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Sefton teams up with Knowsley for national celebration of fostering

Sefton and Knowsley Council are teaming up as part of an annual celebration of fostering, raising awareness to attract more would be foster carers.

Organised by national charity The Fostering Network, Foster Care Fortnight takes place May 14 – 27, with this year’s theme of ‘fostering transforms lives’.

Under the banner of #StayTogether, Sefton and Knowsley will be taking the ‘Fostering bus’ on the road to meet the public and give them all of the information they need to consider fostering, especially for sibling groups where there is the greatest need.

The ‘Fostering bus’ reaches Sefton on May 18, 9am-6pm at Aintree Shopping Park.

Cllr. John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding said:

“Fostering really can change a child’s life. Foster carers offer supportive, caring and firm foundations to our vulnerable children and young; it is a hugely rewarding role. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about fostering to jump aboard the fostering bus and find out more”

Sefton Council’s fostering teams will also deliver the latest instalment of their popular information evenings shortly after Foster Care Fortnight. The next session, which are free, non-ticket events, will take place June 5, 6.30-8.30pm at The Vincent Hotel in Southport.

To find out more about fostering in Sefton, visit or call 0800 923 2777.

Splash World washes away its carbon footprint

As Splash World, Southport reflects on the 10 years since it first opened its doors in 2008, the Sefton Council run centre has discovered that it has saved almost 3,000 tonnes of CO2.

 This massive saving would be enough to run nearly 800 homes for an entire year and is the equivalent to planting over 31,000 trees.

 The huge savings have been achieved through the use of an onsite Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) which has allowed the centre to generate its own electricity by using renewable energy from solar power.

 While new and more efficient technology has facilitated the savings, the indoor water park and leisure centre has worked closely with the council’s Energy and Environmental Management Section to make changes to how the site is run to ensure better energy efficiency. This includes the installation of pool covers, LED lighting, better controls to air conditioning and more up to date and energy efficient gym equipment.

 The centre also ensures that all of its staff are trained to ensure that energy saving is part of their everyday job.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is fantastic to see that energy saving has become such a huge priority in recent years.

 “To see the amount of CO2 emissions that have been avoided since Splash World first opened its doors 10 years ago really sets a precedent for local businesses to take action and undertake measures to use alternative energy sources.

 “I am delighted that such a great Sefton Council run facility has made an important and positive change and look forward to seeing how other businesses look to follow suit in the future.”

Sefton health commissioners celebrate Nurses’ Day 2018

Choosing nursing as a career offers a world of opportunities and experiences that many people wouldn’t associate with the profession. That is the message from Sefton health commissioners ahead of International Nurses’ Day 2018 which celebrates the work of nurses in dedicating themselves to caring for others.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are marking International Nurses’ Day 2018 by highlighting the work of their quality team which is led by the CCGs chief nurse, Debbie Fagan. The quality team is made up of qualified nurses who have since moved into commissioning and together they are responsible for ensuring that health services in Sefton are safe for the people who use them.

A relatively new member of the team is Karen Garside, who is the CCGs designated nurse for safeguarding children. Speaking about Nurses’ Day 2018, and the experiences she has had in her career, Karen said: “I’ve been a nurse for over 27 years and I really value the fact that my work makes a difference to young people all over Sefton.

“I’ve done a variety of different roles including working in a hospital, working as a health visitor and then with children, young people and their families. It was when I was a health visitor that I realised how I could make a difference for children who were at risk of harm or abuse. I worked in a mixture of deprived and affluent areas and safeguarding was a key part of this work, supporting families and working with partners to ensure children and young people were safe from harm, including physical, sexual, emotional harm and neglect.

“Although I no longer have direct contact with children and young people at an operational level, I enjoy the fact that I can still make a difference through working at a strategic level in partnership with different agencies to ensure we have the overarching systems and processes in place continue to meet their needs and ensure they are protected from harm.

“My workload is very varied and can include supporting a serious case review, checking the quality of a local health service and developing policies to tackle issues such as child exploitation. In between formal meetings, advice and support may also be required for individual cases, therefore it is very unpredictable.”

The theme of Nurses’ Day 2018 is #ThisNurse. You can find out more about Nurses’ Day, including information about the range of career options for qualified nurses, by visiting the Royal College of Nursing website:

You can watch an interview with Karen talking about her job here:

Royal invite for Sefton foster carer couple

Two selfless foster carers from Sefton are on their way to Windsor as special guests of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

Southport couple Dawn Butterworth and Louise Todd have been foster carers in Sefton for six years and in that time have worked tirelessly to care for 24 children across the borough.

