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Pregnant women in Sefton urged to get their flu jab

Pregnant women across Sefton are being urged to make sure they get the flu jab this winter by Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG.

While you are pregnant you are eligible for the flu vaccination free of charge at any point during your pregnancy. Getting the flu vaccine reduces the risk of complications and potential harmful consequences for both you and your baby if you were to catch the flu, such as premature birth, pneumonia and reduces the risk of your baby getting flu in the first few months of their life.

The flu vaccination is one of the most effective ways to reduce harm from flu as it reduces risk of serious illness, hospitalisation and even death among those who are most at risk – including expectant mothers.

Pregnancy naturally weakens the body’s immune system and as a result mothers may be less able to fight off infections, increasing the risk of becoming seriously ill as a result of flu.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member Health and Wellbeing, said: “Flu is a highly contagious illness that spreads rapidly. It can cause serious complications for at risk groups, such as expectant mothers and people with long term health conditions.

“Despite us having a relatively mild autumn so far, the flu jab may be the last thing on people’s minds, especially expectant mums.

“However, for many people flu is an unpleasant illness but for pregnant women it is extremely dangerous and can be lethal. My advice for anyone eligible for the free flu vaccination is to get it now before flu starts to circulate in the Sefton community.”

Dolly Loftus, a Sefton resident, said: “This is my first pregnancy and I think it’s so important to be vaccinated as it protects both me and my baby, It’s great that the NHS is offering the jab for free to pregnant women like me and that the vaccine is safe during any stage of pregnancy.”

Free flu vaccinations are being offered to all pregnant women, all children aged 2 to 4, residents of all ages with a long term health condition and everyone aged 65 and over. People who are eligible can get vaccinated at their local GP practice or participating pharmacies.

Dr Wendy Hewitt, clinical lead for children and maternity at NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, added: “You can have the flu vaccine at any point in your pregnancy and not only is it safe for you and your baby, it’ll reduce your chances of becoming seriously ill as a result of flu from things like pneumonia, premature birth or even miscarriage.

“The added advantage is that your baby will continue to be protected from flu for the first few months of their life. Talk to your GP, practice nurse or midwife if you have any questions and they’ll be happy to help.”

If you are eligible for the flu vaccine, get it now – it’s free because you need it. Contact your general practice or pharmacist to get it.

You can find a wide range of information about the annual flu immunisation campaign and see whether you are eligible at: www.nhs.uk/fluvaccine  if you have any further queries simply ask at your GP practice or pharmacist.

Crosby’s Festive Switch On: All You Need To Know

Details have been revealed for Crosby Village’s annual Christmas Lights Switch on and Festive Fair.

Taking place on Saturday November 24, the incredibly popular fun day starts from 11am with a children’s funfair that runs throughout the day and into the early evening, while 24 local market stalls from across Sefton will be selling a selection of Christmas treats and presents until 6pm.

At 3pm Merchant Taylor’s Saxaphone Ensemble will start serenading the crowds before Bliss Radio take to the local airwaves with special guests from 4pm.

A performance from Waterloo and Crosby Theatre Company follows at 4.50pm and they will introduce members of the Liverpool Ceilidh band at 5.15pm.

The music continues with the Voice Pop Choir and Another Place Choir taking to the stage from 5.30pm and 5.45pm respectively. 

Make sure you find the best spot for 6pm when the big Christmas Switch on countdown begins and Crosby Village is bathed in the glow of festive lights!

Children from Sefton get involved in anti-bullying awareness workshops

This week, November 12 – 16, is National Anti-Bullying week focusing on the theme of Respect. During the week, the Bullybusters team will be completing workshops and assemblies around schools in Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley. Conferences will also be held for secondary school children to attend and get involved in the education and awareness regarding anti-bullying.

The theme of this year’s national anti-bullying week is to ‘Choose Respect’, as respecting yourself and others both face to face and online is a vital message for young people.

