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Volunteers brave the cold to explore Sefton’s Sand Dunes

Wintry showers didn’t put off a team of green fingered volunteers, as they explored Sefton’s sand dunes last week.

 The Gems in The Dunes, series of talks and walks, ran a training day all about Bryophytes, the smallest plants on the borough’s coast.

The session took place at Ainsdale Discovery Centre on Thursday November 1.

 Green Sefton’s Land Management Unit Apprentices, also went along as an early part of their training. They are spending the next 2 years with Sefton Council, working towards an NVQ II in Horticulture, through Myerscough College.

 In the morning attendees learnt the theory behind Bryophyte conservation and were given training on how to survey Bryophytes including Bryums and Petalworts. The day also included lessons on identification, life cycle and habitat requirements.

 Afterwards the group donned their warm waterproofs and took a field trip to Birkdale to see the plants in their natural habitat.

 For more information about future training call 01704 571 575 or email gems-in-the-dunes@arc-trust.org.

Ramada celebrates ten years in Southport

The award-winning Ramada Hotel in Southport is celebrating its 10th Birthday.

Officially opened on October 23, 2008, the now iconic staple of Southport’s promenade scene, the 4-star Ramada hotel has welcomed thousands of people through its doors over the last decade.

Lisa Little, General Manager said: “We are delighted to be celebrating such a milestone birthday. We feel that our strength has been the partnerships we have made and ingratiating the business into the town and its offer.

“We work with other businesses, organisations and Sefton Council to attract people into the town and offer the very best customer experience once they visit us.

“We are undergoing huge change here, moving into becoming the Waterfront national leisure destination alongside the Southport Theatre, Floral Hall Ballroom and we look forward to the next ten years!”

In January it will undergo a rebrand becoming the first Bliss Hotel in the UK. 

Adopters needed across Merseyside

The regional adoption agency for Merseyside is highlighting the need for more people to provide homes for children.

As National Adoption Week gets underway on Monday October 15, Adoption in Merseyside (AiM) – which recruits for local authorities in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton and Wirral – is urging people to think about providing a loving, stable home for Merseyside’s children.

Adopted children are unable to live with their birth families for many reasons and move to live permanently with a new family, taking their surname and assuming the same rights and privileges as if they had been born to them.

Children who need adoptive families often need a little extra from their new parents, and over the next year AiM is looking to recruit over 80 sets of adopters.

Jenny Ness, Head of Service for AiM, said: “Becoming an adopter is life changing, for everyone involved and is the single most important thing that will ever happen to a young person as it completely transforms their life chances.

“For the adopter, there truly is nothing more rewarding or fulfilling.  Although the process of becoming an adopter has to be extremely thorough, we try and make it as pain free as possible.

“I would urge anyone who has ever thought about adoption to get in touch with us – it could be the best decision you ever make.”

You will need to have a child-friendly lifestyle, provide a stable environment and be ready for the challenge and lifelong commitment of adoption. You will also need time, patience, love and resilience to help a child reach their full potential.

Adoptive parents from a wide range of backgrounds are welcomed as it helps to be able to match them with children who have very varied needs.

Applications are open to people from all backgrounds regardless of age, race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexuality.  Couples, single people, disabled people and people from all cultures are welcome.

AiM are particularly looking for parents who can offer a home to children of all ages who:

  • Are part of a sibling group
  • Are disabled or have a medical condition
  • Have complex needs
  • Are from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds

You must be:

  • Over 21 and mature enough to meet the demands of parenthood
  • Fit and well enough to care for children until they are adults
  • Able to offer a secure home with a spare room for one or more children

A drop in adoption information evening is being held on Tuesday 30 October from 4-7pm in Garston. Please contact AiM directly on 0151 477 8700 for further details

For more information about adoption, log on to www.adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk or call 0151 477 8700.

Big Blues Festival Countdown

It’s nearly that time of year…one of The Atkinson’s favourite events returns with a stronger than ever line up.

 The Big Blues Festival is now in its fourth year and once again it promises to be a weekend of great music, great food,  great ale and great fun as we celebrate what rock, rhythm and blues has to offer!

 The line-up is as big as it is bold and presents music that is desperate to be heard, with headliners  DrFeelgood and  Ian  Siegal, it’s a weekend you really don’t want to miss!

 Formed on Canvey Island in Essex in the early 1970s, Dr Feelgood remains one of the most popular and exciting live rhythm and blues acts in the world. The raw and uncompromising style of their performance resulted in the album Stupidity that immediately went to the number one position in the U.K. charts.

 Dr Feelgood have also enjoyed global success with a string of hit singles including Milk and Alcohol, Roxette, Back in the Night, Down at the Doctors, She Does it Right, Going Back Home and See You Later Alligator – which gave the group their first gold record.

 The current line up features the rhythm section Kevin Morris on drums and Phil Mitchell on bass, both 29 years in the band and Steve Walwyn on guitar who has been with the band for 23 years. Vocalist Robert Kane (formerly of the Animals) is the most recent addition – joining in 1999 after the tragic death of Lee Brilleaux. The band continues to tour extensively throughout the World and enjoy a loyal following at home and abroad.

