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War hero’s family found in time for Victoria Cross commemoration

Genealogy detective work by Sefton Council has successfully led to finding the long lost family of a Victoria Cross hero from Seaforth.

Earlier this year the Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, asked for help to trace the family of Arthur Evans VC ahead of a special event in his honour next month.

The appeal went global with potential family links being unearthed in Australia, but for Sefton’s super sleuths, the family tree trail ended in success a little closer to home.

Now Arthur Evans VC’s first cousin, twice removed, Stuart Kirkland from Aigburth, will join Mayor Robinson and members of the Armed Forces to pay tribute to the Seaforth war hero.

Arthur evans

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “Arthur is one of five local Victoria Cross recipients who are being honoured with a special commemorative stone and I am delighted that we have been able to find a family member to be part of this momentous occasion.

“Arthur’s stone will be laid at Bowersdale Park on Friday September 7. Present will also be members of the Duke of Lancaster’s (Kings) Regiment and also the Anglian Regiment, under which Arthur served.

“Arthur was a true hero and his actions on the battlefield of Etaing, France, are something of legend.”

All are welcome to attend the unveiling of the commemorative stone from 11am on September 7 at Bowersdale Park, Seaforth.

Animal volunteers reveal secrets behind caring for creatures great and small

Volunteers at an animal rescue centre in Sefton have revealed the secrets of what it’s like to help and support a vital service as part of the Year Of The Volunteer.

August is Animals month in Sefton’s Year Of The Volunteer campaign we met with a number of volunteers at Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre who told us that they absolutely adore what they do day in, day out.

A spokesperson for Freshfields said: “We are really happy to be part of this initiative by Sefton Council which celebrates the incredible contribution made by the volunteers across the borough.

“Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do here at Freshfields, and they fulfil the values and principles of our charity every day in helping abused, abandoned and unwanted animals across Sefton.”

Below are just a few of the many volunteers who give up their time each day to help care for unwanted, sick or homeless animals…

Gabi- Ambulance Driver 

Gabi is extremely modest and, like all our volunteers, seeks no recognition for what she does and gives the credit to others. Gabi is totally committed to saving the lives of the foxes.

She said: “I love volunteering for Freshfields. The dedication you all put in is just amazing. Paul, Freshfields’ resident Fox Man, is great, and he pulled me through my first ambulance rescue tears when the fox died. I feel honoured to volunteer alongside such heartwarming humans!”

Dave Cox & Friends – Volunteer

Dave, who volunteers from Barclaycard, said: “I first became involved with Freshfields in about 2010 when we adopted a cat. They were going through the recession and staff were explaining how it hits them hard.

I obtained a £100 donation from our Barclays charity fund, but I wanted to do more.

I spoke to Helen and explained I wanted to do a Barclays EV (Employee Volunteering) Group. I was expecting about 5 people to sign up, I got 30. 

Barbara Calvert – Wildlife Volunteer

Barbara has dedicated her time to working in the Wildlife Unit at Freshfields for over 10 years.

No job is too big or small for her and she is full of compassion and care for these vulnerable creatures,.

A spokesperson for Freshfields added: “We were rather sneaky and surprised an astonished Barbara when Bill Esterson called her up to the stage at our recent White Rabbit Day and presented her with our 2nd ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award.”

The Year of the Volunteer is a joint campaign between Sefton Council and Sefton CVS designed to celebrate the wonderful work that thousands of volunteers do every day of the year across Sefton. 

To watch an interview with fellow Freshfields volunteer Kim, who looks after the cattery, click below!

 

 

 

Sefton tourism worth a staggering £555m to the local economy

Tourism in Sefton is worth a staggering £555m to the local economy and continues to grow.

The findings are contained in the latest independent research for 2017 commissioned by the Visitor Economy Team at Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

On a local level, some of the key findings for Sefton include:

• Visitor Numbers – 9.1m – 4.2% increase
• Staying visitors – 755,000 – 4.6% increase
• Economic Impact – £555m – 7% increase
• Total Employment – 6,755 – 4.8% increase

These figures are published by the STEAM (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity) model, which is used throughout the UK tourism industry to measure economic impact of the visitor economy, and International Passenger Survey.

