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Sovini Group receives Royal Gold Award for supporting the Armed Forces

The Sovini Group has been recognised for their support of the Armed Forces community in a ceremony in London, where they were presented with the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award by HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.

On Monday 12th November, The Sovini Group received its Gold Award alongside 50 other organisations in a presentation at Lancaster House led by the Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson.

The award is the Ministry of Defence’s highest honour for organisations, and recognises their outstanding support for Reservists, Service leavers, wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, the Cadet organisations and service families.

ERS Gold Awards 2018 at Lancaster House.

The Group was previously awarded Silver in 2017 and Bronze in 2016.

The property management and development group has a long standing commitment to the Armed Forces community. They work in close partnership with local organisations such as the Army Reserve unit 156 Regiment RLC, local veteran charities and Brunswick Youth and Community Centre.

The Sovini Group’s work with Liverpool Veterans HQ and Veterans in Sefton has led to over 30 local veterans being rehomed and in many cases saved from homelessness. As part of the rehoming process, the veterans are offered goods to help them furnish their new home and there is ongoing tenancy support for more vulnerable tenants.

The company also offers a volunteer placement programme, which supports veterans with their transition from the Armed Forces into employment within civilian life. Some of those who took part in the programme have gone on to get jobs within the Group, such as at Sovini Trade Supplies in Aintree.

The Sovini Group also employ a number of Reservists and support them through company initiatives such as an additional 10 days leave for training and unlimited unpaid leave if they are mobilised.

Dr Roy Williams, CEO of The Sovini Group said: “It’s an honour to achieve the Gold Award. By adopting the Armed Forces Covenant, we help to make sure the people who make huge sacrifices on our behalf receive the recognition and support they deserve in the workplace and the wider community”

Dave Smith, CEO at Veterans in Sefton, said: “It’s been amazing for us as a veterans charity to work with an organisation like The Sovini Group, who’ve put so much into the Covenant and reached Gold Award standard and put Service Level Agreements together to help veterans. It’s very refreshing to work with an organisation with that high standard and commitment.”

Private Tracy Newman, Customer Empowerment Officer, The Sovini Group said: “The Sovini Group has been fantastic from the very beginning supporting me in my Army Reserve journey. The flexibility they have given me has been invaluable. When I talk to other Sovini staff during Armed Forces partnership events I see real interest from colleagues and going forward I hope to encourage more staff to get involved.”

For more information about The Sovini Group, visit sovini.co.uk

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Sandway Homes revealed: Find out about Sefton’s new Housing Development Company

Sandway Homes is the official name of the newly created Sefton Council owned housing development company.

Last year councillors agreed in establishing a company to develop new housing across the borough.

Sefton Council’s Cabinet has just approved the new company name and arrangements for its board of directors. The newly formed company is now moving forward with developing detailed designs and proposals for priority house build sites across the borough.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “When we consulted on the 2030 Vision, ‘growing living and ageing well’ and ‘making Sefton a great place to live, work and play’ came through as two strategic outcomes that residents wished the council to prioritise and the establishment of the Housing Development Company is key to this.

“We are delighted to be at the point of announcing the official name of Sandway Homes for our new housing development company.

“The name Sandway is inspired by the unique 22 miles of coastline in Sefton and the logo mark is derived from the family crest for the Sefton Molyneux.

“Our mission now is to create quality, ambitious housing in a purposeful, ethical, and sustainable way that puts real people at the centre of everything. This will contribute to providing more housing choice right across the borough and unlock value from unused sites. The funds generated in this way will be used to support other Sefton Council projects and services.”

‘Great’ Southport visited by Great Yarmouth group for tourism tips

A delegation from Great Yarmouth visited Sefton to see at first hand the excellent work taking place in the borough’s tourism sector.

More than 35 people including staff and councillors from Great Yarmouth Borough Council and delegates from the private sector undertook a study visit to Southport.

The main focus was to learn how Sefton works with the private sector, how Southport BID operates, Sefton’s success on putting on major events, destination marketing and how we secure external funding for large investment projects.

