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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 15 October 2007

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North West winners in line for a national Teaching Award

OUTSTANDING teachers, heads, teaching assistants, governors and schools across the North West are getting ready for the Teaching Awards national ceremony.  On Sunday 21 October the London Palladium will stage the biggest celebration of education excellence for the nation’s schools before a 2000-strong audience.

Screened on BBC2, the ceremony will be fronted by the BBC’s Jeremy Vine and former X-Factor presenter Kate Thornton. They will be joined by Secretary of State for Education and Skills Ed Balls, celebrities from the world of entertainment, educationists and school children paying tribute to the 11 winners from the North West.

The awards celebrate the exceptional achievements of those who inspire young people to achieve their best. School communities will applaud their local winners, crowned earlier this year at the North West ceremony, hoping they will be presented with the ultimate accolade - a national Teaching Award.

Chair of the Teaching Awards, Lord Puttnam said:- “The work of teachers has unique outcomes on the health, wealth and welfare of every single person in this country. As a nation we should be fantastically proud of them.  This is my 9th Teaching Awards national ceremony, and I have witnessed the huge benefit that comes from teachers accepting praise and celebrating with colleagues, their schools and pupils. I believe in its power.”

The winners from the North West that will go forward to the national 2007 Teaching Awards ceremony are:-

The BT Award for Teacher of the Year in a Primary School:- Mrs Elizabeth Maguire of Forefield Infant School

The Guardian Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School:- Mrs Joan Nolleth of Longdendale Community Language College.

The NCSL Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Primary School:- Mr Tim Sherriff of Westfield Community School.

The Royal Air Force Award for Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School:- Mr Tarun Kapur of
Ashton on Mersey and Broadoak Schools.

The TDA Award for Outstanding New Teacher of the Year:- Miss Caroline Molyneux of Balshaws CE High School.

The Award for Special Needs Teacher of the Year:- Mrs Pat Henshall of Farnborough Road Infant School.

The Award for Teaching Assistant of the Year:- Mrs Brenda McDermott of The Grange Comprehensive School.

The Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement, sponsored by The Innovation Unit:- Mr Fred Shadwell of William Beamont Community School,
Sports College.

The DCSF Award for Sustainable Schools:- Little Digmoor Primary School, Abbeystead.

The Teaching Award for Enterprise:- Mr Michael Whitmarsh of Bolton School (Boys' Division).

The DCSF Award for Governor of the Year:- Mrs Angela Blenkinship of St Josephs RC Primary School.

Next year is the Awards 10th anniversary. Lenny Henry, Rob Brydon, Jemma Kidd and Jon Snow are four of a host of famous names pictured by Rankin, the celebrity photographer, in support of the 2008 Teaching Awards. You too can say ‘thank you’ to an outstanding teacher, headteacher, teaching assistant, governor or school by making a nomination at

Young Achievers Trust launches national search for England’s star achievers.

THE Young Achievers Trust have launched a national search for England’s star achievers with the opening of nominations for the prestigious Young Achievers Awards. The Awards recognise inspirational young volunteers, activists and social entrepreneurs aged between 16 and 25 – and nominations are open until 20 December 2007.  8 Young Achievers will each receive £1,000 cash prize for personal and project development, a trip on the BA London Eye for themselves and a friend, a full year’s project support and tailor-mademoney can’t buy opportunities.

Lizzie Cole, Chair of the Young Achievers Trust, outlined the importance of the awards by saying that:- “The awards provide an opportunity for young people to be truly recognised for the incredible work they do - which often goes unnoticed. By celebrating young people we hope to inspire a new generation to be engaged in action based volunteering and so make a real and visible difference to our society”.

The Young Achievers Trust wants to see every young person who is engaged in fantastic work recognised - no matter how big or small their involvement. As well as the 8 winners of the Young Achievers Awards, the Trust will also recognise an additional 16 shortlisted young people and will highly commend 32 young people. There are 4 categories: Arts, community, environment and sport, with awards for those aged 16 to 19 and 20 to25, open to anyone living in England.  The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in central London on 27 March 2008, with the stars of the voluntary sector invited to attend. With a key note speech from Baroness Andrews, and a number of MPs due to attend it promises to be a night to remember for the nominees.

Nominations open on 11 October with the closing date for nominations on 20 December 2007. Individuals can self nominated or be nominated by logging on to the website, filling in the form online or downloading it and e-mailing it back to email or posting it to 1st Floor, 50 Featherstone Street, London, EC1Y 8RT.

Mohammed Mamdani, founder of Muslim Youth Helpline, and a previous winter of the Young Community Award commented:- “The Young Achievers Awards do not simply celebrate the achievements of young people, but also celebrate our aspirations for the future of society. They challenge media perceptions of being young, and the celebrity ideals to which many young people feel pressured to conform”.

