Sefton’s community based COVID-19 immunisation programme run by local GP practices began on Tuesday 15 December as the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history continues.
Nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, GPs and other NHS staff from across Sefton are working together to vaccinate those aged 80 and over identified as a priority group. Primary care teams have been working rapidly to set up local vaccination centres and put in place safe processes to meet the tough logistical challenges of offering the vaccination.
GP practices will be contacting their eligible patients when it is their turn to receive the vaccine.
Marilyn Cull, 85, of Southport, who was the first to receive the vaccine said: “I phoned the surgery back up this morning because I thought it might have been just a dream. I was lucky to be the first one to get the vaccine.
“It’s a much bigger risk not to have the vaccination. The staff were really lovely and they made me feel at ease.
“I’ve been coping well but the news about the vaccine was brilliant and I’m glad I got it done.”
Marjorie Grundy, 87, from Maghull, said: “I was delighted to get the vaccine.
“Getting it done was really straightforward. I’m looking forward to things getting back to normal.”
Charles McCoy, 83, from Maghull, said: “I was glad to get the call. I told my boys and they said do it. Everyone who is offered should get the vaccine.
“The NHS has been fantastic through this and you can see people are working really hard to keep people safe. We should be thankful for the work they do.”
Southport GP, Dr Simon Tobin from Norwood Surgery, said: I’ve been absolutely thrilled at the uptake for the coronavirus vaccine. When we rang them, 99% of our most vulnerable patients jumped at the opportunity to have the vaccine and booked appointments immediately.
“I will be urging all our eligible patients (as well as my 84 year old father) to have the vaccine when they are offered it. They will be contacted by their own surgeries so please don’t ring them.
“Yesterday we gave many of the highest risk people in Southport the first of the two vaccinations. People were so excited and really appreciative. There was a real buzz at the vaccination centre.
“Many parts of the UK have not even started giving the vaccine yet – we’re ahead of the game.
“Our local NHS heroes have worked tirelessly to ensure that we get this vaccine out to those most at need. They deserve tremendous credit for their dedication and commitment to our population.”
Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “A great deal of planning has gone on in recent weeks to get ready for the vaccination programme.
“This is an important step in our fight against coronavirus but it is vital to continue to protect yourself and others by following government guidance by washing your hands regularly, wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing.”
Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Your NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. All eligible patients will be contacted direct when it is their turn, with an invitation to attend a vaccination appointment and details of where to go.
“It is fantastic that we are able to start delivering vaccinations in local community settings and we would like to thank the teams of primary care colleagues who are working to make this happen.”
The vaccine currently being used (Pfizer/BioNTech) has very specific storage and transportation requirements, so the initial focus from this week will be those 80 years of age and over who can visit a centre in person.
Housebound patients and care home residents will be vaccinated as soon as this is possible.
Sefton’s community COVID-19 vaccination centres are being run by groups of practices, known as primary care networks, working together with NHS Southport and Formby CCG and NHS South Sefton CCG.
Community based primary care centres are in addition to hospital hubs, which began vaccinating patients on Tuesday 8 December.
A very special visitor stopped by from the North Pole this week to check in on the Mayor of Sefton’s Christmas Toy Appeal.
Taking time out of his busy schedule, Father Christmas helped to deliver toys collected by Litherland Youth and Community Centre, who have supported the appeal for many years.
Fifteen sacks of gifts were delivered to Bootle Town Hall from the club, which will be distributed to children across the Borough in time for Christmas Day.
Cllr June Burns, Mayor of Sefton, said: “It really has been quite overwhelming but utterly joyous to see the amount of support we’ve received from the entire Borough for this year’s appeal. People have continued to show their kindness, giving what they can for others, to ensure that everyone has a special Christmas this year.
“Father Christmas was so impressed by the whole of Sefton’s efforts so far, and he asked me to pass on his thanks to each and every person, business and community group, like the amazing Litherland Youth and Community Centre, who have contributed this year. It’s shaping up to be the best year ever for donations, so I would like to echo that thanks as well – we really couldn’t do this without your support!”
Earlier this week, the Mayor of Sefton received a cheque for £2,048 from this year’s online crowdfunding effort, as well as contributions from local community groups and businesses. Volunteers will use the donations to buy a range of toys and gifts for teenagers, children and toddlers to enjoy this Christmas.
Joe Farrell, an Early Help School Attendance Officer from the Council, delivered the cheque to the Mayor and is just one of many volunteers who will be helping to sort gifts and support the safe delivery of them to families around Sefton.
In his spare time, Joe who is a keen angler, has raised more than £2,500 through his own fundraising efforts. He has donated £1,500 to the toy appeal and will be supporting other Sefton community causes with the rest of the funds.
