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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 192

Date:- 20 March 2005

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Pensioners launch general election campaign

SUPPORTERS of Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC), will this week issue a challenge to every candidate in the forthcoming general election to support the Pensioners’ Manifesto.

The document has taken six months to produce and has been the result of nationwide discussion by more than 1000 pensioner organisations. Now as part of the NPC’s campaign to put older people’s concerns at the heart of the election, members are sending a survey to all candidates asking them for their support on 6 key policies contained within the manifesto. These include:-

1. A basic state pension of £109.45 a week for all pensioners.
2. A restoration of the link between pensions and average earnings.
3. Free long-term care.
4. A nationwide free travel scheme.
5. Replacement of the council tax with a fairer system based on the ability to pay.
6. An end to age discrimination in the provision of all goods and services.

The responses from the candidates will then be publicised locally and nationally before election day to enable older voters to judge which candidates are backing the Pensioners’ Manifesto and deserve the support of the over 60s.

Joe Harris, NPC general secretary said:- “For the first time in electoral history, pensioners in every constituency are asking their candidates if they will support a Pensioners’ Manifesto. This is an ambitious and radical plan that will help put the concerns of older people right at the heart of the election campaign and candidates should think carefully how they respond, because it could affect their chances of getting to Westminster. This is real pensioner power which the parties will not be able to ignore.

Already in the last few weeks the three main political parties have started to wise-up to the fact that there are 11 million pensioners – the vast majority of which will vote in the general election. Older people are twice as likely to turn out and vote as those aged 18-24 and research shows that many of them are prepared to switch their vote if they like what the parties are saying. This time pensioners could make a real difference as to who gets elected and the politicians will have to either back our manifesto or pack their bags."

Summer Saturday Concerts at St. Faith's Crosby

THE eighth series of Summer Saturday Concerts at St. Faith's Crosby, will begin on the Saturday after Easter, 2 April 2005. The concerts were started in 1998, during the long interregnum at St. Faith's following the departure of the previous vicar. It was felt that opening the church for a season of recitals would be both a moraleboosting activity and a way of welcoming visitors on a regular basis.

In the first season a short season of organ recitals were presented, and the church was open before and after the noonday concerts for visitors and members of the congregation to meet, enjoy light refreshments and have a look round the church. The concerts proved very successful, and each subsequent year has seen a growth in the numbers attending and in the range of musical events. As well as organ recitals, the church has increasingly played host to a wide range of talented instrumental and vocal soloists and groups, with a growing emphasis on giving a platform for young musicians to display their talents. In recent years students from the Guildhall and the Royal College of Music have been made welcome.

The week's soloists are posted outside the church each week, and handbills giving details of all the season's concerts, which continue until 30 July 2005, are always available at the church.

St. Faith's is open on recital Saturdays from 11.00am to 1.00pm, with coffee, tea and light refreshments on sale. Admission to the church and the concerts, which begin at 12 noon and last for half an hour, is free of charge.

St. Faith's is looking forward once more to welcoming visitors for what promises to be another highly enjoyable season of music and fellowship. Many of our visitors last year said that the Saturday concerts were something they looked forward to each week and, even before the season had ended, wanted to know if the recitals would be returning this year.

Whether you attended last year's recitals or are attending the Saturday Lunchtime Recitals for the first time, please do join us. This is music for our community, giving us all a taste of the wealth of musical talent here in Merseyside.

Saturday Lunchtime Recitals 2005

2 April Neil Kelley - Organ 
9 April April Johnson (Violin), Matthew Dunn (Clarinet) and Stephanie Barnford (Piano). 
16 April Amadeus - The Chamber Choir - Director: David Holroyd. 
23 April Liverpool Youth Brass Ensemble - Director: Louise Hough 
30 April No RECITAL 
7 May Michael Foy (Organ) 
14 May James Firth (Piano) 
21 May Liverpool Youth String Ensemble - Conductor: Lynda Langford Liverpool Youth Woodwind Ensemble - Conductor.. Beth Cashin
28 May Tom Kimniance - Piano
4 June Stephen Hargreaves - Organ
11 June Piano Students' Recital given by the students of Gerard Callacher
18 June Michael Broom (Baritone) and James Firth (Piano)
25 June St.Faith's Choir - Director: Gerard Callacher
2 Julylain Harvey - Organ
9 July No RECITAL (Charity Fun Day)
16 July lan Dunning (Baritone)
23 July Gregor Cuff ('Cello) wd Neil Kelley Piano
30 July Neil Kelley and Gerard Callacher (Piano Duo)


