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MySefton Showcase

MySefton ShowcaseThe very first edition of the MySefton newsletter is now available and showcases just some of the great things that are happening across our borough. It highlights the work that Sefton Council and partners are doing to make Sefton a great place to live, work and have fun. 

As the festive season approaches there’s plenty of activities happening across Sefton to get you in the festive spirit. From Christmas lights switch-on events and seasonal markets to volunteering activities – there’s something for everyone. 

Christmas isn’t a great time for everyone though. There are families who are struggling to make ends meet, so spare a thought and give to one of the vital foodbanks across Sefton. It’s not just about foodbanks, having a cup of tea with someone who is feeling a bit lonely may be their best Christmas present so please take the time to wish people well and let them know about the many exciting opportunities in this newsletter as they may wish to join in. 

Watch out for news on the Mayor’s Toy Appeal in the next few weeks. 

Do make sure you stay well this winter, follow advice from our public health and our NHS partners – and don’t forget to get your flu jab. 

You can keep up with all the latest community news here on the MySefton.com news channel. Sefton Council have also just launched an email community messaging system so you can receive all the latest events and the Council’s important news straight to your inbox –sign up via www.merseynowsefton.org.

Tips for dining out with a person living with dementia

     Caring for somebody who is living with dementia can mean some planning and adjustments to things we often take for granted. One of those things is eating out, sometimes it can be difficult so Alzheimer’s Society in Southport, have some hints and tips from service users and carers from across Sefton to help you on your next outing.

  • I find people are very kind and helpful when I am out with mum. Mum struggles to pick up a cup without spilling her favourite cappuccino or hot chocolate – I have started getting her a straw which helps enormously, she enjoys it!
  • Child or smaller portions are about the right size and usually easier to eat.
  • I often take mum to the garden centre for lunch – soup and a roll, cappuccino and a cake!  We go early to avoid the queues.  I sit mum at a table then go and get the food.
  • We try to book a restaurant when its open, then we can choose a secluded place to sit to avoid too much noise and distractions. We can order quickly so there is not too much time to wait. We often decide what we are going to eat beforehand so there is even less delay. We tend to have a main meal and dessert, and then home for coffee.
  • I take Mum for a coffee and cake rather than a big meal as she gets agitated after a few minutes and it’s easier to drink up and go if we need to. 
  • With family meals, we tend to get takeaway fish and chips at home so that if dad doesn’t feel up to participating, it’s no big deal.
  • Visit places at quieter times of the day and avoid weekends.
  • Choose places with good lighting, not too loud background noise and, if possible an establishment where staff are Dementia Friends. 
  • Using the same establishment to provide familiarity and also the staff/management can identify your needs. (Lots of napkins, quiet table, close to toilets). Dependant on ability pre-order a selection of finger foods to be placed on the table, avoids any issues with cutlery, everybody can eat the same food. As a past restaurant manager, I would be happy to provide a regular order for my guests. 
  • Having the appropriate drinking vessel for the person with dementia, (if they require a beaker bring one). As a dementia champion i have not encountered many restaurants that have dementia friends training for all staff so please ask for what you need.
  • When my step mum went into a Care Home and found going out difficult, we used to take a picnic into the Home, and eat it in the garden. Her favourite smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and cakes. We would talk about places we had been out for picnics in the past and it brought back happy memories. We had some lovely afternoons without the stress all round if she had difficulties when we were out in a restaurant or cafe.
  • My wife has an eating disorder and can’t manage a regular meal.   As a result I order a main and an extra plate. Initially it was worried it might be a bit embarrassing but nobody batted an eyelid.

     These helpful tips are from people caring for others living with dementia and how they have been able to find workarounds whilst out and about. Most cafes and restaurants are more than happy to help, so always ask if there is something you need or if you have any specific requirements. Living with dementia means just that – living.

     Cllr Cummins Cabinet member for Adult social care said ‘We hope to encourage more businesses in Sefton to become ‘Dementia Friendly’ for carers and people living with dementia alike. These tips for eating out are brilliant because they come directly from those dealing with dementia. We hope to make everyday outings as enjoyable as we can for everybody in Sefton’

     Linda Lawson, Information Worker for the Society said ‘Eating out when you have dementia can be a challenging experience for both the person with this condition and those who care for them. The best suggestions to make this experience more relaxing and pleasurable come directly from those living with dementia as we know they really do work. We want to encourage more cafes and restaurants to become ‘dementia friendly’, small changes such as clear signage, good lighting and staff receiving free Dementia Friends training can make a huge difference to a person living with dementia.’

     If you would like any further information about Alzheimer’s Society and dementia support in Sefton please contact 01704 539 967 or E-mail southport@alzheimers.org.uk or you can visit their website for more information Website www.alzheimers.org.uk or visit the Sefton Dementia Action alliance website to see what’s going on around Sefton http://www.dementiaaction.org.uk/local_alliances/3794_sefton_daa

Black Friday advice for Businesses and Security staff

Black Friday has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year, when retailers reduce prices across their stock to kick-start the Christmas gift-buying season.
 
