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Get fit in February with fantastic BeActive Half Term fun!

Young sports fans will be delighted to hear that Active Sefton’s bumper BeActive programme is returning for the February half term.

Featuring a host of thrilling fun days, sports and splash sessions, schoolchildren across Sefton will be able to experience a week of none stop sporting entertainment between Monday February 17 and Friday February 21.

As well as returning favourites, Active Sefton will be launching brand new sessions including a Swimming crash course, Frozen dance workshops and Gymnastics and Yoga sessions.

Due to exceedingly popular demand the LFC Foundation are back providing their Football Camp in partnership with Active Sefton, booking is essential!

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The Be Active line-up constantly gets better with each half term and I am delighted that we are able to provide a huge range of activities targeting a variety of abilities and age groups.

“The camp days are fun and affordable and provide a brilliant way to keep children active while they’re not in school.”

To see the full list of activities visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beactive and to book a place please call 0151 288 6286 or 0151 934 4799.

Bootle schoolchildren put Blues in the picture to promote positive mental health

Children’s drawings to replace player matchday photographs at Goodison Park as USM training ground supports Edge Hill partnership programme Tackling the Blues

Portraits of Everton FC players created by schoolchildren will be shown on stadium screens for the Blues’ home game against Newcastle today, Tuesday 21 January, helping to raise awareness of the importance of positive mental health among young people.

Club partner USM invited Year 4 pupils from Linacre Primary School in Bootle to visit Everton’s USM Finch Farm training ground to take part in a drawing session, with their player portraits set to make a very special appearance at Goodison Park on Tuesday night.

The portraits will replace the in-match player graphics for the Premier League encounter with Newcastle on the stadium screens for the team announcement and substitutions. They will also be used in the matchday programme and, away from the ground, the images will be visible across Everton’s official matchday social media and website output.

The activity is part of USM’s Unlock the Potential campaign and in support of Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University’s award-winning Tackling the Blues programme.

Linacre Primary School is one of a number of schools participating in Tackling the Blues, which aims to teach young people strategies for good mental and physical health, promote emotional literacy and improve self-esteem and confidence. The programme has engaged with more than 850 young people aged six to 16 years old in the last three years.

Delivered collaboratively by Everton in the Community and Edge Hill University, and funded by The Premier League, Tackling the Blues is co-designed and developed with young people, student mentors and education workers who act as project collaborators, to help recruit participants and deliver peer mentor workshops.

Professor Andy Smith, from Edge Hill University, said: “We are delighted that the benefits of the activities which we have designed with young people who engage in the Tackling the Blues programme are being recognised in this way.

“Helping young people to understand the importance of their mental health, how and where to seek help, and to provide activities which impact their lives positively is an important part of our longstanding partnership with Everton in the Community.

“We are especially grateful to the players, USM and everyone at the football club, for their continued support of Tackling the Blues and our wider research on using sport for mental health promotion.”

Drawing portraits is just one of the ways that participants are encouraged to explore emotions, behaviours and reactions and gain an understanding of the things we can all do to support each other.

During the drawing session, the Linacre pupils were surprised by a visit from first team stars Fabian Delph, Theo Walcott, Seamus Coleman and Jonas Lossl – who came to sit for their portraits in person.

The players then tried their hand at their own drawings before taking part in a Q&A with the children on topics including acceptance, self-esteem, diversity and respect.

The pupils have also been invited to the game against Newcastle to see their drawings come to life across Goodison Park.

Michael Salla, Director of Health and Sport at Everton in the Community added: “In England, between 9 and 13% of 5-15-year-olds reported having a mental health disorder, with older young people reporting higher rates of mental illness. Suicide is the biggest killer of schoolchildren each year, with 200 on average taking their own lives.

“It is fantastic to see USM showing their support for Tackling the Blues. Programmes like this are vital in providing young people with tools and strategies that they can use as they get older to maintain good mental and physical health.

“It is also about removing stigma around mental health and making it clear that it is important to talk about mental health at any age, to ask for help and support when you need it, and ensure that young people know where to find that support.

“The player portraits are a great way of sharing that message and I am sure that the children will be delighted when they see their drawings on the big screen.”

Women in Southport urged to attend their cervical screening

During Cervical Cancer Prevention Week 2020 (20-26 January), health professionals in Sefton are reminding women about the importance of attending their cervical screening – also known as a smear test.

