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Sefton residents are urged to honour 2021’s Holocaust Memorial Day online

Sefton residents are urged to honour Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, by joining an online service, on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm

This year, Sefton will remember the millions of Jewish, Gypsy, Muslim, and many other ethnic minority groups and disabled people, who were killed during the Holocaust as well as millions of others who have died in more recent genocides, by joining a special virtual Memorial event.

Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Service, which usually takes place at Christ Church in Southport, cannot go ahead as planned due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead the Council along with Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Group are asking residents to take part in the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s online national Memorial Service on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm.

People can register their place to join the Trusts’ first fully digital ceremony at www.hmd.org.uk.

In line with this year’s ‘Be the light in the darkness’ theme, people are also being encouraged to light a candle at 8pm.

They can also let others know they are taking part in the ‘Light the Darkness National Moment’ by taking a photograph to share on social media with the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, said: “It is so important, even with restrictions in place, that we join others around the world to remember those who endured such atrocities and honour the survivors whose lives were changed forever.

“The theme of this years’ service is ‘Be a Light in the Darkness’, and this couldn’t be more relevant as our communities should stand together and demonstrate how we can ‘be the light’ by showing solidarity in a time of crisis and divisions across the World.”

 

Make 2021 the year you do something amazing. Foster with Sefton and make a difference to a child’s life

As we make plans for the year ahead, could 2021 be the year you become a foster carer? Sefton Council is urging local people to think about giving a loving home to a local child who really needs it.

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on vulnerable children’s lives meaning that we need foster carers now more than ever. Whilst restrictions mean we are recruiting a little differently, we’re still urgently calling for people to come forward to find out more about this rewarding role.

Dorsey and her husband Daniel have been fostering with Sefton for seven months and became new carers during the pandemic.

Dorsey said; “This is the best thing we have ever done, and we love every minute of it. If anyone is thinking about fostering, please don’t let COVID restrictions put you off. We went through our training and were approved during lockdown and the constant contact and support from Sefton Council has been amazing. They have been with us every step of the way.

“Our ten-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl absolutely love helping out and having fun with our foster child and this experience has really brought our family closer together. During lockdown we’ve been able to go for walks and trips to the park and it’s heart-breaking to know that some children don’t have any family during these challenging and often isolating times.”

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said; “There is now more of a need to recruit new carers than ever before. Our foster care capacity is full, and we need to recruit a least 20 more additional carers by the end of this year. 

“We can see how the COVID pandemic has brought out people’s compassion and willingness to help one another. Fostering gives a unique opportunity to give something back as you will be helping our most vulnerable children achieve their full potential by giving them the best start in life.

“Some people may be experiencing changes to their work and personal lives and may have seen their circumstances change as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.

“It is a period where some people are evaluating their lives and thinking about changes for the future. I urge anyone who has thought about becoming a foster carer to take this opportunity to find out more and see whether giving this vital support is for them.”

Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances.

Join us at our next virtual Fostering Information Session on 26 January 6.00 – 7.00pm to find out more and meet Katy one of our carers who knows what opening your home to fostering is all about.

To make an enquiry or join our virtual information session please visit www.seftonfostering.co.uk or call 0800 923 2777.

 

Vote for The Atkinson in the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

Vote for The Atkinson here:
liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020

After a challenging year for arts and culture, The Atkinson is proud to be nominated twice in the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards. The multi venue arts organisation in Southport is a finalist in The People’s Choice award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture as well as the Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response.

The Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards celebrate outstanding contributions and commitment to art, culture and creativity across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The 2020 awards received over 700 nominations in a huge show of support for the cultural sector across the whole city region, which has suffered a massive impact in the face of Covid-19.

The judging panel, including Chairs of the Culture Partnership, Phil Redmond and Maggie O’ Carroll; met to consider nominations from across the city region to decide the list of finalists. It’s your decision who will be named the winner of The People’s Choice award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture. The vote closes on 26 January 2021 when the results will be totted up and the winner announced at a digital ceremony on Friday 19th February.

