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Sefton Schools’ successes at Educate Awards

Cllr. John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding has welcomed the news that two Sefton schools were announced as winners at last night’s Educate Awards ceremony.

During the online event, Litherland High School were announced as Most Inspirational Secondary School Award and also came runner up in The Communication Award category.

And, Netherton Moss Primary School won the Outstanding Arts in Primary School Award.

Viewers were also wowed by Formby High School’s pre-recorded performance of Stormzy’s ‘Blinded By Your Grace’ which opened the show. The school was named runner up in the Outstanding Commitment to Arts in Secondary School.

Excellence

Cllr Kelly said: “I am delighted to hear of the success of these Sefton schools in these awards that recognise excellence across Merseyside, Cheshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

“Well done to all the pupils and staff at Litherland High School and Netherton Moss Primary School involved and also to those at Formby High School for their inspring performance to open the ceremony and for being runners up in the Outstanding Commitment to Arts in Secondary School.”

The ceremony, in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh, took place virtually and was streamed on YouTube, due to the current coronavirus restrictions in place.

Reactions

Presented by broadcaster Simon ‘Rossie’ Ross, the live ceremony connected with judges and sponsors, via Zoom, who revealed the winning schools. The event then crossed live to the individuals from the winning schools to find out their reaction in real time.

Each of the 21 awards focus on different aspects of school life, including careers and enterprise, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects, SEND (special educational needs and disabilities), as well as sport, the arts and mental health and wellbeing.

Congratulations

Kim O’Brien, founder of the Educate Awards, said: “A huge congratulations to all the winning Sefton schools! I would also like to say a big well done to the runners-up, those who were shortlisted and everyone who took the time to enter last year. You should all be very proud of yourselves!

“It has been really tough for those working in schools and we are so pleased that we have managed to find a way to shine a spotlight on the hard work and dedication that goes on inside and outside of school. We hope this has given a much-needed lift to those in education, given the incredibly challenging times we are going through at the moment.”

You can watch the Educate Awards ceremony here.

Cllr Hardy thanks Sefton’s voluntary, community and faith organisations for their ‘amazing’ support for vulnerable residents

Our Housing & Communities Cabinet Member Cllr Trish Hardy has written to Sefton’s voluntary, community and faith organisations to thank them for their ‘amazing’ support for our vulnerable residents.

Here’s her letter.

To – all voluntary, community and faith organisations

Dear all

I would like to thank you all for your continued support to our local residents and for your ongoing support to Sefton Council throughout this pandemic. Your response to supporting our vulnerable residents has been amazing with many of you doing befriending calls, shopping, food support, dog walking and general wellbeing contact. Without you and the contribution of your volunteers many of our residents would have struggled in this last year.

As you know our priority now as a country and as a borough is to get this pandemic under control and the only way to do that is to follow the guidance and the rules around social distancing, washing hands and covering our faces. Your help to cascade these messages within your communities is needed now more than ever.  We also need to ensure that we are not doing anything that may undermine the key messages, such as organising community events or anything that brings together large groups of people for litter picking or environmental clean-ups etc. In normal circumstances I would be the first person to encourage this type of activity but now is not the time to be doing such activities, however well intended.  It is fine for households to undertake litter picks but only with the people they live with and I would ask you through your social media channels to perhaps encourage families to get involved in keeping their own streets and local parks clean and to do safely and only with those people that they live with.

We need the support of our community and voluntary organisations to model the behaviours that we would like our wider residents to follow and I am asking for your help to ensure that the clear public health messages and guidance is followed. That is the only way we can get back to normal. All Covid advice and information can be found here: COVID-19 in Sefton

There is light in sight though with the roll out of the vaccination programme and I just want to thank many of you for your support around the delivery of this. I know Sefton CVS are recruiting volunteers to support the roll out so please go the link and sign up and encourage your members and your residents through your social media pages to get involved. For more information on the volunteering roles and to sign up to become a Vaccination Volunteer please visit; volunteeringsefton.org.uk/vaccination-volunteer/

Finally I hope to be able to go out and visit many of you in the coming months when we are able to get back to face to face gatherings and community events and activities.

Many thanks

Trish Hardy's signature

Cllr Trish Hardy

Cheshire & Merseyside Directors of Public Health join call for supermarkets to closely adhere to COVID-19 guidance

Directors of Public Health across the region are appealing to all supermarkets and food/convenience stores to adhere to the COVID secure public health guidance. Several national supermarkets have recently confirmed that they will be tightening up the rules and enforcing the use of face coverings in their stores which is welcomed by Directors. The Directors of Public Health, who are leading the local public health response to COVID, would like to ensure the public are as protected as possible in light of the high numbers of COVID cases in Cheshire & Merseyside.

The public health guidance for supermarkets includes ensuring the use of face coverings by customers and staff (unless someone is medically exempt), a one way system, a limit on numbers of shoppers in store, social distancing markers for 2 metres and allowing only one person to shop with exceptions such as people who need a carer. It also asks supermarkets to remind customers to only handle products they intend to buy.

