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Offering learning opportunities to refugees living across the borough

As part of Refugee Week (June 17 – 23), Sefton Council is highlighting the excellent work it does to support refugees through further education. 

A number of courses are offered to refugees living in the borough which support them on their journey of learning English and also helps them integrate into our communities.

Classes are accessed through the Council’s Sefton Community Learning Service, which provides educational courses to communities across the borough. The service offers high quality adult learning programmes to help people make positive changes, support personal development and help communities thrive.

Celebrating Refugee Week also ties in with Sefton’s Year of Friendship with the Council focusing on ‘learning’ across the borough throughout June. 

Sefton Community Learning Service has provided education to a number of refugees in the borough.

These learners began their journey without English speaking skills and have progressed rapidly through the levels. They have now enrolled on other courses designed to improve their Mathematics and ICT skills.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Developing communications skills has given refugee learners in Sefton independence and confidence. This has allowed them to meet new friends and increased their chances of gaining work experience and employment.

“Learners say they feel welcomed and believe tutors have not only supported them with their English skills but with all aspects of UK life and British values.”

Debbie Parkes, Curriculum Manager-ESOL and Education and Training, said: “We have been involved with the Syrian Resettlement Programme for over 2 years now and continue to welcome new students to our classes. The refugees arrived in this country with little or no understanding of the English language and culture. They have faced many challenges whilst in this country and have required help in adjusting to the area and life in England. In some cases, learning again has been a whole new experience.

“They have adapted well and can now communicate in the English language and make themselves understood. I feel privileged to have the refugees learning here at Sefton Community Learning Service”.

If you would like to know more about our refugee programme or any other courses at the Sefton Community Learning Service, please contact us on 0151 934 4546.

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School eco warriors quiz council experts on air quality

School children from five schools in south Sefton took on air quality experts at Southport Eco Centre on Wednesday (June 19).

The ‘Air Quality Meet the Experts’ event gave young people the opportunity to quiz a panel of senior managers and officers from Sefton Council.

The event built on previous work the Eco Centre has been doing with schools across Sefton to make sure that they are well informed about the causes and impacts of air pollution and what they can do to avoid it.

The expert panel included Matthew Ashton, Sefton’s Director of Public Health, Dr Stephen Birch, Transport Planning and Highway Development Manager, Stephanie Jukes, Section Manager for Energy & Environmental Management, Helen Armitage, Consultant in Public Health, Greg Martin, Principal Environmental Health Officer and Jean Hunt, Principal Highway Safety Officer.


They were put to the test by pupils from Bedford Primary School, Lander Road Primary School, Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Primary School, Thomas Gray Primary School and Waterloo Primary School.


The students grilled the experts on a range of topics that are important to them including Highways England’s plans to build a road though Rimrose Valley, the health impacts of air pollution and what needs to be done to promote more active travel.


The event coincided with the launch of the Eco Centre’s brand new ‘Clean Air Crew’ website which has been created as an interactive resource to educate young people about air quality. Visit the site at


Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It was a fantastic day for young people to learn about air pollution and the effect it has on their lives and their community.


“The efforts, interest and commitment that they put into the day has been truly phenomenal and I have no doubt that when they become the business leaders and politicians of the future, Sefton will be an even cleaner, greener and more beautiful place to live.”


Check out a video from the event here:



Sefton inject £1million into boosting Adult Education provision

Almost £1million of funding has been agreed by Sefton Council to help continue support the delivery of adult community learning provision for residents aged over 19.

An offer of £969,724 was approved at Cabinet today (June 20) for Sefton’s Adult Community Learning Service to be used for the next academic year from August 2019 – July 2020.

The funding is from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Adult Education Budget. Under its devolution agreement, the Liverpool City Region is responsible for adult education from August 1, 2019.

The level of grant available to Sefton has been increased from last year’s allocation of £787K to £820K and an additional £150K has been included for the operation of some agreed “test and learn” pilot activities.

Sefton’s Adult Community Learning Service offers adults over the age of 18 from any background the opportunity to learn and develop skills through different courses with the view of entering the jobs market.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour leader at Sefton Council, said: “Improving the skills of our workforce is central to the Council’s wider aims on economic growth.

“This amazing amount of money will go a long way in enabling more local residents to gain the skills and confidence they need to take up employment opportunities arising from investment and regeneration.

“Our superb Adult Community Learning Service offers real opportunities for residents who have had less favourable educational attainment to access second chance learning opportunities to improve their confidence and wellbeing.

“The Service targets a high proportion of learners who are vulnerable in terms of low skills, long term worklessness, BAME, learning difficulties and other disabilities.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Devolution means that we can make decisions locally about the things that affect us.

“We have waited a long time to take over responsibility for adult education, which means that we can now work with our local partners to ensure that adults in our city region can develop the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, for an apprenticeship or other learning.

“This is vitally important for the future of the city region and we look forward to being able to further tailor what we offer to suit our own needs over the years to come.”

For more information about Sefton’s Adult Community Learning Service visit

Appeal for information following theft of scooter in Southport

Police are appealing for help in finding a distinctive orange Vespa scooter which was stolen in Southport on Tuesday 18th June.

The bike was stolen from outside Dunes Splash World on the Esplanade at around 3.40pm. At approximately 4.30pm the same day it was caught on dashcam footage on North Road flanked by two other motorcycles. All three bikes were then seen to turn right onto Rufford Road.

The pillion passenger on one of the motorcycles was carrying a pair of crutches.

We are appealing for anyone who saw the three bikes after 4.30pm on Tuesday, or who has dashcam footage of any of the motorcycles after this time, to contact us.

Inspector Graham Fisher said: “Enquiries are ongoing to trace the scooter and return it to its rightful owner and I would ask anyone with information to get in touch.

“I would also advise anyone who owns a motorbike or scooter to ensure they secure their vehicle with a good quality chain, D-lock or brake disc lock to immobile it. I would also ask that if a member of public sees any suspicious activity around car parks or where motorcycles are parked up to contact us.”

Anyone with information is asked to DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 quoting log 787 of 18th June.

Playground thieves take Sefton for a ride

Sefton Council is swinging into action to recover a stolen playground attraction from a children’s play area in Southport.

Thieves have stolen an expensive basket swing from the play area on Sandbrook Road, Ainsdale.

The swing is estimated to cost almost £1,000 to replace once a replacement basket, new ropes, shackles, delivery and maintenance time are taken in to account.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It’s so disheartening to learn that people could be cruel enough to steal something from a children’s play area.

“This act ruins the enjoyment of the park for others and creates an added pressure to the Council’s Green Sefton service.

“I strongly urge anyone who has information about this to get in touch with Merseyside Police and help us return the swing to it’s rightful place.”

Green Sefton has since removed hanging ropes and bolts from the site to protect the safety of those using the playground.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact Merseyside Police social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police CC.

You can also call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Alternatively, contact Green Sefton on 0151 934 2961 or




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