Cervical cancer affects around 3,000 women in the UK every year, making it the most common form of cancer for women under the age of 35. According to Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, 75 per cent of these cases can be prevented through testing.

Screening is the best way to test for human papillomavirus (HPV). If the test comes back positive for HPV, the sample will then be tested for abnormal cells. If left untreated, abnormal cells can develop into cervical cancer.

In 2018/19, only 70.4 per cent of women aged 25-49 in South Sefton attended their cervical screenings after receiving their invitation letter, but health leaders are keen for more women take up the offer.

Debbie Harvey, clinical lead for cancer and end of life at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Women aged 25 to 49 are offered screening every three years, and 50 to 64-year-olds are screened every five years. When it’s time for your next test, you should be sent a letter inviting you to make an appointment.

“It’s a quick and simple procedure which makes sure abnormal cells are spotted early – when it is easier to treat. Contact your GP if you think you may be overdue.

“The test only takes a few minutes and could prevent cancer. If you are eligible, I would highly encourage you to attend your cervical screening.”

Debbie added: “It’s really important to contact your GP if you notice any unusual bleeding or other concerning symptoms.”

Thanks to the GP Extra service, local residents can book to have their smear test carried out by a practice nurse on a weekday evening (5-8pm) or, weekend including bank holidays (10am-1pm), making it easier for those who are busy during the day to attend their screening. You can book an appointment for this service via your GP practice.

For more information on cervical cancer and what the screening test involves, visit www.nhs.uk/cervicalcancer

More information on extended access appointments is available here or via your own GP practice.

Residents have their say on future of Southport Market

More than half of people that took part in a consultation on Southport Market believe introducing more food and drink options would have a positive effect on the building.

Late last year Sefton Council ran a four-week consultation asking the views of existing traders, local businesses, residents and visitors to the area on the vision for the renewed market space.

Hundreds of people got involved via Sefton Council’s online e-consult site and through hard copies that were available at the King Street market and other Council buildings.

91% of respondents who responded were Sefton residents and just under 80% of them had heard or seen the impressive images charting how the King Street market could look in the future.

While no final decisions have yet been made, the Council remains committed to ensuring Southport Market continues to operate and make a positive contribution to the local economy as well as becoming a key visitor destination.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We have said all along that we value Southport Market but the current offer and the way it operates simply doesn’t work.

“The consultation reaffirmed this with people saying they don’t visit the facility much, highlighting the number of empty units and how it was an uninviting place to visit.

“A number of responses also identified that a change in the offer at the market would improve the look and feel of the market quarter in the town.

“People have now told us how they would like a variety of food and drink establishments at the market with 78% of respondents saying they would buy from a deli/greengrocer/butcher that focused on local or specialised produce.

“Early plans drawn up for us last year had a flexible events space at the back of the market and our consultation found that 72% of people would visit an artisan and local food market with 64% saying they would go to a craft market as well.

“These findings have been reported back to our public Consultation and Engagement Panel with the view of moving the project forward during our Borough of Culture year.

“Building on our former investment at the market, we believe these findings can help us move forward and help transform the building into a unique offer that will only benefit the town and the wider borough.”

/Ends

Get fit this January with Sefton’s Couch 2 5K Programme

Active Sefton has announced that its hugely successful Couch to 5K programme will be returning to Litherland from Monday 13th January.

Taking place every Monday and Wednesday, at Litherland Sports Park, the coach-led crash courses aim to help you get back into shape or rediscover your love of running over a number of weeks. while The 10 week Litherland course, starting January 13, is priced at £10.

The sessions are perfect training for those looking to get fit, find a love of running or build up stamina. Classes are drop in, drop out but it is recommended that runners take part in as many as possible.

Both sessions will run from 6-7pm each evening.

Running has many health benefits, including improved heart and lungs; and when combined with a healthy diet can result in weight loss. A more active life style is also known to improve mental health and can act as a great stress reliever.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Taking part in Active Sefton’s Couch to 5k is a great way to get fit and in shape

“As well helping to keep you in shape, the programme is also a great way to meet new people and make links with the local community. Good luck to everybody who decides to take part, and most importantly have fun!”

For more information about Couch to 5k, contact Active Sefton on 0151 288 6286 or email active.sports@sefton.gov.uk

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