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Meet the Sefton mums pushing their way back into shape

New mums in Sefton are bouncing back into fitness with the help of Active Sefton’s Active Buggies.

Active Buggies is an energising fitness class that helps new mums kick start weight-loss, feel fabulous and meet like-minded mums. The best thing is that there’s no childcare needed and children of all ages can attend.

The buggy friendly classes make the most of prams as exercise aids with mums jogging, squatting and lunging their way back into shape.

Mums are invited to join the classes following their six week doctor’s check and the first session is free.

Led by Active Sefton’s trained fitness instructors, classes are tailored to meet specific fitness goals with alternate activities offered to meet different abilities.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It can be so difficult for new mums to juggle their new arrival with keeping fit and healthy.

“I’m so happy that there are classes like Active Buggies available in Sefton that can help women feel confident and make those first steps back into fitness.”

Kate Wilkie takes part in the sessions held at Dunes Southport. She said: “This is an awesome class! The instructor is so passionate about exercise that you can’t help but enjoy it. I really like that she’s a mum herself so she understands the challenges we face as new mums and never makes a big deal out of a meltdown or emergency nappy change!”

Anne-Marie Watson attended the classes following the birth of her first child and couldn’t wait to return after baby number two. She added: “This is a great class tailored for new mums and the best thing is that it’s child friendly.

“It has allowed me to meet other mums who are on a mission to gain confidence and get back to their healthy lifestyles. I love it!”

Classes are held at Litherland Sports Park, Meadows Leisure Centre, Crosby Lakeside, and Dunes Splash World. The full schedule is available online at https://www.sefton.gov.uk/activebuggies.

Watch this short video to find out more about what the sessions offer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA6vdaAVyqk

For more information contact the Active Sports team on 0151 288 6286 or request to join the Facebook group ‘Active Buggies’

Combined Authority Establishes Task Force to Tackle Poor Air Quality

At its meeting on Friday (16/11/18), the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority voted to establish a new Air Quality Task Force.

Made up of elected representatives from the city region’s six local authorities, as well as representatives from organisations across the city region, the Air Quality Task Force will work to raise awareness of the issue and make recommendations to progress action to tackle poor air quality.

The work of the task force will also help to deliver Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram’s broader environmental pledge to make the city region the greenest in the UK.

Speaking about the new task force, Steve Rotheram said: “Poor air quality is a national public health crisis which is shortening the lives of people across our city region, and disproportionately affecting the old and the young, those who are already sick, and our most deprived communities.

“That is why we have established this Air Quality Task Force, to raise the profile of this issue and help us, as a Combined Authority, to improve air quality in our city region.

“I have previously called on central government to take action in this area but we are determined to do all that we can as a city region to help clean up the air that we all breathe.”

Councillor Liam Robinson, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Air Quality, said: “We are already taking action, through practical measures, such as making it easier to walk and cycle safely, helping schools with travel planning and rolling out low-carbon vehicle technology, such as more car charging points.

“However there is more that we can do, particularly around transport, as nitrogen dioxide from vehicles is the main pollutant affecting people’s health.

“While we will do everything in our power to tackle air pollution we also need action from central government through measures such as vehicle scrappage schemes and funding for behaviour change programmes.”

The new Air Quality Task Force builds on recommendations made by the Combined Authority’s Overview and Scrutiny committee, accepted by the Combined Authority earlier in the year.

Men are encouraged to look after their health this November

It’s November, which means that as a part of ‘Movember’, health teams in Sefton are focusing on men’s health this month.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are encouraging men in the area to look after their health and make sure they know about some of the most common health problems that could affect them.

According to the Men’s Health Forum, men are much more likely to drink alcohol than women and are more likely to consume unhealthy amounts.

This week (19th – 25th November) is also Alcohol Awareness Week, highlighting how much of an issue drinking can be.

The overconsumption of alcohol can have many negative effects on your health and lead to heart disease, stroke and numerous kinds of cancer.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “It is recommended that you do not drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week – that’s about four pints of lager or a bottle and a third of wine.

“Even if you are staying within the recommended intake, drinking most days of the week, no matter how much, can have bad effects on your physical and mental health.

“Why not try and have a few alcohol-free days a week?”

If you think your drinking has become a problem and you want to reduce your intake, Ambition Sefton offers a range of services to help with this.  Run by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, the service provides help and support to the residents of Sefton who have a drug and alcohol problem through a wide range of recovery focused treatment pathways.

Call Ambition Sefton on 01704 534 759 in Southport or 0151 944 5334 in Bootle.

