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Detective to run half marathon in memory of murdered friend

The sister of a man who was fatally stabbed in Bootle is taking her campaign to end knife crime into schools across the North West, and running a half marathon to raise awareness.

Colin McGinty, from Crosby, was just 21 when he was killed after being chased by four men who detectives believed may have mistaken him for someone else.

Since his death in 2001, his sister Laura Hughes has dedicated herself to trying to spare other families the same heartache.

This year, to mark what would have been Colin’s 40th birthday, Laura has organised a team of more than 60 people to run the Liverpool Half Marathon in May in his memory and to raise awareness about knife crime. They are also taking donations for Radio City’s ‘Cash for Kids’ charity.

Laura said: “I have spoken with an academy trust, E-ACT, which operates 28 schools around the country, to deliver knife crime awareness days. The first will be at Oldham Academy North and for that day, every lesson will have a knife crime theme – so in drama they may be acting out a scene, in art they might be designing posters, and in English they could write a letter or even an obituary.

“The hope is that this will impact the children who go to Oldham Academy North as well as the local community.

“We have also had the backing of Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler and on Saturday 13 April, Oldham Athletic AFC will wear ‘In Memory of Colin McGinty’ t-shirts during the warm up ahead of their game against Swindon Town.

“The match will also be dedicated to what we are doing, and we’re thrilled that they have shown such great support for what we are trying to achieve. I’m sure it will all help spread the message that we must all do our bit to end knife crime.”

The runners in the half marathon will include Colin’s friend Detective Inspector Andy McCourt as well as Sergeant Jon Hannan, Constable Kelle Hannan and Detective Constable Emma O’Toole.

Last month a number of the runners got together and completed a 5km run in the city, starting and finishing at the knife angel at the Anglican Cathedral.

DI McCourt said: “As a police officer I am passionate about making our streets safer, and the fact one of my close friend’s died at the hands of people carrying a knife only strengthened my resolve to do everything I can to make sure we rid our streets of knives.

“Two men received life sentences for Colin’s murder, and his death shows the impact the carrying of a knife can have not just on the victim and their family and friends, but also on the offenders.

“This week Merseyside Police, alongside forces up and down the coutnry, is tkaing part in a national week of action to tackle knife crime. But the impact of knife crime on families and the wider community can last 365 days a year for the rest of their lives. It cannot be understated – it is destructive and toxic, and we must do everything we can to raise awareness from an early age and reduce incidents in Merseyside. As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives.

“We know we cannot tackle the issue alone and I would urge the community to support and help us by spreading the message that it is never acceptable to carry or use a knife and remind people the devastation it causes.”

Learn more about money with Southport Money Advice Group

Southport Money Advice Group are holding a free learning exchange event on Wednesday 27th March 2019 in Southport. The event will discuss money as an issue nationally and locally and its impact on health and wellbeing.

With record levels of household debt, this event explores the changing policy context, the impact of debt on local communities and shows how residents and organisations in Southport are working together to improve access to money advice services.

Who is the event for?

The event is open to agencies and organisations who work with residents (e.g. community and resident’s groups, charities, statutory and third sector organisations and registered social landlords) and who want to find out more about money advice.

It will provide an opportunity to meet over lunch with service providers within the area and to learn more about other money and wellbeing services available in Southport.

Who’s organising the event?

The event is being organised by the Southport Money Advice Group and partners as part of a ‘Neighbourhood for Learning’ and is one of nine taking place across the north-west.

The overarching Neighbourhood Resilience Programme aims to bring together residents, academics, local groups and services to research and improve underlying social, economic and environmental factors which affect people’s health and wellbeing.

You will hear about:

  • Changing national money and health policy context
  • The impact of financial difficulties on health and wellbeing
  • Examples of how ‘Neighbourhoods for Learning’ are working together to change services to benefit local people
  • How simple changes away from the negative language of debt can positively impact on people with financial difficulties
  • What residents and organisations have done so far to improve access to money advice services in Southport

Book your free place here.

 

International Social Prescribing Day

This Thursday (March 14) sees the first International Social Prescribing Day organised by the Social Prescribing Network.

Haven’t lost you yet? Good, because Living Well Sefton is celebrating by showing you what is just around the corner in Sefton to make you feel better about yourself. All will be revealed at the end of this article.

In the meantime, what does social prescribing actually refer to?

It sounds rather clinical but it is about signposting people to a range of local, non-clinical services and activities. This is because having positive mental wellbeing is as important as having good physical health.

For example, where you live, how you live and who you live, work and socialise with, all impact on your health and wellbeing. Pointing people in the direction of different activities such as cooking, gardening, crafting, volunteering and walking can improve their lifestyle – and outlook on life.

International Social Prescribing Day represents the first annual international celebration of social prescribing. Clinicians, allied healthcare professionals, community groups, voluntary organisations, patients, medical schools, academics, and students across the UK and world will host a series of events and activities across the globe to raise awareness of social prescribing in people of all ages.

Dr Marie Polley, co-founder of The Social Prescribing Network and Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences at the University of Westminster, said: “Raising awareness of social prescribing for professionals and the public is a crucial next step now that social prescribing has been included as part of the future NHS.”

In Sefton, we have a thriving voluntary, charity and faith (VCF) sector with numerous organisations and groups geared up to bring out the best in people.

Living Well Sefton has links with many VCF partners and they have been helping people find their goals in a way that works for them. This may be stopping smoking, getting out more, or taking up a new hobby.

If you live in the Southport area the Brighter Living Partnership has lots of groups and courses to choose from whether you’re interested in gardening, learning to cook delicious recipes or catching up with friends in the Sunshiners group.

