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Sefton Pushes the Boat Out for our Fostering Families

Sailing activities organised for Sefton’s fostering households were underway as families came together for a fun day at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre.

Children and young people, their foster carers and the children of foster carers took the helm as they enjoyed riding electric and sailing boats.

The event is part of some collaborative work between Sefton Council’s Fostering and Leisure Services. Working jointly means that Sefton has been able to improve their lifestyle offer for foster children and their carers. This includes free gym and golf membership for the whole fostering family.

James is a foster carer with Sefton and brought his family along to enjoy the sailing. James said:  

“Today has been so good to get out in the fresh air and have some family time and catch up with other foster carers.

“The children have had a go at everything and have loved being out on the water. It’s great because it brings us closer together and we’ve never done anything like this before and it’s something we can all enjoy.”

Sefton Fostering Services’ Assistant Team Manager Tracy Millward said:

“We want to show our carers and their families how much we appreciate them by putting on these great activities and events. Days like these bring foster families together and help to create those special memories.

“Here at Sefton Fostering we are always looking for new and exciting opportunities to give our carers and all the children they care for the chance to meet up with friends and meet new ones.

“I’d also like to say a big thank you to our Leisure Services who we have been working closely with. This work means foster children and their foster families can access Sefton’s leisure facilities for free and have the opportunity to try different experiences and possibly find new talents and interests, building confidence and self-esteem.

 Jeff Jones, Locality Manager for Sefton Council’s Leisure Services said:

“We are really pleased to be able to support the fostering service. Seeing the children and young people smiling and having so much fun is just brilliant.

“We wanted to give them the chance to get out and enjoy themselves but also experience something they have never come across before.

“We’re also delighted to be offering carers and children free passes to leisure facilities and really hope this will make a difference to the lives of our foster families.”

Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team by calling the freephone number – 0800 923 2777

Or by visiting the dedicated website at https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

To find out more about Sefton’s Leisure offer please visit Sport & Leisure (sefton.gov.uk)

Foster Care Fortnight Celebrations at the Strand Shopping Centre

It’s Foster Care Fortnight (9th – 22st May), the annual celebration which allows us to raise awareness about how fostering makes a real difference to children’s lives.

The theme for this year’s Foster Care Fortnight is #FosteringCommunities and we wanted to give the local community, businesses and services who are all part of our ‘Fostering Community’, the opportunity to hear first-hand, the heart-warming and exceptional experiences from people whose lives have been touched by fostering.

To do this, our friendly team, Sefton’s Foster Carers, and young people, will be at the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle for 4 days for you to come and chat to us. We will also be bringing some great events and activities for you to get involved in so please come along.

Wednesday 18th May – Saturday 21st May

Strand Shopping Centre – Upper Level, Unit 165 Parkside (Next to JD Sports and opposite Greggs Bakers)

Events and Activities

Decorate a Feather for our Art Installation

Our #EverydayAngel campaign celebrates our foster carers, who are our #EverydayAngels and it also urges local people to think about giving a loving home to a child and become their #EverydayAngel.

In line with our campaign, we are excited to be developing an art installation which consists of hundreds of paper feathers which will make up a pair of larger angel wings. Our fostering families have already been making our individual feathers look beautiful and we are also inviting you to pop along to the Strand to decorate your own to be added to the display.

BE AN ANGEL

You can become part of our #EverydayAngel team by coming along and taking a selfie in front of the fabulous neon wing stand that we will be bringing to the Strand while we are there. Make your visit to us even more memorable by taking a snap of you and your friends to post on Instagram or Twitter.

 

Wednesday 18th, 10 – 4pm Drop in Anytime

Our friendly team including our foster carers will be on hand for you to drop in anytime and have a cup of tea and a chat. In your own time, you’ll be able to speak to experienced foster carers and the team about how to become a Foster Carer and the benefits that come with it.

Thursday 19th May, 10.30 – 12noon Open Discussion Q&A

You are invited to be part of an audience listening to a great panel of speakers including our foster carers, young people whose lives have been turned around and representatives from the Council who are supporting our fostering families.

The event will be introduced and led by Laura Knights, Sefton Council’s Head of Children’s Social Care.

