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Sefton residents are urged to honour 2021’s Holocaust Memorial Day online

Sefton residents are urged to honour Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, by joining an online service, on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm

This year, Sefton will remember the millions of Jews, Gypsies, Muslims, and many other ethnic minority groups, who were killed during the Holocaust as well as millions of others who have died in more recent genocides, by joining a special virtual Memorial event.

Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Service, which usually takes place at Christ Church in Southport, cannot go ahead as planned due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead the Council along with Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Group are asking residents to take part in the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s online national Memorial Service on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm.

People can register their place to join the Trusts’ first fully digital ceremony at www.hmd.org.uk.

In line with this year’s ‘Be the light in the darkness’ theme, people are also being encouraged to light a candle at 8pm.

They can also let others know they are taking part in the ‘Light the Darkness National Moment’ by taking a photograph to share on social media with the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, said: “It is so important, even with restrictions in place, that we join others around the world to remember those who endured such atrocities and honour the survivors whose lives were changed forever.

“The theme of this years’ service is ‘Be a Light in the Darkness’, and this couldn’t be more relevant as our communities should stand together and demonstrate how we can ‘be the light’ by showing solidarity in a time of crisis and divisions across the World.”

 

Be prepared for wintry weather and respect our outdoor spaces – latest advice from Green Sefton

As wet and wintry conditions persist across the Borough, Green Sefton – Sefton Council’s service that looks after parks, green spaces, coast and countryside – is asking residents to take care and respect the landscape when getting outdoors locally under lockdown restrictions.

Government guidelines are for the public to make use of their local parks and green spaces as a form of exercise. We politely ask those that do, to take any litter home with them and leave nothing but their footprints.

Some frequently asked questions answered by Green Sefton:

Do you grit paths on parks and on the coast when the weather is cold and icy?
In accordance with national guidelines, priority must be given to major carriageways and footways for gritting. It is not possible for the Council to grit every road, footway or public path including our Green Sefton parks and open spaces.

We advise our users and visitors to take care and wear suitable footwear when conditions are bad, especially after periods of heavy rain. When it’s icy you should take extra time and care, and perhaps decide if it’s really necessary to go outdoors.

Why are you still marking sports pitches when grassroots matches can’t take place under lockdown rules?
We need to ensure that lines remain on our pitches so that once football and other grassroots sports can start again, we don’t have to go through the process of initial marking. This process can take weeks to undertake given that Green Sefton maintains around 75 pitches, that’s the equivalent of 57 Anfield Stadiums!  

Conditions are monitored regularly, and pitch marking takes place occasionally for the above reasons.

Green Sefton’s advice and checklist when using the Borough’s outdoor spaces:

  • Always check the weather forecast as conditions can change quickly and check tide times before you set out to the coast.
  • Be prepared for winter weather with appropriate clothing and robust footwear.
  • Remember that the evenings get darker earlier so carrying a torch or wearing reflective clothing would be advisable.
  • Sefton’s entire coastline is environmentally sensitive and protected – please respect this precious landscape.
  • Do not disturb wildlife, livestock or damage habitat – keep a close eye on dogs and keep them away from pools of water or resting birds.
  • Follow the Countryside Code.
  • Camping, BBQs and fires are not permitted.
  • Leave nothing but your footprints – take all your rubbish home with you and recycle wherever possible.
  • Some facilities like public toilets may not be open in winter months at parks and nature reserves.
  • Beach car parks are closed and will not re-open until the spring – please park responsibly in the limited parking available nearby.
  • There are no RNLI patrols on Southport or Ainsdale beaches during winter.
  • If walking or cycling in remote areas, ensure you take a fully charged mobile phone and be aware that signal may be poor.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Stay local and walk or cycle rather than taking a vehicle where possible.
  • Remember to follow current lockdown COVID-19 guidelines and observe social distancing.

Important changes to how the Green Sefton parks & greenspace offer works within Sefton under lockdown measures can be found in this article: https://mysefton.co.uk/2021/01/05/parks-and-greenspaces-update-january-2021/

New, ‘Ask for ANI’ domestic abuse codeword scheme providing help through pharmacies

Independent pharmacies and Boots stores are now offering a codeword scheme to support victims of domestic abuse.

The scheme means those at risk or suffering from abuse can discreetly signal that they need help and access support by Asking for ANI at any of the participating stores.

In response, a trained pharmacy worker will offer to speak to the person in a private space to find out if they need to speak to the police or would like help to access support services such as a national or local domestic abuse helplines.

