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Pay It Forward in Sefton with acts of kindness

Sefton’s Year of Friendship has shone a light on the selfless way the borough’s residents support each other.

Sefton’s Council for Voluntary Services (CVS) is calling on that community spirit to lead Sefton’s contribution to Pay It Forward Day on April 28. The theme this year is “Our Gift to You, Your Gift to Give”.

Sefton CVS are hosting two Year of Friendship themed community events at Strand By Me in Bootle Strand Shopping Centre, Friday, April 26, 10am – 1pm and Southport Community Centre, Saturday, April 27, 11am – 4pm. Each event will see volunteers come together, share ideas, stories and create friendship bracelets to mark the occasion.

Building on the success of last year’s Pay It Forward Day, Sefton CVS and Sefton Council are asking residents to let them know about any events, activities or simple acts of kindness they are performing so they can spread the word throughout the borough.

In the spirit of the day, Sefton CVS are asking individuals and organisations to take part in and organise events across the weekend from Thursday April 25 – Sunday, April 28.

Activities may include:

  • A community meal
  • Sowing a Wild flower meadow
  • Giving books away
  • Giving away planters and bulbs
  • A free music concert
  • Giving away bunches of flowers
  • Buying a coffee for a stranger
  • Free cakes in the cafe
  • Free car wash
  • Paying for someone’s parking

To make Pay It Forward Day a special day in Sefton, let Sefton CVS know your 0rganisation’s plans by email or alternatively, you can tag both Sefton CVS and Sefton Council on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using #PayItForwardSefton

How a shared love of animals is helping people connect during Year of Friendship

Anyone who has cared for an animal knows the difference they can make to our lives, whether it’s by bringing us companionship, helping us get out in to the great outdoors more or encouraging us to connect with others.

Throughout the Year of Friendship 2019, Sefton Council and its partners are celebrating groups, individuals and organisations who help foster friendship throughout the borough.

For April, we are shining a light on some of the special relationships that exist between animals and humans across Sefton, and those who benefit from having animal companions in their lives.

Freshfields Animal Rescue is a beloved local charity based in Ince Blundell that cares for abandoned, abused and unwanted domestic and small farm animals, along with sick and injured wildlife. Each year they rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of animals thanks to generous donations from the public and the dedicated work of a committed team of staff and volunteers.

Yet as well as helping their residents flourish and recover, the work they carry out has helped build a network of like-mined volunteers who have bonded over a shared love of animals and who enjoy a “tight-knit” camaraderie of their own.

Naomi Clarke, Community Fundraiser at Freshfields Animal Rescue, said: “It’s well document that with regards to mental health and wellbeing there is a unanimous friendship between animals and humans.

“The friendships that animals bring are so worthwhile. I see the relationships all the time between people and animals here at Freshfields – staff have adopted animals and the difference it’s made to both the animal and the person is huge.

“We’ve got a lot of volunteers that have a real camaraderie between them too. They embrace friendship, they do a lot of things together and they encourage other people to join in as well. They bring their own network of people to come and take part.

“It’s a real tight knit of people at Freshfields and when you see some of the cases that come in and some of the situations that arise, it shows how valuable those friendships are. People here are all striving for the same good – everything we do here is for the benefit of the animals, and that is one thing that everybody’s got in common.”

There are many ways you can get involved with Freshfields Animal Rescue, from fundraising to fostering and helping out at the centre. It’s a brilliant opportunity to make new friends, both human and furry, so why not check out their website and see how you can get involved:

Freshfields Animal Rescue also has a number of events coming up this year, including a sponsored firewalk and a sponsored abseil down Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, and are looking for people to take part. Click this link to find out more and see how you can help:

Video produced by Sefton Council. Still image courtesy of Freshfields Animal Rescue.

Come along to charity quizzes to raise money for Freshfields Animal Rescue

Much-loved Sefton charity Freshfields Animal Rescue is hosting a series of pub quizzes to raise money for the many abandoned, abused and unwanted animals in its care.

Taking place at a number of venues throughout the borough during April, the quizzes are a great opportunity to raise much-needed funds for the charity whilst also having a fantastic night out.

2019 is Sefton’s Year of Friendship, and April’s theme is ‘Pet Ownership’, so why not go along and support a very worthwhile charity that is right on our doorstep?

