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Adopters needed across Merseyside

The regional adoption agency for Merseyside is highlighting the need for more people to provide homes for children.

As National Adoption Week gets underway on Monday October 15, Adoption in Merseyside (AiM) – which recruits for local authorities in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral – is urging people to think about providing a loving, stable home for Merseyside’s children.

Adopted children are unable to live with their birth families for many reasons and move to live permanently with a new family, taking their surname and assuming the same rights and privileges as if they had been born to them.

Children who need adoptive families often need a little extra from their new parents, and over the next year AiM is looking to recruit over 80 sets of adopters.

Jenny Ness, Head of Service for AiM, said: “Becoming an adopter is life changing, for everyone involved and is the single most important thing that will ever happen to a young person as it completely transforms their life chances.

“For the adopter, there truly is nothing more rewarding or fulfilling.  Although the process of becoming an adopter has to be extremely thorough, we try and make it as pain free as possible.

“I would urge anyone who has ever thought about adoption to get in touch with us – it could be the best decision you ever make.”

You will need to have a child-friendly lifestyle, provide a stable environment and be ready for the challenge and lifelong commitment of adoption. You will also need time, patience, love and resilience to help a child reach their full potential.

Adoptive parents from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed as it helps to be able to match them with children who have very varied needs.

Applications are open to people from all backgrounds regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.  Couples, single people, disabled people and people from all cultures are welcome.

AiM are particularly looking for parents who can offer a home to children of all ages who:

  • Are part of a sibling group
  • Are disabled or have a medical condition
  • Have complex needs
  • Are from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds

You must be:

  • Over 21 and mature enough to meet the demands of parenthood
  • Fit and well enough to care for children until they are adults
  • Able to offer a secure home with a spare room for one or more children

A drop in adoption information evening is being held on Tuesday 30 October from 4-7pm in Garston. Please contact AiM directly on 0151 477 8700 for further details

For more information about adoption, log on to www.adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk or call 0151 477 8700.

Young Liverpool City Region boxers fly to Louisville as part of Cultural Exchange

Metro Mayor Boxing

A group of six young boxers, representing all six of the local authorities which make up the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, are jetting off to Louisville today, as part of the next stage of a sporting and musical exchange between the Liverpool City Region and Louisville, Kentucky.

 The exchange celebrates and strengthens cultural links between the Liverpool City Region and Louisville, Kentucky, exemplified by the iconic photograph of The Beatles meeting Muhammad Ali on 18 February 1964.

 In the first part of the exchange, Carly Johnson, an up and coming singer from Louisville, travelled to the Liverpool City Region to play gigs at the legendary Cavern Club and the influential Liverpool Sound City festival.

 Now, the young boxers, aged between 15 and 17,  will travel to Louisville to train at the TKO gym and visit the Muhammad Ali Centre, whose mission is to preserve and share the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be.

 Talking about the exchange, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “In The Beatles and Muhammad Ali, Liverpool City Region and Louisville produced two of the biggest cultural icons of the 20th century.

“More than half a century on from the famous photo that brought these icons together, we are determined to build on those links to create a strong cultural and sporting partnership that will bring our two regions together, paving the way for future cultural and commercial collaborations.”

 Greg Fischer Mayor, Louisville Metro Region, said: “This exchange builds on the Transatlantic connection that Louisville and Liverpool established through the meeting of world-changing artists and a barrier-breaking athlete.

“The Champ and the Fab Four were committed to making the world a better, more compassionate place —  a common bond that’s always worth celebrating.”

 The young boxers have been brought together by the Amateur Boxing Association, which will also provide two coaches to lead the Liverpool City Region team.  

 Paul King, of the Merseyside and Cheshire Amateur Boxing Association, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these talented young boxers as they represent the Liverpool City Region.  They are really excited at the prospect of training in Ali’s home town and visiting the Muhammad Ali Centre, as well as going into local schools to meet young people from Louisville.  In addition to the benefits to the individual young people, this sort of exchange will also help to build bonds between our two areas.”

