#CleanerSeas for Sefton

Whether you swim, paddle, or simply enjoy a stroll on one of the Sefton beaches, you can be assured, once again, that the quality of the water is cleaner than at any time in the last 30 years.


For the second year in a row the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published statistics that reveal that all 31 of the North West’s bathing waters meet the government’s required standards for water quality.

The 2017 classifications of bathing waters in Sefton are;

  • Formby beach has been rated Excellent – the highest, cleanest class;
  • Southport and Ainsdale have been rated Good – generally good water quality.

Full classifications can be found here: www.environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/

A range of stakeholders have contributed to reducing pollution and improving the regions rivers, lakes and the sea, including the Environment Agency, United Utilities and the local community.

You can continue to help maintain, and improve, these standards by making small changes at home and at the beach:

• Only flush the 3P’s down the toilet – poo, pee and paper. Everything else goes in the bin!
• Pour cooled kitchen fats in the bin, not down the sink – it can cause blockages and sewage to overflow.
• Pick up after your dog and put it in the bin.
• Don’t feed birds at the beach and keep outdoor areas free of food waste.
• Always put litter in the bin or take it home if it’s full.

Roadshows Reveal New Hospital

Southport residents, local organisations and health service users are welcome to drop-in see the latest design visuals for the town’s new mental health hospital prior to construction starting here this autumn.

Active Sefton launches ‘Spooktacular’ half term line-up!

Active Sefton has released its exciting line up of activities taking place over the October half term (October 23-28).

The ‘Spooky Spectacular’ timetable includes lots of fun activities available for 2-16 year olds to keep them entertained during the school break.

Sessions include themed workshops, Everton Soccer School, archery, Born to Move music classes and the ever popular ‘Spooky Spectacular’ days are set to make a grand return.

Over forty mums and babies gather in Southport for the Global Big Latch On event!

Over forty mums and babies gathered in Southport for the Global Big Latch On event hosted by Southport and Ormskirk Hospital Trust and Breastfeeding Support Sefton.

Each year the Global Big Latch On event brings together hundreds of thousands of mums and their babies together to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding as well as the services and support offered to help new mums across the borough.

The event, held at Lakeside Church, was part of World Breastfeeding Week which runs between 1 August  and 7 August.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, added: “This is a fantastic annual event where we celebrate breastfeeding and the amazing benefits it has for babies.
“We welcomed a lot of mums and babies from across the area to the Lakeside and it was great to see so many people showing their support for breastfeeding and the Big Latch On campaign.
“It was a great opportunity for mums to come along and be part of something big – they all got to meet with other likeminded mums, speak with health care professionals from Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust and access local breastfeeding support services.”

One mum who attended with her young boy said she was eager to tackle the stigma around breastfeeding in public.

She said: “I’m here today at the Big Latch on mainly to remove the stigma around breastfeeding. 

The Big Latch On 1

“It really upsets me when mums struggle with the idea of going out for a first feed.
“I am really lucky because I have never had a negative experience but I know people who have and I just think that it’s the most natural thing in the world.



“Breast are made for feeding babies first and foremost so when people don’t agree with the feeding in public, that’s the sort of thing I want to get out of our culture because it’s natural and what we are designed to do.”


World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in 120 countries and marks the signing of the World Health Organisation and UNICEF document Innocent Declaration, which lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.

UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund, a worldwide children’s charity that address the needs of children around the world.


Double Queen’s award for Southport firm Inciner8 Limited for Ebola outbreak support

A double Queen’s Award has been presented to a Southport firm which helped tackle the outbreak of ebola in Africa last year.

The Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, the High Sheriff of Merseyside and the Lord Mayor of Southport presented the honour to Inciner8 Limited, a local manufacturer and exporter of waste incinerators based in Canning Road.

The firm picked up two Queen’s Enterprise Awards, the UK’s highest accolade for business success.

One award was for ‘International Trade’ for their incredible growth and high levels of UK exports, the second for ‘Innovation’ after the firm developed a containerised general incinerator, twinned with a heat exchanger, which captures the heat to generate hot water and hot air.

