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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 03 April 2006

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Head teachers get lessons in aerobics

HEAD TEACHERS and governors from schools across Liverpool are to get aerobics lessons.

A conference titled 'Children's Health and Well-Being' being held in Liverpool on Monday 3 April 2006 will kick off with a fitness session led by pupils from St Cleopas' Church of England Primary in Toxteth. They will be demonstrating how they start their school day every morning with a 15 minute workout.

The event, organised by the city council's Health Schools Team in partnership with the NHS and John Moores University, will showcase examples of good practice at schools in Liverpool, including physical education and healthy eating. It is being attended by 250 head teachers, governors and health professionals.

And eight schools, including St Cleopas', will receive awards for their outstanding work to improve the health and well-being of pupils. The prizes will be presented by England Women's football team goalkeeper Rachel Brown.

Stuart Smith, Interim Executive Director of Children's Services, said:- "We have made a huge commitment in our Children and Young People's plan to improving the fitness and well being of youngsters.

The conference is an opportunity for heads and governors to find out what other schools are doing and share good practice.

We also want to reward those schools who are already doing really excellent work with pupils."

The conference will also be used to encourage Liverpool schools to meet the government's new National Healthy School Status. To qualify, they have to meet a number of criteria in personal, social and health education, healthy eating, physical activity and emotional health and well-being. This includes ensuring each pupil gets two hours of structured exercise per week, involving parents and pupils in developing menus for school dinners and combating stigma and discrimination such as disability, racism and bullying.

Stephen Tiffany, effectiveness officer for physical education at the city council, said:- "All the evidence we have shows that physical education combined with healthy eating can lead to an improvement in mental agility. That is why this strategy is so important"

Presentations will be made to delegates about successful initiatives to improve the health and well being of children, including:-

* School sports partnerships funded by the DfES

* The Culture Company funded 'It's not OK' domestic violence arts project

* After school nutrition clubs run with John Moores University through Sportslinx

* Community food workers who are educating children and their families about healthy eating

* Work to improve the quality of school dinners

* The Taste for Health strategy to tackle diet related illness and disease

Speakers at the event include city council interim Chief Executive Colin Hilton and interim Executive Director of Children's Services, Stuart Smith.

Paula Grey, Lead Director of Public Health for North, Central and South Liverpool PCTs is also addressing the conference. She said:- "We all share the same aim, to make the school children of Liverpool more healthy.

Working together we have been able to introduce initiatives such as fresh fruit in schools, encouraging pupils to think about what they eat.

Learning about food and getting fit are important steps to a healthy adult life."

Last chance for Sefton to choose its community champions

SEFTON residents are being urged to cast their vote and reward the remarkable achievements of those who have worked to transform their local communities.

There’s just two weeks left for the public to go online at and name their Sefton community winners in the inaugural Spirit of Merseyside Awards.

Unveiled earlier this month with the backing of Cherie Booth QC, the awards have been devised by the Community Foundation for Merseyside, the sub-region’s biggest community funding organisation, to recognise the extraordinary efforts of Merseyside’s many community groups.

Sefton YouthBank, Bootle based Adult Dyslexia Access and the Beechpark Initiative in Maghull all been short-listed for an award.

Award categories include Most Innovative Group, Green Machine Award, Best Inclusion Project, Best Youth Group, Most Inspirational Award, Corporate Social Responsibility Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Youthbank has been nominated for best Youth Group. Adult Dyslexia Access is on the shortlist for Best Inclusion Project and the Beechpark Initiative is up for most Innovative Group.

Details of the awards, the nominees, selected by independent panels from across Merseyside, and the voting form can be found at:-

Voting closes on April 14 and every voter will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win tickets to the awards dinner.

Urging people to vote, Cherie Booth QC, a Community Foundation patron, explains:- “As patron of the Community Foundation for Merseyside I am proud to be part of such achievements and look forward to the awards becoming an annual event that celebrates the passion and commitment of the people and communities of Merseyside.”

Dave Roberts, Executive Director of Community Foundation for Merseyside, adds:- “This is the first opportunity of its kind to celebrate the tireless efforts of groups individuals, and companies who are bringing lasting improvements to the quality of life to thousands of people.

With only weeks to go until voting closes, I urge people to visit our website and find out more about the nominees, cast their votes and say thanks!”

The Spirit of Merseyside Awards are sponsored by:-  Barclays, David McLean, de Winter Marketing, Merseyside Fire and Rescue and Medicash.

The winners will be announced during a glittering reception and presentation evening at the Liverpool Crowne Plaza Hotel in May this year.

For more information about the awards visit the website  or phone:- 0151 966 3566.

The award categories are:-

 Most Innovative Group
 Green Machine Award
 Best Inclusion Project
 Best Youth Group
 Most Inspirational Group
 Corporate Social Responsibility Award
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