Jigsaw Group helps house more than 250 people with affordable homes in Bootle.

On September 18, Peter Dowd MP joined Jigsaw Homes Group Chief Executive, Hilary Roberts to officially launch our new development on Buckley Hill Lane, Bootle, with a ceremonial tree planting.

 Jigsaw Group worked closely with Sefton Council, Homes England and Seddon Group to deliver the £5.6m development of 57 new homes in August 2018. Comprising of 39 bungalows, 14 apartments and four houses all available for affordable rent, the development offers a mix of properties all let to local people with a housing need.

The development incorporates numerous energy efficiency features and the design maximises the effective use of space.

 Less than two miles away on Beach Road, Jigsaw Group developed a further 35 homes for affordable rent.  In total, the two developments provided new homes for more than 250 people in the area.

 Hilary Roberts, Jigsaw Homes Group Chief Executive said, “This highly enjoyable event celebrated our successful partnerships in delivering much needed affordable homes in Sefton.  We will continue to seek opportunities to provide more affordable homes across Merseyside.”

 Peter Dowd MP said “It was a pleasure to be at the official launch of the new development on Buckley Hill Lane. It’s a brilliant example of what positive partnerships can deliver, new affordable homes for local people and providing long lasting home security.  It’s good to see a Labour Council working proactively with developers to tackle the housing crisis.”

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, added: “Both the Buckley Hill Lane and Beach Road developments offer much needed and good quality housing for residents in Sefton. This scheme highlights how positive working relationships between a developer and the Council can bring about high calibre housing design and expediently delivered developments.”   

 We pride ourselves on providing quality new affordable homes.   As an approved Homes England partner, Jigsaw Group, formed following the merger of New Charter Group and Adactus Housing Group, is one of the biggest developers in the country.  The Group delivered 800 new homes in the last financial year and successfully housed over 3,000 people across the local authorities it works in.  Looking ahead, the Group’s development strategy aims to provide 2,700 new homes over the next three years.

 For more information, visit www.jigsawhomes.org.uk or Twitter @JigsawHG.

Big Blues Festival Countdown

It’s nearly that time of year…one of The Atkinson’s favourite events returns with a stronger than ever line up.

 The Big Blues Festival is now in its fourth year and once again it promises to be a weekend of great music, great food,  great ale and great fun as we celebrate what rock, rhythm and blues has to offer!

 The line-up is as big as it is bold and presents music that is desperate to be heard, with headliners  DrFeelgood and  Ian  Siegal, it’s a weekend you really don’t want to miss!

 Formed on Canvey Island in Essex in the early 1970s, Dr Feelgood remains one of the most popular and exciting live rhythm and blues acts in the world. The raw and uncompromising style of their performance resulted in the album Stupidity that immediately went to the number one position in the U.K. charts.

 Dr Feelgood have also enjoyed global success with a string of hit singles including Milk and Alcohol, Roxette, Back in the Night, Down at the Doctors, She Does it Right, Going Back Home and See You Later Alligator – which gave the group their first gold record.

 The current line up features the rhythm section Kevin Morris on drums and Phil Mitchell on bass, both 29 years in the band and Steve Walwyn on guitar who has been with the band for 23 years. Vocalist Robert Kane (formerly of the Animals) is the most recent addition – joining in 1999 after the tragic death of Lee Brilleaux. The band continues to tour extensively throughout the World and enjoy a loyal following at home and abroad.

They are supported by George Shovlin and George Lamb the winners of 2017 Little Blues Acoustic Stage.

 Ian Siegal needs no introduction; he’s a force within the UK blues scene winning countless awards. In more than a quarter century of touring Ian Siegal’s mission statement has barely changed: songs that are real, shows that resonate, vocals served raw. Today he is considered by many to be the most compelling British blues artiste since the great names of the sixties.

 In 2018 he will be touring a new album, his first studio recording of new songs in six years. Produced by American Jimbo Mathus, it is classic Siegal: full of the dark and light, clever word play and rough-hewn voicebox he is known for. It also marks the first studio recording with the band he hooked up with in 2013. Frequent touring has evolved a distinctive sound featuring Dusty Ciggaar’s tex-mex infused guitar licks. We are delighted to have him headlining the Saturday night of our 2018 Big Blues Festival.