Will also be playing a video we have produced with 14-year-old Jamie who is from Sefton and who is currently living in foster care. In this heart-warming video, Jamie shares his wishes and feelings past and present.

Friday 20th May 10 – 4pm Drop in Anytime

Another chance for you to meet our friendly team including our foster carers who will be on hand for you to drop in anytime and have a cup of tea and a chat.

In your own time, you’ll be able to speak to experienced foster carers and the team about how to become a foster carer and the benefits that come with it.

Saturday 21st May 11 – 1pm Weekend Info Session

If you’ve been thinking about fostering what better place to learn more than at our weekend information session.

Meet one of our amazing foster carers Dawn, and Amina, a young person who has experienced living in foster care and now lives with Dawn.

They are eager to share their story about how fostering has transformed their lives. You’ll also be able to speak to the team about how to become a foster carer and the benefits that come with it.

We would ask you to register your interest in our events so we have an idea of numbers.

Email fostering@sefton.gov.uk or call us on 0800 923 2777

Sons and Daughters Month and our Fostering Family

This October Sefton has been celebrating Sons and Daughter’s month. This is an annual campaign to recognise how children of foster carers play a vital role in helping young people in care feel welcomed and part of their family.

Paul is one of our dedicated foster carers. Him and his wife Angela have three children, work full time and have been fostering for Sefton for three years. Paul wanted to share his heart-warming experience about how his children have really embraced foster care.

“When we were considering fostering, one of the main things we wanted to ensure was that it was going to be the right thing for our own children as well as any children we looked after.

“We have 3 birth children, boys aged 7, 13 and 15.

“We involved them at every stage of the assessment process and still continue to. Before we take on any new children we sit down as a family and discuss the who might be coming to or home. To us we are not just foster parents we are a Foster Family.

“Here we are now, 3 years in and I can honestly say that all of the children we have looked after have enhanced our family and that is by a large part due to our sons welcoming new children into our home and looking after them in their own small ways that have made such a huge difference. Our older children play football in the garden and our younger child plays with them with his toys and games. This really has helped the fostered children settle in much quicker. It has also helped our sons too, with their confidence and sense of pride, particularly our youngest who is proud to say he is a foster family.

“It so important to involve your birth children as it affects them in a huge way too. They do sacrifice a lot sharing not only their toys, but their parents too. For this reason, Sons and Daughters week is one of the biggest weeks in the year for Foster families.

“Thank you to all of the Sons and daughters of all of the foster families for the fantastic work and sacrifice you make.”

Sefton’s Foster Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances. Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team. Get in touch on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

People can also find out more on our dedicated website https://seftonfostering.co.uk/ 

 

Sefton teams up with partners to provide FREE swimming lessons for disadvantaged children

Sefton Council is helping to provide free swimming lessons for children in care, thanks to generous funding from one of the local authority’s contractors.

CRL Concrete Repairs Ltd and its suppliers, who are working with Sefton Council on the refurbishment of Dunes Splash World, have teamed up to kindly donate funding to the Sefton Active Aquatics team.

This has allowed the service to provide a brand new ‘Access To Swimming’ programme designed to help disadvantaged children and children in care to swim.

Through the funding, Sefton’s Aquatics Team have been able to put together a completely free ten week course of swimming lessons.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “We recognise that throughout the country there are a lot of children who do not have the opportunity or means to take part in any formal swimming lessons.

“That is why we are delighted that, thanks to the generous and kind hearted donation of CRL Concrete Repairs Ltd and partners, we are able to provide a dedicated Access to Swimming scheme to help children in care have the opportunity to learn how to swim, enjoy being in a pool and making many happy memories.

“The opportunity to provide these lessons for disadvantaged children in care who have not had the opportunity to attend anything like this before is invaluable and I would like to say a massive thank you to CRL and their suppliers for their philanthropy.”

Daren King, CRL’S Northern Regional Director, added: “CRL have a longstanding history of working collaboratively with our clients and supply chain to support the communities in which we work. We are very proud to be working alongside Sefton Council to set up the Access to Swimming Programme which will give many disadvantaged children and children in care the opportunity to learn an important life skill and have fun in the process.

