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Sefton Council continues free school meal vouchers scheme for summer holidays

With support from local schools, Sefton Council will again assist eligible families with free school meal vouchers during the long summer holiday.


In addition to the rollout of vouchers, worth £15 per child per week, the Council is encouraging as many residents as possible to find out from their child’s school if they are eligible so than claim the support, which can be used to buy food in supermarkets and online.


Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“With local families struggling to cope with the spiralling cost-of-living, I am pleased that Sefton Council, with support from schools to distribute, has again been able to continue providing these holiday vouchers.


“This additional £15 per week for each eligible child will help families manage over this difficult period but if people are experiencing severe hardship, a disaster or emergency over the long summer break, or at any other time, details of our Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme can be found at the ELAS webpage.”


Sefton Families that don’t receive free school meals at the moment but think they might qualify should contact their child’s school or visit the Free School Meals webpage.


The vouchers, which the Council is providing through its Household Support Grant funding allocation from the Department of Work and Pensions, are for buying food and essentials only. They cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, phone top-ups or stamps.


Cllr Hardy added:


“In addition to the school meals vouchers, we have now paid out over £12.5 million of the one-off, £150 Council Tax Energy rebate payments to the almost 83,500 eligible Council Tax Band A to D households, which will also provide them with some help.


“And, over 20,600 households have responded to the letter we sent them by using the secure code to provide their details and register to receive the payment.


“I would urge anyone who has received the letter to register today, and if they have any concerns about the process to visit the Council Tax Energy Rebate webpage where they can find out more.”

From South Korea to Southport! Air Force roars into resort

Southport Air Show will play host to the first UK appearance by the world famous Republic of Korea’s Air Force in more than ten years.

The Asian nation’s Black Eagles aerobatic flight team, will be jetting into the resort for the iconic Southport Air Show on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July.

News of the Black Eagles visit to Southport has already garnered headlines across the aviation world for this one of a kind display, which will see eight KAI T-50B planes, specially-painted in their trademark black, white, and yellow, take part in a series of jaw dropping and awe-inspiring aerial manoeuvres.

The eight Black Eagle pilots will be thrust to the back of seats, experiencing G-force nine times greater than Earth’s gravity in their supersonic jets.

Famed for their pinpoint accuracy and sophisticated flying displays, the Black Eagles will stun visitors to the Southport Air Show with their jaw dropping aerobatic display.

The team’s supersonic trainer aircraft are being brought to the UK for just three shows this year.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, welcomed the news, saying: “To have Southport Air Show as the first stop on a 2022 UK tour of the Republic of Korea Air Force is an incredible feat and goes to show how huge our event is in the calendar.

“The Black Eagles display is one that cannot be missed and will compliment a fantastic roster of displays already announced including the return of our very own Red Arrows, the RAF Typhoon and the emotive Battle of Britain Memorial Flight display.”

Tickets for general admission to the Southport Air Show are £10 and for the first time under 16s are free.

Visitors can also purchase exclusive tickets to watch the show from the Pier. These tickets are subject to limited availability.

For more information visit or call the ticket hotline 03445611816.


Sefton Council supports RLSS Drowning Prevention Week campaign

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), have launched a brand-new animation to encourage children to get learn more about water safety as part of their national Drowning Prevention Week campaign.

Over 400 people die each year in the UK and Ireland from accidental drowning.

In a recent survey, only 30% of parents surveyed said they are ‘very confident’ that their child knows how to stay safe in and around water, which leaves a lot of parents less confident that their child would know how to stay safe around water. As well as this the survey showed that of those surveyed only one in five children have had any formal water safety education at school in the last year, showing that there is a gap to be filled for children when it comes to understanding water safety.

Even for parents of children who can swim, there is still much to be done, as research conducted by RLSS UK shows that despite 88% of parents whose children have swimming lessons being confident their child knows how to stay safe in and around water, the statistics show there is still a concern for swimmers. In RLSS UK’s analysis of 76 accidental drownings of 8-18 year-olds in the UK, 61% were described as swimmers.

