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Be body kind with Sefton’s Community Mental Health Team

Sefton’s Community Mental Health Team offers a range of services to help Sefton residents feel better about their bodies in a bid to improve mental health.

This work mirrors the 2019 theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13-19) which is ‘Body Image-how we think and feel about our bodies’.

The theme was chosen in response to research that revealed that higher body dissatisfaction is associated with a poorer quality of life, psychological distress and the risk of unhealthy eating behaviours and eating disorders.

The social care staff at the Hesketh Centre work closely with health colleagues, Active Sefton and Everton in the Community to support service users to improve their mental health and general wellbeing through being more physically active and socialising with other people.

A raft of activities are on offer to help boost confidence and promote friendships including walking groups, football, cycling, allotment group and healthy blues which is part of the programme offered by Everton in the Community and includes activities like indoor bowls, badminton, table tennis and walking football.

Felicity Shepley, Lead Practitioner for Sefton Council’s Community Mental Health Team, said: “Everyone has a right to feel comfortable and confident in their own bodies and the work we do is not about changing people’s bodies but about helping service users feel better in their own skin by giving them the tools to keep active and create new friendships.”

As Sefton celebrates 2019’s Year of Friendship, keeping active has been proven as a great way to reduce feelings of loneliness and social isolation and groups like those offered by the Community Mental Health team and its partners are an intergral part of this vision.

There are lots of great ways to keep active across Sefton, to find out more visit www.sefton.gov.uk/ActiveSefton

Ditch Those Stabilisers returns for May half term

Back by popular demand during the May half term school holidays, Sefton Council is proud to offer a number of ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

Children aged four and above can learn to ride a bike unaided at sessions in both Litherland and Southport.

The events, which take place a number of times throughout the year, always have a very high success rate, as staff from the Council’s highway safety team offer a range of practical advice to young riders and their parents.

Sessions are free but pre-booking is essential.

Join in the fun at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, May 28 between 9am-12pm or Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday, May 30 from 9am to 12pm.

To register, please call on 0345 140 0845.

All in a day’s work as Sefton Council Contact Centre reaches big milestone

From random queries about it being too hot in the shops, or rodents on the rampage stealing belongings, to the much-expected questions such as bin collections, it’s all in day’s work for Sefton Council’s Contact Centre who are celebrating their 15th birthday.

The Contact Centre is the first point of contact for Sefton residents and handle very difficult situations as well as the very varied weird, wonderful and rewarding enquiries that range from help with benefits to support with Council Tax payments, street cleaning, to social care enquiries and much more.

As the Contact Centre celebrates their 15th birthday, the team has been reflecting on successes and how much has changed in the ways in which residents and visitors communicate with the local authority.

Gone are the days of simply a phone call. The continued rise of digital communications now sees the small but extremely busy team at the contact centre answer many queries by email, webchat and social media messages.  In the last year alone, the team at the centre has answered over 425,000 calls, 2,500 webchats, 19,000 emails and 27,000 social media messages.

But one thing has not changed for the team over the last 15 years – they always put the customer at the heart of everything they do.

Cllr Paulette Lapin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services

“It’s said that you never have a second chance to make a first impression, which is so true for the fantastic staff in our contact centre, who have a very important role to play as a first point of contact and the eyes, ears and voice of Sefton Council.

“I wish them a big happy birthday and I look forward to watching the team evolve in line with the needs of our communities and how they want to communicate with us in the future.”

Lisa Conway, Contact Centre Manager said:

“Time has really flown since we established the service and it has been good to reflect on how far we have come, but also think of the challenges as we continue to adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers and the evolving digital landscape.

“When you speak to that helpful voice on the phone or on social media, you do not see the meticulous planning that takes place ahead of each day, week, month, year. Something as simple as a change in the weather or a bank holiday can influence the kinds of calls the team finds answers to. For instance, after bank holidays, it is normal to receive lots of social care enquiries as people worry about isolated loved ones.

“The team needs to be alert and flexible and I’m proud to be part of a dynamic team that gives a warm welcome to residents while resolving their issues. The role can be very challenging but also very rewarding – ultimately we are making a difference for residents no matter what their enquiry.”

Join the celebrations on social media and look out for some of the memories the Contact Centre are sharing on the Council’s Twitter feed throughout the rest of May.

If you have any queries for Sefton Council, you can visit the Sefton Council website, call 0345 140 0845 or visit Twitter @seftoncouncil or Facebook /onesefton

Bees, Blooms & Butterflies smashes fundraising target

A community project to create Merseyside’s largest wildflower meadow in Waterloo has already surpassed its fundraising target on the Sefton Crowd.

Over £4,600 has already been pledged to support Bees, Blooms & Butterflies, a project by the Friends of Rimrose Valley to plant and grow the largest wildflower meadow in the Liverpool City Region within Rimrose Valley Country Park.

The project, which has only been made possible thanks to the Sefton Crowd – Sefton Council’s brand new online crowdfunding platform where backers donate as little as £2 to ideas which will benefit communities across the borough.

£4,612 has been donated by 146 backers and the Friends of Rimrose Valley will work on entering the project’s delivery phase.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We’re delighted that the Bees, Blooms & Butterflies has become the first Sefton Crowd project to surpass its fundraising target.

“We look forward to seeing the project quite literally flourish into a stunning wildflower meadow, creating a long-lasting environmental legacy for the people of South Sefton and beyond.”

Other projects still looking for the support of Sefton residents and businesses include a children’s literary festival, a youth cafe and a disability friendly horseback nature trail.

Tanya Wilcock, Sefton Council’s new Head of Communities, added: “Throughout the creation of Sefton Crowd we wanted to encourage the creation of community projects which make a huge difference to our brilliant borough and we feel that these projects from across the borough really reflect our hopes.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the Sefton Crowd website and give their support to those projects which resonate the most with them.”

To support a project or to find out more visit www.spacehive.com/movement/seftoncrowd

CCG searches for new lay member

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is looking to appoint a new lay member to its Governing Body to replace Graham Morris who retires at the end of June 2019.

Graham joined the NHS in 2005 as a non executive director and audit chair of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Foundation Trust, later becoming its vice chairman. He then joined the CCG in December 2013 as a lay member and vice chair after retiring from Urgent Care 24 as its director of finance.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “We would like to wish Graham all the best on his retirement. Graham has contributed greatly to the work of the CCG and we thank him for his dedication in carrying out this strategic role.

“We look forward to welcoming a new lay member to our Governing Body to continue the good progress we have made so far.”

The lay member role the CCG is recruiting to will bring strategic insight and impartiality to the Governing Body, overseeing key elements of governance, including audit and remuneration.

The candidate will be expected to chair the audit committee and be the CCG’s Conflict of Interest Guardian. They will be asked to fulfill the role of the deputy chair for the Governing Body and the term of office will be for three years.

You can find out more details and apply through the NHS jobs website: www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/?vac_ref=915566621

For more information on the role you can contact Cathy Loughlin at the CCG on 0151 317 8452. Closing date for applications is 18 May 2019 and interviews will take place on 31 May 2019.

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