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Video service for deaf claimants extended to all DWP helplines

FOR those with hearing issues, communication is often a problem, but deaf claimants and those with hearing loss can now access British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters across all Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) helplines and services. The Video Relay Service, rolled out for Universal Credit, in April, has been extended to all its 62 benefit related lines and services. The Video Relay Service allows users to make BSL interpreted video calls via their:- tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop. A professional interpreter then relays the call, in English, to a member of DWP staff. Since the extension of the Video Relay Service to all DWP helplines, there has been a 43% increase in uptake, while a recent customer survey showed respondents were:- 'very satisfied' with the overall service. Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said:- "This is another vital step on our mission to increase inclusion and accessibility across Government. We already know it works and that it's had a life changing impact for many people so it's only right we offer this service as widely as we can." The Video Relay Service app and an introductory video are available from:- SignVideo.Co.UK.  If you have used this service, please do let us know what you thought of it, by emailing our Editorial team at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com.

BTR Virtual Liverpool Santa Dash To Support Charities And Food Banks

THE BTR Virtual Liverpool Santa Dash takes place in less than 3 weeks, and organisers are urging participants to support the 8 official event charities and community food banks while enjoying their festive 5K fun run. As national lockdown lifts, the Santa Dash pop up shop opens in Williamson Square, Liverpool, on Wednesday, 2 December. The shop is located next to Matalan, and is part of St Johns Shopping Centre, Liverpool.

The 2 week delay in opening due to lockdown means that the virtual event date has also changed. The BTR Virtual Liverpool Santa Dash will now take place, on Sunday, 20 December 2020. Highly regarded as the City's kick start to Christmas, this year's event marks the 17th consecutive year of the Liverpool Santa Dash.

Organisers BTR Liverpool announced in September that the annual festive spectacular would change to a virtual format this year due to the ongoing Coronavirus global Pandemic and strict social distancing guidelines.

Making the event a virtual run allows Santas to dash wherever they are located while still following Government guidelines and maintaining social distancing; enabling participants to get their festive fix despite the challenging times everyone has faced.

Once participants have collected their Santa pack, which includes:- run number, red or blue Santa suit, and bespoke medal, they are welcome to complete their 5K festive fun at a time convenient to them.

Almost 1,500 Santas have already registered, including international entrants from:- Australia, Denmark, Dubai, Germany, Ireland, Isle Of Man, Sweden, and the United States of America.

The Santa Dash pop up shop will be open daily for Santa suit collection and registration running until Saturday, 19 December 2020. Opening times are Monday to Saturday, from 9.30am to 5pm, and 11am to 4pm, on Sunday.

This year, BTR has also introduced a postage service. When registering online, participants can choose to have their full Santa pack, including Santa suit and medal, sent out to them direct for a small charge.

Every entry really counts as organisers BTR Liverpool has pledged to split the Santa Dash profits equally between the official event charities.

The 8 charities who will benefit are:- Alder Hey Children's Charity, Claire House Children's Hospice, Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, Marie Curie, North West Air Ambulance Charity, Nugent, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, and Wirral University Teaching Hospital Charity.

Santas can also help to make a difference by donating to food banks. As part of BTR Liverpool's commitment to support community projects, they are once again working with Fans Supporting Foodbanks, who usually collect food bank items on match days at Anfield and Goodison.

The Santa Dash pop up shop will feature a collection point for donations of non-perishable food. Items desperately needed include:- tinned potatoes, tinned vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, peas, sweetcorn), mashed potato, fruit juice, coffee, curry and pasta sauce, custard, cup a soups, noodles, and jam.

The BTR Liverpool Santa Dash was created by BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell and 1st staged in 2004. A separate 1K Mini Dash for under 12s was added in 2007, and blue Santa suits were introduced 3 years later.

BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region. Its growing portfolio also includes:- the BTR Liverpool Skyline
˝ Marathon; BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K; BTR Port Sunlight 5K and 10K; and 52 mile BTR Tour Of Merseyside.

BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:- "We're delighted to finally open the doors to our Santa Dash pop up shop at St Johns Shopping Centre, and we cannot wait to see many familiar faces as they collect their Santa packs. Every Santa Dash place really does count as we are donating profits to our eight official event charities. They rely on fundraising and have been hit so hard this year, it's been a real struggle for them. The more Santas we have taking part, the more the charities will benefit. Christmas is a very special and fun time of year, but we must remember that it is also tough for so many people, and we should all do our bit to help. We have a dedicated food bank donation point in the Santa Dash shop, so if you're calling in to register or collect your Santa pack then please donate a food item if you are able to do so. We can't be together to Dash this year, but at lEast we can be together in spirit and goodwill. We can still make this year's Liverpool Santa Dash a year to remember."

To register for the BTR Liverpool Santa Dash visit:- BTRLiverpool.Com.

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