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Sefton social workers celebrated with marketplace event

This week, Sefton Council brought together social workers, staff and partners for a special marketplace event at Bootle Town Hall.A hall with stalls running lengthways and people crowded around.

The marketplace was held to celebrate World Social Work Day, which fell on Tuesday 21st March this year.

Learning opportunity

Over 100 social workers, partners and staff attended the event. Unlike a traditional marketplace, that offers food and goods, Tuesday’s event was a chance for attendees to sample useful knowledge from different sources.

Among the 32 groups hosting stalls were Sefton Council’s fostering service, social work academy, and occupational therapy team, as well as local charity Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid (SWACA) and Sefton’s Building Attachment and Bonds Service (BABS).

Help and support

The event was described as a great success by those attending, with one person stating that it was “great to find out about all the different services” and another adding that they “didn’t realise there was so much help” for social workers and residents across the Borough.

Cllr Mhairi Doyle, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care said: “Social workers are the backbone of our social care in Sefton.

We wanted to take this opportunity both to celebrate their good work as well as to share ideas to help us grow together.

“Children’s Services are working on a number of fantastic projects and we value our strong ties with Adult Social Care. This marketplace was the ideal way to showcase these.

“I’m delighted that we had a fantastic attendance and I hope everyone who came got something positive out of it.”

People holding leaflets from a stall about domestic abuse.Cllr Paul Cummins, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “Sharing best practice is such an important part of social care.

“I am glad that we could do this in a way that allowed us to celebrate the hard work and dedication shown by our staff and our partners.

“I was really pleased to meet lots of people who had a real passion for the work that they are doing, and I enjoyed the afternoon.”

To find out more about Children’s and Adult Social Care in Sefton, visit

Green Sefton staff awarded prestigious playground accreditation

Sefton Council staff have joined a prestigious register of people qualified to undertake inspections of play facilities.

The RPII (Register of Play Inspectors International) is the official body for examining, accrediting, and certificating inspectors of indoor, outdoor, and inflatable play, throughout the UK.

Reflecting the Council’s commitment to having the best qualified and trained safety staff, three Green Sefton staff members undertook the RPII training course late last year. They have now been officially accredited as RPII Operational Inspectors, joining only 4,000 others registered to this level worldwide.

The team will be applying the expert qualification to Sefton’s 99 play facility sites.

Improvements to South Park

The Council has invested an additional £200,000 into maintaining children’s play facilities.

This funding will allow parks like South Park, one of the largest play facilities in Sefton, to receive investment and improvement works.In 2023, works will begin to install a new toddler play unit, an evoke swing and new springers. And existing equipment will also receive a fresh lick of paint.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “To have three staff qualified with an internationally leading accreditation is a huge asset to our Borough’s parks and greenspaces. And it reflects the Council’s ongoing commitment to play areas for children.

“We have all felt the importance of our parks and play facilities over the last few years, and we are determined to deliver improvements that will benefit families and young people in Sefton.”

Jon Dalton, Managing Director of the Play Inspection Company said: “Norman, Chris and Paul are all RPII Qualified Operational Inspectors and have been certified competent to undertake both Routine and Operational inspections on playgrounds, multi-use games areas, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment and therefore help to ensure that this equipment is kept adequately maintained and safe for public use in Sefton parks.”

SHOL announce expansion plans after success of The Lake House

Following the success of its first seven months running The Lake House at Waterloo and the popularity of its Beach House food and drink outlet at Ainsdale, Sefton Hospitality Operations Ltd (SHOL) is now looking at expanding its operations.

SHOL is a Sefton Council-owned, arm’s-length company which operates The Lake House in Waterloo.

Located alongside the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, The Lake House comprises a new cafe bar and restaurant, conference and events spaces and 14 refurbished rooms for guests to stay over.

Since it opened under SHOL’s management in August 2022, The Lake House has been a huge success.

Sustainable and dog-friendly

The venue has served over 20,000 teas and coffees, and received over 2,000 dog visits, many of which are regular canine customers.

Customers have rated their experience as ‘Excellent’ on both and Trip Advisor, while staff turnover is well below the hospitality industry rate.

