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Stay COVID-19 vigilant at home as well as when your out warns Sefton Health Chief

Sefton Council’s Interim Director of Public Health Margaret Jones is reminding people across the Borough that while they must take precautions to avoid contracting and passing coronavirus, they also need to remember to take care at home.

Mrs Jones said she is reassured that coronavirus cases in Sefton are currently low but said that required vigilance by everyone is needed to maintain that situation.

She said: “With Government’s recent reduction of restrictions, there has been a lot of focus on staying safe while out and about and there is no question that being mindful and considerate, maintaining safe distances and wearing masks or face covering is vitally important.

“But it is also vital that people don’t forget the day-to-day basics when they are at home.

“COVID-19 is still very much with us can be anywhere including our own homes so the need to follow the guidance on socialising remains. People should restrict indoor meetings to members of just two different households and keep the numbers at outdoor gathering to a maximum of six people.

“And, if people do start showing the symptoms of coronavirus, which are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, it is essential for their own safety and the safety of their friends and loved ones around them that they get a test immediately. It’s easy to make an appointment via www.nhs.uk/coronavirus  or by calling 119.”

Mrs Jones went on to stress the importance of people responding if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace service and the need to self-isolate for 14 days if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

She added: “People don’t need to get tested unless they develop symptoms but if they get a negative test result after being identified through Test and Trace, they still need to self-isolate because the virus can take 14 days to incubate.

“And finally wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands and do it thoroughly.”

Check out the Government’s latest guidance. 

Joint plea to public to continue to be sensible and respectful at Sefton’s beauty spots

A number of organisations across Sefton are joining forces to remind people to continue to be sensible and respectful if they choose to spend time outdoors during the warm weather.

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coastal Landscape Partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, HM Coastguard, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners.

Today (04 August) the partnership launches a campaign covering many of the issues faced on the Sefton coast.

Since restrictions were lifted allowing people to spend more time outside, we have seen a rise in the number of people using local beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve and many of Sefton’s beautiful beaches.

The advice remains that everyone should maintain social distancing at all times.

People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors.

We are also asking people to remain respectful and protect our public spaces.

During the recent nice weather, the partnership has received reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

Mark Shaw from Sefton Council’s Green Sefton service said:

“Our beaches are tempting but they are not able to cope with high level of visitors at the moment.

“For those few who do visit our coastline at this time, they are advised that stringent parking restrictions are in place, all rubbish must be taken home and BBQs are strictly prohibited along the entirety of the Sefton coastline.

“At this time, we need people to think about their safety and the safety of others, as well as the wellbeing of our communities and Council staff.”

Sefton Chief Inspector Mike O’Malley from Merseyside Police said:

“We continue to work closely alongside our partners to deal with all issues on Sefton’s beautiful coastlines, and this August – with many choosing to holiday in this country due to travel restrictions – will be no different. We want all visitors to enjoy a safe, relaxing and enjoyable time, and show consideration for those who live in these areas.

“During spells of good weather this year we have had reports of excessive littering and fires and BBQs being lit as well as people parking illegally and inconsiderately by blocking driveways and residential roads.

“Anyone acting antisocially should expect to be dealt with by police in a robust manner, and we will also support other agencies in their work.

“I want to reassure those affected by anti-social behaviour, underage drinking and other issues affecting the communities of Sefton that we will again make a co-ordinated effort to prevent such incidents from occurring.

“Throughout August, officers will be on foot, in vehicles and on quad bikes across the Sefton coastline including Formby, Ainsdale and Crosby beaches, as well as parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve.”

PC David Baier from British Transport Police said:

“Everyone wants to enjoy this gorgeous weather and may head to the coast but it’s really important that people continue to social distance and wear compulsory face coverings when using public transport.

“These may be strange times, but the same rules apply regarding anti-social behaviour – we won’t tolerate any abuse of passengers or rail staff and we’ll continue to take a robust approach to anyone who breaks the rules.”

ENDS

Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre re-opens

Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre on Stanley Street, Southport are re-opening its doors to provide residents affected by cancer with face to face, COVID safe support following the recent easing of lockdown restrictions.

The team at the centre – a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – has put measures in place so that it can safely resume services for patients and staff. This means that there are some changes to the way the service is delivered, initially, there will only be pre-bookable appointments available. The team will be continually reviewing guidance so that the drop-in service, support groups, courses and events will also be resumed as soon as it is safe to do so.

