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Sefton Launches Savvy App

 Young disabled people in Sefton have joined forces to create an app which provides information and support for anyone under 25 with additional needs.

 The Sefton Savvy app has been developed by a group of youngsters in conjunction with Sefton Council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) & Inclusion service, Atomic Productions, Rix Wiki, and with support from the parent carer forum and the Children with additional needs network. 

  A key part of the technology is the opportunity for the young people to share ideas or feedback on local services with their peers, as well as simplifying the information on Sefton’s Local Offer website.

 Topics of interest range from being active and having fun to advice on healthy eating and personal hygiene.  

 In addition to the app, a number of short films and animations have also been created by the young people to highlight what services are available and explain more about the Education Health and Care Plans.

 To showcase all of the work, two special screenings have been planned for next month to officially launch the products to parents, carers, professionals and special schools. 

 Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robinson will be in attendance to officially launch the Savvy app at the Salvation Army Centre, Shakespeare Street, Southport on Thursday, November 2 at 11.30 am.

 In addition, a second premier will be held at The Plaza cinema, Crosby at 11.30am on Thursday, November 9. 

 Councillor John-Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “Seeing how the young people have been involved in this creative exercise and what has been achieved is very inspirational. 

“They have taken a complex subject matter around SEN reform and made a user-friendly resource, which I am confident will become a vital one stop shop for information and advice.  

 “Now that the app is available, I know that our SEN and inclusion service will be working hard with families and partners to make sure that young disabled people in Sefton can use the app as part of their everyday lives.”  

 Adele Hoskison-Clark, SEN and Inclusion Policy Development Officer at Sefton Council, added: “I am really proud of the creative talents shown by our young people in the borough – which shows genuine partnership working with Sefton Council, the young people and their families.”

 The Savvy app can be used on all mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. It can be downloaded free from iTunes and the App Store by searching for Sefton Savvy.

 Anyone interested in attending the events is asked to book their place in advance by calling 0151 934 2296 or emailing Adele.Hoskison-Clark@sefton.gov.uk

 You can find out lots of information within the Local Offer at seftondirectory.com/localoffer

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 

Bootle pupils help spruce up Derby Park

Pupils from a Bootle primary school donned their rubber gloves and helped make a local park sparkle during a recent litter-pick.

Children from St Monica’s Primary School joined up with Sefton Council’s Parks and Greenspaces team to help spruce up Derby Park, clearing away as much litter as possible.

More than 60 pupils and their teachers worked throughout the afternoon to amass five full bin bags worth of litter, while the Friends of Derby Park group swept away fallen leaves from the park’s steps.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We were delighted that St Monica’s pupils came down to Derby Park to help make it shine.

“The children were shocked that there are people who treat the park with such disrespect by not disposing of their litter in a responsible way.

“At the end of the afternoon you could see the huge difference the pupils had made to the park and it looked so much cleaner afterwards.

“The pupils also got involved in a question and answer session about why it is important to care for the environment and not discard litter irresponsibly.

“We look forward to welcoming them back to Derby Park soon!”

The Friends of Derby Park Group are also on the look out for new members.

If you would like to get involved, please email parks@sefton.gov.uk.

Wheelie good news for Ben and his new bike

Its Wheelie good news for Ben from Formby whose parents took delivery of a specialised Hugbike. Bens family and friends have been raising money for the bike through the summer and last week the day came when he made his inaugural ride.

Ben who is 13 and lives with his family in Formby has a congenital heart condition and autism, which made it difficult for him to ride a bike. After his parents exhausted every avenue for Ben to be able to cycle independently, they came across Hugbike, they’re an Italian based company who create these highly specialised tandem bikes for people living with additional needs.

The bike comes with a hefty price tag but and Bens family have spent the summer fundraising to ensure Ben could get the bike he needs. With the help of The Joseph Harley Bequest Fund, which supports young people in Formby, they were able to secure funding to help reach their target.

Ben’s dad Jon said ‘We’re thrilled to have this bike for Ben, for him to be able to cycle safely with us is amazing, it’s allowed Ben to gain a real sense of independence and adventure as well.

I can now take both of my sons for bike rides, and that’s such a great thing to be able to say.  I’d like to thank everybody in the community who donated time, money and effort for us to be able to get this bike for Ben.’

The Hugbike is designed to offer excitement and comfort to people living with disabilities. Most importantly the bike will give Ben the chance to create an important opportunity for personal and social inclusion. So if you see him riding round Formby with his Dad and Brother, give him a wave.    

 

Young leaders are Champions of mental health

 

Young people from Sefton and Liverpool are leading the way towards better mental health for them and their peers. 

Those age 13-18 years make up the Neurochampions – a group who recently delivered an eight week mental health workshop to their peers with support from leading scientists, youth workers and researchers.  Young leaders tackle mental health

The workshops covered the full spectrum of well being and mental health support, taking a closer look at young people’s brains, emotions, wellness and behaviours. 

The group gained new experiences and skills in digital and traditional media, along the way learning practical production and digital skills to create their own videos, animations and more!

Each session drew on their own personal experiences and developed their confidence and leadership skills.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities at Sefton Council said:

“The Neurochampions have helped young people from lots of different backgrounds to learn something about themselves. 

“The variety of those taking part reflects the way that mental health can affect us all. Working with experts and developing digital skills for their future has clearly given these young people aspirations, which I hope will lead to further success” 

Neurochampions is a programme that equips young people with the knowledge and skills  to become effective leaders in mental health. 

Abbie was one of Sefton’s young people who took part in the Neurochampions workshop:

To find out more about the work of the Neurochampions, visit their website. 

To find out more about services to support young people age 11-21 years in Sefton, visit the Sefton Youth website 

 

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