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Sefton Council using new ‘Recite Me’ web service to improve accessibility

New tool also being used to target COVID-19 messages to non-English speakers.

Sefton Council is now using Recite Me software to help local residents with accessibility issues customise its website to meet their needs.

By turning on Recite Me, people visiting the Council’s website at www.sefton.gov.uk can use the service to read website pages out loud in different voices and languages, increase and decrease the size of the text and change the type-style – including into a Dyslexic-friendly font.

At this time when it is vital that everybody is aware of the messages about COVID-19 that are so important to saving lives, Sefton Council is promoting the ability of Recite Me to translate information on the site.

Messages in Portuguese, Polish and Russian are being sent out through Sefton Council’s social media channels to highlight the translation service to people in those communities.

Cllr Paulette Lappin Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “Now, when it is so important that our COVID-19 information reaches everyone including those for whom English is not necessarily a first language, our introduction of the Recite Me service to our website is an ideal way to target those communities.

“Since the start of the COVID -19 outbreak our website has been seeing record numbers of visits with as many as 130,000 and 110,000 unique page views in the peak weeks. And our reach on social media is up with residents having the chance to see our messages almost 554,000 times.

“Also in the long term, Recite Me is a way of making our website as easy to use for as many people as possible, in line with our commitment to accessible communications.”

With Recite Me, Sefton Council website users can also change the colours and contrast of the screen, screen colours and contrast, use an on-screen magnifying glass, add a ruler to help keep their place on the page, view pages in a text-only mode and download audio files of page contents, which can be played back at a later date.

To use the service, visitors to the website just need to click on Listen and Translate at the top of every page. They will then see a toolbar of functions that will help make the pages more accessible for them in multiple ways. There is also a user guide to tell them more and an option to switch the service on and off.

Find out more about using Recite Me.

Two additional sites for collecting community medical equipment from Tuesday.

From Tuesday 21st April 2020, there are two additional Sefton sites where referrers and family members can pick up community medical equipment that has been ordered for people being discharged from hospital.

This is in response to Hospital Discharge Guidance from the Government on COVID 19.

These new satellite sites, at Hugh Baird College in Bootle and the Community Equipment Shop Unit in Southport, will be in addition to the existing access points at Southport and Formby and Aintree Hospitals.

From Tuesday, minor aids such as walking frames and small items that do not have to be installed and fitted, can be picked up, from:

  • Reception at Hugh Baird College Balliol Road site L20 7EW between 11am and 2 pm, Monday to Friday .
  • The Community Equipment Shop, Unit 1, Cambridge Arcade, Southport PR9 1DA (next door to Southport Town Hall) between 11 am and 3pm, Monday to Friday .

Care professionals and Sefton residents needing to access items needed for people who are being discharged from hospital, and who need ongoing support, can access community equipment at the point of hospital discharge at Aintree Hospital and at Southport and Formby Hospitals. Additionally, they can go directly to the Community Equipment Stores, 2c Bechers Drive, Aintree Racecourse Retail and Business Park, Ormskirk Road, L9 5AY.

If they are registered service users:

  • District Nurses
  • Hospital Discharge Planners
  • Occupational Therapy teams (LA and Health) & HSC Children’s Physio Therapists
  • Physio Assistants
  • Respiratory nurses

can order equipment via the ELMS, the Equipment Loans Management System.

There is guidance on how equipment can be ordered and accessed on the ELMS home page and the location for the collection of equipment can be selected at time of placing orders.  Directions for each location are also be available from the ELMS ordering system.

Visit the ELMS website.

If equipment is being collected from the Community Equipment Stores it will be available to collect on the same day as placing the order.  If equipment is being collected from the two satellite locations it will be ready for collection the next day from 11am.

Anyone with further enquires or requiring assistance should please contact the Community Equipment Stores directly on 0151 288 6208.

Telecare equipment

Telecare is a service that provides care and reassurance to the elderly and vulnerable, allowing them to live independently in their own home for longer. Sefton Arc’s technology can provide wireless motion sensors, personal alarm pendants and movement monitoring sensors – ensuring safety in the home, medical dispensers (with consent of pharmacist), and bed and chair occupancy sensors.