We are very thankful to Mapei, AMB Technical Ltd, VI Distribution, Industrial Coating Services, QED Scaffolding and Prema Energy Ltd who have generously supported our programme and made it possible.

We hope all the children enjoy their swimming lessons at this excellent facility.”

/Ends

Sefton Council celebrates Black History Month 2021

During this Black History Month Sefton Council will be celebrating the incredible history, achievements and contributions of black people in our communities and across Merseyside.

Throughout the month, we will also be shining a light on some of the people and organisations who are striving for equality and diversity in our Borough. This includes an update about the Council’s joint work with the Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority, to drive the race equality agenda across the whole City Region.

There are a range of exciting events happening across the Borough, some of which are based on this year’s national campaign ‘Proud to be’, which encourages people from our black communities to share their own personal and unique stories.

We’ll be keeping people updated about these activities but to kick off, here are a few to highlight;

Sefton Libraries

Sefton Council will be hosting a series of library events during half term. Aimed at young people, the sessions will open up conversations around Black history. Children will be encouraged to think about who they are, where they come from, their heritage and how they are ‘Proud to be’.

Parents can sign up for their children to join one of two groups — one in Crosby Library, and one in Bootle. Both events are free, but booking is essential to help manage numbers.

Please email nwokoarts@gmail.com with any questions. Drinks and snacks will be provided, please bring a pack lunch for the longer sessions. Parents are welcome to stay to join the session if they would like too.

 

Bootle Library

 Saturday 16th October 11:00 am – 12:00pm, Introduction

Join workshop leader Maria Paul to take part in some icebreaker games and to meet the rest of your group.

Monday 25th October 11:00 – 2:00 pm, ​​What is in a name? 

​​What is in a name? We will creatively explore our names and where they originate from, investigating their meaning and celebrating the richness and diversity of our names.

Tuesday 26th October 11:00 – 1:00 pm, ​​Mask Making 

Our final session will be an African mask making session, using the origins of our names as inspiration for what we make. Afterwards, we will engage in a movement session and small performance wearing our masks.

To book tickets and find out more information, visit the event page.

 

Crosby Library

Saturday 23th October 11:00 am – 12:00pm, Introduction

Join workshop leader Maria Paul to take part in some icebreaker games and to meet the rest of your group.

​​Wednesday 27th October 11:00 – 2:00 pm, What is in a name?

​​What is in a name? We will creatively explore our names and where they originate from, investigating their meaning and celebrating the richness and diversity of our names.

Thursday 28th October 11:00 – 1:00 pm, ​​Mask Making

Our final session will be an African mask making session, using the origins of our names as inspiration for what we make. Afterwards, we will engage in a movement session and small performance wearing our masks.

To book tickets and find out more information, visit the event page.

 

Southport against Racism Community Event

The Southport Against Racism Community Group are holding a fun-packed event entitled ‘Proud to be Black in Southport’. The event brings communities together to enjoy artists and talent from across the Borough with performances including music, poetry and spoken word.

The event will take place on Saturday 30th October at Greenbank High School, Southport.

To register for free tickets, people can visit www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/proud-to-be-black-in-southport-tickets-184136746967

People can stay up to date and get involved by joining the event group ‘Southport Against Racism’ on Facebook.

Black History Month in Schools

Black History Month magazine has sent 500 resource packs to UK schools which include information about key moments in Black British History and a wide variety of lesson plans. People can find the resource packs by visiting www.blackhistorymonth.org.uk

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing at Sefton Council, said:

“We are proud to be celebrating our black communities throughout Black History Month and beyond. As a council, we are incredibly grateful for the contributions black people continue to make to not only our Borough, but across the UK.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how black people across our Borough are ‘proud to be’ and to continue conversations on how we can build a stronger, more united society.”

 

Catherine Ross, the editor of Black History Month UK, said: “It’s been a challenging time for many black and brown people, with so much in the media about racism, inequality and injustice. We wanted the theme of Black History Month 2021 to focus on celebrating being black or brown, and to inspire and share the pride people have in their heritage and culture – in their own way, in their own words.”

 

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