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Social Workers Jenny and Justine gear up for epic charity cycling adventure

Two best friends of two decades who have worked together at Sefton Council for 20 years will undertake the challenge of a lifetime for three women’s cancer charities in 2020.

Social Workers Jenny Stuart (pictured with blonde hair) and Justine Hoiles (pictured with brunette hair) will embark on a gruelling 416km cycle challenge from Bangkok to Koh Samui in Thailand to raise money for Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

The Women V Cancer Cycle Thailand 2020 Challenge will take place over nine days in October 2020, with around 60 female challengers cycling a stunning route that takes in the Sam Roi Yot National Park and the Gulf of Thailand.

Jennifer and Justine, who first became friends in September 1998 on their first day at Riversdale College in Aigburth, Liverpool where they both undertook an Access to Higher Education course, are hoping to raise almost £7,000 between them in sponsorship to donate to the charities.

Jenny, who lives in Formby and now works as a psychotherapist with Sefton Council’s Therapeutic Support Team in Ainsdale, is taking on the challenge after her mum was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had to undergo a hysterectomy.

Justine, a Sefton Council Social Worker from Crosby, has lost several family members to cancer and decided to take part in the event after spotting an advert for it in a magazine.

Both women are now completing a training programme to ensure they are fit and ready for their epic adventure, and planning a series of fundraising events to help raise their sponsorship money.

Jenny said: “When my mum was diagnosed with cancer I felt so helpless and I wanted to do something massive to try and make a difference. I had always thought she was indestructible and then I suddenly realised she wasn’t, so I wanted to do something to help.

“Justine and I are both Social Workers and our instinct is to fix things; we both wanted to do something on a big scale that would raise a significant amount of money and make a difference in some way.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and really exciting. It will definitely push us out of our comfort zone but we are both pretty active and we have been doing lots of cardio and cycling to prepare for it – I have never pushed myself so hard.

“Next year, 2020, both Justine and I will have worked for the council for 20 years and we have been best friends for 20 years so it seemed like the perfect time to do it.

“We met on our first day at training college and we have been best friends ever since. We’ve been there for each other every step of the way and I can’t think of anyone else I would want to do something like this with. It will be an amazing experience.”

Justine said: “Cancer has affected so many people and it’s so common. I have lost family members to it and I know how devastating it can be.

“This is a daunting challenge, not just in terms of the route itself but also the training and the fundraising, and we both feel quite exposed, nervous and vulnerable. But our friends, families and colleagues have been so supportive and we will be taking on the challenge with 60 other wonderful women so we know we’ll achieve it.

“Neither of us has ever done anything like this before and we’re so excited. To be doing it together, and sharing the experience with all the other cyclists who have all lost people to cancer too, will be a very special experience.”

To support Jenny and Justine on their incredible journey visit their Just Giving pages at https://www.justgiving.com/Jennifer-Stuart76 and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Justine-Hoiles1

To find out more about the Women V Cancer Cycle Thailand 2020 Challenge visit https://www.dream-challenges.com/challenges/women-v-cancer/women-v-cancer-cycle-thailand-2020/

Appeal after woman dies following incident in Maghull

An investigation is underway after an elderly woman fell and died following an arson attack on a car at an adjoining property in Maghull in the early hours of today (Monday 5 August 2019).

Just after 1am a report was received to say a black Land Rover Discovery car had been set on fire on Highgate Road by two men, who used fireworks to ignite the vehicle.

It is believed the offenders then returned to a car parked in nearby Oakhill Road and made off from the area.

Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service attended. The neighbouring property was affected by the smoke, and due to fears the fire could spread the two elderly occupants were advised to evacuate their home as a precaution while the fire was extinguished.

During the incident one of the residents evacuated, a woman in her 80s, fell and sustained a head injury. She was taken to hospital for treatment but sadly died this morning.

Her next of kin have been informed and are receiving support from specialist officers.

Police remain at the scene where forensic examinations are continuing. CCTV opportunities are being explored in the area and potential witnesses have been spoken to.

Detective Chief Inspector Gayle Rooney said: “The actions of the people who set this car on fire are completely reckless, with no regard for the safety of people living nearby.

“The couple next-door should have been tucked up in bed, but instead as a result of the actions of the offenders, emergency services were left with no option but to wake them in the early hours of the morning to get them to safety.

“Sadly, the 86-year-old lady died several hours after the incident and her family are now having to come to terms with her sudden loss.

“We believe this was a targeted attack and I would appeal to anybody who has any information about those involved in this despicable incident to contact Merseyside Police as soon as possible so we can bring those responsible to justice.”

An investigation into the arson and the circumstances of the woman’s fall is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC. You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 51 of 5 August or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.

Business expert set to take up residency at Formby Pool to help drive local business growth

An Enterprise Hub business expert is set to take up a weekly residency at Formby Pool to help Sefton residents start and grow their new businesses.

This fully-funded business support is aimed at helping those in the Sefton area who are looking to start a business, or those who are looking to grow a new business which is under three years old.

Enterprise Hub is Liverpool City Region’s “one front door” access point for business support, offering clients a programme of 1-2-1 business support and advice, as well as access to training courses, to help develop their ideas and learn core business skills.

