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Bespoke job club for transgender and transitioning community launched in Southport

A bespoke monthly job club called ‘Butterflies’ is being launched in Southport to support transgender people and those undergoing transition when looking for work.

Following feedback from the transgender and transitioning community, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is working with Find The Light Foundation to help trans people address the additional barriers they face when seeking employment.

The Butterflies Job Club will include support with:

  • Confidence building and personal development
  • Mindfulness and stress reduction
  • Job and training opportunities
  • One-to-one support from DWP staff
  • Support from a specialist adviser regarding health conditions

The job club will take place at Southport Jobcentre, 68b Eastbank Street, Southport, PR8 1HE from 1.30pm to 3.30pm on the following dates:

  • Friday, July 26 2019
  • Friday, September 6 2019
  • Friday, October 4 2019

If you are interested in attending the course, or if you would like some more information, contact Jan Morrell on 07880 275 733 / Janice.morrell@dwp.gov.uk or Gary Bell on 0755 725 4010 / gary.j.bell@dwp.gov.uk

If you are a benefit claimant, speak to your work coach about support with travel costs.

 

 

How you can volunteer to help visually impaired people in Sefton during Year of Friendship

For Formby resident Derek Thomas, being visually impaired is no barrier to living a full life thanks to the help of his guide dog and great friend Sooty.

Not only does Sooty, who was paired with Derek by Guide Dogs Liverpool in November 2018, help him navigate but he has also helped Derek make new friends and connections across Sefton.

This July, Sefton Council’s Year Of Friendship campaign is celebrating diversity across our borough and shining a light on the many groups, teams, individuals and organisations who promote diversity and foster friendship.

Derek said: “Sooty is my first ever guide dog. We try to get out every day, if only to go to the library or gym. These are things I used to do with a long white cane but it’s nice to be able to go out with Sooty and have somebody to talk to. Of course I don’t expect him to answer me, it’s just nice to have someone there.

“I’m safe with Sooty, and I find that because I’m with him people tend to see you a lot more and react better. Our relationship is brilliant, it’s different to having any other pet. He’s a one-man dog and we have bonded very well together. He’s a lovely dog and he’s great with me.”

Guide Dogs Liverpool is currently appealing for volunteers in Sefton to take part in its fantastic ‘My Guide’ scheme to help visually impaired people get out and about and meet new people. The scheme involves training sighted people to assist visually impaired people within their own communities.

Volunteers undergo specialist training and learn to safely guide someone with sight loss, helping them navigating environments, build self-confidence and increase social interaction.

Penny Anderson, Engagement Officer at Guide Dogs, said: “My Guide is a really exciting initiative that involves training sighted people to support visually impaired people within their community. We’re looking for sighted volunteers within the Sefton area to support people that have been waiting to have a My Guide volunteer. If you can spare a few hours a week, and would like to train and support someone visually impaired in Sefton, we’d love to hear from you.”

If you would like to find out more about the My Guide scheme call 0118 98 38 749 or visit https://www.guidedogs.org.uk/how-you-can-help/volunteering-for-guide-dogs/volunteer-role-descriptions/sighted-guide/

Watch a video of Derek and Sooty, and Penny explaining more about the My Guide scheme, below.

 

Sefton awarded £240,000 cash boost for Human Library project

Sefton Library Service is celebrating after being awarded almost £240,000 in National Lottery funding to support the Human Library project.

The National Lottery Community Fund, distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK.

The award will provide 3 years funding to Sefton Libraries to offer a programme of creative activities that invite local people to meet spend time together, and make their neighbourhood a better place to live.

It builds on a successful pilot project supported by Arts Council England.

The project will see a year-round creative programme in Bootle Crosby and Netherton libraries, volunteering opportunities, and new initiatives including creating a garden space for Bootle library, and programmes of work with young families and refugees.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.

“Sefton’s libraries are creative, innovative and support the local community and individuals to flourish.

“Libraries are vital community spaces, with a key role in the cultural life of our borough.”

Tanya Wilcock, Sefton Council’s Head of Communities, added: “Through this project we are creating a sense of wellbeing and supporting people in their own community. People don’t just use our libraries to read books.

“Through The Human Library local people can enjoy the arts, be creative, learn skills and make friends, creating a network and community that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.”

Human Library is a project by Sefton Library Service in partnership with local arts organisation Rule of Threes. The idea behind the project is that everyone has “gifts of the heart, the hand and the head” to offer their community. Artists projects, commissions and events help local people find and share these gifts. A new season of events will begin in September.

To find out more or to take part please see www.thehumanlibrary.co.uk

Sefton’s Year of Friendship celebrates diversity this July

This July, Sefton Council’s Year Of Friendship campaign is celebrating diversity across our borough.

In the same month that will see the first Liverpool City Region Pride event take place in Liverpool on Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28, extending the values and reach of Pride across the whole Liverpool City Region, we’ll be shining a light on the many groups, teams, individuals and organisations who promote diversity across Sefton.

