Commemorative plaque honours Litherland church volunteer Stan Martin

A commemorative plaque has been unveiled at a Litherland church in memory of a popular community volunteer.

Stan Martin, who passed away in May last year at the age of 87, devoted 47 years to a Church Lads’ Brigade in Litherland and was a sides-person at St Philip’s Church for a remarkable 74 years.

To honour his legacy, a plaque was unveiled on Sunday, May 6th by Reverend Alan Finch and Stan’s wife Pat Martin.

During the service, Stan, known fondly as ‘Mr M’  was described as a “loving and caring person” who helped transform the church through his role on the building committee and the time he spent maintaining the grounds and woodland garden.

The service culminated with Rev Finch carrying out a dedication of a cross, which was placed in the church in memory of Pat and Stan’s daughter, Susan Tracey. As well as devoting nearly five decades to the Lads’ Brigade at St Philip’s Church, Stan was also the commanding officer for two decades and ran its 40-strong bugle band which had a superb reputation.

In 2013, Stan and Pat were given the Sefton CVS Community Award in recognition of their combined 130 years of community work.

Pat and Stan received the award from the former Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Maureen Fearn, at Sefton CVS’s annual general meeting and annual conference at Linacre Mission in Bootle.

New Year, New Challenge? Become a Volunteer!

Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner is inviting anyone looking for a new challenge for 2018 to consider becoming an independent custody visitor.

Cllr Emily Spurrell is looking to recruit more volunteers to be part of an important scheme which sees members of the community check on the welfare of people detained in police custody.

The Independent Custody Visiting programme was established following the investigation into the Brixton riots in 1981 and is now the responsibility of Police and Crime Commissioners to operate in their respective areas across the country.

The scheme sees volunteers undertake random, unannounced visits of police cells to check on the conditions and make sure those being held are being cared for appropriately.

There is currently a committed team of 23 volunteers who dedicate their time to the scheme, but the Deputy Commissioner is now looking to get up to 10 more people involved.

The volunteers visit the region’s custody suites in pairs, at varied times of the night and day, throughout the year. Once on site, they check on the welfare of those detained and the conditions within the suite and produce a report for the Police Commissioner, Jane Kennedy, and her Deputy. They can then raise any issues directly with Merseyside Police.

Emily said: “Independent Custody Visitors (ICVs) carry out an important public duty which provides reassurance to the public, the police and to me that we are detaining men and women here on Merseyside properly and caring for them appropriately.

“Detainees are potentially vulnerable and visits by our ICV volunteers are a key protection for them and a vital part of our criminal justice system, ensuring their legal entitlements and rights are respected.

“This is an interesting and rewarding role where volunteers can make a real difference within their community and get an insight into how our police system operates. By volunteering for this scheme, people can play their part in promoting the highest standards of policing. This is a fantastic opportunity for people who are looking for a new challenge for the New Year.”

The ICV scheme in Merseyside has been in operation since April 1984, when 20 members of the public were trained as visitors.

Last year, Merseyside’s ICV volunteers made a total of 265 impromptu trips to custody suites in the region, offering to see more than 2,300 detainees.

ICVs must have good observational and thinking skills, strong ethical principles and be able to maintain confidentiality. They should also be comfortable challenging authority if required. Ideally the volunteers will also come from a range of backgrounds, ages and experience.

Volunteers must be over 18 years old and live or work in the Merseyside area. Full training will be given. It is expected that volunteers make one visit a month.

How can I apply?

If you would like to apply to be an ICV, please complete the application form and equality and diversity monitoring form below and forward to the OPCC via email or post at the contact details below by Friday 2nd February 2018:

Application Form

Equality and Diversity Monitoring Form

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside,
Allerton Police Station,
Rose Lane,
L18 6JE

Tel: 0151 777 5155


For more information, please refer to the recruitment pack below:

Recruitment Pack

You can also find out more about the ICV scheme here. If you any have any other queries, do not hesitate to get in contact with the OPCC on the email address or telephone number provided.

Include IT Mersey: Volunteers needed to help improve local people’s computer skills

New Liverpool City Region project Include-IT Mersey seeks volunteer digital champions to work in local communities.

Include-IT Mersey is looking for volunteers to encourage local people to improve their digital skills by accessing free training across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral.

Volunteers will support participants to access digital training and raise awareness of the benefits of getting online in a variety of community centres and locations across the region. 

“Digital Champions don’t need to be experts in IT and computing, but will need to be friendly and comfortable in working with the public” said Lauren Jones, Volunteer Coordinator for Sefton, Liverpool and Knowsley.

“The project aims to help 750 participants to renew their motivation to learn and progress in life and gain, what will in many cases, be their first qualification”.

Include-IT Mersey volunteers will not be directly involved in delivering the training programme, but will have the opportunity to help project organisers at Digital Surgeries across the region and will provide hands-on support to learners.

“By volunteering with the Include-IT Mersey project, Digital Champions can build their own confidence and self esteem whilst helping participants to build theirs too!”said Sally Dobbing, Volunteer Coordinator for Halton, St Helens and the Wirral.

This opportunity is a chance for volunteers to help members of their local community, and the role is flexible around your own availability”.

The Include-IT Mersey project is funded by The Big Lottery and European Social Fund, and is lead by Sefton CVS in partnership with VOLA consortium and partner organisations throughout the Liverpool City Region.

