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Sefton Council and local NHS helping people to be Kind to Your Mind during the Coronavirus outbreak

A new campaign ‘Kind to Your Mind’, to help lift people’s people spirits during the Coronavirus outbreak, has been launched in Sefton.

Designed to support mental wellbeing of people living and working in Merseyside and Cheshire, ‘Kind to your mind’ links to the new ALMA wellbeing website, an online portal with a suite of mental and physical wellbeing resources.

When they visit ALMA, people can access a range of online therapy courses, developed by medical professionals, to help them work on their mental wellbeing. The site also includes a knowledge base of free health and wellbeing apps that have been evaluated by a medical professional for their clinical effectiveness.

The multimedia ‘Kind to Your Mind’ campaign, is targeting key workers and the general public in Sefton and will be promoted using radio, press and social media. People will be directed to a campaign microsite, kindtoyourmind.org , which will signpost to the national ‘Every Mind Matters’ website and the ALMA wellbeing portal.

A series of podcasts will also be developed covering topics such as building resilience, mental health, nutrition, physical activity and sleep. These will feature special interviews with experts and be promoted through targeted social media including Facebook and Instagram.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “I am very pleased to see the launch of the ‘Kind to You Mind’ campaign and the resources it makes available for local people at this difficult time when they are having to stay home or self-isolating or are busy carrying out vital roles helping the most vulnerable in our community.”

Margaret Jones, the Interim Director of Public Health for Sefton said: “Key workers and members of the public are likely to be feeling stress or anxiety at this difficult time as we make major changes to how we live and work. It is more important than ever that we look after our mental wellbeing and encourage others to do the same. This will help us during the pandemic and aid our recovery.”

Fiona Taylor, Chief Officer for NHS South Sefton and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “The Kind to Your Mind campaign highlights the importance of mental wellbeing, something that is needed now more than ever. While there has been a large focus on the physical effects of both coronavirus itself and the government guidelines around it, we can’t forget the toll it takes on our mental wellbeing. This campaign provides all our people in Sefton with support and information to help them look after their mental wellbeing.”

Sheena Cumiskey, Chief Executive of Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lead for Mental Health in Cheshire and Merseyside commented: “Taking care of your mind as well as your body is crucial. Complementing the launch of this wellbeing campaign are new telephone helplines for urgent mental health support, which will be available in each area of Cheshire and Merseyside. The helplines will operate 24/7 to enable people to receive appropriate and timely support.”

For more information visit www.kindtoyourmind.org.uk

Sefton Council supporting drive-thru events for heart attack and stroke-risk patients

Sefton Council is supporting drive-thru clinics launched for people at risk of heart attack and stroke.

Working with its NHS partners, Sefton Council staff have been on hand to ensure the drive-thru anticoagulation clinics for people on blood thinning medication run smoothly. Council staff have been providing marshalling and have opened up Council buildings for the NHS teams to use for the events, which have so far taken place at Dunes Splash World and Litherland Sports Park.

With some local clinics closed, the events have meant that patients on blood thinning medication, who are at increased risk of blood clots, can continue to receive their routine medication check-ups from the comfort of their car. Up to 140 patients can be seen at each of the session.

The check-ups, which entail a consultation, a finger-prick blood test and a hand-held monitoring device, are conducted through patients’ car windows by hospital staff wearing PPE. Patients needing the check-ups are sent 15-minute appointment slots and those who cannot drive are given appointments at one of the remaining clinic venues.

Cllr Ian Moncur Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “I am pleased we have been able to collaborate with our NHS colleagues to make possible these sessions to provide safe and convenient testing for local people.”

“We look forward to working with our NHS colleagues to make possible similar future drive-thru events in the Borough.”

Be a Care Hero for Sefton

Be a #CareHero – #SupportingSefton 

Sefton Council is joining authorities across the North West to send out an urgent plea for people to step forward to Be a Care Hero, and help provide essential services for those that need them most.

The combined effort by the adult social care organisations behind the recruitment drive of North West councils is of a scale never seen before.  The result is a simple recruitment process to ensure people can be placed into practical roles providing care and assistance as quickly as possible.

Sefton Social Care Providers has a variety of roles available, for which experience is not always necessary, but a kind, caring, friendly and compassionate outlook is essential. Sefton Social Care Providers is hoping that those with transferable skills will respond to the plea, with the training provided meaning that those applying don’t need any previous experience of working in adult social care for some of the roles.

Current roles within the Borough of Sefton include Care Assistants, Cooks and Kitchen Assistants, Cleaners and Maintenance workers, Administrators, Qualified Social Workers and Qualified clinical roles such as Nursing, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.


Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said:
“Through the Be a Care Hero campaign we want to build upon the fantastic reaction we have already seen across Sefton in the face of COVID-19.

