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Festive joy needed more than ever for Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal

Sefton’s Mayor, Cllr June Burns, is urging as many people as possible to help spread a little festive joy with this year’s Christmas Toy Appeal.

Each year thousands of toys, gifts and stocking fillers are lovingly donated by kind-hearted residents, Sefton Council staff, partners and community groups to put a smile on the faces of Sefton’s children.

After a year quite like no other, there will be many families across the Borough who will receive gifts that will make all the difference and bring them some Christmas cheer.

Due to the current national COVID restrictions in place, the safety of Sefton’s communities is a priority. However, donations can still be made in the following ways:

  • Purchased online and sent to the following delivery address:
    • Sefton Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal, Town Hall, Oriel Road, Bootle L20 7AE
  • Dropped off at the in-store donation point at Asda Central 12 in Southport

All gift donations, which must be brand new and unwrapped, are gratefully appreciated. Presents could include toys, pyjamas, slippers and hat & scarf sets for children of all ages.

Donations of gift cards and toiletries are especially welcome for older children and teenagers.

People need to send their donations by Tuesday 22nd December 2020 in time to be sent out for Christmas Day.

This year monetary donations can also be made on Sefton’s Crowdfunding platform, donations can be for as little as £2, and all contributions will be used to buy gifts for the Toy appeal. Donations can be made online up until Tuesday 1st December here: www.spacehive.com/mayors-christmas-toy-appeal

Volunteers from Sefton Council, following COVID guidelines, will then distribute all presents to children and young people, throughout the Borough on behalf of the Mayor.

Cllr Burns said: “I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the people of Sefton during last year’s appeal and every year we see thousands of donations given to the annual Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal.

“We can all empathise with one another that 2020 has thrown a lot our way, and Christmas will feel very different for us all. So, this year it’s more important than ever for us to give what we can for others. People might not realise that a small gesture could go a long way to making this year special for Sefton’s children and families.

“We’re looking for donations for all ages, be that babies right through to teenagers, and we ask that gifts are new and unwrapped so that the right gift can be shared with the right child. We also welcome gift vouchers and smaller stocking fillers as well.

“We’ve seen incredible gestures of kindness and self-sacrifice right throughout the health crisis, and I know that we can count on our communities across Sefton to pull together once again this Christmas. I urge as many people as possible to get involved and donate a present!”

For further information on the Mayor’s Christmas Toy Appeal call or text the Mayor’s Office 07837 863075 or visit www.sefton.gov.uk/toyappeal

Sefton residents urged to ‘live self-care for life’

Health and care professionals across Sefton are joining together to encourage residents to ‘live self-care for life’ as part of Self-Care Week 2020 which takes place between 16 and 22 November.

‘Live self-care for life’ is about making improvements in your life to protect your physical health and mental wellbeing. Throughout the week short films will be shared giving tips on different aspects of self care from NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, Access Sefton and Living Well Sefton.

There are lots of things you can do yourself to look after your health and wellbeing. There is a range of easy online tools you can access from home, including the NHS website which gives information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.

The NHS App allows you to access a range of NHS services on a phone or tablet, and you can visit the Every Mind Matter NHS website for practical tips and expert advice on looking after your mental health.

Another way to get quick and easy advice on self care is by visiting your high street pharmacy, as Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management for both CCGs in Sefton, explains: “You can easily access over-the-counter medicines and expert advice from your local pharmacy.

“Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can give advice and recommend treatments for self treatable conditions such as indigestion, sore eyes, sprains and strains.

“They can help you choose the right treatment for your ailment, explain the normal duration of symptoms and advise on which medicines to keep in your medicine cabinet at home.”

Self-Care Week 2020 takes place between November 16-22.

Over the counter medicines can be easily accessed at your pharmacy without the need to see a doctor or have a prescription. For those who find it difficult to access over the counter medicines, the Care at the Chemist scheme is available in 22 pharmacies across Sefton.

Ryan Forrest, service manager at Access Sefton, the CCGs’ commissioned talking therapies service, says: “Access Sefton offers free, easy access to a range of effective NHS talking therapies, including guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling. Our services are available to Sefton residents aged 16-plus.

“Due to the pandemic, we are currently offering one-to-one treatments online via the secure Attend Anywhere service and by telephone, as well as interactive guided self-help via the SilverCloud digital mental health platform.

“Referrals to Access Sefton can be made quickly and easily using our secure online form at www.insighthealthcare.org/accesssefton, or by calling us on 0300 303 2708.”

Gemma Boardman, programme manager at Living Well Sefton, said: “Living Well Sefton supports people to make small changes to their lives that can have a big impact on their wellbeing. We have mentors to help reach these goals and all Sefton residents are eligible. They can self refer via our website or give us a call on 0300 323 0181.”

Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton, said: “There are lots of easy things we can all do to make ourselves healthier and happier and this self care week I would urge people across Sefton to think about what changes they and their families can make.

