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“Spread the facts, not the virus” – campaign is launched across Cheshire and Merseyside

Directors of Public Health in Cheshire and Merseyside are launching a new campaign to ensure that everyone, particularly younger people, knows the facts about what we can all do to help beat COVID-19.

The first of its kind to talk to young people, the initiative is a collaboration between the NHS and local councils in Cheshire and Merseyside. Using the channels young people engage with, the campaign aims to make the facts clear and will run for six weeks.

Research by the Government’s Behavioural Science Team  shows that young people want facts and clarity on how to do their bit. However, lack of visibility of messages and misinformation about the virus has resulted in younger people being confused and unsure what they should and can do to fight the virus.

The ‘Spread the facts’ campaign features young people working in our health care community. NHS workers, including young doctors, nurses and support workers, share their experiences of working throughout the pandemic. Four videos show our medics urging their peers to get on board.

The use of bold, human stories and imagery attract attention. The adverts feature real life health care heroes who impart a nugget of fact and clearly recommend a simple behaviour that will cut the spread of the virus and stop the spread of misinformation among young people. www.spreadthefacts.co.uk holds the facts and signposts to other official sites for further reading.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat will serve stories to the target audiences. Spotify and YouTube are also included in the advertising strategy, as well as some high profile outdoor advertising sites in central Liverpool.

Matt Ashton, Director of Public Health for Liverpool and lead Director for communications and marketing said:  “We know that everyone wants to beat COVID-19 and young people are no exception to this. If everyone knows the facts and does their best to help beat the virus, together we can keep everyone safe and keep the rate of infection down.

“The launch of our ‘Spread the Facts’ campaign supports our younger people to play their part. We have worked with young people to make sure this campaign talks in a way that resonates with them. It will be seen on channels that matter to young people. And it will remind us all that we need to keep going. Keeping your distance, wearing a mask, washing hands – we all need to limit who we are in contact with and look out for each other.

“I’d like to thank the young medical professionals who feature in the campaign for sharing their experiences of working throughout this pandemic. Like every NHS worker, they see the brutal impact of the virus every day. Yet still they work tirelessly to deliver the best care possible in such difficult circumstances.

“Thankfully, we are now seeing a reduction in infections in some parts of Cheshire and Merseyside over the past week. That is testament to the huge effort that everyone has made in recent weeks. Everyone has made great sacrifices. The real changes in our lifestyles shows that we now have the tools to keep this virus under control. To make sure we keep everyone safe, we just need the determination to keep going. This campaign will remind everyone to do the right things.”

Dr Oliver Dray, a 26-year-old Doctor at Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and one of the young health professionals taking part in the campaign, added: “I worked in A&E throughout April to August this year. It was clear early on that COVID-19 knew no boundaries. We saw patients with severe symptoms from all walks of life and ages. Remember, there’s currently no cure. So, it really hit home when my colleague and friend, the same age as me, was struck down by the virus. He was on a ventilator for five days. It’s a real shock when the virus puts someone young in intensive care.

“Yes, the virus tends to hit older people hardest. But everybody – young and old – needs to be careful to protect themselves and each other. Compared to calling an ambulance because someone you care about can’t breathe, following the guidance is simple. Keep your distance, wear a mask, wash your hands – easy. Just limiting your contact with others stops the virus spreading. I’m sure if people had experienced what my colleagues and I had this year, they’d stick to the guidance.

“People working in the NHS are facing a pretty tough winter, physically and emotionally. This campaign makes it clear the simple things we can all do to help. If we keep doing this, we can fight the virus. I’m proud to be able to play a part. If the campaign saves one life, it will be worth it.”

 

Employment support, advice and training still available for all across Sefton

Sefton@Work Client Advisers are still available to provide information, advice, guidance and practical support to any Sefton residents who are looking for employment and training opportunities.

Those who are currently worried about their job and potentially being made redundant, or those who are currently on furlough and want to take the opportunity to upskill themselves – help is available from Sefton@Work in several ways.

During the current national coronavirus restrictions, it is still possible to arrange in person appointments at the Bootle office, as well as online and telephone support.

The Bootle Office on Stanley Road remains open for pre-booked appointments everyday between 9.45am and 4.15pm, with COVID secure interview stations in operation.

Sefton@Work Advisers and Employer Liaison Staff are working remotely and at the Bootle office providing:

  • Job Search support
  • CV development and interview skills
  • Assistance with job applications
  • Identifying transferable skills and career coaching
  • Advertising vacancies for local employers, helping with recruitment including pre-screening of applications and online/telephone interviews

If you would like to know more about the services Sefton@Work can offer please call 0151 934 2610.

Alternatively, you can email: Seftonatwork.info@sefton.gov.uk

For the latest updates and vacancies keep an eye on the Sefton@Work website www.seftonatwork.net or follow @LearnWorkSefton on Facebook and Twitter.

Celebrate and vote for your favourite park or green space in Sefton

As Sefton residents and visitors alike have enjoyed exploring our beautiful parks and green spaces more than ever this year, now they can reward their favourite with a vote as part of the Green Flag People’s Choice Award.

