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Sefton care home puts spotlight on making memories

A Netherton care home has been chosen as the Sefton representative in a Merseyside-wide summer initiative to highlight the importance of memories and reminiscence among older people living with dementia.

James Dixon Court on Harrops Croft has been selected as the borough’s recipient of a Sense of Summer memory basket, produced by the multi-award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme, created by National Museums Liverpool.

Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, put forward James Dixon Court which is operated by the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions.

House of Memories is a museum-led dementia awareness programme which offers training, resources and activities to enable carers to support people living with the condition.

The new Sense of Summer memory baskets are designed to stimulate discussion about the past, and the contents are inspired by the great outdoors, bringing together items related to gardening, home-grown produce and summer picnics.

The basket includes objects that can form topics for reminiscence, and suggestions for outdoor and garden-themed activities that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living with dementia.

The basket also contains multi-sensory objects that will work well for people with different levels of sensory communication, including items that stimulate smell, hearing, touch and sight.

Commenting on the Sense of Summer initiative, New Directions Head of Operations Paul Bamber said: “We are delighted and grateful to have been chosen as the Sefton recipient of this very valuable new resource, and would like to thank both House of Memories for their support and Cllr Cummins for putting us forward.”

James Dixon Court Service Manager, Martina Barr, added: “There’s nothing our residents like more than to get together and chat about the past, so this memory basket is very much appreciated and will certainly get a lot of use.”

Just one care home in Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens has received a summer memory basket, a development inspired by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge earlier this year to build a dementia-friendly Liverpool City Region.

The baskets are sponsored by Financial Planning Corporation (FPC), based in Ainsdale, who has supported a number of other House of Memories projects..

FPC Partner Moira O’Shaughnessy commented: “We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the Sense of Summer memory baskets. Attending the presentation at James Dixon Court provided us with a unique opportunity to see the benefits that the residents experience from them in action.”

Sefton announces huge plans for English Language support

Sefton Council has revealed plans to help migrant schoolchildren get a better start at early years education.

In May the local authority announced that it was successful in securing a £244,000 grant to help Sefton schools increase their already impressive levels of educational support to migrant children who come to live in the area.

Work has already begun on a two year English Language Support project which will be rolled out to primary schools across the borough.

As part of the project, migrant schoolchildren who are learning English as an additional language will now have access to weekly support sessions, while their families will receive access to linguistic lending libraries.

Teachers and support staff in primary schools across Sefton are also undergoing additional training to help them further improve their skills to support new migrant children who move to the borough.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “The legacy of this amazing project will leave schools across Sefton with specially trained staff, a sustainable English Language network and a bank of key resources for staff to build upon in years to come.

“Not only will this project help support migrant children in learning English, but it will also foster an inclusive ethos which our schools pride themselves in, welcoming everyone as equal, valued members of the community.

“Sefton has a proven track record of being an incredibly welcoming borough for all and this project will further our efforts in making sure children from all backgrounds have the best start in life, learning equally with their friends and peers.

For more information about Sefton schools and learning opportunities, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning.

Time Capsule buried for 50 years to mark the opening of Maghull Station

School children helping to preserve time for future generations of commuters have buried a time capsule in the foundations of the new £13 million state-of-the-art Maghull North Station, which will be re-opened in 2068.

 The container, which was created by pupils at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School, is packed with school memorabilia, and also LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film created by all the pupils at the school with help from staff at Sefton Council.  

 It was presented to the station’s staff, Merseyrail’s HR director Jane English and Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, at a special ceremony held on June 11.

 Pupils from the school all got the honour of planting the historical milestone which will remain buried in the station’s grounds for the next fifty years.   

 A plaque will also be placed in the ground above the time capsule which will read:

 St Thomas CE Primary School Time Capsule, Sealed at Maghull North station on 11th July 2018.  To be opened 11th July 2068.

 The time capsule is one of several community projects that have been created to mark the arrival of the new station which was officially opened to the public last month.

 Other projects included a community artwork piece, to brighten up the new station’s site, which was designed by local groups and schools in the town.  

 Additionally, a set of story boards reflecting the fascinating the history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War have been unveiled on both platforms.

 Speaking about the time capsule, head teacher, Mr Ward, said: “The new station is such exciting news for Maghull and our pupils were thrilled to help mark this occasion by creating a piece of local history which will give future generations a snapshot of what life was like in 2018.  

