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Foster Care Fortnight Celebrations at the Strand Shopping Centre

It’s Foster Care Fortnight (9th – 22st May), the annual celebration which allows us to raise awareness about how fostering makes a real difference to children’s lives.

The theme for this year’s Foster Care Fortnight is #FosteringCommunities and we wanted to give the local community, businesses and services who are all part of our ‘Fostering Community’, the opportunity to hear first-hand, the heart-warming and exceptional experiences from people whose lives have been touched by fostering.

To do this, our friendly team, Sefton’s Foster Carers, and young people, will be at the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle for 4 days for you to come and chat to us. We will also be bringing some great events and activities for you to get involved in so please come along.

Wednesday 18th May – Saturday 21st May

Strand Shopping Centre – Upper Level, Unit 165 Parkside (Next to JD Sports and opposite Greggs Bakers)

Events and Activities

Decorate a Feather for our Art Installation

Our #EverydayAngel campaign celebrates our foster carers, who are our #EverydayAngels and it also urges local people to think about giving a loving home to a child and become their #EverydayAngel.

In line with our campaign, we are excited to be developing an art installation which consists of hundreds of paper feathers which will make up a pair of larger angel wings. Our fostering families have already been making our individual feathers look beautiful and we are also inviting you to pop along to the Strand to decorate your own to be added to the display.

BE AN ANGEL

You can become part of our #EverydayAngel team by coming along and taking a selfie in front of the fabulous neon wing stand that we will be bringing to the Strand while we are there. Make your visit to us even more memorable by taking a snap of you and your friends to post on Instagram or Twitter.

 

Wednesday 18th, 10 – 4pm Drop in Anytime

Our friendly team including our foster carers will be on hand for you to drop in anytime and have a cup of tea and a chat. In your own time, you’ll be able to speak to experienced foster carers and the team about how to become a Foster Carer and the benefits that come with it.

Thursday 19th May, 10.30 – 12noon Open Discussion Q&A

You are invited to be part of an audience listening to a great panel of speakers including our foster carers, young people whose lives have been turned around and representatives from the Council who are supporting our fostering families.

The event will be introduced and led by Laura Knights, Sefton Council’s Head of Children’s Social Care.

Will also be playing a video we have produced with 14-year-old Jamie who is from Sefton and who is currently living in foster care. In this heart-warming video, Jamie shares his wishes and feelings past and present.

Friday 20th May 10 – 4pm Drop in Anytime

Another chance for you to meet our friendly team including our foster carers who will be on hand for you to drop in anytime and have a cup of tea and a chat.

In your own time, you’ll be able to speak to experienced foster carers and the team about how to become a foster carer and the benefits that come with it.

Saturday 21st May 11 – 1pm Weekend Info Session

If you’ve been thinking about fostering what better place to learn more than at our weekend information session.

Meet one of our amazing foster carers Dawn, and Amina, a young person who has experienced living in foster care and now lives with Dawn.

They are eager to share their story about how fostering has transformed their lives. You’ll also be able to speak to the team about how to become a foster carer and the benefits that come with it.

We would ask you to register your interest in our events so we have an idea of numbers.

Email fostering@sefton.gov.uk or call us on 0800 923 2777

A Chance to Meet ‘Lifechanging’ Foster Carers Sue & Derek

Sefton Council’s Fostering Services is delighted that local foster carers Sue and Derek will be attending its next virtual information session between 6 and 7pm on Tuesday 17th August. Charlotte, now 17, who has lived with Sue and Derek for six years said the couple changed her life.

Charlotte said:
“Living with Sue and Derek changed my life. They treat me really well, look out for me, do what’s best for me and it’s like being in a proper family.

“They’ve taught me to believe in myself so much that I am now working with the ‘Learning Foundry’ on a business idea I have for a youth bus which will help children meet friends and get advice and help.

“I don’t know where I would be without Sue and Derek’s love and support”

Aimed at anyone who has even thought about fostering, the online sessions are a chance for them to find out more about this rewarding role. At the next event Sue, who has been fostering for 18 years, and Derek, who has just been approved and is now fostering with Sue, will be talking about their own experiences and answering questions.

Speaking about life as a foster carer, Sue said:
“Being a foster carer can be one of the best things you can do. I have seen children unsure about their future, turning their lives around.”

Sue has created such a bond with the children she has looked after, that she has gone onto foster some young people, long term.

Sefton Council needs more foster carers and is inviting anyone who thinks they can give a loving and stable home to children across the Borough to attend the introductory session.