And over 80% of staff are Sefton residents, reflecting SHOL’s mission to create jobs for local people.

Sustainability is at the heart of operations at The Lake House who have adopted the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, while utilising local and seasonal ingredients to minimise food miles and support local businesses.

Recognising the popularity of the venue with dog owners, its dog-friendly areas are being expanded this year.

Expansion plans

As Sefton Council expands and improves facilities for visitors to Ainsdale Beach in 2023, SHOL will be providing food and drink through its Beach House pop-up.

SHOL are also exploring options to reopen the White House Café, for the public and golfers alike, while the Council continues to explore longer-term options and opportunities for Southport Golf Links.

And SHOL hopes to deliver a much-needed food and drink outlet to Bootle Town Hall and bring the currently-unused areas of the spectacular building back to life.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“We are delighted that SHOL has met our aims by providing the customer experience that has made The Lake House so popular with visitors, while at the same time providing local people with first-rate employment opportunities.

“And I am excited to see the company now looking to build on its success by returning to its pop-up at Ainsdale beach over the summer, and explore options to create new hospitality offerings at Southport Golf Links.”

“Plus, dog owners will be able enjoy access to more areas of the Lake House which will no doubt result in even more happy customers and wagging tails.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is fantastic to see SHOL making the most of our incredible coastline and working to enhance the hospitality offering for residents and visitors alike.

“I’m sure many residents will be pleased to hear that SHOL are also exploring options to bring back assets such as the White House Café at Southport golf course.”

Happy, Heard, Healthy, Achieving: New Vision for Education Launched in Sefton

Sefton Council, Sefton schools and partners from across the public and voluntary sector will gather tomorrow to launch Sefton’s Education Strategy. The strategy sets out the vision for educational services in Sefton over the next few years and lays out four key priorities for professionals to focus on.

The priorities will be:

  • Excellent teachers, supported by excellent staff
  • Raise achievement and ensure young people have the life skills to prepare for adulthood
  • All children and young people achieve their full potential
  • School systems to support children and their families

The launch will feature talks from Tricia Davies, Assistant Director Education and Ian Raikes, CEO of Southport Learning Trust as well as a talk on Education and Place’ by Stephen Watson, Executive Director of Place

School Improvement Groups will be given an opportunity to reflect on the strategy and consider how best to make it happen in their local school community.


Cllr Diane Roscoe, Cabinet Member for Education said:

“I am immensely proud of the work our school communities do every day for the children they teach and the families they support. This strategy is a vision for the future; it sets out what we want to achieve for our young people and reflects our aspirational ambitions for young people in Sefton, not just educationally but in terms of their health, wellbeing and preparedness for adult life.

“Tomorrow’s event will be a chance to bring everyone together, learn from each other and agree a way forward that puts children and young people at the heart of everything we do.”


You can read the Sefton Education Strategy here

New games area in Rainbow Park set to open in May

Councillors holding tools such as a wheelbarrow and shovel.

Sefton Council’s improvement works at Rainbow Park in Melling, are nearing completion.

Work has been underway at the Park since early 2023 to deliver a new multi-use games area. With built-in goal ends and basketball hoops, the new area will provide a high-quality area for sports and exercise.

Landscaping and the creation of new pathways through the Park are also being delivered as part of the works. The improvements follow a lengthy consultation process with residents, through which every local household received a leaflet entailing the proposed plans.

Funding for both the multi-use games area and the new play equipment has been supported from S106 money agreed by Molyneux Ward Councillors Marion Atkinson, Paula Murphy and Danny Burns with allocated funding from Bellway Homes.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Rainbow Park is an important community space and we’re delighted to be delivering local residents with a new high-quality facility for exercise, sport and recreation. As well as additional pathways and landscaping.

“It’s great to see the works nearing completion in time for the summer mo


Cllr Marion Atkinson, Molyneux Ward Councillor said: “It is brilliant to see the plans for the Park coming to fruition, and the support received from local residents throughout this process.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact this will have on the local community, and I’m certain that the new multi-use games area will be very popular with locals of

 all ages.”

With works expected to be complete in the coming weeks, the Council will be arranging an official opening in May 2023.

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