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Meet the PCC’s new Youth Ambassadors

 Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today proudly presented her new Youth Ambassadors who will provide a powerful voice on policing and community safety issues on behalf of young people across the region.

 Jane Kennedy launched a search for a group of enthusiastic, skilled young people to join her team as Youth Ambassadors in July. After reviewing nearly 40 applications and following two selection days, the Commissioner has today unveiled the 10 successful applications who will become her Youth Ambassadors for the next 12 months.

 The successful applicants are aged between 16 and 22, represent each local authority of Merseyside and are currently studying or employed in a range of roles, including working as a Vulnerable Person’s Advocate for Merseyside Fire Service and a Young Advisor for St Helens Council.

 They also have a wide range of volunteering experience, including supporting children and young people at local youth centres, working with the Young Person’s Advisory Service (YPAS) and the National Citizenship Scheme, as well as giving their time to local hospices and community farms.  

 The new Youth Ambassadors will volunteer their time to support, challenge and inform the work of the Police Commissioner, her office and the wider criminal justice system. The group will meet bi-monthly with Jane and her team and will assist in the creation and delivery of a new Youth Engagement Plan, which they will help to share with other young people by visiting schools, youth clubs and community groups across Merseyside.

 They will also be expected to attend youth engagement events, inform campaigns aimed at young people, act as influencers on key issues and review the criminal justice services offered to their peers to see how they can be improved.

 Jane Kennedy said: “I’m delighted to unveil my new Youth Ambassadors, who will act as my advisors on youth issues in Merseyside.

“I was bowled over by the quality of the applications we received and the 10 successful applications have all proved themselves be passionate, motivated and determined young individuals who will provide a powerful voice for young people on Merseyside. We are privileged to have such an inspiring group of young people working with our office, influencing decision-making on policing and community safety issues at a senior level and ensuring we consider the views of young people as we work to address the key issues which affect them.

“The previous Youth Advisory Group did a great job, sharing their views and feedback with me openly and honestly and providing an effective forum for sharing opinions, but I took the decision to recruit a smaller group of Ambassadors so that the young people involved could take on a more hands on, active role.

“I have no doubt these young people will be real ambassadors for their peers and be a voice for change.”

 In exchange for their time on the scheme, the Youth Ambassadors will receive a range of training and development opportunities.

 The new Youth Ambassador for Sefton is 21-year-old Emily Jones. She said: “I have always had great interest in regards to the police and what they do, specifically for Merseyside. When I saw the voluntary role advertised, I knew that it was something I needed to put myself forward for. As a young adult myself, I feel like I have a greater perspective on topics related to current crime in this area and I also believe that using my voice along with other ambassadors could be beneficial in changing other individuals outlooks on crime across the region.”

 

The new Youth Ambassadors have replaced the Commissioner’s Youth Advisory Group which ran since 2013. The role will last for 12 months and was open to those aged between 16 and 24, who live, work or study in Merseyside.

Sefton youth worker Sue Logie tells us how she’s helping to give a safe space to young people

Sue Logie and Sefton’s Chief Exec, Dwayne Johnson, attending Pride in Liverpool

This month as part of our Year of Friendship campaign, we’ve been focusing on children and young people and the projects designed to benefit them. We’re also highlighting some of the amazing youth workers who are always on hand to give one-to-one and group support.  

 We caught up with one of Sefton Council’s youth workers Sue Logie. She is the lead worker for New Beginnings, Sefton’s LGBTQ+ youth group which provides a safe space for young people to socialise and learn life skills.

 Sue put’s her heart and soul into working with young people especially those who are LGBTQ+. So much so that she has recently won an award for Best Campaigner at the prestigious LCR Pride Awards 2019.

 We caught up with Sue to ask her about her journey as a youth worker and why she continues to support young people. 

Sue: For me personally, New Beginnings is like my baby so to speak. When I was a young person struggling with my own identity I was unaware of any support for young people at that time, this was something I really struggled with. There was no support and there were no visible role models back then nor was LGBTQ+ in the media like it is today. So, when I first started working within the Youth Service back in 2014 being asked to work with the New Beginnings group was exciting and then when I was asked to lead on it, it was an honour. To see and be a part of the journeys the young people embark on with their identity and finding themselves is so rewarding, and seeing them grow as a young person and being comfortable and happy within themselves just takes your breath away at times. To be able to provide a safe space and for young people to get the support I lacked is amazing, we have evolved slightly and we have had parents/carers ask for our support also which is always a pleasure, sometimes for parents to have that space to talk is nice also. More recently we have had a number of schools ask for support also, so it’s nice to see our schools trying to support our young people more especially around LBGTQ+.

Q: What are some of the main highlights in your career working with young people?

Sue: Wow! This is a difficult one! There are lots of positive experiences and some almost life changing for the young people and for me. I think one that really sticks with me is a young person who I worked with who just didn’t really know where they fitted or who they were, we did some 1-1 sessions and the young person attending New Beginnings and over about 2 years I seen this young person just grow and we went from different sexualities to then actually the young person saying they thought it was their gender that was this issue – well not issue, but they felt they wanted to identify as the opposite gender – so we did some work around this and now that young person is attending the Gender Identity Clinic and is much happier within themselves. All I did was to be there to listen and allow the space for that young person to be them and spent a lot of time with his parents supporting them also.

