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Bootle schoolchildren set to raise their aspirations

Two schools in Sefton are set to benefit from a new programme aimed at getting their pupils to think about their futures.

The Raising Aspirations programme, designed by Positive Footprints, aims to improve the life chances of young people by building resilience, developing employability skills and opening up the world of work.

Students at Springwell Park Primary School and Netherton Moss Primary School are set to be the first two schools in the borough to benefit from the programme.

Raising Aspirations is a fun and engaging way to get primary school children to start thinking about their futures and developing skills which will benefit them as they move through life. The programme includes a number of business events, which give students the chance to speak to a range of businesses. In the past, this has included large multinational companies, such as Santander and North West based businesses, such as M&Y Maintenance and Construction.

Lesley Burrows, Managing Director of Positive Footprints, said: “We are delighted to bring our programme to pupils in Bootle and to be partnering with these two fantastic schools.

“Children are now forming opinions on their future career when they’re as young as seven, so it is really important that we open the world of work in primary schools.

“Raising aspirations and improving life chances for our young people should be high on everyone’s agenda. These pupils are not just our future workforce, they will form our future society, and we believe this programme will set them up to win.”

David Hird, Deputy Headteacher at Netherton Moss Primary School: “It is never too early to have an aim in life, even in Primary School, we all need something to work towards.

The final destination may change over time but the skills and experiences gained along the way help to ensure future success”

The Raising Aspirations programme is being supported by the Sovini Group, which is funding 10 schools across Merseyside.

To find out more about Positive Footprints, visit positivefootprints.co.uk

A consultation on the proposed closure of Sand Dunes Nursery School has ended

A consultation regarding the closure of Sand Dunes Nursery School, Seaforth has now ended.

Following a request from the governing body of Sand Dunes, a statutory consultation process on the proposal to close the Nursery School, was agreed in July.

Sand Dunes Nursery School has been struggling financially for a number of years. Sefton Council and the school had explored every available option before Sand Dunes formally proposed the closure.

The consultation was the first part of a 5-stage statutory process Sefton Council must follow. During this time, it was critical that all those affected could express their views and opinions.

The consultation which was originally planned for 8 weeks, was extended to a period of 9 weeks, to allow enough time for people to submit their comments and ran from July – October.

Meetings were also held with staff, governors, and parents/carers of pupils at the school.  A consultation document and forms were handed into the school and collected. Comments could also be submitted by email, via Sefton Council’s website, by letter or via the Sand Dunes Facebook page.

At its meeting on 1 November, Cabinet considered a report on the outcome of the consultation process.  There was a huge amount of support for Sand Dunes but no viable options to address the financial shortfall came forward and Cabinet agreed to publish the statutory notice.

Cabinet are also asked to agree to continue exploring alternatives with the school and to report on this and any representations received to the public notice in the new year.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “Sand Dunes Nursery has been a crucial part of the community for many years. This has been demonstrated with anonline petition which has had more than 900 signatures.

“I understand that this is a difficult time for all those involved and want to thank everyone who took the time to tell us how they felt through the consultation.

“It is extremely regrettable that the governors at Sand Dunes Nursery school have had no alternative but to request a formal consultation to close, because it is no longer financially viable.

“We will now consider the responses to the statutory consultation process and will continue to make sure the community are continually updated throughout this difficult and emotive process.”

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.

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