During the visit the group had a guided tour of King’s Gardens, Southport Pier and The Atkinson and heard presentations from Sefton’s Tourism team and Southport BID. Cllr Dave Robinson, the Mayor of Sefton, also met the group.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We were delighted to welcome the delegation from Great Yarmouth to our wonderful borough and the amazing resort of Southport.

“Both Great Yarmouth and Southport have a number of similarities and uses the successful visit to share our expert knowledge, best practice and learning in the Tourism sector.

“We are very proud of our working relationship with many different external partners and we shared this way of working with the delegation during their visit. We really hope the time spent in Southport will be beneficial to all partners involved.”

Karen Youngs, from Greater Yarmouth Tourism & Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), said: “The trip was organised by the Greater Yarmouth BID with a total of 38 delegates from both the public and private sector of the borough of Great Yarmouth who stayed at the Ramada Plaza.

“All the group paid for the visit out of their own pockets in order to gain an insight on how the resort of Southport manages their BID with the forthcoming 2nd term BID vote in 2019 and the general tourism offer.

“It was agreed that this visit was amongst one of the most informative and interesting study trips with excellent presentations from Sefton Council and the Southport BID.”

Experience Southport’s Winter Wonderland like never before!

It’s time to get your skates on and experience Southport as a winter wonderland this festive season.

The resort’s Town Hall Gardens will be transformed into an open air ice rink surrounded by a host of Christmas chalets as part of a joint festive campaign by Sefton Council and Southport BID. 

Running from December 7 to January 5, the open air wonderland will compliment a series of Christmas themed events and displays put on by local businesses and organisations across the town.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour cabinet member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “We are incredibly excited for the open air ice rink and winter wonderland. 

“Thousands of families visit Southport and Sefton throughout the festive period to experience our fantastic food, drink and shopping offers and we know the wonderland will prove to be a massive hit, bringing more people than ever to the town.

“We’re delighted to be working closely once again with the Southport BID to put on this fabulous event and we continue to do all we can to support and boost tourism in the town.

“Get your skates on and prepare for a host of festive fun!”

Rob Uffendell, Southport BID Chairman added: “Last year’s ice rink was a great success and we are pleased that with Sefton Council’s support we are bringing it back.

“It is going to be an even bigger and better experience and the BID has invested in an exciting Christmas Tree and lights this year that will create a spectacular experience.

“We want to make sure Southport is a great destination for Christmas this year with locals and visitors coming in to skate, eat and shop!”

The winter wonderland launches shortly after Southport’s huge Christmas Switch On, which takes place on Sunday November 18 from 1pm.

For more information about Southport’s festive calendar visit www.visitsouthport.com

Response to anti-gum dropping campaign is simply Gumbelievable!

Businesses, residents and visitors to the borough were given something to chew over at the weekend as Sefton launched its ‘Gumbelievable’ campaign.

Launched on Chapel Street, Southport on Saturday, September 28, the local authority teamed up with the Chewing Gum Action Group to hand out special packs to gum lovers, in a bid to combat the amount of gum which is dropped on the street.

The launch saw hundreds of packs being handed out to residents and tourists along the busy shopping street, as well as A3 chewing gum boards being erected for people to stick their used gum to.

Huge banners warning people not to risk hefty fines have also been placed outside Sefton run leisure centres and beer mats have been handed out to businesses to further reiterate the gumbelievable message.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulation and Compliance, said: “It was great to see that we have the support of so many businesses and residents in our campaign.

“Dropping gum, like any form of litter, is a disgusting and unsightly thing to do and you can be fined so we are making sure there is no reason to do it!

“The packs we handed out contain dozens of disposable wrappers which gum lovers can carry around with them, or failing that, we placed ‘gum boards’ along Chapel Street for people to stick their used gum to.

“We are doing all we can to raise awareness of this issue and we continue to spread the message far and wide, nobody can have an excuse to drop gum.”

Further Gumbelievable events will be announced in the coming weeks.

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