From a pioneering transgender employability course which provides support and advice to transgender people looking for work, to specialist classes offered to refugees to help them speak English, Sefton provides a range of support to people from diverse backgrounds to help them make new friends and build new networks.

Keep your eyes on this website and on Sefton Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and information about how you can get involved in the many groups and initiatives operating across our communities.

Offering learning opportunities to refugees living across the borough

Sefton Council offers a number of courses to refugees in the borough to support them on their journey of learning English and integrating in to our communities.

Classes are accessed through the council’s Sefton Community Learning Service, which provides educational courses to communities across the borough. The service offers high quality adult learning programmes to help people make positive changes, support personal development and help communities thrive.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Developing communication skills has given refugee learners in Sefton independence and confidence. This has allowed them to meet new friends and increased their chances of gaining work experience and employment.

“Learners say they feel welcomed and believe tutors have not only supported them with their English skills but with all aspects of UK life and British values.”

To find out more about our refugee programme, or any other courses at the Sefton Community Learning Service, visit https://mysefton.co.uk/2019/06/21/7931/ or contact us on 0151 934 4546.

Transgender Employability Course piloted in Sefton

A bespoke initiative to help unemployed transgender and transitioning people back in to work is being piloted in Sefton this month (July 2019).

The Butterflies Programme, the first ever Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)-funded transgender eligibility course, is being held in Southport.

The course has been commissioned by DWP following feedback from members of the transgender community and people undergoing transition, to provide support and advice to address additional barriers faced by transgender people when looking for work.

The free two-week programme began on Monday, July 1 and involves one-to-one and group sessions to offer support with:

  • Confidence building and personal development
  • Employment skills and tools
  • Handling difficult questions and situations
  • Preparing for interviews

It is open to any Merseyside resident, aged over 18, who is unemployed and in receipt of one of the following benefits; Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance. The course begins in July 2019 in Southport and all travel costs will be covered.

For more information about the course contact Jan Morrell on 0788 027 5733 / Janice.morrell@dwp.gov.uk or Gary Bell on 0755 725 4010 / gary.j.bell@dwp.gov.uk

LCR Pride Foundation to lead Liverpool City Region bid for Gay Games 2026

Earlier this year Liverpool City Region Pride Foundation revealed its intention to bid for the Liverpool City Region to host the 2026 Gay Games, a move that was backed by the region’s Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram.

The news came alongside the announcement of British Paralympian, Claire Harvey MBE, as its newest Patron. Recognised as a world leader in diversity and inclusion and culture, the former LJMU student is currently the Director of Culture and Inclusion for EDIT Development.

The Gay Games is a worldwide sport and cultural event that takes place every four years, welcoming more than 10,000 athletes competing in 30+ sports. It attracts tens of thousands of spectators who also attend to take part in the event’s extensive cultural programme, which includes music, visual arts and mass participation events such as fun runs.

Bids will be submitted in 2020 and the successful city will be announced by the event’s sanctioning body, the Federation of Gay Games, at its Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong in 2021.

Speaking in support of the bid, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Diversity, respect, equality, and solidarity for all are the foundation blocks on which the Games are built, and they are values we share.

“Our region is well accustomed to holding sporting events that attract a worldwide audience. The Merseyside Derby, Rugby Super League, The Open and the Grand National are regular features in our sporting calendar but never before have we held anything on the scale of the Gay Games.

“I relish the opportunity to build on our strong track record of supporting LGBT+ rights, empowering communities and creating lasting social change. And that is why I am proud to support this bid.”

Find out more at https://mysefton.co.uk/2019/03/12/lcr-pride-foundation-to-lead-liverpool-city-region-bid-for-gay-games-2026/ , visit www.LCRGayGames.com or follow @LCRGayGames on Twitter or Facebook at LCR Gay Games 2026.

Sefton’s school uniform bank needs your help!

Sefton Council are appealing for kind hearted residents to consider donating to the local authority’s annual school uniform bank.

The council’s Schools & Families teams are preparing their seventeenth annual school uniform bank but are desperately short of vital good quality blazers for those pupils most in need.

Swops, Sefton’s school uniform bank scheme, has been running since 2002 and continues to go from strength to strength thanks to donations from people across the borough.

Clothing items both old and new are accepted at Sefton run libraries and Town Halls throughout the year and are then distributed to families and children in need.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “In a perfect world we would not need food banks or school uniform banks but, sadly, they are a necessity.

“Last academic year we helped over four hundred schoolchildren and their families get access to much needed uniforms, from shoes to summer dresses and shorts.

“This year will be no different and we are appealing for our kind hearted communities to come together and help those families who are most in need. We really need good quality school blazers.

“Through the contribution of our residents we have been able to help those most in need and will continue to do so for as long as possible.”

To donate to Sefton’s uniform bank please visit one of the local authority’s library buildings or a Sefton Town Hall.

To access the scheme or for more information about uniform banks in Sefton please call 07837863075.

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