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Can you give a loving home to a child in Sefton?

During Foster Care Fortnight (May 13-26), Sefton Council is asking people who live in the borough, to think about giving a loving home to a child who is unable to live with their birth family.

As with most councils, with less people coming forward to foster within the area, this means children have to live in a residential home or with a foster family a long way from their home. They are sometimes split up from their brothers and sisters, or may have to move from family to family and school to school.

Some of these children have experienced abuse or neglect prior to coming into care. Fostering is often their first positive experience of family life. Despite their difficult start to life, living in familiar surroundings with a nurturing foster carer can help to transform their lives and enable them to flourish.

Sefton Council wants to hear from people of all backgrounds regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. Couples, single people, disabled people and people from all cultures are welcome. As long as you have room in your home and the time, compassion and energy to dedicate to children who need it.

The Council is committed to offering support to our carers every step of the way. This includes specialist and peer support, training and a competitive financial package.

Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “Recent estimates show nationally, over 8,000 foster carers are required to meet the needs of children and young people who need placements, the picture in Sefton reflects this. With the number of children and young people across the borough coming to around 500, the need for more foster carers has never been greater.

“We need more foster carers with the right skills and qualities to make it more likely for the right homes to be found for children, giving them the best chance of a happy and stable childhood and a successful future.”

If you want to know more about fostering, why not come along to our next information evening on May 28, from 6.30pm – 8.30pm at the Vincent Hotel in Southport? Alternatively call; 0800 923 2777 or visit seftonfostering.co.uk.

Additionally, if know someone who you think will make a great foster carer, please help us spread the word!

 

Cllr June Burns has been appointed as the new Mayor of Sefton

Cllr June Burns has been installed as the new Mayor of Sefton for 2019/20.

She was officially appointed as the new Mayor at a special meeting held at Bootle Town Hall (May 14) and replaces outgoing Mayor, Cllr Dave Robinson.

Cllr Burns has served as a Sefton Councillor for five years, representing the Park Ward. She has also been a Maghull Town Councillor and Mayor of Maghull for two terms in 2016/17.

She has had a very varied career having qualified in all aspects of hospitality at Southport College and going on to work as a cook in various establishments.

After having her three children she decided to change direction and trained as a counsellor, specialising in child bereavement.

In her spare time, she loves tending to her garden and having leisurely walks.

Following her appointment Cllr Burns said: “I am very honoured to be Mayor of Sefton. I am looking forward to representing the borough on a local and national level.

“I always pride myself on putting people at the heart of everything I do and I believe my background shows this. As a counsellor working in child bereavement I worked closely with families at Alder Hey Hospital.

“From this I learnt the true importance of listening to people and allowing their voices to be heard. I intend continue with these values as Mayor of Sefton when engaging and representing our diverse communities.

“I know this wonderful borough has so much to offer and I’m so excited for the year ahead. As we celebrate 100 years since women were given the right to vote, I’m proud to be the first female Labour Mayor of Sefton.

“I would like to thank the outgoing Mayor, Cllr Dave Robinson, for all his efforts in this civic role and hope my term will be as busy and successful as his.”

Dwayne Johnson to be Sefton Council’s new Chief Executive

Sefton Council has formally approved the appointment of Dwayne Johnson to be its new Chief Executive and Head of Paid Service.

The appointment, confirmed during last night’s Full Council meeting at Southport Town Hall (April 25) followed a rigorous selection process.

Dwayne, who is currently Director of Social Care and Health at Sefton and has been in post since 2014, will replace Margaret Carney when she retires on May 31 after 10 years at the helm.

Following confirmation of his appointment, Dwayne said: “I’m very proud and honoured to be appointed to the position of Chief Executive in Sefton. Having worked here for the last five years, I can see how much Sefton has to offer in supporting existing and attracting new businesses into our area, how engaged our communities are in what we are trying to deliver, and we have such a talented workforce to match. I am really looking forward to working with the Leader and Elected Members on delivering the vision of this wonderful Borough and so looking forward to starting the role in June.”

Congratulating Dwayne on his appointment, Sefton’s current CEO Margaret Carney said: “I am delighted that Dwayne has been appointed as my successor.  He has an excellent track record in local government across a wide range of services and has always been committed to improving outcomes for our communities.”