The awards were presented along with hand-carved crystal bowls and signed scrolls.

Both Lord Lieutenant and Mayor were introduced to the team at inciner8 and were shown around the factory on Canning Road where most of the assembly takes place. During their visit they were also shown the waste to energy Incineration system that won the innovation award this year.

Lord Lieutenant Lorna Muirhead, said: “The Awards we are celebrating here are not to be sniffed at – only the very best companies are selected to win these accolades, and I must say I was very proud to hear that one of the few businesses to win two awards this year was located within the North West.”

Merseyside Fire Service establish new Cadet unit in Southport.

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 youthengagementteam@merseyfire.gov.uk for more details.

Cancer fundraisers bring summer sparkle to Southport

A group of Southport fundraisers have held a summer event to raise more than £1,500 for local charity North West Cancer Research.

More than 100 guests gathered on 5 July at the annual Summer Sparkle organised by the charity’s Southport-based fundraising group.

Tickets to the event cost £10 which included a chilled glass of bubbly upon arrival and a selection of canapes handmade made by the fundraising group.

Held in the residential garden of Alan and Heather Sidebottom on Brocklebank Road, the event featured variety of stalls, allowing guests to browse through silk arrangements, jewellery and homemade produce.

A raffle which featured prizes such as award-winning wines and gift vouchers contributed £400 to the final fundraising totals.

The afternoon, which has been running for over two decades, is the most popular event organised by the Southport fundraising group each year. This year their efforts helped to raise a total of £1,570 which has been donated to North West Cancer Research.

Olive Cutts, chair of the Southport fundraising group for North West Cancer Research, said:

“The Summer Sparkle is our most popular event and every year we see more and more people come along to support us and the charity.

“I’d like to thank the whole team involved who all contributed to the delicious homemade canapes and sourcing the wine on offer. We’re all very grateful to Alan and Heather who kindly let us use their beautiful garden.”

North West Cancer Research funds life-saving cancer research across the North West and has committed to funding more than £13million worth of research over the next five years.

Sara Cooper, Committee Engagement and Events Executive, North West Cancer Research, said:

“The Southport community love the Summer Sparkle and every year the amount they raise for us just seems to grow which is phenomenal. We’d like to thank the Southport fundraising group for their continuous support and hard work in the events they put on.”

The next event to be hosted by the Southport group with be the annual Afternoon Tea at Hillside Golf Club on 16 August. Tickets are £12 and the event will run from 13:30 to 14:00 and tables of six, eight and ten are available. For more information and to purchase a ticket, please contact Olive Cutts on 01704 807857.

Sefton’s Hole In One – amazing golf-themed art structure at The Atkinson, Southport

An amazing golf-themed art structure will dominate the Southport skyline ahead of the 146th Open Golf Championship. 

With the Championship soon to tee off, Sefton Council has come up with a fitting way to engage with the local community and the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to the borough for the event.

The art structure, based at The Atkinson in Southport town centre, will stand over 10 metres tall and five metres wide – covering the entire height of the Atkinson façade – and is inspired by every golfer’s dream; a hole in one. 

Four giant golf clubs replicating the motion of a swing are placed at the top of the building, with 20 golf balls depicting the trajectory of the ball into a hole at ground level.  It’s hoped the piece of art will be a talking point and will prove a popular spot for selfies and snapshots by visitors and local residents. 

The artwork, commissioned by Wild Creations, is just one of many activities in Southport to herald the staging of The 146th Open on England’s Golf Coast having worked hand in hand with golf’s governing body, The R&A. 

During the week of the Open Championship, Southport will be running the fantastic FREE ‘Summer of Golf’ event. With interactive golf activities, golf exhibitions and lots more it will be a great place to spend some time, whether you’re a seasoned golfer or new to the game. It will centre around the Town Hall Gardens and The Atkinson, right in the heart of the town. This runs from July 15-23. 

From July 20-23, Rick Shiels and Peter Finch, golf bloggers and reviewers, will be there to give their thoughts on the day’s play. There is also a chance to win one of four lessons with them through visitsouthport social media. 

