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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 03 March 2007

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Holly Lodge High School 85th BIRTHDAY

HOLLY Lodge Girls’ College (originally Holly Lodge High School for Girls) is blessed with a rich history and on 27 April 2007 we will be celebrating our 85th Birthday. We aim to celebrate in style with the aid of a recently awarded Heritage Lottery grant. All ex-Holly Lodgers are invited to drop in to meet up with old friends and take a trip down Memory Lane during the hours of 10 am and 2 pm.

Preparations have been under way for some time and pupils and staff are working hard on performances, exhibitions and other events in order to make this day a success. Events will include educational, fun-filled and interesting activities – ranging from a Gospel Choir to demonstrations (Victorian style!) and, of course, a Refreshment Marquee will be set out on the lawn.

In addition, there will be a Celebration Concert, performed by four members of the Scottish Opera, in the school hall from 7.30 pm. Music will include arias from well-known operas, as well as songs from operettas, musicals and more popular music. Applications for this concert will be on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis as seating is limited.

Our well-developed archive collection is stored in boxes and, due to its fragile nature, there is limited access to it. However, we have started to digitise this material and bring it to life through display, oral histories and the birthday festival.

If you would like to attend, please contact either Jackie Ley or Marianne Corlett and you will be sent an invitation attached to which will be a Schedule of Events and map showing entrance to the car park. Of course, attendance during the day is NOT dependent upon an invitation but it would help us to cater more efficiently if we know how many will be attending.

Marianne Corlett:- email.  Jackie Ley:- email.

Telephone number for both: 0151 228 3772


On 5 March 2007 Councillor Jean Lilley, Mayor of Sefton officially opened the Hidden Hearing’s state of the art hearing centre in the heart of the town centre.  The Hearing Centre located at 625/627 Lord Street, Southport, will enable local residents to benefit from the expertise of Hidden Hearing, one of the UK’s leading providers of hearing aids.

The impact of hearing loss is ever more worrying as highlighted in a recent study which revealed that over half the baby-boomer population (i.e. people between the ages of 41-60) admitted to some degree of hearing loss. Of these, a quarter said the hearing loss not only affected their work performance but also impacted on their earning potential.

The Hearing Centre will be operated by Carol Atherton RHAD, who has many years experience of helping the hard of hearing. When referring to the study Carol said:- “people would normally expect to reach their maximum earning power in their 40’s and 50’s. However, it is a sad fact that many talented people will disadvantage themselves by not admitting that their hearing is not what it once was and that they are experiencing some difficulties.  The Hidden Hearing team here is dedicated to providing a convenient and quality service of the highest standard that our customers expect. Early detection of hearing loss is important, and so are regular hearing checks, which we encourage everyone to have at least once a year. Following their hearing test and hearing aid fitting, customers can always call in for batteries or parts as the company carries them in stock, and we can carry out simple repairs on the spot if necessary. ”

Older people more likely to be out of work

ALMOST a 3rd of older people living in the Northwest of England are unemployed, compared with only a quarter of those living in the South, according to a new report by the Institute for Public Policy Research North (ippr north).  The Sand Timer: Skills and Employment in the North West shows that 32% of people aged over 50 in the Northwest are out of work (just over 1 million people), compared to 24% of those living in the South (just over 3.8 million people).  The report shows that lone parents, people with no qualifications and disabled people are most likely to be unemployed. There is also significant crossover between these groups. A list of the 10 areas of the Northwest with the highest concentration of older people out-of-work is below.

ippr north’s report says getting people aged over 50 back into the job market is increasingly important because of Britain’s ageing population. ippr’s Population Politics report showed how Britain’s economy will need a higher proportion of older workers. But ippr north argues that the jobs need not necessarily be created within the most disadvantaged areas, just within travelling distance of them.  The report argues that action needs to be taken to remove the barriers that obstruct people from accessing jobs. The report recommends a package of measures to bring people across the Northwest into the job market:-

· Ensuring people aged over 50 are given greater support to access the training they require: provision currently is targeted according to age, but the focus instead should be on those most in need.

· Ensuring the Pathways to Work pilot scheme is properly resourced as it is rolled out nationally and that those already claiming Incapacity Benefit are able to participate in the scheme.

· Switching entitlement for financial support with childcare costs from the Working Tax Credit to the Child Tax Credit so that parents who are out of work would also qualify. Forty eight per cent of non-working parents across the UK say that they would consider employment if they could arrange good quality, affordable and flexible childcare. Nearly 1.8 million children in the UK live in families where no one works and around half of children in poverty live in workless households.

· Everyone without a level 2 qualification (equivalent of 5 good GCSEs) should be allowed free access to the training of their choice (including at entry level, level 1, a partial level 2 or level 3 for those who are able to jump a level). At the moment, the Government only funds full level 2 courses.

· Policy to tackle skills and employment must be aligned so that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Education and Skills (DfES) understand their contribution to tackling worklessness and promoting sustainable employment. The Departments should share a common and binding agreement, known as a Public Service Agreement, to this effect.

· Agencies should not become pre-occupied with trying to locate new jobs in the most deprived areas. Instead, more attention should be focused on improving links, for example transport links, between deprived areas and buoyant commercial centres.

Sue Stirling, Director of ippr north, said:- “While there has been considerable progress in recent years, significant pockets of unemployment still exist and particular groups of people are still far more likely to suffer wordlessness. Nationally, unemployment rates fell last month, but full employment in every region is still some way off and is proving very difficult to achieve.  Our research shows people aged over 50 who live in the North are being left behind. The barriers they face need to be recognised and addressed. We also need the Government to focus on the other obstacles preventing a variety of disadvantaged groups from entering work, and we would urge them to localise understanding of labour markets to provide the most effective remedies.”

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