The Autumn 2020 edition of Sefton Council’s Aiming High for Disabled Children newsletter is out now and available for you to read.
Aiming High for Disabled Children is a service provided by Sefton Council to make sure disabled children, young people and their families have the same access to fun, fulfilling activities and life chances as those without disabilities.
It provides specially tailored sessions during term-time and holidays that young people can access, and specialist support when young people reach key transition points, such as moving from education in to employment.
Aiming High’s newsletter is produced three times a year and contains good news stories about things that are happening within the service. This includes blogs from young people and service users, a closer look in to some of the activities, groups and events available for young people in Sefton and up-to-date information about local and national guidance and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
You can read the Aiming High Newsletter by clicking here. This autumn 2020 edition focuses on the positive outreach work our Aiming High team and partner agencies have undertaken throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s also plenty of inspirational stories of achievement and success from young people across the borough.
Find out more about Aiming High for Disabled Children at Sefton Council’s website here. Use the links on this page to discover Aiming High’s Short Breaks activities, family support for SEND, and transitions services for young people age 13-25 SEND.
Changes to Sefton’s refuse and recycling service mean residents at thousands of homes across the borough will receive new brown and grey wheeled bins.
The bins replace sacks previously delivered to residents and will be collected on alternate weeks, with brown recycling bins collected one week and grey residual bins collected the next.
Around 4,000 households in Linacre, Derby, Litherland, Ford, Church, Blundellsands, Netherton and Orrell & Victoria are receiving bins as part of the new scheme.
The aim of the initiative is to create cleaner neighbourhoods across Sefton, reduce the risk of vermin and fly-tipping and introduce a safer, more hygienic system of storing household waste prior to collection.
Collections of wheeled bins begin the week commencing Monday October 26 and a calendar of collection dates will be delivered to those homes receiving the new bins, along with instructions on how to use the new service.
Households with a garden will also receive a green garden waste bin. Details of collection dates for garden waste will be on a sticker attached to the green bin lids.
Head of Highways and Public Protection for Sefton Council, Peter Moore, said: “We are pleased to be rolling out this successful collection system, already enjoyed by most Sefton residents, to these properties.
“This will result in immediate benefits to the local environment and has been welcomed by the majority of households for whom this new system represents a significant improvement on current collections.
“Introducing the new bins will mean people will no longer need to leave refuse bags out for collection, which will also help reduce the problem of fly-tipping in those areas.
“We will still provide assistance with wheeled bin collections to anyone who received help with refuse sack collections, and anyone who cannot put bins on the kerb edge for collection due to infirmity or disability can also apply for extra support.
“And, we will be ready to step in to help any of the households benefiting from this new service if they experience any issues as we roll out these improvements.”
“There is lots of helpful information on the Sefton Council website at www.sefton.gov.uk/bins-recycling which explains the process and provides a calendar of collection dates.”
Sefton’s Early Help team are delighted to help an inspirational young person, who struggles with a communication disorder, to make her voice heard and support others through her own website.
Sixteen-year-old Ellen from Crosby has been diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) which is a type of speech, language and communication need that affects the way children understand and use language. It is more common than autism with up to two children in every classroom having the disorder.
Living with DLD has meant that through her life Ellen has struggled to express herself and process complex sentences and to feel heard, preferring to communicate by writing words down or making videos.
Hannah Howard from Sefton’s Early Help team said: “Like many other young people with a similar condition, Ellen feels that she is not heard because she can’t communicate easily, and people’s patience, belief in her and understanding is varied and often limited.
“This has had an effect on her education as well as her social and emotion
al wellbeing, however Ellen has said that having the support from people who have really listened has made a massive difference.”
“I have been absolutely inspired by Ellen. As a professional I have always strived to listen and put every child at the centre of what I do.
“Ellen has reminded me of the importance of us all taking the time to increase our understanding and knowledge around individual needs and that taking extra time to ensure a child has a voice is paramount.”
Ellen’s mum Roisin said: “Ellen has received support from Sefton’s Early Help team who have been there to help stop us getting to crisis point and their support has been immeasurable.
“The way they put Ellen first shines through, and they always come back to ‘what does Ellen want’. They have been Ellen’s voice and she really feels they have enabled her to be heard.
“We have also received amazing support from the Venus Centre in Sefton (which provides counselling), her head teacher at Holy Family Catholic High School and Speech and language therapists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
“They are helping to empower Ellen so she can achieve her full potential by continuing to promote communication and give practical advice and encouragement while putting Ellen’s voice at the centre of everything they do.”
With her support network on board, Ellen has used her own experiences to help others by developing a website.
‘This is DLD’, not only gives a personal insight into Ellen’s experience of living with the disorder but also gives help and advice to people who have difficulties expressing themselves.
The website contains videos and pictures giving advice to practitioners and teachers on how they can help a child with DLD, such as taking enough time to respond and using pictures sometimes instead of words.
Ellen said: “When you struggle with communication life can be hard for you and your family as you need words for everything.
“Often, I have felt invisible. However, over the last year I have had Alison from Sefton Speech and Language therapy, Paula from Venus and Hannah from Early Help supporting me and my family.
“They listened and followed things through. They believed in me and helped me find my voice and speak out about the things that mattered to me.
“I wanted to help give a voice to all those children and families in the same situation as us. It is important that they too are seen and heard, so with my Uncle’s help I have created a website to try and get the message out to the right people so things can change.
“I want people to understand what it is like growing up in a place without a voice and how they can help make life easier. None of this costs money, only time. Everyone deserves a fair chance.”
GP surgeries and pharmacies across Sefton are starting to vaccinate thousands of people against flu, whilst ensuring that coronavirus social distancing measures are followed.
This year will be the most comprehensive flu programme in UK history, with more people eligible for the free NHS vaccine than ever. If you are eligible, please do not call your practice, your GP practice will be in touch to let you know the plans for you to get your vaccine.
Those eligible for a free flu vaccination this year are:
people who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household;
all school year groups up to and including Year 7;
people aged over 65;
those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under-2-year olds;
receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick.
Later this year, dependent on supply, people aged 50 to 64 will also be invited to get the flu vaccination. If you are in this age group, please wait for your invitation and do not call for an appointment.
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “With more people eligible for the flu vaccine and the need for social distancing and infection control measures staff have been working really hard to ensure that everyone will be as safe as possible while receiving their vaccination this year.”
“Don’t ignore the flu, it’s a potentially fatal illness and one that can spread very quickly. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine and invited to have it, it is important that you take up that offer.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Flu should not be underestimated it is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population.
“The flu vaccination is the best defense we have against the virus. It is vital that those eligible have the vaccine every year as it protects against different strains of flu which can change and evolve each year.”
Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton, said: “Having the vaccine is the single best way to protect against flu and will be an important step in preventing not only you, but your family, friends, and colleagues from getting the virus.
“As well as getting the vaccine, practicing good hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing your hands after can really help limit its spread – catch it, bin it, kill it.”