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“The hole in one artwork is a great spectacle and a great way to mark the onset of the prestigious Championship. 

“We are expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors to Sefton along with millions watching on TV for the Championship and the hole in one artwork is one of many initiatives planned to ensure everyone leaves our amazing borough with a great memory of The 146th Open. 

“Please get behind the Championship and really put Sefton in the global spotlight.” 

Johnnie Cole Hamilton, Executive Director of Championships at The R&A, said:

“We are delighted that Sefton Council have commemorated the return of The Open to Royal Birkdale with such an awe-inspiring mural in the iconic Town Hall Gardens. The Open is the one they all want to win and we are delighted that golf fans and local residents alike can celebrate the Championship coming back to Southport. 

“We have no doubt it will prove a popular tourist attraction throughout The Open for people of all ages and with The R&A offering free tickets to Royal Birkdale for all children under-16, we are confident watching the world’s top golfers can leave a lasting legacy in the area.” 

Matt Wild, Wild Creations Director, said:

“It was an honour to be invited to work with Sefton Council to create a build for The Open. 

“We knew that for such a prestigious event we would have to go big and so jointly we came up with the design of a supersize structure that couldn’t fail to catch the eye. 

“Our main goal was to create a static structure that had a sense of movement and for us the key really was in the detail so over a period of weeks every dimple of every golf ball was hand crafted with the finishing touch of the Sefton Council logo really bringing the sculpture to life.” 

Adult and Youth (16-24) season tickets are available to purchase for the 146th Open. Visit TheOpen.com/tickets for full details. 

During the Championship please follow us on twitter @seftoncouncil @visitsouthport @TheOpen and follow #TheOpen, #OpenTravel #Southporttime for advice, information and travel tips.

Sefton to Love Parks for national celebration this week (14th-23rd July)

Sefton Council is asking local residents join the rest of the UK and be part of 100 million visits to UK parks during Love Parks Week.

Love Parks Week takes place 14-23 July and is now in its eleventh year. It is Britain’s biggest celebration of these valuable spaces. The local authority is joining the celebration, and encouraging everyone to share why they love their local park.

Using #LoveParks, Sefton residents are being encouraged to take photos, videos or simply describe what they love about their parks while tagging the local authority on social media as they visit their parks.

Using this tide of public support, with people sharing how much parks matter to them and why, environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy will campaign to secure the quality of parks for future generations to enjoy.

In Sefton, the following parks and organisations will be taking part:

Southport: Botanic Gardens Community Association; Lord Street IN Bloom Volunteers; Friends of Rotten Row and Friends of King’s Gardens (all Southport).

Crosby and Waterloo: Friends of Moorside Park, Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens.

Bootle: North Park, Friends of Derby Park and Orrell Mount

Cllr. Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Well Being said:

“In Sefton we have some of the best parks in the UK and we should rightly be proud of them. Unfortunately, we can take them for granted and not fully appreciate the fantastic resource we have that makes leisure time affordable for all of our residents whatever their background. It is great to see Love Parks Week come round again to urge us to celebrate and enjoy what we have.

“While it feels timely to celebrate our parks during the summer, I would urge local residents to beat a path to their local park throughout the year – they will be surprised at the sheer variety of activities they can enjoy, from park runs to open air cinemas and everything in-between.” 

Paul Todd, Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Award manager said,

“We believe that everybody, wherever they live, should have access to a quality green space. We are asking everyone to join us in showing how much they care and helping us to protect parks for future generations.”

To find out where your local park is in Sefton, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/parks 

To tag Sefton Council in your #LoveParks posts use: @seftoncouncil (Twitter) / SeftonParks (Facebook) and @parksinsefton (Instagram)

Young carers successful in new libraries pilot

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 for children as part of the ‘Summer of Golf’

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.

Sefton parks and green spaces receive the Green Flag Award

Parks, cemeteries and green spaces in Sefton have received the prestigious Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space.The award recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country.

