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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 228

Date:- 28 November 2005

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WITH Lancashire and Merseyside braced for a big chill this winter week and temperatures expected to plunge to –10C, the RSPB has issued an appeal for people to feed the birds in their gardens.

The reminder comes as the Met Office forecast cold and snowy weather to arrive by the weekend, with temperatures predicted to fall below freezing.

Gardens are becoming increasingly important as providers of food and shelter to many birds. When temperatures fall below freezing, birds struggle to find the food they need to survive the winter in healthy condition, vital for breeding in spring.

Margaret Overend, of the RSPB, said:- “Winter can be a challenge for many of our best–loved garden birds, such as the robin, house sparrow and song thrush. People can give a little extra help to the birds in their gardens by providing food, water and shelter. You could also turn your garden into a vital haven for birds in the freezing winter months.”

During hard weather, you may also attract some of the UK’s most eye-catching winter visiting birds, such as redwings or fieldfares, by putting out bruised apples or pears, cut in half. These will also be enjoyed by the more familiar blackbird and song thrush too.

The RSPB is asking people to follow a five-point winter survival plan that will help wild birds during the harshest weather.

1. Put out food regularly, especially in severe weather. Set up a bird table and use high calorie seed mixes. This can also be used to put out kitchen scraps such as animal fats, grated cheese and soaked dried fruit.

2. Put out hanging feeders filled with black sunflower seeds, sunflower hearts, sunflower-rich mixes or unsalted peanuts.

3. Supply fresh water every day. If it is very cold use tepid water but DO NOT use any antifreeze products.

4. Put out fruit, such as apples and pears, for blackbirds, song thrushes and other members of the thrush family.

5. Food bars or fat hung up or rubbed into the bark of trees is a great help for treecreepers, goldcrest and many other species.

Merseyside's Binge Drinking Clampdown

OVER the next few weeks Merseyside police officers and local partners throughout Merseyside will be working together to crack down on drunken misbehaviour and warning licensees about the penalties they could face if they promote irresponsible drinking.

This campaign coincides with the change in legislation surrounding extended licencing for some pubs, bars and clubs.

Merseyside Police are appealing to people to drink sensibly and making clear their zero tolerance approach to alcohol related rowdy behaviour and violent disorder.

A wide variety of methods will be used to clamp down on those intent on causing trouble such as:-

a) issuing of fixed penalty notices for alcohol related disorder;

b) test purchasing activity to target underage sales;

c) early intervention using CCTV to diffuse potential disorder;

d) closure of premises using existing and tough new powers in the Licensing Act 2003;

e) multi-agency enforcement action against problem premises/retailers.



Click on for this weeks top property links and deals.   With thanks to Peter Browns of Southport  and Anthony James of Southport.

Southport Spinal Unit Nets Boost From NEC Wheelchair Tennis Roadshow

THE Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport and Formby General Hospital becomes the latest regional Spinal Injuries Unit in the United Kingdom and Ireland to benefit from a joint venture between The British Tennis Foundation, NEC (UK) Ltd and NEC (Europe) Ltd this week.

The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Spinal Units Roadshow will see patients at the 12 regional Spinal Injuries Units in England, Ireland, North Ireland, Scotland and Wales given the opportunity of trying the popular paralympic sport of wheelchair tennis.

Each Spinal Unit is receiving an introductory visit from NEC representative Karen Tipping and an experienced wheelchair tennis coach and player. NEC have invested a total of £6,000 into the project with the project receiving Sportsmatch funding for the 8 regional spinal units in England. Each spinal unit will be presented with a consignment of equipment including tennis nets and balls and rackets of various sizes to cater for a range of ages and abilities and to enable patients to play indoors or outdoors.

The NEC Wheelchair Tennis Spinal Units Roadshow has visited Southport on Wednesday, 23 November. Southport's Athens Paralympic Tennis medallist and former World No 1 Quad player Mark Eccleston is among those assisting with the launch at the Spinal Unit, along with 2 of Britain's up-and-coming world-ranked players, Anthony Cotterill and Carl Hird. All are former patients at the Regional Spinal Injuries Centre at Southport. Eccleston won Silver in the Quad Doubles, for players affected in 3 or more limbs, at the 2004 Paralympic Games before retiring earlier this year to pursue and career in coaching.

The introductory visit has enabled current patients at the spinal unit to participate in an 'on-court' session with existing coaches and players, with purpose-built tennis chairs provided by The British Tennis Foundation on the day for patients to try. Thereafter, the project includes 5 further follow-up visits by a coach and a player throughout the following 12 months.

Karen Tipping of NEC (UK) Ltd, who made the presentation of the equipment at each of the spinal units, said:- "On a global scale NEC has had a long and happy association with wheelchair tennis since 1992 as title sponsor of the international NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour. Subsequently NEC has also developed a strong relationship with The British Tennis Foundation over many years, especially through a series of annual NEC Wheelchair Tennis Camps to introduce new player to the sport in Britain. Our latest venture is a wonderful opportunity to reach recently injured patients, be able to give them an idea of what can be achieved and hopefully find new players in this rapidly expanding and inclusive sport."

Lynn Parker, Disabilities Tennis Manager at The British Tennis Foundation, said:- "Wheelchair tennis is a wonderful, all-inclusive sport that can be played and enjoyed at all levels, from rehabilitation and recreation, right through to international competition. There is only one major difference between wheelchair tennis and the mainstream game and that is that a wheelchair player is allowed two bounces of the ball. This makes the sport easily understandable and accessible to all and makes it an ideal sport that can be played in a rehabilitation environment as a patient can play with hospital staff or friends and family."

DaDaFest gets underway

A musical based on the Thalidomide controversy will open this year's deaf and disability arts festival in Liverpool.  The show takes an uncompromising - and humorous - look at the drug, charting its use from the 1950s to the present day. Written and composed by Mat Fraser, and staring Kate Winslet's sister, Anna, it arrives in Liverpool mid-way through a nationwide tour.

It's just one of the events taking place as part of DaDaFest, which is co-ordinated by North West Disability Arts Forum (NWDAF), and funded by the Liverpool Culture Company, Arts Council England and the Granada Foundation.  The ground-breaking festival celebrates in 5th anniversary this year, with a varied programme that aims to bring deaf and disability art to the forefront of the region's cultural scene.

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Mike Storey, said:- "DaDaFest is the largest festival of its kind in the UK, highlighting the fact that the North West is leading the way in the delivery of art and culture. The festival attracts visitors from right across the UK, and even abroad. Whether you're into poetry, comedy or live theatre, this year's programme includes something for everyone."

Ruth Gould, Creative Director at NWDAF, said:- "We're delighted to be starting the fifth DaDaFest season. In a relatively short amount of time, the festival has grown to be one of the highlights of Liverpool's arts calendar. It is a fantastic opportunity to show North West audiences the high-quality, innovative work being produced by deaf and disabled artists."

DaDaFest 5 features a huge range of events and activities, ranging from a deaf culture celebration which offers discounted admission to non-sign language users, to a family fun day at Sefton Park Palm House. NWDAF will also be holding a series of workshops at their office on Bridport Street, allowing participants to sample activities including digital photography and creative writing.

The festival runs from November 24 to December 3 2005 at venues across Merseyside. Full listings follow below.

For more information, visit the North West Disability Arts Forum's website:-

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