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Unpaid Carers now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine

Some unpaid carers in Sefton are now eligible for the COVID vaccine and will be contacted by the NHS.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the Public Health England (PHE) Green Book have decided that unpaid carers eligible for the vaccine are:

“Those who are eligible for Carer’s Allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable”

Carers are being contacted in phases, starting with those registered with their GP who are identified by the GP Carers Flag and those entitled to receive Carer’s Allowance.

Unpaid carers who are not yet able to book via the National Booking System, are being asked to wait for their invitation. Unpaid carers who will be identified through the above channels will be contacted soon.

Eligible unpaid carers will be identified in four ways:

  • If you are registered as an unpaid carer with your GP. This is known as having a Carers Flag on your primary care records.
  • If you receive, or are entitled to, Carer’s Allowance. The Department for Work and Pensions will share this information with the vaccination programme.
  • If you are known to the local authority as a carer, and are receiving support following a statutory carers assessment.
  • If you are supported by a local carer support organisation.

The vaccination programme recognises that these sources will not identify all eligible unpaid carers.

Unpaid carers over the age of 18 who are not already known to health and care services can contact the National Booking Service at the NHS website or by ringing 119 to answer a few questions to determine if they are eligible to book their vaccination appointment.

For more info go to the Carers Trust website.

First traders announced for new look Southport Market

Traditional wood fired pizza from local business 600 Degrees is heading to Southport Market as part of the transformational project currently underway.

Once complete, the Southport Market will have 11 food and drink units serving up mouth-watering food, supported by fresh produce from Blackhursts Butchers and flexible event and market space.


Since 2017, 600 Degrees have successfully been catering at weddings, private parties and corporate events across the North West. In addition to this they are now very excited to be opening a Pizzeria within Southport Market.

Dan Johnstone of 600 Degrees said “It all started when I visited The Amalfi Coast and spent some time in Naples, the home of the Neapolitan Pizza. I already had a great passion for cooking, so this gave me the inspiration to perfect my homemade pizza dough and follow the authentic methods of cooking pizzas.

“Over the years I have loved entertaining and cooking for friends and family at home with the brick pizza oven. Wanting to share this passion and see more people enjoy his pizza creations, 600 Degrees was born!”

Each day, the dough will be freshly made in the 600 Degrees kitchen in the new Market using only the finest Caputo flour, yeast, salt and water then left to prove for 48hrs. We can’t wait to serve the people of Southport and are excited to be part of this exciting journey”


Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said “We are delighted to be able to announce the first food business coming into the new market, Dan’s passion is truly evident, and I am sure 600 Degrees will be a great addition for Southport Town Centre.

“It’s really pleasing to see local business taking the opportunity to locate in the new market and creating local jobs, this is exactly how we want the market to work and will strive to work together with all the new traders to ensure the market is a success for Southport.”

Over the next few weeks several other traders will be announced, revealing the great mix of food and drink offers that will make up the brand new market, and again supporting local businesses and people

WATCH: Sefton honours communities during national Day of Reflection

Tuesday, March 23 marks one year since Sefton went into lockdown.

In line with national events to mark this day, Sefton have put together a special film to honour, remember and thank all of our residents for a difficult and challenging year under COVID-19.

Chief Executive Dwayne Johnson and Council Leader Cllr Ian Maher have also issued the below letter to all Sefton communities.

Southport and Bootle Town Halls will be illuminated yellow this evening (March 23) from 7pm-9pm as a sign of reflection and remembrance to all those who have lost their lives through COVID-19.


To our residents,

This past year has been a year like no other.

March 23rd 2021 marks a year since the first national lockdown began as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were asked to stay at home and reduce our contacts. For some, that has meant that they have not seen loved ones for over a year, some have not met new family members, or marked special occasions; others did not get a chance to say goodbye.

Our communities have been hit hard by this pandemic and we want to recognise the difficulties people continue to face as we slowly begin to emerge, a year later.

The impact of this pandemic will be felt for some time to come and it is important that we reflect on the challenges we have faced, and we consider how we will emerge stronger and face those difficulties ahead.

We could not let today pass without recognising the sacrifice and hardship faced by our community and to pause and take stock of the year that has gone by.

But there are some positives we can take from this past year.

It has been heart-warming and truly inspiring to see how our communities have come together to support each other during this time.

We have seen huge numbers of volunteers, supporting those who needed it, neighbours checking in on neighbours, and welfare visits through the window.

We’ve seen fundraising and charities pulling us all through and inspiring stories of people going the extra mile and showing what Sefton can do.

The spirit of our community continues to impress us, while we share an overwhelming sadness for those we have lost and pride in our community for how we are pushing through.

We know that many sacrifices have been made to drive the COVID infection rate down, and sadly, we have lost loved ones along the way.

