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5K challenge returns to Crosby Lakeside thanks to Active Sefton

A popular 5k challenge returns to Sefton next month with hundreds of participants expected to take part.

Sefton Council’s Active Sefton team will host the 14th Annual Active Workforce 5K Challenge on Thursday, June 20 at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre.

The challenge, which is open to individuals or teams of 5, will see competitors run a double lap around the idyllic setting of Crosby Coastal Park, before settling down for a post-race BBQ.

Competitors can run, walk or stroll at their leisure to complete the race and bottled water will be provided.

The Lakeside bar and bistro will also be fully operational and open to purchase food and drinks before, during and after the event making it ideal for spectators as well.

The cost for individual entries is £10 and £50 for a team of 5. All entries must be received by Friday, June 7.

Participants are also welcome to raise money for a chosen charity.

To register a place for an individual runner or a team or for more information please email or call 0151 934 2079.

Sports Awards nominations extended due to popular demand

The deadline to make a nomination for the 2019 Sefton Sports Awards has now been extended until May 20 due to popular demand.

Now in its 17th year, the awards celebrate the very best of the sporting offer across the borough with categories celebrating the outstanding talent and commitment of local athletes, coaches, volunteers, clubs and schools.

Special guest for the Awards, which takes place in June, will be motivational speaker and former Royal Marine Andy Grant from Bootle. Andy became the world’s fastest single leg amputee after being blown up by an IED during active duty.

The inspirational runner is set to explain to nominees and guests that life will put you in all kinds of challenging situations, but it need not determine you as a person – it’s how you react to these challenges.

Taking place at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Wednesday, June 26, the annual event is organised by Sefton Council’s Active Sefton team and budding sporting legends will vie for glory over ten categories.

Nominees will reflect the very best of all aspects of Sefton sporting achievements from school teams to top coaches and even a sports personality of the year.

You can make your nominations in the following groups:

Young Volunteer of the Year (14 – 19 Years)
Volunteer of the Year
School of the Year – (Primary and Secondary)
Sports Personality of the Year (Jnr Sports Personality U18, Sefton Sports Personality, Disabled Sports Personality)
Club of the Year
Team of the Year
Coach of the Year
Workplace of the Year
Community Project of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award

Heather Redhead, Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing Development Manager, said: “Each year our communities nominate the very best sporting stars across Sefton and we want 2019 to be even bigger and better than ever before.

“If you know of an individual or group who are deserving then please nominate them – this is a fantastic opportunity for those involved with sports across the borough to be recognised for their efforts.

“We look forward to seeing another strong list of nominations this year.”

Nominations can be made at The new deadline for entries is May 20.

100 Year Old lauds benefits of making friends and keeping fit

A 100 year old woman from Sefton is backing a council led campaign to celebrate the importance of mental and physical well-being.

May marks Sefton’s Year Of Friendship’s ‘Active’ month, where the Local Authority celebrates community groups, teams, individuals and organisations who promote healthy bodies, minds and flourishing friendships through keeping fit, playing sport and more.

Sefton Council’s campaign is being supported by a number of groups and organisations across the borough, including Bootle Bucks Inclusion Football Club, the Merseyside Sports Partnership (MSP) and South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (SSCCG).

The importance of making lasting relationships all while keeping fit and active has certainly not been lost on 100 year old Alma Jones from Maghull, who regularly attends an Active Ageing Falls Prevention class.

Bootle born Alma regularly joins other elderly residents at St Andrews Church, Maghull for the weekly classes where skilled instructors help Over 65s to develop muscle strength and improve balance, with the aim of preventing potentially serious falls or accidents.

However Alma says she benefits just as much from the social inclusion aspect of the course.

Alma said: “For one thing the Active Ageing course gets your arms and legs moving, which maybe would not be happening otherwise but also we’re socialising, which a lot of people don’t do when living on their own.

“Some people just stay in their house, just watching television and not speaking to anyone. 

“So I make a point of going out every day, coming to this class, and keep on socialising. Often I will invariably meet somebody and talk to somebody which you should do when you’re older.

“I love coming to the class. I have always been very active and throughout my life I’ve done lots of exciting things like rock-climbing and made sure I always kept fit by swimming, cycling and general good living.”

To find out more about Sefton Council’s Year Of Friendship

The Reader is inviting people to ‘bring a friend’ or ‘make a friend’ in its Shared Reading Community drive in Sefton

After more than a decade reading aloud in Sefton, The Reader collaborates with Sefton Public Health on Mental Health Awareness Week special

Liverpool-based charity, The Reader, is collaborating with Sefton Council’s Public Health team and local organisations on a series of Shared Reading events, tying together Mental Health Awareness Week with Sefton’s Year of Friendship.

From 13th to 17th May, special Shared Reading Tasters will run alongside regular Shared Reading groups – weekly read-aloud groups that bring people together and books to life.