They are supported by George Shovlin and George Lamb the winners of 2017 Little Blues Acoustic Stage.

 Ian Siegal needs no introduction; he’s a force within the UK blues scene winning countless awards. In more than a quarter century of touring Ian Siegal’s mission statement has barely changed: songs that are real, shows that resonate, vocals served raw. Today he is considered by many to be the most compelling British blues artiste since the great names of the sixties.

 In 2018 he will be touring a new album, his first studio recording of new songs in six years. Produced by American Jimbo Mathus, it is classic Siegal: full of the dark and light, clever word play and rough-hewn voicebox he is known for. It also marks the first studio recording with the band he hooked up with in 2013. Frequent touring has evolved a distinctive sound featuring Dusty Ciggaar’s tex-mex infused guitar licks. We are delighted to have him headlining the Saturday night of our 2018 Big Blues Festival.

 Xander and the Peace Pirates are a testament to musical integrity and personal strength. Combining soul, blues and rock, their pervasive blend of inspired song writing and memorable performances has already seen them enrapture audiences from around the world.

 Brothers Keith and Stu Xander were discovered on YouTube by Gibson Brands CEO, Henry Juszkiewicz, and during their subsequent performances for the company at numerous international events from LA to Dubai, the band caught the attention of not just an ever-growing collective of fans but also industry legends such as Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Rolling Stones) and Rick Allen (Def Leppard).

 Defying all expectations, lead singer and guitarist Keith Xander was born without a right arm below the elbow and plays guitar using a prosthesis and hook with a pick attached at the end. Although many who have seen Keith play believe him to be an extraordinary guitarist despite of his falsely perceived ‘disability’, he is a virtuoso musician in his own right and his playing rivals the best in the industry. The band established themselves as a live-performance juggernaut.

 Sam Kelly’s Station House has been in the business more than 40 years . His “Station House” band has been featuring on the U.K. music scene for many years. A “groove” band with dancing very much in mind. Their musical catalogue includes Johnny Guitar Watson, Keb Mo, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Gary Moore, Stevie Wonder, Little Feat, to name but a few. The band’s unique sound is influenced by New Orleans second line, soul, jazz, calypso, reggae and British funk.

 With three ‘lead’ singers supported by percussionist and internationally acclaimed drummer, the result is an eclectic fusion of music with its roots firmly based in the blues.

 The UK blues sensation Rebecca Downes is fast establishing herself as one of the star attractions amongst the new vanguard of blues performers in the UK, with her unique and powerful voice, drawing influences ranging from Blues and Soul to Jazz and Rock.

 Tom C Walker will be on the road with his new 4-piece band. A finalist of the UK Blues Awards, in 2017 he released the Into Space EP with the single Sweet Angel, straight in the Top 20 in the IBBA Blues charts while selling thousands of copies world wide in the first few months of release.

 In July 2017 The Tom Walker Trio hit the road for Tom’s first headline UK tour, “The Into Space UK Tour,” quickly selling out the Birmingham show before playing before Mungo Gerry at the legendary Ealing Blues Festival.

 Big Blues Festival tickets are on sale now £48 festival ticket / £35 Saturday ticket / Headline gigs are available for Dr Feelgood and Ian Siegal £17 available online at https://www.theatkinson.co.uk/events/big-blues-festival-2018/ via the Box Office on 01704 533333 and over the counter during opening hours.

 Don’t forget the Blues Matters  Little Acoustic Stage entertaining everyone in the foyer on Saturday lineup includes;  Mojo Hand – 1.30-2.15pm, Michael Woods – 3.15 – 4pm, Rowland Jones – 5-5.45pm and Trevor ‘Babajack’ Stieger –  5.45-6.30pm.

 Join the mailing list online and stay up to date with the events, activities and exhibitions coming up at The Atkinson. Plus receive offers!   

A consultation on the proposed closure of Sand Dunes nursery school, Seaforth has begun.

An 8-week consultation regarding the proposed closure of Sand Dunes nursery school, Seaforth is set to start.

 Sefton Council was formally asked by the governing body at Sand Dunes to start a statutory consultation on proposals to close the nursery from August, 2019. This was agreed at a Cabinet meeting held on July 26, at Bootle Town Hall.

 Sefton Council’s multi-agency consultation and engagement panel met on August 16 to outline the formal process and offer support, advice and guidance to ensure that communities have an opportunity to express their views.

 The consultation will run from August 20 – October 12 and for anyone to comment on the closure proposals please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/sanddunes from Monday (August 20).

 The consultation is the first part of a 5 stage statutory process Sefton Council has to follow.

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “This is the start of the formal process we have to follow after being contacted by Sand Dunes Nursery to close the facility.

“The consultation opens on August 20 and we would urge as many people to take the time to look into this and let us know how they feel about the proposals.

“The nursery will reopen at the start of the next academic year in September and throughout this difficult process we will be as open and transparent as possible working closely with parents, pupils and staff at the nursery. Further meetings with staff and parents are planned in the coming weeks.”

 

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