 Xander and the Peace Pirates are a testament to musical integrity and personal strength. Combining soul, blues and rock, their pervasive blend of inspired song writing and memorable performances has already seen them enrapture audiences from around the world.

 Brothers Keith and Stu Xander were discovered on YouTube by Gibson Brands CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, and during their subsequent performances for the company at numerous international events from LA to Dubai, the band caught the attention of not just an ever-growing collective of fans but also industry legends such as Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rolling Stones) and Rick Allen (Def Leppard).

 Defying all expectations, lead singer and guitarist Keith Xander was born without a right arm below the elbow and plays guitar using a prosthesis and hook with a pick attached at the end. Although many who have seen Keith play believe him to be an extraordinary guitarist despite of his falsely perceived ‘disability’, he is a virtuoso musician in his own right and his playing rivals the best in the industry. The band established themselves as a live-performance juggernaut.

 Sam Kelly’s Station House has been in the business more than 40 years . His “Station House” band has been featuring on the U.K. music scene for many years. A “groove” band with dancing very much in mind. Their musical catalogue includes Johnny Guitar Watson, Keb Mo, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Gary Moore, Stevie Wonder, Little Feat, to name but a few. The band’s unique sound is influenced by New Orleans second line, soul, jazz, calypso, reggae and British funk.

 With three ‘lead’ singers supported by percussionist and internationally acclaimed drummer, the result is an eclectic fusion of music with its roots firmly based in the blues.

 The UK blues sensation Rebecca Downes is fast establishing herself as one of the star attractions amongst the new vanguard of blues performers in the UK, with her unique and powerful voice, drawing influences ranging from Blues and Soul to Jazz and Rock.

 Tom C Walker will be on the road with his new 4-piece band. A finalist of the UK Blues Awards, in 2017 he released the Into Space EP with the single Sweet Angel, straight in the Top 20 in the IBBA Blues charts while selling thousands of copies world wide in the first few months of release.

 In July 2017 The Tom Walker Trio hit the road for Tom’s first headline UK tour, “The Into Space UK Tour,” quickly selling out the Birmingham show before playing before Mungo Gerry at the legendary Ealing Blues Festival.

 Big Blues Festival tickets are on sale now £48 festival ticket / £35 Saturday ticket / Headline gigs are available for Dr Feelgood and Ian Siegal £17 available online at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/big-blues-festival-2018/ via the Box Office on 01704 533333 and over the counter during opening hours.

 Don’t forget the Blues Matters  Little Acoustic Stage entertaining everyone in the foyer on Saturday lineup includes;  Mojo Hand – 1.30-2.15pm, Michael Woods – 3.15 – 4pm, Rowland Jones – 5-5.45pm and Trevor ‘Babajack’ Stieger –  5.45-6.30pm.

 Join the mailing list online and stay up to date with the events, activities and exhibitions coming up at The Atkinson. Plus receive offers!   

Comedy Takes Centre Stage at The Atkinson this Season

Gary Delaney

Food, Murder and Brontë are just three of the subjects covered in The Atkinsons jam-packed comedy line-up this season! 

 Big names such as Dave Spikey, Gary Delaney return whilst Rob Newman makes his first appearance at the Southport venue. 

 Former Detective Sergeant Alfie Moore tells us all about Getting Away with Murder in his latest stand-up tour. Award- winning comedian George Egg (the Anarchist Cook) demonstrates more live cooking and hilarious comedy.

 Lipservice are back with the Brontë spoof Withering Looks and we have our very own Laugh out Loud Comedy Club bringing some of the very best stand-up to Southport.

LipService – Britain’s favourite literary lunatics are back with their cult Brontë spoof Withering Looks.

 In the 200th anniversary year of Emily’s birth, the classic comic duo Maggie Fox and Sue Ryding, just couldn’t resist the urge to dust off their crinolines, wear flattering bonnets and sit at rained-lashed windows in a pale and decorative manner. Don’t miss the chance to share in the silliness too!