Local people are invited for a cup of tea, a biscuit and a chat over friendship-themed stories and poems. No pressure to talk or read.

  • Strand By Me Shared Reading Taster (Tuesday 10am – 12pm)
  • Kindfulness Coffee Club Weekly Shared Reading Group (Tuesday 10.30am – 12pm)
  • Feelgood Factory Weekly Shared Reading Group (Tuesday 12.15am – 12.45pm)
  • Crosby Library Weekly Shared Reading Group (Tuesday 1.30pm – 3.30pm)
  • Southport Liferooms Shared Reading Taster (Wednesday 2pm – 3pm)
  • Writeblend Shared Reading Taster (Thursday 10.30am – 11.30am)
  • Crosby Library Shared Reading Taster (Thursday 12pm – 1pm)
  • Crosby Library Weekly Shared Reading Group (Thursday 1.30pm – 3pm)
  • Bootle Library Shared Reading Taster (Friday 10am – 12pm)

The Reader will also be popping up at YKids homework club on Monday 4pm – 6pm with a Taster session to help improve wellbeing alongside studying.

Councillor Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council, said “We are delighted that so many people in Sefton have become involved in local reading groups.  They have not only learned more about the joys of reading together, they have also found new friends – which support our Year of Friendship in Sefton.”

“We first came to Sefton in 2006 to work directly with women experiencing mental health problems at the Swan Centre,” explains The Reader’s founder and director, Jane Davis.

“Great literature speaks to all parts of us, not just that which is sick. Poetry can remind us of parts of ourselves that we may have all but forgotten. ‘Who would’ve thought my shrivelled heart/could have recovered greenness?. When I read that line in George Herbert’s poem ‘The Flower’, I am filled with the realisation that things can change, even if I can’t imagine that change right now.” 

The Reader runs more than 200 Shared Reading groups across the North West; in its home at Calderstones Park, in Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Skelmersdale and Lancashire, St Helens and Warrington, Wigan and Wirral. You can find your closest one here.

There are currently 17 Shared Reading groups happening in Sefton, funded by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sefton Public Health and The Limbourne Trust – nine of which are open for the public to drop in.

In The Reader’s latest Feedback Week survey of more than 1,500 Readers across the UK:

  • 94% said they look forward their Shared Reading group ‘as an important event in my week’.
  • 91% said ‘the reading sessions make me feel better ‘.
  • 84% said they’ve made new friends in the group.

The Reader works with mental health service providers across the UK and has been partnering with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, offering in-patient and community groups across Merseyside, since 2007.

In mental health support groups:

  • 92% said they felt ‘safe and welcomed in the group’.
  • 85% said they ‘felt valued’.
  • 85% said the group gave them ‘something different to think about’.

One Sefton resident who joined a local Shared Reading group before training as a volunteer with The Reader, said: “It took a lot for me to walk in on my own, but the group were very welcoming. I find that I’m not as anxious when I’m in the group, and I lose myself in the story.”

People who are keen to find out how they can get more involved with The Reader, including running a group locally, or starting one specifically to help reduce social isolation and strengthen their community, should email

Commissioner reopens fund to help communities prevent crime

Organisations which help to prevent crime and protect communities in Merseyside are being invited to apply for a share of a fund aimed at helping building stronger, safer communities.

This is the fifth year that Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy has opened the Crime Prevention Fund which is used to help charities, community groups and social enterprises stop problems before they occur, by reducing the opportunities for crime and by deterring people away from becoming involved in anti-social and criminal behaviour.

A total of £135,000 is available from the fund and the Commissioner is inviting groups to submit bids of between £5,000 and £25,000 for innovative community safety projects or schemes that will run over the next 12 months. For the last three years, the Commissioner has specifically urged organisations that are working to tackle the underlying causes of serious and organised crime to apply for funding and this has again been made a priority for this round of funding.

Jane said: “Serious and organised crime is, for many people in our region, their greatest concern. It blights our communities, bringing misery and harm and causing decent, ordinary people to live in fear.

“Merseyside Police allocates extensive resources to tackling this issue, but we cannot simply ‘police’ our way of this issue.  We need to work with all our partners, particularly those in the community and voluntary sector to address the deep-seated, and often complex, causes of serious violence.

“Local people understand their communities better than anyone and know what will work best to improve their area.  We are fortunate to have a wealth of voluntary and community groups which are working hard to prevent people, especially young people from getting involved with this type of crime and I want to hear from them.

“Through the Crime Prevention Fund, I want to see what more can be done to tackle this issue and with these grants I hope I can give organisations which are trying to address the root causes of this issue a valuable cash boost which will help to make a difference to communities across Merseyside.”

Last year, 14 grassroots organisations were chosen to share £135,000 from the Crime Prevention Fund from a total of 75 bids submitted. Many of the projects focused on preventing young people from getting involved with crime.

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