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Sefton School Chef Cooks Up A Storm

A Sefton Council school cook has received a second place honour in the regional finals of the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) School Chef of the Year competition.

 Holly Charnock, from Woodlands Primary School, received the honour for a ‘Highly Commended Dessert’ at the event in Altringham.

 To reach the regional final, Holly was crowned champion in an area competition between Sefton Council meals service schools.

 In the semi-final, Holly cooked against the clock using a submitted menu, ingredients list and costings. The finalist had 90 minutes to prepare the meal which had to be suitable for serving to year six children.

Since competing in the final, Holly has featured on Granada Reports, Radio Merseyside and in the Liverpool Echo. 

Activities on offer this half term across Sefton

Be Active

Gymnastics clubBe Active school holiday activities return on Monday, February 13 across Sefton and the Active Sefton team will be offering activities such as swim & splash, dance camps, gymnastics, basketball and the very popular pre school swim crash-course.

Splash World

Splash World is a great day out for all of the family and is open all week for more splashtastic fun! You can visit their website to view opening times and find out more about what’ on offer.


Park Run takes place every Saturday morning at 9am, Hesketh park in Southport and Crosby beach (starting at the leisure centre). For further details view the Southport Parkrun or Crosby Parkrun websites.

Activities and events at The Atkinson

Don't Dribble On The DragonThe Atkinson in Southport has a programme of plenty to entertain and engage children and young people throughout the year – the half-term break is an ideal opportunity for families to take the time to immerse themselves in this fantastic cultural offer.

Sefton’s leading light for cultural activities will host Don’t Dribble on the Dragon, Monday 13 February, 2.30pm. This performance is based on the book by Steven Lee, with magic designed by the legendary Paul Daniels.

Half-term week is wrapped up with 5 More Minutes and the Very Hungry Caterpillar Show. 5 More Minutes is specifically for children age 6 and under, taking place Friday 17 February at 11.30am and 2.30pm. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show takes place Saturday, February 18 and Sunday February 19 – times vary.

During half-term The Atkinson also have an X-Wing Fighter on display as part of the May The Toys Be With You Star Wars exhibition.  You are invited to come and have your picture taken in the fighter jet from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 of February.

The Atkinson continue to host regular free activities during the February half-term. There are Arty Aprons sessions, which take place every day, giving children the chance to use tools such as binoculars, magnifying glasses and sound recorders. Make It! is a drop-in session where children and young people can enjoy creative activities inspired by the exhibitions taking place in the galleries – these are daily sessions. Hands On takes place every Tuesday, 11am – 1pm and 1.30pm – 3pm and are a chance to handle exhibit items in the museum – during February half-term exhibits will come from the Ancient Egypt collection, which can be accessed all year round.

For very little children there will be two rhyme time sessions at The Atkinson: Space Adventure (Tuesday / Wednesday,  10.30am – 11.30am) and Hungry Caterpillar (Thursday, 10.30am- 11.30am) – these are a great way to augment their early English language education and learning. Both sessions take place in the Children’s Library.

Fun for little ones in Sefton children centres

Toddler painting at a Children's CentreAcross Sefton, children’s centres will be hosting a wide range of fun things to do for children aged 0-5 years and their families. Activities will include stay and play sessions; baby massage; arts and crafts; drama and sports clubs; childminder sessions; baby yoga; messy play, family fun days and much more. To find out what is happening during half-term and beyond at your local children’s centre, visit the Sefton Directory or contact our Family Information Service on 0345 140 0845.