With an extensive background in social care, Dwayne started his career working with disabled and older people as a care assistant in Durham, before going on to manage a care home. After qualifying as a social worker, Dwayne held a number of roles in the sector before climbing the ladder to strategic director in Halton where he was responsible for social care, housing, waste, libraries, community safety, before joining Sefton.

Nationally, Dwayne sits on the Association Directors Adult Social Services (ADASS) which aims to further the interests of people in need of social care by promoting high standards of services and influencing the development of social care legislation.

Dwayne has been the forefront of influencing many legislation changes around improving older people’s services and safeguarding and protecting adults. He is also Vice Chair of Directors Children Services in the North West. On a more personal level, Dwayne is also a strong advocate for the role of foster carers having seen the benefits himself because of his mother, who herself was fostered as a child.

Dwayne takes the leadership role at Sefton a time when the vibrant local authority is on a journey of ambition and change as it works towards its exciting Vision 2030 with partners to ensure Sefton is a confident and connected borough – focussing on what is important for the borough and its communities in the future.

Earlier this year, the Council was also praised for demonstrating real ambition for Sefton, for its strong track record of partnership working, place leadership and for having such a dedicated, passionate workforce by the Local Government Association’s (LGA) peer review team. This, Dwayne says, is a high standard to start the next chapter of his career on.

National Allocation Day for Primary School Places 2019

Tuesday April 16, 2019 is the national allocation day where all children who are due to start Reception in September 2019, find out which primary school they have been allocated.

94% of Sefton residents have been allocated their first preference Sefton school.

98% of Sefton residents have been allocated one of their three preferred Sefton schools.

98% of all those who applied for places at Sefton Schols were allocated one of their three preferred schools.

For more information about school admissions, please follow this link;

https://www.sefton.gov.uk/schools-learning/school-admissions.aspx

 

How a shared love of animals is helping people connect during Year of Friendship

Anyone who has cared for an animal knows the difference they can make to our lives, whether it’s by bringing us companionship, helping us get out in to the great outdoors more or encouraging us to connect with others.

Throughout the Year of Friendship 2019, Sefton Council and its partners are celebrating groups, individuals and organisations who help foster friendship throughout the borough.

For April, we are shining a light on some of the special relationships that exist between animals and humans across Sefton, and those who benefit from having animal companions in their lives.

Freshfields Animal Rescue is a beloved local charity based in Ince Blundell that cares for abandoned, abused and unwanted domestic and small farm animals, along with sick and injured wildlife. Each year they rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of animals thanks to generous donations from the public and the dedicated work of a committed team of staff and volunteers.

Yet as well as helping their residents flourish and recover, the work they carry out has helped build a network of like-mined volunteers who have bonded over a shared love of animals and who enjoy a “tight-knit” camaraderie of their own.

Naomi Clarke, Community Fundraiser at Freshfields Animal Rescue, said: “It’s well document that with regards to mental health and wellbeing there is a unanimous friendship between animals and humans.

“The friendships that animals bring are so worthwhile. I see the relationships all the time between people and animals here at Freshfields – staff have adopted animals and the difference it’s made to both the animal and the person is huge.

“We’ve got a lot of volunteers that have a real camaraderie between them too. They embrace friendship, they do a lot of things together and they encourage other people to join in as well. They bring their own network of people to come and take part.

“It’s a real tight knit of people at Freshfields and when you see some of the cases that come in and some of the situations that arise, it shows how valuable those friendships are. People here are all striving for the same good – everything we do here is for the benefit of the animals, and that is one thing that everybody’s got in common.”

There are many ways you can get involved with Freshfields Animal Rescue, from fundraising to fostering and helping out at the centre. It’s a brilliant opportunity to make new friends, both human and furry, so why not check out their website and see how you can get involved: https://www.freshfields.org.uk/get-involved/

Freshfields Animal Rescue also has a number of events coming up this year, including a sponsored firewalk and a sponsored abseil down Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, and are looking for people to take part. Click this link to find out more and see how you can help: https://www.freshfields.org.uk/events/

Video produced by Sefton Council. Still image courtesy of Freshfields Animal Rescue.

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