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Sefton Council joins forces with partners to tackle Hate Crime

National Hate Crime Awareness Week takes place from 10th – 17th October 2020. The aim of the week is to raise awareness of what hate crime is and how it affects people, encourage people to report hate crime, and let people know what is happening in the local area to tackle hate crime.

Raising awareness and encouraging the reporting of hate crimes and incidents is a priority for the Council and partners throughout the year, but we can also take the opportunity to join with national groups across the country to highlight issues during campaign weeks.

What is Hate Crime?

A hate crime is defined as ‘Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person, to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person’s race or perceived race; religion or perceived religion; sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation; disability or perceived disability and any crime motivated by hostility or prejudice against a person who is transgender or perceived to be transgender.’

A hate incident is any incident which the victim, or anyone else, thinks is based on someone’s prejudice towards them because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or because they are transgender.

Not all hate incidents will amount to criminal offences, but it is equally important that these are reported and recorded by the police

Cllr Ian Maher Leader of Sefton Council said:

“Sefton Council take all incidents of Hate Crime very seriously and we are working hard with our partner agencies to tackle this problem.

 “I would encourage people to tell and partner agencies such as the Police, support charities such as Stop Hate UK and housing providers who can help take action and support victims and witnesses.

“You don’t have to be the victim to be able to report a hate crime or hate incident, anyone can make a report a crime. Please help us make Sefton a safer place for everyone.”

Click here for more information about hate crime from the Sefton Council website.

Click here for more information from Merseyside Police, including an online reporting.

Click here for more information about National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

Click here for more information about the Stop Hate UK national hate crime helpline.

Ellen’s inspirational website helps give young people in Sefton a voice

Sefton’s Early Help team are delighted to help an inspirational young person, who struggles with a communication disorder, to make her voice heard and support others through her own website.

Sixteen-year-old Ellen from Crosby has been diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) which is a type of speech, language and communication need that affects the way children understand and use language. It is more common than autism with up to two children in every classroom having the disorder.

Living with DLD has meant that through her life Ellen has struggled to express herself and process complex sentences and to feel heard, preferring to communicate by writing words down or making videos.

Hannah Howard from Sefton’s Early Help team said: “Like many other young people with a similar condition, Ellen feels that she is not heard because she can’t communicate easily, and people’s patience, belief in her and understanding is varied and often limited.

“This has had an effect on her education as well as her social and emotion

Ellen’s website ‘This is DLD’ gives help and advice to people who have difficulties expressing themselves.

al wellbeing, however Ellen has said that having the support from people who have really listened has made a massive difference.”

“I have been absolutely inspired by Ellen. As a professional I have always strived to listen and put every child at the centre of what I do.

“Ellen has reminded me of the importance of us all taking the time to increase our understanding and knowledge around individual needs and that taking extra time to ensure a child has a voice is paramount.”

Ellen’s mum Roisin said: “Ellen has received support from Sefton’s Early Help team who have been there to help stop us getting to crisis point and their support has been immeasurable.

“The way they put Ellen first shines through, and they always come back to ‘what does Ellen want’. They have been Ellen’s voice and she really feels they have enabled her to be heard.

“We have also received amazing support from the Venus Centre in Sefton (which provides counselling), her head teacher at Holy Family Catholic High School and Speech and language therapists at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.

“They are helping to empower Ellen so she can achieve her full potential by continuing to promote communication and give practical advice and encouragement while     putting Ellen’s voice at the centre of everything they do.”

With her support network on board, Ellen has used her own experiences to help others by developing a website.

‘This is DLD’, not only gives a personal insight into Ellen’s experience of living with the disorder but also gives help and advice to people who have difficulties expressing themselves.

The website contains videos and pictures giving advice to practitioners and teachers on how they can help a child with DLD, such as taking enough time to respond and using pictures sometimes instead of words.

Ellen said: “When you struggle with communication life can be hard for you and your family as you need words for everything.

“Often, I have felt invisible. However, over the last year I have had Alison from Sefton Speech and Language therapy, Paula from Venus and Hannah from Early Help supporting me and my family.

“They listened and followed things through. They believed in me and helped me find my voice and speak out about the things that mattered to me.

“I wanted to help give a voice to all those children and families in the same situation as us. It is important that they too are seen and heard, so with my Uncle’s help I have created a website to try and get the message out to the right people so things can change.

“I want people to understand what it is like growing up in a place without a voice and how they can help make life easier. None of this costs money, only time. Everyone deserves a fair chance.”

Ellen’s ‘This is DLD’ website can be found at https://sites.google.com/view/thisisdld/home

Biggest flu programme in history rolled out across Sefton

GP surgeries and pharmacies across Sefton are starting to vaccinate thousands of people against flu, whilst ensuring that coronavirus social distancing measures are followed.

This year will be the most comprehensive flu programme in UK history, with more people eligible for the free NHS vaccine than ever. If you are eligible, please do not call your practice, your GP practice will be in touch to let you know the plans for you to get your vaccine.

Those eligible for a free flu vaccination this year are:

  • people who are on the shielded patient list and members of their household;
  • all school year groups up to and including Year 7;
  • people aged over 65;
  • pregnant women;
  • those with pre-existing conditions including at-risk under-2-year olds;
  • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick.

