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Swab Squad latest!

Our Swab Squads are out at Sefton’s rail stations and other venues over the week, providing free, rapid COVID tests, information and advice.

They will be at:

  • Friday 1st October 2021 – Asda Aintree – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Saturday 2nd October 2021 – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Sunday 3rd October 2021 – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Monday 4th October 2021- Aintree Station – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Tuesday 5th October 2021 – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Wednesday 6th October 2021 – Asda Aintree – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Thursday 7th September 2021 – Waterloo Town Hall – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Friday 8th October 2021 – Asda Aintree – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Saturday 9th October 2021 – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 4:30pm
  • Sunday 10th October 2021 – Blundellsands Station – 08:30am until 4:30pm

Mobile testing units are also deployed at locations across the Borough on most days in September.

 

Sefton celebrating World Tourism Day

Graphic celebrating Sefton's tourism

To mark today’s World Tourism Day, Sefton Council is taking to social media to celebrate the Borough’s attractions.

Tourism brings tens of thousands of people to the Borough and in 2018, generated £555 million of income to the local economy.

Spectacular

Sefton’s 22 miles of spectacular coastline define the Borough and are the focus for visitors and tourists as well as being enjoyed by residents.

From the traditional seaside town of Southport in the north to the 100 iron men that make up Sir Antony Gormley’s world-famous artwork, ‘Another Place’ on Crosby beach in the south, Sefton’s coastline has something for everyone.

Walking, cycling, kite surfing, sea-fishing and bird spotting are among the popular activities enjoyed by visitors and local alike.

Wildlife

There are beautiful beaches and a vast stunning landscape of protected sand dunes and woodlands, which are home to an array of wildlife including red squirrels, Natterjack toads, rare sand lizards and exceptional species of flora and fauna. Large numbers of migrating birds use it as a stopping-off point in spring and autumn.

It is for this reason, the Sefton Coast enjoys high levels of protection including Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation two areas designated as Marine Conservation Zones.

And with the UK’s highest concentration of championship links courses, including Royal Birkdale, our Golf Coast is the perfect place to pitch a holiday.

Events

In addition to its coastline, Sefton also has areas of woodland, impressive parks and a number of annual events including Southport’s World Musical Fireworks Championships, Air and Flower Shows and Comedy Festival.

A recent addition to Southport’s attractions is the refurbished Market featuring mouth-watering delights and delicacies from around the world, with ten stalls and traders, as well as a feature bar and drinks space, to choose from.

Funding

Earlier this year, it was announced that Southport is set to receive £37.5 million of Town Deal funding from the Government. Key themes of the town’s Investment Plan are a new Marine Lake Events Centre, the creation of the UK’s first light, water and sound show in the Marine Lake, and Les Transformations de Southport which will see the streets that inspired Paris’s famous boulevards turned into high-quality public spaces.

Plans to increase tourism in the south of Sefton include a proposal for the UK’s first ‘Flying Cinema’ to transport visitors on a tour of the British Isles and, a Virtual Reality Time-Travel Tunnel will take visitors on a journey through the ‘History of Bootle and Liverpool’, including an experience of the city’s blitz.

These and measures to encourage visitors to nearby Crosby to stay longer, form part of Sefton Council’s Levelling Up bids to the Government, which total almost £34 million.

Find out more about visiting Sefton.

Sefton Council is taking to Facebook and Twitter to share images celebrating Sefton’s attractions through the day.

Annual Sefton In Mind campaign launched to mark World Suicide Prevention Day

Sefton In Mind LogoIn the past two years, we’ve seen the power of hope in action and the need for connection and communication has been more vital than ever.  Friday 10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day and the start of the annual Sefton In Mind campaign. This year’s theme is reflection – encouraging everyone to remember our role in growing positive mental health and wellbeing, and highlighting the importance of communities working together to help people through what has been exceptionally difficult time.

The global pandemic has impacted all areas of our lives including our mental health, which may continue for years to come. With many aspects of life returning to their pre-pandemic state – some people may find the lifting of restrictions and opening up of other areas of life hard to navigate.

Jan Campbell, Health and Social Care Officer at Sefton CVS said:

Reflection is an important process in helping us to develop a deeper understanding of why we feel what we feel. Through this process we learn and grow stronger. If we all take time to reflect on what we can do as individuals for your own wellbeing or to help others, that could make a huge difference. Suicide is preventable and small actions, like just asking “how are you?“ can make a big difference. Supporting activity in your local community is a great way of help others. There are many opportunities available throughout Sefton to get involved in activities that support people who are currently struggling.”

Health partners in Sefton have witnessed a considerable rise in demand for early intervention and prevention services – but we still have some way to go. A local person who had attempted to take their own life said:

“It’s not always easy, particularly if you feel you reached a point where hope has dissolved and lost its past meaning. So, I do a few things when I’m not feeling hope which helps me turn that corner and starts chipping away at that dark cloud overhead.”

Helping your local community and exploring the mental health services available to everyone is a good way of safeguarding your mental health and that of those people you care about.