Enterprise expert Jacqueline Daley will be offering a number of 1-2-1 appointments every Thursday between 1-3pm at Formby Pool. Appointments should be pre-booked by those wishing to register onto the Enterprise Hub programme.

This support will help clients understand the process of starting or growing a business and to research and develop a business plan or growth strategy. Budding entrepreneurs will also be able to learn key skills to develop a sales and marketing strategy, as well as understanding the everyday practicalities of running a business and looking at ways of accessing finance.

The new outreach appointments will mean those with a business idea can receive support on their doorstep, without having to travel to Enterprise Hub’s Liverpool City Centre base.

Jackie Williams, Enterprise Hub Project Manager and Enterprise Director at Liverpool social enterprise The Women’s Organisation, says: “We’re delighted to be bringing Enterprise Hub straight to the Sefton community at Formby Pool to give local people that all-important helping hand and confidence boost to pursue or develop a business dream.

“We would highly encourage anyone who is either sat on an idea they’d like to explore or has a new business that is ready to grow, to get in touch and see how we can help. The community here is always brimming with entrepreneurial spirit and ideas, so we’re excited to see what is in store!”

Heather Davies, Community Development Officer, at Formby Pool, says: “At Formby Pool we are a hub at the heart of our community – a place to meet and come together – and so we are very excited to be able to offer yet more opportunities for local residents.

“These drop-in sessions with Enterprise Hub will offer budding entrepreneurs the chance to receive the support and guidance they need right on their doorstep. I hope that local residents will take advantage of this opportunity and that the support on offer will help to boost our thriving community here in Sefton”.

The support and training is available fully-funded under the Enterprise Hub programme, which is receiving funding from the European Regional Development Fund.

Eligibility criteria does apply and Enterprise Hub support is available to men and women living in the Liverpool City Region, who have not yet registered with Companies House or HMRC, or any business under three years old in the Liverpool City Region.

Those who would like to take advantage of the drop-in at Formby Pool should pre-book by calling 0151 706 8113 or e-mailing enterprisehub@thewo.org.uk to register for the programme.

CCTV stills issued as concerns grow for missing Peter Kerevan

Merseyside Police has issued CCTV stills of missing 76-year-old Peter Kerevan as concerns grow for him.

Peter, who is 76 and from the Liverpool area was last seen at home at around 8.30am on Monday 29 July.

These CCTV images were captured that morning on Wango Lane, and show he was wearing a short-sleeved dark blue shirt and carrying a dark-coloured jacket or jumper. He was also reportedly wearing blue jeans and brown shoes when he was last seen.

He is described as white, around 6ft tall, of slim build with short grey hair and had stubble when last seen.

Police have received a number of reported sightings of Peter and are encouraging anyone else who may have seen him to contact officers.

Anyone who belives they may have seen Peter or someone who resembles his description should call 101, DM @MerPolCC or in an emergency, call 999.

 

 

CCG makes good progress in annual assessment

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is amongst the best performing in the country in a number of its key areas of work, according to the latest assessment by health regulators.

NHS England’s annual Improvement and Assessment Framework (IAF) assessment measures all CCGs against 58 performance indicators in areas ranging from leadership and sustainability, to cancer and dementia. Results provide a benchmark for CCGs, so they can understand where they are doing well and where they need to do more in the year ahead.

NHS Southport and Formby CCG ranked top in the country for improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT), with 64% of patients who finished treatment moving on to recovery. The CCG rated ‘outstanding’ for its work to identify people living with dementia, with 76% of the estimated number of people with the condition having a diagnosis.

The CCG also ranked top in the country for patients’ experience of cancer services and were ranked fifth in the country for cancer survival rates. Results also place the CCG tenth in the country for meeting the waiting time target of 18 weeks or less for patients being referred by their practice to having hospital treatment or surgery.

Results also reflected the work of GP practices in Southport and Formby, ranking them sixth highest in the country for patients’ good experience of their services and care.

Additionally, the CCG was awarded the highest rating for how well it engages local residents in its work, making it and neighbouring NHS South Sefton CCG the only two in Merseyside to receive the top ‘green star’ result.

Overall, the CCG maintained its ‘requires improvement’ status for the third year in a row, reflecting the hard work carried out by the CCG to secure good results across a number of areas amidst another testing year for the NHS commissioner. Whilst the CCG made progress in managing its budget, its ongoing financial positon remains challenging as demand for services continues to grow.   

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of the CCG, said: “Despite being rated as ‘requires improvement’, it is encouraging to have so many aspects of our work praised by NHS England and to see we are doing so well in many key areas of health for our residents.

“We will continue to build on these positives and look at those areas where we need to make quicker progress over the next 12 months, importantly ensuring that we continue to make improvements to our financial position.

“I want to thank all of our staff and member GP practices for the hard work they’re doing to face these challenges and deliver improvements in care for our patients.”

Key areas of improvement for the CCG include supporting the improvement of Better Health metrics for services such as diabetes, falls and antimicrobial resistance and Better Care metrics for services such as dementia, maternity, mental health and primary care.

You can see the full IAF results for all CCGs on the MyNHS section of the NHS Choices website: www.nhs.uk/service-search/Performance/Search

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