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Would you benefit from a ‘Bootle Buddy’?

Throughout the Year of Friendship, Sefton Council are celebrating specialist groups who are tackling loneliness by promoting friendship throughout the borough.

The Orrell Trust is a small grass roots charity based in Orrell, Bootle and has been running since 2002. It is committed to supporting people who may be isolated or vulnerable living in our community. Several activities and projects are run from St John & St James Church and Community Centre as well as outreach work thus bringing the community together.

Their aim is to provide encourage community cohesion and bring benefits to individuals and the wider community.

Three main areas of focus are:

  • Developing work with Older people
  • Community cohesion
  • Developing work with children and families

The Orrell Trust is currently managed by a team of 8 Trustees who volunteer their time, skills and knowledge to support the charity. The trust also employs 5 members of staff who manage, develop and deliver projects with the vital support of team of 20 volunteers.

Bootle Buddies is one of The Orrell Trusts newest projects. It is a free befriending service that provides support to local people in their own homes, offering a friendly face and ear. The project where possible encourages participants to attend social activities, working to reduce barriers such as mobility, lack of family or friend support and lack of confidence or motivation. The project aims to improve physical and mental well-being and reduce loneliness and social isolation for some of our most vulnerable community members.

If you would like to know more about Bootle Buddies or any other projects at the Orrell Trust please get in touch with Tanya McGibbon – 0151 933 2116

Bootle Buddies are also looking for local people to become a volunteer befriender to socially isolated people living in the community. You don’t need any previous experience as full training will be provided. For more information please call Mary – 0151 933 2116

Lets put a stop to child sexual exploitation

Merseyside Police and Sefton Council are showing their support as part of National Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Awareness Day.

The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of CSE by gathering information, working alongside our partner agencies and talking to children and vulnerable people about standing up and speaking out against CSE.

On Tuesday, March 19, officers and staff from the local policing teams in Sefton are carrying out a day of action at St Michael’s Secondary School in Crosby. Here they’ll be accompanied by charity ‘Catch 22’ where they’ll deliver a series of CSE workshops where children can learn about supporting their friends, ways of reporting abuse and inappropriate relationships as well as speaking out against abuse.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding said; “The Council are committed to preventing young people from being sexually abused. We are working with the Merseyside Police and partner agencies to help tackle this problem.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to protect children from this devastating crime and so it’s important to understand what child exploitation is, be aware of the warning signs, and have the confidence to discuss any concerns with the Council’s safeguarding team.”

Detective Superintendent Sue Coombs from the Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said: “Sexual exploitation exists in lots of different forms and it is not always obvious to the victim when it first starts happening. It’s a dreadful crime which can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their families, which is exactly why having something like National CSE Day to highlight the issue is so important.

“We all have a duty of care to young people living, working and visiting Merseyside and we should all continue to try and help in any way we can to put a stop to the sexual exploitation of children.

“We must talk openly and encourage parents, grandparents, teachers, health professionals, social services and any other adults alike to take some time to better educate themselves about CSE and its devastating consequences. That way, each of us can spot the signs, protect young people and reduce the number of offences being committed.”

Sefton Council receives accreditation for excelling in customer service delivery

Sefton Council is delighted to have been awarded the Customer Service Excellence (CSE) Quality Mark.

The accreditation is a unique tool designed to promote and encourage continual improvement and maintaining standards when dealing with customers.

Gaining this award demonstrates the Council’s commitment to maintain a first-class customer experience, ensuring that residents are at the heart of everything the Council does.

Since 2013, revenues and benefits services and front-line customer services such as ‘One Stop Shops’ and Contact Centres, have successfully achieved the CSE accreditation following an annual independent assessment.

The council received the accreditation based on 5 key categories; Customer Insight, The Culture of the Organisation, Information & Access, Delivery & Timeliness and Quality of Service.

A dedicated team coordinated the accreditation process over the period of six-months leading up to the award in December 2018. The team are now working towards repeating this success in 2019.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “We are very proud to have received such a highly recognised accreditation. During the assessment, the Council stood up to rigorous scrutiny in order to achieve it. This involved gathering evidence and examples of how we have excelled in service delivery and customer service, a visit to the site from an independent assessor and interviews with staff and partner organisations.

“We are extremely pleased that several areas were highlighted to have shown a real commitment to customer service delivery, based on a good understanding of our residents needs and preferences. Staff politeness, friendliness, professionalism and knowledge were commended as being a core strength of the culture of the organisation. The assessor also emphasised the high levels of customer satisfaction with the quality information and accessibility across our front-line services.”

