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Sefton residents are urged to honour 2021’s Holocaust Memorial Day online

Sefton residents are urged to honour Holocaust Memorial Day 2021, by joining an online service, on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm

This year, Sefton will remember the millions of Jews, Gypsies, Muslims, and many other ethnic minority groups, who were killed during the Holocaust as well as millions of others who have died in more recent genocides, by joining a special virtual Memorial event.

Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Service, which usually takes place at Christ Church in Southport, cannot go ahead as planned due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead the Council along with Sefton’s Holocaust Memorial Group are asking residents to take part in the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s online national Memorial Service on Wednesday 27 January at 7pm.

People can register their place to join the Trusts’ first fully digital ceremony at www.hmd.org.uk.

In line with this year’s ‘Be the light in the darkness’ theme, people are also being encouraged to light a candle at 8pm.

They can also let others know they are taking part in the ‘Light the Darkness National Moment’ by taking a photograph to share on social media with the hashtags #HolocaustMemorialDay and #LightTheDarkness.

The Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns, said: “It is so important, even with restrictions in place, that we join others around the world to remember those who endured such atrocities and honour the survivors whose lives were changed forever.

“The theme of this years’ service is ‘Be a Light in the Darkness’, and this couldn’t be more relevant as our communities should stand together and demonstrate how we can ‘be the light’ by showing solidarity in a time of crisis and divisions across the World.”

 

Make 2021 the year you do something amazing. Foster with Sefton and make a difference to a child’s life

As we make plans for the year ahead, could 2021 be the year you become a foster carer? Sefton Council is urging local people to think about giving a loving home to a local child who really needs it.

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact on vulnerable children’s lives meaning that we need foster carers now more than ever. Whilst restrictions mean we are recruiting a little differently, we’re still urgently calling for people to come forward to find out more about this rewarding role.

Dorsey and her husband Daniel have been fostering with Sefton for seven months and became new carers during the pandemic.

Dorsey said; “This is the best thing we have ever done, and we love every minute of it. If anyone is thinking about fostering, please don’t let COVID restrictions put you off. We went through our training and were approved during lockdown and the constant contact and support from Sefton Council has been amazing. They have been with us every step of the way.

“Our ten-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl absolutely love helping out and having fun with our foster child and this experience has really brought our family closer together. During lockdown we’ve been able to go for walks and trips to the park and it’s heart-breaking to know that some children don’t have any family during these challenging and often isolating times.”

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said; “There is now more of a need to recruit new carers than ever before. Our foster care capacity is full, and we need to recruit a least 20 more additional carers by the end of this year. 

“We can see how the COVID pandemic has brought out people’s compassion and willingness to help one another. Fostering gives a unique opportunity to give something back as you will be helping our most vulnerable children achieve their full potential by giving them the best start in life.

“Some people may be experiencing changes to their work and personal lives and may have seen their circumstances change as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown.

“It is a period where some people are evaluating their lives and thinking about changes for the future. I urge anyone who has thought about becoming a foster carer to take this opportunity to find out more and see whether giving this vital support is for them.”

Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances.

Join us at our next virtual Fostering Information Session on 26 January 6.00 – 7.00pm to find out more and meet Katy one of our carers who knows what opening your home to fostering is all about.

To make an enquiry or join our virtual information session please visit www.seftonfostering.co.uk or call 0800 923 2777.

 

Vote for The Atkinson in the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards

Vote for The Atkinson here:
liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020

After a challenging year for arts and culture, The Atkinson is proud to be nominated twice in the 2020 Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards. The multi venue arts organisation in Southport is a finalist in The People’s Choice award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture as well as the Impact Award – Covid-19 Creative Response.

The Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity Awards celebrate outstanding contributions and commitment to art, culture and creativity across Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. The 2020 awards received over 700 nominations in a huge show of support for the cultural sector across the whole city region, which has suffered a massive impact in the face of Covid-19.

The judging panel, including Chairs of the Culture Partnership, Phil Redmond and Maggie O’ Carroll; met to consider nominations from across the city region to decide the list of finalists. It’s your decision who will be named the winner of The People’s Choice award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture. The vote closes on 26 January 2021 when the results will be totted up and the winner announced at a digital ceremony on Friday 19th February.

Vote for The Atkinson here:
liverpoolcityregion-ca.gov.uk/peoples-choice-2020

Sefton Council reaffirms its commitment to disabled residents as it celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities

This month Sefton Council is reaffirming its commitment to Sefton residents as it recognises 25 years since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) and celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Thursday, 3rd December.

The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1995 following years of protests and campaigning by disabled people.

At the time it was a ground-breaking piece of legislation that made a big change to the lives of many disabled people across the UK.

The Act made it illegal to discriminate against disabled people in relation to employment, the provision of goods and services, and education and transport.

It has since been replaced by the Equality Act 2010, which seeks to further strengthen the laws aimed at tackling discrimination and inequality.

Despite this legislation, people with disabilities still face discrimination and disadvantage in their daily lives, and Sefton Council is committed to working with them, the local community and partners to try and address this.