The quizzes will be held at:

  • Friday, April 5 at 7.30pm  – Crosby Lakeside Bistro, Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, Crosby Coastal Park, Cambridge Rd, Waterloo
  • Tuesday, April 9 at 9pm – The Bay Horse, Church Road, Formby
  • Friday, April 12 at 9pm – The Freshfield, Massams Lane, Formby
  • Wednesday, April 17 at 8pm – Kokomo coffee and wine bar, 6 Bold St, Southport

There is a fantastic array of prizes on offer, including:

  • Meal for two with wine at Crosby Lakeside Bar & Bistro
  • Two tickets for Southport Flower Show
  • £25 voucher for Southport Pleasureland
  • Meal for two at The Fisherman’s Rest in Southport
  • Family ticket for a Continuum Attractions venue
  • Meal for two at Bistrot Pierre in Southport
  • Two tickets for ‘The Wedding Singer’ musical at The Little Theatre in Southport
  • Group session at Breakout Liverpool Escape Room
  • Afternoon tea for two at The Royal Clifton Hotel & Spa in Southport

All money raised will go towards helping the animals at Freshfields Animal Rescue.

To find out more about the events visit

To find out more about Freshfield Animal Rescue visit

New Sefton base for Police Community Support Officers

A team of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) from Merseyside Police has moved in to a new base at Magdalen House as part of Sefton Council’s move to locality-based working.

PCSOs Emma Cooke, Anthony Holden and Helen Holt will work from the ground floor of Magdalen House alongside a range of council services focusing on early intervention and prevention.

Magdalen House PCSOs Emma Cook Anthony Holden and Helen Holt

This way of working will allow the council and its partners to share information, resources and data more collaboratively. The PCSO team will also be able to work from agile suites at Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall.

Formerly based at Marsh Lane Police Station in Bootle, the PCSO’s relocation to Magdalen will see them collaborate with colleagues across the council to help children, families and vulnerable adults in Sefton tackle problems at an early stage.

Their immediate focus will be to identify people who regularly contact Sefton Council and Merseyside Police for help.

Emma Cooke, who has served as a PCSO for 10 years, says the team are already seeing the benefits of working at Magdalen House after moving in eight weeks’ ago.

PCSO Cooke said: “It’s great to be part of a big team and be able to share information immediately with partners. The aim of the Early Help plan is to work together to help our communities become more resilient, and having a base at Sefton Council means we take a more joined-up approach.

“Everyone at Sefton has been really welcoming and we are looking forward to getting to know everyone in the different teams.”

PCSO Helen Holt said the move will help all partners focus on the needs of local partners and communities more cohesively. She said: “Working together will help us identify areas of demand and allow us to share that information quickly with teams at Sefton Council.

“We’ll be able to cooperate and offer a service that is structured, focussed and tailored to the needs of the community.”

Anthony Holden, who has served as a PCSO for three years, says he is enjoying being in the new environment and is looking forward to closer partnership working. He said: “We already feel at home in Magdalen and it’s great to working with colleagues at Sefton as part of a ‘one-team’ approach.

“We hope our work will help reduce demand and allow us all to work smarter together for the benefit of individuals and families across Sefton.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said:” This move will really help us work as one team with partner agencies, to share resources and information to make us more resilient and effective.

“Having the PCSOs in Magdalen House means we can easily work together to help vulnerable people across Sefton, getting them help at an early stage to prevent their problems from escalating and ensuring they are well supported.”

Councillor aims to reach fundraising milestone for We Love Manchester Emergency Fund

Sefton Councillor Carla Thomas (St. Oswald Ward) is hoping to reach a fundraising milestone of £10,000 for the We Love Manchester Emergency Fund to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Manchester Arena terror attack where her sister sustained life-changing injuries.

Councillor Thomas’s sister, Julie, was present at Manchester Arena when the terror attack took place on May 22, 2017. Julie was seriously injured in the blast and underwent three serious operations to remove shrapnel and bolts from her body. She is now adjusting to life in a wheelchair.

In response to the atrocity, Councillor Thomas organised a ‘Hope Over Fear Fundraising Event’ on behalf of the victims and families of those hurt in the attack. The event, which was held at the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool and attended by Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, raised £9,200 for the Fund.

She is now hoping to reach a fundraising milestone of £10,000 by the end of May in order to present a cheque to the two Metro Mayors next month for the We Love Manchester Fund.

Councillor Thomas said: “I can’t thank everyone who has donated enough for their support. I can’t believe that it’s almost a year since the awful incident occurred but I’m very lucky to have my sister who is adjusting to life in a wheelchair. We still hope she may walk again.

“It would be great to get as close to my fundraising target of £10,000 as possible as I am due to meet with Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram in June to give them a cheque with the grand total raised for the We Love Manchester Fund.”

If you would like to donate please contact Councillor Thomas directly on 07815 507 965.

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