Later this year, dependent on supply, people aged 50 to 64 will also be invited to get the flu vaccination. If you are in this age group, please wait for your invitation and do not call for an appointment.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “With more people eligible for the flu vaccine and the need for social distancing and infection control measures staff have been working really hard to ensure that everyone will be as safe as possible while receiving their vaccination this year.”

“Don’t ignore the flu, it’s a potentially fatal illness and one that can spread very quickly. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine and invited to have it, it is important that you take up that offer.”

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Flu should not be underestimated it is a serious illness and can even be deadly for the most vulnerable of our population.

“The flu vaccination is the best defense we have against the virus. It is vital that those eligible have the vaccine every year as it protects against different strains of flu which can change and evolve each year.”

Margaret Jones, director of public health for Sefton, said: “Having the vaccine is the single best way to protect against flu and will be an important step in preventing not only you, but your family, friends, and colleagues from getting the virus.

“As well as getting the vaccine, practicing good hand hygiene by catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throwing it away and washing your hands after can really help limit its spread – catch it, bin it, kill it.”

For more information or to check your eligibility for the flu vaccine, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vaccinations/flu-influenza-vaccine/

 

Show Your Support and Take a Road Safety Pledge

Sefton Council are joining with Merseyside Road Safety Partnership to ask Sefton residents to show their support and take The Pledge.

As part of their on-going commitment to reducing the number of deaths on our roads, Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are asking everyone to join in and ‘take the pledge’ to be safer and more responsible road users. Whether you’re a driver, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, we all must share the responsibility and do our bit to make our roads safer.

By signing up to the campaign residents will receive support in the form of tips and advice on how to maximise road safety efforts. all year round. They will also be updated with the latest initiatives, engineering solutions and enforcement activities as the Merseyside Road Safety partnership continues to work towards fewer road deaths each year.

By signing up, individuals will show that they are prepared to put the safety of themselves and others first and that when they undertake a journey, they do so with consideration and respect for everyone.

To sign The Pledge, and to read more about the work Merseyside Road Safety Partnership does, visit https://merseysideroadsafety.org/the-pledge-your-commitment-to-safer-roads-in-merseyside/

The Pledge

I will:

  • Consider the safety of others when I drive, walk or cycle
  • Drive at an appropriate speed (often slower than the speed limit) on the roads of Merseyside
  • Respect the presence of other, more vulnerable road users
  • Maintain a high driving standard to influence how others use the roads
  • Carry out regular checks on my vehicle, including tyres to ensure that my vehicle is safe and roadworthy
  • Through my actions, I will support the aims of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership in making our roads safer for me, my family and others and reducing road casualties

Neighbours from Litherland transform their overgrown alleyway into an amazing community garden

It all started during the lockdown, when the residents of Rufford Road, Jenny and Helen setup a Facebook group to keep an eye on their neighbours, making sure everyone was OK during this worrying time.

Realising how little outside space they have whilst working from home and seeing how much potential space was going to waste in the alleyway.

The residents decided to give the alleyway a new lease of life and started to transform it into a community garden for all the residents to enjoy.

After getting in touch with their local councillors to help with the removal of the bulky waste and rubbish, the resident set about pressure-washing and weeding the cobbles before putting out garden furniture and planters.

The cobbled alleyway now hosts puppet shows, swing ball competitions, board games and even socially distanced toasted marshmallow evenings. 

The space has been decorated with bunting and garland lights, along with hanging baskets, colourful flower pots and Miss Hurst their very own seagull scarer.

They’ve also started to grow their own produce, such as strawberries, chillies, coriander and mint.

Jenny McKechnie, Rufford Community Garden Said: “When we started this the alleyway was full of fly-tipping, we had couches, hoovers and washing machines, but within less than two months we’ve managed to get the alleyway all cleaned.

“It’s a lovely safe space for the children to play in and the children love playing out here.

“Having the community garden keeps the alleyway clean and safe, so you can enjoy the space we’ve created as well as your own backyard, knowing that the alleyway is clean.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing said:   We are really delighted to see what an amazing job the community has done in Rufford Road.

“The residents have worked with the Council, turning what was an ugly alleyway, filled with rubbish and weeds, into a wonderful community space, where everyone can enjoy and help bring the community together.

“The residents have used their time in lockdown to create something special and have been able to make some fantastic friends along the way.

“I would also like to say a big well done to everyone involved in making this community garden possible”

Cllr John Kelly, Sefton Council’s Ward Member for Litherland Said: It great to see some many residents taken control over the rear of their properties.” 

“We will help the resident as much as we can in cleaning up their alleyways, with the resources we have within the area, but ultimately, it’s down to the residents to take control and look after their alleyways.”

Helen Davis Taylor, Rufford Community Garden Said: “I would highly recommend anyone thinking of transforming your alleyway.

“Speak to your neighbours and try to encourage as many households to get involved and create a great community space.

“It’s an excellent way to get to know your neighbours and make new friends.”

Rufford Road Community Garden has set up an Instagram page to share tips and inspire others to get outside and clean up the Alleyway spaces – you can see more at https://www.instagram.com/ruffordcommunitygarden/

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