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Sefton Council Help to Launch a New Regional Adoption Agency

A Regional Adoption Agency covering Sefton, Liverpool, Knowsley, and Wirral has been officially launched.

 AIM (Adoption in Merseyside) brings together a team of around 50 staff from across the four councils who have been seconded into the new organisation.

 Responsibilities include recruitment, approval and ongoing support for adopters, tracking, linking and matching of children and the training and development of staff.

 Councillor Margaret Harvey, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Adoption really can change a child’s life so I’m delighted that the Regional Adoption Agency could offer greater opportunities for children in our region.

“Having shared resources, expertise and processes will provide enormous benefits to our children and young people, as well as the local authorities taking part.”

 Although the Regional Adoption Agency has a centralised hub, staff still have a presence in each of their local authority areas to ensure they retain close links with social work staff.

 Councillor Barry Kushner, Cabinet member for children’s services in Liverpool, said: “AIM means we are able to provide a better service for children and adopters.

“Previously, each local authority has effectively competed with each other for adopters and there has been a great deal of duplication of effort.

“By creating a regional agency, we have widened the net of potential adopters, shared expertise and ideas and are making sure adopters and children get a consistent level of support, regardless of where they live.

“This shows the potential of working across authorities and further collaboration on residential care, fostering and leaving care.”

 Every year, the four local authorities approve around 100 adopters each year and place approximately 140 children for adoption.

 Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding at Sefton Council, said: “We know that we often receive enquiries from across the Liverpool City Region, so it makes sense that we are collaborating with our neighbours to meet the challenges we face together and increase the potential for our vulnerable children to find a forever family.

“I’m looking forward to this new regional adoption agency making the process for would-be adopters quicker and more effective as both they and children in Sefton and the wider region are matched so they begin their new family life.”

 The launch of the new agency follows a successful bid to the Government by local authorities on Merseyside to create a new shared service to get more children with a plan for adoption placed successfully and as quickly as possible.

 Councillor Bernie Mooney, Cabinet member for Children and Families in Wirral, said: “It is vital we are able to offer fast, effective and safe support to those children who need to be adopted.

 “Working with our partners throughout the City Region should mean we are able to offer more support to more children, through a quicker and more efficient service.”

 People interested in adoption can find out more by visiting http://adoptioninmerseyside.co.uk/ or calling 0151 477 8700.

Sefton Rocks!

A new creative craze will be taking over parks and green spaces in #MySefton this summer and you can get involved!

#seftonrocks is a new project developed by young people from Sefton Council’s Youth Voice, New Beginnings and Youth Bus projects.

Dozens of rocks will be decorated with various colourful designs that are meaningful to young people in the borough and placed around parks across Sefton.

We’re encouraging children, young people and families to explore your local parks and green spaces. If you are lucky enough to find a painted rock with a #seftonrocks or a seftonyouth.co.uk link, post a picture of it to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #seftonrocks to share the message.

You’ll find them on main paths so no need to look in bushes and undergrowth!

From Wednesday August 1, painted rocks will start appearing across North Park, Bootle, Coronation Park, Crosby and Kings Gardens, Southport.

If this pilot is successful we will include more local parks and you’ll see more decorated rocks created by young people, popping up across the borough.

Help spread the word and lets get more people talking about #seftonrocks!

Opportunity to complete a Duke of Edinburgh Award through Sefton Council

 

 An exciting opportunity has arisen for young people in Sefton who will be in year 9 + from September!

 Sefton Council’s Integrated Youth Service are offering the chance for young people to complete their Bronze level Duke of Edinburgh Award – thanks to some limited funded places from DofE North.
 
 Duke of Edinburgh is an internationally recognised achievement valued highly by colleges, universities and employers. This is a unique opportunity delivered by qualified and experienced youth workers for young people who cannot achieve the award through schools or college.
 
 Achieving a DofE Award not only gives you a chance to meet new lifelong friends, but it can also be a passport to a brighter future.  As part of a group you can be involved in volunteering, physical activities, life skills and expeditions. 
 
 Sessions begin in October and will be held at Buckley Hill Community Fire Station on Thursday Evenings. 
 
 More information about the Duke of Edinburgh Award can be found at: www.dofe.org/

 For more information and to book a place, please contact: Rob Hancock on 0151 934 4926 or Jenny Tweedy on 0151 934 4899.

Summer Reading Challenge launches in Sefton with a wonderfully, wet performance!

Children from schools across Sefton were treated to a hilarious and energetic story telling performance  at Crosby Library to celebrate the launch of the Reading Agency’s, Summer Reading Challenge.

 The challenge is a national scheme which Sefton libraries actively take part in every year, with around three thousand children getting involved.  Statistically the borough is the number one performer in the North West for people completing the challenge successfully. 