Across the Borough there are whole host of stunning Green Flag and Community Green Flag Award winning spaces eligible for the public vote. They include Ainsdale Village Park to Seaforth Green, and King’s Gardens to the Queensway Allotments.

Stunning pink flowerbeds in Southport's King's Gardens
King’s Gardens, Southport

Supporters of Sefton’s green spaces simply need to visit www.greenflagaward.org to find their favourite from the Borough on the winners map before clicking the vote button.

Voting is open until Wednesday 25th November, with the top 10 winning sites set to be announced in early December.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “Having quality green spaces is very important to residents and visitors, and we know just how important those places have been this year for people to exercise and enjoy time outdoors safely during the health crisis.

“What’s more, we have a network of dedicated volunteers and community groups, working alongside our Green Sefton team, who put so much effort into maintaining these spaces to such a high standard for everyone to enjoy.

“It would be wonderful to see Sefton represented among the People’s Choice Award winners, so please do vote for your favourite to give them a chance to get in to the top ten.”

Paul Todd, International Green Flag Award Manager, said: “This year we have all seen the importance of our precious parks and green spaces. The People’s Choice Award is an opportunity to show how much your favourite park means to you. Make your voice heard and vote now.”

Cllr Ian Moncur added: “Last year saw tens of thousands of people voting for their favourite park, with winners coming from all across the UK, from London to Lanarkshire so we have our fingers crossed that Sefton will be victorious this year.

“Once you’ve submitted your favourite, why not encourage your friends and family to vote, and all the very best of luck to our Green Flag and Community Green Flag Award winning sites in Sefton!”

COVID-19 Fund to support Sefton and City Region’s taxi drivers

Cllr Ian Maher, Leader of Sefton Council has joined The Metro Mayor, City Mayor and other Liverpool City Region Council leaders to announce £1.5m COVID-19 Fund for Local Authorities to support Taxi Drivers.

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is to provide a fund of up to £1.5 million to the six local authorities in the city region, including Sefton, to enable them to give grants to hard-pressed taxi drivers.

The funding will be allocated proportionately to each local authority, according to the number of licenced taxi drivers in their area.

The Fund will enable all of the city region’s local authorities to introduce and administer schemes which benefit local taxi drivers in addition to what is available to them through national support schemes.

Cllr Maher, said:

“I recognise that the last few months have been exceptionally difficulty for Sefton taxi drivers, and I hope that this new fund will go some way to easing the financial pressure taxi drivers are facing.

“In addition to this fund, the Sefton Council website has lots of information and advice about what other funding and financial support may be available for taxi drivers, and other self-employed business owners in Sefton. For example, the Self Employment Support Scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months, although may be extended if needed. You can apply if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership.

“I know that taxi drivers who have fallen on hard times recently, like many of our residents who need help during this crisis, are being supported by their family, friends or neighbours. But for anyone who doesn’t have that support network in place, I want to make sure you know Sefton Council and our partners at Sefton CVS are here to help. Have a look on our website www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19 or call us on 0345 140 0845. The team will ask you a few questions and your information will be shared with Sefton CVS (Community Volunteer Service) who are co-ordinating the support in the community.”

The details of how the funding will be issued to taxi drivers are currently being finalised and further information will be available shortly on the Sefton Council website soon.  It is expected that payments will be made before Christmas.

In a joint statement with the other city region leaders, Cllr Maher said:

“We recognise the hardship experienced by our area’s taxi drivers, who have seen their trade seriously affected by the Coronavirus restrictions.

“We know this fund can only make a small contribution but wanted to make this available as a gesture of support for a sector that has been hit hard without adequate support.

“As leaders and mayors, we are continuing to press the Government for financial support packages work for everyone who has seen their livelihood affected by Covid-19 restrictions.”

Steve Rotheram
Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Cllr Rob Polhill
Leader of Halton Council

Cllr Graham Morgan
Leader of Knowsley Council

Joe Anderson OBE
Mayor of Liverpool

Cllr Ian Maher
Leader of Sefton Council

Cllr David Baines
Leader of St Helens Council

Cllr Janette Williamson
Leader of Wirral Council

 

 

Sefton Council to provide free school meals during half-term

To meet the needs of local children and their families during half-term, Sefton Council will be providing free school meals. You can apply using the e-form provided on the dedicated October half-term free school meals webpage 

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member – Communities and Housing said:

“Sefton Council are putting in place a scheme to support children and their families accessing free school meals in the borough during this half term. We will be sharing more information on how to access the scheme as soon as possible.

 “We will also continue to provide additional funding and support to our local voluntary sector partners, including the local food banks who are well stocked to enable them to help some of Sefton’s hardest hit families during these difficult times.

 “Our family wellbeing centres in Talbot Street (Southport), Marie Clarke (Bootle) and Netherton also remain open to families who need their support during half-term. We have also increased the funding available to our Emergency Limited Assistance Scheme, and would encourage anyone in Sefton who may need extra support at this time to contact the council on 0345 140 0845.”

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