Boots stores across Sefton are already signed up to the codeword scheme, and it is expected that more pharmacies will join up in the coming months. Participating pharmacies will display the Ask for ANI posters in their windows so that people know to go inside for immediate help and support.

As essential retailers with specifically-trained staff, located on high streets throughout the country pharmacies can provide a safe space for victims to sound an alarm if they are isolated at home with their abuser and unable to get help in another way.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We fully support this important Ask for ANI initiative in Sefton’s chemists and pharmacies.

“Providing a safe space for victims of Domestic Abuse to disclose their situation and ask for help and support is vitally important, even more so during the current coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

“We would encourage anyone who is experiencing abuse or in fear of it to come forward. You are not alone.”

Useful contacts

If anyone is at immediate risk of harm from any kind of abuse, the police should be contacted urgently on 999.

Any Sefton residents experiencing domestic abuse, or who believe someone they know is, can contact Sefton Council’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisors Team on 0151 934 5142 or email IDVA.Team@sefton.gov.uk

People can also contact Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid on 0151 922 8606 or by visiting www.swaca.com

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is staffed 24 hours and can be reached at 0808 2000 247.   

The Sefton Council website sets out more information about its work in partnership with local organisations to support victims, respond to perpetrators and raise awareness amongst our communities of the signs and consequences of domestic and sexual abuse.

Are you experiencing domestic abuse & need immediate help? Ask for ANI at participating pharmacies

Southport’s Botanic Gardens Aviaries to undergo repairs

Southport’s Botanic Gardens Aviaries – home to a range of exotic birds such as parrots and parakeets as well as rabbits and guinea pigs – are set to undergo further repair works this month.

Last year, Sefton Council refurbished the parakeet aviary and the guinea pig area. Now further works work will take place to repair and improve the infrastructure that houses the animals to ensure the aviary remains fit for purpose.

The Council’s Green Sefton team works in partnership with the Botanic Gardens Community Association (BGCA) to maintain the aviary. The BGCA has raised £8,000 to support the works, which will include new and improved flooring, roofing and drainage.

The aviary closed to the public in December, in line with national restrictions for an on-going avian flu outbreak and remains closed under national lockdown guidance. The birds and animals remain at the aviary, but for safety are being kept in their indoor accommodation during the outbreak and while the aviary undergoes repair works.

The aviary will reopen to the public after the completion of the works and dependent on the latest government advice on both the avian flu and coronavirus restrictions.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is important we maintain good standards of animal welfare at the aviary and these latest works are part of our annual programme of repairs and improvements to ensure that the exotic birds and small animals continue to have a comfortable place to call home. We remain committed to maintaining the RSPCA Five Freedoms –measures which ensure our animals are kept safe and well.

“In the future we will be offering opportunities for people to sponsor pens and birds to help maintain these high standards.”

People can find out more about the aviary on its dedicated Facebook page.

Cllr Moncur also extended his thanks to the BGCA members: “I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support and dedication of the BGCA members who are committed to working alongside Green Sefton to maintain and improve the park and gardens, so that everyone can continue to enjoy them.”

People can find more on the Borough’s parks, play areas and open spaces managed by the Green Sefton team, with support from volunteers and partners, by visiting the Sefton Council website.  

Lockdown means SMART testing for people with NO coronavirus symptoms now focused on key workers who HAVE to go out to work.

Because the Government’s latest regulations say that people in England must ‘stay at home’ except for essential purposes, only key workers and those with caring commitments during the lockdown should now go for a SMART test.

This includes people who

  • work in supermarkets or those shops that can open;
  • work in in schools or caring environments where on-site testing is not taking place;
  • are unpaid carers and volunteers;
  • are in other public-facing roles.

Walk-through SMART COVID-19 testing for people in those groups is now taking place 9am to 6pm, no appointment necessary, at:

  • Splash World in Southport*
  • Bootle Leisure Centre
  • Aintree Racecourse

*Please use rear car park of Dunes/Splashworld, accessible from the Esplanade, opposite the Lifeboat Station.

Check on the live Find a Test map to see if the sites are busy and how long you might have to wait.

Everyone else

Everyone else should be staying at home, not mixing with others outside our household or bubble, and only going out for local exercise and to shop for essentials, which means we don’t currently need a SMART test unless there are specific circumstances.

Find out what you can and cannot do under the Government’s latest regulations. 

People with symptoms 

Anyone showing any of the symptoms of

  • a new continuous cough
  • a fever
  • a loss of/ change in smell or taste

should immediately arrange to get a coronavirus test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119

You should also get a test if you have been asked to get tested by

  • NHS Test and Trace
  • Local Council

Find out more about the latest regulation from the Council website.

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