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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 153

Date:- 29 May 2004

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6 YEAR old Ellen Garner from Southport will be just one of a host of children to benefit when celebrities and soccer stars join forces to raise funds for a North West charity with an auction and football match at the Village Hotel, Bromborough, on June 6, 2004.

Top football superstars from Liverpool, Everton and Real Madrid have all donated items for the charity's star boot auction to be held by Bromborough-based Stick n Step.

The auction will raise funds for Stick n Step, which has managed to secure the services of experts from the world-renowned Peto Institute in Hungary to work with North West children who have cerebral palsy.

Among the fantastic items on auction will be boots donated by Brazilian star Ronaldo, Liverpool's Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard and Everton's Wayne Rooney. 

There will also be signed shirts donated by Real Madrid stars David Beckham, Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Roberto Carlos.

Ellen Garner, aged 6, from Birkdale, Southport has been attending twice weekly sessions at Stick n Step since it opened.

Mum Kay is delighted with Ellen's progress:- "Ellen has come on brilliantly. The classes are small and the individual attention she gets from the conductors has really helped her develop. Family and friends having given us lot of backing and we just hope that Stick n step continues to thrive for the children's sake. The donations from the footballers have been heart warming."

Other memorabilia include Robbie Fowler's boots, signed shirts from George Best and Roy Keane, plus the goalkeeping gloves of David James and Nigel Martyn. Already bids have been flowing in via email from across he country.

The Coronation Street All Stars have also agreed to play a charity football match immediately before the auction, kicking off at 1.00pm. TV and radio presenter Elton Welsby will then preside over the auction which starts at 4.00pm.

The event is the brainchild of Sky Sports Spanish Football Commentator Rob Palmer who is a trustee of the charity. His 9-year-old son Ellis benefits from therapy provided by Stick n Step.

Rob explained:- "I'm overwhelmed by the response from the players. The whole Liverpool team handed over a signed boot at the end of the season. Steve McManaman has persuaded names such as Ronaldo, Figo, Roberto Carlos, Zidane, Beckham plus Robbie Fowler and David James to donate signed boots and shirts.

Kevin Campbell turned up with a sack of boots from all of Everton's top stars including Wayne Rooney. Paul Ince drove over with the boots he wore in his last Premiership game for Wolves. The players have been down to Stick n Step and have been brilliant with the kids."

Whereas a decade ago parents of children with cerebral palsy had to raise up to £10,000 to send each child to Budapest for a course of therapy, the sessions are now offered free of charge at Stick n Step.

"When Ellis was born, the best way of receiving Conductive Education was to go on a course in Budapest, but the cost was inhibitive. We are very fortunate to have a team of wonderful Conductors from the famous Peto Institute right here on our doorstep here in the North West,"
explained Rob.

Already, 40 children from the Merseyside/Chester/Greater Manchester, area have benefited from the daily sessions at Stick n Step. Parents travel from Manchester, Warrington, Chester and Southport so that their children can attend the free sessions. 

Great progress has been made and parents who untied to open the centre based on the Wirral at the start of 2004 have seen significant improvements in the children's independence as a result of the treatment they receive at Stick n Step.

Centre co-ordinator Mrs. Barbara Poole said:- "A number of parents were told their children would never walk - they now see their youngsters on their feet and making progress never expected of them thanks to the work with the conductors."

Each conductor has to train for 4 years at the famous institute founded by Professor Andras Peto in Hungary. Stick n Step employs 5 staff trained at the Peto Institute.

Conductor Mr. Attila Kelemen explains the method:- "We work with the individuals to see what they can achieve. The method is based on the brain's ability to reorganise. It's a little like teaching a naturally right-footed footballer to kick with his left foot.

You have to work on using another part of the brain to reorganise. We work on motivating the children to develop their mobility, communication and confidence."



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WITH less than a month to go before the closing date, companies and organisations throughout the country are being encouraged by Remploy to enter this year's 'Leading the Way' awards. The scheme aims to recognise those employers who enable and encourage disabled people to realise their potential in the workplace. Winners are widely regarded as leading lights for their inclusive employment policies.

Now in their 8 year, the awards are open to all employers throughout the UK who set an example and lead the way in the employment of disabled people.

"The Remploy Leading the Way awards are by far the most prestigious accolades for organisations employing disabled people,"
said Remploy chairman Alan Pedder. "They embrace the government's agenda to promote equal rights for disabled people in society through employment. Those that enter show their staff and their customers the way forward; they prove that opening career opportunities to disabled people is easy and cost effective, and it benefits the whole organisation."

The awards are organised on a regional basis. A judging panel assesses each nomination on a number of criteria including recruitment, training, access, support and the opportunities made available to disabled employees. The north's regional final will be presented by the BBC's athletics commentator Steve Cram and held at Newcastle Racecourse in September. Winners then go forward to a national final, which will be held at London's Hyatt Regency Hotel later in the year.

For further information and to receive an entry form, please contact Gail Whiteley at Remploy on 02476 515843 or email


THE British Lung Foundation (BLF) is urging all Southport and Mersey Reporter readers to support Breathe Easy groups from north and south Liverpool, St Helens, Kirkby and Halton. All of whom who are the patient arm of the BLF and take part in their march, as part of Breathe Easy Week, an annual awareness campaign to highlight lung health to the Government and the general public on 12 to 19 June 2004.

This year, the BLF will be taking to the streets to campaign for pulmonary rehabilitation to be available to everybody who needs it. A recent survey found that only 2% of patients with COPD have access to these essential courses. 

Breathe Easy will present a petition to Dave Watts MP for St Helens North. The petition will list the names of local people who believe that everybody in the UK should have the right to the lung health care services they deserve.

Dame Helena Shovelton, chief executive of the BLF, said:- "For the BLF Lung Marches to be successful, the support of the general public is invaluable. Both your presence on the day, as well as your signatures on our petition, will help raise awareness of lung disease nationwide."

For further information on where your local lung march is being held, please contact Jo Bloom on 020 7688 5592 or email To sign our online petition log onto:- 

Top tips for tots on trips.

NEARLY summer holiday time, and the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) is helping babies stay safe and healthy at home and away with TravelZone, a free guide for parents and professionals. 

This innovative resource is a colourful poster which cleverly folds into a handy passport-sized leaflet. Health professionals can display the poster in clinics for parents to take away a leaflet. It's also available free from FSID. Advice is offered in an accessible, upbeat cartoon style. Key health messages include advice for parents to:-

o Check their hotel cot is safe, the gaps between the bars are not too wide and the mattress is clean, firm and fits the cot well
o Ensure other carers know to sleep the baby on the back to reduce the risk of cot death
o Protect their baby from the sun which can cause serious burns in young children
o Use a properly fitted car seat appropriate for their baby's size and weight.

Joyce Epstein, FSID's Director said:- "There's more to remember when on holiday with your baby than packing loads of nappies! Keep your baby sleeping on their back, protect them from the sun and supervise them near water. These are just some of the top tips in the TravelZone guide. Call FSID on 0870 787 0885 for your free copy".

Some top tips for travelling with babies:-

o Keep your baby smoke free
o Use a properly fitted car seat appropriate for your baby's size and weight
o Protect your baby from the sun with high factor sun cream, parasols and keeping them clothed
o Check your baby's cot has a firm, well fitting mattress which is thoroughly clean
o Make sure all other carers know to sleep your baby on their back
o Sterilise your baby's feeding equipment. If you breastfeed wash your breasts and hands in bottled water.
o Constantly watch your baby near water
o Seek advice about immunisations from your doctor or health visitor before you travel


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