Image shows a woman smartly dressed in a wheelchair smiling at the camera.
Thursday December 3, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The annual celebration promotes the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of society. Picture courtesy of Marcus Aurelius on Pexels.com

Thursday December 3, is International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD).

The celebration promotes the full and equal participation of persons with disabilities  in all aspects of society.

Sefton Council is committed to supporting all disabled people in the Borough and seeks advice from people with disabilities to make sure its services and systems are accessible and suitable for their needs.

Working in close partnership with both disabled people and local groups that support people with disabilities, Sefton Council has:

  • Developed its Accessible Communications Policy and reviewed how it shares information with people with different communication needs.
  • Upgraded its website to include the ‘Recite Me’ software, which enables people to change to how information is presented to meet their needs including font size, colour of background, information read aloud and presented in different languages.
  • Worked with people with disabilities across the Borough to create a short film that shows their experiences of the barriers that they face in their day-to-day lives.
  • Developed a training package for Sefton Council staff on how they can make information more accessible to everyone. This has been supported by staff from across the Council volunteering to become Accessible Information Advocates.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “As we mark 25 years since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act and celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities, it is important to reaffirm our commitment to people with disabilities across Sefton.

“Sefton Council is proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and we have an equalities representative from the voluntary sector who ensures that people with disabilities have their voices heard and can take part in consultation and engagement activity in a way that meets their needs.

“We are constantly seeking feedback from people with all types of disabilities on how we can support them and improve our services to combat any inequalities or discrimination they may face in their daily lives.

“For example, as a result of feedback from children and young people with Special Educational Needs, and their parents and carers, we have worked with Sefton Parent Carers Forum to develop a ‘Preparing for Adulthood’ guide.

“If you want to find out more about what we offer and how we can help, or if you want to be a part of shaping our services, you can contact us at yourseftonyoursay@sefton.gov.uk

“You can also visit our website to read more about our services and find links to other local services and support groups.”

People can find out more about the Equality Act at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance

More about International Day of Persons with Disabilities is available at https://www.un.org/en/observances/day-of-persons-with-disabilitieshttps://idpwd.org/

 

Sefton pledges support for White Ribbon Day to highlight scourge of domestic abuse

Sefton Council is pledging its support for White Ribbon Day today (Wednesday, November 25) to highlight the plight of people suffering domestic abuse in the Borough and beyond.

As part of White Ribbon Day, a global movement working to end male violence against women and girls, the Council is re-affirming its commitment to safeguarding anyone at risk of abuse and reminding residents of the support services in place.

In 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales**, and cases have increased globally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, Wednesday November 25, Sefton Council is sending out a clear message to anyone experiencing domestic abuse in the Borough – ‘you are not alone, and you don’t have to suffer in silence’.

Sefton Council Chief Executive, Dwayne Johnson, said: “No-one should have to endure any form of domestic abuse, at any time of their life.

“This issue has been particularly concerning during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen wives, husbands, partners and families spending more time together than they ever would.

“This, coupled with anxiety and stress over things like job losses, has heightened tensions in the family unit. However, there can be no excuse for domestic abuse.

“Here at Sefton Council, we do not tolerate any kind of domestic abuse and we have processes in place to help safeguard people and help ensure it does not happen. Where it does, we will provide help, support and guidance to people and families.”

Earlier this year, Sefton Council joined partner organisations across the Liverpool City Region to launch a domestic abuse campaign telling anyone experiencing abuse during the Coronavirus pandemic: #YouAreNotAlone.

Led by Merseyside Resilience Forum and Wirral Council, the multi-agency initiative aims to raise awareness, remind those experiencing abuse that support is still available, and encourage victims to report incidents to the police.

Image shows a woman shielded herself from being hit by holding her hand out to protect herself.
In 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said: “Domestic abuse is never acceptable in any circumstance, regardless of age or gender.

It is vital that we reassure people who are silently suffering or concerned for their safety that they are not alone, and that people in their communities care about them and are looking out for them.

“There are support services in place to help and we urge anyone who is experiencing abuse, or who knows of someone who is, to get in touch immediately,”

As well as White Ribbon Day, November 25 is also International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which traditionally heralds 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.

Individuals from organisations across Sefton will be sharing videos across the next 16 days to explain why they are making a stand against domestic abuse, and why they feel it is so important to pledge their support for the White Ribbon Day campaign.

People can visit Sefton Council’s Twitter feed and Facebook page to see the videos by following the hashtags #WhiteRibbonDay and #16Days.

** Data courtesy of Office for National Statistics.

Useful contacts

If you, your child or anyone in the family are at immediate risk of harm from any kind of abuse you should contact the police urgently on 999.

If you are a Sefton resident and are experiencing domestic abuse, or believe someone you know is, contact Sefton Council’s Independent Domestic Violence Advisors Team on 0151 934 5142 or email IDVA.Team@sefton.gov.uk

You can also contact Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid on 0151 922 8606 or visit www.swaca.com

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is staffed 24 hours and can be reached at 0808 2000 247.   

For more information about support that is available locally and nationally visit www.sefton.gov.uk/isolationabuse

To find out more about the White Ribbon Day campaign visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk/day

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