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Sefton youth worker Sue Logie tells us how she’s helping to give a safe space to young people

Sue Logie and Sefton’s Chief Exec, Dwayne Johnson, attending Pride in Liverpool

This month as part of our Year of Friendship campaign, we’ve been focusing on children and young people and the projects designed to benefit them. We’re also highlighting some of the amazing youth workers who are always on hand to give one-to-one and group support.  

 We caught up with one of Sefton Council’s youth workers Sue Logie. She is the lead worker for New Beginnings, Sefton’s LGBTQ+ youth group which provides a safe space for young people to socialise and learn life skills.

 Sue put’s her heart and soul into working with young people especially those who are LGBTQ+. So much so that she has recently won an award for Best Campaigner at the prestigious LCR Pride Awards 2019.

 We caught up with Sue to ask her about her journey as a youth worker and why she continues to support young people. 

Sue: For me personally, New Beginnings is like my baby so to speak. When I was a young person struggling with my own identity I was unaware of any support for young people at that time, this was something I really struggled with. There was no support and there were no visible role models back then nor was LGBTQ+ in the media like it is today. So, when I first started working within the Youth Service back in 2014 being asked to work with the New Beginnings group was exciting and then when I was asked to lead on it, it was an honour. To see and be a part of the journeys the young people embark on with their identity and finding themselves is so rewarding, and seeing them grow as a young person and being comfortable and happy within themselves just takes your breath away at times. To be able to provide a safe space and for young people to get the support I lacked is amazing, we have evolved slightly and we have had parents/carers ask for our support also which is always a pleasure, sometimes for parents to have that space to talk is nice also. More recently we have had a number of schools ask for support also, so it’s nice to see our schools trying to support our young people more especially around LBGTQ+.

Q: What are some of the main highlights in your career working with young people?

Sue: Wow! This is a difficult one! There are lots of positive experiences and some almost life changing for the young people and for me. I think one that really sticks with me is a young person who I worked with who just didn’t really know where they fitted or who they were, we did some 1-1 sessions and the young person attending New Beginnings and over about 2 years I seen this young person just grow and we went from different sexualities to then actually the young person saying they thought it was their gender that was this issue – well not issue, but they felt they wanted to identify as the opposite gender – so we did some work around this and now that young person is attending the Gender Identity Clinic and is much happier within themselves. All I did was to be there to listen and allow the space for that young person to be them and spent a lot of time with his parents supporting them also.

Q: It’s great news that you’ve been nominated for Best Campaigner at the Prestigious LCR Pride Awards 2019. How does it feel to know you’re hard work has been recognised in this way?

Sue: Shocked and overwhelmed. There is a very good friend of mine in the same category, who has been working campaigning for the LGBTQ+ community a lot longer than me so to make the final 3 for me is an achievement itself especially being named with someone who has done so much for the community before me.

Q: Moving forward do you have any aspirations about how society on a whole can improve support for young people?

Sue: I would ideally like to see a shift in the way LGBTQ+ people are seen, there is still a lot of homophobia/transphobia/biphobia, but on top of this, I feel any sort of ‘phobia’ I would like to see minimalised or eradicated – but with this people are not born hateful they are taught it. So, stigmas/stereotypes etc I would love to see them broken. And I feel like also youth work being seen across the country and a valuable service to our young people. These young people are our future leaders, Armed/Public service representatives and more. The valuable work that we carry out with our young people can be life changing for some and can bring them away from paths they shouldn’t really go down.

 

Sefton welcomes successful heritage bid for Southport Town Centre

Sefton Council is delighted to announce it has been successful in a bid to secure additional National Lottery funding for the Southport Townscape Heritage Project.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund has awarded £1.6m to the local authority, who have been working alongside partners at the Southport Business Improvement District (BID).

The new additional funding award will be added to the council’s own contribution of £200,000 into a growing pot that could eventually amass up to £2.5 million for the project.

Sefton Council will use the funding towards property improvements, skills training and community activities within the Southport Townscape Heritage Project (STHP).

The STHP seeks to enhance the character and historical identity of Southport, including:

• The structural repair of historic buildings
• Reinstatement of authentic architectural features
• Educational programmes
• Enhanced use of vacant floor space in historical buildings

Cllr Darren Viedman, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning & Building Control, said: “Since our first successful bid, a lot of work has been undertaken to fully develop the project including the adoption of the Conservation Area Management Plan, discussions with building owners, building property surveys and valuations, further public consultation and workshops with project partners.

