Civil Society Strategy check out;
https://mailchi.mp/4da40bcf925a/for-info-civil-society-strategy-launched?e=72c3bcc868

PCC urges Community Groups to Work Together to Prevent Crime

Organisations which are working to prevent crime and protect communities in Merseyside are being invited to apply for a share of a fund aimed at helping to build stronger, safer communities.

This is the fourth year that Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has opened the Crime Prevention Fund, which is used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur, by reducing the opportunities for crime and by deterring people away from becoming involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.

A total of £135,000 is available from the fund for innovative community safety projects or schemes that will run over the next 12 months. This year the Commissioner is encouraging organisations to work together to submit bids for between £5,000 and £25,000 from the grant and she is specifically inviting applications for projects which focus on tackling serious and organised crime.

Jane said: “Serious and organised crime is, for many people, their greatest concern. It blights our communities, bringing misery and harm and causing decent, ordinary people to live in fear.

“Many organisations and community groups are already working with Merseyside Police and my office in tackling this issue, and I want to encourage and maximise this collaborative approach by encouraging organisations to join forces to bid for funding from the Crime Prevention Fund.

“Local people understand their communities better than anyone and know what will work best to improve their area.  We are fortunate to have a wealth of voluntary and community groups which are working hard to prevent people, especially young people from getting involved in crime. By pooling resources and working even closer together we can all do more to make a difference for communities across Merseyside.

“I’ve met hundreds of people across Merseyside who are really proud and passionate about the places they live in and are committed to keeping them safe and I’m excited to see their proposals for how this funding can be best spent.”

Last year, 13 grassroots organisations were chosen from among more than 70 applications to receive a share of the Fund to help make communities across Merseyside safer. Successful organisations included the Royal Court Trust, which was awarded £25,000 to continue to run the hard-hitting drama Terriers, and the educational charity Ariel Trust who received £15,000 to deliver preventative education to young people on a range of issues, including domestic and homophobic abuse, child sexual exploitation and grooming.

A £10,000 grant was also given to Breckfield and North Everton Neighbourhood Council (BNEC) to help them deliver their Making Waves project which delivers both outreach and centre-based services for young people living in areas of high deprivation to divert them away from crime.

Jane said: “Over the last year, this funding has helped to deliver some really important projects which have made a profound difference in the lives of the people they support. Even a small cash boost can be of huge benefit to many of these grassroots projects and I look forward to seeing what more we can deliver together over the next 12 months.

Any organisation wishing to apply for funding will need to show how their project works to tackle one of the following four priorities set out by the Commissioner; preventing crime and anti-social behaviour; tackling serious and organised crime; supporting victims, protecting vulnerable people and maintaining public safety; or improving road safety.

Applications will also need to show how the initiatives will deter individuals from committing crime, reduce the number of people entering the criminal justice system, or lower reoffending. They will also be assessed to see how well they will protect vulnerable communities.

The fund will be administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside (CFM), an independent charity which assists grant-making and charitable giving. Local groups who would benefit from the funding can find more details on its website here http://www.cfmerseyside.org.uk//funds/crime-prevention-fund

CFM is also available to help any organisation looking to make a bid.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Monday 11th June 2018.

Well Sefton Aims to Spread the Love on Pay It Forward Day

Well Sefton, the project dedicated to creating a brighter Bootle, has prepared a raft of activities aimed at spreading the love this Pay It Forward Day.

Pay It Forward Day is a worldwide movement that promotes random acts of kindness with the idea that those who experience an act of kindness pass it on to others.

Well Sefton has planned a series of activities that will embrace the power of giving and hopes to encourage the people of Bootle to spread the love among the community that will take place from Thursday, April 26 to Saturday, April 28.

Sefton Council Launch New Interactive Good Dog Code Campaign

Tails will be wagging with the launch of a brand new smartphone campaign from Sefton Council Good Dogs Code.

The Sefton Good Dog Code has launched a series of QR codes which will be displayed across parks, beaches and main roads in Sefton to encourage good and responsible dog ownership in the borough.

The interactive smartphone adverts are simple to use. After taking a photo of the code on a phone camera, users are directed to the Sefton Good Dog Code website which details how dog owners can encourage others to be responsible for their pets.

Local residents and dog lovers have worked alongside Sefton in the creation of the Code, which tells residents to clean up after their pets, respect those who don’t like dogs, follow the rules and ensure their dog is socialized before it mingles with other dogs.

Steve Smith, Sefton Council’s Environmental Health & Trading Standards Manager said: “The code was jointly put together by ourselves and residents to promote responsible dog ownership.

“Along with the poster and flyers, we’ll now be placing QR codes around our parks, coastal areas and cemeteries which links to the online version of the Good Dog Code.

“There are plenty of ways you can be a responsible dog owner, from making sure you clean up after your pets to respecting none-dog lovers.

“Unfortunately some dog owners are not responsible and have no regard for their community. For these few, legislation is tough on them.

“Enforcement action such as fixed penalties and possible court action can be taken against these dog owners.”

Lyn Hilton the founder of local volunteer group ‘Sefton Dogs’ added: “What began as a campaign to ensure that our dogs could enjoy off lead experience at the beach and on our local nature reserves changed into a volunteer movement which aims for a friendly, informed and responsible approach to dog ownership in Sefton.”

Since July 2017, Sefton has had a Public Space Protection Order across the borough with informs dog owners about certain rules which must be followed.

For more information about these rules and to learn more about the Good Dog Code, visit http://www.sefton.gov.uk/thegooddogcode.

Sefton Council celebrates ‘Allotment Fortnight’ – Put your mental health in bloom

Get your green fingers at the ready and go outside to do some gardening to mark allotment fortnight and support the 30 days of Sefton in Mind Campaign.

The benefits of gardening are endless, not only does it get you outside and moving but it also helps make your surroundings a lovely place to be in.

Getting involved with community gardening projects like can also help you to connect with others and keep active together.