Flicks and Friends for January

Age Concern Crosby’s first Flicks and Friends for 2020 is CATS and will be screened at the Plaza Community Cinema in Waterloo on Tuesday 21st January.

This is a fantastic musical with exquisite dancing and a very talented cast including Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, James Corden, Idris Elba and more.

Inspired by TS Elliot’s collection of poems ‘Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats’ and the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical ‘Cats’ we meet a tribe of cats called the Jellicles who each year must decide which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.

Doors open at 12.30pm with the film starting at 1pm and costs just £1.00. The Flicks and Friends screening is for people aged over 60, so why not bring a friend and enjoy the film?

Take control of your health this New Year

After all the indulgence of the festive season, health professionals and Sefton Council are encouraging you get the New Year off to the right start by taking better control of your health.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG are reminding you about the number of great resources available to people living in Sefton who are looking to make positive changes to their lifestyle.

Living Well Sefton enables people to make small changes to their lives that can have a big impact on their wellbeing. It offers individual and group support around a broad range of issues, from eating better and being more active, to managing debt.

Anne-Marie Morrison, Living Well Sefton deputy programme manager, explains: “Together with our partners we encourage people to make healthy lifestyle choices including stopping smoking, learning healthy cooking, taking up new hobbies and meeting new friends.”

All Sefton residents are eligible and can self refer via the website or by calling 0300 323 0181.

Colette oct 2019 cropped
The Smokefree Sefton team can support you to quit smoking

Fiona Taylor, chief officer for NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “It is a good idea to take a break from drinking during January. People tend to drink a lot more in the run up to Christmas due to all the get-togethers and Christmas parties. Even if you are staying within the recommended intake, drinking most days of the week – no matter how much – can have bad effects on your physical and mental health.

“Persistent alcohol misuse can lead to heart disease, stroke, liver disease and liver cancer among other things. I would encourage you to take part in Dry January and start your New Year off on the right foot. The first few days will be hard, but it will get easier as you go along.”

Visit the One You website for tips and guidance about drinking less and a range of lifestyle advice.

Sefton Council’s Smokefree Sefton service can also support people that are trying to stop smoking. The programme provides behavioural support combined with up to 12 weeks’ worth of products to help you quit smoking. Call the team on 0300 100 1000.

For more information on Smokefree Sefton visit the website.


Billy gives back because he feels good

A retired army veteran from Litherland was so pleased with losing more than three stone in weight through the Feelgood Factory’s healthy living course he has become a vital volunteer within the centre.

Billy Almond, aged 80, explains: “The healthy weight course was brilliant. It was easy to follow. After I lost the weight I wanted to give something back so I returned to show new people on the course what can happen.”

But Billy ended up staying for a lot longer. He has taken part in the walking football group, took up yoga, joined the centre’s weekly walks and is now leading the Monday walk from Netherton’s Feelgood Factory, part of the Living Well Sefton partnership.

One of his favourite activities is helping out in the community garden which is behind the shops in Netherton’s Marian Square.

Billy 2
Billy volunteers his time in Netherton

Here, along with other volunteers, he keeps the garden in shape, especially enjoying wheeling soil over to the raised beds which are designed to make it easier for older people to plant up.

“I like to see things improve and I get to meet different people,” says Billy, who struggled to find things to do after retiring from the army.

Philomena Zilinski, Healthy Living Services Manager at the Feelgood Factory, comments: “It has been a pleasure to help Billy. He is very motivated and takes on board the opportunities offered to him.

“I have seen him change from being an overweight and inactive person at a loss what to do with his days, to a slim, healthy walk leader, always willing to help others and an inspiration to his peers.”

Karen Nolan, Living Well Sefton programme manager, says: “There are lots of opportunities to improve your wellbeing across the Living Well Sefton partnership and Billy proves you are never too old to get involved!”

To find out how Living Well Sefton and its partners, including the Feelgood Factory, can support you, visit www.livingwellsefton.org.uk or ring 0300 323 0181.