For more information on this role, or to find out where your nearest training venue is, please contact Sefton CVS on 0151 920 0726 or for those online, email Full details are also available online at

Carole claims volunteer of the year award win for her services to Rotten Row

A FORMBY woman who helps keep a road in Southport  blooming has been awarded with the Friends of Rooten Row Volunteer of the Year award!

Every year the Chairman of Friends of Rotten Row gets the privilege to choose a member of the Volunteers to become our Volunteer of The year. This year it was Carole Sedzimir’s turn to take up that position.

Chairman Brian Quinn said: Caroles dedication is fantastic.

“Last year she gave up part of her annual holidays to represent The Friends of Rotten Row at their stand at the Southport Flower Show. Not only that her sense of humour and dedication in helping to maintain Rotten Row is outstanding.

“She travels in from from Formby, by train, for every work session and hardly ever misses a session.

“It is volunteers like Carole who help us to keep Rotten Row looking so good and receiving the accolades that the Friends have recieved not only from passers by but also from National Institutions like North West in Bloom and Green Flag.

“If you would like to become one of the Award winning Volunteers of Rotten Row why not come along to one of our work sessions on a Monday and Thursday afternoons also on a Tuesday morning, you will be most welcome.”

‘Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens’ Newsletter Feb/March 2017

Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens have released their latest Newsletter; Seafront Garden News.

Click here to download newsletter.

In the latest newsletter, the group talk about new projects and improvements to the gardens, as well as the Greenspaces consultation with Sefton Council. You can find out more about the Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens group by visiting:  

The Diocese of Liverpool Josephine Butler Awards 2016

The Josephine Butler Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Helen Clarey who received a £500 cheque to be given to a charity of her choice which is Willowbrook Hospice and secondly £200 of John Lewis vouchers. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Church – Mothers Union, the Union of Catholic Mothers, members of Church Councils, non-stipendiary clergy, musicians, volunteers at luncheon clubs, collecting for Christian Aid and so much more.

Helen has served many years as a churchwarden with the headaches of a Grade Two Star Listed Building namely St Mary’s Knowsley, exhausting herself with a large Christmnas Tree Festival and running an ecumenical Messy Church, has been a committee member and stalwart supporter of the St Helens Youth Brass Band, has been a member for decades of a group of singers called the Lyndales who have been committed to singing for churches and charities and an active trustee of the Diocesan Council for Social Aid whose key role is running Adelaide House our Approved Premises for Women which also focuses on gender equality and penal affairs.

Helen also has a unique role in the Church of England which due to the Diocese’s commitment has received national recognition, serving as Adviser on Domestic Abuse Issues. The prevention of Domestic Abuse is intrinsic to the Diocesan Safeguarding Policies and she has promoted this with passion, sensitivity and hard work.  She has addressed Deanery Synods, the Mothers Union, worked with our committed and efficient Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults Adviser and much more!

The second award which of £5,000 given to a Christian charity with a proven track record in areas that we think Josephine Butler would be pioneering today. This went to Wigan Churches Association for Family Welfare normally known as Wigan Family Welfare.

When the Trust was established there were two outstanding women trustees namely Marguerite (Sally) White who was the Director of Moral Welfare in the Diocese and those responsible for overseeing this organisation in a Diocesan context and Professor Kathleen Heasman who in her book The Church & Social Work highlighted the work of this organisation which started in the late fifties partly on money from the closure of a Children’s Home. From its inception it involved Anglican, Roman Catholic & Free Church members many years before the Bishop, the Archbishop and the Free Church Moderator her became the Merseyside Miracle. So this Wigan Miracle was years ahead!

Counselling children and adults, being a leading light in Wigan’s third sector, having strong support from local churches since its foundation, working with Sure Start, bereavement support, anger management, advocacy, and so much more. These have been hallmarks of this organisation which despite swingeing cuts in local authority support and ever shrinking resources has grown always in stature and normally in size.

Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust seek Dining Companion Volunteers!

What is a Dining Companion?

A dining companion is a volunteer who sits with a patient on a one to one basis and provides assistance to help them eat.  As well as helping the patient with eating, the dining companion can chat to the patient and encourage them to eat.  They keep nursing staff informed about what the patient has eaten and whether the patient has enjoyed their food.

 The Problem

In 2006, AGE UK produced a document called Hungry to be Heard as part of a national campaign to increase standards within all hospitals.  Hungry to be Heard provided a seven step improvement plan for hospitals to ensure elderly patients received better care and attention during mealtimes. 

Often elderly patients need some assistance with cutting up their food, holding utensils etc., and there is a risk they may become malnourished if they don’t have the support they need.  Malnourishment increases the risk of infection and can significantly increase recovery time. 

The Solution

The Trust operates a ‘Red Tray Scheme’ and volunteers are placed on wards to assist with menus, mealtimes, drinks and other social duties such as chatting to patients to alleviate the boredom and loneliness that can be experienced whilst staying in hospital.  Patients who are identified by staff as requiring additional support at mealtimes will have their food served on a ‘Red Tray’.  Ward staff and volunteers then ensure help is given with the meal.  This is vital to some patients who do not receive any visitors and could be lonely or anxious or may be suffering from a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s. 

Becoming a Volunteer

Volunteers go through an application process including a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check and Health Assessment Check.  They will be invited for an interview and if they are successful, will be recruited as a volunteer at Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. 

The process is kept as informal as possible as good communication skills are vital in the volunteer role and it’s important for the applicants to feel comfortable. 

If you would like any further information, please contact Chris Pilkington on 01704 704955 or email