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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 174

Date:- 06 November 2004

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Helping hand for Liverpool parents

CAN you help? Volunteers wanted to become parental supporters... People needed to offer help, support and advice... Initiative supports parents of children with special needs... ARE you a good listener and able to give people practical help and support? 

People across Liverpool are being asked to lend a hand to parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Liverpool City Council's Parent Partnership Service is looking to recruit volunteers to train to become Independent Parental Supporters.

There are currently nine volunteers working throughout the city, advising and supporting parents in a number of different ways; making them aware of their rights, explaining paperwork, attending meetings with them and simply offering a listening ear.

Volunteers receive full training, with ten places available on the intensive ten week training course which starts in January.

Independent Parental Supporters should be available to work with parents for a minimum of two hours each week. 

Co-ordinator Edna Pye said:- "This initiative is a great help for parents because it means we are able to offer a wide range of backing, empowering them and offering practical and emotional support.

It's our aim to help parents during what can be a very emotional time. 

The volunteers themselves get a huge sense of satisfaction out of their work. In fact, many volunteers are actually parents who have been supported by this initiative in the past."

Liverpool city council's executive member for education, Councillor Paul Clein, said:- "This is an essential service because it makes sure parents and young people are well aware of their rights.

Advice, support and a sympathetic ear can be invaluable to parents of children with disabilities and special educational needs."

Anyone interested in becoming an Independent Parental Supporter should contact Edna Pye at the Parent Partnership Service, Fairfield Centre, Sheil Road, L6 3AA or by calling 0151 233 2848.

For more information, please contact Stuart Arrowsmith at Liverpool city council's newscentre on 0151 225 2464 or 07715 000 447.

For the latest news from Liverpool, European Capital of Culture 2008, visit and


Sporting Edge is set to join celebrations for the Tenth Anniversary of the National Lottery by offering FREE fitness testing as well as access to courts and classes, on Saturday 6 November 2004.

Facilities at the Sporting Edge, the community sports centre based at Edge Hill's Ormskirk Campus, were partly funded by The National Lottery through Sport England. Staff are keen to encourage people to subscribe to a healthier lifestyle with the offer of free health related fitness testing for over 16s between 11am and 4pm on the 6 November.

The tests are simple and provide a guide to basic fitness levels with the offer of advice on improvement.

Fitness Co-ordinator for The Sporting Edge, Rob Stewart said:- "National Lottery funding has helped to provide some fabulous facilities for the whole community. This is an ideal opportunity for people to visit the Sporting Edge and check them out. The fitness tests are very simple and you will be guided through them by friendly, helpful staff who can help you start an exercise regime that works for you."

There will also be 2 FREE exercise classes during the afternoon and FREE badminton courts available throughout the day.

For further details contact The Sporting Edge on 01695 584745 or visit

Students from Merseyside are being invited to take part in the region's largest ever careers survey at an event next month.

Undertaken by the Learning and Skills Council Greater Merseyside, the survey will ask around 20,000 year 11 pupils to name their dream career.

The survey aims to identify what school leavers would like to do for a living in order to compare it against the job opportunities available in the region. The results will map out the future potential training needs in Merseyside.

The survey is part of the Festival of Skills, an event hosted by the Learning and Skills Council and open to all year 11 pupils in the Greater Merseyside region. The two day showcase will enable schoolchildren to gain hands on experience of numerous careers as well as speaking to people doing that job. 

Paul Holme, executive director of the Learning and Skills Council, said:- "In the 70s and 80s we saw a real drain of manpower out of the Merseyside area. Now with unemployment at historically low levels there is more competition for good employees.

Any activity which can inform the LSC's strategy going forward will help us to plan the training and learning opportunities available and match them to the growth areas in the region.

Schemes such as the Grosvenor Henderson development and the new cruise liner terminal mean that there will be very distinct growth areas but they are very broad and will include everything from construction through professional services to tourism."

The Festival of Skills will be held at Aintree Racecourse on Monday 15 and on Tuesday 16 November. 

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