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Baroness Newlove to visit Sefton school for anti-gang initiative

A scheme which sees schoolchildren across Sefton receive vital advice and tips on staying safe from gangs and crime is being honoured by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner.

Baroness Helen Newlove will visit St Oswald’s Primary in Netherton later this month to observe the successful partnership between Sefton Council and the Get Away ‘N’ Get Safe (GANGS) initiative.

GANGS course leader James Riley, a former probation officer, works closely with Sefton Council’s Localities teams to deliver an intensive educational, preventative and diversionary programme to schools across the borough to warn young people on the dangers of gang lifestyle.

The work by GANGS and Sefton Council has now been recognised on a national level, with Baroness Newlove observing a session at St Oswald’s on January 25 as an example of best practice.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Through our Sefton Safer Communities Partnership we identified that there was a need for a project that could be implemented at an early stage to deter children from making bad life decisions.

“The impact that James’ sessions have had is incredible and we are always receiving feedback from schools and parents commending the work that GANGS have done

“We look forward to showing Baroness Newlove the incredible work we have done in our communities.”

James Riley, founder of GANGS, added: “The partnership between GetAwayNGetSafe and Sefton has developed incredibly well over the last few years.

“We want to use GANGS to inspire young children at an early age to make positive decisions about their lifestyles in the future.

“Through our early intervention work and by changing attitudes and behaviour, we will continue to make Sefton a safe and secure borough for all.”

Emma Murtagh, Head Teacher of St Oswald’s, said: “James has worked with a number of our pupils over the years and the partnership has been invaluable.

“The workshops are informative and provide an insight into the dangers of being in a gang, as well as how the law works.

“I hope that this work will continue to keep our younger generations from harm.”

For more information about the GANGS initiative please visit www.getaway-n-getsafe.co.uk/

Is it time to ditch those stabilisers?

Sefton Council is excited to be bringing back our poplar, ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

During the session, children aged for and above can learn to ride a bike unaided.

Children who attend can have lots of fun, whilst learning lifelong cycling skills. The events, which take place a number of times throughout the year, always have a high success rate, as our enthusiastic staff from the highway safety team of a range of practical advice.

Sessions are free but you must book in advance.

Get involved at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, February 19 or Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday February 21.

To register, call Sefton Council, on 0345 140 0845.

Can you make a difference to a vulnerable teenager’s life?

Sefton Council has launched a recruitment campaign to attract foster carers interested in looking after teenagers.

The Council has created new specialist teen foster carer roles and is looking for people who can provide intensive one-to-one care to some of Sefton’s most vulnerable young people who would otherwise be placed in residential care.

A package of support has been developed to reflect the complexities of this challenging but rewarding role, which includes a bespoke training package, peer support and competitive pay.

Council John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:

“There are many different reasons why a teenager has come into our care. Most will have had a difficult start to their life, often including problems related to drugs or alcohol, physical or emotional abuse. Young people may appear angry, resentful or stressed, when really what they need is the love, stability and support of a good caregiver.

“Because we recognise the complexities of fostering a teenager we have created these new roles as foster carers could really help to make a difference and re-write a teenager’s story for the better. We’re looking for carers who can build and maintain a meaningful relationship with young people, and understand the impact of a young person’s past experiences and how that affects their behaviour. There is a misconception that teenagers can be a handful, however, what we have to remember is that the behaviour of each individual has been influenced by their past. We need carers to help them develop and provide them with a sense of belonging.”

A job advert has been launched and is targeting professionals who have some prior experience of working with young people in a structured environment, such as policing, emergency services or youth work/probation.

If this sounds like a role for you, visit; http://ow.ly/qXLG30myBH for more information, together with a job description and application process.

Mayor’s Toy Appeal: Make a family’s Christmas extra special

Sefton’s Mayor is once again asking as many people as possible across the borough to get behind this year’s Christmas gift appeal.

Each year thousands of kind hearted residents donate toys, gifts and stocking fillers to some of the borough’s most deserving children to make their Christmas extra special.

Gifts, for children of all ages, can be taken to either Bootle or Southport Town Halls or dropped off at any Sefton Council library or leisure centre by Friday December 21.

Residents can also donate at the Asda stores in Bootle and Central 12 in Southport. Gift tokens are particularly welcome to be given to older children.

All presents will then be distributed to children and young people throughout the borough by volunteers from Sefton Council and Sefton Children’s Trust on behalf of the Mayor.

Cllr Dave Robinson, the Mayor of Sefton, said: “Every year thousands of people who live or works in Sefton donate a present for the annual Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal.

“Their generosity is amazing and I’m hoping 2018 will be no different as we make Christmas that little bit more special for those less fortunate.

“Any donation is welcome and we are looking for gifts for all ages from babies and toddlers to teens.

“To ensure we can get the right gift to the right child may I please ask that the gifts be new and are left unwrapped.”

Letty Draper, ASDA Community Champion, added: “Please take the time to either donate an unwrapped new gift or toy in to the Christmas gift trolley at either of our Bootle or Southport stores.

“You can find the donation points by the in-store Christmas tree. Thank you for all your support and let’s make Christmas better by donating a gift.”

For further information on the Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal please call 07837863075.

Children from Sefton get involved in anti-bullying awareness workshops

This week, November 12 – 16, is National Anti-Bullying week focusing on the theme of Respect. During the week, the Bullybusters team will be completing workshops and assemblies around schools in Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley. Conferences will also be held for secondary school children to attend and get involved in the education and awareness regarding anti-bullying.

The theme of this year’s national anti-bullying week is to ‘Choose Respect’, as respecting yourself and others both face to face and online is a vital message for young people.

‘Respect for me is one of the most important qualities to have and show. If we can’t respect ourselves then how are we supposed to respect others. I feel it is something we should all have and work on daily, not only learning to love and respect ourselves but also showing this to fellow peers and professionals.’ – Fran

The Bullybusters team work hard all year round to spread the anti-bullying message and help young people affected by bullying. The work they carry out within schools around Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley is recognised and praised by school children, teachers, governors, parents and carers.

Bullybusters offer lessons, assemblies and workshops for young people and parents in primary and secondary schools, as well as providing anti-bullying peer mentor training for children to appropriately act upon issues of bullying within their peer group. As well as this, Bullybusters also provide a free and confidential helpline service for young people, parents or teachers available 3pm – 6pm weekdays. For anyone being affected by bullying, or know someone who is, they can call the helpline on 0800 169 6928.

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