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Year of the Volunteer: Food banks & Anti-poverty

March is the Year of the Volunteer’s Anti-Poverty and Food Banks month.

Each month the Year of the Volunteer campaign focuses on a special theme, with March being dedicated to those who give up their time to help those who find themselves in difficult circumstances.

We’ve been catching up with a number of volunteer organisations and individuals, including South Sefton Foodbank and Lakeside Foodbank, Southport, who regularly spend hundreds of hours each month to help families and those in need of emergency food supplies.

Volunteers make a real difference in Sefton. They touch people’s lives in so many different ways, providing comfort and support, fostering community development, and actively helping to keep Sefton clean, green and beautiful

Check out our feature video from South Sefton foodbank below. You can volunteer with them here

 

Be proud to be a quitter with Smokefree Sefton (No Smoking Day, Wednesday 14th March)

On this year’s national No Smoking Day, the Smokefree Sefton team will be encouraging local smokers to join the hundreds of people in the borough who have successfully quit smoking with them.

Look out for the team – a partner of Living Well Sefton – on Wednesday, 14 March as they park up their Wellness on Wheels bus to chat with people about their quit attempt and the free support the team can offer to keep it going.

Smokefree Sefton, a service commissioned by Sefton Council Public Health and managed by Solutions4Health, have already been helping shoppers in Waterloo to become proud quitters.

 

People like Mark Flavell, from Litherland, who dropped in to see them on their Wow bus at the Co-Operative store and has stopped smoking for several weeks. And another proud quitter says: “I couldn’t have done it without the Smokefree Sefton team.”

 

The team and the WoW bus will be at the following venues:
Marian Square Netherton by Cash Convertors 9.30am-11.30am
Chapel Street, Southport (next to Café Nero) 1.30pm-3.30pm
And members will also be in the foyer at Asda Supermarket in Bootle 10am-4pm

If people can’t make it to see the team on Wednesday, 14 March then they can also seek support at the clinics. Call 0300 100 1000 to find your nearest.

Hightown Surgery

Sefton Council is strongly opposing NHS England’s decision to close Hightown village surgery.

 NHS England has just announced that the surgery, which serves Sefton residents, will shut later in the year with Sefton Council now calling on the decision to be reversed.

 A special Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting is now scheduled for March 22 as Sefton Council believes NHS England has not followed the right process or engaged with the public properly about this.

 Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said: “We as a Council are dismayed and extremely disappointed at the way NHS England has handled this matter.

 “The closure decision was made and then communicated to residents in advance of any meaningful dialogue with the community and ourselves and taken without any reference to the statutory role of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

 “This really exposes wider concerns about the willingness of the NHS to engage with the Council on significant matters affecting health services in Sefton and the apparent lack of any strategic commissioning approach to the provision of primary care to Sefton communities.

 “Our ultimate concern is the safety and wellbeing of our communities and we would again request NHS England to review this decision and keep the surgery open while a meaningful engagement takes place.

 “This is going to be extremely difficult as the closure decision has already been made, patients notified and allocated to new practices. The last thing we want is patients being confused about the process – something NHS England should be ashamed of.

 “As a result we are arranging a special Overview and Scrutiny Committee to consider this matter and to seek assurance from NHS England and the CCG that the health and wellbeing of the people of Hightown has been paramount in this decision.

 “We have written to NHS England expressing all of our concerns and hope they react and respond in the way that betters the communities we serve.”

Rave reviews for Sefton’s pool parties

Be Active’s ‘wave rave’ pool parties entertained hundreds of Sefton’s young people and families during February half term.

 The wave raves are part of the new swim offer heading to Sefton that will see a major revamp of pool time-tables, the sessions on offer and vast improvements to changing facilities at Dunes Splash World, Southport and Meadows Leisure Centre, Maghull.

 More than 250 people from across Sefton enjoyed coloured pools, disco lights, music, floats and water cannons at Bootle Leisure Centre (BLC), Meadows Leisure Centre and Dunes Splash World.

 As a result of the huge success, the wave raves will be made a regular event across the three centres with those interested invited to book a place in advance to avoid disappointment.

 Brand new lighting and sound systems installed across the three centres have paved the way for a new era of pool based activities including wave raves, calm waters and a variety of sessions suited to all ages and abilities.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We have been blown away by the success of the wave raves with pools reaching capacity at BLC and Meadows!

 “The feedback from attendees has been incredible and I’m so happy that young people and families throughout the borough have found an activity that they can enjoy while keeping active at the same time.”

 Rave reviews of the parties have been sent back to the organisers. One happy resident said: “I would just like to say thanks again for the two brilliant wave rave pool sessions that my family experienced.

 “The floats were amazing and every child was encouraged to use the equipment and they were supervised in a safe, friendly environment.”

 There are more rave waves planned in Be Active’s Easter half term line-up. Call the Active sports team on 0151 934 4799 for more information or to book you place.

 In addition, wave raves will take place on the last Friday of every month at BLC and Meadows. Contact the centres for more information or to book a place at the next session.

Sefton Council encourages residents to crack down on smoky vehicles

Sefton Council is asking residents to work with them to help reduce the air pollution caused by taxis, HGVs and buses.

 Traffic places a considerable threat on the quality of Sefton’s air, so if vehicles are polluting more than they should be, they are causing a serious threat to the environment.

 Sefton Council wants to wants to enlist the support of communities to make sure that vehicles which are producing excessive smoke are reported to the appropriate authorities so that the fault can be rectified.

 Residents can report overly-polluting taxis to Sefton Council’s licensing team by making a note of the taxi driver number which usually appears on a small plate above the license plate and should have the Sefton Council logo on it. Taxis can be reported online at www.sefton.gov.uk/taxi

 Smoky HGVs and buses can be reported to the driver and vehicles standards agency (DVSA) online via https://www.gov.uk/report-smoky-vehicle or by calling the DVSA on 0300 123 9000 (select option 7).

The information required is:

  • Type of Vehicle (HGV heavy goods vehicle or PSV public service vehicle)
  • Vehicle Registration Mark
  • Company Name (if apparent)
  • Road Name/Number where vehicle seen
  • Date & Time of sighting

 Well maintained vehicles should produce very little smoke from exhausts except when they are starting up, accelerating hard or climbing steep hills. However, some vehicles emit dense plumes of smoke and may not meet legal emission standards.

 These vehicles will undoubtedly create higher levels of pollutants which in turn can have an adverse effect on people’s health and the surrounding environment.

 Cllr Paulette Lapin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “We don’t want vehicles that emit plumes of smoke to be welcome on Sefton’s roads. Our taxi licensing team will review any vehicles that are reported to them to ensure they have an up to date MOT.

 “We are working hard to keep Sefton’s air clean and in the past few years, the council has implemented a number of measures to reduce pollution across the borough resulting in improvements in air quality”.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Air pollution can have major health consequences and micro-pollutants such as PM 2.5s are small enough to travel into the respiratory system.

 “With many Sefton roads providing a route to the docks, HGV traffic can be high and if these are releasing excessive fumes they can have a detrimental effect on people’s health and the environment. By reporting smoky HGVs and buses to the DVSA, we can all help to protect Sefton’s air.”

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