Become a digital champion!

Include-IT Mersey are looking for Digital Champion volunteers in Bootle and Southport.

If you’re friendly, approachable and understanding of the difficulties people may face when getting online, then the Include-IT Mersey team want to hear from you.

People can volunteer their time from just an hour a week and, by doing so, they will be making a difference to the lives of people in their local community.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund (ESF), the project aims to improve digital learning and skills across Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral.

For more information please contact Lauren, the Volunteer Coordinator (Knowsley, Liverpool & Sefton) for Include-IT Mersey, on 07860 846 605 or you can email her at:

Include IT Mersey




Work towards wellbeing

Small and medium businesses in Sefton can help contribute to the wellbeing of their staff with Active Workforce/Health Service for local companies to improve the health and wellbeing of their employees

The average employee spends approximately 60% of their waking day at work.  As such, the government white paper “Choosing Health” identifies the workplace as an ideal setting for promoting healthy lifestyle choices

With 70% of the population not active enough to benefit their health and nearly 40% of deaths from Coronary Heart Disease attributed to inactivity, the Active Workforce programme enables employees to build exercise into their working lives by providing a wide variety of physical activity alternatives.

Anne-Marie Morrison from Sefton CVS said: “We have invested into Active Workforce for some years and now have 100% of the staff engaged in the programme, the events have improved our team morale, and we are all a lot fitter and healthier thanks to the workplace activities. We even managed to achieve the Wellbeing Workplace Charter with thanks to Active Workforce.”

For more details about Active Workforce: ring 0151 934 2079 or email

Active Workforce is supporting the ‘30 Days of Sefton In Mind’ Campaign to spread the word about local services and activities available to people in Sefton to improve their mental health.

MECC training in the park

Grounds maintenance staff mecc 3

Anne-Marie Morrison, our Community Resilience Officer, is delivering Making Every Contact Count (MECC) training with Sefton Council’s Park Department at their Hesketh Park depot.

The training is part of an ongoing programme to equip frontline staff throughout Sefton with the confidence when chatting with people to talk about healthy lifestyles.

As NHS Health Education England points out on the website, making changes such as stopping smoking, improving diet, increasing physical activity, losing weight and reducing alcohol consumption can help people to reduce their risk of poor health significantly. Making every contact count (MECC) is an approach to behaviour change that utilises the millions of day to day interactions that organisations and people have with other people to encourage changes in behaviour that have a positive effect on the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and populations.

Already hundreds of people in Sefton have completed the training with more courses available for those interested in attending. Click here for details of the next courses.


Grounds maintenance staff mecc 2

Freshers’ Fair has a wellbeing focus

Sefton-based Hugh Baird College is welcoming first years to its Freshers’ Fair today (13 September). This is an opportunity for young people to find out about local health initiatives, leisure agencies and activities on offer to them.

High Baird is dedicated to supporting its students as much as possible but understands that the college is not always open and the need for support can happen at any time.

Similarly, the college wants its students to have the opportunity to make friends and make social plans outside of the learning environment.

For that reason, events like the Freshers Fair make students aware of the local support available to them and how to access it in time of need. Being aware of the kind of support available can make all the difference to the mental wellbeing of a young person.

There will be a wealth of information available at the fair as well as useful freebies and prizes. Other activities will be taking place throughout the day to help improve mental wellbeing and emotional positivity including a mini animal farm.

Hugh Baird College has a very comprehensive Health and Wellbeing Programme, which covers a range of issues relevant to young people.  It addresses Suicide Prevention Awareness, Mental Health Awareness, Community Safety, Gang and Knife Crime, Domestic Violence and Anti-social Behaviour, Self-Image and Self-Harm, Cooking Sessions on Food Waste Elimination, British Values through Capoeira and Brazilian Drumming, Hate Crime, and Faith and Culture.

Visit Hugh Baird College website for more details, or contact Janine Hopewell on 0151 353 4462.

Hugh Baird College is supporting the ‘30 Days of Sefton In Mind’ Campaign – to spread the word about local services and activities available to people in Sefton to improve their mental health. Look out for the hashtag #SeftonInMind to raise awareness of the campaign.

Come along for a ‘Big Chat’ at annual review

Health commissioners are inviting south Sefton residents to come to their self-care focused ‘Annual Review meets Big Chat’ event on Thursday 21 September, where they’ll also have the chance to shape future similar events.

For the third year running, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is combining its annual review meeting with a ‘Big Chat’ style event, this time with a focus on looking after yourself and examining your options if you become unwell.

Residents can hear about the CCG’s performance and achievements over the past 12 months as well as being invited to give their views about the CCG’s latest work.

Discussions on the day will include a discussion on examining your options should you become unwell, managing your medications and personal health budgets, giving those eligible greater control over their care. Sefton Council for Voluntary Service (CVS) will also host a session on how you can help care for yourself with a practical mindfulness exercise for attendees to try.

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, chair of the CCG, said:  “The format of this event has worked well the last couple of years and we would like as many people as possible to come along and talk about their local health services.

“On the day there will be some short presentations with an opportunity for people to share their ideas on how we can further develop health services for local people. The practical exercise from Sefton CVS will also be very welcomed I’m sure.

“We will also be asking people for their ideas about how we run future Big Chat events to make them as relevant as possible for residents”

Copies of the CCG’s annual report and accounts for 2016 – 2017 will also be available for people to take away and a range of displays will showcase the healthcare commissioner’s financial and operational performance during the year.