Joe Farrell said: “I’m inspired each year by the hard work and dedication of my colleagues and fellow volunteers who support the Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal.
“This year, fearing a possible shortfall in funds and restrictions putting a stop to some of our usual fundraising events, I felt I had to go the extra mile to support the appeal. Together with the support of my fishing community online as well as friendship circles and sponsors, I have been able to successfully raise over £2,500 to date.
“I have donated £1,500 into the toy appeal already and I am going to support the fantastic work of some of our community organisations across Sefton with the remainder of my fundraising.”
Donations continue to be shared, with special thanks to St Robert Bellarmine Catholic Primary and Birkdale High School, who have shared toys and gifts with the appeal this year.
Another local fundraising hero, trainee doctor Lucy Wright from Birkdale, has raised £500 by selling her homemade cakes. The former Greenbank High School student has purchased gifts from the proceeds of the cake sales, which will now go to the appeal and put smiles on the faces of many children this Christmas.
New and unwrapped toys, gift vouchers, toiletries, pyjamas and stocking fillers for all ages, are still welcomed as part of the appeal. Items can be donated in the following ways:
Dropped off at the in-store donation point at Asda Central 12 in Southport
Dropped off at libraries and leisure centres (opening hours may be varied so people should check before making a drop off)
People need to drop off their donations by Tuesday 22nd December 2020, in time for them to be sent out for Christmas Day.
The Bootle Festival of Ideas, backed by Sefton Council, gave residents a chance to develop ideas and win a share of a starter-grant.
Over the course of six events, 161 people attended the Bootle Festival of Ideas. 74 of them online and 87 in-person. Through the festival 98 ideas were submitted on how to build Bootle back better. From this, eight promising ideas, that will have a local impact, have emerged and are set to receive a starter-grant to get things going.
The eight ideas are: Adventure Boxes, Meda Brewing, Mosaic Motivation, Made In Bootle, Bee’s Bench, Bootle Zine Library, A helping Hand, and A Carnival Community.
Each finalist was supported by mentors to produce a poster which gives an elevator pitch of what the idea is, and what else they might need to make it happen.
Now each idea will receive a portion of the starter-grant pot, as well as on-going support from Make CIC, Kindred and Sefton Council to develop their ideas further and bring them into reality.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The Festival of Ideas was a unique opportunity, amidst the chaos of the last few months, for Sefton residents to bring about positive changes to their own lives, to their communities and our culture. I’m delighted so many wonderful ideas have been brought forward, further enhancing Sefton’s reputation as a borough of ideas and innovation.”
Liam Kelly, who is Make CIC’s CEO and LCR Town Centre and Land Commissioner for Metro Mayor, said: “It’s brilliant to see eight ideas emerge from the festival. 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year to run a programme like this, but despite the pandemic we managed to gather nearly 100 ideas and engage 161 people.
“Supporting and funding local people to bring forward ideas on how to make change happen is something we looked at on the LCR Town Centre Commission. Towns do need big capital investment, but they also desperately need investment in people. People who live, work and play in town centres have the solutions, they just need the means and support.”
Bernadette Colligan, who idea Bee’s Bench is receiving a starter-grant, said: “The festival gave us space to discuss ideas, collaborate and network with one another and imagine how our ideas could make a difference in Bootle. It showed the importance of having community at the heart of every idea and I am so excited to chat to everyone about making Bootle a more accessible and age friendly place through my bench project”
Melling resident Mary celebrates milestone 100th birthday
Sefton has welcomed a centenarian among its ranks today, as Melling resident Mary Burgess celebrated her 100th birthday.
Molyneux ward councillor, Marion Atkinson, who is also Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, visited Mary at home today with fellow ward councillor Paula Murphy to deliver a package of birthday gifts and cards, acknowledging the very special occasion.
Born in Liverpool on 15th December 1920, Mary has lived in Melling for more than 30 years. She has five children, 15 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
In her 90s she overcame breast cancer and is still an active member of two local pensioners clubs. Mary is known to be the first to hit the dancefloor when it comes to Christmas parties with her friends.
Cllr Atkinson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Mary is a fantastic member of the local community and always first in line for bingo tickets when she attends my monthly health and wellbeing classes.
“Sadly, many Christmas events will not take place this year so Mary’s dancing shoes are gathering a little bit of dust for the time being, and her 100th birthday celebrations have had to be scaled back as well.
“It was just brilliant to celebrate in a small way with Mary today and I hope that our birthday delivery has gone some way to making her feel special as she marks this incredible milestone.”