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Grants to help reduce social isolation

Local groups have been given a boost now that wellbeing organisation Living Well Sefton has launched the fifth round of the Community Resilience Grant.

Community groups and community-minded individuals are being encouraged to apply for funding for projects designed to get more people out of their houses and linking in with their communities.

Michael Swift, who runs Southport’s Stepping Stones social group for those with health conditions, was successful in securing funding from a previous round and said: “We wouldn’t have been able to do the drama without the funding and it has helped give people confidence and bring them closer together.”

Karen Nolan, co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, explained: “The focus of our latest funding is about helping people get out and about so they feel less lonely. So we want to hear from community groups that have ideas on how to make this happen.”

The Community Resilience Grant has supported local communities with a range of projects from enhancing wellbeing through gardening or craft workshops to providing cooking classes that improve healthy eating.

There are grants of up to £2,000 for 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 Friday, November 30.

Anyone interested in applying can complete the application form on the Living Well Sefton website where there are guidance notes on how to complete the form as well as the criteria for applying – www.livingwellsefton.org.uk

Paper versions of the application form can also be downloaded from the website.

Call the team direct on 0300 323 0181 or email LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk for further details.

Why not ask your pharmacist?

Health experts in Sefton are reminding residents to ask their pharmacist about the range of services available in local chemists during a week long campaign, running from 5 to 11 November, and beyond.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG are supporting ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week, which highlights the range of services and support that is available to people from their local chemist with a focus this year on medicines safety.

Ask Your Pharmacist week complements ‘Stay Well this Winter’, which encourages people to look after themselves during the colder months, as part of the wider national campaign, ‘Help us Help You’. The campaign reminds people to see a pharmacist if they need advice on minor illnesses and / or medication; and for older people it is a reminder to keep warm during the winter months by putting on an extra layer or turning up their heat.

Often, people make unnecessary trips to the GP or even A&E, when their neighbourhood chemist could help instead. In recent years, pharmacists have expanded their role, and now provide a wide range of clinical and public health services, within easy reach of the people who need them most.

Graeme Batten, pharmacist and chairman of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) in Sefton, said: “We offer expert advice and support on a range of topics without an appointment; we can offer advice on the correct and safe use of medicines and devices as well as healthy living advice such as looking after yourself in the winter months. Many pharmacies also offer blood pressure checks and other services such as stopping smoking and providing emergency hormonal contraception.

“We specifically help patients manage their medicines with a medicine use review (MUR) consultation and support with new medicines in a private consultation room. This gives us the opportunity to discuss how to use medicines safely and the side effects and benefits of your medicines with you.

“My advice in Ask Your Pharmacy week and all year round would be to pop in to your local chemist and have a chat about how they can help you.”

Another way to make the most of your local chemist is by signing up to NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s Care at the Chemist scheme, which is aimed at more vulnerable residents who do not normally pay for their prescriptions. Care at the Chemist is available at a number of pharmacies across the borough and provides expert advice and medications for a wide range of conditions, without the need for a doctor’s appointment.

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs, said: “If you are one of our more vulnerable residents and you do not normally pay for your prescription, then Care at the Chemist is a great way for you to be seen by a health professional, who can advise on treatment for a number of ailments and offer medication where appropriate.”

For a list of pharmacies signed up to the Care at the Chemist scheme and how to register, visit the NHS South Sefton CCG website at southseftonccg.nhs.uk and NHS Southport and Formby CCG website at southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk.

Bootle-based Regenerus hosts Tomorrows Land- and you’re invited!

A Bootle-based organisation is hosting a major international conference in Liverpool next month to celebrate the success of a European social innovation project.

Regenerus will welcome its partners in the Erasmus + Tomorrow’s Land project from Portugal, Denmark, Italy, Germany and Latvia to the one-day event which takes place at Hinterlands on Mann Street in the city centre on Thursday 22nd November.

Regenerus is issuing an open invitation to the free conference to anyone across the city region with an interest in social innovation, including university staff and students, social entrepreneurs and representatives of the public, private and social economy sectors.

Delegates at the event will hear how Tomorrow’s Land has been working to create collaborative economies by nurturing more social innovators – people who can create new ways of working to achieve positive social change and ultimately a more inclusive society.

Emphasising that ‘small actions can make a big difference’, the focus will be on examples of real success stories in the field, from Fairtrade to digital participatory democracy.

Connecting the local to the global, there will also be contributions from two high-profile guest speakers:

  • International consultant, educator and author Dr Daniel Christian Wahl will be sharing what he thinks are the most important skills that social innovators need to shape the future.
  • Globally renowned innovation and education guru Charles Leadbeater, an inspiring and influential author, award-winning journalist and a social innovator in his own right, will be sharing his insights into how to build successful movements for positive change.