“We have a range of essential roles and we are looking for caring and compassionate people with great communications skills to fill them. We will provide training, so they don’t need previous experience working in adult social care but what they do need to be able to do is engage with and listen to people, ensuring the best possible outcomes for them.”

 

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “Every day, those working in adult social care across our Borough are doing an incredible job, providing people with essential support, and our whole community thanks these Care Heroes for everything that they are doing.

“Now, through the Be a Care Hero campaign we are looking for more people to take on these vital roles that give the adults in our care across the Borough the support that they need, and will give those already working in the sector the additional help that they need during these unprecedented times.”

 

The recruitment process has been kept as simple as possible, with one portal for all council’s across the North West, which can be accessed via: https://greater.jobs/content/10231/be-a-care-hero

To go straight to Sefton Social Care Provider’s recruitment information visit: https://greater.jobs/search-and-apply/job-details/37711/

Interviews will take place over the phone or via Skype / Facetime.

Cllr Cummins added: “One of the uplifting things that these extraordinary times have highlighted is the true warmth, kindness and community spirit of people.  Adults in social care are among the most vulnerable in our society, and we hope that people will respond and will want to Be a Care Hero.”

For further information email CareInSefton@sefton.gov.uk or call 0151 934 2610.

Residents warned to be on their guard against illegal money lenders

Residents across Sefton are being urged to be on their guard against unscrupulous loan sharks who may try to exploit the coronavirus outbreak and prey on people’s financial worries.

Loan sharks charge extortionate interest rates and often intimidate, threaten and trap vulnerable victims in a cycle of fear and violence.

These criminals may seem friendly at first but borrowing from them could have serious consequences for your family.

Some lenders have been known to take a victim’s passport, driving licence, benefits and bank cards as security for the loan, and many begin to make their borrowers feel threatened or intimidated. Some even become violent towards their victims if they fail to pay, leaving them terrified.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Councuil’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Loan sharks are a scourge on any community regardless but to see this kind of callous and predatory behaviour during these difficult times is particularly shocking.

“The Council is fully committed to highlighting the issue of loan sharks so that we can tackle those responsible.

“By working with a number of other organisations, we can make sure that our resources are more effectively targeted to help victims or anyone affected by this illegal activity.”

The government-funded England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) has the power to investigate and prosecute loan sharks.

Since 2004, the team has helped more than 29,000 people like Becky escape the misery of loan sharks. They have also prosecuted nearly 400 loan sharks and written off more than £75 million worth of illegal debt.

The Stop Loan Sharks confidential helpline service (0300 555 2222) remains open 24 hours a day and staff are continuing to provide specialist information and support for victims.

You can report a loan shark to them in full confidence and completely anonymously.

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said: “We are launching this awareness drive now as more people may be under increasing financial pressure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Loan sharks prey on the most vulnerable and will intimidate, manipulate and trap people into a debt spiral. I urge residents to remain vigilant and watch out for illegal money lenders trying to take advantage during these difficult times.

“If you are struggling for financial help then credit unions offer a safe and easy place to turn for advice and support. You can also get help and discuss your options with organisations like Citizens Advice, StepChange and the Money Advice Service.”

How to protect yourself and report loan sharks operating in your community:

1. Do not accept cash loans, even if the lender seems friendly or helpful as they may ask for unrealistic and unaffordable payments in return.
2. Avoid loan sharks at all costs and consider other options if you need to borrow money. Credit unions offer ethical savings and loans to local communities. Find a credit union near you – www.creditu.co.uk
3. To lend money lawfully you must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). You can search the FCA Financial Services register to check if the lender is legal at register.fca.org.uk. If you have already borrowed money from someone who isn’t FCA authorised, you haven’t broken the law, they have.

If you have been the victim of a loan shark, contact the Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence on 0300 555 2222 or report online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.

Sefton Council business grants update

Following extensive communication and engagementSefton Council has received 3,100 applications for Business Grants over the last few weeks. We are pleased to confirm that the majority of Business Support Grants have been processed for those businesses who are eligible and supplied the correct information.

The total value of payments to be made so far now stands at over £20 million. 

If you have not received your business support grant this will be due to a query regarding eligibility or an error on the form.   If you have submitted your personal name instead of your business bank account name on the on line form – Sefton Rates would ask to you re-submit with the correct details.

For all other queries – Sefton Rates team will contact you to resolve these other issues as quickly as possible.

We are aware that approximately 1,500 (30%) of targeted Sefton businesses have not yet completed the application process or made contact with the Council. We will continue to prioritise the processing any additional applications from Sefton businesses. If you are an eligible business within Sefton and have not yet applied for a business grant, you can apply via https://forms.sefton.gov.uk/covid19businessform/ 

For further business support and advice please visit https://www.investsefton.com/ 

 

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