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WATCH: Sefton schoolchildren hailed for anti-scrambler bike project

Sefton schoolchildren have been rewarded for their involvement in an anti-scrambler bike education project during the Autumn term of 2018.

Now in its fourth year, the project was set up by Constable Alan Thompson from Bootle Neighbourhood team, with help from Sefton Council, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and aims to highlight the impact off-road bikes have on local communities in Sefton.

The four schools involved are:
St Oswalds Primary School, Netherton
The Grange Primary School, Bootle
Hatton Hill Primary School, Bootle
Lander Road Primary School, Litherland

Early in 2018, Year 5 pupils at the schools received education on the dangers of off-road bikes and impact they cause in their communities. Assemblies have been given to each of the primary schools from Merseyside Police, Sefton Council Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and Alder Hey Hospital.

Once the pupils returned to school to begin their Year 6 studies, they each designed and filmed a 90-second video. They also took part in activities including an activity day at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and the re-enactment of a crash involving a scrambler bike at Croxteth Community Fire Station.

The 16 winners of the video competition were presented their certificates by Rachel Brown-Finnis, BT Sports analyst and former Liverpool, Everton and England goalkeeper and Ian Snodin, broadcaster, pundit and former Everton midfielder, before the grand unveiling of the top-secret children’s prize, a ski trip to Scotland.

Their videos will also be used in a publicity campaign in the Sefton area.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “We are constantly amazed at our fabulous Sefton school pupils who have worked so hard on this project

“We know scrambler bikes are a blight on our communities and through this initiative we want to make sure important messages about the risks and dangers of using them are learnt.

“It is also another great example of partnership working and engaging with our communities to make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

Merseyside Police Assistant Chief Constable Ian Critchley said: “This brilliant scheme has been running for four years and represents the very best in partnership work which takes place across Sefton and the force. The children have worked hard and had some fun along the way, and the lesson they have learnt will be passed on to their friends, families and communities.

“It is so important that future generations understand why off-road bikes are so dangerous, to road users, the environment and the riders themselves. We recognise the impact that the anti-social and criminal use of bikes has on residents of these and other areas.”

Baroness Newlove to visit Sefton school for anti-gang initiative

A scheme which sees schoolchildren across Sefton receive vital advice and tips on staying safe from gangs and crime is being honoured by the government’s Victim’s Commissioner.

Baroness Helen Newlove will visit St Oswald’s Primary in Netherton later this month to observe the successful partnership between Sefton Council and the Get Away ‘N’ Get Safe (GANGS) initiative.

GANGS course leader James Riley, a former probation officer, works closely with Sefton Council’s Localities teams to deliver an intensive educational, preventative and diversionary programme to schools across the borough to warn young people on the dangers of gang lifestyle.

The work by GANGS and Sefton Council has now been recognised on a national level, with Baroness Newlove observing a session at St Oswald’s on January 25 as an example of best practice.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Through our Sefton Safer Communities Partnership we identified that there was a need for a project that could be implemented at an early stage to deter children from making bad life decisions.

“The impact that James’ sessions have had is incredible and we are always receiving feedback from schools and parents commending the work that GANGS have done

“We look forward to showing Baroness Newlove the incredible work we have done in our communities.”

James Riley, founder of GANGS, added: “The partnership between GetAwayNGetSafe and Sefton has developed incredibly well over the last few years.

“We want to use GANGS to inspire young children at an early age to make positive decisions about their lifestyles in the future.

“Through our early intervention work and by changing attitudes and behaviour, we will continue to make Sefton a safe and secure borough for all.”

Emma Murtagh, Head Teacher of St Oswald’s, said: “James has worked with a number of our pupils over the years and the partnership has been invaluable.

“The workshops are informative and provide an insight into the dangers of being in a gang, as well as how the law works.

“I hope that this work will continue to keep our younger generations from harm.”

For more information about the GANGS initiative please visit www.getaway-n-getsafe.co.uk/

Is it time to ditch those stabilisers?

Sefton Council is excited to be bringing back our poplar, ‘Ditch Those Stabilisers’ cycling events.

During the session, children aged for and above can learn to ride a bike unaided.

Children who attend can have lots of fun, whilst learning lifelong cycling skills. The events, which take place a number of times throughout the year, always have a high success rate, as our enthusiastic staff from the highway safety team of a range of practical advice.

Sessions are free but you must book in advance.

Get involved at Litherland Sports Park, Boundary Lane on Tuesday, February 19 or Shoreside Primary School, Westminster Drive on Thursday February 21.

To register, call Sefton Council, on 0345 140 0845.

Can you make a difference to a vulnerable teenager’s life?

Sefton Council has launched a recruitment campaign to attract foster carers interested in looking after teenagers.

The Council has created new specialist teen foster carer roles and is looking for people who can provide intensive one-to-one care to some of Sefton’s most vulnerable young people who would otherwise be placed in residential care.

A package of support has been developed to reflect the complexities of this challenging but rewarding role, which includes a bespoke training package, peer support and competitive pay.

Council John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:

“There are many different reasons why a teenager has come into our care. Most will have had a difficult start to their life, often including problems related to drugs or alcohol, physical or emotional abuse. Young people may appear angry, resentful or stressed, when really what they need is the love, stability and support of a good caregiver.

“Because we recognise the complexities of fostering a teenager we have created these new roles as foster carers could really help to make a difference and re-write a teenager’s story for the better. We’re looking for carers who can build and maintain a meaningful relationship with young people, and understand the impact of a young person’s past experiences and how that affects their behaviour. There is a misconception that teenagers can be a handful, however, what we have to remember is that the behaviour of each individual has been influenced by their past. We need carers to help them develop and provide them with a sense of belonging.”

A job advert has been launched and is targeting professionals who have some prior experience of working with young people in a structured environment, such as policing, emergency services or youth work/probation.

If this sounds like a role for you, visit; http://ow.ly/qXLG30myBH for more information, together with a job description and application process.

Mayor’s Toy Appeal: Make a family’s Christmas extra special

Sefton’s Mayor is once again asking as many people as possible across the borough to get behind this year’s Christmas gift appeal.

Each year thousands of kind hearted residents donate toys, gifts and stocking fillers to some of the borough’s most deserving children to make their Christmas extra special.

Gifts, for children of all ages, can be taken to either Bootle or Southport Town Halls or dropped off at any Sefton Council library or leisure centre by Friday December 21.

Residents can also donate at the Asda stores in Bootle and Central 12 in Southport. Gift tokens are particularly welcome to be given to older children.

All presents will then be distributed to children and young people throughout the borough by volunteers from Sefton Council and Sefton Children’s Trust on behalf of the Mayor.

Cllr Dave Robinson, the Mayor of Sefton, said: “Every year thousands of people who live or works in Sefton donate a present for the annual Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal.

“Their generosity is amazing and I’m hoping 2018 will be no different as we make Christmas that little bit more special for those less fortunate.

“Any donation is welcome and we are looking for gifts for all ages from babies and toddlers to teens.

“To ensure we can get the right gift to the right child may I please ask that the gifts be new and are left unwrapped.”

Letty Draper, ASDA Community Champion, added: “Please take the time to either donate an unwrapped new gift or toy in to the Christmas gift trolley at either of our Bootle or Southport stores.

“You can find the donation points by the in-store Christmas tree. Thank you for all your support and let’s make Christmas better by donating a gift.”

For further information on the Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal please call 07837863075.

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