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Only hours left to support Southport ‘Fiestaval’

There are just two days left for people to lend their support to create a brand new Latin American festival in Southport next year.

One of Sefton Council’s SeftonCrowd supported initiatives, the Viva Foundation’s ‘Fiestaval’ is currently crowdfunding pledges to help them reach their target of £2,863 to make the festival a reality.

This proposed free community festival will combine Latin American music, dance, entertainment and other cultural activities to highlight the multi-cultural nature of Latin America and its communities within the Liverpool City region.

Sefton Council have pledged £500 towards the festival and generous community backers have also contributed more than £1,800, meaning organisers are over 60% of the way towards their target.

Less than 48 hours remain however, with the Fiestaval Project needing to reach their £2,863 target by midnight on Friday, December 17th.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for communities and housing, said: “Sefton Council is providing £500 support to help next year’s Fiestaval in Southport reach its target as part of its Sefton Crowd initiative to give local people with ideas about how to improve their area the opportunity to gain funding.

“Backed by Sefton Council’s £50,000 Community Transition Fund the aim of Sefton Crowd to back ideas such as Fiestaval that will put local people at the heart of the efforts to create more vibrant, resilient and connected communities.

“So far the Council has supported 16 grassroots-led projects that pick up on people’s civic and community pride through Sefton Crowd.

“People can find out more about the initiative and how to apply, when new funding rounds are opened in 2022, at”

To find out more about Fiestaval, visit

Santa Claus spotted getting his booster jab in Sefton

Santa Claus with festive helpers at the Netherton Health Centre COVID-19 vaccination site.Once again, Santa Claus has stopped off in Sefton during his busy  pre-Christmas schedule.  This time he was getting his booster jab to make sure he’s fully protected.

As the final countdown to Christmas begins, staff at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Sefton were surprised by the arrival of a very jolly patient in a red suit, looking to get a jab.

‘Santa Claus’ visited Netherton Health Centre, where he had pre-booked an appointment to get his COVID-19 booster vaccination, under the alias Ron Clayton.

Snowed under

Arriving, unusually, by van rather than by sleigh, Santa explained that his reindeer were busy getting ready for their Christmas duties, but that even though he was ‘snowed under’ with festive preparations he knew it was very important to make time to get vaccinated as soon as he was eligible.

Santa said: “I’ve got a busy few days ahead, flying around to deliver presents to children all over Sefton and beyond! I wanted my long journey to be made as safe as possible for myself and everyone I visit, by getting my booster jab for extra protection.

“Mrs Claus and all of my elves have also had their booster jabs, to keep themselves and everyone else safe this Christmas. Some of the elves are over 100 years old, so obviously they had their vaccinations quite early on, but it’s never too late to come forward for your jab if you’ve not got round to it yet!”

After getting his vaccine, Santa declared that all the staff at Netherton Health Centre were definitely on his ‘nice’ list, before he waved goodbye to the team and set off back to the North Pole.

St. Nick himself

Jenny Macoy, site manager at the COVID-19 vaccination centre at Netherton Health Centre, said: “We were so glad to see St. Nick himself coming in to get his jab, even though he must have a busy schedule at the moment! Protecting yourself and others should definitely be top of everyone’s Christmas list this year.”

“The booster vaccine is important because helps improve the protection you have from your first two doses of the vaccine and helps give you longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19. Get yours booked in to stay safe this festive season.”

You can watch Santa’s visit here. 

The NHS is now offering all adults the opportunity to book their booster jab by the end of the year. Those now eligible to book are people who had their second COVID-19 vaccine at least three months ago, and are:

  • Aged 18 and over
  • Aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts them at high risk from COVID-19
  • Frontline health or social care workers


If, like Santa, you are eligible for your booster jab, you can call 119 or visit the NHS website to book an appointment, or find a walk-in vaccination site that is offering booster jabs, here:

Booster jabs are also available from local vaccination sites in Sefton, which are taking bookings by telephone for anyone eligible. Contact the local vaccination sites to get booked in:

Seaforth Village Surgery, 20 Seaforth Rd, L21 3TA: call 07979 938 229

Netherton Health Centre, Magdalen Square, L30 5SP: call 0151 247 6413

Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing, 44-46 Hoghton Street, PR9 0PQ: call 01704 395830 (phone lines open Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm)

Find out more about local vaccination sites in Sefton by visiting: or

Last year, Santa visited one of Sefton’s testing centres for a rapid test to make sure he wasn’t passing on COVID without realising.

