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Sefton named global age friendly community

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has welcomed Sefton into its Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities.

This milestone has been achieved thanks to the collaborative work of Sefton Council and Sefton’s Older Persons’ Forums.

The WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities was established to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between cities and communities worldwide.

Sefton’s admission into the network is a result of its dedication to promoting healthy and active ageing and a good quality of life for its older residents.

As a member, the borough will be part of a growing global movement of communities, cities and other sub-national levels of government that are striving to better meet the needs of their older residents.

By joining the Network, Sefton commits to sharing and promoting the values and principles central to the WHO Age-friendly approach, implementing the four steps to create age-friendly local environments, and actively participating in the Network including the sharing of experiences with other members.

Cllr Paul Cummins, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “Earlier this year, Sefton joined the UK Age Friendly Network and I am now delighted to also join a global network of cities and communities that are dedicated to creating environments that support our older residents.

“In Sefton, 27% of our residents are aged over 60 so it is extremely important that we continue to support our aging population with initiatives that help them to live the lives that they want to live.”

Don’t be afraid to ask when it comes to sexual health advice

This week (24–30 September 2018) is Sexual Health Week, with the local NHS telling us to ask for advice if we have questions or concerns.

In 2017, there were more than 400,000 diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) made in England.  During the same time, one in 10 sexually active 16-24 year olds also admitted that they never used a condom.

Colette Page, practice nurse lead at NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport & Formby CCG, said: “It’s so important that we practice safer sex – not using protection can lead to STIs as well as pregnancy.

“It’s also good to remember that some infections never show any signs and can go completely undetected unless tested for.

“This is why we advise you are screened regularly – before you have unprotected sex in a new relationship or after having sex with a new partner without using a condom.

“Most STIs can be treated easily, so don’t be scared of having a test and getting a positive result. However, if you leave an STI untreated it could go on to cause infertility and other complications.”

Another focus of this year’s awareness week is to highlight the issue of consent – non-consensual sex is a criminal offence and is punishable by law.

Overall, good communication throughout, between sexual partners is key to making sure consent has been given and neither partner has changed their mind.

Colette Page added: “If someone has forced or persuaded you into a sexual situation you are uncomfortable with, there is help available.

“You are not alone, there is help and support for you and you should never feel like it is your fault.”

The Sefton Sexual Health Service is free and confidential for everyone, offering walk-in or appointment clinics and designated under 25 only sessions.

Services provided include all contraceptive methods, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatments including HIV, free condoms and pregnancy tests.

For more information go to www.seftonsexualhealth.co.uk or call 01695 656 550.

You can call the national sexual health helpline free on 0300 123 7123 where your call will be treated with sensitivity and in strict confidence.

You can find out more about sexual health, on the NHS website – www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health

Sefton’s Public Health Annual Report supports 30 Days of Sefton in Mind

Sefton Council’s 30 Days of Sefton in Mind campaign is well underway, using the 30 days that fall between World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10) and World Mental Health Day (October 10) to support good mental health and wellbeing in the borough. 

The campaign has seen support from across Sefton including Bootle’s own football legend Jamie Carragher who named Burbo Bank beach in Crosby as his favourite place to go to help promote his mental wellbeing.

To support the campaign, the Council’s Public Health Annual Report (PHAR), which explores mental health in young people, is being shown after having made the finals for a national award.

Sefton’s report has been recognised as one of the best in the country and was shortlisted for The Association of Directors of Public Health’s (ADPH) Annual Report Competition, which highlights the successes of PHARs from across the country.

First unveiled to the public in July, the PHAR was presented for the first time in video format as a way of making the report more accessible and easier to understand. With this year’s theme focusing on young people growing up healthy and happy, a digital format proved the best way to raise awareness of the issue and making the report more accessible to residents, particularly children and young people.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We’re delighted that Sefton is paving the way for future annual reports after being shortlisted among the best in the country.

“Annual reports can often be text heavy and difficult to access and so this year’s video aimed to bring public health to the forefront using channels that are modern and interesting to our target audiences. I hope that we have encouraged more people to view the video and give thought to the issues raised.”

There is no single reason why children and young people experience problems with their mental health. Factors such as growing up in a challenging home environment; having a disability; being a looked after child or a young carer; not being in education, employment or training; being exposed to domestic abuse; or having a parent with mental health problems can have a negative impact on mental health.

In Sefton, the number of people from some of these vulnerable groups is higher than the national average.

Cllr Moncur added: ““In Sefton we are dedicated to creating the right conditions and environments to promote and improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

“We continue to work with partners to develop early intervention programmes to promote emotional resilience which will empower children and young people to be able to cope better with difficult circumstances and do well in school and in life.”

The report is set to be presented to Sefton’s next Health and Wellbeing board on Wednesday 19 September.

The PHAR film and a short supplementary document can be viewed online at www.sefton.gov.uk/PHAR

Free event to show residents how to keep warm and well this winter

Sefton continues to help vulnerable people get through winter by hosting a Keep Warm, Keep Well event next month.

The Local Authority, alongside Sefton OPERA are holding a free event at Bootle Cricket Club, Monday October 1, 10.30am-4pm.

Information stands will be open between 11am and 12.30pm including blood pressure checks, chair based exercises, and massage.

A free tea dance will take place from 1.30pm including live music from Memory Lane, Bootle Bells, Ernie and our very own Elvis! 

Over a million families won’t be able to meet basic costs of living this winter, facing an income shortfall of up to £9,331 per year.  Many vulnerable people will be hit hard, including older people and those in ill-health, living in energy inefficient homes that are difficult and expensive to heat. 

Please contact on 0151 330 0479 or 07452 867 648 admin@seftonopera.org.uk for further details

Youngsters make waves at anti-scrambler fun day

Pupils from schools across South Sefton have once again been shown how to have fun without dangerous scrambler bikes, thanks to Sefton Council and its partners.

Schoolchildren from Hatton Hill, The Grange, St Oswalds and Lander Road donned their all-weather gear and took part in an exhilarating inter-school sports day at Crosby Lakeside recently.

This is the third activity day by Sefton Council, Merseyside Fire & Rescue and Merseyside Police which is designed to highlight the effects scrambler bikes have on local communities and how children can have tons of fun away from the dangerous bikes.

As well as learning about the vehicles, children took part in a host of activities including raft building, sailing, fencing, teamwork, and problem solving.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This was a fantastic day out for all involved despite the weather!

“Around 150 schoolchildren took part in the day and our partnership with both Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire & Rescue continues to work extremely well to highlight the dangers associated with scrambler bikes and how they can affect local communities.

“By getting involved in the campaign we hope all the young people have learned some valuable lessons and they have now been rewarded with a great day out using our amazing facilities at Crosby Lakeside.”

Next the schoolchilden will be playing the role of emergency services in a live re-enactment of a scrambler bike crash later this month.

During this re-enactment they will come face to face with the dangers of becoming involved in scrambler bike activity.

Sefton Neighbourhood Chief Inspector Jerry Harris said: “Education and engagement is such an important part of the work we do alongside Sefton Council and our other partners.

“This inter-schools activity day is a brilliant way for children to channel their energy and creativity in a positive way.

“During our yearly scrambler bike initiative, we not only want to show young people the serious dangers and nuisance that scrambler bikes cause across the community, but also encourage them to learn different activities, skills and pursuits.

“The enthusiasm we saw from everyone was great, and this autumn term will see them get involved in all sorts of competitions and activities.”

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