 During the summer holidays literacy for children tends to drop because youngsters are not in school being actively encouraged to read.  The aim of the challenge is to tackle this by encouraging children aged 4-11 to read books for fun during break. 

 After signing up to your local library you can complete the challenge by reading a total of six books. Children can read what ever they like – just as long as they are borrowed from the library. Young people receive a special reward every time they finish a book and there is a certificate for everyone who finishes.

 This years theme is Mischief Makers and it coincides with 80 years of the Beano comic. To kick off the event children got to watch a modern telling of Dennis the Menace and his adventure to find the Mythical Pea Shooter.

 Storyteller John Kirk brought the story to life with various wigs, accents and props. The interactive experience got all the children involved and the mere mention of the word water, led to a soaking from one of John’s many spray guns sending the young spectators into a frenzy. 

 Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: 
 “It’s brilliant that schools in Sefton actively encourage children to take part in the challenge year on year and the library staff do a brilliant job in keeping that going over the summer holidays.”   

 “It’s also great to have storytellers performing at the library. The energy and encouragement is a reminder to the children that reading can be one of the best things to do over the summer holidays and this always get the children exited for the challenge.”

To find out more information about the Summer Reading Challenge visit summerreadingchallenge.org.uk

To get information about your local library visit www.sefton.gov.uk/libraries 

Time Capsule buried for 50 years to mark the opening of Maghull Station

School children helping to preserve time for future generations of commuters have buried a time capsule in the foundations of the new £13 million state-of-the-art Maghull North Station, which will be re-opened in 2068.

 The container, which was created by pupils at St Thomas’ Church of England Primary School, is packed with school memorabilia, and also LFC/EFC match programmes, an unused mobile phone, popular books and a film created by all the pupils at the school with help from staff at Sefton Council.  

 It was presented to the station’s staff, Merseyrail’s HR director Jane English and Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, at a special ceremony held on June 11.

 Pupils from the school all got the honour of planting the historical milestone which will remain buried in the station’s grounds for the next fifty years.   

 A plaque will also be placed in the ground above the time capsule which will read:

 St Thomas CE Primary School Time Capsule, Sealed at Maghull North station on 11th July 2018.  To be opened 11th July 2068.

 The time capsule is one of several community projects that have been created to mark the arrival of the new station which was officially opened to the public last month.

 Other projects included a community artwork piece, to brighten up the new station’s site, which was designed by local groups and schools in the town.  

 Additionally, a set of story boards reflecting the fascinating the history of Moss Side Hospital, which was located on the land on which the station now resides, and how it became a leading institution at the forefront of research into mental health and PTSD during and after the First World War have been unveiled on both platforms.

 Speaking about the time capsule, head teacher, Mr Ward, said: “The new station is such exciting news for Maghull and our pupils were thrilled to help mark this occasion by creating a piece of local history which will give future generations a snapshot of what life was like in 2018.  

“They are really excited to have their work, poems and stories captured in time and be part of this lasting legacy.”

 Jane English, HR Director, at Merseyrail, said: “We are incredibly passionate about getting local schools involved in all our projects because we want to give back to all the communities in which we operate as they are an integral part of everything we do.

“The new station is hugely important for Maghull because it will improve travel options and drive ongoing development in the town, which is why we wanted to involve the children as they will be enjoying it for many years to come.”

“We are delighted that they got on board to support us and the time capsule is a fitting celebration to mark the end of such a major milestone for the town.”

 Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, said: “This new station is a great asset for the local community and we’re delighted to see the schoolchildren getting involved with this project.

“It will be fascinating to look back in 50 years at what has been left behind in the capsule and hopefully many of our other future aspirations for the local rail network will have been realised at that stage too.”

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “The time capsule project has provided an invaluable link between education and the new railway station.

“It will be a real eye opener when the capsule is opened in 50 years’ time to see how the station, the school and the local area has progressed.

“Special thanks goes to Sefton Council’s Communications Team who helped put together the film about the school which will form an interesting piece of history in the future.”

 The new Maghull North station is located just off School Lane next to the former Ashworth Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green stations on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail’s Northern Line. 

 The station forms a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting local public transport demand from a nearby new housing development that will include 370 homes, with more homes planned for the area in the near future. 

 It also forms part of the wider £340m investment of rail improvements across the Liverpool City Region over the next three years and sits within the wider Great North Rail Project to transform train travel across the North.

 The £13m scheme is being funded through the Government’s Local Growth Fund (LGF), Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned the land on which the station will be built. Network Rail is building the station, which will be operated by Merseyrail. 

Watch this video which Sefton Council produced with St Thomas School about the time capsule project.

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