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Sefton schools championing mental health sought for new award 

The prestigious Educate Awards are returning for 2019 with a new category for mental health and wellbeing.

Founded by Kim O’Brien in 2012, the awards are the largest education awards in the North West and are an opportunity for schools to showcase their credentials across a number of categories.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Award is open to both primary and secondary schools across the region and recognises schools that are effectively tackling mental health issues among pupils and staff.

The award will focus on the long-term culture of a school and those with an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of all.

According to recent figures, mental health problems affect 1 in 8 children and young people (NHS Digital). This new award hopes to shine a spotlight on the support schools have in place to promote good mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Entries must show provision and interventions available for pupils and staff, a commitment to promoting mental health as part of school life and can include views from parents, pupils and teachers.

This follows a pledge by the government to roll out mental health lessons to all schools from September 2020 as part of a redesigned national curriculum.

Kim O’Brien, founder of the Awards, says: “As children and young people continue to face many pressures, raising awareness of mental health and emotional wellbeing is so important.

“Schools play a vital role in this support and we are looking for strong examples of how schools are creating an environment where children can thrive with good mental health.

“The mental health of teachers and staff is just as important and entries can reflect various school initiatives which tackle mental health issues among pupils and staff.”

Alongside this new category, 20 others are returning for 2019, focused on everything from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths), arts, careers, sport to individual awards for school support stars and teachers.

Since launching in Liverpool in 2012, the awards has grown rapidly and now recognises schools and colleges right across the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

Kim adds: “We are delighted to launch the call for entries for 2019 and are looking forward to celebrating another year of outstanding education in the North West.”

Entries are now open and the deadline is midnight on Sunday 23 June 2019. The shortlist will be announced prior to the awards ceremony and the winners will be revealed on 15 November at Liverpool Cathedral.

For further information including full details of how to enter, please visit


Award categories

  • The Communication Award
  • Eco School Project of the Year
  • Spirit of Enterprise Award
  • SEND Provision Award
  • Innovative and Creative Literacy Award
  • STEM Project of the Year
  • Outstanding Arts in a Primary School
  • Outstanding Arts in a Secondary School
  • Career Aspiration Award
  • Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Primary School
  • Outstanding Commitment to Sport in a Secondary School
  • Community Partnership Award
  • *NEW* Mental Health & Wellbeing Award *NEW*
  • Innovation in Education Award
  • School Support Star of the Year
  • Teacher of the Year
  • Leadership Team of the Year
  • Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider
  • Most Inspirational Secondary School
  • Most Inspirational Primary School
  • Wow Recognition Award


Sefton Council launches Sefton’s Year of Friendship 2019

Sefton Council is delighted to celebrate the official launch of Sefton’s Year of Friendship 2019.

A launch event held today (Thursday, January 24) at Waterloo Community Centre highlighted the positive impact friendships have on peoples’ lives.

Over recent years there has been an increase in loneliness within certain groups across Sefton, which has a detrimental impact on health and well-being.

According to national research, the effect of loneliness and isolation can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is more damaging than obesity. It is closely associated with depression, suicide risk, impact on quality of life and can result in more visits to GPs and admissions to hospital.

The Year of Friendship will showcase the many different forms of friendships, and help to signpost people to groups and activities to help them build new networks – helping those who could benefit from friendship the most.

Throughout the year, work will be aimed at reaching out to those people who need it most and will be themed around many key areas, including diversity, older people, specialist groups and younger people to open conversations about loneliness, how people are affected and where to get help.

Having 2019 dedicated to the Year of Friendship will build on the Council’s Core Purpose of facilitating confident and resilient communities to help achieve the ambitions of its Vision 2030, contributing to the themes ‘A Borough for Everyone’ and ‘Together we are Stronger’.

There will also be an opportunity for community groups to get involved in a project to create friendship bracelets that will be used at the end of the year to create a lasting representation of Friendship. Any groups interested in getting involved can email to request materials and further information.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance and sponsor for the Year of Friendship, said: “Friendships touch people’s lives in so many positive ways, providing comfort and support, fostering community development, and improving health and wellbeing.

