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Liverpool Icon and Award Winning Actress Alison Steadman to Support and Attend Clapperboard’s Award Ceremony

The work Sefton Council and partners do supporting people with Aspergers will be recognised at a special award ceremony.

Sefton Council has been working in an innovative group partnership with Sefton CCG’s, Sefton Carers Centre, Autism Initiatives, The Atkinson, Mersey Care and People First to establish and develop three ‘hubs’ for people with Aspergers living in Sefton. 

The hubs are in Sefton Carers Centre, The Atkinson and Autism Initiatives Cedars Centre.  

The first project the hubs ran was in film-making with ClapperboardUK.  The members joined the group to work together to make short films from script to screen. 

The highly-regarded Clapperboard Awards Ceremony is to return to Liverpool this year hosted by Liverpool actor, comedian and writer Neil Fitzmaurice (Going Off Big Time, Phoenix Nights, Peep Show, Mount Pleasant) and this year in attendance is special guest presenter Liverpool film and television icon Alison Steadman (Nuts in May, Abigail’s Party, Shirley Valentine, Topsy Turvey, Life is Sweet, Singing Detective, Fat Friends, Gavin and Stacey).

The prestigious awards ceremony will once again take place at Liverpool Hope University’s Capstone Theatre on Tuesday, April 4.

Young adults from across Merseyside, including Sefton, have been involved in a whole production process from script to screen to deliver a number of diverse short films exploring issues such as mental health and autism.  They come together with their families and friends to display their work and achievements with the chance of winning a Clapperboard Award and to meet their on-screen idols.

On the awards evening a host of actors from the world of film and television will give up their time to support the Clapperboard project and present an award to the young film-makers, including Ricky Tomlinson (Royle Family, Hillsborough), Kieron Bimpson (Justice, Vera, Being Keegan, Hunter Killer), John Henshaw (Early Doors, Angels Share, Looking for Eric) and Hollyoaks cast, The Loveday Family:  

Actress Alison Steadman said: “As a patron of Clapperboard and a huge fan of its charitable work across the North West, I’m delighted that I am able to attend this year’s Awards Ceremony to present the special Alison Steadman Award for active citizenship.  I’m also looking forward to visiting the wonderful City of my birth.”

Host actor/writer Neil Fitzmaurice said: “I’m extremely happy to be able to host this special event once again.  Clapperboard is a great award-winning community filmmaking charity tackling many difficult issues that young people and their communities face.  There should be no stigma attached to mental health or autism issues as many people either suffer from this or know someone who has.”

The Sefton members have been so excited about their new found love of filmmaking that they have gone on to develop their own media group based at The Atkinson which is developing their skills and striving to become a social enterprise in the future.

This year’s judges include acclaimed writer Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions, 24 Hour Party People, Dr Who) award-winning actor Ricky Tomlinson, Board Member, Perrilena Alleyne-Hughes (Teacher & Director of Sense of Sound) and ex Clapperboard volunteer and Hollyoaks Technical Runner Mari Jones.

This year’s partners and sponsors include: Big Lottery, PH Holt, Mersey Care/NHS, Sefton Council, Sefton CCG’s, Sefton Carers Centre, Sefton Creative Hubs, Autism Initiatives,  Atkinsons, Lime Pictures, Liverpool Echo, Liverpool Film Studios, Liverpool Film Office, Firestyle Magazine, Forward Culture, EventSinc, Ma Boyle’s, Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool Hope University,  Bill Elms Associates, Barclays, among others.

Southport Wins National Tourism Award

Sefton Council’s Tourism Team has been recognised after Southport was named the UK’s most coach-friendly destination at the British Coach Tourism Awards 2017.

The town saw off stiff competition from Beverley, Bournemouth, Plymouth, Poole and Wells to win the award for ‘Coach Friendly Destination of the Year’.

The award recognises a town, city or region that demonstrates a commitment to welcoming coaches, coach groups and coach drivers. Previous winners have included Liverpool, York, Burnham-on-Sea and the Isle of Man.

The judges praised ‘Southport Welcome’, a new initiative launched in 2016 to highlight and remind tour planners and coach operators why the traditional seaside destination is coach and group friendly.

