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Message from Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council

I know many of us are understandably worried about the current Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that is dominating our daily lives right now.

 Together we are facing a huge challenge, and we are already seeing changes to the way we live our lives.

 I want to reassure you that Sefton Council is working hard to make sure that we are able to continue to provide the vital services that you rely on.

 Our services have plans in place to ensure that we can continue to support the most vulnerable residents in the borough.

Changes to services

Over the next few weeks or months, we may not be able to do everything that we usually do, we may need to alter or cancel some services, and others may be slower.  This is so that we can prioritise those services that support our most vulnerable residents. Please bear with us.

 We want to make sure that those most in need can reach us. If you are concerned about yourself or a vulnerable family member, friend or neighbour, please visit this link for more information

 Helping vulnerable people is what we do on a daily basis and we are preparing for that work to expand considerably.

Helping each other

Throughout this difficult and uncertain time, I am proud that the people of Sefton have come together to support their friends and neighbours, and I have been heartened by the number of people coming forward to volunteer their time and energy to help their communities.

 Being good neighbours is one of the best things we can do to help each other.  It is really important that we are looking out for our neighbours and thinking about the community we live in.

 We will support and encourage the huge community spirit that exists across Sefton to ensure people who want to volunteer can do so through established charities and organisations. We are working closely with voluntary organisations to explore the best way to do this and will announce the details of how to get involved shortly.

Support for Local businesses

We recognise that we are a borough of small local businesses who may be struggling right now. The council is looking to see what part it can play to support our local economy.

 The Government have announced a number of measures to support businesses during the Covid-19 crisis.  As of yet we have not received information on how these grants or loans will be administered, but we are working closely with our partners at the Liverpool City Region Growth Platform to ensure that as soon as this information becomes available, we can help and support local businesses.

Advice and guidance

The Sefton Council website is updated regularly with community information, and changes to council services.  Our website also lists all the support available for residents who may be experiencing hardship.  For example, Discretionary Housing Payments may be available to top-up housing-related benefit for a limited time to cover housing costs such as rent, and if you’re experiencing exceptional hardship you may be able to claim a discretionary reduction in Council Tax.

Please follow Government advice to stop spreading the virus

This is a rapidly changing situation and the Government guidance is changing daily.

 New national guidance means everyone should be minimising their social contact, reducing unnecessary travel and staying at home if you, or anyone in your household, has any symptoms.

 Please follow the daily guidance coming from the government and take extra care if you are over 70, if you are pregnant or have underlying health conditions: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Residents are also advised to work from home when possible, avoid any unnecessary travel and social interactions, as well as going to pubs, cinemas, theatres or clubs.

What to do if you feel unwell

If you think you’re experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy, or hospital. Visit the NHS Website for further information.

All residents are encouraged to take the following steps to avoid catching and spreading the virus:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues into the bin immediately
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands when you arrive into work and return home
  • Try to avoid close contact with unwell people

Your local ward councillors will help wherever we can.  All councillor contact details are available on the Sefton Council website

Take care of yourselves, and please do look in on your neighbours.  

Cllr Ian Maher

Leader of Sefton Council

Bill & Bob: The Anfield Revolutionaries takes to the stage at The Atkinson

The compelling story of how Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley joined forces to transform Liverpool FC and English football is coming comes to Southport later this year.

Renowned Southport author and radio presenter John Keith will take to the stage at The Atkinson on December 6, to mark the 60th anniversary of Shankly’s appointment as manager in 1959.

He will be joined by Kop heroes Ian St John, Ian Callaghan, Chris Lawler and Phil Neal as they chart Shankly’s arrival at a club trapped in Second Division mediocrity and how he inspired a glorious revival of Liverpool fortunes.

The charismatic Scot, assisted by coach and physio Paisley, guided Liverpool to promotion, three League titles, two FA Cup triumphs – ending the club’s 73-year wait for the trophy in 1965 – a UEFA Cup success and unbroken qualification for European football.

