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Learn to spot the signs of child abuse

Sefton Council is supporting a national campaign that aims to highlight the support available to tackle the difficult subject of child abuse.

 Together, we can tackle child abuse, encourages members of the public to help protect children and young people by reporting any concerns of abuse or neglect.

 We all have a role to play in protecting children and young people from child abuse and neglect. But right now, some people do not report their concerns because they’re not certain of the signs, don’t know where to report anything or are worried about being wrong. This means that local councils could be missing out on vital information they need to keep children safe from harm.

 The national campaign aims to tackle the barriers that stop people reporting, educating people about signs to spot and how to report, so that children and young people at risk get the help they need more quickly.

 Working in partnership with national and local agencies and charities it hopes to establish a new social norm that encourages the public to act on their concerns if they believe a child is at risk.

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “It is important that we work together to tackle child abuse.

 “Many people do not act because they are worried about being wrong. If you are concerned a child is being abused or their safety is at risk you can get in touch with the Sefton Council anonymously. ”

 Child abuse. If you think it, report it. To find out more about the national campaign visit gov.uk/tacklechildabuse.

 To report any incidents in Sefton you can call 0345 140 0845 between 8am and 6pm. Out of hours contact the emergency team on 0151 934 3555. For more information visit www.sefton.gov.uk/reportachildatrisk

One Vision Housing awarded £10k to host events to tackle loneliness

Sefton-based social housing association, One Vision Housing have been awarded £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to support ‘Celebrate the Good Times’, a series of four community events which aims to bring people together and tackle social isolation.

Social and retirement housing provider One Vision Housing (OVH) are addressing the issues of loneliness and lack of social interaction in older generations.

Studies show that social events can improve mental and emotional wellbeing as well as lower depression and anxiety.

The housing association successfully applied for National Lottery Awards for All funding towards four, free entry, community events taking place between June and December 2018.

OVH are working with different local organisations to invite individuals who would benefit from the social interaction afforded by the events.

The first of the four events was The Great Get Together (a More In Common project in partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation) which took place at the Bootle Firwood Cricket Club on Friday 22nd June.

Other events include a Suffragette-themed afternoon tea with live entertainment to celebrate Older Person’s Day in October, a WWI centenary event involving the Armed Forces and local veterans, and a Christmas Day Lunch where guests, who may be spending the holidays alone, can enjoy a three course meal in the company of fellow attendees and volunteers.

OVH Head of Customer Empowerment, Ann Owens said: “We were overjoyed to be awarded this funding which allows us to reach more people in our communities. It’ll make a real difference to those who may be socially isolated and wanting to get out a bit more and meet new people.”

For more information about One Vision Housing and their work in the community, visit ovh.org.uk

Don’t score an own goal this week! Stay cool in the hot weather

With weather forecasters predicting a hot, sunny week ahead, and the bonus of another England football match, health leaders in Sefton are encouraging people to stay cool. 

 If you’re combining the footie with a few beers and a BBQ afterwards, remember that alcohol increases your risk of dehydration. Don’t score an own goal; take care to stay hydrated and use sunscreen.  

 With temperatures predicted to reach 28°C on Merseyside, sun worshippers are being urged to take it easy in the heat by following this simple advice:

  • Drink cold drinks and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol which can dehydrate you
  • Use sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15, make sure that it is still in date, follow the pack instructions and apply at regular intervals – otherwise it is ineffective
  • Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to protect your skin from burning – never use sunscreen as a reason to stay longer in direct sunlight
  • Make sure you have water with you
  • Check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours and friends who may find the heat too much. The heat can be dangerous for the very young, older people or those with serious illnesses. In particular, it can make heart and respiratory problems worse.

 Debbie Fagan, chief nurse at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Most of us will be making the most of the warm weather we’re currently enjoying, but it’s important we don’t end up regretting it either.

“Sunscreen, shade and plenty of water, especially if you’ve been drinking alcohol, are the three main things you should be doing to keep yourself healthy.

“If you feel unwell after being in the sun for some time, it’s a good idea to go somewhere cool to rest and have a cool shower or bath.  If you are breathless, or are confused or dizzy, call NHS 111 straight away, they’ll be able to give you more advice.”

 Your local pharmacy can also help provide over the counter remedies during the summer.   The NHS Choices website is also full of help and advice www.nhs.uk.

Dates announced for brand new Constituency Forums

Local residents now have a new way to engage even further with Sefton Council and its partners.

Constituency Forums are being introduced as a more relaxed way for residents to talk to agencies, councillors and Council departments about any issues they have.

The forums will be held twice a year in each of the respective Parliamentary Constituencies within Sefton; Bootle, Central Sefton and Southport.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “After consulting about the old and aged style of Area Committees, we decided to take a look at how we engage with our communities and came up with the idea of the Constituency Forums.

“The format of the Constituency Forum will be a market-place style at which there will be a number of tables for ward Councillors, internal Sefton departments and partners to attend.

“This will give our valued residents the opportunity to arrive, get a drink and talk to agencies, councillors and departments about any issues they have, moving from table to table depending on the resident’s particular needs.

“We hope that this new format will remove the formality of the old Area Committee process and attract residents to a more relaxed public meeting at which they feel that the Council and its partners are more accessible and friendly.

“Dates for the forums have been announced and I really hope people take the time to attend them.”

The planned dates for the Constituency Forum across Sefton are:

• Bootle – Thursday, June 21 at 6.30pm in Bootle Town Hall’s Ball Room
• Central Sefton – Thursday, June 28 at 6pm to 7.30pm in Crosby Lakeside
• Southport – Thursday, July 5 at 6pm to 7.30pm in The Atkinson’s Studio Room

 

Investment works start at Southport Town Hall

Major improvement works have started at Southport Town Hall as part of Sefton Council’s commitment to invest in its local communities and improve access to its facilities.

Work started on April 16 and will take approximately 20 weeks to complete.

Once completed, the important building works will improve accessibility and will benefit children, families, business and regular visitors to Southport.

As Southport is a listed building, all design elements are being carried out sensitively.

Work will be carried out in three phases and some will be carried out during the weekends to ensure minimal disruption.

While the building will remain open, customers to the One Stop Shop are being advised that there may be some longer waiting times or some services moved to The Atkinson.

This work is an important step in making sure that the community base at Southport Town Hall is fit for purpose, financially sustainable and it will contribute directly to the Council’s early intervention and prevention offer, helping some of the most vulnerable residents in Sefton.

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