Maria Spatuzzi, Sefton’s Fostering Support Team Manager said:

“Fostering a child is an opportunity to change their life and help them to achieve their full potential.

“We hope anyone that has given fostering any consideration will join us for the online session on Tuesday 17th August to hear what Sue and Derek have to say about what is an extremely beneficial and rewarding the role.”

To join the session people should click on the link to the Teams meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 17th August.

Click here to join the meeting

To make an enquiry or find out more please visit www.seftonfostering.co.uk or call free on 0800 923 2777.

Have your say on how social housing is allocated in Sefton

Sefton Council has begun a consultation, along with local authorities in the Liverpool City Region, on how social housing is allocated and are asking tenants and future tenants, residents, landlords and housing associations to have their say.

Property Pool Plus is the system used to match people with social housing and is used by Sefton along with the local authorities in the Liverpool City Region.

The consultation invites residents, landlords, voluntary organisations, and housing associations to comment and provide feedback on the proposed changes to how social housing is allocated.

Social housing is allocated through several different ways – considering a resident’s eligibility, choice, preference, and priority – and proposed changes are suggested to each of these.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “This consultation will ensure that people right across Sefton can help to shape how social housing is allocated to residents, and ensure that the process takes into account all factors within an individual’s personal circumstances.

“We would encourage as many residents, current and prospective tenants, as well as landlords and housing associations to utilise this opportunity to help enhance the process for matching homes with people across the Borough.”

The proposed changes plan to make the social housing allocation process more accessible and quicker for those who need it most by assigning certain people with more priority based on their situation.

Some criteria that may place someone in a higher priority could include:

  • People who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
  • Victims of domestic abuse, racial abuse or hate crime
  • Members of the armed forces and reserved forces
  • Medical need

To find out more information about the changes to the policy and to take part in the consultation, please visit www.sefton.gov.uk/PPP-HaveYourSay.

The consultation will take place for 12 weeks, running from Wednesday 18th November 2020 to Wednesday 10th February 2021.

Authorities in the Liverpool City Region will all simultaneously be undertaking this survey, the authorities include Halton Borough Council, Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, Liverpool City Council, Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and Wirral Council.

One Vision Housing, Retirement Housing Scheme customers, raise £2,663.65 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

October 1 marked International Older Person’s Day which works to bring our older community together and highlight their contribution to society.

 In celebration of the day One Vision Housing hosted a number of events across their seven Retirement Housing schemes to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

 In addition to donating home-baked treats, customers had fun playing games and holding raffles all in an effort to raise as much money as possible for charity.

With help from One Vision Housing’s customers and staff, an amazing £2,663.65 was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Suzanne Meylan, Independent Living Manager said: “I’m so very proud of the Independent Living Team, our customers, friends and family in our seven Retirement Housing Schemes who have raised a fabulous £2,663.65 for Macmillan Cancer Support over the last few weeks.

“Every year the Independent Living team and our customers work hard together to put on a celebration to acknowledge International Older Person’s Day and raise much needed funds for Macmillan. The continued generosity from those who make up our communities never fails to disappoint. A huge thank you to all involved!”

One Vision Housing awarded £10k to host events to tackle loneliness

Sefton-based social housing association, One Vision Housing have been awarded £10,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to support ‘Celebrate the Good Times’, a series of four community events which aims to bring people together and tackle social isolation.

Social and retirement housing provider One Vision Housing (OVH) are addressing the issues of loneliness and lack of social interaction in older generations.

Studies show that social events can improve mental and emotional wellbeing as well as lower depression and anxiety.

The housing association successfully applied for National Lottery Awards for All funding towards four, free entry, community events taking place between June and December 2018.

OVH are working with different local organisations to invite individuals who would benefit from the social interaction afforded by the events.

The first of the four events was The Great Get Together (a More In Common project in partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation) which took place at the Bootle Firwood Cricket Club on Friday 22nd June.

Other events include a Suffragette-themed afternoon tea with live entertainment to celebrate Older Person’s Day in October, a WWI centenary event involving the Armed Forces and local veterans, and a Christmas Day Lunch where guests, who may be spending the holidays alone, can enjoy a three course meal in the company of fellow attendees and volunteers.

OVH Head of Customer Empowerment, Ann Owens said: “We were overjoyed to be awarded this funding which allows us to reach more people in our communities. It’ll make a real difference to those who may be socially isolated and wanting to get out a bit more and meet new people.”

For more information about One Vision Housing and their work in the community, visit ovh.org.uk

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