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.
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It has since been replaced by the Equality Act 2010, which seeks to further strengthen the laws aimed at tackling discrimination and inequality.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
“You can also visit our website to read more about our services and find links to other local services and support groups.”
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.
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.
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.
There are lots of things you can do yourself to look after your health and wellbeing. There is a range of easy online tools you can access from home, including the NHS website which gives information and advice on health conditions, symptoms, healthy living, medicines and how to get help.
The NHS App allows you to access a range of NHS services on a phone or tablet, and you can visit the Every Mind Matter NHS website for practical tips and expert advice on looking after your mental health.
Another way to get quick and easy advice on self care is by visiting your high street pharmacy, as Susanne Lynch, head of medicines management for both CCGs in Sefton, explains: “You can easily access over-the-counter medicines and expert advice from your local pharmacy.
“Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can give advice and recommend treatments for self treatable conditions such as indigestion, sore eyes, sprains and strains.
“They can help you choose the right treatment for your ailment, explain the normal duration of symptoms and advise on which medicines to keep in your medicine cabinet at home.”
Over the counter medicines can be easily accessed at your pharmacy without the need to see a doctor or have a prescription. For those who find it difficult to access over the counter medicines, the Care at the Chemist scheme is available in 22 pharmacies across Sefton.
Ryan Forrest, service manager at Access Sefton, the CCGs’ commissioned talking therapies service, says: “Access Sefton offers free, easy access to a range of effective NHS talking therapies, including guided self-help, cognitive behavioural therapy and counselling. Our services are available to Sefton residents aged 16-plus.
“Due to the pandemic, we are currently offering one-to-one treatments online via the secure Attend Anywhere service and by telephone, as well as interactive guided self-help via the SilverCloud digital mental health platform.
Gemma Boardman, programme manager at Living Well Sefton, said: “Living Well Sefton supports people to make small changes to their lives that can have a big impact on their wellbeing. We have mentors to help reach these goals and all Sefton residents are eligible. They can self refer via our website or give us a call on 0300 323 0181.”
Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton, said: “There are lots of easy things we can all do to make ourselves healthier and happier and this self care week I would urge people across Sefton to think about what changes they and their families can make.
“These could include keeping active, eating well, stopping smoking and limiting alcohol to recommended levels and people can use the ‘self-care for life’ resources to achieve some simple goals.
“A flu vaccination is also important, particularly for people aged over 65, anyone who is a carer or children aged two or three so I would encourage everyone who is eligible, or whose children are, to make an appointment. It’s a quick and effective way of protecting you and those around you.”
National Safeguarding Adults Week, which runs from Monday 16th to Friday 20th November, aims to shine a spotlight on adult abuse, and the role we can all play in helping to prevent it.
There are many different types of abuse including domestic, physical and financial abuse, modern slavery and exploitation, psychological and emotional abuse, mate crime, radicalisation, sexual abuse, ‘honour-based’ violence, discrimination and hate crime.
Sefton’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Cllr Paul Cummins, said: “National Safeguarding Adults Week gives us an opportunity to highlight the brilliant partnership work undertaken in our communities to prevent vulnerable people being abused by others.
“Prevention of abuse is the most important work we can do to keep people safe and preserve quality of life.”
Mark Waterhouse, Principal Social Worker for Sefton Council, said: “As Principal Social Worker for Sefton Adult Social Care I will always use my professional power in a positive way within the council, and with other professionals, to uphold Social Work England’s standards.
“I will champion positive change and wellbeing on behalf of people, groups and communities. I believe in the dignity of all people and their right to respect and equality of opportunity.
“I value the strength that comes with difference and the positive contribution that diversity brings to our borough, and I will continue to help make Sefton a safer, welcoming, good place to live.”
Fiona Taylor, chief officer of Sefton’s two CCGs, said: “This annual awareness week provides an important opportunity for us all to reflect on the role we each have in supporting the safeguarding adults agenda in our communities.
“In the CCGs, we are proud to be signing up to a Sefton adult safeguarding pledge with our partners, demonstrating our commitment to improving the lives of all our residents and ensuring their safety and care is paramount.”
Nat Hendry-Torrance, Designated Safeguarding Adult Manager for the CCGs in Sefton said: “I am proud to have led the team of partners across Sefton who have come together as one to pledge their commitment to challenging inequality and discrimination.
“Now, more than ever, we need to speak out as one to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, be kind to one another and work together to make Sefton a safe place for all.”
Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board was formed in 2017 and is made up of the four former safeguarding adults boards from Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Wirral. The Board includes senior managers from local NHS, local authorities and Merseyside Police, alongside members from other emergency services, probation services and the voluntary sector.
Its primary responsibility is to ensure that adults in Merseyside, who may be at risk, are able to live fulfilling lives, free from abuse and neglect.