Telecare equipment can also detect environmental changes such as floor, fire or carbon monoxide. Sensors will automatically raise an alarm at our monitoring centre where our trained personnel will determine the appropriate course of action.

Telecare Equipment is accessed via referral to Sefton Arc Telecare Team, using LAS referral process or self-referral.

Sefton Arc Trusted Assessors will contact the client and their families to discuss appropriate equipment options and equipment is then ordered.

Falls Pendants and Arc Angels can be arranged within 24 hours of ordering.

Other items of equipment can take between 3 and -7 working days depending upon supplier availability, from the day the order is submitted.

People can email Telecare Services at Lifeline.Service@sefton.gov.uk or call them on 0800 622 6107. The contact address is 209 Linacre Lane, Bootle, Merseyside L20 6AD.

Victims of domestic abuse reassured #YouAreNotAlone

Partners across Merseyside have a clear message to share with victims of domestic abuse during lockdown – #YouAreNotAlone.

Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral Councils, working with Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and health partners, want to make sure people are aware of the help and support that is available.

With the country still in lockdown and many residents self-isolating whilst juggling work demands, financial issues, home schooling and childcare, the strain and pressures at home for everyone can be quite intense. That’s even more so for victims of domestic abuse, where home may not be a necessarily safe place.

Merseyside Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Serena Kennedy and Chair of the Strategic Coordinating Group of the Merseyside Resilience Forum said: “It’s a challenging time for everyone at the moment but the situation is far worse for those people who feel trapped, isolated, controlled or feel like they are walking on egg shells all of the time.

The important thing is that we want everyone across our region to know that you don’t need to suffer in silence. Help and support is just a phone call or click away and there are choices and options you can make. You are not alone.”

Local communities can pledge their support to the campaign by sharing the messages with their friends and families and through social media. Some people are specifically sharing a photo of a heart on their palm, demonstrating that victims are not alone.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “It is vital that we let people who are silently suffering or concerned for their safety during this period of isolation and social-distancing know they are not alone and that people in their communities care about them and are looking out for them.

“I fully support this coordinated campaign to make sure that people have as much access as possible to ways of finding help, support and advice and would urge people across Sefton get behind the #YouAreNotAlone campaign.”

If anyone needs support, call the freephone, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge. Remember in an emergency situation, ring 999 and if you are unable to speak when the operator answers, press 55 and the operator will transfer your call to the relevant police force.

Further information is also available at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

Sefton Business Grants Update

The system to process applications for the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund was put into put into place as a matter of urgency.

To date we have received over 3000 applications for grants, with the total running of grants being processed being over £16 million, with over £4 million being paid today.

Applications can still be made and the link to do this directly online is http://forms.sefton.go.uk/Covid19businessform/

We will be seeking to clarify information on a number of online forms submitted. Staff may call you with questions but they will not ask you to provide any financial or personal information over the telephone. They will only advise you of the clarification needed and how to provide it. Only provide information either via the Councils website or to a secure Sefton Council e-mail address.

If you have any suspicions, please e-mail the business rates team business.rates@sefton.gov.uk and mark the subject line Fraud Enquiry.

For more information on business support at this time, please visit www.investsefton.com

#MySefton #SupportingSefton #Heretohelp #InvestSefton

#SeftonSaysThanks – to our teachers

Here in Sefton we know that our teaching staff are doing an amazing job in continuing to work in schools across the borough, teaching vulnerable children and children of key workers.

Teachers and teaching assistants play a massive role in our children’s educational and emotional development and of course, many young people who are at home may now be missing them dearly.

So, to let them know how much we are missing them and to show we appreciate what they are doing, we’re asking your children to make a ‘Thank you’ card for their favourite teacher/s and teaching assistants remembering to include a special message.

Be it a painting or drawing, when it’s finished simply take a photo and share it with us.

You can email your picture to communications@sefton.gov.uk. You can also use our social media channels to share with us remembering to tag us, Facebook/ Sefton Council, Twitter/@seftoncouncil, Instagram/@sefton_council

When sharing via Social Media, please also use the hashtag #SeftonSaysThanks which will make sure we don’t miss any of your masterpieces!

Don’t forget to include your child’s name, the teacher’s name & what school they teach at so we can make sure your school and teachers will see them.

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