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Volunteers thanked for their support with the fight against COVID-19

Over 250 volunteers from all walks of life are being thanked for coming forward to offer their different skills to support with the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Sefton.

Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) are working in partnership on the volunteer programme with NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG and the call for people to sign up has been met with an overwhelming response.

Volunteer Barbara FearnesRetired nurse, Barbara Fearns is amongst the volunteers providing support in one of the four dedicated local vaccination centres, which are run by Sefton GP practices working together in groups – known as Primary Care Networks – to immunize their patients in order of priority. Barbara is a marshal, ensuring residents know where they are going when they arrive at the centre to ensure they receive their vaccine in a quick and safe way.

Barbara, who retired in 2012, says: “I am thoroughly enjoying my volunteering role. I feel privileged to be a small cog in a big wheel in rolling out the vaccine. It’s giving me something to do during lockdown and it is nice to get out and see people.

“I feel quite emotional seeing how grateful people attending are to be vaccinated. In their words-‘it’s hopefully a step closer to normality’ I am so proud of our NHS.”

Volunteers are carrying out a range of vital roles depending on their background and skills from marshalling like Barbara, to signing in patients and other key admin tasks. Along with volunteers from the public, the vaccination programme has been supported by GP practice staff and CCG staff.

Chief officer of the CCGs in Sefton, Fiona Taylor, has also returned to the front line to help out with the COVID-19 vaccinations and is thanking all of our volunteers for supporting them at this busy time.

Fiona said: “We are so grateful to all volunteers who have helped out at our vaccination centres, from our clinical staff helping to vaccinate patients to GP practice staff, members of the public and CCG staff helping to register patients and ensure that they are kept safe whilst coming in for their vaccine. The support has been phenomenal and it has been great to work with Sefton CVS to organise the volunteer recruitment.

“I have been helping at a site in Bootle myself to vaccinate patients and it’s been an absolute pleasure and very humbling to be able to make my contribution.

“I’m really proud of all the team working so hard to keep our residents safe during this pandemic and grateful to everyone who is helping.”

The COVID-19 vaccination scheme in Sefton has been supported by volunteers from right across the borough who have given up their time to contribute to the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.

GP practices and the CCGs are reminding everyone to be patient and to follow the current restrictions and guidance and play their part in the vaccination rollout by following these steps:

  • Do not contact your GP practice or the NHS to seek a vaccine, we will contact you
  • When we do contact you, please attend your booked appointments
  • Please attend as close to your appointment time as possible to avoid queues and to keep safe
  • Please continue to follow all the guidance to control the virus and save lives by socially distancing, wearing a mask or face covering and washing your hands regularly

You can find general information about the COVID-19 vaccine here: www.nhs.uk/covidvaccine 

Sefton partners pledge their support for National Safeguarding Adults Week

Sefton Council and partner agencies across the Borough have pledged their collective support for National Safeguarding Adults Week 2020.

National Safeguarding Adults Week, which runs from Monday 16th to Friday 20th November, aims to shine a spotlight on adult abuse, and the role we can all play in helping to prevent it.

There are many different types of abuse including domestic, physical and financial abuse, modern slavery and exploitation, psychological and emotional abuse, mate crime, radicalisation, sexual abuse, ‘honour-based’ violence, discrimination and hate crime.

As part of National Safeguarding Adults Week, Sefton Council, Southport and Formby CCG and Sefton CVS have produced a pledge setting out their commitment to challenging inequality, promoting inclusion and embracing diverse communities.

Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, said: “National Safeguarding Adults Week gives us an opportunity to highlight the brilliant partnership work undertaken in our communities to prevent vulnerable people being abused by others.

“Prevention of abuse is the most important work we can do to keep people safe and preserve quality of life.”

Image shows an adult male with a black eye and a tear rolling down his cheek.
National Safeguarding Adults Week aims to shine a spotlight on adult abuse.

Mark Waterhouse, Principal Social Worker for Sefton Council, said: “As Principal Social Worker for Sefton Adult Social Care I will always use my professional power in a positive way within the council, and with other professionals, to uphold Social Work England’s standards.

“I will champion positive change and wellbeing on behalf of people, groups and communities. I believe in the dignity of all people and their right to respect and equality of opportunity.

“I value the strength that comes with difference and the positive contribution that diversity brings to our borough, and I will continue to help make Sefton a safer, welcoming, good place to live.”

Fiona Taylor, chief officer of Sefton’s two CCGs, said: “This annual awareness week provides an important opportunity for us all to reflect on the role we each have in supporting the safeguarding adults agenda in our communities.

“In the CCGs, we are proud to be signing up to a Sefton adult safeguarding pledge with our partners, demonstrating our commitment to improving the lives of all our residents and ensuring their safety and care is paramount.”

Nat Hendry-Torrance, Designated Safeguarding Adult Manager for the CCGs in Sefton said: “I am proud to have led the team of partners across Sefton who have come together as one to pledge their commitment to challenging inequality and discrimination.

“Now, more than ever, we need to speak out as one to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, be kind to one another and work together to make Sefton a safe place for all.”

Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board was formed in 2017 and is made up of the four former safeguarding adults boards from Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Wirral. The Board includes senior managers from local NHS, local authorities and Merseyside Police, alongside members from other emergency services, probation services and the voluntary sector.

Its primary responsibility is to ensure that adults in Merseyside, who may be at risk, are able to live fulfilling lives, free from abuse and neglect.

Anyone who thinks someone is being harmed or neglected, can visit www.merseysidesafeguardingadultsboard.co.uk for advice and contact details.

