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.
“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.
For 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.
“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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org (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. email@example.com
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
To 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.
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 www.sefton.gov.uk/modernslavery is there to help people know what to look for as well as information on how to seek help and to report the issue.”
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.
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’.
Biggest ever investment in tackling racial inequality in the Liverpool City Region
£3.2m hub will aim to remove barriers in the labour market
22,000 Local Authority and Combined Authority staff to receive race equality training
Increasing diversity could be worth £300m to the LCR economy every year
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has announced the biggest ever investment in tackling racial inequality in the Liverpool City Region.
A £3.2 million Race Equality Hub will target employment inequalities and remove barriers in the labour market.
The Hub, one of the first of its kind in the country, will focus on training, employment support and business assistance for people from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
The work would also see the City Region’s 22,000 local government staff receive race equality training.
Creation of the Hub is a key part of the Combined Authority’s Race Equality Programme, which was established by the Metro Mayor in the wake of last year’s Black Lives Matter protests.
The programme aims to tackle systemic racial injustice and inequality in the City Region.
It is estimated that addressing race inequalities could add around £300m to the Liverpool City Region economy each year.
Speaking about the investment, Mayor Rotheram said:
“We’ve all seen in the past few weeks, with the abuse directed at black footballers, that there is still a lot of work to be done to tackle racial inequality in this country. In the Liverpool City Region, we’re trying to lead the way.
“Through the Race Equality Programme we launched last year, we are taking practical, proactive and positive action to level the playing field and overcome bigotry and discrimination.
“I want to work with the communities most affected by racial inequality to create a Race Equality Hub designed around their needs and priorities. With their support, I want to see this hub lead on removing barriers to success and become a beacon of good practice for the rest of the country to follow.”
Joanne Anderson, Mayor of Liverpool and Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Education, Skills, Equality and Diversity, said:
“The evidence of the negative social and economic effects of racial inequality is overwhelming. Not only does it impact individuals from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds, limiting their opportunities and reducing their quality of life, it is also an unforgivable waste of talent and potential for our society as a whole.
“We want to ensure that everyone in our city region has equality of opportunity and the Race Equality hub will deliver a programme of interventions to make that happen.”
Moni Akinsanya, LJMU’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager who initiated the Reciprocal Mentoring Programme, Positive Action Programme and the LCRCA’s Black, Asian, and Minority Staff Leadership Development Programme said:
“The Race Equality Hub is a desperately needed initiative. Many organisations wish to proactively address the issue of recruitment, progression and retention of people from Black, Asian and Minority communities but don’t really know how and who to approach. The hub will provide the urgently needed support and answer as it will bring together experts and consultants from diverse communities to work with organisations and people of colour themselves in addressing pertinent issues. I’m particularly pleased that a significant amount of investment has been put into this initiative which goes to show the seriousness about taking action for real visible and tangible changes in our city-wide region.”
Maleka Egeonu-Roby, community mentor at Elev8 Group, said:
“I am feeling particularly optimistic about “The Hub”. The opportunity to pool together and connect the work all the organisations are doing across the city region will provide a united and powerful front to tackling barriers and disproportionalities Black people and ethnically diverse communities face. For me, the opportunity to train local authority staff is pivotal, one black employee is not an expert of all black experiences. Also, providing employment and career pathways for Black and Ethnically diverse people where systems and the culture of the organisation will be inclusive of them and their needs is fundamental.”
Earl Jenkins, Chair of Kingsley United FC, said:
“Poverty is one of the biggest killers within our community – it also leads so many of our community to prison, and this initiative could be the key to breaking the negative cycles we have experienced for many years, breaking our families down.
“Our young people have so much promise but have had no arena to showcase their talent forcing them to move outside the city region for a career, and they are the lucky ones ! So many employment doors have been closed to us year after year, whilst we flourish in other parts of the country, how can this be?
“Finally we can now show the strength of our business case for inclusion and slam the doors on previous injustice within LOCAL employment! This is the right thing to do morally and financially for our wonderful, multi-cultural City Region!”
Work to establish the Hub will start this Autumn and take two forms. One, led by the Combined Authority, will include action to increase participation in existing programmes where people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are underrepresented and to raise awareness of race equality issues across the city region.
That will include rolling out a programme of race equality training to the 22,000 people employed by the Combined Authority and the six Local Authorities.
It will also include the City Region’s involvement in The World Reimagined, a national art education programme that aims to help reframe cultural narrative on what it means to ‘be British’.
At the same time, a full business case will be created for the Hub. The Combined Authority will set up an external development board as it looks for partners to co-develop and co-design the initiative.
It is anticipated the Race Equality Hub will deliver business support, job readiness schemes, leadership development and mentoring programmes, as well as race equality training for businesses and organisations.
Extensive stakeholder engagement has already taken place to understand the specific issues in the Liverpool City Region, including speaking with nearly 350 people, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic-led organisations and citizens across all ages.