Practical ways to boost your mood:

  • Physical Exercise. However you’re feeling inside, any form of physical exercise that you are able to do (taking yourself out for a walk) will release  endorphins – energising both the brain and the body.
  • Identify your triggers: Is there something in your current lifestyle that is adding to your low mood? Think about your diet, sleep patterns or alcohol consumption –  these can all have an impact on your mood.
  • Get a sleep routine: There are lots of relaxation apps to help you cultivate good sleeping habits – limiting your phone time before bed can help with sleeping patterns
  • Be solution-focused: If something is bothering you – ask yourself what can be done about it? Do you need any help in making those changes?
  • Talk to someone: Even if you don’t feel you can share with family or friends, there is always someone to talk to, a number to call

Taking any of these small steps will have a positive impact on your mental health.

Dr Rory McGill, Consultant in Public Health, said:

“Sefton in Mind this year emphasises the importance of connecting with ourselves. The pandemic has been incredibly challenging for everyone, so it is important that we take time to reflect on our own mental health and how much we have all endured and come together in Sefton to support each other through such unprecedented times.”

For more information about local support please visit https://directory.seftoncvs.org.uk/

Sefton families will be among many hard-hit by Government’s planned Universal Credit cut

Cllr Trish Hardy
Cllr Trish Hardy

With just a month to go until Government plans to reduce Universal Credit by £20 a week are scheduled to come effect Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, has added her voice to the widespread concern about the cut and the effect it will have on Sefton families.

Working families

Cllr Hardy said: “A high proportion of households across Sefton, including many working families, rely on Universal Credit and this number has increased as a result of the pandemic and the effect it has had locally on jobs.

“If the Government goes ahead with its plans to cut Universal Credit by £20 next month it will be a disaster for those families many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet.”

Last week, 100 organisations, including charities, children’s doctors and public health experts wrote to the Prime Minister calling on him to abandon his Government’s plans to go ahead with the £20 reduction. Among the 100 signatories to the letter were Business in the Community which was founded by the Prince of Wales, Oxfam, Save the Children, the Trussell Trust, the Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health, and the Conservative thinktank Bright Blue.

Analysis by Citizens Advice has shown that £20 a week is equivalent to six days of energy costs or three days of food costs for a low-income family. Separate academic research shows 63% of people supported the £20 increase during the pandemic, and 50% supported making it permanent.

Slashing

Cllr Hardy continued: “It has been estimated that by slashing Universal Credit by £20 each week or £1,040 per year, the Government is going to push around ½ million families across the country, including many in Sefton, into poverty.

“And we know that as well as the day-to-day strain it puts on individuals and families, poverty has the largest impact on infant mortality and during childhood, it is the first step to poor physical and mental health.

“During the pandemic more Sefton families have fallen falling into the absolute or relative low-income category and we have seen eligibility for free school meals rise.”

“Sefton has a high proportion of jobs that tend to be lower paid and even with the £20 increase in Universal Credit, working families have found themselves in poverty.

“Taking that money away from them next month represents a disaster, particularly when you consider the health issues these workers and their children will face and will make a mockery of any claims by the Prime Minister’s claim to be on the side of families.”

Emergency help

She added: “During the COIVID-19 pandemic Sefton Council has given out over 4,800 payments for emergency help and made over 2,700 Discretionary Housing Payments to help people struggling with rents and bills.

“Our website contains information for people on Universal Credit, benefits and a range of related topics including help with rent and Council Tax and the Borough’s Foodbank Network at www.sefton.gov.uk/advice-benefits”.

Sefton’s SEND Local Offer Website Refreshed

Local Offer GraphicSefton Council is excited to launch a brand-new redesign of an area of the website which informs parents, carers and children who have special education needs and/or disability (SEND), about local services available to them.

The Local Offer gives clear and accessible information about support services for local children and young people aged 25 and under and includes information about activities, projects, education, health, social care and much more.

The redesign of the Local Offer means it now has a fresh new look, making it fun to use with brighter colours, picture and logos. A new layout with eye catching icons also means that navigation is easier and clearer.

The project was coproduced by parents, carers and children whose opinions and experiences helped shape the new look and feel. Young people from Sefton’s Buddy Up, a mentoring and befriending service for young people with additional needs, formed a focus group so members could share their ideas.

Cllr Mhairi Doyle M.B.E, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care said:

“We really want to make sure that the Local Offer Website is an invaluable tool for parents, carers and children living in Sefton. This redesign means that not only is it exciting and pleasing to the eye, but it is also easier to use and even more accessible.

“We value the opinions of our young people and their families and I am delighted that they have had the opportunity to give ideas and advice to improve a service which will benefit residents across the borough.”

Andrew Jennings, SEN & Inclusion Policy Development Officer at Sefton Council said;

“It’s been great working with Joe, Lewis, Joshua and Debra, who are our young people from Buddy Up. They’ve been able to tell us what they think of the Local Offer and how they wanted to see it improved.

“There is lots of really useful information on it, but they wanted to make it more colourful and eye catching so it’s more appealing for children and young people.

“They worked great as a team, researching, sharing their ideas with us, and giving feedback about the changes we had made.

“I’d also like to thank all of the parents and carers who worked with us, their input has been invaluable to this project. A special thanks must also go to Sefton Parent Carers Forum for their ideas and feedback.”

We would like to hear your views about the new Local Offer. Please click here to give feedback.

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