“These could include keeping active, eating well, stopping smoking and limiting alcohol to recommended levels and people can use the ‘self-care for life’ resources to achieve some simple goals.

“A flu vaccination is also important, particularly for people aged over 65, anyone who is a carer or children aged two or three so I would encourage everyone who is eligible, or whose children are, to make an appointment. It’s a quick and effective way of protecting you and those around you.”

You can find more information about self care week and the local support available from each CCG website: www.southseftonccg.nhs.net and www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.net 

 

 

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.”

 

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.”

A message from the Sefton Director of Public Health to parents and carers during half-term 

Dear parents and carers,

On 12 October 2020 a national system of local COVID alert levels was introduced.
Central government imposed ‘Very High’ (Tier 3) alert level regulations for Sefton and the rest of Liverpool City Region on 14 October 2020.

With schools and educational settings due to break for half term, we wanted to provide some information about what these measures mean so that you can consider these circumstances when planning half term activities. It is now more important than ever that people follow these latest measures.

Health care leaders from across Merseyside are also encouraging all residents to play their part by:

1. washing your hands
2. avoiding crowds
3. keeping your distance
4. not meeting other households in houses or indoor venues, e.g. restaurants
5. using face coverings – these should cover the nose and mouth
6. staying at home and getting tested if you have symptoms no matter how mild – the main symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Tests should be booked at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.
7. following self-isolation advice if you are the contact of a positive case or a household member of a symptomatic individual Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What do the measures mean?

The measures state that it is now against the law to meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as restaurants. You must not have children from other households or families to stay in your home, for example for dinner or a sleepover. You must also not meet with people outside of your household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues.

You may continue to see friends and family you do not live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in groups of 6 or less, including children of any age, in certain outdoor public spaces. These outdoor public spaces include parks, beaches, outdoor sports facilities and public gardens. Please remember HANDS, FACE, SPACE when out.

Informal childcare can also be provided via childcare bubbles. Children can also spend time with another parents as part of a joint custody arrangement.

Further information about measures can be found at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19

 

Can children and young people take part in Halloween activities?

October half term is usually a time for family activities and to enjoy the Autumn period.

Sadly, this year, in Sefton and other parts of Merseyside we are asking people not to take part in traditional trick or treating. ‘Trick or Treating’ can increase infection risk by increasing social mixing between different households. Furthermore, Halloween parties with children and adults from different household are not permitted. We know that it is a difficult time for children and young people, especially as they will not be able to take part in some usual Halloween night activities. Further guidance, and advice on suggested alternatives, will be available over the coming days.

What are the rules around childcare?

Registered childcare providers, including nannies, people in your support bubble and people in your childcare bubble can provide childcare support in private homes and gardens.

A childcare bubble is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. This must always be between the same 2 households. Friends or family who do not live with you and are not part of a support or childcare bubble must not visit your home to help with childcare.

Childcare bubbles are to be used to provide childcare only, and not for the purposes of different households mixing where they are otherwise not allowed to do so.

 

I was previously shielding/was identified as extremely clinically vulnerable, what do the measures mean for me?

The Liverpool City Region, including Sefton, have had local restrictions imposed but Shielding has NOT been reintroduced across the region.

It is however advised that clinically extremely vulnerable people do take special care for example by avoiding busy areas to minimise the chance of coming into close contact with others, staying at home as much as possible and where possible working from home. Where there is no alternative, people can still go to work but their employer is required to take steps to ensure your workplace is COVID-secure.

If you have any concerns or queries regarding medical needs, please check with your GP or Consultant.

 

My child or the child I care for was previously identified as extremely clinically vulnerable, what does this mean for them?

All pupils and students should continue to attend education settings within Sefton under the new regulations, unless they are one of the very small number of pupils or students under pediatric or other specialist care and have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend an education setting.

Is there any support for my child’s health and wellbeing?

It is important that we take care of the health and wellbeing of children and young people across Sefton during these challenging times. That means that we as parents  and carers must look after our own mental health. If you would like some advice or information on help available visit www.sefton.gov.uk/miscellaneous-pages/health-andwellbeing-for-children-and-young-people-during-covid19.aspx

Finally, I would like to address a worrying rise in the spread of misinformation about COVID-19. Suggestions that the pandemic is a hoax, or caused by 5G, and the refusal of some to wear a mask or comply with the new guidance serves only to cause confusion and puts lives at risk.

COVID-19 and its effects on people’s lives and livelihoods is very real. While I completely understand the frustration that many people feel at further restrictions, I plead with every resident in Sefton to protect one another by following them.

If you have any questions about the virus, or the restrictions please do visit our website where you will lots of information and advice at www.sefton.gov.uk/covid19

Many thanks for your support in helping us through these difficult circumstances.

Yours Sincerely
MARGARET JONES
Director of Public Health
Sefton Council

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