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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

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

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

Vote now for your favourite famous Sefton story

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Ahead of Sefton’s Borough of Culture year, we want residents and visitors to tell us what stories they want us to celebrate throughout 2020.

After much deliberation, a list of 10 stories has been chosen to vote on with at least 4 more being added to the final list. A blank box has also been added enabling people to champion stories or individuals they think we have missed and one of these will be included as well.

Vote now!

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Which famous Sefton story do you want to vote for?
852 votes

Fantastic fireworks, tasty treats and astounding aerial displays revealed for 2020

Fantastic fireworks, tasty treats and astounding aerial displays will once again delight thousands of people in 2020.

Ahead of schedule, Sefton Council is delighted to confirm the incredibly popular line up of major events in Southport for 2020.

Officers from Sefton Council’s Tourism team work tirelessly throughout the year to plan the Southport Air Show, Food & Drink Festival and the British Musical Fireworks Championship, among many other fantastic events.

Alongside Sefton’s annual tourism calendar, a number of unique community events, talks and displays will be taking place as part of the Borough Of Culture 2020 celebrations

Sefton will be Liverpool City Region’s Borough Of Culture for 2020 which will focus on celebrating our local history and environment.
Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Every year we host an incredible line up of events and 2020 is set to be even bigger than ever before thanks to our Borough of Culture status.

“Our teams work incredibly hard to put on shows, festivals and displays which are renowned up and down the country, drawing in crowds from across the UK time after time.

“Make sure you put these dates in your diary and keep your eyes peeled for more news about each event by visiting”

Dates have been announced for the following events:

Southport Food and Drink Festival (May 29-31)
Southport Air Show (September 11-13)
British Musical Fireworks Championship (September 25-27)
For more information about the Sefton 2020 Borough Of Culture project, visit

Bulb Planting will be blooming lovely for Borough of Culture!

More than 44,000 spring flowering bulbs have been planted by primary school children in locations across the borough as part of Sefton’s Borough of Culture celebrations.

The huge number of bulbs dug into the ground almost replicates a bulb for every primary school child in Sefton.

The crocus and daffodil bulbs have been planted during November and December through the Council’s Green Sefton team and will burst into life next Spring during the Borough of Culture year.

Some of the sites involved in the planting are: North Park, Bootle, Crescent Garden, Alexandra Park and Moorside Park all in Crosby, Victoria Park, Waterloo, Botanic Gardens, Preston New Road, Bedford Park, King’s Gardens, Devonshire Road and Ainsdale Village park, all in Southport, Merrilocks Park, Blundellsands, Marian Square Gardens, Netherton and Mellanear Park, Litherland.

Some of the primary schools involved include All Saints, St Edmonds, St Thomas, Linacre Primary, St Monica’s, Ursuline Primary, Great Crosby, Churchtown, Hillside Park, St Elizabeth’s, Lander Road, Christ Church, St Oswald’s and St Mary’s prep.

The Borough of Culture (BoC) title is awarded by the Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority to one of its six local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) on a rotating, annual basis.

2019 is currently Wirral’s year while 2020 will be dedicated to Sefton with a raft of new, existing and community led events planned for the year.

The focus of Sefton’s year will be on stories, looking at two key elements, local history and the environment.

Mark Shaw from Green Sefton, said: “The activity is to help highlight the launch of the Borough of Culture and to celebrate the wonderful parks and greenspaces we have in Sefton.

“Through our Green Sefton Rangers, we have planted more than 44,000 bulbs and believe the planting is a great way to get school children interested and passionate about their environment.

“During 2020 we will watch the bulbs spring to live adding beautiful colour to our amazing parks and greenspaces as part of our Borough of Culture year and they’ll keep on flowering for many years to come.”

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