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WOW ‘Weekend of Walk-ins’ boost to North West vaccine programme

COVID-19 vaccination services across the North West are to stage a bumper Weekend of Walk-ins (WOW) to further increase the number of people with protection against COVID-19.

The extended WOW weekend, which runs from the evening of Thursday 17th June to Sunday 20th June, aims to make it easier and more convenient than ever for eligible people who haven’t had their vaccine yet to come forward – crucially boosting the numbers of people receiving their first and second dose jabs.

It comes as the NHS works through the final cohorts to be called for their vaccine, with those aged 18 and over now being invited to get vaccinated.

People will be able to choose from mobile, pop up and pharmacy-led vaccine sites across the North West, with no appointment needed.

As well as regional vaccination locations listed on the NHS website for the WOW weekend, there are some walk-in vaccinations available at local sites in Sefton on various dates between 19 – 25 June:

Formby – Formby Vaccination Centre, 56 Brow’s Lane, L37 4ED (Saturday 19, 8am to 2pm, Sunday 20 June, 8am – 8pm)

Ainsdale – AshaEve, Unit 1, rear of 56 Station Road, Ainsdale, PR8 3HW (Saturday 19 – Sun 20 June, 8am – 8pm)

Bootle – Davey’s Chemist, Randall Drive, L30 2PB (Monday 21 June – Friday 25 June,  9am – 6pm)

Litherland – Linacre Methodist Mission, Lineacre Road, L21 8NS (Tuesday 22 June, 12pm – 6pm, for second doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, or for those over 40 to get their first dose.)

Other nearby available walk-in locations taking part in the regional WOW weekend are:

Knowsley – Davey’s Chemist, 112 Dinas Lane, L36 2NS

Liverpool – Speke (West), (Outside The Orient PH) 1 Eastern Avenue, L24 2SX

St Helen’s – Saints, The Totally Wicked Stadium, McManus Drive, WA9 3AL

Clinic dates and times for the WOW weekend vary, so residents are encouraged to check the NHS England website for full details and a full list of participating sites: www.england.nhs.uk/north-west/wow-weekend-of-walk-ins/

Vaccines will be available on a first come, first served basis and those with appointments at participating clinics will be able to attend at their timed slot and receive their vaccine as planned.

The initiative will also support efforts to accelerate second doses for those aged 40 and over, health and social care workers, unpaid carers and people at higher clinical risk, who will be able to receive their second dose from 8 weeks after their first, instead of 12.

The weekend of walk-ins kicked off with a match day drop-in vaccine clinic at St Helens Rugby Stadium ahead of the Saints-Warrington game on 17th June.

More than 7.7 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have been given in the North West since the vaccination programme – the largest in NHS history – launched six months ago.

Regional Director of Commissioning, Dr Linda Charles-Ozuzu, said: “With the help of NHS staff, partners and volunteers, we’ve made incredible progress with the vaccine programme in the North West and we’re going to boost that success further still with our weekend of walk-ins.

“We know that younger people have busy work, family and social commitments – especially with the Euros football tournament taking place at the moment – and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to come forward quickly when they become eligible.

“We’d also love to welcome people in earlier cohorts who haven’t come forward yet to our walk-in vaccine sessions and if they’ve got any questions, they’ll be able to chat to one of the staff on site first.”

Council’s Green Sefton service takes a bough after tree-mendous planting season

Three new trees planted by Sefton Council
Three new trees planted by Sefton Council

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton service has overseen the planting of 3,230 new trees in its most recent, November to March planting season.

This winter’s planting branched across 19 of the Borough’s wards in parks, woodland areas and along its highways.

Residents might have noticed the 230 larger size trees that are now taking root along streets and in parks. Less noticeable but equally as important are the 3,000 saplings planted as woodland that will eventually become high-density areas, great for wildlife to thrive. 

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Sefton is a clean, green and beautiful place to live in and to visit and the Council is dedicated to maintaining its green spaces, which includes looking after 90,000 trees.

“Our small but expert Tree and Woodland team, which is part of our Green Sefton service, has done a sterling job this season, overseeing the planting of thousands of new trees across nearly all of our wards.

“Not only does this enrich our already green Borough, it comes at a time when we have seen unprecedented use of our outdoors spaces by residents and visitors alike. What’s more, continued tree planting contributes towards our continuing action on climate change.”  

Earlier this week, Sefton Council confirmed it is on track to be net zero carbon by 2030 after it published its Climate Emergency Annual Report. Tree planting has a vital role to play in this work which, in time, will reduce the amount of carbon in our atmosphere and contribute further net carbon reductions.

The Council also works in partnership with organisations like the Mersey Forest with woodland planting across Sefton, and community groups who would like to support this activity in their area.

Cllr Moncur added: “Restrictions due to the pandemic, mean that sadly we haven’t been able to undertake our planting with community groups and volunteers as we have done in previous years, but we can’t wait to work with them once more now that our volunteering activity is taking place again.”

New trees planted on South Road, Crosby
New trees planted on South Road, Crosby

The Tree and Woodland team are working towards a strategy that will set out the Council’s goals with respect to maintaining, conserving and enhancing tree cover in the Borough over the next 20 years and beyond. It will ensure that the right trees are planted in the right places.

The decision to remove any tree across Sefton is taken extremely seriously by the Council and is always undertaken in the interests of health and safety. 

If residents would like to know more about the work of the Tree and Woodland team, or have a request or question about tree planting in their ward, they can email trees@sefton.gov.uk or visit the Council’s dedicated tree pages on its website.  

Sefton residents asked to take united COVID approach as old rivals meet

Margaret Jones, Director of Public Health in Sefton
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health

As the England and Scotland teams prepare to line up against each other tomorrow, continuing a long history of hard-fought rivalry, Sefton Council is urging residents and visitors to unite in following the COVID safety measures.

