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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 229

Date:- 12 December 2005

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AS CHRISTMAS approaches at breakneck speed the NSPCC has come up with ideas to take some of the hassle out of Christmas preparations – and help children at the same time.

For those who haven’t yet written their Christmas card list, let alone sent their cards, the NSPCC suggests making a donation to a local NSPCC branch instead of sending cards this year.  The children’s charity is also appealing to workplaces and businesses to do the same.

Steve Morton, head of community appeals for the NSPCC in the North West, said:- “Cash for cards is an excellent way to support the NSPCC’s work with children and families and take some of the hassle out of Christmas. A Christmas card is on the mantelpiece for a short time, but a donation can make a lasting difference to a child’s life.  This year we are encouraging offices to contact us for a Cash for Cards pack so that they can support the scheme and raise money for abused and neglected children rather than send a card to someone they sit next to.”

For those people who want to stick with sending Christmas cards, there are plenty of other ways to help the NSPCC help children this Christmas.

You can:
• Buy NSPCC wristbands as stocking fillers

• Check out the NSPCC Christmas catalogue for gifts. You can view the catalogue and buy online at

• Donate your last hour’s pay before Christmas to the NSPCC

• Hold a sweep stake on how many times the word ‘Christmas’ is said in the Queen’s speech

• Organise a raffle at the office Christmas party

And the fundraising need not end with Christmas. Why not organise a sale of unwanted gifts after Christmas? As New Year is the ideal time to make resolutions, what better resolution can there be than to help end cruelty to children?

Steve said:- “If you are planning a diet to work off those extra pounds gained over Christmas, why not make it a sponsored diet in aid of the NSPCC? Or better still, make a resolution to become an NSPCC volunteer, or pledge a small amount a month to the NSPCC to help children.  Because 83% of NSPCC funding comes from voluntary donations, we rely heavily on the generosity of members of the public. Every pound raised helps as it supports the work of our 177 projects which prevent cruelty and help abused children through therapy and counselling.”

For a Cash for Cards pack, or for more information about supporting the NSPCC, please ring Margaret Biddle on 0161 628 1209.

Southport & Ormskirk Car Park Charges

AS PART of the Trust's Green Transport Strategy, and its attempt to encourage use alternative forms of transport other than cars, the cost of parking at both Southport & Formby and Ormskirk District General Hospitals will be increasing from Tuesday 3 January 2006. The cost will go up to £2.00 per visit, which is the first increase for 2 years.

However, the various concessions currently available will still apply; these are:-

Free parking for Blue Badge holders. If there are no disabled spaces available and patients or visitors have to park in a barriered car park, at Southport they should go to the porters lodge by the main entrance where they will receive a free token or at Ormskirk they should press the 'help' button on the exit barrier.

£5 weekly season ticket. These are available from the General Office at either hospital and are in the form of a swipe card that is valid for a week. There is a £5 deposit for the card.

Refund of parking charges for those on income support. When a patient who is on income support attends a clinic they should ask for a patient transport claim form from the clinic or department and they should take it together with evidence of the income support they are receiving to the General Office at either hospital. They will then receive a refund of the parking charge.

It is estimated the increased charges will raise around £100,000 in a year, which is money that is needed to aid the Trust's recovery plan.

Steve Taylor, Director of Capital & Facilities said:- "This decision was not taken lightly, but it is necessary to try to encourage the use of alternative forms of travel to and from the hospital. While the parking situation has eased a little at Ormskirk, at Southport it is still a major problem and we had hoped the planned Foul Lane park and ride facility would help with the situation. Unfortunately we now understand that this will not now be opening in 2006 as we had previously understood, and indeed its future is unclear.  Despite our continued discussions with local councils and transport providers, there is still a problem for us, and we feel this is the only course of action we can take. The concessions currently available, such as the £5 weekly season ticket for frequent visitors, are not changing."

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

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