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Sefton’s Year of Friendship celebrates diversity this July

This July, Sefton Council’s Year Of Friendship campaign is celebrating diversity across our borough.

In the same month that will see the first Liverpool City Region Pride event take place in Liverpool on Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28, extending the values and reach of Pride across the whole Liverpool City Region, we’ll be shining a light on the many groups, teams, individuals and organisations who promote diversity across Sefton.

From a pioneering transgender employability course which provides support and advice to transgender people looking for work, to specialist classes offered to refugees to help them speak English, Sefton provides a range of support to people from diverse backgrounds to help them make new friends and build new networks.

Keep your eyes on this website and on Sefton Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and information about how you can get involved in the many groups and initiatives operating across our communities.

Offering learning opportunities to refugees living across the borough

Sefton Council offers a number of courses to refugees in the borough to support them on their journey of learning English and integrating in to 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.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Developing communication 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.”

To find out more about our refugee programme, or any other courses at the Sefton Community Learning Service, visit https://mysefton.co.uk/2019/06/21/7931/ or contact us on 0151 934 4546.

Transgender Employability Course piloted in Sefton

A bespoke initiative to help unemployed transgender and transitioning people back in to work is being piloted in Sefton this month (July 2019).

The Butterflies Programme, the first ever Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)-funded transgender eligibility course, is being held in Southport.

The course has been commissioned by DWP following feedback from members of the transgender community and people undergoing transition, to provide support and advice to address additional barriers faced by transgender people when looking for work.

The free two-week programme began on Monday, July 1 and involves one-to-one and group sessions to offer support with:

  • Confidence building and personal development
  • Employment skills and tools
  • Handling difficult questions and situations
  • Preparing for interviews

It is open to any Merseyside resident, aged over 18, who is unemployed and in receipt of one of the following benefits; Universal Credit, Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance. The course begins in July 2019 in Southport and all travel costs will be covered.

For more information about the course contact Jan Morrell on 0788 027 5733 / Janice.morrell@dwp.gov.uk or Gary Bell on 0755 725 4010 / gary.j.bell@dwp.gov.uk

LCR Pride Foundation to lead Liverpool City Region bid for Gay Games 2026

Earlier this year Liverpool City Region Pride Foundation revealed its intention to bid for the Liverpool City Region to host the 2026 Gay Games, a move that was backed by the region’s Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram.

The news came alongside the announcement of British Paralympian, Claire Harvey MBE, as its newest Patron. Recognised as a world leader in diversity and inclusion and culture, the former LJMU student is currently the Director of Culture and Inclusion for EDIT Development.

The Gay Games is a worldwide sport and cultural event that takes place every four years, welcoming more than 10,000 athletes competing in 30+ sports. It attracts tens of thousands of spectators who also attend to take part in the event’s extensive cultural programme, which includes music, visual arts and mass participation events such as fun runs.

Bids will be submitted in 2020 and the successful city will be announced by the event’s sanctioning body, the Federation of Gay Games, at its Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong in 2021.

Speaking in support of the bid, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Diversity, respect, equality, and solidarity for all are the foundation blocks on which the Games are built, and they are values we share.

“Our region is well accustomed to holding sporting events that attract a worldwide audience. The Merseyside Derby, Rugby Super League, The Open and the Grand National are regular features in our sporting calendar but never before have we held anything on the scale of the Gay Games.

“I relish the opportunity to build on our strong track record of supporting LGBT+ rights, empowering communities and creating lasting social change. And that is why I am proud to support this bid.”

Find out more at https://mysefton.co.uk/2019/03/12/lcr-pride-foundation-to-lead-liverpool-city-region-bid-for-gay-games-2026/ , visit www.LCRGayGames.com or follow @LCRGayGames on Twitter or Facebook at LCR Gay Games 2026.

Sefton Council has once again marked Srebrenica Memorial Day, July 11 at Waterloo Town Hall

Since 2016 the local authority has remembered the 1995 Srebrenica genocide in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which saw over 8,000 Muslim men and boys killed by Serbian nationalist forces.

 To mark the date, a special flag was flying at Waterloo Town Hall as a mark of remembrance. 

 Sefton’s libraries in Crosby, Formby and Southport also displayed literary materials to help educate future generations about Srebrenica.

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Srebrenica was a terrible atrocity and it is only right that we remember those affected every year and support memorial events as part of the UK-wide Remembering Srebrenica Memorial Week.

“Each memorial marks an opportunity for us all to pledge to creating a better, stronger and more cohesive society in Sefton and across the whole of the UK.

“The lessons we learn from Srebrenica are that hatred and intolerance can flourish if left unchallenged. We must all understand the consequences of leaving hatred and intolerance unchallenged.

“By doing this, we give ourselves hope of illuminating the darkness and creating a better, safer and stronger society for all.”

 For more information about Srebrenica Memorial Week, visit www.srebrenica.org.uk

Operation Target – arrests and drugs, weapons, scrambler bikes and recovered following day of action in Bootle

A multi-agency day of action in Bootle yesterday (Wednesday 10 July) has seen seven warrants, and the recovery of drugs, weapons and scrambler bikes as authorities in the area continue to take action following recent incidents in the community.

 Working alongside Sefton Council and local housing trusts, officers have been working in areas of Bootle which have seen serious incidents of violence recently, including gun crime, arson and violence.

 As a result of today’s action, seven warrants were carried out and a number of arrests made, including a 34-year-old man from Litherland arrested on suspicion of theft of a motorbike, a 35-year-old woman from Bootle arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs and possession of cannabis; and others voluntarily attending police stations in relation to drug and money laundering offences.

 Supported by dog units and underwater search teams, we have carried out searches of the canal area and other areas including Derby Park, resulting in the seizure of knives, a baseball bat and shotgun cartridges.