Recognition and thanks goes to the team of CSE champions: Mike Mooney, Kim Leggett, Steve Woods, Helen Pritchard and Alex Blundell.

Detective to run half marathon in memory of murdered friend

The sister of a man who was fatally stabbed in Bootle is taking her campaign to end knife crime into schools across the North West, and running a half marathon to raise awareness.

Colin McGinty, from Crosby, was just 21 when he was killed after being chased by four men who detectives believed may have mistaken him for someone else.

Since his death in 2001, his sister Laura Hughes has dedicated herself to trying to spare other families the same heartache.

This year, to mark what would have been Colin’s 40th birthday, Laura has organised a team of more than 60 people to run the Liverpool Half Marathon in May in his memory and to raise awareness about knife crime. They are also taking donations for Radio City’s ‘Cash for Kids’ charity.

Laura said: “I have spoken with an academy trust, E-ACT, which operates 28 schools around the country, to deliver knife crime awareness days. The first will be at Oldham Academy North and for that day, every lesson will have a knife crime theme – so in drama they may be acting out a scene, in art they might be designing posters, and in English they could write a letter or even an obituary.

“The hope is that this will impact the children who go to Oldham Academy North as well as the local community.

“We have also had the backing of Liverpool FC legend Robbie Fowler and on Saturday 13 April, Oldham Athletic AFC will wear ‘In Memory of Colin McGinty’ t-shirts during the warm up ahead of their game against Swindon Town.

“The match will also be dedicated to what we are doing, and we’re thrilled that they have shown such great support for what we are trying to achieve. I’m sure it will all help spread the message that we must all do our bit to end knife crime.”

The runners in the half marathon will include Colin’s friend Detective Inspector Andy McCourt as well as Sergeant Jon Hannan, Constable Kelle Hannan and Detective Constable Emma O’Toole.

Last month a number of the runners got together and completed a 5km run in the city, starting and finishing at the knife angel at the Anglican Cathedral.

DI McCourt said: “As a police officer I am passionate about making our streets safer, and the fact one of my close friend’s died at the hands of people carrying a knife only strengthened my resolve to do everything I can to make sure we rid our streets of knives.

“Two men received life sentences for Colin’s murder, and his death shows the impact the carrying of a knife can have not just on the victim and their family and friends, but also on the offenders.

“This week Merseyside Police, alongside forces up and down the coutnry, is tkaing part in a national week of action to tackle knife crime. But the impact of knife crime on families and the wider community can last 365 days a year for the rest of their lives. It cannot be understated – it is destructive and toxic, and we must do everything we can to raise awareness from an early age and reduce incidents in Merseyside. As a police force, we’ll continue educating the public on the dangers of carrying knives.

“We know we cannot tackle the issue alone and I would urge the community to support and help us by spreading the message that it is never acceptable to carry or use a knife and remind people the devastation it causes.”

Merseyside Police warn drivers to ‘buckle up’

Merseyside Police will be supporting a national seat belt campaign that commences today, Monday 11th March.

The two week campaign will see the Force conducting increased levels of enforcement to address one of the so called ‘fatal’ four’ causes of road death in Great Britain. Nationally, of the 787 vehicle occupants who died in 2017, 212 were not wearing seat belts. This represents a 7% rise on 2016 figures and indicates that non-seat belt use is increasing.

Last year (2018) in Merseyside, 2962 seat belt-related offences were detected including 2,245 drivers, 502 passengers and 127 offences relating to children being unrestrained or not carried in a correct child seat. 2019 drivers completed an online educational course for the offence.

Chief Inspector Tony Jones from Matrix Operations said “Whether a driver or a passenger in a vehicle, using seat belt greatly improves your chance of avoiding serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Our officers enforce this particular offence all year round but we will be re-doubling our efforts during the next two weeks. I would particularly appeal to parents carrying babies and young children in vehicles to ensure that they are securely fastened inside the vehicle, using the correct child seat where appropriate.”

Paul Mountford from the Safer Roads Unit said “Modern car manufacturers invest millions into their making their vehicles as safe as possible. Air bags are a ‘secondary restraint system’ (SRS) and will only be effective if a seat belt is worn.

“It only takes a matter of seconds to ‘buckle up’ but injuries caused by not wearing a seat belt may be life-changing”.

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