For those in the Netherton area, there is the Feelgood Factory which has its own green space nearby for growing vegetables, fruits and herbs as well as daily groups such as craft, reading, yoga as well as  walking football and stress clinics.

While those living in the Bootle area can pop in to the May Logan centre and try out their social walking club, gardening group, groups for older people and the free health checks they provide at the Strand By Me shop.

Whatever it is, Living Well Sefton and all its various partners are here to support you. Give us a call on 0300 323 0181 or refer into our service via the website home page.

For more reading on social prescribing click here:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/personalisedcare/social-prescribing/

Steve Rotheram announces commission to deliver new station for Liverpool City Centre

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has announced the creation of a Station Commission to deliver a new station in Liverpool city centre, to enable the city region’s connection to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The Commission will be chaired by Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, MBE, CEO of Everton Football Club.

Earlier this year, Transport for the North’s Strategic Transport Plan included plans to ensure that Liverpool City Region will benefit from a full connection to both Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2.

Transport for the North’s strategic plan also recognises the need for a new station to accommodate these 21st century trains and to link HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in to the city region’s local transport infrastructure.

Speaking about the new Station Commission, Steve Rotheram said: “Connecting the Liverpool City Region to HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail will both cut journey times and increase capacity, boosting our economy by £15 billion.

“In order to make that connection happen we will need a new station in Liverpool city centre, capable of accommodating HS2 trains, NPR trains and linking in with our local transport infrastructure.  Lime Street will simply not be able to cope.

“Building a new station is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a gateway to the Liverpool City Region that is fit for the 21st century.

“What we envisage is more than just a station and a world-class transport hub, it has the potential to be a destination in its own right, architecturally stunning and featuring leisure and recreation facilities, commercial, retail, high-quality office accommodation, residential facilities and much more.

“It will provide a world-class welcome to a world-class city region, and will bring hugely significant social and economic benefits for the city region and the whole of the North.

“But of course bringing this kind of infrastructure project to fruition will be enormously challenging, and that is why I have created this Commission, to take forward the work required.  Such a challenge requires first class leadership and so I am particularly pleased that Denise Barrett-Baxendale has agreed to serve as its chair.  Denise brings a wealth of experience and intellectual rigour and I could not have more confidence in her ability to make this happen.”

Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale, MBE, said: “I am tremendously honoured to have been asked to chair this Commission.  I have no doubt that it will be challenging but with that challenge comes a golden opportunity to create a modern transport hub fit for the city region’s future.”

The Commission will bring together a range of experts from across the worlds of transport, business and the public sector.  Its remit will be to take forward all the key considerations in developing the project such as the size, functions, location and orientation of the station, working with partners on all elements leading towards its development.

A full connection to both Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2 will reduce journey times between Liverpool and Manchester to around 23 minutes, Liverpool and London to around 89 minutes and will increase both passenger and freight capacity on our rail networks.

This will deliver an economic boost of £15 billion GVA to the Liverpool City Region, with 24,000 new jobs, 11,000 new homes and 3.6 million additional visitors a year.

These figures do not include the direct cost of delivering the scheme and the development, design and construction spend in our city region for the new lines and supporting infrastructure.

That alone is expected to be in the order of a further £6 billion, creating thousands of additional jobs and a massive additional economic benefit to the Liverpool City Region during the construction phase, which will spread over approximately 10 years.

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

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

The news also comes 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 now 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.

Speaking of the announcement of the intention to submit a big for the 2026 Gay Games next year, LCR Pride Foundation Co-Chair, Andi Herring, said: “The Gay Games is a globally recognised sporting and cultural event that empowers and celebrates the LGBT+ community, as well as supporting local regeneration in its host cities.

“The Liverpool City Region has a proven record for delivering large-scale, world-class sport and cultural events, as last year’s wildly successful Liverpool 2018 programme demonstrated.

“We believe that this experience, combined with the foundation’s commitment to collaborative working and making the city region the most LGBT+ friendly in the UK, makes Liverpool City Region the perfect host city for the 2026 games.

“Our bid as the Liverpool City Region will encourage relationship building with local authorities, community groups and sports organisations throughout the six boroughs, as we work together towards a unified goal.”

Co-Chair, John Bird, added: “Welcoming Claire Harvey MBE as a Patron as we embark on this journey will only strengthen our offer to the Federation of Gay Games. We are extremely grateful for her support and recognise how invaluable her expertise will be to creating a bid that we believe could bring the 2026 games to our region.”

To date, only Brisbane in Australia has highlighted its intention to bid for the 2026 Gay Games. 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.”

New LCR Pride Foundation Patron, Claire Harvey MBE, said: “Becoming a Patron of the LCR Pride Foundation as they make this exciting announcement is incredibly special for me, not least because I attended university here.

“I know first-hand the power and benefit that sport can have on a person’s life and on a community. Sport is a vehicle that can bring people together and bridge differences to start a culture change.

“I am backing this bid to enable more people to see the breadth and depth of LGBT+ people who already love sport, as well encouraging more people from the community to access its benefits. I also want to showcase the Liverpool City Region as a diverse and inclusive LGBT+ friendly area, with a strong and positive LGBT+ community.

“One of the great things about being part of London 2012 was the ability to break down fears and myths about disability and, as a participant, feeling like a member of a huge family. I am keen to ensure Liverpool has the opportunity to do the same for Gay Games.”

For more information visit www.LCRGayGames.com or  follow us on Twitter @LCRGayGames or Facebook at LCR Gay Games 2026.

 

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