 Superintendent Graeme Robson, Area Commander for Sefton, explains the reasons behind today’s activity: “We know that the Bootle community have seen a lot of police activity in their area recently, both as a response to incidents, and with warrants being carried out. Today we are stepping this up, and will keep doing so when necessary, in Bootle and any areas which require action.

“We have had some great recent success, in arresting and charging those we suspect of dealing drugs, and I want to reassure everyone locally that we will continue working alongside our partners to act on all the information you provide.

“But this week isn’t all about enforcement. Tomorrow we will also be in the area with a mobile police station to speak to residents, and working with our partners to carry out repairs and cleaning. Come and speak to us, see what is going on, and we can and will make the difference to Bootle. We want these streets to be hostile to criminals and safe and welcoming to everyone else.

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We are committed to reducing and preventing anti-social behaviour right across the borough in order to make our thriving communities even safer.

“It’s important that we work closely with our partners including Merseyside Police, to reduce crime in Sefton and welcome the operations taking place.”

 Your help and information leads to such positive activity, so have the confidence to speak to us directly or if you don’t feel able to call police, come forward anonymously via Crimestoppers, a charity which is independent of police, on 0800 555 111.

Merseyside Police join forces with partners for Knife Crime Question Time Panel

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Andy Cooke joined Sue Gregory from Everton in the Community, Chief Fire Officer Phil Garrigan from Mersey Fire and Rescue Service, headteacher Tony Costello the parents of Sam Cook at Salvo Salesian College in Bootle today for a Knife Crime Question Time to discuss the impact on knife crime and what can be done to combat it.

 Schools from all over Merseyside took part including Savio Salesian, Calderstones, Litherland High, Maricourt, Hillside, Penkford as well as Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s Prince Trust programmes. The event was organised by Merseyside Police in conjunction with Everton in the Community and hosted by Radio City presenter Pete Price.

 The event came a week after Merseyside Police launched £4.2m Operation Target which aims to combat serious and violent crime, including knife crime.

 The panel answered questions from the audience during a 90 minute session which aimed to understand the causes of knife crime, who is affected by knife crime, what the professionals are doing to target it and what young people can do as part of the solution.

 Questions included “How can young people protect ourselves and feel safe in the city?”, “Do you think the current punishments for having/using knives are harsh enough?” and “What do you think is the most influential factor in kids carrying weapons?”

 Speaking after the event, Chief Constable Cooke said it was important to hear the opinion of young people about what can be done to combat knife crime.

He said: “Sadly we have seen far too many knife crime incidents across the country and over Merseyside in the last couple of years. We need to keep giving out the message about how it wrecks lives. Today we were fortunate enough to hear from Gill and Alan (the parents of Sam Cook). Sadly their son was murdered by a man with a knife 18 months ago. If more people could hear that message it would stop people from carrying knives. The absolute devastation it has caused to their family and all families, that is the message we need to get across. Not only is it the wrong thing to do but the devastating impact on families is incredible.”

 He added: “Importantly [today] we have been getting the views of young people about what we should be doing to tackle knife crime and that is essential because this is not an issue that policing will solve or even police and partners together will solve. The communities will solve this alongside us and young people in communities are crucial to doing that.”

 #StopKnifeCrime #OpTarget

Metro Mayor presents school ‘Year of the Environment’ drawing competition awards

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, recently visited St Benedict’s RC Primary School in Netherton to present the awards in a drawing competition linked to the Liverpool City Region Year of the Environment.

The competition was the culmination of class work that saw the children learn about their local environment.  Six-year-old Lauren Williams scooped first prize with her drawing of a meandering river with five fish swimming down-stream, in clear waters.

Lauren’s family won tickets for the Blue Planet Aquarium while the runner-up Hope Jones won family passes to Knowsley Safari Park.

Emma Carrington, St Benedict’s primary school teacher, said: “St. Benedict’s School has been delighted to take part in this competition to highlight Liverpool City Region’s Year of the Environment. The children enjoyed learning all about the different animals and plants in Sefton and now have a greater appreciation for what a beautiful place we live in.”

Attending the competition presentation, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, added: “The Year of the Environment is all about raising awareness of the challenges facing our planet so it is great to see our local primary schools getting involved.  It is clear from the quality of their pictures that these children were really engaged in thinking about the world around them and the importance of looking after our environment.  I’m sure they could teach the grown-ups a thing or two!”

Councillor Carla Thomas, who is a governor at St Benedict’s and a deputy portfolio holder at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, added: “By inviting the children of St Benedict’s Primary School to participate in a creative competition to commemorate the Liverpool City Region’s Year of the Environment. It was my aim to start to inspire the children in Netherton to become active and engage with an environmentally focussed project that shows you are never too young or too small to make a difference!

“By participating with an innovative activity it has encouraged young people to become responsible global activists, developing their understanding, empathy and a sense of responsibility. We can empower our young generation to protect their environment and motivate tomorrow’s leaders to help make our world a better and greener place.

“The children at St Benedict’s Primary School are delighted that the Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region has attended their awards ceremony to recognise their efforts and work highlighting the environmental issues that matter to them.

“St. Oswald ward can be proud of the children who are paving the way to inspire other youngsters to follow them by illustrating the fantastic landscapes we have in Sefton with an abundance of protective designations, such as the Red Squirrel Reserve in Formby, the Sefton Coastal Dune System and the special wildlife habitats, along the coast.

“What’s more, I am profoundly grateful to the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port and to Knowsley Safari Park for their very kind donations.”

The Liverpool City Region officially declared 2019 as the ‘Year of the Environment’. This is a cross agency programme led by the Liverpool City Region’s Local Nature Partnership, Nature Connected along with the Combined Authority, the city region’s six local authorities, the Environment Agency and Natural England.

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