Please note the service will be back in the New Year, ready to offer the support you need.

Council Christmas shutdown: what you need to know

Restricted services will be in place during Christmas and New Year as most Sefton Council staff are required to take unpaid leave.

Like previous years, residents can still access a range of information and transactions via the council website – sefton.gov.uk

This includes checking bin collections, applying for licences, reporting environmental issues or paying Council Tax and business rates. Because of the unpaid leave to be taken on December 24, 27, 30 and 31, most council buildings will be closed.

Services that will continue to operate include critical social care services for adults and children, a limited street cleaning service, registrars, domestic and commercial waste collections and urgent highways issues, including gritting.

Residents are also being encouraged to recycle as much waste as possible and use the household waste recycling centres across the borough.

Similar to other years, the green wheelie bin collection for garden waste has now been suspended and will return in March 2020.

Some Sefton Council-run leisure centres will be open at varying times during these dates and users are advised to check sefton.gov.uk for opening times.

A list of social care emergency phone numbers is attached below (see below).

A spokesperson for Sefton Council said: “Over the course of the financial year, our hard-working staff have their pay reduced in order to take four days unpaid leave.

“Other savings from the closure period come from the reduced need for heating, lighting and running buildings, equipment and vehicles.

“While reduced services are being operated, we will still maintain key services for some of the most vulnerable residents in our communities.

To access a range of service and transactions online, visit sefton.gov.uk An automated phone service will be in place between December 24, 2019 and January 1, 2020 (inclusive) on 0345 140 0845 and most service requests will only be actioned beyond January.

Emergency contacts on December 24, 27, 30, and 31 between 9.00am-5.30pm:

Children’s Social Care: 0151 934 3114
Adult Social Care: 01704 704389 (North)
Adult Social Care: 0151 529 3761 (South)

For Social Care emergencies at all other times call the Emergency Duty Team 0151 934 3555

Help us help you to stay well this winter

With Christmas just around the corner, health experts in Sefton are urging local patients to make sure they’re fully prepared should they become unwell in the holiday season.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG want to make sure residents know the steps they can take and which services to use should they become unwell.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton CCG, says: “All GP practices in Sefton will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. However, if you need urgent care or advice over the festive period, the NHS is here to help you.

“For minor illnesses, you can see your local pharmacist who can offer you medical advice and over-the-counter remedies. Pharmacists will be happy to assist you there and then, with a free consultation.”

Some pharmacies in Sefton are open on the bank holidays and walk-in centres continue to operate too. You can find out which pharmacies closest to you will be open, along with walk-in centre times by visiting the CCGs’ websites.

If you have an urgent medical concern and you’re not sure what to do you can call NHS 111 or go to: 111.nhs.uk. It’s available 24 hours a day, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and they can arrange for you to see a doctor out of hours when your practice is closed.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair of NHS Southport and Formby CCG, adds: “As well as NHS 111, there are other services available over the holidays, including extra GP appointments you can book on weekday evenings and at weekends.”

Patients in Sefton have access to a range of non-urgent, routine, pre-bookable, appointments with GPs, practice nurses and medical specialists of an evening and at weekends. Your GP practice can offer more information about this service.

Rob added: “I would also encourage people that have repeat prescriptions to ensure that they have enough medication to last through the holiday period but remember not to over order.”  help us help you

The following items are recommended to be in your medicine cabinet at home to help deal with minor ailments such as coughs, colds and sore throats:

  • Painkillers such as ibuprofen and paracetamol
  • Antihistamines for allergies
  • Indigestion remedies
  • A first aid kit

For more information on what you can do to stay well this winter and pharmacy opening times, visit: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services or www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services

Bulb planting will be blooming lovely for Borough of Culture!

More than 44,000 spring flowering bulbs have been planted by primary school children in locations across the borough as part of Sefton’s Borough of Culture celebrations.

