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Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal

Sefton CVS and Sefton 4 Good, in partnership with Sefton Council and local VCF sector organisations are launching the Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal to raise funds to support Ukrainian individuals and families arriving in the borough of Sefton through the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ initiative.

Assistance

The Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal is all about providing assistance to Ukrainian individuals and families as they arrive in the local community working alongside local supporters and frontline organisations.

The fund will help to provide a community response, such as settlement grants for individuals and families; providing social, cultural and community networks and activities, language support, travel cards, clothing, IT and equipment and other needs as they are identified.

Heartbreaking scenes

Angela White, Chief Executive of Sefton CVS commented: “We are witnessing the devastating and heartbreaking scenes from Ukraine which has led to millions being forced to flee their homes, families and livelihoods.

“Ukrainians will be arriving in Sefton very shortly to stay with hosts as part of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

“Our local community is so very generous in their support of others. Residents, schools and businesses can help by donating to this Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal. This will aim to provide essential assistance and support to Ukrainian arrivals as they are welcomed in our borough.”

To donate please visit the Sefton Ukraine Welcome Appeal fundraising page.

You can find out more about Sefton’s local response and access useful resources, here.

 

 

How to get healthcare help in Sefton over the Easter holidays

How to get healthcare help-in-Sefton over Easter web bannerHealthcare leaders are sharing advice for getting the help you need in Sefton over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend (Friday 15th to Monday 18th April) should you become unwell. 

NHS 111

People who need urgent NHS care, but it is not a 999 emergency, are advised to contact NHS 111 which is staffed by trained professionals and clinicians who will direct people to the most appropriate health service. 

Dr Pete Chamberlain, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Although there are changes to some healthcare services over the Bank Holiday weekend, if you’re feeling unwell, there is plenty of help and advice available from NHS 111.”

“We would advise you to ‘think 111 first’ and contact the team either by visiting 111.nhs.uk online to answer some questions about your condition, or by calling 111 over the phone.”

Planning ahead

Opening times for services such as pharmacies, walk in centres and GP practices may change over the Bank Holiday, so residents are advised to plan ahead to make sure they know where to go for help. Healthcare leaders are also urging residents to make sure they have enough supply of any medications they need by ordering their repeat prescriptions early, and getting their medicine cabinet stocked up with essentials.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “If you do rely on medication for long term conditions, don’t leave it too late to order your repeat prescriptions before Good Friday. Pharmacies may change their opening hours over the Bank Holiday weekend so it’s best to be prepared.

“Pharmacists are also there for you for help with common ailments should you need them. They are highly qualified health professionals who can give free, confidential advice and help you get the right medications for everyday illnesses.”

Easter bank holiday pharmacy opening times

A number of pharmacies are open on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. Residents are advised to check the opening times in the link below and to call their local pharmacy before travelling, just to make sure nothing has changed and that they are still open. Information will be added to the links as the opening times come into the CCGs. 

You can view the pharmacy times here: 

Anyone in Sefton can also refer to Sefton’s good health checklist, which can help you find the right health advice or treatment when you need it.

You can find the good health checklist online at:

Sefton Council Loan Shark Warning

With people facing higher bills for household fuel, food, petrol at the pumps and new, higher National Insurance payments from the start of April, Sefton Council is warning people not to turn to loan sharks.

Unscrupulous and unlicensed

Recently there have been a number of press reports of desperate households facing the effects of cost-of-living rises being trapped by unscrupulous and unlicensed lenders providing loans with interest rates at astronomical levels.

Today, loan sharks often use social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, to advertise their illegal loans and target potential victims. Initially their offers can seem an attractive short-term fix. However, seemingly attractive loans can quickly end in intimidation, threats and violence to enforce repayment and borrowers trapped in a spiral of debt.

Upsurge

Simon Burnett, Sefton Council’s Head of Communities said: “At times like this we tend to see an upsurge in the activities of loan sharks preying on vulnerable families facing hard decisions over their finances.

“They make it sound like they want to help but they do not have their victims’ best interests at heart. In fact, they are actively looking to trap struggling families into sky-rocketing debts backed up with threats, intimidation and violence as they demand payment.

“Sefton Council can help people who are in financial difficulty and the sooner they contact us the greater the chance that we can work with them to find workable solutions.”