Celebrating or commiserating

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health, whose Scottish lilt will have become familiar to many during the pandemic said: “Whichever side of the fence we’re this evening and whether we’re together celebrating or commiserating, it’s important we all do so in a way that protects ourselves and others.

“If you’re watching at home, remember the rule of six still applies and that it’s always safer to meet outdoors or in well-ventilated areas so maybe set up a screen outside or go to an outdoor event or a screening in a pub garden.

“And if you’re going to the pub, try to help staff by following the restrictions that are there for your safety. That means remaining seated when drinking and eating and wearing masks when moving around.

“And I know we’ll all be tempted to shout at the telly but let’s try to do so behind a mask and not in someone else’s face.”

Caution

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “We want everyone to enjoy the Euros but to enjoy them safely which is why we are urging caution. Taking all the necessary steps will help to slow the spread of infections and help us avoid the need for any future local restrictions.”

Mrs Jones also stressed the importance of taking regular, free rapid home tests that help pick up the significant number of people who do not show coronavirus symptoms. And the need for anyone with a positive test outcome self-isolates and books a PCR test by dialling 119 or visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.

Rapid home tests provide a result in as little as 30 minutes and involve taking a throat & nasal swab, dropping the sample into the container supplied and then checking for the result after 20 to 30 minutes.

Football on a grass pitch near line markings
Football on a grass pitch near line markings

Free home test kits

Free home test kits are widely available, from test centres, from all Sefton’s pharmacies as well as online from www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests.  They can also be collected between 2.30pm and 8pm, seven days a week, from walk-through Local Test Centres opposite Bootle Town Hall and at Crosby Library Car Park, Netherton Activity Centre and Southport Town Hall. No appointments are needed.

Rapid testing for people without symptoms is also available at Bootle Strand and Southport’s Splash World. The Splash World site is open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. The Bootle Strand site, the former H Samuel unit, is open 8am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.

And, people can also choose to have assisted testing at one of Sefton’s Rapid test sites, which are also open 8am to 8pm seven days a week and located at Bootle Leisure Centre and at Splash World in Southport.

Mrs Jones added: “Tomorrow night’s match will be a game of 90 minutes plus stoppages but if we all take care and do our bit to protect ourselves and others, we can all avoid any injury or illness time, which is what I call a result.”

Find out more about testing in Sefton.

Domestic abuse statistics, ugly reflection on beautiful game, says Sefton Council

Red Card
Red Card (https://foto.wuestenigel.com/the-referee-in-red-card-gesture)

Sefton Council is reminding people across the Borough that domestic abuse – which spikes during football tournaments – is entirely unacceptable.

Shocking

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “Incidents of domestic abuse during football tournaments have been seen to increase dramatically with spikes of up to 27% when England World Cup games and 32% when they lost.

“These are shocking statistics and an ugly reflection of the beautiful game, which is entirely unacceptable.

“In an emergency, people should always dial 999 but more information on domestic abuse and organisations that can provide advice and support can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/domestic-abuse.”

Control

Cllr Hardy went on to say that domestic abuse can include emotional, physical and sexual abuse and other forms of coercive control.

She continued: “Leaving an abusive relationship can be difficult as the abuser can be very controlling, so it is important that friends and family provide support if they suspect someone is being abused.

Signs

“Tell-tale signs can include the person making excuses for their abuser’s behaviour, a high incidence of sickness absence or a nervousness talking openly when their abuser is around.

“If you suspect someone you know is being subject to domestic abuse you should encouraging them to speak to you or a professional about what is going on.”

You can find details of a a range of organisations that can provide support, advice and, in some cases, refuge to individuals and families suffering from abuse, here.  

It’s all aboard for second helping of beach bites following successful Sefton coast trial

Sefton Council is looking to bring back a pop-up food and drink offer at Crosby Coastal Park later this summer following a well-received 28-day trial at the popular location.

Sefton-based owners of The Bus Yard took part in the trial, operating from a double decker bus near to the Marine Lake, overlooking the beach.

From fish finger butties to chocolate brownies and cocktails, the street food-style outlet has been incredibly popular with residents and visitors alike over the past four weeks.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Our Green Sefton Service is gearing up for a busy few months ahead and are proactively looking at ways to ensure our coast offers the best possible experience for all beach users.

“They’ve worked really closely with the local business who took part in the trial, as well as understanding community concerns about any adverse effects such as littering that might result from an offer like this.

“I’m really pleased to report that we’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback during the pop-up which finished at the weekend, so much so that we are exploring options to bring the bus back later this summer.

“The team at The Bus Yard even took part in a beach clean-up following the busy late May Bank Holiday, showing their dedication and commitment to working alongside the Council and volunteers to keep Crosby looking clean and tidy.

Bus Yard staff supporting Crosby beach litter pick
Bus Yard staff supporting Crosby beach litter pick

“I would urge anyone with further thoughts to get in touch to tell us what they feel worked well or perhaps didn’t work as well. We often get asked to provide more hospitality facilities at the coast, so your input on a trial like this is vital to ensure we get the right offer for everyone, balancing the needs of our people and our environment.”

Feedback can be submitted by email to the Green Sefton team greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

Andy Laird, The Bus Yard, said: ‘’We have had an amazing time at Crosby over the last month and its success has gone beyond our expectations. Feedback has been really positive from the local community and visitors.’’

Planning approval was recently received for another pop-up food and drink trial at Ainsdale beach.

Plans are still being finalised, but it is hoped that the shipping container units that will house the temporary offer will be in place by the middle of July, with a trial running there until the late autumn.

Feedback from both the Crosby and Ainsdale trials will be reviewed later this year, before considering how more permanent facilities might be arranged from 2022.  

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