Ruth Livesey of Regenerus commented: “Tomorrow’s Land has been a very successful project and we’re delighted that our European partners will be joining us to celebrate its achievements.

“We also hope that the conference will attract a wide range of delegates, including would-be social innovators and social entrepreneurs, trainers, educators and policy makers, as it will provide an opportunity for them to get to know each other and start to create new solutions to some of the challenges society faces in today’s world.”

The conference is supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and Well Sefton, one of ten Well North Pathfinders, an innovative, Public Health England initiative. It is free to attend. Visit www.eventbrite.com and find Tomorrow’s Land to book a place.

Seftons’ health experts urge residents to get flu jab- It’s free because you need it!

Leading health figures from Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are urging residents eligible for the flu jab to make sure they get protected.

Free flu vaccinations are available to those who are most seriously affected by the flu because they need it. This includes pregnant women, who can have the vaccine at any stage of pregnancy, children aged 2 to 9, residents of all ages with a long-term health condition, everyone aged 65 and over, and people who are carers or work in health or social care roles.

While most people can expect to recover from flu in about a week, each winter, tens of thousands of people in England end up in hospital because of flu with thousands dying from complications of seasonal flu.

People who are eligible can get vaccinated at their local GP practice or pharmacy and parents with children in years 1-5 will be asked for permission for them to receive the nasal spray vaccination at school. Parents of pre-school children over two years old will be invited in by their GP practice and can book an appointment for their child to have the flu nasal spray.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “I strongly recommend that all those who are eligible for a free vaccination make sure they get it to protect themselves from the adverse effects of flu.

“The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu and drastically reduces serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk.”

Chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Dr Rob Caudwell, said: “Anyone of any age with an existing health condition, like asthma or diabetes should get vaccinated, even if they generally feel healthy and well. This is because a dose of flu can greatly worsen their condition and make complications like pneumonia more likely.”

Acting chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, Dr Craig Gillespie, said: “Carers are also eligible for a free flu jab as well as those they look after.

“If you’re not sure if you’re eligible, or if you have any questions about getting vaccinated, simply check the NHS website or contact your GP practice and ask for advice, we’ll be happy to help.”

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “As a member of front line staff working directly with patients, I am offered the flu jab and always have mine. It’s so important for those who are eligible so please take it up if you are.”

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your general practice or pharmacist to get it.

You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign and see whether you are eligible at: www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine. If you have any further queries simply ask at your GP practice or pharmacist.

Macmillan event to focus on wellbeing

People affected by cancer are invited to find out more about the range of support available to them on Thursday 1 November. The regular event in Southport takes a slightly different focus this time with the emphasis being on wellbeing and feeling better about yourself despite everything that you are going through.

The Southport Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre, a joint partnership set up by Macmillan and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), is holding a Health and Wellbeing event in partnership with Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, at the Royal Clifton Hotel in Southport from 2pm – 4.30pm.

Cancer can cause changes to people’s appearance that can be hard to cope with affecting how they see themselves and how they feel about their body. The centre has asked some of its service users to demonstrate some examples of how people can dress to feel more confident about how they look. 

For this event only, they have also invited companies that sell organic cosmetics and wigs to give people an idea of the products that are available. To make the afternoon even more enjoyable there will be a caricaturist and a table magician. 

On the day, as always, there will be lots of information stalls for people to visit and you will have the chance to speak with cancer nurse specialists, support groups and other key organisations. Volunteers from Sefton OPERA have also been welcomed back to offer complimentary therapies.

Tanya Mulvey, Macmillan Community Navigator Manager at Southport and Formby Macmillan Information & Support Centre said: “Following feedback from previous events we wanted to try something a little bit different this time.  

“From our experience of some of the things we do at the centre like our Boots No7 Pamper sessions, yoga and support groups, people appreciate finding ways to feel good about themselves even when they are going through difficult times.  We wanted to try and translate this into a Health & Wellbeing Event that appeals to all ages.”

Sarah McGrath, planned care lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “This regular event aims to help people affected by cancer as well as their friends and families. We think it’s important to show them the different types of support on hand. This time is slightly different with the focus on wellbeing and appearance to boost confidence and I do hope that it helps those who need that help and support.”  

The first 100 people to register before the event will get a goody bag on the day containing some lovely products donated to the centre around the theme of wellbeing.

Anyone affected by cancer, either recently or in the past, as well as family and friends supporting others are welcome to book onto this free event. It is free of charge and refreshments are provided, but booking is essential. To book onto the next event please call 01704 533024 or email: sfccg.macmillancic@nhs.net.

For more information about the work of the Macmillan Information and Support Centre on Stanley Street in Southport, please see the website: www.southportmacmillancentre.org.uk.

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