The results are calculated using a range of tourism inputs including hotel occupancy, transport figures, attractions attendance figures and event figures.

Long term trends show that from 2009 to 2017, there has been 66% growth in the economic value of the visitor economy to the Liverpool City Region, rising from £2.73bn to £4.53bn – this is equivalent to an average growth of around 6.5% per year. Over the same period there has been an increase in the number of day and staying visitors, rising annually from 52.3m in 2009 to 64.2m in total by 2017.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Regeneration and Skills, said: “These figures are hugely impressive and clearly show that tourism across Sefton continues to rise and the borough really is open for all businesses.

“Visitors come from all over the UK and beyond to Sefton and our attractions and events programme really stand out with the Open Golf Championship at Royal Birkdale in 2017 a perfect example of this.

“Tourism is crucial to the success of our borough and the wider Liverpool City Region supporting thousands of jobs while generating millions of pounds to the local economy.”

Peter Sandman, Head of Visitor Economy for the LEP, added: “In the ten years since Liverpool became European Capital of Culture, the city, and region as a whole has seen the visitor economy experience a healthy growth and the sector continues to contribute significantly to the region’s economy.

“It is particularly encouraging to see our overseas visitors staying longer, as well as the number of jobs supported by the sector continuing to grow – which covers a wide range of employment options across accommodation, food and drink, recreation and retail.”

For more information please click here

Sefton helps Legions to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War One

Sefton Council have helped to fund a number of events across the borough to mark the Centenary commemorations of World War One.

Throughout the coming months Sefton branches of the Royal British Legion will be holding special events to mark one hundred years since the end of the Great War, including poetry readings, themed lunches and quiz nights.

The following events are taking place across the borough:

Southport: WW1 Themed Lunch (Thursday September 6, 1pm)
Formby: WW1 Themed Quiz Night (Wednesday October 24, 7.30pm)
Netherton & Sefton: Armed Forces Night (Friday October 26, 8pm)
Crosby: Poetry & Reading Night (Friday November 2, 6.30pm)

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This year marks the centenary of the end of World War One and we are proud to be able to support the various local legions in supporting our communities.

“These events go hand in hand with our Beyond The War Memorials campaign as we look to honour our WW1 heroes and heroines from across the geographical area which now makes up Sefton.

“We’re also looking for budding poets and writers to get their thinking caps on and compile emotive, thought provoking and fitting poetry for our BTWM project.”

More information about the Legion events will be released in due course.

For further details and to obtain an entry from for the BTWM Poetry competition, email information.service@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 257 6401.

Mayor takes on Liverpool Cathedral abseil for charity

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, will be taking part in a daring abseil in support of a local charity this weekend.

Cllr Robinson will be joining 16 others in the Sefton 4 Good team, including colleagues from WEA North West, Sefton Council, Sefton CVS and members of the community, in the challenge at Liverpool’s Anglican Cathedral on Saturday August 18.

The volunteers will face a 150-foot, free-fall drop over the main entrance to the iconic building, all to raise money for good causes in Sefton.

Sefton 4 Good is a fundraising initiative from Sefton CVS which provides small grants to local voluntary, community and faith groups across the borough.

“There are so many good causes making a real difference to people’s lives in Sefton,” said Cllr Robinson. “That’s why I want to take part in the abseil, because grants from Sefton 4 Good can really help those groups.”

This year Sefton 4 Good has awarded almost £15,000 in grants to 25 groups, including the Plaza Cinema in Waterloo.

Mike Howlett, Senior Citizenship and Volunteering Officer for Sefton CVS, commented: “Sefton 4 Good is all about encouraging borough residents to support local causes that make a real difference in their immediate community.

“I am so grateful that the Mayor and his fellow volunteers have stepped up to the challenge to help us at this exciting event.”

Anyone who would like to support the Sefton 4 Good team in their fundraising efforts can sponsor them at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/s4gabseil2018

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