At the heart of ‘Southport Welcome’ is husband and wife team Rod and Wendy Wright who, as the town’s Coach Welcome Hosts, meet and greet coaches arriving on day excursions between March and October.

In addition to promoting the many visitor attractions, festivals and other things to do in the town and surrounding area, ‘Southport Welcome’ also highlights the town’s dedicated, secure coach parking, and how coach parking charges have been reduced.

Steve Christian, Sefton Council’s Destination Development Manager with Visit Southport, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with winning this award. Across the UK’s coach tourism industry, Southport has long been recognised as being ‘coach friendly’.

“However, with so many towns, cities and other destinations competing for business from group visitors, it’s vital that we keep that message in front of tour planners and coach operators.

“Winning this award will mean the campaign receives even more publicity which, when combined with our other marketing activity, and the new Southport branding, looks set to encourage even more people to visit the town over the months to come.”

Helen Conway, group director at awards organiser Diversified UK, added: “Once again the sheer quality of this year’s awards entries has been outstanding.  It sends a strong signal that the domestic tourism sector is getting stronger every year and is a real testament to the strength of commitment of the individuals working within it.

“There are many tourism awards, but only the British Coach Tourism Awards specifically focuses on coach tourism. It is the most important annual celebration of the very best our industry has to offer.”

For more information about the ‘Southport Welcome’, go to www.visitsouthport.com. For more information about the British Coach Tourism Awards, go to www.britishcoachawards.co.uk

Julia Donaldson’s The Scarecrows’ Wedding comes to The Atkinson

Straight from London’s West End The Scarecrows Wedding comes to The Atkinson on Saturday 6 May as part of the Southport Festival.

Based on the best-selling book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler this truly heart-warming adaptation is bursting at the seams with Scamp Theatre’s inimitable style (Stick Man, Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales) and promises wit, drama, and wedding bells.

Betty O’Barley and Harry O’Hay are excellent scarecrows (they scare a lot of crows). Harry loves Betty, and Betty loves Harry, so they decide to get married and Harry sets off to search for their wedding day essentials including a dress of feathers, a bunch of flowers and a necklace made from shells.

However, when the farmer notices he is missing a scarecrow, he replaces Harry with the devilishly smooth but dangerous Reginald Rake. Dashing, daring and ever so cool, can Reginald persuade Betty that he is the scarecrow for her? Will Harry make it back in the nick of time before Reginald ruins their special day?

Director Eva Sampson comments, “I’m delighted that The Scarecrows’ Wedding will be heading out on tour again this year. It’s a great opportunity to bring the show to new audiences and share Harry and Betty’s epic love story!”

★★★★ Enchanting and hilarious. Bags of sheer family fun (The Stage).

Visit southportfestival.com or VisitSouthport.com for full information about the many festival events taking place from Friday 5-Sunday 7 May.

Tickets for The Scarecrows Wedding on Saturday 6 May at 2.30pm range from £9 -£5.

To book please visit theatkinson.co.uk or call Box Office on 01704 533333. Tickets are also available over the counter during opening hours.

Southport charity receives award for tacking illegal money lenders

Migrant Workers Sefton Community received a highly commended award yesterday (21st March) for their 2016 project which warned migrant workers living in Sefton of the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks.  

The charity worked with The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT), Multimedia Company Handstead Films and Sefton Neighbourhood Team to produce a short film to demonstrate the perils of getting involved with an illegal money lender and to promote the help and support available to loan shark victims through the IMLT.

The title for the film ‘Stop Loan Leeches’ came about after the charity found that the term ‘loan shark’ did not translate well in to Eastern European languages.

In order to get the message across to migrant workers, the short film was translated in to six different languages: English, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Russian.

Migrant Workers Sefton Community help mitigate the financial hardship among migrant workers and their dependents living in Sefton and the surrounding area.

In 2016, The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) delivered training to volunteers from the charity on how to support migrant workers borrowing cash from loan sharks. Volunteers were taught on how to spot a loan shark and how to signpost victims to the appropriate help and support available.