A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space meet the criteria to show excellence in parks management, has appropriate user facilities and that the community are involved and integral to the parks success

The full list of sites in Sefton includes: Botanic Gardens, Southport; Coronation Park, Crosby; Derby Park, Bootle; Hatton Hill Park, Litherland; Hesketh Park, Southport; Kings Gardens, Southport; Liverpool Road Cemetery, Southport; Lord Street Gardens, Southport; North Park, Bootle; Southport Crematorium and Thornton Garden of Rest.

There were also a number of Community Award winners in the borough, including: Bridge Inn Community Farm, Formby, North Park Community Garden, Bootle, St Luke’s Church Grounds, Crosby and Rotten Row, Southport.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award from Keep Britain Tidy.

“This Award recognises and highlights that people in Sefton are benefiting from a green space of the very highest quality.”

Sensory garden launches on Southport promenade

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.

‘Bijou’ Community Cinema Approved for Southport town centre

Sefton Council has granted Planning Permission for a change of use of the former Latin Lounge restaurant in Southport to an independent cinema and cafe.

The building, located on Post Office Avenue, is adjacent to the Sainsbury’s superstore in Southport town centre and is part of the Lord Street Conservation area. It has been vacant for the past year.


The plans will turn the site into an independent community ‘Bijou’ cinema and café and will bring back into use a historic building located in a key part of Southport town centre.

Cllr Daren Veidman, Cabinet Member for Planning and Building Control, said: “This is a really unique and exciting proposition that has the potential to greatly add to the vitality and vibrancy of Southport town centre.

“It offers something very different to the conventional multi-screen cinema approach we already have in town.

“Located within the heart of the town centre, it has many advantages which will hopefully encourage customers to this establishment, but also lead to spin off benefits and linked trips to other nearby businesses.

“I look forward to seeing this project realised, and wish the independent community cinema the best of luck in the conversion of this building.”

Royal Birkdale Open Golf Championship Ambassadors Take To The Streets

Visitors to the Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale will be greeted in Southport by specially appointed ambassadors.

Three new full time ambassadors will take to the streets in the resort in time for the prestigious golf championship providing a warm and friendly welcome to the thousands of expected visitors.

The ambassadors, provided by The Welcome People who have established similar teams in places such as Manchester, Leeds and London, are jointly funded by Sefton Council and Southport BID.

The Southport team will be dressed in distinctive three-piece suits, over coats and bowler hats and will meet and greet visitors, work with local businesses to promote the town and also sign post visitors to local attractions, events, shops and restaurants.

The new team, made up of Maxwell Pritchard (Max), Helen Higgins and David Charleson have already undergone extensive customer service training and have met a number of stakeholders in the town.

They will be working seven days a week for the next 12 months due to funding secured from the Coastal Community Fund.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said:

“We are delighted to have secured 3 full time ambassadors in time for The Open Golf Championship. They are local jobs for three local people with a wealth of knowledge.

“Sefton will be home to thousands of visitors during and after the Championship and the ambassadors will ensure every visitor has a warm and friendly welcome.

“The ambassadors are only possible after we secured funding from the Coastal Community Fund which will also be used to extensively refurbish Southport Pier in the coming months.”

Hugh Evans, Chief Executive at Southport BID, added:

“The Ambassadors will be our eyes and ears on the street reporting on issues such as faulty street lights, damaged paving, graffiti and litter.

“They’ll also help promote the town centre to visitors, tourist attractions, shopping areas, places of interest and events in order to make every visit to Southport a pleasant and enjoyable experience.”


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.

Sefton MBC and Southport BID prepare for Summer of Golf

Sefton Council and Southport BID are busy preparing a ‘Summer of Golf’ as hundreds of thousands of people head to the borough as part of the 146th Open Golf Championship.

There will be attractions, activities and exhibitions across Southport and the borough to entertain both visitors and residents during The Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale.

The ‘Summer of Golf’ is designed to appeal to everyone with events taking place while the golf is on along with activities in the evening to capture fans that have been at Royal Birkdale.

The Princess Diana Gardens in front of The Atkinson in Southport town centre will be the hub of the events with activities taking place daily between Saturday, 15 July and Sunday, 23 July.

