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Summer Reading Challenge launches in Sefton with a wonderfully, wet performance!

Children from schools across Sefton were treated to a hilarious and energetic story telling performance  at Crosby Library to celebrate the launch of the Reading Agency’s, Summer Reading Challenge.

 The challenge is a national scheme which Sefton libraries actively take part in every year, with around three thousand children getting involved.  Statistically the borough is the number one performer in the North West for people completing the challenge successfully. 

 During the summer holidays literacy for children tends to drop because youngsters are not in school being actively encouraged to read.  The aim of the challenge is to tackle this by encouraging children aged 4-11 to read books for fun during break. 

 After signing up to your local library you can complete the challenge by reading a total of six books. Children can read what ever they like – just as long as they are borrowed from the library. Young people receive a special reward every time they finish a book and there is a certificate for everyone who finishes.

 This years theme is Mischief Makers and it coincides with 80 years of the Beano comic. To kick off the event children got to watch a modern telling of Dennis the Menace and his adventure to find the Mythical Pea Shooter.

 Storyteller John Kirk brought the story to life with various wigs, accents and props. The interactive experience got all the children involved and the mere mention of the word water, led to a soaking from one of John’s many spray guns sending the young spectators into a frenzy. 

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: 
 “It’s brilliant that schools in Sefton actively encourage children to take part in the challenge year on year and the library staff do a brilliant job in keeping that going over the summer holidays.”   

 “It’s also great to have storytellers performing at the library. The energy and encouragement is a reminder to the children that reading can be one of the best things to do over the summer holidays and this always get the children exited for the challenge.”

To find out more information about the Summer Reading Challenge visit summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

To get information about your local library visit www.sefton.gov.uk/libraries 

Time Capsule buried for 50 years to mark the opening of Maghull Station

School children helping to preserve time for future generations of commuters have buried a time capsule in the foundations of the new £13 million state-of-the-art Maghull North Station, which will be re-opened in 2068.

 The container, which was created by pupils at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School, is packed with school memorabilia, and also LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film created by all the pupils at the school with help from staff at Sefton Council.  

 It was presented to the station’s staff, Merseyrail’s HR director Jane English and Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, at a special ceremony held on June 11.

 Pupils from the school all got the honour of planting the historical milestone which will remain buried in the station’s grounds for the next fifty years.   

 A plaque will also be placed in the ground above the time capsule which will read:

 St Thomas CE Primary School Time Capsule, Sealed at Maghull North station on 11th July 2018.  To be opened 11th July 2068.

 The time capsule is one of several community projects that have been created to mark the arrival of the new station which was officially opened to the public last month.

 Other projects included a community artwork piece, to brighten up the new station’s site, which was designed by local groups and schools in the town.  

 Additionally, a set of story boards reflecting the fascinating the history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War have been unveiled on both platforms.

 Speaking about the time capsule, head teacher, Mr Ward, said: “The new station is such exciting news for Maghull and our pupils were thrilled to help mark this occasion by creating a piece of local history which will give future generations a snapshot of what life was like in 2018.  

“They are really excited to have their work, poems and stories captured in time and be part of this lasting legacy.”

 Jane English, HR Director, at Merseyrail, said: “We are incredibly passionate about getting local schools involved in all our projects because we want to give back to all the communities in which we operate as they are an integral part of everything we do.

“The new station is hugely important for Maghull because it will improve travel options and drive ongoing development in the town, which is why we wanted to involve the children as they will be enjoying it for many years to come.”

“We are delighted that they got on board to support us and the time capsule is a fitting celebration to mark the end of such a major milestone for the town.”

 Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “This new station is a great asset for the local community and we’re delighted to see the schoolchildren getting involved with this project.

“It will be fascinating to look back in 50 years at what has been left behind in the capsule and hopefully many of our other future aspirations for the local rail network will have been realised at that stage too.”

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “The time capsule project has provided an invaluable link between education and the new railway station.

“It will be a real eye opener when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time to see how the station, the school and the local area has progressed.

“Special thanks goes to Sefton Council’s Communications Team who helped put together the film about the school which will form an interesting piece of history in the future.”

 The new Maghull North station is located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line. 

 The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future. 

 It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.

 The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail. 

Watch this video which Sefton Council produced with St Thomas School about the time capsule project.

Help to make a difference to lives of children with disabilities in Sefton

Do you have some spare time on your hands during the school holidays or any evenings or weekends free? Would you be interested in helping disabled youngsters have fun in inclusive settings across Sefton?

 If so you could really make a difference to peoples’ lives. As part of Sefton Council’s Year of the Volunteer campaign, we are encouraging residents to consider volunteering for Aiming High. This is a very important service which gives support to children and young people with disabilities and their families.

 All year round the dedicated team provide specially tailored sessions which young people can access. This includes sport activities, outside play, music, dance and so much more!

 As we approach the school summer holidays, Aiming High are looking for more volunteer helpers for their summer programme which is packed full of fun and engaging things to do. 

 This will be a great experience for anyone who wants to join in and have some fun with  amazing young people and staff.

 It’s also an excellent opportunity for school leavers or students who want to work in a similar field such as social care, teaching or as a sports instructor.

 Don’t worry about your experience as full training is given. If you’re interested and want further information contact the Aiming High team on 0151 288 6816

 Check out our featured video below with the Aiming High team. We caught up with Laura Cunningham who has been one of our amazing volunteers. She helps out twice a week in our after school club for children with severe learning difficulties. She has now gained employment with Aiming High for the summer programme.

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

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