“They are really excited to have their work, poems and stories captured in time and be part of this lasting legacy.”

 Jane English, HR Director, at Merseyrail, said: “We are incredibly passionate about getting local schools involved in all our projects because we want to give back to all the communities in which we operate as they are an integral part of everything we do.

“The new station is hugely important for Maghull because it will improve travel options and drive ongoing development in the town, which is why we wanted to involve the children as they will be enjoying it for many years to come.”

“We are delighted that they got on board to support us and the time capsule is a fitting celebration to mark the end of such a major milestone for the town.”

 Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “This new station is a great asset for the local community and we’re delighted to see the schoolchildren getting involved with this project.

“It will be fascinating to look back in 50 years at what has been left behind in the capsule and hopefully many of our other future aspirations for the local rail network will have been realised at that stage too.”

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “The time capsule project has provided an invaluable link between education and the new railway station.

“It will be a real eye opener when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time to see how the station, the school and the local area has progressed.

“Special thanks goes to Sefton Council’s Communications Team who helped put together the film about the school which will form an interesting piece of history in the future.”

 The new Maghull North station is located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line. 

 The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future. 

 It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.

 The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail. 

Watch this video which Sefton Council produced with St Thomas School about the time capsule project.

Sefton’s Lost Castle set to rise again…out of cardboard

A long lost castle which took pride of place along the Sefton Coast is set to rise again – except this time the building materials are a little different.

Six extraordinary structures made of cardboard, tape and community spirit will be created across the Liverpool City Region this summer in what is a cultural first for Sefton and the combined authority.

Lost Castles will see hundreds of volunteers work with thousands of cardboard boxes to build monumental castle-inspired structures, some of which will be based on actual medieval forts or historic structures which were in the region at one time.

In Sefton, the long lost Miller’s Castle, built in the 19th Century in Bootle, will be reconstructed and put on display in North Park as part of a series of family-fun activities, coinciding with Bootle’s 150th Birthday on August 11.

Members of the public – individuals and community groups – are being urged to get involved in the event which is set to take place from July 31 to August 9.

Anyone who signs up can help create these magical structures and then join in the fun of toppling them at the end of the weekend.

The concept is the brainchild of French artist Olivier Grossetȇte and is the first creative project to take place across the entire city region.

 Olivier and members of his team will work with people across Merseyside at a number of free workshops which will take place in July and August – these are drop in sessions and people can get involved as much or as little as they like. Find out more by visiting www.lostcastles.co.uk.

The project has been made possible thanks to support from Arts Council England and is supported by the City Region Combined Authority, and the Global Streets Strategic Touring Programme which aims to bring the very best international outdoor art to towns and cities.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We are delighted to be part of the Lost Castles project across Merseyside and to see Miller’s Castle recreated will be an incredible sight.

“Not many people are aware that Bootle had its very own castle of course.

“In 1824 an enterprising businessman called William Miller was able to build a huge castle on the shoreline, aptly named Miller’s Castle. The castle was demolished in the 1860s to make room for the ever expanding Bootle docks and a nearby road, Miller’s Bridge, was named in his honour.

“Now Miller’s Castle is set to awe and impress residents and visitors once more when it is recreated in cardboard form at North Park. It will be a magical venue for a series of community events and performances.

“Once it’s all over, Miller’s Castle will be responsibly recycled, making it artwork that’s also environmentally-friendly.”

For more information or to get involved in the Sefton Lost Castles project, visit www.sefton.gov.uk/lostcastles.

Derby Park set for action packed family fun day

The Friends of Derby Park are busy preparing for a summer music event, at the Bootle based Park next month.

The annual Derby Park Music and Fun Day takes place on Sunday July 22, from 12pm till 3 p.m. featuring St Helen’s Brass Band (2 – 3pm) and Serendipity Barber Shop Quartet (1 – 1.30 pm) with live music throughout the day, with crafts for the children, and pony rides from Shy Lowen Pony Sanctuary.

Be sure to bring a picnic – and of course the ice cream man will be there too!

Hosted by the Friends of Derby Park, with help from Sefton Council, the annual summer fun day is a popular event in the local calendar and attracts hundreds of families each year to the beautiful park on Fernhill Road.

The event is free to attend with activities starting from 12pm.

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