The National Business Crime Centre are advising retail stores to review their security and ensure they have adequate resources in place to respond to the increased demand. Retailers should provide their own security arrangements during the sales, and consider police assistance only as a ‘last resort’.
 
 
Last year, there were incidents of overcrowding and arrests were made as shoppers clashed over bargains. Think about how you can improve on what you did last year.
Things you can do:
  • Have sufficient staff to cope with the increased demand
  • Security officers should have a visible presence, clearly display ID badges and be briefed, crowded places can lead to more opportunities for pickpockets
  • Ensure staff are fully briefed to positively engage with customers
  • Remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to security or police
  • Review and communicate any emergency/evacuation procedures to staff, ensure all necessary equipment, including first aid supplies, are readily available
  • Have the ability to control access points in to your premises
  • If you have access to a ‘ShopWatch’ radio, ensure it is utilised
  • Check CCTV is fully operational and that you have available staff members who are trained to operate it
  • Contact your local police or Business Partnership if you have specific events which you feel they should be aware of
In the event of an emergency, always call 999.

Sensational summer for Coast volunteers

Over the summer we’ve enjoyed spending time on the Sefton Coast with visitors to our dunes, woodlands, beaches and parks.

Over the summer (April – September), the Friends of Sefton Coast have had over 750 volunteer visits, giving more than 1500 hours of time to help clean up beaches, woodlands and parks, and  keeping access routes clear and carrying out wildlife surveys.

We held several Beach Clean Ups over the summer and our volunteers recovered over 550 bags of debris, they then separated the debris into recyclable and non-recyclable materials, this produced almost 100 bags recyclable plastics.

If you were one of the brilliant volunteers who helped out over the summer, we’d love to hear from you and capture your experiences of working along the Sefton coast. We would love to be able to share your feelings and experiences with people living and working in Sefton and hopefully inspire others to help maintain Sefton’s natural beauty and share in its huge capacity to improve health and wellbeing amongst our local communities.

Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols Local Nature Reserve are now under the management of the National Trust. For the Friends of Sefton Coast who volunteer at these sites, you may still do so, but you might want to discuss your voluntary contributions with the National Trust also. If you are happy for us to forward your contact details to the National Trust, please let us know.

All of our volunteers who have previously gone through the grazing animal’s welfare training will be aware that as winter approaches, the sheep and cattle will be back on the grazing enclosures at Ainsdale and Birkdale Local Nature Reserve. If you can help with welfare checks, please get in touch with us at the Ainsdale office and we will make arrangements with you. If you have not been through the stock animals training, but are still be interested in helping us to monitor the winter grazing animals, then please get in touch because we can arrange to provide you with suitable training.

 

Don’t forget that you can contact the Friends of Sefton Coast group or email Gordon White, Coast & Countryside Officer for Sefton Council – Email: Gordon.white@sefton.gov.uk at any time. Equally, if you know anyone who is interested in visiting, exploring and enjoying the coast, who might like to volunteer, then please ask them to get in touch, everyone is welcome.

Adoption Appeal for Sefton Siblings

64% of the children in the North West who are waiting for adoptive families are brothers and sisters in groups of 2 or more according to new information published to mark National Adoption Week (October  16-22). 
Based on the latest Government information, and figures from national adoption information service, First4Adoption, it shows that sibling groups wait longer than single children to be placed with a ‘forever family’. 


Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “As in previous years, the need to find families for some of our most vulnerable children remains at the heart of this year’s campaign. 

“We’re asking anyone who may be considering adoption to think about whether they could parent siblings?

“There’s no denying that having more than one child comes with real challenges but it also has advantages and brings great rewards. If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Sefton Adoption Service today.”

 

The new research, by Adoption Match and based on data from the Adoption Register for England also reveals that:

  • 52% of sibling groups awaiting adoption in the North West are children aged over 4
  • 59% of these groups awaiting adoption are made up of boys
  • 11% of the siblings groups awaiting adoption are Black and Minority Ethnic children

 

Elaine Jamieson from Sefton Council’s Adoption Service, added: “The majority of people adopting for the first time choose to take a single child into their family. 

“Also, it is often in the best interests of the children that a sibling group finds a family together rather than experience further trauma by being separated. 

“This presents an extra challenge for social workers and these factors account for the high proportion of siblings in our region waiting for an adoptive family.”

Sefton adopters, Chris and Julie, said: “Adoption has meant we’ve got the family we’ve always wanted, perhaps slightly less conventionally then some people do it but we’re proud to have a part in shaping their world.

“When our girls were placed with us it was exciting and bewildering but you just take a leap of faith! The moment they called us mum and dad meant everything to us.” 



The regional adoption agency, Adopting In Merseyside (AIM), covering Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and Wirral are holding an information evening on October 18. For more information on adoption or to register for the event, contact Sefton Adoption Service on Freephone 0800 923 2777 or visit seftonadoption.co.uk 

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