Ian Ashworth, current Chair of the Cheshire & Merseyside Directors of Public Health Board said, “Despite the great progress being made with the vaccine roll out, it is still important that organisations continue to keep people safe. Supermarkets and food stores can help reduce the spread of COVID by strictly adhering to the public health guidance. Our hospitals are still extremely overwhelmed with COVID patients so we must do everything we can. If supermarkets and food stores can closely follow the guidance, it will contribute to fewer positive COVID cases in our community. We all want to see an end to this lockdown. We would like to thank everyone working in the food/retail sector who have worked tirelessly to serve their customers throughout this difficult time.”

Directors of Public Health would also like to remind members of the public to stay at home and only leave the house for permitted reasons such as essential shopping, exercise and medical appointments. They are also encouraging people to shop locally and use online deliveries where possible. A full list of exceptions to the “stay at home” rules can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

If you develop symptoms of COVID (fever, new continuous cough or loss/change of taste or smell) you can obtain a test by visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling 119. If your test is positive you must follow the guidance including self-isolating immediately. More information on self-isolating can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

For those who need support during this difficult time please visit www.kindtoyourmind.org which has details of 24/7 crisis helplines and resources to help mental wellbeing.

Join our virtual fostering info session and learn more about this rewarding role

Our friendly fostering team invites you to join our virtual information session Tuesday 26th January 6.00 – 7.00pm to find out more about fostering, from the comfort of your own home.

Make this year a year to remember and become a foster carer for Sefton. You’ll be giving a loving and stable home to a local child who really needs it.

Whether you’re ready to start your fostering journey or want the answers to some of those burning questions, our information session is a great place for you to find out more.

Katy is one of our amazing foster carers and will be at the session to tell you all about her experience and give her advice.

Katy says; “I started fostering 8 years ago and have looked after children of all ages from babies to teenagers. I absolutely adore being a foster carer, the children are amazing, and I love them all to bits. I know from experience that making that first enquiry is a big step but please do it today, it will be the best decision you’ll ever make.”

This is also a great opportunity to meet our fostering team who can speak to you about the fostering process and answer any questions you have.

If you’re interested on booking a place call 0800 923 2777 or email fostering.adoption@sefton.gov.uk and if you want to go ahead we’ll send you a meeting invite.

Sefton Council aiming to help take the gloom out of Blue Monday

Ainsdale Beach
Spars of wood left from ship wrecks on Ainsdale Beach

Although this Monday, the third in January, has been dubbed 2021’s Blue Monday, Sefton Council is highlighting a few way people can beat the blues.

Blue Monday is rumoured to have got its name owing to the combination of post-Christmas blues, cold weather, dark nights and the arrival of the month’s bills. Others claim it was a stunt by a travel company to encourage people to look ahead and book a holiday.

Whatever its origins, ongoing national lockdown restrictions means this year’s Blue Monday could be seen as bluer than usual, which is why Sefton Council wants to remind people across the Borough of some things that will help cheer them up.

Positive effect

Keeping active can have a positive effect on our physical and mental wellbeing and Active Sefton is promoting the free ‘MOVE-IT’ programme.

Consisting of up to six sessions, ‘MOVE-it’ is designed to help families to adopt a healthy lifestyle through offering healthy eating advice along with ideas and ways to increase physical activity targeted at children in different age groups, from 5 to 16.

More information is available at www.activelifestyles-sefton.co.uk/move-it/.

Games and circuits

Active Sefton is also supporting a range of activities such as free, games and circuits YouTube workouts to help children. And for those adults who are looking to get healthy, there’s also 10 minute Abs workout, plus yoga, kettlebell and HIIT workouts led by the Active Sefton Team. Details are at www.activeseftonfitness.co.uk.

People can find about these and other activities by following Active Sefton on social media or visiting www.sefton.gov.uk/sport-leisure.

Incredible spaces

The Council’s Green Sefton teams is also reminding people across the Borough that they have some incredible spaces on their doorsteps where they can get outdoors for their daily local exercise and fresh air. Sefton residents can find out more about what their Borough has to offer at www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/

Additionally, if people find that Monday is blue because they are frustrated or lonely or are worried about their health finances and other aspect of their lives, the Council has pulled together a directory of services available to residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. These can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/healthandwellbeing

Vaccine volunteers

For those people who want to help take the blues out of others’ Mondays and every day, Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) is currently supporting the recruitment of volunteers for the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Team. Roles include welcoming patients, marshalling at test venues, logistical support and help in recovery areas. To find out what they can do, people should visit www.volunteeringsefton.org.uk/vaccination-volunteer

Inspiration

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “This is a time of year when some people can feel at a low point and the lockdown isn’t helping but we want to ensure people know that the Council is there to provide support as well as inspiration for things we can all do to boost our physical and mental health while following the restrictions.

“And, looking to the future, if we all stick to the requirements to minimise transmission of the COVID-19 virus and we take the opportunity to get vaccinated when we’re offered it, we will hopefully be seeing some aspects of all our lives returning to some level of normality over the coming weeks and months.

“By looking after ourselves and each other, we can get from a Blue Monday to Terrific Tuesdays, Wonderful Wednesdays, Thrilling Thursdays Fab Fridays and Super Saturdays and Sundays.”

People can also find information and support on maintaining their mental and physical health  on the Sefton Directory.

Find out how lockdown is affecting Sefton Council services.

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