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Liverpool School looks climate change in the eye by going green

A Liverpool School has taken a stance against climate change by organising a week of communal action to raise funds for a fairer world.  Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School in Seaforth has rallied together to host a:- 'Week of Wonder' in solidarity with the national Eyes of the World campaign, aiming to help fight the climate crisis.

The Eyes of the World campaign, launched by international development charity CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development), has called upon young people to lobby the UK Government to ensure that the world's poorest communities are at the heart of discussions amongst world leaders at the upcoming COP26 climate conference.

Motivated by both CAFOD's campaign and Pope Francis' call to care for our common home, staff and pupils at the Liverpool School embraced a series of environmentally conscious activities in an effort to encourage action against the climate crisis.

Beginning with a mass commitment to fulfil individual eco pledges, the Week of Wonder went on to educate pupils about composting and recycling, prompting a commendable litter picking effort in the surrounding community as well as giving students the chance to swap and regift preloved toys.

The week reached its pinnacle following the delivery of a virtual Eyes of the World workshop by CAFOD volunteers, encouraging pupils to draw pairs of eyes to show the Government that the world is watching them a challenge which Our Lady Star of the Sea immediately took up.

Inspired by CAFOD's message of support to the world's most vulnerable communities affected by the climate crisis, Sophia a student from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School, epitomised the altruistic essence of the Week of Wonder. Sophia commented:- "I enjoyed the Eyes of the World workshop because it taught me so much about what is happening in the world. It also made me realise that we CAN do more than we think to try and stop climate change."

Eager to raise funds as well as awareness in the fight against climate change, the Seaforth School organised a:- 'Wear it Green' fundraising event; a feat that saw the whole School dress in green for 1 day.

This ingenious fundraising response resulted in an admirable total of ₤124 raised towards CAFOD's ongoing development work, to aid those already being affected by climate change around the world.

Debbie Crockwell, a teacher at Our Lady Star of the Sea, was keen to comment on the powerful impact that the Eyes of the World campaign had on the School's attitude to climate change:- "The children were so enthusiastic about CAFOD's campaign for Eyes of the World! A huge thank you to CAFOD for coming in and to our Eco Council for helping to organize our Week of Wonder. Our Lady Star of the Sea's eyes are most definitely watching!"

Supporting local Schools with their involvement in the Eyes of the World campaign, CAFOD representative Siobhan Farnell expresses her gratitude to the staff and pupils at Our Lady Star of the Sea, for their wholehearted commitment to making a difference in their School and  the wider community. "We were thrilled to hear about Our Lady Star of the Sea's Week of Wonder and delighted the CAFOD training was a catalyst for inspiring the School to undertake such positive actions. We also congratulate the School as they have recently been awarded the CAFOD Laudato Si Award recognising their 'live wisely, think deeply and love generously' approach. We are grateful for the fundraising which will support our sisters and brothers overseas who are facing poverty and extreme difficulty due to the effects of the climate crisis. It's wonderful to see the young people make a difference through their own charitable actions."

Gypsy Soul EP Launch - Mark Sebastian D'Lacey and Guests
Photos and report by Tony Higginson.

THE Philharmonic Dining Rooms, Hope Street, Liverpool played host to the Gypsy Soul EP Launch, on Tuesday, 27 July 2021, and Tony Higginson from Beyond Books Media Ltd popped along to take a look for us.

Mark Sebastian D'Lacey has performed and toured for nearly 40 years, he started young. He had successful stints on the UK and European tours of Tommy:- The Rock Opera, and as a member of:- 'Kid Creole and the Coconutsand many other bands. He had never found time to record any of his own material as his plays in many local bands and produces work for others at:- Fleur De Lis Studios, Carlton Street, Liverpool.


He didn't want just to stand and sing alone to launch his stunning EP, he wanted a full evening of exciting and absorbing music covering all genres, so he first introduced us to Helen Downey, a superb singer/songwriter who blazed through 5 of her own songs often written in connection to where she was, so we have idyllic countryside pastoral charm and also haunting tales of loss of a close friend with George's song, a beautiful lament. Her style of guitar moved effortlessly through gentle picks to raucous flamenco strums and always her voice, pure and wide ranging, swooping from nuanced moments of reflection to full blown chanteuse. She runs an Open mic at the Liverpool Clipper, and plays in Lady Buds too.


Then we had just a few songs by Mark ranging from his Bondesque power ballad to tales of loss and pain sung with immense range and power. Mark is a superb musician, his use of guitar and effects is never front of stage, always exactly in place to compliment the songs.

Next was a huge treat, Scarlett and Jake performed just 1 song, but it was a pure belter and her voice and Jake's superb acoustic guitar playing just lifted the room to a huge feeling of warmth and togetherness.

Mark returned to play 3 songs form the EP and the pure diversity of his song writing and delivery was breath taking, his blues number alone would make a huge hit, but his epic 7 minute lament of loss and pain that he ended with accompanied by stunning trumpet and strings was a sensation.

All this was before we were treated to a totally barn storming set by Mark and his new band, The Poor Valley Marauders, in full stage band they can be 11, tonight there were merely 7 but they were magnificent. And a connection to an element of Tex Mex and Latin Jazz superbly complimented the triple vocal lead of Mark, Helen and Alison Crawford, plus their energetic dance routines added so much to the overall visual treat we had. Ben Parkinson is a superb pianist, he knows exactly when to play and how he does! Mark had discovered Steve Bonacci a New York bassist capable of backing any band and adding lovely bouncing runs to lift the pace of the songs, we hope Steve can stay until October when they launch the band and Musical as it will be a real treat. The drummer was rock solid, sadly I missed his name! Then we met Johnny Larsen a keyboard player of the highest pedigree, riffing and filling and boosting the sound effortlessly and adding some fine vocals as did Ben. Every song was a stand out and the triple harmonies and accomplished backing was just music of the highest order, plus we were in a stunning room and allowed to be out enjoying live music. Apologies I didn't write song titles down!


Another event of note is the Monthly 1st Tuesday Writers Night, at Murphy's that Mark is running, poets and performers and singers all welcome. Keep an eye out for more gigs by these guys, all are superb, we need to support our fabulous local music scene and buy their material too. It is worth adding that the Global Launch of the Jazz/Rock Musical, Sebastian and the Poor Valley Marauders will take place at Murphy's Gin Distillery and Bar, Regent Street, Liverpool, on Tuesday, 19 October 2021.

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