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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.

Sefton residents are urged to honour 2021’s Holocaust Memorial Day online

Sefton residents are urged to honour Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, by joining an online service, on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm

This year, Sefton will remember the millions of Jewish, Gypsy, Muslim, and many other ethnic minority groups and disabled people, who were killed during the Holocaust as well as millions of others who have died in more recent genocides, by joining a special virtual Memorial event.

Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Service, which usually takes place at Christ Church in Southport, cannot go ahead as planned due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead the Council along with Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Group are asking residents to take part in the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s online national Memorial Service on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm.

People can register their place to join the Trusts’ first fully digital ceremony at www.hmd.org.uk.

In line with this year’s ‘Be the light in the darkness’ theme, people are also being encouraged to light a candle at 8pm.

They can also let others know they are taking part in the ‘Light the Darkness National Moment’ by taking a photograph to share on social media with the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, said: “It is so important, even with restrictions in place, that we join others around the world to remember those who endured such atrocities and honour the survivors whose lives were changed forever.

“The theme of this years’ service is ‘Be a Light in the Darkness’, and this couldn’t be more relevant as our communities should stand together and demonstrate how we can ‘be the light’ by showing solidarity in a time of crisis and divisions across the World.”

 

Make 2021 the year you do something amazing. Foster with Sefton and make a difference to a child’s life

As we make plans for the year ahead, could 2021 be the year you become a foster carer? Sefton Council is urging local people to think about giving a loving home to a local child who really needs it.

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on vulnerable children’s lives meaning that we need foster carers now more than ever. Whilst restrictions mean we are recruiting a little differently, we’re still urgently calling for people to come forward to find out more about this rewarding role.

Dorsey and her husband Daniel have been fostering with Sefton for seven months and became new carers during the pandemic.

Dorsey said; “This is the best thing we have ever done, and we love every minute of it. If anyone is thinking about fostering, please don’t let COVID restrictions put you off. We went through our training and were approved during lockdown and the constant contact and support from Sefton Council has been amazing. They have been with us every step of the way.

“Our ten-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl absolutely love helping out and having fun with our foster child and this experience has really brought our family closer together. During lockdown we’ve been able to go for walks and trips to the park and it’s heart-breaking to know that some children don’t have any family during these challenging and often isolating times.”

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said; “There is now more of a need to recruit new carers than ever before. Our foster care capacity is full, and we need to recruit a least 20 more additional carers by the end of this year. 

“We can see how the COVID pandemic has brought out people’s compassion and willingness to help one another. Fostering gives a unique opportunity to give something back as you will be helping our most vulnerable children achieve their full potential by giving them the best start in life.

“Some people may be experiencing changes to their work and personal lives and may have seen their circumstances change as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.

“It is a period where some people are evaluating their lives and thinking about changes for the future. I urge anyone who has thought about becoming a foster carer to take this opportunity to find out more and see whether giving this vital support is for them.”

Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances.

Join us at our next virtual Fostering Information Session on 26 January 6.00 – 7.00pm to find out more and meet Katy one of our carers who knows what opening your home to fostering is all about.

To make an enquiry or join our virtual information session please visit www.seftonfostering.co.uk or call 0800 923 2777.

 

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