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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 190

Date:- 6 March 2005

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One week to go, are you ready for No Smoking Day?

IT IS TIME TO QUIT! Yes on March 9 the message to smokers who want to quit is start planning now to increase your chances of success. More than 4 million smokers are expected to take some positive step on No Smoking Day towards stubbing out their final cigarette. 

Ben Youdan, Chief Executive of the charity No Smoking Day, which runs the annual campaign, says:- "Planning is an essential part of the quitting process. Giving up smoking is about beating an addiction as well as a habit and you can greatly increase your chances of success by preparing for your quit date."

No Smoking Day has provided a last minute check list to anyone who is preparing to stop. Get some support. Find out about free local stop smoking services in your area by calling 0800 169 0 169. Using your local service can make it four times more likely that you will succeed in stopping.

Ease withdrawal symptoms. Using Nicotine Replacement Therapies like patches or gum can double your chances of stopping. Just ask your pharmacist for advice. Keep a diary. Make a note of when you smoke and why. Well it will help you plan for cravings. Tell your friends. Let them know that you're stopping and ask for their support. You could even stop together and help keep each other on track. Spring clean. Get rid of your lighters and cigarettes. Clean your house and clothes to get rid of stale smoke smells. Treat yourself. Plan some rewards with the money you'll save.

This year's No Smoking Day has attracted a star-studded line up of celebrities including Michael Higgs from Eastenders, sports stars such as Linford Christie and the Red Arrows aerial display team.

Events are taking place all around the UK, including smoke-free sports fixtures, Handicap Hurdles at Warwick Races and sponsored quit attempts.

Smokers who manage to quit can expect to save around £1700 a year, for a 20 a day smoker, and will benefit from an immediate improvement in their health. After just 20 minutes blood pressure returns to normal and after 24 hours the lungs start to clear out the build up of tar. 48 hours later nicotine will have almost cleared out of the body. After a few weeks exercise will be easier and after 5 years the risk of a heart attack is halved.


EDGE Hill College of Higher Education has set out its tuition fees proposals that will mean more money for students and more affordable higher education for everyone.

From 2006, when top up fees of £3,000 are introduced, Edge Hill students whose families earn less than around £15,000 per year will be entitled to £1,000 annual bursary, and those on less than around £33,000 will receive £500 per year. 

Scholarships worth £1,000 and £2,000 will also be offered to students who demonstrate excellence. And an additional £250,000 will be available to provide extra support for those with disabilities. 

In addition to bursaries and scholarships, which can be taken as cash or fee remission, siblings will have their fees reduced by £1,000 per year, in an effort to ease the financial burden on families. On top of this, all eligible students will receive a £200 privilege card, irrespective of bursary entitlement, to pay for a range of study materials.

Edge Hill is to set aside around 50% of the additional income generated from fees to fund its package of bursaries, scholarships and improved student facilties. This will ensure that it continues to secure its position in the top five higher education institutions to recruit students from low participation neighbourhoods.

Edge Hill's Chief Executive John Cater said that the package should support around 50-60% of Edge Hill students. "We have already made a positive impact to the student learning experience by investing £60m over ten years to produce one of the best campuses in the North West. Our fees policy is specifically targeted at those in need and supports the principle of fair access that has been at the heart of our admissions strategy for many years. 

This package of financial support will help to maintain our position as a major provider of higher education for mature students, first generation students, students from low income families and those from low participation neighbourhoods."

In 2006 students and parents will not have to pay up-front fees for courses unless they choose to do so. Loans for the annual £3,000 fee will be available, with students making repayments through the income tax system when they start to earn £15,000 a year.

Stephen Parker, Edge Hill's Student Union President is backing Edge Hill's fees proposals. "The introduction of top-up fees was disappointing but I think Edge Hill's offer is one of the best deals around for students. On the whole students will be have more cash to spend on living costs in 2006 than they do now, and everyone will receive a privilege card to help pay for essential study items. The bursaries and scholarships will go directly to students during their time here, when they need it most. I think it's important to stress that graduates secure better paid jobs and earn higher salaries over their lifetime than those without a degree, so the investment really is worthwhile." 

Fish Shop Phoenix
Photographs by Patrick Trollope

IT has been a hard road, that was mainly up hill for the owner of the Sandgrounder Fish and Chip Shop on Neville Street, Southport. Brian Garner lost the shop to fire on Sunday 16 May 2004. The fire completely destroyed his business and left him with just a burned out shell of what was one of the best-loved chippies in Southport.  At the time he posted up a sign with his staff saying:- "Thank you to all our customers. We will be back!" which was placed on the emergency fencing that was erected around the collapsed remains. Now they are very close to opening once more.

Owner Brian invited us in to see the work he and his staff have been doing.  When I was on site, you could still see the marks of the fire on the ajoining buildings, but the inside was looking good. Fully replaced were the 3 floors, roof, walls and staircase.  It was as if it was just being renovated rather than being re-built from scratch.

When I was looking round, he told me:- "We are slowly sorting out the new shop and we hope to be opening for the summer. 

So far we have had set back after set back, since the fire. It has not been an easy task to re-build." 

I put it to him that:- "Most people, after this type of thing, would have just given up." His response was:- "I am a fighter and we said we would be back." He went on and added:- "We had to re-build the whole shop, as it was fully gutted.  Even the listed frontage had to be pulled down and then re-built. This took up so much time and as a result at times I thought we would never able to re-open.  

At present we are waiting for some simple, but time-consuming work to be carried out.   After it is carried out the windows and door can be installed.

It is frustrating and soul destroying at times. 

People a few weeks after the event tended to forget I had lost every thing.  They then started to stop helping, so things started to take even longer. 

You just need to keep thinking positive and keep going at time like this." 

I then asked when he thought he would be open, he responded by saying:- "We are fitting a lot of new things, like air conditioning, so it should be better than ever.    This will take time but will be completed as soon as the windows and doors go on.   It is now down to the weather and the installation of things like gas and electricity before that can happen.

It will go well, I am positive about that now.

I am expecting the shop to be opened well in time for the summer, if not sooner.." 

I had to ask if he was changing the name. "No!" he said and then added:-
"I did consider changing the name, but we are known as the Sandgrounder, so I have opted to keep it the same as it was. 

At one point we did think of saying the Sandgrounder 2 or the  New Sandgrounder, but we quickly ruled that out."

Before I left he asked me to add this to our report:- "I would like to thank everyone who as supported me though this hard time, especially my staff, with out them we would never be able to re-open."

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