The huge number of bulbs dug into the ground almost replicates a bulb for every primary school child in Sefton.

The crocus and daffodil bulbs have been planted during November and December through the council’s Green Sefton team and will burst into life next spring during the Borough of Culture year.

Some of the sites involved in the planting are: North Park, Bootle; Crescent Garden, Alexandra Park and Moorside Park all in Crosby; Victoria Park, Waterloo; Botanic Gardens, Preston New Road, Bedford Park, King’s Gardens, Devonshire Road and Ainsdale Village park, all in Southport; Merrilocks Park, Blundellsands; Marian Square Gardens, Netherton; and Mellanear Park, Litherland.

The primary schools involved include All Saints, St Edmonds, St Thomas, Linacre Primary, St Monica’s, Ursuline Primary, Great Crosby, Churchtown, Hillside Park, St Elizabeth’s, Lander Road, Christ Church, St Oswald’s and St Mary’s prep.

The Borough of Culture (BoC) title is awarded by the Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority to one of its six local authorities (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral) on a rotating, annual basis.

2019 is currently Wirral’s year while 2020 will be dedicated to Sefton with a raft of new, existing and community-led events planned for the year.

The focus of Sefton’s year will be on stories, looking at two key elements – local history and the environment.

Mark Shaw, from Green Sefton, said: “The activity is to help highlight the launch of the Borough of Culture and to celebrate the wonderful parks and green spaces we have in Sefton.

“Through our Green Sefton Rangers, we have planted more than 44,000 bulbs and believe the planting is a great way to get school children interested and passionate about their environment.

“During 2020 we will watch the bulbs spring to live adding beautiful colour to our amazing parks and green spaces as part of our Borough of Culture year and they’ll keep on flowering for many years to come.”

Vital information for rough sleepers in Sefton this winter

Sefton Council has a range of services for rough sleepers throughout the borough which are available all year round.

This is especially important during the cold winter months between November 2019 and March 2020.

If you are concerned about someone’s wellbeing, please direct them to their nearest Sit-Up services available at both New Start in Southport and Bosco in Bootle.

Services are provided at BOSCO House, Merton Road, Bootle (0151 944 1818) or New Start, Leyland Road Hostel, Southport, (01704 547 741).

Bosco’s Sit-Up provision is available nightly and people can book in between 8pm to 9pm.

An enhanced Sit-Up provision, which will be open and offer more flexible presentation hours, will be offered at New Start’s Leyland Road Hostel and will be open from 8pm until 12pm the next day with light refreshments and a warm, dry, safe environment for people to access with showers and laundry facilities available to people.

As part of this service, outreach teams will proactively seek out rough sleepers and encourage them to access the Enhanced Sit-Up to ensure nobody sleeps rough in Sefton this year.

The help of the public is always appreciated and to report an incident of rough sleeping in Sefton please call the Rough Sleeper Outreach Team via Light for Life on 01704 501256 or 07918 746042 outside normal office hours and weekends.

Alternatively, email housing.options@sefton.gov.uk and provide details of the location and any description of the person. We will acknowledge your email and give you a response to your report.

Veterans in Sefton have also been commissioned to provide support to people who are currently serving or who have served in the Armed Forces, both regular and reservists, their families and dependents, who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

ViS are based at The Brunswick Youth and Community Centre in Bootle.

For any further information call 0151 257 6371 or attend the ‘NAAFI Break’, Wednesdays 10.30am – 12pm.

Give what you can this December in Sefton

Sefton’s successful Year of Friendship is drawing to a close and we’re excited to announce that the final theme for December is ‘Giving’.

For many people in Sefton, the festive period can be especially difficult so we want to encourage as many people as possible to do what they can to offer a token of friendship whether it’s by donating to a foodbank, supporting the Mayors Toy Appeal or even joining in on Sefton 4 Good’s Christmas Jumper Day.