Some of the interactive attractions will include ‘The First Tee Experience’, where visitors can drive off from a simulation of the first tee at Royal Birkdale. There will also be a bunker for visitors to chip out of as well as the ‘Longest Putt Challenge’.

More attractions have just been added including a ‘coaching zone’ which will offer visitors of all abilities the chance to improve their game. And there will be a golf simulator which will enable players to tackle some of the world’s most famous holes.

All these attractions will be free to experience and open to visitors young and old. You don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy them either as there will be experienced staff on hand to provide help and guidance.

Marion Atkinson, Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said:

“Hosting The Open is a major occasion for Sefton and the wider Liverpool City Region with so many people seeing what a great borough we are.

“We really want to make it accessible and interesting for residents and those visitors who are not at Royal Birkdale by getting into the swing of things. This nine-day event will provide a fun way to enjoy golf for people of all ages and experience.

“There is a lot more to be announced over the coming weeks – including a major first for Southport, so watch this space!”

Hugh Evans, Southport BID Chief Executive, added:

“The eyes of the sporting world will be on our town next month, the ‘Summer of Golf’ will be a great addition that will act as a hook to attract thousands of visitors back to the town centre ensuring all businesses benefit.”

Birkdale pensioner smashes fundraising target for Southport Gymnastics Club

A pensioner from Southport who walked 75 miles on his 75th birthday for charity has thanked Champion readers for helping him smash his fundraising target.

David Spratt, from Birkdale, walked all the way from Bootle to Burnley in eight days, and managed to raise more than £3,000 for Southport Gymnastics Club.

However after his story featured on the front page of the Champion earlier this month, David was delighted to find his total had shot up to well over £5,000!

David said: “It’s made my 75th birthday a very memorable and happy occasion and I’m pleased to hear that the future of the club is looking positive once again.

“Everyone that I have met has been really supportive of the gymnastics club and wishes to see it continue to provide its wonderful services to young people.

“There really is a great need for clubs like this and it needs our support at this critical time.

“I’m delighted that my sponsorship target of £5,000 in aid of Southport Gymnastics Club has been reached in the last few days!

“My front page picture and the article in the Southport Champion certainly helped boost donations!

“The support of so many people, clubs and organisations has been overwhelming with over 200 sponsorship donations.

“I wish to express my enormous thanks to staff or members at the following organisations who have given donations or expressed their support.

“All the funds raised will help to firmly establish a successful gymnastics club for children in the north Sefton area. Healthy exercise and sports are essential for all children but, today, there are few indoor, all-year round facilities available to them at an affordable price.

“As a result of Southport YMCA’s decision to dispose of its successful Gymnastics Club, a group of parents set up a new Gymnastics Club charity which took over from the YMCA in September 2016.

“The new club had no start-up funds and many of the facilities are over 25 years old. It needs our help!

“The club provides classes for 1,300 children per week and it is one of the important ‘social glues’ that help to hold the community together.

“It also provides healthy exercise, fun and social activities for the community and is a place where children of all abilities develop their confidence and create their cherished memories of childhood.

“Many older and wiser people have helped me in the past. It is now my turn to help today’s children in these challenging times of change for all communities.”

St Joseph’s Hospice appeals for charity shop volunteers across Sefton

The hospice has a number of stores across Sefton, and are particularly keen to find workers for their Southport and Formby branches.

Volunteering is one of the most valuable ways of supporting the hospice as its shops are a crucial source of income, raising over £100,000 each year.

This money goes directly towards caring for patients at the hospice in Thornton.

Gill Jones, 59, from Maghull, started working at the St Joseph’s Hospice shop, on Westway in Maghull, just four weeks ago.

Gill spent her career working for the family flooring business but, as the business grew, her son took over and she found herself with more time on her hands.

She said: “I still work at our flooring business a few days a week but I was so proud to step back and hand the business over to my son. However, after such a busy career, I found myself bored at home and so I decided to see it as an opportunity to do something else, something rewarding.

“As I had retail experience, I decided to visit the local hospice shop and they were so welcoming from the moment I walked through the door. I just help out one morning a week so it’s not a huge commitment but it is great fun. There’s a real family atmosphere between the volunteers in the shop and with the shop manager Susan.