Tickets for the one night only showing are selling out fast, proving to be a popular Christmas present for the Red in every family. 

The show starts from 7:30 pm on Friday December 6 at the Atkinson Theatre, Lord Street, Southport.

Tickets are priced at £26. For more information or to book click here.

Sefton awarded £240,000 cash boost for Human Library project

Sefton Library Service is celebrating after being awarded almost £240,000 in National Lottery funding to support the Human Library project.

The National Lottery Community Fund, distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK.

The award will provide 3 years funding to Sefton Libraries to offer a programme of creative activities that invite local people to meet spend time together, and make their neighbourhood a better place to live.

It builds on a successful pilot project supported by Arts Council England.

The project will see a year-round creative programme in Bootle Crosby and Netherton libraries, volunteering opportunities, and new initiatives including creating a garden space for Bootle library, and programmes of work with young families and refugees.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.

“Sefton’s libraries are creative, innovative and support the local community and individuals to flourish.

“Libraries are vital community spaces, with a key role in the cultural life of our borough.”

Tanya Wilcock, Sefton Council’s Head of Communities, added: “Through this project we are creating a sense of wellbeing and supporting people in their own community. People don’t just use our libraries to read books.

“Through The Human Library local people can enjoy the arts, be creative, learn skills and make friends, creating a network and community that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.”

Human Library is a project by Sefton Library Service in partnership with local arts organisation Rule of Threes. The idea behind the project is that everyone has “gifts of the heart, the hand and the head” to offer their community. Artists projects, commissions and events help local people find and share these gifts. A new season of events will begin in September.

To find out more or to take part please see www.thehumanlibrary.co.uk

Sports Awards nominations extended due to popular demand

The deadline to make a nomination for the 2019 Sefton Sports Awards has now been extended until May 20 due to popular demand.

Now in its 17th year, the awards celebrate the very best of the sporting offer across the borough with categories celebrating the outstanding talent and commitment of local athletes, coaches, volunteers, clubs and schools.

Special guest for the Awards, which takes place in June, will be motivational speaker and former Royal Marine Andy Grant from Bootle. Andy became the world’s fastest single leg amputee after being blown up by an IED during active duty.

The inspirational runner is set to explain to nominees and guests that life will put you in all kinds of challenging situations, but it need not determine you as a person – it’s how you react to these challenges.

Taking place at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Wednesday, June 26, the annual event is organised by Sefton Council’s Active Sefton team and budding sporting legends will vie for glory over ten categories.

Nominees will reflect the very best of all aspects of Sefton sporting achievements from school teams to top coaches and even a sports personality of the year.

You can make your nominations in the following groups:

Young Volunteer of the Year (14 – 19 Years)
Volunteer of the Year
School of the Year – (Primary and Secondary)
Sports Personality of the Year (Jnr Sports Personality U18, Sefton Sports Personality, Disabled Sports Personality)
Club of the Year
Team of the Year
Coach of the Year
Workplace of the Year
Community Project of the Year
Lifetime Achievement Award

Heather Redhead, Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing Development Manager, said: “Each year our communities nominate the very best sporting stars across Sefton and we want 2019 to be even bigger and better than ever before.

“If you know of an individual or group who are deserving then please nominate them – this is a fantastic opportunity for those involved with sports across the borough to be recognised for their efforts.

“We look forward to seeing another strong list of nominations this year.”

Nominations can be made at sefton.gov.uk/seftonsportsawards. The new deadline for entries is May 20.

A new portal can help you find the right apprenticeship in the Liverpool City Region

Finding and taking up one of a huge range of apprenticeships available across the Liverpool City Region is set to get much easier from today (Tuesday 5th March 2019) as Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram launches the UK’s first one-stop web portal for apprenticeships.

