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Sefton Council is looking for volunteers who can support children and young people in making their voices heard

Are you passionate about improving the lives of children and young people in care?

Could you support a young person to have their say in decisions made about them, help them to understand their rights and challenge anything they are unhappy with.

If you could spare a couple of hours a month to volunteer as an Independent Advocate, we would love to hear from you.

The purpose of our independent advocacy is to:

  • Assist and support children and young people to speak out/speak up for themselves
  • Ensure that the young person’s voice is heard and listened to.
  • Help children and young people to understand decisions that have been made about their care
  • Assist children and young people to understand their rights and the services that are available to them.

As a volunteer, you will receive:

  • Initial training including Independent Advocacy, Safeguarding and Children’s Social Care
  • Ongoing supervision and support
  • Access to free specialist training relevant to your role
  • Reimbursement of expenses (including travel)
  • Skills and Experience to assist with future job opportunities

Our Independent Advocates will usually support young people at appointments / meetings during office hours, therefore we particularly welcome interest from volunteers who are available midweek (any days Mon-Fri).

For more information Contact Cheryl Yates, Independent Visiting and Advocacy Officer:

cheryl.yates@sefton.gov.uk 0151 934 4167 / 0771843282

Sefton Council supporting families with school holiday meal vouchers during Easter Half Term

Sefton Council is pleased to announce that it will be offering supermarket vouchers during the two weeks of the Easter Holidays to support children and families who receive free school meals.

The Council will be using part of its Winter Funding to provide schools with these much-needed vouchers. Schools will then allocate these vouchers to families who are eligible.

As with the Christmas Holiday vouchers, these will be valid to buy food in store and online at local supermarkets.

The Council will also be providing a food programme and activities during the summer and Christmas holiday this year. This will be optional for children who receive free school meals. Further updates on these provisions will be available soon.

Speaking about the Council’s support during the Easter Holidays, Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:

“We understand that many families across the Borough are experiencing difficulties, especially with the added challenges people are facing due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

“I am therefore, delighted that we can hopefully lessen the burden for our communities by giving this support over the Easter Holidays.”

Families across Sefton who do not currently receive free school meals but think they might be eligible can visit www.sefton.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals to find out whether they qualify and how to apply.

Sefton Council’s Clean Air Crew project to benefit from Liverpool City Region Community Environment Fund

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has named the successful projects that will be funded through the £500k Community Environment Fund, launched last year. 

The 58 successful projects are set to contribute to the city region’s target of being net carbon zero by 2040, improve people’s surroundings across the Liverpool City Region, while also bringing health benefits, encouraging long-term behavioural change and promoting community engagement and participation in environmental education programmes. 

The projects include Sefton Council’s Clean Air Crew which has been developed by teachers to engage with children and families on air quality and encouraging behaviour change; ReStore St Helens, a project upcycling furniture in a deprived area reducing items ending up in landfill while supporting residents; and carbon literacy training to local community groups, supporting them to turn their commitments into local climate action. 

Other projects include creating community gardens, wild flowering meadows, composting projects, understanding our carbon footprint, reducing food waste, boosting bee populations and encouraging cycling. 

Stephanie Jukes, Sefton Council, who leads on the Clean Air Crew project, said: “We’ve been working on the Clean Air Crew within Sefton for some time now, as an educational tool that children and their families can use to learn about air quality and changes they can make as individuals and families.  Funding from the Community Environment Fund means we can now expand the Clean Air Crew to the whole of the Liverpool City Region and we can’t wait to get started.” 

Take a look at the Clean Air Crew website here. 

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Since I was elected Mayor, tackling the climate crisis has been one of my top priorities and I was proud that we were the first Combined Authority in the country to declare a Climate Emergency in recognition of the scale of the challenge we face. 

“But it’s not something that we can tackle alone and that’s why I launched the Community Environment Fund: to empower local communities to take action to improve their local environment. Together, lots of small actions can help us make a big contribution to making our region cleaner, greener and more sustainable. 

“There were some fantastic projects put forward and I’m excited to see the impact they have over the coming months and years.” 

The successful Community Environment Fund projects support the following themes: 

  • Climate change and resilience 
  • Air quality and transport 
  • Water 
  • Accessible green spaces, habitats and biodiversity 
  • Waste and resources 
  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Carbon and environment literacy 
  • Energy reduction 
  • Food and agriculture 

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Climate Partnership, established to act as an advisory body to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and of Nature Connected, said: “Our local action here can make a real difference to a global problem. We have seen over lockdown how much people care about their local environment, and how important it is to their lives. 

“Applications to the Community Environment Fund have been breath-taking in their range and scope.  As a city region we will be able to build on that enthusiasm and take action through these projects.” 

Cllr Gill Wood, Deputy Portfolio Holder for Low Carbon and Renewable Energy, said: “It is very exciting to be at the point where we can put the money from the Community Environment Fund to work.  These community projects can make a real and immediate difference to people’s lives. This activity on the ground all goes towards dealing with the challenge of climate emergency. I look forward to it having an impact on the wellbeing of the people who live here in our city region.” 

 

 

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 

 

 

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