Ability Plus; A new Forum for those with Disabilities in Sefton

Ability Plus is a new forum which aims to provide a voice to people living with a disability in the borough of Sefton. The aims of Ability Plus will combine the purposes of previous groups Sefton Access Form and The Ability Network to become a vehicle for anyone wanting to consult or engage with Sefton’s disabled community to get a better understanding of the needs of disabled people and the experiences they have of services. Members will also have the chance to share their experiences with other members of Ability Plus.

Ability Plus is a pan disability network, meaning it is open and represents people of all disabilities. Members of Ability Plus are all experts by experience, and  will act as a critical friends to services across the borough giving feedback on their services and the experiences disabled people have.

 The overall aim of Ability Plus is to make Sefton accessible, safe and welcoming to any disabled people living, working or visiting Sefton. Ability Plus is supported by Sefton Council and Sefton CVS.

 You are invited to the first meeting of Ability Plus which will take place at Bootle Town Hall on Monday 19th February at 1.30pm. At the meeting, we will discuss the terms of reference for the group and agree the scope of future meetings – we hope to see you there.

 If you have any queries about Ability Plus, or would like to attend the meeting, please contact Paul McCann on 0151 934 3202 or Paul.McCann@sefton.gov.uk

Formby Talk ‘From Mountaineering to the Paralympics’

At the next monthly talk at Formby Library on Tuesday, August 8, we’ll be hearing from Paralympic athlete, Deborah Cornwall.

You are invited to join Deborah and her assistance dog Dillon, to hear about her fun, thought-provoking and interesting journey from a sports crazy young woman, through to a life changing accident and different life as a wheelchair user. Deborah is a rock climber, who became a Paralympic athlete while in full time employment.

In lieu of a fee at the end of the talk Deborah will be asking for donations for the Mountain Rescue Association.

The talk starts at 2pm on Tuesday, August 8 and places are free, however booking is recommended. To secure a place contact Formby Library on 01704 874177 or email Formby.Library@sefton.gov.uk.

For more information about Sefton Libraries, log onto sefton.gov.uk/libraries

Sefton’s inspirational children with disabilities shine at para-triathlon at Waterloo Festival

Children with disabilities who took part in a para-triathlon in Waterloo have been hailed as inspirational by the hundreds of spectators who watched.

The second ever race of its kind organised by Sefton Council was held during the recent Waterloo Festival at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre.

It saw more than 30 children and young people who have additional needs swim, cycle and run through a challenging course.

They were cheered on by a strong crowd, who were at Crosby Marina for the Waterloo Festival.

Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Sefton said: “I was really inspired by everyone who took part in the para-triathlon – at Sefton Council we never take for granted how challenging competitive sport can be for children with disabilities.

“I am also really proud of the young people who came along to give them very vocal encouragement on the day.

“During the training programme at Litherland Sports Park, a group of local young people asked if they could use the bikes. Our children were wary of them but the team at Aiming High let them join in on the condition they also took part in the running practice with the group.

“During this time, friendships were forged with these young men and it was a wonderful surprise for the children to see them there to give them very vocal support on the day, and some of them even completed all three disciplines with their new friends.”

Cllr John-Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding said: “It is encouraging to see so many of our young people with disabilities pushing themselves to their limits and clearly enjoying comradery with their peers and new friends they have made.

“This event is the only one of its kind in the Liverpool City Region and I look forward to watching it grow and grow – fulfilling the ambition to be the youth para-triathlon event for the region”

John Doran of Sefton Aiming High added “This is another example of how disabled young people show the wider community what they are capable of. Ability, strength and determination were here in abundance today and we should be proud of them all.

“I would also like to thank the volunteers from Aiming High and TEAM Sefton, and the organisers of the Waterloo festival for agreeing to let us showcase the athletes’ ability not disability.”

Sefton Talking Newspaper Celebrates 25th Anniversary!

A WATERLOO charity which records and sends out news so blind people can hear about latest issues has celebrated its 25 year anniversary.

Sefton Talking Newspaper held a special event at the Northern Club in Crosby on Friday, May 13 to help celebrate the big day.

The charity, founded in 1991, has more than 100 visually impaired subscribers who receive USB sticks in the post free of charge with recorded news bulletins.

Originally, the group had used cassette players but they now use top-of-the-range recording equipment such as new microphones and laptops to move into a modern era.

At the anniversary celebrations, current listeners and volunteers were joined by MP Bill Esterson, as well as representatives from organisations for the visually impaired which have lent their support.

The chairman, John O’Hanlon, gave an enlightening talk about the organisation, its origins and activities.

The service is provided weekly and the recording room remains at St Mary’s Church Rooms in Waterloo.

For more information about Sefton Talking Newspaper, including how to subscribe or volunteer, call 0151 928 9775.

New Autism support group launches in Southport

Access Sefton has joined forces with Sefton Living Well Centre to launch a new autism support group.

Anyone who has autism, Asperger’s syndrome or cares for someone who has these conditions are invited to the first meeting of the group on Thursday 31 March.

You can also find out more about local support services in your area and meet new people. View more information here.