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Young people in Sefton have their say on changes to sex education in schools

Young people from SYMBOL (Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders) have been making their voices heard over plans to improve Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) in schools.  

 The Department of Education is considering updating the existing Sex and Relationship guidance which was last revised in 2000.

 At a recent SYMBOL meeting held at Bootle Town Hall, young people from across the borough discussed the topic.

 Being a member of SYMBOL means a young person can play an active role in their community, with a direct line of communication with key decision makers, such as councillors and senior managers at Sefton Council including representatives from Public Health. They meet three times a year at different locations across the borough. 

 At the meeting young people talked about their experiences of sex education in school and gave advice on how it can be changed to be more effective. They believed that they would benefit more by having discussions about thoughts, feelings and the various issues surrounding relationships.

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, was at the meeting. He said: “Some great points were raised by the young people attending the meeting. 

 “As a new curriculum in SRE and PSHE is shaped, it is important that we listen to young people’s views and experiences in order to make lessons relevant to them and their needs.

 “Young people believed that some teachers may be embarrassed when talking about the subject and understand it may be difficult for them to make the transition from teaching their usual curriculum subject, to having open discussions about sex and relationships. Advice like this is really relevant and will be shared with Public Health.” 
  
 During the meeting there was a performance from Access27, a theatre company which portrays the issues which effect young people. The hard hitting ‘Like Glue’ exposed relationship abuse in 5 scenarios including domestic abuse and controlling behaviour. This creative and emotive piece brought the issues to life, leaving a lasting impression on the room.
 
 Also on the agenda and keeping to the important topic of sex and relationships, young people and key figures took part in a session which raised awareness of the increase of on-line sexual abuse and e-safety. The workshop gave a greater understanding of how to spot the warning signs that a young person is being targeted and how to report any incidents. 

 For more information visit: www.consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rse-call-for-evidence/ and www.listentomystory.co.uk

 To get involved in SYMBOL contact Rob Hancock on 07792 315 890

Help to make a difference to lives of children with disabilities in Sefton

Do you have some spare time on your hands during the school holidays or any evenings or weekends free? Would you be interested in helping disabled youngsters have fun in inclusive settings across Sefton?

 If so you could really make a difference to peoples’ lives. As part of Sefton Council’s Year of the Volunteer campaign, we are encouraging residents to consider volunteering for Aiming High. This is a very important service which gives support to children and young people with disabilities and their families.

 All year round the dedicated team provide specially tailored sessions which young people can access. This includes sport activities, outside play, music, dance and so much more!

 As we approach the school summer holidays, Aiming High are looking for more volunteer helpers for their summer programme which is packed full of fun and engaging things to do. 

 This will be a great experience for anyone who wants to join in and have some fun with  amazing young people and staff.

 It’s also an excellent opportunity for school leavers or students who want to work in a similar field such as social care, teaching or as a sports instructor.

 Don’t worry about your experience as full training is given. If you’re interested and want further information contact the Aiming High team on 0151 288 6816

 Check out our featured video below with the Aiming High team. We caught up with Laura Cunningham who has been one of our amazing volunteers. She helps out twice a week in our after school club for children with severe learning difficulties. She has now gained employment with Aiming High for the summer programme.

Don’t score an own goal this week – stay cool in the hot weather

With weather forecasters predicting a hot, sunny week ahead, and the bonus of another England football match, health leaders in Sefton are encouraging people to stay cool. 

If you’re combining the footie with a few beers and a BBQ afterwards, remember that alcohol increases your risk of dehydration. Don’t score an own goal; take care to stay hydrated and use sunscreen.  

With temperatures predicted soar again on Merseyside, sun worshippers are being urged to take it easy in the heat by following this simple advice:

  • Drink cold drinks and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol which can dehydrate you
  • Use sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15, make sure that it is still in date, follow the pack instructions and apply at regular intervals – otherwise it is ineffective
  • Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to protect your skin from burning – never use sunscreen as a reason to stay longer in direct sunlight
  • Make sure you have water with you
  • Check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours and friends who may find the heat too much. The heat can be dangerous for the very young, older people or those with serious illnesses. In particular, it can make heart and respiratory problems worse.

Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Most of us will be making the most of the warm weather we’re currently enjoying, but it’s important we don’t end up regretting it either.

“Sunscreen, shade and plenty of water, especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol, are the three main things you should be doing to keep yourself healthy.

“If you feel unwell after being in the sun for some time, it’s a good idea to go somewhere cool to rest and have a cool shower or bath.  If you are breathless, or are confused or dizzy, call NHS 111 straight away, they’ll be able to give you more advice.”

Your local pharmacy can also help provide over the counter remedies during the summer.   The NHS Choices website is also full of help and advice www.nhs.uk.

National Autistic Society Sefton parent and carer support group launches

A new National Autistic Society support group has launched for parents and carers of autistic adults in Sefton.

 The group is being run by volunteers and will meet once a month, offering information and support and advocating for local services. The venue will alternate each month between Sefton Carers Centre in Waterloo and the Life Rooms in Southport.

 The meeting dates and locations for 2018 are listed below. For more information about the group please email: nassefton@nas.org.uk

 Colette Hampson, Branches Development officer North of England and North Wales, said: We are pleased to announce that our Sefton Parent Carer Support Group launched on Friday 15 June at the Atkinson Gallery in Southport. This is a really exciting project and has the potential to make a huge difference to local families.

 “It was great to see so many people supporting the launch, including Bill Esterson MP, Councillor Paul Cummins, Sefton’s Cabinet member for Adult Social Care, and Vicky Keeley, CEO Sefton Carers Centre.

 “The group is being run by volunteers who are local parents and carers of autistic adults themselves. They will be meeting once a month, providing a space where parents and carers can drop by and meet people in similar situations, share information and ideas, and advocate for support in the community. It’s very informal, so the person you are supporting does not need to have a formal diagnosis to attend.

 “More than 1 in 100 people are autistic in the UK and life can be desperately difficult at times, for them and their families. But we’ve seen again and again the huge difference understanding and the right support can make.”

 On attending the event, Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “It is great news that this valuable service is now available to people living in Sefton. The volunteers involved have done a great job in getting the service up and running.

 “I have no doubt that parents and carers of autistic adults in the borough, will really benefit from the support and advice of others who are in similar situations as themselves.”

Meeting dates and times for 2018

Tuesday, July 17,1-3pm at Sefton Carers Centre, Waterloo

Tuesday, August 21, 1-3pm at Life Rooms, Southport

Tuesday, September 18, 1-3pm at Sefton Carers Centre, Waterloo

Tuesday, October 16, 1-3pm at Life Rooms, Southport

Tuesday, November  20, 1-3pm at Sefton Carers Centre, Waterloo

Tuesday, December 18, 1-3pm at Life Rooms, Southport

Locations

Sefton Carers Centre, 27-37 South Road, Waterloo, Liverpool

L22 5RF

Life Rooms Southport, 23 Scarisbrick Avenue, Southport, PR8 1NW 

Learn to spot the signs of child abuse

Sefton Council is supporting a national campaign that aims to highlight the support available to tackle the difficult subject of child abuse.

 Together, we can tackle child abuse, encourages members of the public to help protect children and young people by reporting any concerns of abuse or neglect.

 We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect. But right now, some people do not report their concerns because they’re not certain of the signs, don’t know where to report anything or are worried about being wrong. This means that local councils could be missing out on vital information they need to keep children safe from harm.

 The national campaign aims to tackle the barriers that stop people reporting, educating people about signs to spot and how to report, so that children and young people at risk get the help they need more quickly.

 Working in partnership with national and local agencies and charities it hopes to establish a new social norm that encourages the public to act on their concerns if they believe a child is at risk.

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “It is important that we work together to tackle child abuse.

 “Many people do not act because they are worried about being wrong. If you are concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk you can get in touch with the Sefton Council anonymously. ”

 Child abuse. If you think it, report it. To find out more about the national campaign visit gov.uk/tacklechildabuse.

 To report any incidents in Sefton you can call 0345 140 0845 between 8am and 6pm. Out of hours contact the emergency team on 0151 934 3555. For more information visit www.sefton.gov.uk/reportachildatrisk

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