“This additional funding will go towards our work to enhance the links between Lord Street and the Promenade reducing the vacant and poorly maintained properties and greatly increasing economic activity in these areas.

“The overall project also aims to increase local knowledge and appreciation of Southport’s rich heritage and inspire future generations using specialist educational courses, innovative digital technology and complementary heritage-focused activities.

“We continue to work extremely closely with our partners at Southport BID and the Southport Civic Society as well as target property owners in the town to successfully deliver the scheme.”

David Renwick, National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Director for the North of England, said: “Many of the nation’s collective childhood memories are linked to the British seaside, but in recent years it has been saddening to see some of our coastal towns fall into disrepair.

“As the UK’s largest funder of heritage, here at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’re delighted to award a grant that will go towards reversing that decline in Southport and breathe new life into the buildings found in the Lord Street and Promenade Conservation Areas to be enjoyed all-year round.”

For more information about the STHP or to get involved please email Paul.Crowther@sefton.gov.uk or telephone 07971 811753.

To keep up to date with the project and find out more information on Southport’s Heritage, follow us on Twitter @SouthportTHP and Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/southportthp or visit https://www.sefton.gov.uk/townscape

Sefton’s Graham pens first book to help Alder Hey children

A Sefton Council officer is marking a new chapter as he realises a lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

Graham Parry, a Strategic Housing officer for the local authority, has published his first ever book, ‘Alder’, about a boy who, while sick in hospital, is able to travel through a passage he has drawn on the hospital room wall to a magical world, called “Alder”, where he encounters all kinds of adventures.

Proceeds from each sale of ‘Alder’ will go towards Alder Hey Hospital in Aintree.

The Liverpool  born author, 43, who now lives in Melling said that he couldn’t wait for children to read and enjoy his book, saying: “the idea for the story came to me when I awoke from a sleep one night and all the details of the story were clear right from the start!

“This is my first attempt at a writing book and I am delighted that some of the proceeds from each sale will go to supporting the brilliant and important work of Alder Hey.

“For any parent of a poorly child in Merseyside, having such a fantastic institution as Alder Hey on our doorstep is so comforting – I am happy, in my small way, to be able to help them.”

“I would also like to thank my incredibly supportive colleagues at the Council while I was writing ‘Alder’ and I am touched that copies will be available across our Sefton library network.”

Graham was recently invited to Alder Hey to launch his new book, before hosting a special reading of ‘Alder’ at Formby Library. 

Copies are available to buy at local bookshops, Alder Hey Hospital and online via www.blossomspringpublishing.com.

South Park set for action packed family fun day

Preparations are well underway for the annual South Park Family Fun Day in Bootle.

Each year Sefton Council and its partners host the South Park Family Fun Day, which this year takes place on Thursday August 22 from 12pm – 4pm

The day will include a live DJ, inflatable games, bike marking, face painting, go karts, horse rides, bouncy castles and much more!

Be sure to bring a picnic – and of course the ice cream man will be there too!

The family fun day is a popular event in the local calendar and attracts hundreds of families each year to the beautiful park on Balliol Road.

The event is free to attend with activities starting from 12pm.

Freshfields Animal Rescue launch appeal to help funding ‘crisis’

Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre in Sefton  is facing a funding crisis, which they say is threatening their  mission to rescue and rehome abused, neglected and unwanted animals.

Due to the never-ending stream of distressed animals who need their help, the centres in Ince Blundell and North Wales are always full to capacity with many more animals waiting to be admitted.

Despite the soaring costs and intense financial pressures this brings, most of the time we survive and thrive, thanks to your support over the past 40 years.

At this moment however, Freshfields is experiencing a serious cash flow crisis – like many charities, they rely on Legacies and Gifts in Wills for around 30% of their funding.

Emma Jensen, Fundraising Manager, said: “This is a worrying situation for us, and a real shame that this has happened in our 40th anniversary year. The last time we launched an appeal like this was February, 2017.

“We need to be here for the next 40 years to help the hundreds of animals and birds who need Freshfields every day.

“We need to buy food and medicines for over 600 animals, who get the care and love they so desperately need. We need to pay our bills, and avoid the need to close our doors to new admissions. It’s an ongoing battle, and we’re currently at crisis point.”

You can donate online by clicking here or you can call 0151 931 1604

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