Get vaccinated, get your booster and look after each other through this difficult winter period – a joint statement from the Directors of Public Health in Cheshire and Merseyside

Our communities are once again being asked to step up to protect themselves and each other, and help to keep our fantastic front-line health and care services running this winter.  As Directors of Public Health, we are supportive of measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and in particular, the new variant, Omicron.

We knew that there was always a risk of new variants, and it is clear that Omicron is spreading very rapidly. The UK is now at COVID-19 alert Level 4 because we have extremely high transmission and rising rates of Omicron. We especially want to keep those who are most vulnerable in our local communities safe and prevent more people going into hospital and dying.

Everyone is being asked to get vaccinated and get their booster dose as soon as possible.  Demand for vaccination will be high and vaccination sites will be very busy, so please book ahead wherever possible, and be patient if you are queuing for your vaccine.

If you do experience symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell), PCR tests can be booked by visiting or calling 119. If your test is positive, you must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately.

It is also recommended you take lateral flow tests twice a week and also in advance of any social gathering/event. If you are notified that you are a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19 and you are fully vaccinated, you will be asked to do daily lateral flow testing for 7 days to check you are and remain negative. Children under 5 years old do not need a test and will not need to self-isolate. If you have not had two doses of the vaccine, you will need to isolate for the full 10 days.

Face coverings are required in most indoor public settings, except for pubs and restaurants or unless you are exempt. Office workers who can work from home should do so and from Wednesday (15 December), you will be required to show proof of full vaccination status, or a negative test in the last 48 hours, to enter certain venues such as nightclubs or major sporting events.

This is a time where we as a community need to come together and support each other. We need to continue to be kind to ourselves and others and carry on with the same steely determination to do the right thing that has kept us going since the beginning.

Building up your personal resilience is so important in times like this. Cheshire and Merseyside’s Kind to Your Mind campaign has plenty of resources to help you do just that. You can listen to podcasts, look at online therapies, download apps, and access helplines if you need them. There are plenty of options to suit you, all you need to do is visit

Masks, hand washing, social distancing and ventilation are all vital measures to mitigate this disease, but none more so than being vaccinated against it. That is the number one tool we have. If up until now you have not taken up your offer of the vaccine, please book your jab now. The same applies to your booster. They are safe, effective and millions upon millions of people across the country have benefited from it. Visit to book now.

Stay safe,

Dr Matt Tyrer
Director of Public Health for Cheshire East

Ian Ashworth
Director of Public Health Cheshire West and Chester

Dr Ifeoma Onyia
Director of Public Health for Halton

Dr Sarah McNulty
Director of Public Health for Knowsley

Professor Matt Ashton
Director of Public Health for Liverpool

Margaret Jones
Director of Public Health for Sefton

Ruth du Plessis
Director of Public Health for St Helens

Thara Raj
Director of Public Health for Warrington

Julie Webster
Director of Public Health for Wirral

Despite new Omicron regulations, advice still applies says Sefton Health Chief Margaret Jones

Get Boosted Now campaign logoAlthough more of the Government’s new regulations in response to the Omicron variant come into force this week, Margaret Jones who is Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, is saying her message is remaining largely unchanged.

Two jabs & booster

Margaret said: “Making sure you are fully vaccinated, which means jabs one and two and a booster, is still the best protection from the COVID-19 virus.

“Anyone who has not yet had their first or second jab can book them now at or by calling 119.

“And anyone aged over 30 or over can now go to or call 119 to book their booster and make sure they are fully protected.”

Last night the  Prime Minister said booster jabs would be offered to everyone over 18 in England from this week,  and set a new target of giving boosters to all adults who want one by the end of the month. The NHS will prioritise those at greatest risk, so people are being asked to wait to be contacted by the NHS for their booster appointment.

Find a nearby walk-in vaccination and booster site.

Risk assessments

Mrs Jones added: “From today, the Government says that everyone who can do, should work from home, which has been Sefton Council’s message all along.

