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Young people in Sefton have their say on changes to sex education in schools

Young people from SYMBOL (Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders) have been making their voices heard over plans to improve Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) in schools.  

 The Department of Education is considering updating the existing Sex and Relationship guidance which was last revised in 2000.

 At a recent SYMBOL meeting held at Bootle Town Hall, young people from across the borough discussed the topic.

 Being a member of SYMBOL means a young person can play an active role in their community, with a direct line of communication with key decision makers, such as councillors and senior managers at Sefton Council including representatives from Public Health. They meet three times a year at different locations across the borough. 

 At the meeting young people talked about their experiences of sex education in school and gave advice on how it can be changed to be more effective. They believed that they would benefit more by having discussions about thoughts, feelings and the various issues surrounding relationships.

 Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, was at the meeting. He said: “Some great points were raised by the young people attending the meeting. 

 “As a new curriculum in SRE and PSHE is shaped, it is important that we listen to young people’s views and experiences in order to make lessons relevant to them and their needs.

 “Young people believed that some teachers may be embarrassed when talking about the subject and understand it may be difficult for them to make the transition from teaching their usual curriculum subject, to having open discussions about sex and relationships. Advice like this is really relevant and will be shared with Public Health.” 
  
 During the meeting there was a performance from Access27, a theatre company which portrays the issues which effect young people. The hard hitting ‘Like Glue’ exposed relationship abuse in 5 scenarios including domestic abuse and controlling behaviour. This creative and emotive piece brought the issues to life, leaving a lasting impression on the room.
 
 Also on the agenda and keeping to the important topic of sex and relationships, young people and key figures took part in a session which raised awareness of the increase of on-line sexual abuse and e-safety. The workshop gave a greater understanding of how to spot the warning signs that a young person is being targeted and how to report any incidents. 

 For more information visit: www.consult.education.gov.uk/life-skills/pshe-rse-call-for-evidence/ and www.listentomystory.co.uk

 To get involved in SYMBOL contact Rob Hancock on 07792 315 890

Nominations are open for the 2018 Sefton Sports Awards

The opportunity to join Sefton’s sporting hall of fame is one step closer as entries open for 2018’s Sefton Sports Awards.

Now in its 16th year, the awards celebrate the very best of the sporting offer across the borough with categories celebrating the outstanding talent and commitment of local athletes, coaches, volunteers, clubs and schools.

2018 is already a sporting year to remember with the Winter Olympics and Paralympic games, Commonwealth Games and the World Cup all on the agenda. This makes it the perfect year to truly celebrate what is on offer in Sefton and recognise the people who make it all possible.

Especially poignant this year are the two awards celebrating sporting volunteers, given that 2018 is Sefton’s Year of the Volunteer. Volunteers can be nominated in the Volunteer of the Year category and Young Volunteer of the Year.

Taking place at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre on Wednesday, July 11, the event is organised by Active Sefton which is part of Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing portfolio.

With 10 awards up for grabs there is a category to recognise all aspects of sporting achievements from school teams to top coaches and even a sports personality of the year.
Nominations can be made in the following groups:

• Club Of The Year
• Coach Of The Year
• Lifetime Achievement
• School Of The Year
• School Team Of The Year
• Sports Personality Of The Year (including Junior Male, Junior Female, Male, Female and Disabled categories)
• Supporter Of The Year
• Team Of The Year
• Volunteer Of The Year
• Young Volunteer Of The Year

Tina Pilkington, Sefton Council’s Health and Wellbeing Development Manager, said: “The Sefton Sports Awards is one of my favourite events of the year and a fantastic opportunity for those involved with sports across the borough to be recognised for their efforts.
“We look forward to seeing another strong list of nominations this year.”

Nominations can be made at sefton.gov.uk/seftonsportsawards. The deadline for entries is June 8, 2018.

Innovative Sefton schoolchildren win Scotland ski trip

Schoolchildren from Sefton have won a ski trip to Scotland after winning a special competition around the dangers of scrambler bikes. 

Last night (Tuesday, February 9) Merseyside Police hosted a prize-giving event which rewarded Sefton schoolchildren who have been involved in an anti-scrambler bike education project during the Autumn term in 2017.

