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Sefton’s Community Learning Service celebrate learners and staff!

Sefton’s Community Learning Service held its annual awards ceremony on Tuesday (August 7) to celebrate the hard work and dedication of both its learners and staff.

Now in its 15th year, the awards are seeing an increase in the number of participants achieving qualifications. This year 40 residents achieved a recognised qualification this year with over 400 qualifications between them.

The awards also present an opportunity for staff to be recognised for their hard work and this year tutors Carol Ann Duffy, Alyson Davies, Jayne Moss, Maureen Cant and Karon McGeer were all awarded for their services.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said:

“Congratulations to all of the learners this year who have managed to achieve over 400 qualifications between them. This is a huge accomplishment and fits in with our 2030 vision of building resilient communities by supporting residents gain skills and qualifications.

“The awards are also a great way to celebrate the tutors who continue to dedicate time and support to help Sefton residents gain new skills and recognised qualifications that can help to improve their employment prospects in the future.”

 To find out more about Sefton’s Community Learning Service visit www.sefton.gov.uk/communitylearning

 

Formal Consultation on Sand Dunes Nursery School

Sefton Council has been formally asked by the governing body at Sand Dunes Nursery School, Seaforth to start a statutory consultation on proposals to close the nursery from July, 2019.

 At a Cabinet meeting held on July 26 at Bootle Town Hall, it was agreed to start with a formal consultation in August.

 Sefton Council’s multi-agency consultation and engagement panel will meet on August 16 to outline the formal process and offer support, advice and guidance to ensure that communities have an opportunity to express their views during this time.

  The nursery will reopen at the start of the next academic year in September and the consultation will run until October to give parents and the local community the chance to have their say on the future of the school.

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “It’s heartbreaking that governors at Sand Dunes Nursery school have had no alternative but to request a formal consultation to close the building because it is no longer financially viable.

 “This nursery is a crucial part of the community and has been for many years but has been struggling financially for some time despite their best efforts to balance the budget. I have no doubt that this will be a difficult time for all those involved and we will do our best to support pupils, parents and staff during this difficult process. The school will continue to provide quality early years support while it remains open during this extremely challenging time.

“We will ensure that the consultation period includes meetings with staff, governors and families to give them plenty of chances for open discussion and for people to express their views.

“We will advertise how to take part in the consultation after the panel meeting on August 16 and continue to make sure the community are continually updated throughout the process.”

 To take part in any Sefton Council led consultations visit www.sefton.gov.uk.

Sefton Council Help to Launch a New Regional Adoption Agency

A Regional Adoption Agency covering Sefton, Liverpool, Knowsley, and Wirral has been officially launched.

 AIM (Adoption in Merseyside) brings together a team of around 50 staff from across the four councils who have been seconded into the new organisation.

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

 Councillor Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Adoption really can change a child’s life so I’m delighted that the Regional Adoption Agency could offer greater opportunities for children in our region.

“Having shared resources, expertise and processes will provide enormous benefits to our children and young people, as well as the local authorities taking part.”

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

 Councillor Barry Kushner, Cabinet member for children’s services in Liverpool, said: “AIM means we are able to provide a better service for children and adopters.

“Previously, each local authority has effectively competed with each other for adopters and there has been a great deal of duplication of effort.

“By creating a regional agency, we have widened the net of potential adopters, shared expertise and ideas and are making sure adopters and children get a consistent level of support, regardless of where they live.

“This shows the potential of working across authorities and further collaboration on residential care, fostering and leaving care.”

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

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

 The launch of the new agency follows a successful bid to the Government by local authorities on Merseyside to create a new shared service to get more children with a plan for adoption placed successfully and as quickly as possible.

 Councillor Bernie Mooney, Cabinet member for Children and Families in Wirral, said: “It is vital we are able to offer fast, effective and safe support to those children who need to be adopted.

 “Working with our partners throughout the City Region should mean we are able to offer more support to more children, through a quicker and more efficient service.”

 People interested in adoption can find out more by visiting http://adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk/ or calling 0151 477 8700.

Sefton care home puts spotlight on making memories

A Netherton care home has been chosen as the Sefton representative in a Merseyside-wide summer initiative to highlight the importance of memories and reminiscence among older people living with dementia.

James Dixon Court on Harrops Croft has been selected as the borough’s recipient of a Sense of Summer memory basket, produced by the multi-award-winning House of Memories dementia awareness programme, created by National Museums Liverpool.

Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, put forward James Dixon Court which is operated by the borough’s leading adult social care provider, New Directions.

House of Memories is a museum-led dementia awareness programme which offers training, resources and activities to enable carers to support people living with the condition.

The new Sense of Summer memory baskets are designed to stimulate discussion about the past, and the contents are inspired by the great outdoors, bringing together items related to gardening, home-grown produce and summer picnics.

The basket includes objects that can form topics for reminiscence, and suggestions for outdoor and garden-themed activities that can help to improve the health and wellbeing of older people living with dementia.

The basket also contains multi-sensory objects that will work well for people with different levels of sensory communication, including items that stimulate smell, hearing, touch and sight.

Commenting on the Sense of Summer initiative, New Directions Head of Operations Paul Bamber said: “We are delighted and grateful to have been chosen as the Sefton recipient of this very valuable new resource, and would like to thank both House of Memories for their support and Cllr Cummins for putting us forward.”

James Dixon Court Service Manager, Martina Barr, added: “There’s nothing our residents like more than to get together and chat about the past, so this memory basket is very much appreciated and will certainly get a lot of use.”

Just one care home in Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens has received a summer memory basket, a development inspired by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s pledge earlier this year to build a dementia-friendly Liverpool City Region.

The baskets are sponsored by Financial Planning Corporation (FPC), based in Ainsdale, who has supported a number of other House of Memories projects..

FPC Partner Moira O’Shaughnessy commented: “We are delighted to have been able to contribute to the Sense of Summer memory baskets. Attending the presentation at James Dixon Court provided us with a unique opportunity to see the benefits that the residents experience from them in action.”

Sefton’s green spaces receive the prestigious Green Flag Award

A total of 12 parks and greenspaces in Sefton are proudly flying the prestigious Green Flag award.

 The international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

 A record-breaking 1,883 UK parks and green spaces will receive a Green Flag Award – the mark of a quality park or green space including 12 across the borough.

 The areas recognised that can fly a Green Flag are: Botanic Gardens, Southport, Coronation Park, Crosby, Derby Park, Bootle, Hatton Hill Park, Litherland, Hesketh Park, Southport, King’s Gardens, Southport, Liverpool Road Cemetery, Southport, Lord Street, Southport, North Park, Bootle, Southport Crematorium, Thornton Garden of Rest and Duke Street Park, Formby.

 A number of Green Flag Community Awards have also been awarded to: Rotten Row, Southport, Ainsdale Village Park, Edda Community Arts and Library, Bridge Inn Community Farm, St Luke’s Church Grounds, Queensway Allotment and Green Gym.

 Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We are delighted to receive so many Green Flag Awards, across the borough once again.

 “Having quality green spaces is very important to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining all of them to such a high standard.

 “As well as having a great network of volunteers, we have also put a lot into bringing together our dedicated Green Sefton team which work to ensure a joined up approach to the management, development and oversight of our beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces for years to come.”

 International Green Flag Award scheme manager, Paul Todd, added: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme, with more Green Flags awarded this year than last year. 

 “Each flag honours the thousands of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award. We are proud to have so many wonderful green spaces in the UK for people to enjoy, and hope that next year, we award even more flags.”

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