To protect staff, volunteers and service users, a simple health questionnaire and temperature check will be carried out before anyone enters the centre. In addition, unless there is a medical reason why it is not possible, visitors and staff will be required to wear a disposable mask or face covering of their own. All rooms that are used in the centre comply with the 2-metre social distancing guidance. The centre will be thoroughly cleaned at the start and end of each day and all tables, chairs and used areas will be wiped down after each person has left.

Dr Graeme Allan, Macmillan GP and cancer clinical lead at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “We know that there has been a sharp drop in the number of patients referred for cancer investigations and appointments during the pandemic. We understand that some people may be concerned about visiting their GP with symptoms or attending hospital for a cancer referral appointment. Strict infection control procedures and video and phone consultations have been introduced in GP practices to ensure the safety of patients and staff. It is vital that people contact their GP if they have any signs or symptoms of cancer because early diagnosis saves lives.

“It’s brilliant to see the Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre re-open, we know that coronavirus means people living with cancer need help now more than ever. The Centre has increased the number of counseling sessions so that the trained and experienced staff can provide more vital emotional support to people with cancer locally.”

Tanya Mulvey, Centre manager at Southport Cancer Information and Support Centre, said: “We know that the last few months have been incredibly difficult for people affected by cancer and although we have been offering telephone support (which we’ll continue to do), we know that seeing someone face-to-face is far preferable for many people. Sadly, we will not be able to hold your hand or hug you – but the welcome will be just as warm as it ever was, and we’ll do our very best to help and support you.

“We will be continually reviewing our services against evolving guidance and hope that we will be able to return to our normal service provision as soon as possible.”

To find out about the support available and to book an appointment, please call the Centre on 07976 767188 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)

For more information about the Southport and Formby Cancer Information and Support Centre, visit: https://southportmacmillancentre.org.uk/

Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre reopens with a series of fantastic events

Water lovers are encouraged to dive right into a series of fantastic events at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre over the coming months.

The popular open air lake at the Waterloo based adventure centre has now reopened with staff following strict government guidelines to help continue the fight against COVID-19.

Events such as open water swimming, Stand Up Paddleboarding Fitness, navigation and seamanship courses can now resume at Crosby Lakeside, with tickets for each event available to purchase online.

All courses and events will take place subject to stringent government guidelines to ensure both staff and guests are kept safe at all times.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “First and foremost I want to put on record my thanks to all our staff who are working so hard behind the scenes to help bring back services which have been temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

“The water based facilities at Crosby Lakeside are an incredible asset for us to have and we are delighted that we are able to bring back events and courses to the lake in a safe and considered manner.”

To find out more about lake-based watersports and courses or to book your ticket, please visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/crosby-lakeside-adventure-centre-17056322306

Young people in Sefton tell decision makers about their lives during COVID-19

Young people from Sefton came together with key decision makers in the first ever virtual SYMBOL meeting which involved 50 participants.

Being a member of SYMBOL (Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders) means a young person plays an active role in their community, with a direct line of communication with leaders such as councillors and senior managers at Sefton Council, and also with partners including representatives from Public Health.

At the meeting young people talked about their experiences and some of the issues that they faced during the Coronavirus pandemic. This included feelings of isolation, worries about falling back on school work, being able to adapt when returning to school and concerns about family members and how the pandemic is affecting relatives.

As part of the discussions participants also took part in a survey which gave an overall view of how the group had been coping during the lockdown, what positives could be taken out of the experience and what support is needed.

Jo Lee, Sefton Young Advisors Team Lead and SYMBOL Coordinator said;

 “Although lockdown restrictions meant joining in person was not possible, it was still so important, now more than ever that the meeting went ahead in order to understand what impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on young people and to listen to their views about how it is affecting their lives.

“With a survey telling us that 75% of the young people in our meeting alone, feel that COVID has had a negative impact on their mental health, it is important that we listen to the challenges they are facing, so we have a better understanding of how we can support them.

“It’s also really encouraging to listen to the positives young people are taking from this experience including improvements to the environment and learning new hobbies”

If you or anyone you know would like any support or advice during this time, please visit our website where there is guidance for children and young people on how to maintain good health and wellbeing.

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