“I’m very proud to support my local hospice and it keeps me entertained. I have made some lovely new friends too.”

Maggie Linge, 69, from Maghull, and Dorothy Reynolds, 73, from Lydiate, have volunteered at the hospice shop in Maghull since it opened at its previous location on Central Square.

In fact, they have both worked there since it was an Oxfam shop over 30 years ago!

Maggie said: “We both do the same morning shift we always have done. It’s great company when you’re retired. It gets you out and about and doing some good for an important local charity.

“My husband, Keith, passed away seven years ago and working in the shop helped me a lot. It gave me a real purpose to get up and do something positive. The support network was wonderful too.”

Dorothy added: “We have a really close-knit community at the shop which offers friendship and companionship. As shop volunteers, we really feel like we’re contributing to an important local charity.”

If you can spare a little time each week to help, call 0151 932 6046 or email siobhan.clinton@jospice.org.uk.

Southport coast to coast ride helps net £4k for Alzheimers Society

Five Southport businessmen have raised more than £4,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society after completing a 140-mile coast to coast bike ride.

The charity ride, from Whitehaven to Tynemouth, was organised by Andy Webster of Southport accountancy firm Moore and Smalley.

Andy and his four riding partners, Tom Flanagan, Mark Day, Matt Dunham and Paul Roberts, chose the charity because several of their family members have been affected by dementia.

The quintet completed the ride over four days from May 17-20 to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week.

Andy said: “There were ups and downs, both physically and mentally, but it was well worth it. We have been so touched by the generosity of people and our original target of £3,500 has been well beaten.

“When we stopped at a pub to eat on the first night, we won the pub quiz and so the twenty pound winnings also went in the fundraising pot. A couple on the next table also donated a tenner.

“Most people will know someone who has been touched by this terrible illness. It was important to us to be able to do something to support Alzheimer’s research and give something back to the community.”

The route taken by the group is one of the official Coast to Coast routes and included the gruelling 1900 feet climb up Hartside, which was part of the 2015 Tour of Britain route.

Hundreds to join in Race For Life in Southport this Sunday (4th June)

More than 700 women will descend on Southport this Sunday to join the fight against cancer.  Cancer survivors, mothers, daughters and more will take part in the annual Cancer Research UK’s Race For life at Princes Park on June 4 in either a 5k or 10k challenge.

Women of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes will unite to show their commitment to the cause and help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

Race For Life

Sarah Hunter, Race for Life event manager for Southport, said: “The atmosphere on Sunday promises to be electric – full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter – as hundreds of like-minded ladies come together to join the fight against cancer.

“I’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all the women who participate in Race for Life in Southport and to all the friends, family and colleagues who support them.

“Our participants play a crucial role in helping to turn discoveries made in the lab into better treatments for patients in the North West and across the UK and we rely on their incredible commitment to the cause.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, Marathon and Hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding vital research.

Money raised through Race for Life helps Cancer Research UK to fund long-term research and pioneering trials, leading to new tests and kinder treatments which could save the lives of men, women and children across the North West and beyond.

This year, there’ll be a host of on stage and course entertainment to help get the event off to a great start and motivate the runners along the route. Prior to the start, participants and their supporters will be treated to a performance by talented Singer Songwriter Hayley Murray. We’ll then have the amazing Merseyside Rock Choir motivating our amazing participants on route.

Southport’s Race for Life is the ninth in this year’s North West calendar which includes 5k, 10k and Pretty Muddy events in Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and North Wales..

Sarah continued: “Money raised through Race for Life is helping to drive life-saving research in to over 200 different types of cancer – so every person, step and penny raised counts.

“Race for Life isn’t about being the fittest, fastest or first to the finish. It’s about coming together in the fight against this devastating disease. Our aim is that one day everyone will survive cancer and the more women who Race for Life, the sooner that day will come.

“We still have places at events across the North West so this is a rallying call for mums, daughters, sisters and friends to sign up right now and help beat cancer sooner.”

There is still time to enter Race for Life events across the North West at raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.