The event is being held between 3pm and 5.30pm at The Park Hotel, Dunningsbridge Road, Netherton, L30 6YN. Tea and coffee will be served at 2.30pm.

Anyone who would like to come along is asked to confirm their attendance, along with any special requirements they may have, by calling 0151 247 7000 or by emailing

Big Chat 8 image

(l-r) Trish Bennett from Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust with Martin McDowell, chief finance officer, Fiona Taylor, chief officer and Andrew Mimnagh, chair at NHS South Sefton CCG, at the Big Chat 8 event in June 2017       

Come together for a cuppa and support mental health

The Big Brew invites businesses and residents across Sefton to come together for a cuppa to help tackle the stigma of suicide.

The Mersey Care Big Brew campaign wants to shatter the stigma by getting more people talking about suicide, sharing thoughts and offering support.

Support the Big Brew campaign to get people together and start a conversation that will help friends and work colleagues understand that suicide can affect anyone, and what we can all do to help.

To those who may be dealing with suicidal thoughts, a cup of tea can be a lifeline. The Big Brew aims to raise awareness by educating everyone about the part they can play in suicide prevention.

Research shows that talking can be the first step to getting back on track and bringing people together over a cuppa can be just the excuse they need to begin to open up

If you have family, friends or colleagues who you think may be suffering in silence, why not invite them for a brew. It’s a great way to reach out to them. If you belong to a community group, or host a regular coffee morning, why not dedicate your next meet-up to ‘The Big Brew’ campaign?

Remember, the more we spread the message and bring suicide out into the open, the more understanding and awareness there will be of mental health issues and the closer we’ll be to making suicide a thing of the past. That way you’ll be doing your bit to help tackle the stigma associated with mental illness.

If you’re thinking about holding a Big Brew there is lots of information about what you can do to get involved here.

Mersey Care are supporting the ‘30 Days of Sefton In Mind’ Campaign – to spread the word about local services and activities available to people in Sefton to improve their mental health.

big brew logo

Free course to boost wellbeing

We are running a free five-week Think Differently, Cope Differently course from Thursday, September 14.

The course is designed to increase wellbeing through building resilience and coping skills. Find out how this course can help you:

  • Increase your positive thinking
  • Promote goal setting
  • Encourage problem solving
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Relaxation skills

The course is held at St John and St James Church and Community Centre, 71 Bailey Drive, Bootle from 2pm until 4pm.

Anyone in Sefton interested in improving their sense of wellbeing can go on the course. To book your place, or for more details, contact Living Well Sefton on 0300 323 0181.

TDCD Sep 14 course

Love parks event

It was great meeting the lovely people of Melling at the Rainbow Park summer event to help celebrate the importance of parks in making everyone feel better! We rediscovered our hula hooping skills and even had a go at learning a new one – juggling!

Anne-Marie, Natasha and Louise supported the event chatting to families about how Living Well Sefton can increase people’s wellbeing. We also met Melling Parish Councillor, Debbie Millican and Melling Parish Council Deputy Chair, Dawn Beaumont.

N Selfie at Rainbow ParkNatasha hoola hooping 1

Top tips for a happy holiday

Your local NHS in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are reminding people to prepare for holidays wisely and to examine their options should they or a family member become ill or have an accident whilst out and about over the school holidays.

NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS West Lancashire CCG are reminding people to be organised with packing if they’re going abroad and to think about which NHS service to use should a member of the family take ill over the break.

The advice they are offering for those preparing to go abroad is:

  • Remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card if you are going to Europe
  • Pack plenty of sun cream, always pack a high factor and specialist sunscreen for children and babies
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when on holiday
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks to keep hydrated

With people being out and about a lot more with the family over the school holidays, the local CCGs in Southport, Formby and West Lancashire are also reminding people that A&E and 999 services are for life-threatening and serious conditions and to remind others of this should they become unwell.

Pharmacies can offer confidential advice on minor health issues and assist with what over the counter medication you can take. Over the August bank holiday when GP practices are closed, some pharmacies will remain open to ensure people can get the support they need; you can find out which pharmacies are open by visiting your local CCGs website and following them on social media, where there will be regular updates.

Dr Rob Caudwell, chair at NHS Southport and Formby CCG said: “It’s always a busy time over summer for the NHS and whilst we want you to have a good break, we are keen to remind you to use the NHS services in the right way. If you, a family member or someone you care for do become unwell do take a look at the advice on offer on which service to use depending on the health issue.

“It is a time when people become more active and make the most of being outdoors which we certainly encourage but a time when we may see more accidents and busier A&E departments. By using the services in the right way, it means that you are helping the NHS and other residents who may have a more urgent condition to be treated but always seek advice if you are unsure.”

Dr Peter Gregory, a GP in Ormskirk and GP executive lead at NHS West Lancashire CCG, said: “It’s not only important to make sure that you know where to go if you fall ill when you are at home, but also vitally important to make sure that you are fully prepared if you or a family member or friend falls ill if you go away on holiday.

“With the August Bank Holiday weekend fast approaching, it is important to prepare in advance if you require any repeat prescriptions over the weekend and to know which pharmacies are open on the Bank Holiday Monday, when GP practices will be closed.”

Continue reading “Top tips for a happy holiday”

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