Artist led print studio at Crosby Library

During half-term and beyond (10 February – 10 March), our ever busy library service will be hosting an artist led print studio at Crosby Library. Five local artists will visit the studio during the four week period, offering visitors the chance to ‘have a go’ at different printing techniques. Every afternoon during half-term, the studio will open its door to families, who can enjoy a wide range of creative pursuits, such as designing a new book cover for your favourite book, creating a printed piece of jewellery or create something abstract. As places are limited, the sessions are ticket only. Please contact Crosby Library to book your place or for more information. You can contact the library on 0151 257 6400

Young Creatives sessions

Young people will also have the chance to harness their creativity at The Atkinson’s Young Creatives sessions from 11 February to 5 March.  For young people aged 15-25 years, these sessions will give young people the chance to try a variety of different creative processes, from song writing to comic writing, testing their DJ and production skills to composing their own rap, drawing to stitching and almost anything in-between, these taster sessions last 2-3 hours, with some for free or some with a small charge of £2.50. The Atkinson is delivering these taster sessions in collaboration with Brighter Sound, a creative music charity and the SKY (Sefton and Knowsley Youth) Music Hub. For more information on this exciting initiative, contact Tom Rogers at The Atkinson on 0151 934 2110.

Aiming High events

Face painting at Aiming High eventDuring half-term, the Aiming High team continue to deliver a diverse programme of activities for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disability. During the school break they can enjoy multi-sports, football and drama camps, a free family fun day where their families can join in and of course, the legendary Aiming High Valentine’s Disco. All events bar the disco require children and young people to be registered with Aiming High – to find out how you can register, contact the team on 0151 288 6811, by email or visit the Local Offer website.

Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership events

What better time than half-term for families to immerse themselves in free outdoor activities delivered by my colleagues at the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership?

Holding a frog in Ainsdale's dunesThere will be a Petalwort Safari at 11am on February 13. The petalwort is one of the most elusive organisms in the dunes network and everybody attending needs warm clothing, waterproofs and strong footwear for this February safari.

Love will be in the sea air on 14 February, when Love on the Coast, an annual event where children and young people go to Sands Lake in Ainsdale to follow the trail of nature’s happy couples inhabiting our coast; it starts 2pm and finishes at 3.30pm.

A Nesting Necessities session will take place at Ainsdale Discovery Centre on Wednesday, February 15, between 2pm and 3.30pm. Participants will help to create an artificial nest that wild birds can pinch to make their own nests as spring approaches.

On Thursday, February 16, you will be taken to another place as we take a walk in the shoes of “The Iron Men”, building sandcastles and collecting shells on Crosby beach. This walk will begin 11am at Mariners Road in Crosby and will finish at 12.30pm – needless to say, participants should wrap up warm.

The week of coastal themed fun is wrapped up with Wandering Wool on Saturday 18 February as the group follows the sheep trail through the sand hills to learn more about the woolly grazers who play a key role in conserving parts of our coast. This excursion will begin at Ainsdale Discovery Centre at 2pm.

All the events are free but booking is essential, to find out more about Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership events and to book your place, please contact John Dempsey or Fiona Sunners on 0151 934 2964 or email

Ditch Those Stabilisers

Ditch those stabilsersThe School Holidays will see 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 Ainsdale.

Between Land and Sea exhibition

Staying with the coast and returning to The Atkinson, Between Land and Sea – 10,000 years of Sefton’s Coast is a permanent exhibition that tells the story of the many people who have lived and worked along Sefton’s coast. This exhibition is open all day, every day and is free for all visitors.

Waterloo Seafront Gardens Litter Pick

Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens have another Litter picking event arranged for February 11 from 10.30 – 11.30am.

Youth Cabinet meeting

On 11 November, 276 elected members of UK Youth Parliament (including the 2 MYP’s from Sefton) (aged 11-18) debated the top issues affecting young people across the country and voted Curriculum for Life as the England campaign and Votes at 16 for the UK-wide campaign. On 16 February 2017 the new MYP’s for Sefton will be elected at the youth cabinet meeting. This is taking place at Bootle Town Hall, 10 – 4pm. Any young person aged 11 -18 is welcome to attend and stand for one of the positions.

Ditch Those Stabilisers February Half Term

Ditch those stabilsersChildren across the borough are being encouraged to ditch the stabilisers from their Christmas bikes this February half term.

The School Holidays will see 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 Ainsdale.

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, February 14, and at Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive (PR8 2QZ) on Thursday, February 16.

Both sessions will start at 9am and finish at 12noon.