‘Respect for me is one of the most important qualities to have and show. If we can’t respect ourselves then how are we supposed to respect others. I feel it is something we should all have and work on daily, not only learning to love and respect ourselves but also showing this to fellow peers and professionals.’ – Fran

The Bullybusters team work hard all year round to spread the anti-bullying message and help young people affected by bullying. The work they carry out within schools around Liverpool, Sefton and Knowsley is recognised and praised by school children, teachers, governors, parents and carers.

Bullybusters offer lessons, assemblies and workshops for young people and parents in primary and secondary schools, as well as providing anti-bullying peer mentor training for children to appropriately act upon issues of bullying within their peer group. As well as this, Bullybusters also provide a free and confidential helpline service for young people, parents or teachers available 3pm – 6pm weekdays. For anyone being affected by bullying, or know someone who is, they can call the helpline on 0800 169 6928.

#SeftonRemembers in Pictures: How Sefton marked 100 years since WW1

Communities across Sefton fell silent on Sunday November 11 to mark the borough’s annual Remembrance services, as well as to commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1.

The Mayor of Sefton, councillors and council officers all attended Remembrance Day services taking place across the borough.

They joined thousands of residents, veterans and dignitaries who remembered those who died in conflict.

Elsewhere tenants from One Vision Housing (OVH) along with members from local community groups marked the centenary of the end of WWI with a special ‘Time to Say Thank You’ event on Thursday November 8.

The event, named after the British Legion campaign, acknowledged and gave thanks to all those who served, sacrificed and changed our world.

Joining the celebrations at Bootle Firwood Cricket Club were current servicemen from the Royal Navy as well as ex-military personnel from Sefton Veterans and Liverpool Veterans HQ.

Amongst the 250 guests was the decorated war hero and OVH tenant, 99 year old John Shankland from Crosby. John was awarded France’s highest decoration, Legion d’Honneur, for his role in the liberation of France during WWII.

At the event, guests were treated to a champagne afternoon tea and live music from Liverpool Mezzo Soprano Danielle Louise Thomas and acclaimed singer Victoria Jones (Liver Bird).

Southport BID confirms 60ft digital tree for Christmas celebrations

This Christmas Southport is set to get a breath-taking LED conical Christmas Tree this festive season, funded by Southport Business Improvement District levy payers.

The tree, which will be one of the largest in the UK will be the centre piece of Christmas in Southport.
The custom built tree will be a new and exciting experience for Southport and is capable of sophisticated light displays.

Visitors will be able to witness over twenty thousand sequenced sparkling lights and will even be able walk inside the tree itself to witness the magical light shows!

Taking three days to build, the stunning tree will sit in Town Hall Gardens. Work will begin on the installation early next week ahead of the BID’s big switch on event on Sunday the 18th.

The switch on will be headlined by 90’s Superstars S Club, 911 and Livin’ Joy with a full afternoon of entertainment planned. CBeebies Cook & Line will be putting on a hilarious show in the afternoon and a huge programme of entertainment from 1pm onwards along with fairground rides, street entertainment and more.

An artist’s impression of how the tree will look

When the lights themselves go on at 5.30pm the audience will be stunned by a breath taking light display on the tree as fireworks explode from the roof of The Atkinson, all set to Christmas music.

The festive fun doesn’t end there, from December the 7 to January 5, Town Hall Gardens will be transformed into and open air ice rink surrounded by a host of Christmas Chalets.

Delivered by Sefton Council and Southport BID the Winter wonderland will allow families to skate underneath the spectacular tree to the sound of Christmas music.

The BID is also funding two days of festive street entertainment on the 8th and 15th of December.

Hugh Evans of the BID says “We wanted to really make this Christmas in Southport one to remember. Each year we install over 400,000 individual Christmas lights in the town, but this year we wanted to go one step further and make an impact with something spectacular. The tree is something completely different for the town and we hope it will create a real buzz for Southport”

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