Vote for The Atkinson here:
liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020

Reassurance and guidance to Sefton’s parents and carers                                     

Sefton’s Director of Children’s Services Vicky Buchanan and Director of Public Health Margaret Jones have written a letter of reassurance and guidance to parents and carers across the borough.                                                                    

Dear Parents and Carers

As you are fully aware the Prime Minister announced a full lockdown which meant that all schools were closed except for vulnerable children and critical worker children. This was not the start for the year that we wanted as we hoped that all children and young people would be in school by the 18th January at the very latest.

We need to drive down the infection rates in Sefton and indeed the whole country so that we are all safe and secure in returning to everyday life. In order to do that it is crucial we all follow the government guidance of staying home unless absolutely necessary. We need everyone to follow this guidance to protect not only the NHS but also ourselves, our families and our friends. Hopefully, with the roll out of the vaccine and keeping to the guidance this will happen sooner rather than later. Government guidance for schools and for parents and carers has been very clear about who should access places in schools. ‘Children with at least one parent or carer who is a critical worker can go to school or college if required, but parents and carers should keep their children at home if they can.’ Full guidance for parents and carers can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision 

We would ask that if you can, as the guidance says keep your child at home then please do so. Schools are under increasing pressure to manage the number of children and young people in school due to staff not being able to attend school due to covid issues. Schools may therefore as a last resort have to consider prioritising places for vulnerable children, health workers and school staff. Schools will only do this after considering their Risk Assessment and consultation with their governing body and Sefton Council. This will be continually reviewed as situations change throughout this current lockdown. Your school will keep you informed as to what is happening. Please do discuss any concerns with your school. Alongside having children in school, schools are providing high quality remote learning for those at home.

As you can imagine this is placing a very heavy burden on staff to ensure that everyone is catered for. Please do remember that all school situations are different and this impacts on how a school will deliver remote learning. There are many different ways that this can be delivered and no one way is the only way.

Some schools may have the facilities to deliver ‘live’ lessons and other may not be able to do so, that does not mean that their offer is any less effective. Please do work with your school to support your child and if you do have any worries then do discuss with the school. All our schools have worked incredibly hard to ensure that what they are offering is helping our children and young people to carry on learning in very difficult circumstances. If you are struggling with accessing online learning please do speak to your school.

We would ask that you continue to encourage your children to follow the advice of Hands, Face, Space.

Our schools will continue to reinforce this message as well as ensuring social distancing, good ventilation, use of face coverings as appropriate, and ensuring people with symptoms do not attend. These remain

the most effective ways to reduce the spread of the virus, even with rapid testing in place within schools. However, as parents and carers you could further support by not sending children to school unless necessary – stay at home; please don’t bring children to school if they are of an age when they can walk there on their ownIf you need to take your child to school please observe hands, face, space, wear a face covering and don’t stand around the playground or school gates. We want to try and minimise people mixing.

We would ask that you continue to work with and support our schools with the same and consideration you have done so throughout this pandemic.

VICKY BUCHANAN                                                                     MARGARET JONES

DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN’S SERVICES                             DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH

 

Council remind Marine FC fans not to head to the football ground this weekend

Sefton Council are reminding Marine FC fans not to head to the football ground this weekend

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said:

“There are many residents across the borough who are, understandably, extremely excited for Marine FC’s FA Cup Third Round game against Tottenham Hotspur this Sunday.  However, we must remind people about the current national lockdown restrictions to stay at home and we warn fans not gather around the Marine Travel Arena area immediately before, during or after the game.

“Residents are also reminded that they are forbidden from socialising indoors or in private gardens with anyone who is not in your household or support bubble.

“We have been working closely with Merseyside Police in the planning and preparation for the game and residents should know that there will be police offers patrolling the area.

“Anyone wishing to show their support for Marine FC can do so by taking part in their virtual match ticket raffle which will help to replace lost revenue. Tickets cost £10 and can be purchased at https://marinefc.ktckts.com

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