The UCAS-style portal – www.be-more.info – has been created thanks to the Metro Mayor’s powers relating to the skills agenda, and brings together apprenticeship opportunities from employers so that prospective apprentices in the Liverpool City Region can find the local information they need in one place.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“This is the first website anywhere in the country bringing together such a wide range of information about apprenticeship opportunities and how to apply for them, and we have built it here, in the Liverpool City Region, specifically for our residents.

“In my election manifesto I promised to simplify the way people access apprenticeship opportunities through an easily accessible, online apprenticeship portal for the city region and I’m proud to have fulfilled that pledge.

“Visitors to the site will be amazed at the type of apprenticeships we have in the city region, it’s not just the traditional trades, you can study at degree level and beyond in subjects ranging from Clinical Engineering – to becoming a Paralegal. There is certainly much more on offer in terms of opportunities and qualifications than when I did a traditional bricklaying apprenticeship.”

The portal was built in consultation with current and prospective apprentices and is part of the Combined Authority’s plans to ensure that the city region develops the skills that its economy needs.

The Metro Mayor is committed to increasing the number, breadth and relevance of apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region, enabling more employers and learners to access and benefit from apprenticeships.

The new web portal, which is the first of its kind, is being launched to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, and not only offers opportunities, but also features details on how to apply for an apprenticeship, how to get there, and even what specific travel benefits may be available.

This new online facility will also be a useful tool for employers across the six constituent local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) to advertise their apprenticeship vacancies.

Councillor Ian Maher, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment, Skills and Apprenticeships, said:

“Ensuring that we can recruit the right number of apprentices in the right sectors is absolutely crucial to ensuring that the Liverpool City Region economy has the skills it needs to thrive in the 21st century.

“One of the key messages we have to get out there is that apprenticeships have changed and can now be a route to highly-skilled, highly-paid careers in almost every sector of the job market.  This new portal is a vital part of our efforts to boost recruitment to apprenticeships by making it much easier and simpler to find out what opportunities exist and how to apply for them.”

Alex Ennion from Wirral is in the first year of a three year Healthcare Science degree apprenticeship with Aintree University Hospital. He said:

“When I complete my degree, I’ll be a specialist rehabilitation engineer so I’ll be going out into the community in the North West fitting equipment for patients who have traumatic brain injuries or conditions like Motor Neurone Disease or Multiple Sclerosis. By already being in a full time job, I’m working with a lot of cutting edge technology in this field a lot sooner than I would through the traditional route.

“I’ll be helping people by fitting assistive technology in their home which can help them to live more independently. These can be tablets that allows the user, who can only move their upper neck, to use their eyes to turn the TV or the lights on or off themselves.”

Aidan Matear is a 24 year old patient at Aintree University Hospital with cerebral palsy. He uses his natural eye movements to control his laptop and said:

“This equipment has been life-changing for me – it has made it easier for me to communicate and made it possible for me to complete my degree. It has enabled me to fulfil my dream of becoming a writer. Having this technology specifically configured for me and tailored to my abilities has reduced some of the barriers I face in day-to-day life and I am immensely grateful to the team at Aintree Hospital.”

Ruth Hoyte, Director of Workforce & Organisational Development at Aintree University Hospital, said:

“Apprenticeships are helping us to build a strong future workforce by developing the skills of our existing staff and offering job opportunities to our local communities. That’s great news for Aintree, our patients and the NHS as a whole. It’s fantastic to see apprenticeships being promoted across the Liverpool City Region and we’re pleased to support the launch of this new portal.”

Paul Smyth, the Apprenticeship Lead for Aintree University Hospital, said:

“We’ve had 200 apprentices through the door at Aintree University Hospital studying at a variety of levels and from different backgrounds. It makes perfect sense to be able to share our opportunities on a portal that local people can access. I think that is particularly important when you’re trying to decide whether to do an apprenticeship or take an academic route. Here you can weigh up your options and decide what’s going to be best for you. ”

To find out more information about apprenticeships across the Liverpool City Region go to www.be-more.info

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