Q: It’s great news that you’ve been nominated for Best Campaigner at the Prestigious LCR Pride Awards 2019. How does it feel to know you’re hard work has been recognised in this way?

Sue: Shocked and overwhelmed. There is a very good friend of mine in the same category, who has been working campaigning for the LGBTQ+ community a lot longer than me so to make the final 3 for me is an achievement itself especially being named with someone who has done so much for the community before me.

Q: Moving forward do you have any aspirations about how society on a whole can improve support for young people?

Sue: I would ideally like to see a shift in the way LGBTQ+ people are seen, there is still a lot of homophobia/transphobia/biphobia, but on top of this, I feel any sort of ‘phobia’ I would like to see minimalised or eradicated – but with this people are not born hateful they are taught it. So, stigmas/stereotypes etc I would love to see them broken. And I feel like also youth work being seen across the country and a valuable service to our young people. These young people are our future leaders, Armed/Public service representatives and more. The valuable work that we carry out with our young people can be life changing for some and can bring them away from paths they shouldn’t really go down.

 

BeActive this summer thanks to Sefton Council

Sefton’s most anticipated activity days are returning for the 2019 summer break thanks to Sefton Council’s leisure service.

Running throughout the summer holidays, Be Active fun-filled camp days have been planned across the borough from July 24 to August 30.

Brand new for this summer, LFC Foundation and Active Sefton will be delivering a 3-day summer camp at Netherton Activity Centre. Open to all abilities aged 5-12 years, the days will consist of sports drills, challenges and small-sided games with prizes to be won each day.

Keen footballers will also be impressed by the return of the Active Sefton Football Academy.

Sefton’s youngest sports stars may also be interested in Gymnastics and Yoga Camp, Summer Fun Days and the array of swimming sessions on offer.

Budding adventurers will be keen to try Active Explorers where they will have the chance to experience the outdoors through exciting fun and games.

Once again the ever-popular Dance Mash-ups will return with sessions themed around The Greatest Showman, Toy Story, Frozen, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “The Be Active line-up just keeps getting better and better with a huge range of activities targeting a variety of abilities and age groups.

“The camp days are fun and affordable and provide a brilliant way to keep children active while they’re not in school.”

To see the full list of activities visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beactive and to book a place call 0151 288 6286 or 0151 934 4799.

Young People in Sefton to benefit from FREE online counselling

Young people in Sefton can now benefit from completely free online counselling to help them in their time of need, thanks to a new collaboration from local health and wellbeing partners.

Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG has commissioned Kooth for young people in the area.

The service will provide free and anonymous mental health and wellbeing support to local young people aged 11-18, with access to online counselling, self-help materials and a safe online community of young people 365 days a year. Support can be found at www.kooth.com

Kooth, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, also offers peer-to-peer support, an online magazine, access to moderated forums and goal setting and mood tracking tools from any connected device.

The site is open 24 hours a day; one-to-one counselling sessions with a qualified counsellor are available from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays, and from 6pm until 10pm on weekends.

The service has been commissioned to increase the number of early intervention services available and in response to young people requesting a digital solution in addition to existing local services.

Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said “We are delighted that Kooth is now available in Sefton. All children and young people should have access to mental health support when they need it.

“Being able to access good advice, guidance and support via mobile phone, tablet or computer is a great way to help make sure that children and young people can develop positive mental wellbeing.”

Fiona Taylor, chief officer at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “We are proud to be involved with Kooth, it will enhance support for young people with mental health issues in Sefton. We need services such as this to be easily accessible and available at a time when people need it most and this ticks all the boxes.

“We do think it helps being anonymous as some find it hard to speak face to face, this is ideal for people who are perhaps nervous about reaching out and we really do hope it helps them.”

Elaine Bousfield, from Kooth said, said: “We are delighted that we are now able to provide our support and counselling service to young people in Sefton. Digital mental health services like Kooth are beneficial to young people as they are anonymous and free from the stigma some individuals face. We hope through the new commission more young people will seek help for their mental health and wellbeing.”

Sefton’s school uniform bank needs your help!

Sefton Council are appealing for kind hearted residents to consider donating to the local authority’s annual school uniform bank.

The council’s Schools & Families teams are preparing their seventeenth annual school uniform bank but are desperately short of vital good quality blazers for those pupils most in need.

Swops, Sefton’s school uniform bank scheme, has been running since 2002 and continues to go from strength to strength thanks to donations from people across the borough.

Clothing items both old and new are accepted at Sefton run libraries and Town Halls throughout the year and are then distributed to families and children in need.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “In a perfect world we would not need food banks or school uniform banks but, sadly, they are a necessity.

“Last academic year we helped over four hundred schoolchildren and their families get access to much needed uniforms, from shoes to summer dresses and shorts.

“This year will be no different and we are appealing for our kind hearted communities to come together and help those families who are most in need. We really need good quality school blazers.

“Through the contribution of our residents we have been able to help those most in need and will continue to do so for as long as possible.”

To donate to Sefton’s uniform bank please visit one of the local authority’s library buildings or a Sefton Town Hall.

To access the scheme or for more information about uniform banks in Sefton please call 07837863075.

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