 Withering Looks on Friday 5 October takes an authentic look at the lives and works of the Brontë sisters, well, two of them actually, Anne’s just popped out for a cup of sugar. Who is the Brontë’s mysterious neighbour, Mr Moorcock of Ravaged Heath House? Do Lost Souls really wander the wild and heather clad moors? Who should Cathy marry? Heathcliff or David Niven? Plus, Manchester’s very own Mrs Gaskell drops by for tea and sympathy. Ages 10+ Tickets £15 adult / £10 under 16s.

 George Egg: DIY Chef comes direct from total sell out UK tours on Friday 19 October . A health scare sees George banned him from the family kitchen, but relocated to the garden shed his imagination and resourcefulness lead him to build an improvised kitchen there instead. During an inspiring and inventive evening of stand-up, live cooking and comedy lecture, George prepares a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner using the most unconventional of methods.

 It’s funny, inspiring and absurd in equal measure. Expect power tools, gardening equipment and office supplies to be re-purposed and abused. Expect lots of laughs. Expect to learn something new. And you get to taste the food at the end… at your own risk! Tickets £14 / £12 concessions

 On Saturday October 20 we experience first-hand how it feels to be part of planning ‘The Perfect Murder’. Everything you need to know from choosing a murder weapon to disposing of the body!

 The star of BBC Radio 4 comedy ‘It’s A Fair Cop’, takes you on a thrilling and interactive journey through the art and science of murder investigation.

 Enjoy Alfie’s trademark blend of humour, practical policing experience and detailed knowledge of the law as he answers the questions ‘What makes a murderer?’ and ‘Why do they caught….or not’?

 Alfie’s TV credits include BBC Comic Relief, Bizarre Crime (BBC3), Confessions of a Police Officer (Channel 4) and he recently joined the presenting team of Criminals Caught on Camera (Channel 5). Tickets are £14.

‘Offbeat, revealing and very funny’ – Daily Mail

 Dave Spikey is a much-loved household name, but did you know he worked in the NHS for 19 years as a Biomedical Scientist when in 1987 someone uttered the immortal words, “You’re really funny, you should be a comedian” and for some reason, he took them seriously!!

 From his appearance in Stairway to the Stars, to Phoenix Nights, The Royal Variety and Parkinson, this show looks back on his journey and celebrates his 30th anniversary of his comedy career. See the man himself on October 26, tickets £16.

 Stand up legend, best-selling novelist, Radio 4 Sony Award Winner Robert Newman attempts to piece together a philosophy for our troubled times in Robert Newman’s Total Eclipse of Descartes on Thursday 1 November.

 He sifts through 3000 years of thought: from Pythagoras to Artificial Intelligence by way of Pavlov’s dogs, Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees and Frankie Howerd’s trousers. Tickets £15 / £12 concession.

‘He is the funniest comedian I have ever seen…A passionate, chaotically brilliant comedian.’ – Sunday Times

  Gary Delaney is one of Britain’s leading one-liner comics returns to the road with another onslaught of lean, expertly crafted gaggery. A Mock The Week regular and recent star of the new Live At The Apollo series, Gary’s shows are renowned in the business for a near unrivalled volume of high-class gags. You should expect no different from this, when he brings Gary Delaney’s Gagsters Paradise to The Atkinson on Friday 30 November, tickets  £16. Please note Coolio will not be appearing.  

 On top of all this funny stuff is our regular monthly Laugh out Loud Comedy Club night. On the first Saturday of the month Damion Larkin is your host and brings three top comedians to Southport. A great night for a group looking for an alternative Christmas party! Tickets are £16.50 / doors £19 / £12.50 parties of 10+

To book your tickets for any of the shows please visit theatkinson.co.uk or call Box Office on 01704 533333.

Join our e-newsletter to find out the full programme of events and activities – just visit theatkinson.co.uk

Booking fees of £1 per ticket apply to online and telephone sales. There are no booking fees for counter sales.

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