Support Hub

The Sefton Support Hub at www.sefton.gov.uk/seftonsupporthub is a digital One Stop Shop where the Borough’s residents can find help, advice and guidance, as well as financial and social support.

Recently the Government announced it will be extending the Household Support Fund. People can access this through Sefton’s Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme (ELAS), the Affordable Warmth service and through vouchers. The Council also allocates funding to schools to support pupils receiving free school meals.

Information about the one-off Council Tax Energy Rebate, Affordable Warmth and help with fuel bills, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction and the Council’s Exceptional Hardship Fund can also be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/energy-rebate.

Sefton residents who don’t have Internet access can contact the Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

The Council’s Invest Sefton, Homeless Prevention and Early Help services can also provide support. And advice about benefits is at www.sefton.gov.uk/welfare-rights-team

Online selling

Recently loan sharks have been targeting people through local, online selling and community sites and groups as well as on social media. Often, they advertise loans requiring with no credit checks. They have also been known to ask for people’s details including copies of their passport or pictures of their house, street and house number.

Anyone who thinks they have been targeted by a loan shark can report it in confidence to an Illegal Money Lending Team by calling 0300 555 2222, texting

LOAN SHARK and the details to 60003 or by emailing reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

Updates can be found at @loansharknews and www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject

There is also a Stop Loan Sharks page on the online Sefton Directory at https://www.seftondirectory.com/kb5/sefton/directory/service.page?id=fIqdscvjDU4

Sefton Residents can also get in touch via Sefton Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health thanks COVID test centre staff

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health in Sefton
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health

With Sefton’s COVID-19 testing centres closing this week, the Borough’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones has issued a message of thanks to all those who have been staffing them.

Spread

Mrs Jones said: “COVID Test centres have played a huge role in helping prevent the spread of coronavirus infections in Sefton so I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all of those who have worked at them for all their efforts to help keep our communities safe and reassuring our communities.”

Walk-through PCR test centres for people with COVID-19 symptoms were first set up in August 2020. The first two were at Bootle and Southport Town Halls with a further two at Crosby Library and Netherton Activity Centre being added. They will close after Thursday 31st March.

Closures

This week also sees the closure of Sefton’s rapid test sites for people without symptoms, at Sefton’s Bootle Town Hall, Bootle Strand Shopping Centre and Southport Splash World.

The Southport Dunes closed on Sunday 27th March, The Strand site closed on Monday 28th March and the Bootle Town Hall site’s final day is Thursday 31st March when it will close at 3pm.

Sefton Council has supported staff at the Council testing centres to access redeployment opportunities into other roles.

Thousands of people

Margaret Jones added: “By carrying rapid LFD tests for people without symptoms, handing out free home test kits and dispensing advice, staff at rapid test centres have helped thousands of people make sure they are not passing on the virus without knowing it because they don’t have symptoms.

“This has been invaluable in terms of protecting those people vulnerable to COVID’s potentially serious effects and reducing pressure on our health service.

“I am so grateful for all their hard work and wish them well for the future.”

Sefton Council has advised people to remain cautious and considerate to others. Advice includes continuing to wear face coverings in busy indoor areas and on public transport and maintaining distancing where necessary.

Change Grow Live takes over running of Sefton’s substance misuse treatment and recovery service

Smiling man and woman sitting on stairsFrom Friday 1st April 2022, nationwide charity Change Grow Live will take over running the substance misuse treatment and recovery service in Sefton.

This means that the service will have a new phone number. From Friday 1st April, it will be 0151 203 9755 and people will be able to find out more about the service at www.changegrowlive.org.service.

Change Grow Live has been closely with Ambition, the current service provide to provide a safe transition for service users.

They understand that this change may be a worrying time for some service users and are ready to listen and respond to any feedback.

Change Grow Live that recovery means different things to different people and support people to identify and pursue their own goals. They see change as a real possibility for everyone and will work with you to give you the best chance of success.

Change Grow Live has grown from a tiny organisation, formed in 1977, to a nationwide charity helping tens of thousands of people every day. It runs more than 150 services across the UK.

Mobilisation Team

To ensure the transition happens smoothly, Change Grow Live has a team in place to manage the process. The priority is maintaining continuity for service users and they have been working closely with existing services users to let them know about the changes.

Planned stakeholder events will be an opportunity for partners to get involved and influence the implementation process. The first of these will take place in May.

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