Another health issue which has a major impact on men is cancer.  Men’s Health Forum have found that males are more likely to get cancer than women.  Prostate cancer is the most common type, accounting for 1 in 4 cases of the disease in men, and the cause of 13 per cent of cancer related deaths.

Dr Craig Gillespie, local GP and acting chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, said: “With all types of cancer, it’s important that men don’t give in to bravado and talk about any concerns they have.

“If you have an increased need to pee, straining while you pee and a feeling that your bladder has not fully emptied, you should see your GP as these are all symptoms of prostate cancer.

“Passing blood is also a symptom you should get checked out.

“But just because you may have some of these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but just highlights there could be something we need to look at a little further.”

For healthy lifestyle information and support then Living Well Sefton is the place to go as its mentors and partners can help people improve their wellbeing.  Call them on 0300 323 0181

For any health advice you should call NHS 111 or visit your local pharmacy.

Grants to help reduce social isolation

Local groups have been given a boost now that wellbeing organisation Living Well Sefton has launched the fifth round of the Community Resilience Grant.

Community groups and community-minded individuals are being encouraged to apply for funding for projects designed to get more people out of their houses and linking in with their communities.

Michael Swift, who runs Southport’s Stepping Stones social group for those with health conditions, was successful in securing funding from a previous round and said: “We wouldn’t have been able to do the drama without the funding and it has helped give people confidence and bring them closer together.”

Karen Nolan, co-ordinator of Living Well Sefton, explained: “The focus of our latest funding is about helping people get out and about so they feel less lonely. So we want to hear from community groups that have ideas on how to make this happen.”

The Community Resilience Grant has supported local communities with a range of projects from enhancing wellbeing through gardening or craft workshops to providing cooking classes that improve healthy eating.

There are grants of up to £2,000 for organisations and £500 to individuals, who are supported by a organisational partner. Grants are subject to specific criteria being met and will be approved by a judging panel. The deadline for applications is Friday, November 30.

Anyone interested in applying can complete the application form on the Living Well Sefton website where there are guidance notes on how to complete the form as well as the criteria for applying – www.livingwellsefton.org.uk

Paper versions of the application form can also be downloaded from the website.

Call the team direct on 0300 323 0181 or email LWS@seftoncvs.org.uk for further details.

Why not ask your pharmacist?

Health experts in Sefton are reminding residents to ask their pharmacist about the range of services available in local chemists during a week long campaign, running from 5 to 11 November, and beyond.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS South Sefton CCG are supporting ‘Ask Your Pharmacist’ week, which highlights the range of services and support that is available to people from their local chemist with a focus this year on medicines safety.

Ask Your Pharmacist week complements ‘Stay Well this Winter’, which encourages people to look after themselves during the colder months, as part of the wider national campaign, ‘Help us Help You’. The campaign reminds people to see a pharmacist if they need advice on minor illnesses and / or medication; and for older people it is a reminder to keep warm during the winter months by putting on an extra layer or turning up their heat.

Often, people make unnecessary trips to the GP or even A&E, when their neighbourhood chemist could help instead. In recent years, pharmacists have expanded their role, and now provide a wide range of clinical and public health services, within easy reach of the people who need them most.

Graeme Batten, pharmacist and chairman of the Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) in Sefton, said: “We offer expert advice and support on a range of topics without an appointment; we can offer advice on the correct and safe use of medicines and devices as well as healthy living advice such as looking after yourself in the winter months. Many pharmacies also offer blood pressure checks and other services such as stopping smoking and providing emergency hormonal contraception.

“We specifically help patients manage their medicines with a medicine use review (MUR) consultation and support with new medicines in a private consultation room. This gives us the opportunity to discuss how to use medicines safely and the side effects and benefits of your medicines with you.

“My advice in Ask Your Pharmacy week and all year round would be to pop in to your local chemist and have a chat about how they can help you.”

Another way to make the most of your local chemist is by signing up to NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG’s Care at the Chemist scheme, which is aimed at more vulnerable residents who do not normally pay for their prescriptions. Care at the Chemist is available at a number of pharmacies across the borough and provides expert advice and medications for a wide range of conditions, without the need for a doctor’s appointment.

Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management at the CCGs, said: “If you are one of our more vulnerable residents and you do not normally pay for your prescription, then Care at the Chemist is a great way for you to be seen by a health professional, who can advise on treatment for a number of ailments and offer medication where appropriate.”

For a list of pharmacies signed up to the Care at the Chemist scheme and how to register, visit the NHS South Sefton CCG website at southseftonccg.nhs.uk and NHS Southport and Formby CCG website at southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk.

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