“Where people do have to go into work, risk assessments must have been carried out and protection measure put in place. And we all need to follow the safety measures and guidance such as wearing face coverings, not congregating in communal areas and not sitting at desks that are marked as not in use.

“All along we have been urging people to wear face coverings in busy spaces and on public transport and since Friday, the Government regulations mean face coverings are required in most indoor settings, including cinemas and theatres.

“Global research has shown masks provide the best non-medical form of protection. The help prevent us from catching the virus and help stop us passing it on, which helps make sure we’re not taking home any uninvited and potentially dangerous guests this Christmas.”

Same symptoms

Margaret continued: “Despite these new Government measures being introduced as a result of a new variant, the main symptoms we all need to watch out for are the same, a high temperature a persistent cough and a loss of taste or smell.

“Develop any of these and we need to book a PCR test straight away by calling 119 or visiting

“But even with no symptoms, we need to keep on using rapid home test kits, which are available from pharmacists or online, twice a week.  And if a rapid test shows a positive result don’t hesitate. Start isolating and book a PCR test.”

The other new measure coming into force this week is the requirement, from Wednesday (15th December), for those aged 18 years or over to show proof of vaccination or a negative test in the last 48 hours. This applies to nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather and include unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.

Consistent advice

Margaret added: “Once again, while this is a new requirement, our advice remains consistent and that is to exercise care and common sense when attending an event of any size.

“All of these measures are about protecting ourselves but also helping to stop us passing on the virus to others.

“We know that we can carry the COVID-19 virus even when vaccinated and without even feeling its effects, which means we can then pass it on to people around us, including our family and friends, who may be at high risk.

“Christmas, as we all know, is a time for giving. Let’s make it one to remember for all the right reasons.”

More information can be found at


Sefton Health & Wellbeing Chief’s jab reminder on UK’s vaccination anniversary

NHS message saying 'Get Vaccinated, Get boosted, Get protected'.With today being the anniversary of the UK’s first COVID vaccination, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for public Health, Cllr Ian Moncur is urging people to make sure they are up to date with their jabs and boosters.

Best protection

Cllr Moncur, who will be chairing a Sefton Council Health and Wellbeing Board meeting today, said: “Vaccinations still, without doubt, provide the best clinical protection for all of us against the COVID-19 virus, which is still spreading in our communities.

He continued: “If you’ve missed your first jab, get it now. If you’ve missed your second jab, get it now or as soon as you can.

“And if you’ve had both, book your booster if you are already eligible, or keep an eye on the latest information from the Government who have said all eligible over-18s will be offered a jab by the end of January.”


Everyone aged 16 and over can get a first and second dose of vaccine and most young people aged from 12 to 15 are currently being offered a first dose.

People can book an appointment by visiting  or calling 119.

It was on the 8th December 2020, that 90-year-old grandmother Maggie Keenan from Coventry became the first person in the country to have a COVID vaccination. However, a year on, almost 20% of people across Sefton aged over 16 still have not had any vaccinations.

Never too late

Cllr Moncur added: “When we went out recently to talk to people about vaccinations, we found many people thought that because they had not gone to the appointment they had been sent, they thought they had missed their chance.

“The message is whether it’s your first, your second or your third, booster jab, it’s never too late to get vaccinated.”

People can visit to find out how to make an appointment and to find a link to their nearest vaccination centre.

Global study

Earlier this month, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones, Sefton reminded people that mask-wearing is still hugely effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Commenting in the light of a global study, reported in the British Medical Journal, which has shown mask-wearing reduces incidence of COVID by 53%, Margaret Jones said: “Mask wearing is incredibly important in preventing us from spreading and catching the COVID and particularly so as even those of us who have been vaccinated can still carry and pass on the virus without feeling any ill effects ourselves.

Mrs Jones described masks wearing as ‘a minimal effort that can do so much to prevent ourselves, our friends and loved ones and others from COVID-19 and other seasonal viruses such as flu.


Sefton Council is also urging anyone who shows COVID symptoms of a raised temperature, persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell, to get a PCR test by should book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting

People who are out and about are still advised to carry on using rapid home test kits, which are available from pharmacists, twice a week.  If a rapid test shows a positive result they should then isolate and book a PCR test.

Find out more on our website.

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