“I am delighted to be the sponsor for 2019 Sefton’s Year of Friendship. We now have the opportunity to work alongside groups and organisations across the borough to highlight and celebrate the wonderful work that’s helping to bring people together. It’s something we are really looking forward to celebrate by bringing our inclusive communities even closer together.”

The Year of Friendship follows on from the success of the Year of the Volunteer 2018 that culminated in a huge increase of the numbers of volunteers in Sefton who delivered 118,689 hours of service in 2018.

To find out more about the Year of Friendship and how you can get involved visit

Start your career on the beach as an RNLI lifeguard

The RNLI is in search of new recruits to spend the summer working on some of Sefton’s most popular beaches, with applications now open for 2019’s beach lifeguards.

Lifeguards on our beaches are essential in supporting the RNLI to reduce the number of people who drown at the coast, and to help keep people safe by providing essential local safety advice to the thousands of visitors who make their way to Sefton’s coast each summer.

RNLI lifeguards patrol over 240 beaches around the UK and Channel Islands, including Crosby and Ainsdale. At the forefront of the RNLI’s lifesaving work, they responded to over 15,500 incidents and helped over 24,000 people in 2017. Successful applicants receive world-class training in search and rescue, lifesaving and casualty care techniques, good rates of pay and the chance to develop valuable skills for a future career.

Find out more about how you can make a difference and apply to be part of this amazing lifesaving teams at

Health commissioners have a chat to mark ‘Brew Monday’

On Monday, 21 January people across Sefton were urged to put the kettle on, sit down and take the time to have a chat with friends, family and colleagues for ‘Brew Monday’.

A simple act like having a brew and talking with friends may seem trivial but it can actually make a big difference to someone who is struggling with their mental health.

That is why this year NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG both took part in Brew Monday, with members of staff taking time out of their day to sit and chat with colleagues.

Fiona Taylor, chief officer of the CCGs, said: “Its good that we’ve managed to find the time to take a break from our busy schedules and spent some time in conversation with our colleagues.

“Simply asking someone how they’re doing can have a huge impact on the way they’re feeling.

“We always encourage our staff to speak to their friends and family about how they’re feeling. Brew Monday is a great opportunity to start the conversation about your mental health, be it with your family, friends or GP.”

‘Brew Monday’ was originally launched by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust who host events across the region each year to raise awareness of their ‘zero suicides’ initiative, which is a commitment to eliminating suicide for all those in their care. The Life Rooms in Bootle also hosted a ‘Big Brew’ session to mark what is often billed as the most depressing day of the year.

Amanda Comer, Service Lead at Access Sefton, said: “One in four adults and one in ten children will experience some sort of mental health issue each year, but sometimes people don’t know what help is available and how to get it, or may feel embarrassed talking about how they are feeling.

“The state of our mental health can be affected by many different factors, including life events like separation or bereavement, work-related stress, and physical health issues – among other things.

“It is really important not to ‘suffer in silence’, and talking to someone about your mental health can go a long way towards helping you feel better.”

If you are feeling anxious or depressed, you can contact Access Sefton for free NHS talking therapies for common mental health conditions. The service is available to anyone aged 16 and over and registered with a Sefton GP.  For more information visit Access Sefton online at or call 0300 303 2708.

Cannabis farm worth £1.6 million discovered in Bootle

Officers have arrested a man, following the discovery of cannabis farm in Bootle earlier this week, thought to be worth in excess of £1.6 million.

The farm was discovered on Tuesday, 22 January, after officers noticed a man acting suspiciously outside a disused furniture shop at the junction of Beresford Street and Derby Road. Officers then arrested the man and searched the address, where they discovered 414 plants across three rooms alongside a large amount of growing equipment.

The man, aged 36 from Dingle, was arrested on suspicion of cannabis cultivation and has since been released under investigation.

The plants have since been recovered and the scene forensically examined.

Cannabis Dismantling Team Manager, Matt Brown: “This cannabis farm was recovered following a stop check and this is one example of how this power can help put a stop to criminality in our communities.

“Criminal groups involved in the growing of cannabis are often involved in other serious organised crime and don’t care about the harm these drugs cause to the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Nobody wants to live or work next door to these places and we would ask that if you believe someone is using a property for this purpose, please tell us so we can take positive action and find those responsible for setting them up.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via @MerPolCC or by contacting 101. You can also contact @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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