Southport art students help to transform Kings Gardens grot spot with vibrant colour

Art and Design students from Southport College have been busy transforming a run down walkway in King’s Gardens, Southport, into a masterpiece!

Chloe Cassim, Saskia Woollam-Rees, Issy Fisher and Amy McGarry spent two days working on the mural in Southport’s popular seafront gardens, a project arrang?ed with Sefton Council as part of the ongoing restoration of King’s Gardens.

Kelly Broughton, Curriculum Leader for Art and Design, said, “We were asked to paint the mural in an area that is known for being tagged with graffiti.

“We spent two days painting the mural and the feedback from the public has been extremely positive.

“Many stopped to talk to us and commented on how happy they were that something was being done with the area. A lot of the public popped back on the second day to see the progress and complemented the girls on their good work.”

As part of this ongoing community project, Southport College Art and Design students have also been showcasing their work in art boxes around the gardens, which were originally opened by King George V more than a century ago.

Brookdale centre help conjure musical memories for dementia sufferers

A specialist Southport day service for Sefton residents with dementia turned back the clock this week to join in with a national initiative to raise awareness of the condition.

Service users at Brookdale Resource Centre in Ainsdale – run by the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions – enjoyed a day of reminiscence to mark Dementia Awareness Week which is organised by the Alzheimer’s Society.

The key feature of the event was a delicious afternoon tea which also featured live music from popular Southport vocalist Dave Benjamin, who presented a selection of classic songs from the last half-century and beyond.

Service users were soon dancing and singing along to Dave’s wide-ranging repertoire of musical memories which included rock and roll, rhythm and blues, country and western and pop and soul standards.

Brookdale Resource Centre’s day service enables the carers of Sefton residents who have an advanced dementia diagnosis to have an important respite break.

Service users enjoy a wide range of activities including arts and crafts, sensory stimulation, music and reminiscence therapies.

According to Brookdale Manager, Salwa Moustafa, it’s important for the service to lend its support to campaigns like Dementia Awareness Week.

She explained: “The main objective of today’s event was to provide fun for our service users, and thanks to the efforts of our staff and the entertainer they all joined in and had a really enjoyable time.

“However, it’s also important to use national events like these to raise awareness of dementia and the effect it can have on sufferers and their families, and in doing so to challenge the stigma associated with the condition.”

Figures indicate that someone in the world now develops dementia every three seconds, and that by 2050 around 131.5 million people around the globe will be living with the condition.

New Directions was established in 2007 as the first local authority social care trading company in the country.

Ten years on, the organisation remains at the forefront of the local care sector, with a team of more than 300 staff caring for older Sefton residents, or people with disabilities or mental health support needs.

For more information about the services offered by New Directions, or to find out about joining the team, ring 0151 934 3726 or visit http://www.ndirections.co.uk.

Forget-Me-Not appeal for Queencourt Hospice flower garden

Queenscourt Hospice staff are appealing for donations and dedications for their forget-me-not flower garden.

The Town Lane based hospice’s Forget-Me-Not Appeal encourages the local community to honour someone special by making a donation to be part of the flower garden

Last year those who kindly supported the Queenscourt Forget-Me-Not appeal helped to raise over £10,000, funding which could provide 40 night shifts of specialist nursing care to comfort, reassure and look after a patient in their own home.

This year Queenscourt hope to increase awareness of the appeal and raise much needed funds by giving supporters a range of ways to donate and remember someone special.

Harriet Wilkinson, ‘individual giving’ fundraiser, Queenscourt Hospice said: “Remembering a loved one is very personal and the Forget-Me- Not-Appeal is a unique and special way to remember and celebrate the life of someone important to you. Through this simple act you’ll also be helping to support local families.

“Behind every family we help is a huge caring team and hundreds of kind supporters who make it all possible”.

Alison Riley, a dedicated supporter of Queenscourt said: “I’m not sure what my family would have done without the amazing care the Queenscourt at Home nurses gave to my mum, Eileen, in her last few weeks.

“They helped make sure she could die with dignity at home. Donating and dedicating a flower is my way of giving something back – Mum’s birthday was in June so it helps me think of her and smile.”