It is their hard work, dedication and love of their role which has seen the duo nominated by Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside to be special guests at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19.

Partners Dawn and Louise will spend the day at Windsor Castle where they will be able to listen to a live broadcast of the ceremony and watch the departure of the Bride and Groom’s Carriage Procession.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet with Dawn and Louise ahead of their once in a lifetime experience!

“They have been foster carers for Sefton since 2012 and have cared for lots of children in that time – from babies to teenagers!

“The care Dawn and Louise have provided over the years has been exemplary to say the least and the impact they have had on positively shaping children’s futures is invaluable.

“Like all our foster carers Dawn and Louise are passionate about the children they care for and go above and beyond.

“To have been given this honour shows just how much Dawn and Louise have done for fostering in the borough.”

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle takes place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, from 12pm on Saturday, May 19.

Metro Mayor marks first year in office by celebrating Auhority’s achievements

Steve Rotheram has marked the first anniversary of his election as the first Metro Mayor and the creation of a Mayoral Combined Authority by celebrating the achievements of the Combined Authority over the last year.

Elections for the new role were held on 4 May 2017, with Steve officially taking up the role on Monday 8 May, 2017.

The city region has had a Combined Authority since 2014, bringing together the political leaders of the six local authorities – Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral – along with the Local Enterprise Partnership.

With the election of a Metro Mayor, that body became a Mayoral Combined Authority with additional powers over key priorities including employment and skills, strategic housing and planning, transport and highways, economic and business growth, energy and environment, culture, finance, European funding, information sharing, constitutional and governance issues.

Commenting on the one-year anniversary, Steve Rotheram said:

“This has been a very exciting first year as Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region and, working with the leaders of our six local authorities, we have already achieved so much.

“Devolution means that we can make our own decisions here, rather than having them taken for us in Whitehall.

“We’re using that power to deliver an investment programme of over £1bn in transport, skills, economic development and housing.

“Whilst transformational change will inevitably take time, today is an opportunity to assess our progress to date. Some of the key achievements over the last year include: our £5m Households into Work programme, helping 800 families into new jobs; building a new station at Maghull North; and securing £234m in additional government funding to modernise our transport network and connect the City Region to HS2.

“This is just the start. I stood as Metro Mayor because I believe that devolution can be a game changer for our region.

“One year on I’m more convinced than ever that we are making real progress towards a brighter future. “

The 15 Combined Authority achievements over the last year highlighted by the Metro Mayor are listed below:

1. Launched our pioneering Households into Work initiative to support 800 families with two or more people in long-term unemployment back into work

2. Secured £5m to support the growth of digital and creative businesses through the LCR Activate programme

3. Invested £3.4 million in Alstom, for a state-of-the-art train maintenance and repair facility, creating hundreds of local jobs and apprenticeships.

4. Started work on a city region full-fibre network, providing ultra-fast digital connectivity across the whole of the Liverpool City Region

5. Building a new £13m station for Maghull North and a £19m interchange scheme, new station building and park and ride facility at Newton-le-Willows

6. Constructing a new £19m railway line connecting our region to North Wales via the Halton Curve

7. Established a Mersey Tidal Power commission to harness the power of the River Mersey

8. Providing £12m funding for the Paddington Village development – an integral part of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter

9. Providing cleaner public transport where low emission buses make up 70% of bus fleet, with one fifth of those powered by electricity

10. Introducing a “1% for culture” programme to support cultural activities across our region and naming St Helens as our inaugural “Borough of Culture”

11. Delivering £5m to support the Liverpool 2018 cultural programme– the celebration of the 10th anniversary since it was European Capital of Culture.

12. Investing in initiatives to support the creation of 5,000 local jobs, 2,000 apprenticeships and 25,000 new homes by 2020.

13. Securing £234m in additional government funding to modernise our transport network and connect the City Region to HS2.

14. Establishing FASJAB (the Fairness and Social Justice Advisory Board), the first of its kind in the country, to ensure fairness and social justice is at the heart of decision-making across the Liverpool City Region.

15. Securing a share of £28m from government to deliver a ‘Housing First’ approach to homelessness.

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