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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 or call free on 0800 923 2777.

Sefton Proudly MarchONline

Winnie the Pug is help by her owner who are holding up a rainbow Pride flagFor the second year running, staff from across Sefton Council have taken part in Liverpool City Region’s virtual Pride celebrations, MarchONline.

The virtual march took place on Saturday 31 July, on what would have been the day of the City Region’s Pride celebrations – the March with Pride and Pride in Liverpool, organised by the LCR Pride Foundation. Unfortunately, this year’s celebrations had to be cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty and risks around mass public gatherings and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, over 30 staff (and a cheeky pug named Winnie!) clapped, danced and marched in their own homes and at Sefton Council buildings to submit several videos and images to form part of Sefton Council’s MarchONline contribution. There were flags a-plenty with the traditional rainbow, trans, ally, bisexual and more featuring in the video clips submitted.

Leading the Sefton celebrations this year were Sefton Council’s Chief Executive, Dwayne Johnson, and Youth Worker, Sue Logie.

Dwayne said:

“Sefton Council is committed to ensuring that our Borough allows everybody to be their true selves. We ensure that we champion our LGBT+ members of staff and are incredibly proud to see so many colleagues take part in LCR Pride Foundation’s MarchONline.

“We’re proud to hold the Navajo Merseyside & Cheshire LGBT+ Charter Mark, an equality mark sponsored by In-Trust Merseyside and supported by the LGBT+ community networks across Merseyside – a signifier of good practice, commitment and knowledge of the specific needs, issues and barriers facing LGBT+ people.

“It’s a real shame we couldn’t get together in person this year, but I’m looking forward to marching through the streets again next year. Happy Pride 2021!”

Adding to Dwayne’s comments, Sue said:

“Sadly, we miss another physical Pride event this year, however we still get to have a virtual celebration! I know the young people, myself and the LGBT+ community and allies have missed the community during the various lockdown periods, however it is super important that we continue to stay safe and limit the spread of COVID-19.”

“We continue to show that we are a diverse Borough which welcomes everyone, and I’m proud that I can be me and that we are there to support young people in being themselves, we are so excited for a big Pride celebration next year, but for now; stay safe, be proud, be loud and be you. Happy Pride!”

The LCR Pride Foundation is Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ charity, who organised the virtual march. Andi Herring, CEO, said:

“It’s such a shame that we can’t all come together in protest and celebration of LGBT+ lives this year, our annual march is always a great show of support for our LGBT+ communities across the Liverpool City Region. We are delighted to see that Sefton Council are marching with us this year and look forward to working with them over the coming months as part of our work across the City Region.”

As a diverse Borough accepting of all, Sefton Council is committed to promoting fairness and equality to all who live, visit and work within the Borough. You can view the Council’s equality and diversity policy by clicking here.

The annual Pride march is an important time to protest, celebrate and remind people of the importance of reporting hate crimes. There are several ways you can to report a hate crime in Sefton:

In an emergency, you should always call 999.

Report it directly to the police by calling 101.

If you don’t feel comfortable reporting it to the police you can contact the independent hate crime charity Stop Hate UK –

You can visit a number of third party reporting centres across Sefton –

You can use our online form –

If you need any mental health support, help is always available.

Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline is a safe space for anyone to discuss anything, including sexuality, gender identity, sexual health and emotional well-being. Call 0300 330 0630 (10am – 10pm daily), visit the website or email (Emails are typically replied to within 72 hours)

The Anthony Walker Foundation aims to promote diversity and racial harmony in Merseyside through education, sport and the arts. 0151 237 3974

Victim Support is an independent charity which aims to help people rebuild their lives after a traumatic event. 0808 1689 111

New Beginnings is an LGBT youth group which caters for 11 to 19 year olds in Sefton. It provides a safe space for young people to socialise and learn life skills.

If you missed the celebrations, you can watch it back by clicking here.

Council using World Day Against Trafficking in Persons to remind people about tackling modern slavery

Modern Slavery LeafletTo mark today’s World Day Against Trafficking in Persons Day, Sefton Council is reminding people about its commitment to tackling modern slavery.


Individuals have been trafficked into, out of or within the UK for a number of reasons including sexual exploitation, forced labour, domestic servitude and organ harvesting. There are thought to be around 13,000 victims and survivors of modern slavery in the UK.

People can visit to find out more about modern slavery and how they can spot the signs of it.

Remain alert

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Examples of modern Slavery taking place in Merseyside have been found recently so it is important we all remain alert to the signs that could be happening in our neighbourhood or at a business we use.

“Those signs can include a person living at their workplace with their employer, someone housed with multiple other people in a cramped living space or a person who has no identification or travel documents.

“Signs of physical abuse and their psychological effects or a someone insisting on being present or interpreting any conversations could also mean modern slavery is taking place.

“In 2019, Sefton Council passed a motion setting out our commitment to helping eradicate slavery and labour exploitation. Our web page at is there to help people know what to look for as well as information on how to seek help and to report the issue.”

Supply chains

In September last year, the Home Office introduced new measures to tackle modern slavery in supply chains. This means businesses and public bodies are accountable for tackling modern slavery and are required to produce an annual statement for each financial year setting out the steps they have taken to prevent modern slavery in their business and supply chains.

You can find the Modern Slavery Awareness booklet on the Government’s website.


Sefton’s Fostering Team put their best feet forward to take part in a national TikTok challenge

Sefton Council’s Fostering Service have put on their dancing shoes and taken on the ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’.

The challenge originated as a TikTok video, but it went viral last year and is now a global sensation.

Fostering teams all over England are now taking part in the dance which is creating a wave of awareness across the country about fostering and the vital role it plays in so many children’s and young people’s lives.

Northumberland’s Foster Care team kicked…or danced off the challenge in May and other local authorities including Sefton, followed in their footsteps.

Lisa Lyons Interim Executive Director of Children Social Care and Education said; “Dance has a great way of bringing people together and the ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’ is a perfect example, so we are delighted to take part in the challenge for one main purpose.

“The song behind the dance means ‘go with me, protect me and take me home’. I think this is something with resonates with the role of a foster carer as someone who opens their home to a child or young person to protect and take care of them, longer term or preferably until they can go back to their family home.

“This challenge is a really fun way to celebrate foster care and raise awareness about the need for more local people to help our children and think about fostering for Sefton.”

Click here to watch the Sefton Fostering Team’s ‘Jerusalema Dance Challenge’.

Sefton’s Fostering Service #Jerusalemachallenge – YouTube

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

£3.2 million funding for Liverpool City Region Race Equality Hub

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