BIG Arts Week’, the successful initiative promoting art in schools, is launching a recruitment drive in Liverpool and the northwest region to find local artists to give their time during 20-24 June 2005. Run by national volunteering charity TimeBank, Big Arts Week 2005 is all about ‘discovery’ – helping children to discover the arts and helping children discover something new about themselves through art…

This year, Big Arts Week aims to establish 1,000 partnerships with schools across the country and needs 1,000 artists and creatives from a range of backgrounds and areas to take part. Writers, designers, musicians and actors are all welcome and anything between 1 hour and 1 week can make a huge difference.

Big Arts Week has the support of a whole host of well-known artists. Designer Wayne Hemingway, a Big Arts Week patron, explains:- “Seeing kids being naturally creative and working together is a very uplifting and rewarding experience. I have four children of my own but have gained so much from the school visits I took part in during Big Arts Week.

It is these opportunities for which Big Arts Week was set up and we have to make sure that we match the schools and students who want to work with a professional artist - even if it is only for one day this June.”

Caroline Black is a visual artist from Liverpool:- “I have worked with three schools in my local area during previous Big Arts Weeks and enjoyed each placement. I think that it is a good learning experience for both the children and schools as there are often preconceived ideas of what an artist is. It is also valuable experience for young artists wishing to break into community arts or just test the waters to see if this is a direction they wish to move in.

My most rewarding project was with Shorefields School in Toxteth, working with a diverse multi-faith group of 14 and 15 year olds exploring their values and ambitions. One of the most useful tools learnt is the process of negotiation between the artist and the school, and the widening of the perception of what an artist does, can do and brings to the participants.”

Constance Agyeman, Big Arts Week project manager, said:- “Big Arts Week has been tremendously successful since we launched it in June 2002. Children love art and it’s vital to their education as a tool for learning, yet over the years we have seen art being squeezed out of the classroom and it has become harder to find funding for creative projects like Big Arts Week. This is a chance for children to discover their creative side and for local artists to discover the creative inspiration in their local communities.”

Since Big Arts Week began three years ago, over 8,500 schools and 4,600 creative professionals have registered to take part, resulting in over 150,000 young people being engaged in the arts nationwide. This year’s Big Arts Week takes place 20-24 June 2005.

2005 is the Year of the Volunteer, so artists should register now - there’s no better time to get involved!

Report by the The Woodland Trust

THANKS to a unique partnership between the Army Cadet Force (ACF) and the Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, Altcar ACF range in Hightown, Merseyside has a new area of woodland. 

On Saturday 12 March 2005 members of the ACF from Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire have joined the Woodland Trust to plant over 2000 trees at the site.

For many years members of the ACF all across the country have been invaluable in helping the Woodland Trust create new areas of native woodland. Thousands of ACF youngsters have planted trees and come to appreciate their natural environment.

The Woodland Trust’s campaign, Tree For All, aims to get at least one million children planting trees over the next five years. 

The focus of the campaign for 2005 is the Trafalgar Woods project that will see 27 woods planted across the UK this autumn. 

Each wood will be named for a ship of the line at the Battle of Trafalgar, to commemorate the battle’s 200th anniversary this year. 

The ACF will assist the Woodland Trust, local schools and members of the community to plant some of these woods.

Commandant of the training facility at Altcar, Major Hunter said:- "The partnership between the ACF and the Woodland Trust is one that has continued to develop over a number years. The cadets enjoy working outdoors and the satisfaction they gain from making a difference to the local environment. We hope that we can continue to work together to provide areas of new woodland for whole communities to enjoy."

Sara Lyons of the Woodland Trust commented:- "We are grateful to the ACF for their tremendous support, and their example to other youngsters. Tree For All is all about re-engaging children with their natural surroundings, and the ACF sets a fine example of this."

If you would like to learn more about the Woodland Trust’s Tree For All campaign and the many ways you can get involved visit or call 0845 108 1428 for more information.
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