Top award for caring helpline
LIVERPOOL City Council has won a top national award for its innovative telephone helpline. The council's around-the-clock Careline won top honours at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards in London, the most prestigious honours in local government. Careline picked up the 'Social Care Award' for the way people in need are given instant access a wide range of city council services. It gives people a single contact point over the phone where they can get help and advice from staff and social workers, day or night.
City council leader Mike Storey said:- "This great award is testament to all that is being achieved in Liverpool. Careline is a very important service. It is unique in that it helps thousands of people every year. The award is a real credit to the team behind Careline and it recognises their excellent work and dedication. Other authorities throughout the UK are looking to Liverpool as an excellent example of how to do things well. This latest national award shows just how Liverpool is now a leading-edge local authority."
The judging panel, which included representatives of the Government's Cabinet Office, praised the city council for the excellent way it provides services to vulnerable people right across the city.
Collecting the award in London were executive member for social care, Councillor Flo Clucas, and executive director, Tony Hunter. Members of the Careline team joined them.
Councillor Clucas said:-
"I am absolutely delighted for the team behind Careline and it really is a well deserved award. This recognition follows a challenging eight months for social services, but it goes to show that the service is moving towards a new and better future."
The city's executive director for social care, Tony Hunter, said:- "Careline is about making sure people have easy and fast access to information, advice and support - before a problem becomes a crises. We're all proud of the way our staff have adapted to and taken forward this new way of working, and the service is going from strength to strength."
The judges also praised Liverpool for the city council's learning disabilities programme, its legal services team and its neighbourhood management service. Cemeteries and Crematoria manager, Dale Willis, was given a special mention for his work in providing a caring and sensitive service for the bereaved.
The city council beat Gateshead MBC, Greenwich LBC, Islington LBC and Tower Hamlets LBC to scoop the 'Social Care Award'.
The awards ceremony was hosted by comedian Lenny Henry and attended by councils from across the country.
WRITERS CHALLENGE LOCAL CHILDREN TO DO THE
WRITE Here, Write Now 2005 Writing Awards launched this week. Local school children are being challenged to use their creative writing skills and complete a piece of writing started by a well-known writer, in the Write Here, Write Now Writing Awards 2005. The Awards, run by the Department for Education and Skills for 8-10 year olds, are a celebration of children's writing and encourage children to have fun with writing.
Schools Minister, Derek Twigg, said:- "Learning should be fun, this is a wonderful opportunity for children to enjoy writing and be creative. Creativity is central to all aspects of education and children need to be proactive thinkers if they are to make most of their talents. These awards will certainly help them to hone and develop these key skills."
Children taking part will complete a story by Gillian Cross, a poem by Brian Patten, a piece of persuasive writing by Geraldine McCaughrean, or they can follow advice from Lizo Mzimba to write a news report.
Geraldine McCaughrean, this year's Children's Whitbread Award winner said:- "Write Here, Write Now is a brilliant opportunity for children to have a go at different writing styles and I am thrilled to be involved. I am hoping that as many children as possible will take part."
Write Here, Write Now has the support of over 40 authors, poets and journalists including Adam Hart-Davies, Roger McGough, Malorie Blackman and Michael Morpurgo. They are encouraging children to take part by providing writing tips and daily diaries for the Write Here, Write Now website
Winners will have their work published in a special book by Oxford University Press in addition to receiving prizes from sponsors including software from Adobe, electronic equipment from Epson, pens from Stabilo and a visit to The Independent for the winners of the journalism category.
The closing date for entries is Thursday 14 July 2005 and all entries must be submitted through schools. A teacher's pack including children's activity sheets, classroom poster and information on how to enter the awards can be ordered by calling 0870 609 1948 or by visiting