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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 30 January 2006

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Safety first for Sefton's pride

IT is full steam ahead for the passengers and crew aboard the Pride of Sefton after safely pulling in further funding.

Offering Sefton¹s disadvantaged and disabled residents the opportunity to cruise the Liverpool and Leeds Canal on the historic Pride of Sefton vessel meant Sefton Narrow Boat Committee needed to ensure plain sailing for all its passengers.

With the cold, wet, winter months signalling slippery stairs on the old canal boat, the group applied to Sefton Injury Prevention Fund, administered by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, for financial help.

Having used the money for non-slip mats and essential replacement life jackets, the committee is now hoping more people and local businesses from throughout the borough will take advantage of the unique facility, specially adapted to accommodate disabled groups and wheelchair users.

Barbara Hardwick of Sefton Narrow Boat Committee explained:- "We¹re thrilled to be able to provide such a great service to so many in Sefton. There¹s no doubt that spending time on the Pride of Sefton is a relaxing experience and we hope to be able to attract more people to hire it, especially during the winter months.

It¹s a great facility and would be an unusual venue for businesses to hold meetings. Hopefully we¹ll be able to promote that aspect, especially now with the new equipment on board.

It¹s thanks to the Sefton Injury Prevention Fund that we¹re able to buy important safety mats and fund essential life jackets for passengers."

Developed by Southport and Formby and South Sefton Primary Care Trusts, the Sefton Injury Prevention Fund awards grants of up to £500 to voluntary and community organisations based or working with people in Sefton. Using cash from Neighbourhood Renewal programme, the fund is focused on innovative projects that help prevent serious injury.

"The Sefton Injury Prevention Fund is a great way for groups in Sefton to make their community safer and prevent injuries that are all too frequent"
explained Community Foundation Grants Officer Joan Ford.

For more information about the Sefton Injury Prevention Fund and application criteria contact the Community Foundation for Merseyside grants team.

Tel:- 0151 966 4604 or visit the group's website.

Liverpool public choose favourites in British Animation Awards 2006

MEMBERS of the public in Liverpool will be able to watch some of the hottest new British animation around and vote for their favourites in Public Choice 2006, part of the British Animation Awards, taking place at Liverpool FACT on the 13, 14 and 15 February.

Public Choice’ 06 includes a Liverpool highlight in the short film, Who I am and What I Want by Liverpool born, multi-award winner writer and director, Chris Shepherd, in collaboration with artist, David Shrigley. A scribbled, strangely funny but highly unsettling examination of the human condition, it follows the exploits of Peter, who has soaked up life, the drink, the fights, the passion and the medication. He’s been barred by his local, The Golden Nugget, for something he can’t quite remember and a life of excess has left him with no choice but to opt out of the rat race and live in the woods.

Public Choice offers audiences at 20 independent cinemas across the UK an opportunity to view and vote for a selection of animated short films, music videos and commercials in three mixed programs, as well as giving filmmakers the opportunity to see their work on the big screen.

The winning filmmakers will receive their awards at the British Animation Awards (BAA) ceremony on 9 March 2006 at the Shaw Theatre in London. The BAAs are the only award ceremony dedicated to celebrating the success of the UK animation industry.  The BAA awards have grown in strength and stature in the last 10 years and there are now 14 categories ranging from students’ work to commercials, children’s entertainment to short and experimental art films, music videos, cutting-edge technologies, script writing and craftsmanship. In addition to the 14 categories there are 3 Public Choice Awards and a Children’s Choice Award.

Jayne Pilling, director of BAA says:- “The Public Choice award highlights and celebrates the astonishing wealth of animation talent to be found in Britain across all sections of this highly diverse industry encompassing short films, commercials and music videos.”

The Awards themselves are pieces of artwork created especially for the occasion by inspirational fellow artists and animators, who in the past have included Tim Burton, Nick Park and Richard Williams, the Oscar winning creator of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. They all have a sheep-theme (BAA!) giving the winners a unique drawing, painting, film-cell, collage or sculpture to commemorate their success at the event.

The remaining fourteen Award categories are: Best Animated Special; Best Children’s Pre-School Series; Best Children’s Series; Best Comedy; Best Commercial: Craft; Best Commercial: Director; Best Film/TV Graphics; Best Music Video; Best Short Film; Best Student Film; Writer’s Award; Best Film at the Cutting Edge and the following new categories Best European Feature and New Platforms for Animation.
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