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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 05 March 2006

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Politicians top of the flops in latest poll

NEW research shows that politicians are least likely to inspire people in the North West to connect with their communities despite the determination of many to tackle yob culture and improve community relations.  The research was  published on Wednesday 1 March 2006.

The research, conducted by ICM and commissioned by CSV Make a Difference Day and Barclays, reveals that friends and families play a much bigger part in inspiring people to take action through volunteering.

The research reveals:-

• Only 6% of people in the North West say they are inspired to volunteer by a politician

• 41% of people in the North West report that their friends are most likely to inspire them to volunteer

• 24% say their mum would inspire them to give their time for free

Further research by CosmoGIRL!, commissioned by CSV Make a Difference Day and Barclays, reveals that teenagers are even more likely to be influenced by their friends. 52% of teenagers say their friends are more likely to inspire them to volunteer.

The current cult of celebrity is also making a big impact on people’s lives, especially with young people. According to CosmoGIRL! research 23% of teenagers say they are most likely to be inspired to volunteer by a celebrity, compared to only 7% who say they would be inspired by their teacher.

Anna Gilmour, CSV Make a Difference Day campaign co-ordinator said:- “Although many politicians are working hard to devise policies to re-engage people with their communities, it is clear that the influence of parents, siblings or even celebrities can not be ignored. If we want more people to take action for themselves in reducing crime, improving health or increasing respect within communities, then one of the best motivating tools is the word of mouth of both family and friends. We also know that of those who try out volunteering for the first time, 2/3rds get drawn into repeating the experience.”

The research is being launched in the run up to the CSV Make a Difference Day Awards. The annual ceremony takes place on Thursday 23 March at Plaisterers’ Hall, London, and will show the role of people in tackling homelessness, domestic violence and youth offending.

CHILDREN DIG UP SCHOOL GROUNDS

WOODLAND Trust helps Merseyside pupils create hedges and copse.  Schoolchildren in Merseyside this week joined forces with the Woodland Trust, the UK's leading woodland conservation charity, to plant a native hedgerow or copse in their school grounds.  The trees and shrubs are all native broadleaved which means, that with a little luck, they will be growing on well into the next century - when the children's grandchildren will be able to inspect their handiwork.

It's all part of the Woodland Trust's Tree For All campaign - the largest children's tree-planting mission the UK has ever seen. Launched in 2004, the five-year project will see one million children plant 12 million trees. It's hoped that through the simple act of planting trees, children will grow up with a respect for the environment.

Paul Bunton of the Woodland Trust says:- "Even schools with quite small grounds will often be able to accommodate one of our hedge or copse packs which can inspire children to really get in touch with nature and learn about the ecology of these wonderful habitats.  Planting and using a hedge or copse can contribute to Key Stage 2 in science, numeracy, literacy and art and design. Each hedge and copse pack comes with full instructions on how to plant and care for the trees as well as worksheets to help the children learn about the trees they are planting and teacher's notes on the exercises."  He continues:- "For many of these children, this was the first time they had ever planted a tree. Educating today's children about the benefit of looking after our environment will help protect the forests of tomorrow. By planting and looking after these hedges and copses the children are contributing to a greener future for all of us."

Further information about Tree For All can be found at www.treeforall.org.uk.

Merseyside schools taking part:-

IN LIVERPOOL:- Childwall School, Fiveways, Childwall, Our Lady Queen Of Peace School, Ford Close, Ursuline Rc Primary School, Nicholas Road and Valewood Primary School, Sherwood Avenue.

IN ELLESMERE PORT:- Capenhurst Grange Special, Chester Road, Great Sutton, Gorsthills Primary School, Berry Drive, Great Sutton, Meadow Community Primary, Dolphin Crescent, Great Sutton, Parklands Community Primary, Little Sutton, Rivacre Valley Cp School, Rivacre Brow, Wolverham Primary School, Milton Road, Wolverham and Woodlands Junior School, Eddisbury Road.

IN SOUTHPORT:- Banks Methodist Primary School, Chapel Lane, Banks, Larkfield Primary School, Preston New Road and Our Lady Of Lourdes Rc Primary School, Grantham Road.

IN ST. HELENS:- Blackbrook St Marys Catholic School, Chain Lane, Lansbury Bridge School, Lansbury Avenue, Parr and St Theresas Primary School, Cannon Street, Sutton Manor,

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