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

Sefton residents to foster children and make 2017 a happy new year

Sefton Council’s Fostering and Adoption Service is asking local residents to think of fostering this spring and make a huge difference to local children.


Using the campaign strapline Make their next chapter a happy one the local authority has launched a new fostering recruitment website to make the enquiry process easier and to tackle myths about fostering that can discourage potential foster carers.


In Sefton there are approximately 400 children who are looked after, with a broad mix of carers providing them with loving, stable family lives, but there is still a need for more carers from a wide range of backgrounds to join the service.

Recruiting new foster carers will mean that the local authority can better support hard to place children, such as older children, teenagers and siblings.

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

“I want anyone who thinks that they cannot foster children to think again and make an enquiry that will profoundly change both their life and that of local children for the better.

People often think that they will not be approved if they apply. It does not matter if you are married, single, LGBT, straight, older or rent your home, what does matter is that you have room in your home and the time, compassion and energy to dedicate to children who need those qualities more than most.

Please don’t hesitate to come forward”.


Maria Spatuzzi, Team Manager at Sefton Fostering Service said:

“Our team here at Sefton has a saying along the lines of “no-one goes it alone when fostering with us”. We help you every step of the way, from your first enquiry through to approving you as a foster carer and beyond.

You will receive round the clock support from a dedicated social worker, excellent training and a competitive financial package. As a local authority fostering agency, we are the best equipped to make sure that once approved, you will not have to wait for placements and get started building your career as a foster carer.

Whether you’ve only just begun thinking of fostering or have considered it for many years, our friendly experts will be happy to talk to you and answer any burning questions you have”.

If you would like to make an enquiry or simply find out more about fostering in Sefton, visit the Sefton Fostering Service website

You can also contact the service on 0800 923 2777 or by email:

Sefton’s young super humans inspired by Paralympics

para-tri1Young people in Sefton recently took part in a pioneering first for disabled sport in Sefton and Merseyside, inspired by Rio’s Paralympics.

Taking place at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, 28 young people aged 8-25years with special educational needs and disabilities participated in a Para-Triathlon to emulate the inspiring athletes representing Team GB in Brazil.

Leading up to the event, Sefton Council worked in partnership with Sport England to create the perfect training programme for young people with additional needs to take part.

The Para-Triathlon was designed to test the participants in three key areas; water swimming (150m), cycling (4K) and running (2.5K).

All 7 categories were well contested and there were a number of inspiring performances, including the following winners:

Senior Female, Panability – Gill Lofthouse

Over 18 Male Learning Difficulties / Autism – Owen Kewn

Over 18 Female Learning Difficulties / Autism – Sarah Bricklebank

Over 18 Physical Disability – Dan Harden

Under 18 Male Learning Difficulties / Autism – Jim O’Keefe

U15 Male Physical Disability – Sam Lofthouse

U15 Female Learning Difficulties / Autism – Lilli Crangle.

The event builds on a fantastic summer of sport for disabled young people, with record numbers taking part in mainstream sporting activities with their peers.

John Doran, Inclusion Practitioner at Sefton Council, said:  “We are very proud of the huge strides our young people have made this summer. The Para-Triathlon was the culmination of a fantastic training programme where young people with a range of additional needs pushed themselves to the limit.

“Taking encouragement from the success of this event, we will be hosting regular para-triathlons and speaking with our partners in the neighbouring Merseyside local authorities to organise a Merseyside-wide para-triathlon for children, young people and families.”


Cllr. John-Joseph Kelly, Cabcllr-jj-kelly-1inet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding at Sefton Council said: “Like people up and down the country, I kept a keen eye on the fortunes of Team GB at the Paralympics in Rio and it’s great to see young people in Sefton taking inspiration from our Paralympians.

“I was also heartened to see so many families, friends and the wider community encouraging our young people in an incredible feat.”

To get involved, contact Sefton Council’s Aiming High Short Breaks team on 0151 288 6811, by email or by via Facebook /seftonaiminghigh 

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