They will be sadly missed and will not be forgotten.

We will look at options for a permanent memorial and long term commemorations when the time is right, but for now, we would urge everyone to pause, reflect and continue to work together as one community.

We must continue to stick to the rules as lockdown eases so that we can truly put this past year behind us.

We urge everyone to continue to reduce their contacts as much as possible and take precautionary measures as lockdown lifts.

Soon, we hope, we can hug our families again

Sefton Council will continue to support our MySefton community as we emerge from this pandemic and we would, once again, like to thank you for all that we have done over the past year.

We will emerge stronger.

Dwayne Johnson & Cllr Ian Maher.

Sefton Council set to explore ways to develop and improve Southport’s historic Botanic Gardens

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service are looking at ways to develop and improve Southport’s popular Botanic Gardens which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

The park was designed in 1876 and is included on Historic England’s ‘Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.’ Repair works have recently taken place at the aviary and plans are being drawn up for how other parts of the much-loved local park could be revamped in the future.

The Green Sefton Service are seeking out funding streams through organisations that support the heritage sector. If successful, the funding could support the restoration of many of the park’s Victorian buildings and help the Council to develop new attractions that would bring more visitors to the park, stimulating the local economy and creating new jobs

While the proposals are at the very early stages of development, the pandemic has highlighted the need for people to be able to access green spaces and the health benefits associated with spending more time in places like Southport’s Botanic Gardens.

A public consultation is expected to be launched later this year to bring together the views of residents, regular park users, visitors and the dedicated volunteer groups who support many projects at the park to keep the space clean, green and beautiful for all.  

Cllr Moncur at Southport Botanic Gardens Aviary
Cllr Moncur at Southport Botanic Gardens Aviary

This week Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing checked in on the completed aviary repairs and met with the Botanic Gardens Community Association to thank them for their fundraising efforts that have supported the recent works.

Cllr Ian Moncur said: “I was thrilled to see the improvement and difference that the repair works have made to the aviary, ensuring that our birds and animals are kept safe and well, and that visitors will now have a much better experience when they can plan a visit here once again.

“We know how important this park is to the people of Southport and the visitors that come here, and the past 12 months have highlighted just how much people enjoy spending time outdoors. What’s more is that spending time in nature is proven to help people’s health and wellbeing, while also reminding people how important it is to protect and respect these precious environments.

“We are so lucky to have many parks and green spaces not only in Southport but across the whole Borough, and we are committed to ensuring that they provide the best facilities for residents and visitors alike.

“I am delighted to see our Green Sefton officers working with community groups to look at ways of finding investment for the park that will benefit everyone who enjoys spending time here. A vibrant Botanic Gardens will be a valuable asset to the local community as well as providing a positive impact to the local economy including potential job opportunities.”

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.  

Anyone interested in helping to shape the developing project, or would like to volunteer in the Botanic Gardens, can contact the Botanic Gardens Community Association.

Sefton’s over 50s urged to book COVID-19 vaccinations

Local GPs are urging people aged over 50s in Sefton to book their jab COVID-19 vaccination. programme continues to make good progress.

Thousands of people have already had their first vaccine at centres across Sefton and GPs are reminding local over 50s who have yet to have theirs, to book their jabs now.

Anyone over 50

Anyone aged over 50 living in Sefton can call their GP practice to book their vaccination appointment. Or they can book an appointment at a larger regional centre or pharmacy by going to  or by phoning 119.

Over half the adult population has now had their vital first vaccine dose. According to NHS figures, more nine out of 10 people aged 65 and over have already had their first dose.

Greater confidence

Dr Craig Gillespie local GP, chair and clinical director of NHS South Sefton CCG said: “Thousands of our residents most at risk of Covid-19 have already had their first dose at our local centres. As the vaccination programme progresses, we want to make sure everyone aged over 50 has had the chance to have theirs.

“As a GP, I’ve had my first jab. My dad who is 82 and my mum who is 77 have had the vaccine and were glad to do so. Both are fit and well and are relieved that they can now go out to shop for essentials with greater confidence.

“So we are asking everyone in Sefton aged over 50 to call their GP practice today and book your jab. We have appointments available at our vaccination centres even over the weekend, to make it as easy as possible to get your jab.”

While supplies are at good levels for the next two weeks, supply has always varied from week to week due to factors beyond the control of the NHS.

Safe and effective

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “The MHRA, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation have all been absolutely clear that the vaccines are safe and effective, and people should go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

“Appointments for first doses for over 50s are still available for the rest of March. So if you’re over 50 and haven’t booked your first dose yet, now is the time to do it!”

Sefton GP, Dr Pete Chamberlain has shared a video update on the local COVID-19 vaccination programme and is urging residents who are aged over 50 or clinically vulnerable to book their vaccines now.


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