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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.  

Sefton’s para-triathletes aim high in the sunshine

Young disabled athletes from Sefton and beyond recently lit up the Waterloo Festival as the sun shone on Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre.

 Taking place on Sunday 18 June, Sefton’s second para-triathlon for children and young people with additional needs saw over 30 competitors swimming, cycling and running through a challenging course. Cheered on by a strong crowd, the para-triathletes run a closely fought contest.

Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health at Sefton said:

 “I was really inspired by everyone who took part in the para-triathlon – at Sefton Council we never take for granted how challenging competitive sport can be for children with disabilities.

 “I am also really proud of the young people who came along to give them very vocal encouragement on the day.

“During the training programme at Litherland Sports Park, a group of local young people asked if they could use the bikes. Our children were wary of them but the team at Aiming High let them join in on the condition they also took part in the running practice with the group.

 “Friendships were forged with these young men and it was a wonderful surprise for the children to see them there to give them very vocal support on the day, and some of them even completed all three disciplines with their new friends.”

 

Cllr. John-Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding said:

“It is encouraging to see so many of our young people with disabilities pushing themselves to their limits and clearly enjoying comradery with their peers and new friends they have made.

“This event is the only one of its kind in the Liverpool City Region and I look forward to watching it grow and grow fulfilling the ambition to be the youth para-triathlon event for the region”

John Doran of Sefton Aiming High added

“This is another example of how disabled young people show society what they are capable of. Ability, strength and determination were here in abundance today and we should be proud of them all. I would also like to thank the volunteers from Aiming High and TEAM Sefton, and the organisers of the Waterloo festival for agreeing to let us showcase the athletes’ ability not disability”

Winners on the day were, Dylan Duke, Over 18 Male, Mild Learning Difficulty (MLD) category; Dan Harden, over 18 Male, Complex Needs category; Jim O’Keefe, Secondary Male, MLD category; Sam Lofthouse, Secondary Male, physical category; Sarah Bricklebank, Female over 18 MLD category and Jess McNally, Female Primary MLD category.

For more information on sporting activities for children and young people with special educational needs and / or disabilities (SEND), contact Sefton Council’s Aiming High for Disabled Children Service on 0151 288 6811 or by email:aiminghigh@sefton.gov.uk

You can find all information for children and young people SEND at Sefton’s Local Offer website: seftondirectory.com/localoffer

New Liverpool City Region Adoption Agency launched

A Regional Adoption Agency covering Liverpool, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral is set to be established. New Adoption Agency launched for Liverpool City Region

It follows a successful bid to the Government last year by local authorities on Merseyside to create a new organisation to get more children placed successfully as quickly as possible.

The new agency – set to be launched in January 2018 – will bring together a team of around 50 staff from across the four councils who will be seconded into the new organisation on their existing terms and conditions.

Responsibilities will include recruitment, approval and ongoing support for adopters, tracking, linking and matching of children and the training and development of staff.

Although the Regional Adoption Agency will have a centralised hub, staff will continue to have a presence in each of their local authority areas to ensure they retain close links with social work staff.

Every year, the four local authorities approve around 100 adopters each year and place approximately 140 children for adoption.

John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding at Sefton Council, said:

“In Sefton, we are currently looking for adoptive families for 16 local children and young people. We know that we often receive enquiries from across the Liverpool City Region, so it makes sense that we are collaborating with our neighbours to meet the challenges we face together and increase the potential for our vulnerable children to find a forever family.

“I’m looking forward to this new regional adoption agency making the process for would be adopters quicker and more effective as both they and children in Sefton and the wider region are matched so they begin their new family life.”

 

Consultation has already taken place with staff and trade unions, and adopters are also being kept informed.

Reports recommending the approval of the Regional Adoption Agency will be considered by each council’s Cabinet over the coming weeks, with Wirral Council the first to do so on Monday 27 March.

Ditch Those Stabilisers Spring Half Term

The Easter holidays sees the return of the popular ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

Children aged four and above can learn to ride a bike unaided at sessions in Litherland and Southport.

The events have a very high success rate and staff from Sefton Council’s Highway Safety Team, offer a range of practical advice to children and their parents.

Sessions are free but pre-booking is essential. They take place at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane (L21 7LA) on Tuesday, April 11 from 9am-12pm and Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive (PR8 2QZ) on Thursday, April 6 from 9am-12pm.

We are now part of The Children’s University Scheme so please bring along your booklets to be stamped!.

To register, call Sefton Council, on 0345 1400845

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