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New forum to give a voice to those with disabilities in Sefton

A new forum to help give a voice to those living with disability has been launched with support from Sefton Council.

Ability Plus, a brand new scheme open to and representing people of all disabilities across the borough, is a joint initiative by members of the previous Sefton Access Forum and Ability Network groups.

The forum will allow anyone wanting to consult or engage with Sefton’s disabled community to get a better understanding of the needs of disabled people and the experiences they have of various services.

Councillor Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, welcomed the creation of Ability Plus, saying: “Our aim for Ability Plus is to make Sefton accessible, safe and welcoming to any disabled people living, working or visiting the borough.

“Members of Ability Plus are all experts by experience, and will act as a critical friends to services across the borough giving feedback on their services and the experiences disabled people have.”

The first meeting of the Ability Plus forum takes place at Bootle Town Hall on Monday February 19 at 1.30pm.

For more information or to register your interest in attending, call 0151 934 3202 or email Paul.McCann@sefton.gov.uk.

Wellbeing boost for communities

Living Well Sefton, the local collaboration of wellbeing partners, is pleased to announce the fourth round of its Community Resilience Grant is now open.

Launched on national #TimetoTalk day, the theme for the grants is mental health. Community groups and community-minded individuals are being encouraged to apply for funding for projects designed to improve the mental wellbeing of their local communities.

The Community Resilience Grant has already supported local communities on a range of projects including enhancing wellbeing through gardening or craft workshops, tackling social isolation, providing cooking classes to improve healthy eating, and lots more.

Karen Nolan, co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, explains: “Many people in our communities have benefited through the projects we have already funded. We’d love to discuss your ideas on how to improve wellbeing in your neighbourhood. A small grant can make a big difference!”

Grants available include up to £2,500 for applications from organisations and £500 to individuals, who are supported by a organisational partner. Grants are subject to specific criteria being met and will be approved by a judging panel. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 3 April.

Anyone interested in applying can complete the online application form on the Living Well Sefton website: www.livingwellsefton.org.uk where there are also guidance notes on how to complete the form as well as the criteria for applying. Paper versions of the organisation and individual application forms can also be found on the website.

For further details of the grant call the team direct on 0300 323 0181 or email LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk

Budding volunteers urged to visit networking hub

Budding volunteers and residents who want to make a real difference to their communities are being invited to a special networking event at the Atkinson, Southport.

As part of the 2018 Year of the Volunteer celebrations, residents and those interested in getting involved in the volunteering sector are being invited to visit the Atkinson from 12.15pm on Tuesday February 6 to learn more.

As well as finding out what 2018 has in store for the voluntary, community and faith sector, residents will also be able to learn how to get involved or get advice on what opportunities are on offer.

Existing volunteers throughout Sefton are also invited to attend the networking event to share their success stories and motivate others to also make a difference.

Volunteering also has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of those who participate in it be it a beach clean-up or joining a Friends of Group in one of our amazing parks.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council cabinet member for Communities and Housing, said:

“In recognising the valuable role that volunteers play, it made sense that 2018 becomes the Year of the Volunteer.

“This theme will not only celebrate the vital work that volunteers do, but hopefully it will encourage other people to get involved as well.

“Throughout the year we hope to celebrate the valuable contribution that volunteers make, highlight the volunteering opportunities available in Sefton and increase the number of people who sign up to volunteering activities.”

All are welcome to attend and there is no need to book. For more information email communications @sefton.gov.uk

‘Groundbreaking’ unemployment programme returns to Sefton

Sefton Council’s successful Aspiring Instructors training programme is set to return for 2018.

 Developed by the council and part funded by the Ways to Work ESF programme, it will help to improve the skills and employability for residents across the borough.

 The 16 week course is targeted at unemployed Sefton residents and designed to help get people into a new career within the sports and fitness industry.

 Set to begin in March, the ‘life-changing’ programme will combine a mix of coaching and work placement with attendees’ receiving nationally recognised qualifications on completion of the course.

 

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“Aspiring Instructors has proved very popular in previous years, with many attendees qualifying as Outdoor Activities Instructors, Fitness Instructors and Lifeguards.

 “This is a brilliant opportunity for anybody who is looking for a career in health and fitness and who in the future will have the skills to promote health and wellbeing across the borough.”

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, added:

“This is a ground-breaking unemployment programme that has helped Sefton residents to learn new skills, increase employability, socialise and get active.

“Despite the financial challenges the council is facing we remain committed and use every opportunity we can to build resilient communities in line with our 2030 vision and this is one of the examples of how we are doing it.

“I urge anyone interested in a career in sport and fitness to get in touch with Sefton@Work and book a place on the open day.”

 Jo O’Brien was a part of the 2016 Aspiring Instructors course and now does casual coaching hours for Crosby Lakeside Activity Centre as well as getting involved in other Active Sefton programmes. She said:

“Being part of the Aspiring Instructors programme was one of the best things that I have ever done – it has changed my life.

 “I gained skills I would never have dreamed I was capable of, and I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to take part.” 

 

Bootle-based YKids is on the look out for volunteers!

Are you over the age of 18? Would you like to to volunteer for a charity, working to improve the lives of children, young people and families in Bootle?

Join Ykids in their newly refurbished building- 98a Linacre Lane on Thursday February 8 at 6pm to find out about the range of opportunities available for volunteers.

Most roles are children & youth work focused and YKids is particularly looking for people who have time in the evenings- ideally at least one day per week. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who has, or is looking to work in education to help our in its after schools program.

During this evening the team will let you know all about Ykids as an organisation, the work it does, and what roles are available. It will give both staff and volunteers a chance to get to know each other.

Please note, this is an information evening- all new volunteers will also have to complete an informal interview, induction process and DBS check (criminal record). If you have any questions about this please contact: alihorton@ykids.co.uk

There are also be opportunities to work within an office environment on tasks such as admin or fundraising- please contact YKids for further information about this sort of opportunity.

 

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