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said: “With June, July, and August proving to be the months with the most fatalities, it is vitally important that everyone has an understanding of water safety, especially during the summer months, and we believe it is never too early to start learning about water safety.

“We have seen a rise in the number of drownings over the last few years, with peaks during the summer. In July 2021, there were 49 accidental drowning fatalities in the space of just two weeks in the UK, and we know that with the right water safety knowledge, accidental drownings are avoidable.

With this in mind, for Drowning Prevention Week this year, RLSS UK have launched a brand new animation which is freely available to watch on YouTube to give parents the opportunity to engage their children in learning about water safety in a fun way.

For more information on the campaign and tips to keep yourself safe this summer, please visit the RLSS website

Sefton Council to hold retrofit energy open day

Sefton Council, in partnership with ECOGEE, are holding an open day on Saturday 25th June between 10am – 1pm in Ince Blundell Village Hall, L38 6JE. The Council is encouraging Sefton residents to come along on the day and ask any questions they may have.

The Council has recently completed works in a nearby property where residents will get the chance to visit and see the installation works for themselves, meet the retrofit team and get more information.

Energy Efficiency OPEN DAY! Saturday 25th June, 10am - 1pm, Ince Blundell Village Hall, L38 6JEThe Sefton Council Retrofit Scheme will make homes cheaper to heat, more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Residents will benefit from their homes being warmer in winter and cooler in summer. People will be eligible for the scheme if their household income is below £30,000 and live in a difficult to heat home that meets the eligibility criteria. More information on the scheme can be found here.

The works will be fully funded for eligible owner occupier properties and eligible private rented properties (which will need a contribution from the landlord).

Have you booked your cervical screening test?

This Cervical Screening Week (20-26 June), NHS professionals in Sefton are encouraging everyone who is eligible to get their cervical screening test as soon as they are invited.

All women and people with a cervix, aged 25 to 64, are invited to have a cervical screening test to help reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer affects around 3,000 people in the UK every year. The cervical screening test detects human papillomavirus (HPV) and signs of early abnormal cells, which can turn into cervical cancer if not treated.

Dr Debbie Harvey, Macmillan GP at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Those aged 25 to 49 are offered screening every three years and 50 to 64 year olds are every five years. When it’s time for your next screening, you should be sent a letter inviting you to make an appointment.

“Almost 1 in 3 people don’t go for their cervical screening test but it is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from the risk of cervical cancer.

“The test only takes 5 minutes and your nurse or doctor is there to make you feel comfortable and help you with any questions you might have.”

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and primary care cancer lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “The screening test significantly reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer so it’s really important to make an appointment when invited.

“If you are aged 25 to 64 and think you’re overdue your cervical screening test, contact your GP practice.”

Eligible patients who are registered at a local GP practice will receive an invitation letter in the post with information about how to book their cervical screening appointment.

Patients are also advised that if they become aware of any of the following symptoms before their next cervical screening test is due, to not wait to be screened, but to get in touch with their GP practice or community sexual health clinic:

  • unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • pain or discomfort during intercourse
  • unexplained pain in your lower tummy

Sefton residents can also book their screening test during evenings or weekends, via the GP Extra service in south Sefton or the 7 day GP service in Southport and Formby. These evening and weekend appointments can be booked by calling the patient’s own GP practice.

For more information on cervical cancer and what the screening test involves, please visit:

To find out more about what to expect at your cervical screening appointment, watch this video: 

Cervical Screening Awareness Week is an event run by national cervical cancer charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

During the week they are also encouraging people to share their tips and experiences, and positive messages about screening online. You can find tips and stories by following the hashtags #CervicalScreeningTip and #CervicalScreeningAwarenessWeek on social media, or following the charity on Twitter: @JoTrust or Instagram: @JosCervicalCancerTrust.

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