There are lots of collections and awareness days taking place throughout December and there are opportunities to get involved in lots of different things across the borough. Local people are encouraged to give what they can, even if it’s just signposting someone to a helpful group or service.

Here are a few of the things you can support this month across Sefton:

Sefton 4 Good’s Christmas Jumper Day

Sefton 4 Good is encouraging people from a across to Sefton to wear a Christmas Jumper to work on Friday, 13 December.

Donations are welcomed and all funds raised will support the Sefton 4 Good Grant Pot which helps local causes in Sefton.

To donate to Sefton 4 Good you can text ‘SEFTON’ followed by the amount to 70085.

The Mayor’s Toy Appeal

You can make Christmas extra special for some of Sefton’s vulnerable children by getting behind the Mayor’s Christmas Toy appeal.

New gifts unwrapped for children of all ages, can be taken to either Bootle, Maghull or Southport Town Halls or dropped off at any Sefton Council library or leisure centre by Wednesday, 18 December. Gift tokens are particularly welcome to be given to older children.

All presents will then be distributed to children and young people throughout the borough by volunteers from Sefton Council and Sefton Children’s Trust on behalf of the Mayor.

For further information on the Mayor’s Christmas Gift Appeal please call 07837863075.

Sefton Food Bank Network – Reverse Advent Calendar

Residents are encouraged to support Sefton’s Food banks this festive period and this year Sefton food banks have launched a Reverse Advent Calendar which encourages more people to give, rather than receive, this Christmas.

The calendar gives a suggested donation for each day of the Advent and includes essential items like tinned tomatoes, tinned potatoes, instant mash and tinned fruit as well as toiletries and Christmas items like chocolate, nuts, stuffing and gravy.

Get festive with Merseyrail this December

The festivities have well and truly begun on Merseyrail with Father Christmas and carol singers appearing up and down the network this December.

Father Christmas gift competition
On Monday Father Christmas delivered a special gift to Liverpool Central’s Mtogo store flanked by security, signalling the launch of a special competition across three stations.

Mystery gifts will be situated at Mtogo stores in Liverpool Central, Liverpool South Parkway and Southport stations. Passengers must guess what the gift is to be in with a chance of winning £200 worth of high street vouchers.Strand station 1

The competition will run until December 23 and passengers can enter by filling out a form in one of the three stations.

Father Christmas checking tickets
Father Christmas will be leaving his reindeer at home and travelling by Merseyrail trains on 7 and 8 December from 11:00 to 13:00, checking tickets and wishing all of our customers a very merry Christmas.

Carol choirs
Furthermore, carol singers will be performing your favourite Christmas songs at the following stations:

  • Liverpool Central
    • December 5, 7pm onwards
    • December 8, 19 & 20  times TBC
  • Southport
    • December 22 throughout the day

Free Costa hot drinks
Merseyrail passengers will be able to enjoy a free Costa hot drink on Sunday 8 and Sunday 15 December at participating Costas across the network.

Great value and enhanced services
To add to the festive cheer across the Liverpool City Region, Merseyrail passengers will be able to enjoy late night and Boxing Day trains.

With return tickets from just £2.10 and Day Savers available to purchase online, Merseyrail is the perfect way to get around this Christmas.

The rail operator will be running a special service between 9am and 7pm on Boxing Day, calling at selected stations across the network.

There will also be late night trains on the two weekends before Christmas, helping passengers get home from festive events across the city.

For full timetable information, Christmas shopping and event guides passengers can visit www.merseyrail.org/christmas or the Destination Merseyside portal at https://www.merseyrail.org/destination-merseyside.

The customer service team can also be contacted via Twitter @merseyrail or WhatsApp on 0151 555 1111 for service updates and information.

Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail, said: “Christmas is a very special time of year at Merseyrail and we want to make it as festive as possible for our passengers.

“These events across the network ensure passengers have a fun-filled journey complete with carols and appearances from Father Christmas as they travel to parties, visit family or do some Christmas shopping.”


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