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Innovative Sefton schoolchildren win Scotland ski trip

Schoolchildren from Sefton have won a ski trip to Scotland after winning a special competition around the dangers of scrambler bikes. 

Last night (Tuesday, February 9) Merseyside Police hosted a prize-giving event which rewarded Sefton schoolchildren who have been involved in an anti-scrambler bike education project during the Autumn term in 2017.

The project was set up by Constable Alan Thompson from Bootle Neighbourhood team, Sefton Council, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and aims to highlight the impact off-road bikes have on local communities in Sefton.

The five schools involved were:

Hatton Hill Primary School, Alwyn Avenue, Bootle
Lander Primary School, Pennington Road, Litherland
All Saints Primary School, Chestnut Grove, Bootle
The Grange Primary School, Waterside, Bootle
English Martyrs Primary School, School Lane, Litherland 

Early in 2017, Year 5 pupils at the schools received education on the dangers of off-road bikes and impact they cause in their communities. Assemblies have been given to each of the primary schools from Merseyside Police, Sefton Council Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and Alder Hey Hospital.

Once the pupils returned to school to begin their Year 6 studies, they each designed and filmed a 90-second video. They have also taken part in a trip to Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and an awareness day in the Yorkshire Dales, where demonstrations were given on how to use bikes appropriately at designated locations.

The 15 winners of the video competition were presented their certificates by Andy Grant, former Royal Marine, motivational speaker, athlete and star of ITV show Paragon and Pete Price, DJ from Radio City, before the grand unveiling of the top-secret children’s prize, a ski trip to Scotland.

Their videos will also be used in a publicity campaign in the Sefton area.

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

“It is really pleasing to see so many Sefton school pupils being recognised like this through such an important project.

“Our local communities have told us how scrambler bikes are a problem for them and through this initiative important messages about the risks and dangers of using them have been learnt.

“It is also another great example of partnership working and engaging with our communities to make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andy Cooke added:

“We know that these bikes can cause significant nuisance, stress and danger to members of our communities across Merseyside, and we will continue to stand alongside our partners and communities in our commitment to eradicating the problem.

“We strongly believe that education and engagement is vital, so that parents, guardians and future generations understand the impact and harm that we see on a regular basis. Together, we can all make a difference to make our streets safer.

“We hope that by getting involved in this exciting project, these young people have learned some valuable lessons to share far and wide, and that they enjoy tonight’s event and their reward.”

 

 

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.

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 

 

Young carers successful in new libraries pilot

Young carers from Southport recently took part in a unique pilot to help them meet challenges they face in their everyday lives. 

The initiative from Sefton Council’s library service and Sefton Carers Centre, will enable young carers with a love of reading to indulge their passion while learning new skills. 

Twelve girls from Greenbank High took part in the pilot at Formby Library, where they were introduced to the library service’s e-lending service, Borrowbox, so that they do not have to worry about fines for late returns, while being able to reserve many more book and audio book titles. 

Apprentices at Formby Library, who have developed their videography skills through the pioneering Chapters apprenticeship scheme with Sefton library service, passed on their knowledge in workshops they delivered to the young carers.

 Supporting the apprentices was Louisa, a  library assistant in Formby Library, who herself has been a young carer.  The workshop was a huge success, culminating in a young carers book review, which you can watch at: 

Cllr. Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities said:

“It is very heartening to see these young women grasp the opportunity presented to them with such aplomb. It is also pleasing to see our libraries and Sefton Carers Centre working together to make a real difference to young people’s lives.

“Sefton’s library service is consistently delivering new and innovative programmes tailored to our communities, helping them to tackle a wide range of issues, from social isolation to joblessness and much more besides”

“If you have not done so already, visit your local library. You will find they are vibrant places with a world of information, advice and help in a welcoming, fun environment.”

 

Andrea Watts, Head of Communities at Sefton Council said: 

“For many young carers, reading books can be about escapism when they cannot meet their peers outside of school. Introducing them to the e-lending service is such a simple but brilliant idea – I hope this is the start of something special. 

“Young carers juggle lots of different worries that can affect their mental well being, so we should not underestimate bringing the girls together for this pilot. It enabled them to socialise and have fun around their love of books and meeting apprentices and staff at the library.

“That their first book review was so composed and polished, is something that both they and the library apprentices should be very proud of.”

If you know a young carer who struggles due to their caring role, tell them about Sefton Carers Centre. You can contact Sefton Carers Centre on 0151 288 6060. You can also discover support for young carers by asking at your local library.  

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