As a result of actively working with the IMLT to raise awareness of loan sharks, Migrant Workers Sefton Community effectively reached over 900 direct clients and over 2000 in-direct client family members.

The project was funded by Sefton Council with support from the IMLT.

Cllr. Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing in Sefton, said:

“In Sefton we have always extended a warm welcome to migrants who choose to call our borough home and enrich it through their contribution to community life.

“Unfortunately, they often face real hardship, in particular managing their finances, meaning it can be all too tempting to seek out illegal money lenders, which inevitably makes their situation worse.

“It is heartening to see a service working closely with Sefton Council, take the fight to illegal lenders by educating migrants to make different and better choices – this award is richly deserved.

“It should also be noted that it is not only migrants in Sefton who are confronted by the dilemma posed by illegal lenders – it can happen to anyone. If you are worried about your finances or are considering illegal lenders, help is available from Sefton Council and our partners.”

 

Eileen Saunders, Co-founder of Migrant Workers Sefton Community said:

“We are delighted to have been recognised for our work in trying to stamp out illegal money lending. Loan sharks prey on the most disadvantaged members of our local communities, including European migrants. We hope our ‘Stop Loan Leeches’ video sends out a direct message that loan sharks will not be tolerated in Sefton and that there is help and support available to victims so they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

 

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team said:

“Well done to all our winners and ‘highly commended’ runners up in the National Champions Awards 2016. You have all contributed to making a difference and tackling this crime in your community.

“Loan sharks are a scourge on society and cause harm and misery to their victims. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch with IMLT on 0300 555 2222. You call will be handled by a trained officer and all information will be treated in the strictest confidence.”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.

 

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222

Text a report to 078600 22116

Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk

E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk  

Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject

Funding secured to support victims of domestic abuse

A multi-agency funding bid has secured just over £300,000 of funding to support victims of domestic abuse. The funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government was submitted on behalf of Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral Councils and their respective Community Safety Partnerships to support victims of domestic abuse in a number of ways. Firstly it will help to support victims of domestic abuse by providing them with accommodation, suitable to individual needs, across the four local authority areas. In addition, an enhanced and extended therapeutic support offer will be provided to  children who have witnessed or experienced domestic abuse to improve their mental health and wellbeing. The funding will also support an extended sanctuary offer, enabling more victims of domestic abuse to remain in their own homes safely, through the installation of appropriate safety measures such as locks and external lighting, whilst also extending the use of the IT system across Merseyside to co-ordinate allocation and record demand for specialist accommodation. The total funding secured is £301,160 and this will support 37 units available for supported, dispersed accommodation, 180 children will benefit from therapeutic support and a minimum of 150 households will benefit from the sanctuary fund.  

Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said “We know that domestic abuse happens, and can have a profound effect on victims as well as children who may witness incidents.  That’s why we have teamed up with our neighbouring authorities to tackle the issue over a wider geographical area to provide support and solutions that will have a real impact on those who are suffering from it.  This funding will help us to offer targeted support to victims, helping them to rebuild their lives.” Cllr Emily Spurrell, Mayoral Lead for Community Safety, Liverpool City Council, said “We are particularly delighted that this funding will not only increase the number of units of accommodation across the region but allow us to adopt a housing led approach whilst meeting the needs of groups that we have previously struggled to help. We will also, for the first time, be able to provide therapeutic support to children affected by domestic abuse”. Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Communities and Housing, added: “Any funding to help tackle domestic abuse is welcomed. Domestic abuse is never acceptable and should not be a hidden issue in our communities. We need to create an environment where domestic abuse is understood better and accepted less and hopefully this money will help achieve this more across the region.” Cllr George Davies, Wirral Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety, said “Domestic abuse is a devastating crime that all too often remains hidden. In recognition of this, Wirral Council has pledged to treat domestic abuse with zero tolerance, which also means ensuring that victims are able to access appropriate housing, where they can feel safe and supported during times of crisis. I am therefore very pleased that this award of funding will enable Wirral, alongside our neighbouring councils, to adopt a housing-led approach to addressing the accommodation and support requirements of people fleeing domestic abuse, thereby enabling victims to rebuild their lives”

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