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Young people in Sefton tell decision makers about their lives during COVID-19

Young people from Sefton came together with key decision makers in the first ever virtual SYMBOL meeting which involved 50 participants.

Being a member of SYMBOL (Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders) means a young person plays an active role in their community, with a direct line of communication with leaders such as councillors and senior managers at Sefton Council, and also with partners including representatives from Public Health.

At the meeting young people talked about their experiences and some of the issues that they faced during the Coronavirus pandemic. This included feelings of isolation, worries about falling back on school work, being able to adapt when returning to school and concerns about family members and how the pandemic is affecting relatives.

As part of the discussions participants also took part in a survey which gave an overall view of how the group had been coping during the lockdown, what positives could be taken out of the experience and what support is needed.

Jo Lee, Sefton Young Advisors Team Lead and SYMBOL Coordinator said;

 “Although lockdown restrictions meant joining in person was not possible, it was still so important, now more than ever that the meeting went ahead in order to understand what impact the Coronavirus pandemic is having on young people and to listen to their views about how it is affecting their lives.

“With a survey telling us that 75% of the young people in our meeting alone, feel that COVID has had a negative impact on their mental health, it is important that we listen to the challenges they are facing, so we have a better understanding of how we can support them.

“It’s also really encouraging to listen to the positives young people are taking from this experience including improvements to the environment and learning new hobbies”

If you or anyone you know would like any support or advice during this time, please visit our website where there is guidance for children and young people on how to maintain good health and wellbeing.

LCR Pride Foundation invites Merseyside to MarchOnline

The MarchOnline will take place on Saturday 25th July and forms part of the organisation’s digital ‘Young at Heart’ programme, which is supported by Barclays.

LCR Pride Foundation, the organisation responsible for delivering Pride in Liverpool and the annual March with Pride, has today opened registrations for a virtual march, on what would have been day of the city region’s Pride celebrations.

Instead of taking to the streets of the city, the organisation is this year inviting individuals, groups and businesses to join a ‘MarchOnline’, allowing the LGBT+ community and its allies to safely come together to march in solidarity, celebration and in protest against the prejudice and inequalities that the LGBT+ community continues to face, in the UK and across the globe.

The virtual march will comprise videos of individuals marching, cheering and holding placards in their own homes, submitted by the members of the public, charities and businesses supporting the LGBT+ community.

The videos will then be broadcast from the organisation’s social channels, at 12 noon on Saturday 25th July, when the physical march had been set to take place.

Last year saw Liverpool’s biggest ever March with Pride, with a record 12,000 coming together for the annual event. However, both 2020’s March with Pride and Pride in Liverpool were postponed in April, in response to public health concerns raised by the ongoing global pandemic.

Speaking of the MarchONline, LCR Pride Foundation Interim CEO, Andi Herring, said: “It has never been more important for us to find a way to come together as a community, feel connected and March with Pride. MarchOnline provides us with a safe way to do that from our homes and mark who would have been the weekend of Pride in Liverpool.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the diversity and creativity of the Liverpool City Region’s LGBT+ community, its supporters and allies shining through in our virtual march. Even despite a global pandemic, we will march on!”

Individuals wishing to take part in the virtual march are asked to register and submit a landscape-orientation photo or 20-second video while waving, cheering, marching, dancing, posing with a partner, family or pet, or even displaying a banner.

Organisations wishing to ‘march’ as a group will also be given the opportunity to provide a 10 – 20 second video from a designated spokesperson, introducing the organisation, why it is marching and sharing what Pride means to them.

Andrew Websdale, Regional Head of Barclays Spectrum, Barclays LGBT+ colleague network said: “Pride is more than a march, it’s about coming together as a community in celebration, unity and solidarity. Pride is still needed, more so than ever for some. So although we can’t celebrate in the same way in Liverpool this year, we are delighted to support the Young at Heart 2020 Digital Programme, including the MarchOnline event.”

The deadline for registration and submission of images and videos is midnight on Monday, July 6.

Full details of how to submit your video can be found at lcrpride.co.uk/march

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

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