Anyone wishing to report a safeguarding concern about an adult in Sefton call 0345 140 0845 or visit https://bit.ly/2IJedlc

You can read more about the different types of abuse, and learn more about what safeguarding is, here: https://www.merseysidesafeguardingadultsboard.co.uk/public/

More information about National Safeguarding Adults Week 2020 can be found at https://www.anncrafttrust.org/events/national-safeguarding-adults-week-monday-16-sunday-22-november-2020/

Notes to editors:

 Our Pledge – Sefton Council, South Sefton CCG, Southport and Formby CCG and Sefton CVS

 In Sefton, we will:

  • Respect the values, beliefs, cultures and lifestyles of our diverse communities.
  • Listen to the voices in the community to better understand and appreciate that everyone is unique.
  • Speak as one against inequalities and challenge discrimination in a calm and constructive manner.
  • Embrace our communities and celebrate that we’re all different and all have our story to tell.
  • Encourage people to acknowledge each other’s views and discuss any differences in an open and honest manner.
  • Work together productively to promote inclusion and share our learning to develop our thinking further.

Guide produced to help young people with special educational needs get ready for adulthood

A guide to help young people with special educational needs (SEND) get ready for adulthood has been published following feedback from young people, parents and carers across Sefton.

The ‘Preparing for Adulthood Guide’ was produced by staff from Sefton Council, Buddy Up and Sefton Carers Centre in partnership with young people and the Sefton Parent Carer Forum.

Aimed at young people with SEND who are approaching their latter school years, it gives information on the preparing-for-adulthood process, what to expect, what they should be considering at each stage and who to contact for support and information.

Parents and carers can also use the guide to find more information about the future options for young people in their care.

Topics covered in the guide include further education, training and employment, independent living, healthy lifestyle choices and how to participate in our communities.

The new guide has been developed following feedback from young people, parents and carers across Sefton.

Tanya Wilcock, Head of Communities for Sefton Council, said: “This guide has been co-produced and co-designed with young people and their families and will be a valuable resource for them.

“I’d like to thank our partners across the social care, voluntary, education and health sectors for their contributions. Thanks also to the team for coordinating and supporting all the work that went into its production.”

Andrew Jennings, from Sefton Council’s Special Educational Needs and Inclusion Team, said: “This guide has been produced to help children and young people with SEND enjoy meaningful, independent and fulfilling lives and give them useful information and resources to help them achieve as much as they possibly can.

“We’re really proud of it and we hope that children and young people across Sefton find it helpful as they transition in to adulthood.”

The guide can be accessed and downloaded at Sefton’s Local Offer website . It will also be made available to schools and colleges.

Stephen Evans, Preparing for Adulthood Manager for Sefton Council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Inclusion Service, said: “The Sefton ‘Preparing for Adulthood (PfA) Guide’ provides key information on the four key PfA themes – Community, Health, Independent Living and Employment.

“Developed in conjunction with Sefton Parent Carer Forum, the guide will help young people and their families prepare for the transition to adulthood.

“It gives information on the preparing-for-adulthood process, what to expect, what young people should be considering at each stage and who to contact for support and information.”

Emma Lambert, Sefton CVS Buddy Up Coordinator, said: “Sefton’s ‘Preparing for Adulthood Guide’ is a useful tool to help young people and their families think about what they want their future to look like and find out what support is available to get them there.

“Having the right Information and being made aware of their options is the key to these young people reaching their full potential.”

 

Autumn edition of Aiming High for Disabled Children newsletter out now

The Autumn 2020 edition of Sefton Council’s Aiming High for Disabled Children newsletter is out now and available for you to read.

Aiming High for Disabled Children is a service provided by Sefton Council to make sure disabled children, young people and their families have the same access to fun, fulfilling activities and life chances as those without disabilities.

It provides specially tailored sessions during term-time and holidays that young people can access, and specialist support when young people reach key transition points, such as moving from education in to employment.

Aiming High’s newsletter is produced three times a year and contains good news stories about things that are happening within the service. This includes blogs from young people and service users, a closer look in to some of the activities, groups and events available for young people in Sefton and up-to-date information about local and national guidance and support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

You can read the Aiming High Newsletter by clicking here. This autumn 2020 edition focuses on the positive outreach work our Aiming High team and partner agencies have undertaken throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and there’s also plenty of inspirational stories of achievement and success from young people across the borough.

Find out more about Aiming High for Disabled Children at Sefton Council’s website here. Use the links on this page to discover Aiming High’s Short Breaks activities, family support for SEND, and transitions services for young people age 13-25 SEND.

You can also register with Sefton’s Disabled Children’s Database at The Sefton Directory to keep up-to-date with services that are useful to you. Once registered you are also guaranteed a regular copy of the Aiming High for Disabled Children newsletter.

Sefton Council joins forces with partners to tackle Hate Crime

National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from 10th – 17th October 2020. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how it affects people, encourage people to report hate crime, and let people know what is happening in the local area to tackle hate crime.

Raising awareness and encouraging the reporting of hate crimes and incidents is a priority for the Council and partners throughout the year, but we can also take the opportunity to join with national groups across the country to highlight issues during campaign weeks.

What is Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police

Cllr Ian Maher Leader of Sefton Council said:

“Sefton Council take all incidents of Hate Crime very seriously and we are working hard with our partner agencies to tackle this problem.

 “I would encourage people to tell and partner agencies such as the Police, support charities such as Stop Hate UK and housing providers who can help take action and support victims and witnesses.

“You don’t have to be the victim to be able to report a hate crime or hate incident, anyone can make a report a crime. Please help us make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

Click here for more information about hate crime from the Sefton Council website.

Click here for more information from Merseyside Police, including an online reporting.

Click here for more information about National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Click here for more information about the Stop Hate UK national hate crime helpline.

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