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

The five schools involved were:

Hatton Hill Primary School, Alwyn Avenue, Bootle
Lander Primary School, Pennington Road, Litherland
All Saints Primary School, Chestnut Grove, Bootle
The Grange Primary School, Waterside, Bootle
English Martyrs Primary School, School Lane, Litherland 

Early in 2017, 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 have also taken part in a trip to Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre and an awareness day in the Yorkshire Dales, where demonstrations were given on how to use bikes appropriately at designated locations.

The 15 winners of the video competition were presented their certificates by Andy Grant, former Royal Marine, motivational speaker, athlete and star of ITV show Paragon and Pete Price, DJ from Radio City, 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, said:

“It is really pleasing to see so many Sefton school pupils being recognised like this through such an important project.

“Our local communities have told us how scrambler bikes are a problem for them and through this initiative important messages about the risks and dangers of using them have been 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 Chief Constable Andy Cooke added:

“We know that these bikes can cause significant nuisance, stress and danger to members of our communities across Merseyside, and we will continue to stand alongside our partners and communities in our commitment to eradicating the problem.

“We strongly believe that education and engagement is vital, so that parents, guardians and future generations understand the impact and harm that we see on a regular basis. Together, we can all make a difference to make our streets safer.

“We hope that by getting involved in this exciting project, these young people have learned some valuable lessons to share far and wide, and that they enjoy tonight’s event and their reward.”

 

 

Adoption Appeal for Sefton Siblings

64% of the children in the North West who are waiting for adoptive families are brothers and sisters in groups of 2 or more according to new information published to mark National Adoption Week (October  16-22). 
Based on the latest Government information, and figures from national adoption information service, First4Adoption, it shows that sibling groups wait longer than single children to be placed with a ‘forever family’. 


Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “As in previous years, the need to find families for some of our most vulnerable children remains at the heart of this year’s campaign. 

“We’re asking anyone who may be considering adoption to think about whether they could parent siblings?

“There’s no denying that having more than one child comes with real challenges but it also has advantages and brings great rewards. If you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Sefton Adoption Service today.”

 

The new research, by Adoption Match and based on data from the Adoption Register for England also reveals that:

  • 52% of sibling groups awaiting adoption in the North West are children aged over 4
  • 59% of these groups awaiting adoption are made up of boys
  • 11% of the siblings groups awaiting adoption are Black and Minority Ethnic children

 

Elaine Jamieson from Sefton Council’s Adoption Service, added: “The majority of people adopting for the first time choose to take a single child into their family. 

“Also, it is often in the best interests of the children that a sibling group finds a family together rather than experience further trauma by being separated. 

“This presents an extra challenge for social workers and these factors account for the high proportion of siblings in our region waiting for an adoptive family.”

Sefton adopters, Chris and Julie, said: “Adoption has meant we’ve got the family we’ve always wanted, perhaps slightly less conventionally then some people do it but we’re proud to have a part in shaping their world.

“When our girls were placed with us it was exciting and bewildering but you just take a leap of faith! The moment they called us mum and dad meant everything to us.” 



The regional adoption agency, Adopting In Merseyside (AIM), covering Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and Wirral are holding an information evening on October 18. For more information on adoption or to register for the event, contact Sefton Adoption Service on Freephone 0800 923 2777 or visit seftonadoption.co.uk 

Bootle pupils help spruce up Derby Park

Pupils from a Bootle primary school donned their rubber gloves and helped make a local park sparkle during a recent litter-pick.

Children from St Monica’s Primary School joined up with Sefton Council’s Parks and Greenspaces team to help spruce up Derby Park, clearing away as much litter as possible.

More than 60 pupils and their teachers worked throughout the afternoon to amass five full bin bags worth of litter, while the Friends of Derby Park group swept away fallen leaves from the park’s steps.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We were delighted that St Monica’s pupils came down to Derby Park to help make it shine.

“The children were shocked that there are people who treat the park with such disrespect by not disposing of their litter in a responsible way.

“At the end of the afternoon you could see the huge difference the pupils had made to the park and it looked so much cleaner afterwards.

“The pupils also got involved in a question and answer session about why it is important to care for the environment and not discard litter irresponsibly.

“We look forward to welcoming them back to Derby Park soon!”

The Friends of Derby Park Group are also on the look out for new members.

If you would like to get involved, please email parks@sefton.gov.uk.

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