In 2016 Queenscourt Hospice provided end of life care to over 700 local patients like Eileen.

Find out more about how you can support the appeal and get involved by visiting http://www.queenscourt.org.uk/ remember

A walk to remember as 1000 take part in annual Star Trekk for Queenscourt Hospice

Over one thousand people have once again took part in the annual Queenscourt Hospice Star Trekk walk.

The final total of how much the myriad of walkers have raised for the Town Lane based hospice is yet to be revealed, such is the amount of donations staff need to tally up – but they say they are overwhelmed with the support Queenscourt received last week.

Last year the walk totaled an incredible £87,000

Men, women, children and even dogs took on the seven mile round walk through Birkdale and Southport on Friday evening (May 19), most of whom have known a friend or relative who have experienced care from Queenscourt at one time or another.

Carolyn Gorman, fundraising manager at Queenscourt, said: “For once the weather was really kind to us and this helped to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere at the event.

“As usual spirits were high and the feedback that we have received so far is very positive and lots of our participants have been sharing photos with us via social media.

“We won’t know the final total raised for several months yet as sponsorship money from individuals does sometimes take a while to collect and for them to bring in, but I am hopeful with so many people getting involved that we will get close to the £87,000 raised from the 2016 event!”


Southport Care homes unite against dementia for awareness week

CARE home bosses from Southport have met for the first time in the town to help raise awareness of dementia across the care spectrum.

Organised by the Athena Health Care group, Parklands Lodge, Abbey Wood, Aaron Crest, Dale Park, Marine Care Home, the Promenade Rest Home and Aaronmore Park care home staff met at the Marine Lake cafe on the Promenade last week as part of Dementia Awareness Week

The Atkinson, Southport, launches Comedy Club 4 Kids

Comedy is always a big pull for The Atkinson and this May they are starting a Comedy Club 4 Kids – which they are aiming will be a great way for all the family to have a laugh together.

Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children (aged 6+) and their families… but without the rude bits!

A decade later, the company has expanded from one London residency to being countrywide, running shows and workshops all over the UK from Peebles to Portsmouth, even producing a book on how to write and perform stand-up.

The show is family friendly, but without any patronising idiocy. In fact, it’s just like a normal comedy club, but it’s on in the day, kids are allowed in, and thus there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like “why is that your face!?”

Comedy Club 4Kids takes place at The Atkinson on Saturday, May 27 at 2.30 pm.

Comedy Club 4 Kids will be back at Christmas with Comedy Club 4 Kids Christmas Cracker on December 16.

For more information about the event or to book, visit theatkinson.co.uk or call Box Office on 01704 533333 or buy over the counter during opening hours.

Popular Woodvale Rally returns to Southport’s Victoria Park in June

Woodvale Rally returns to Victoria Park in Southport next month with a bumper line-up of attractions to entertain all the family.

The fun-filled annual event takes place on June 17 and 18 with tickets costing just £6 for adults and £4 for children under 15.

This year organisers have secured a wide range of live performances by local bands from 11am to 5pm on both days with a guest appearance from X Factor finalist Ray Quinn on the Saturday.

The popular Mike and The Sunrockers have also confirmed, as have The Jaywalkers .

General manager Peter Wood said: “This year we have a wide range of free entertainment. Unlike other shows we like to give visitors a great day out without breaking the bank.

“The Liverpool and District Model Aircraft Society (LADMAS) will have ‘planes flying on both days.

“Classic and vintage car entries are also ‘motoring’ in and the Army will be attending with a display of heavy recovery vehicles.

“The popular Crazy Bears will be there again as will the West Lancashire Dog Display Team, which will be performing twice a day.

“Jema Leopold will also take to the main arena with her amazing performing horses.

“Other attractions include giant slides, craft and food marquee, giant car boot, collectors fair, Morris dancing and numerous trade stands.”

Woodvale Rally is run by the 1st Southport Scout Group, raising funds to help youngsters with their Scouting activities and to assist other local charities with donations.

For further information visit http://www.woodvalerally.com or email info@woodvalerally.com