1st chair for Liverpool’s new regeneration company

AN international big hitter from Liverpool, who is well known in Whitehall, is to become the 1st chair of Liverpool’s new regeneration company. 

Michael Parker, 61, the group chief executive of BNFL, has been appointed to help the city take the steps needed to secure a place as a premier international city for business, investment and commerce.  He has overseen operations at BNFL, based in Daresbury near Warrington since July 2003, following his role as global chief executive officer of The Dow Chemical Company in Michigan, USA from November 2000 to December 2002.

Cllr Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council, said:- “Mike is a highly respected business leader in both the UK and US and has a reputation for getting things done.  He is without question a senior international heavyweight and is exactly the type of high-calibre, high-profile person we said we would recruit.

There is no doubt that he will be an asset to the new company, the city and the wider city region at this time of great opportunity and challenge.  Increasingly we are seeing people from the region making their mark elsewhere and returning to use their skills working in their ‘first’ city.

Michael has strong links with the city and he impressed us not only with his enthusiasm for Liverpool and his achievements in the international business world.”

Mike Parker said:- “I’ve lived and worked all round the world but Liverpool is where I’m from. This is a great opportunity to give something back to this important city and its people and help put it back where it belongs, as an international centre for business.  This is an exciting and important time in Liverpool’s history and I want to do all I can to ensure we compete effectively for business investment with other European city-regions.”

Mr Parker’s first task will be to act as part of the panel selecting a chief executive officer for the new company that is being created from the merger of Liverpool Vision, Business Liverpool and Liverpool Land Development Company.

Click on to find out more!


VISITORS to forest parks in North West England are being encouraged to plan their woodland trip at the click of a mouse this autumn with the help of the Forestry Commission’s autumn colours website.  The online map will give people daily updates on the region’s tree colours as they change from green to gold, until the end of November. It will also feature some of the best autumn views in the North West and nationwide to download as screen wallpaper or send as electronic postcards.

Foresters are now monitoring some of the key autumn hotspots in the region and rating the colours to update the website, including Delamere Forest near Northwich in Cheshire, Viridor Wood near Wigan, Horrocks Wood near Bolton and Grizedale and Whinlatter in Cumbria. The online guide will help people choose the right time and location from the many places to go and see the kaleidoscope of autumn colours.  Every autumn, the natural phenomenon attracts a host of nature-loving visitors to the area and the Forestry Commission expects it to be as popular as ever this season.

Gareth Browning, Beat Forester and co-ordinator for the work of the Forestry Commission’s ‘leaf watchers’ in the region is expecting an excellent year for colours. He says:- "By visiting the website people will be able to spot the best places to go, get active and enjoy seeing these glorious colours at the same time. Even though the summer wasn't particularly great, the warm, moist conditions and the recent sunshine have allowed trees to store a lot of food. When temperatures start to fall and the trees shut down for winter, the food, stored as sugars and starches in the leaves, should bring on quite strong colours. We’re lucky in the North West to have so many places to enjoy the spectacular autumn colours. The region provides a spectacular natural display, as the leaves turn from greens to yellows, oranges, reds and golds. "

There are many places to take good photos of autumn colours in North West England, or simply to enjoy a walk. Some of the best places to go are:-

Delamere Forest (Cheshire). Delamere Forest Park is Cheshire's largest area of woodland and is a place for families to let off steam, escape the crowds and find peace in the heart of the forest . There are many easy to walk forest roads and trails ideal for families with children or the less able to enjoy the seasonal displays.

Viridor Wood (Lancashire). Viridor Wood offers large open spaces, great views, and sculptures. See the changing autumn colours through Richard Caink's "Window Frame" sculpture or watch the big poplars turn golden marking the place where Mains Colliery used to stand. The wood links to the Three Sisters Country Park and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, so people can explore further afield.

Horrocks Wood (Lancashire). Set within the foothills of Winter Hill, Horrocks Wood is a fantastic place to visit. On clear days views to Jodrell Bank Observatory and beyond can be enjoyed from the many paths which link together areas of open grassland and young woodland. In Autumn people can watch the young trees change colour and the green grasslands put on their browny coat of winter.


Grizedale Forest (Cumbria). In the heart of the Lake District, this forest park takes on a new life with the changing colours of the leaves, especially in the centre of the valley surrounded by oak woodland.

The nearby fells also look superb in autumn and can be viewed from a number of high points within the Forest.

Whinlatter Forest (Cumbria). Views from the Forest across the northern Lake District fells are dramatic and awe inspiring. Within the Forest, larch’s and broadleaf trees change colour adding to the unique character of England's only mountain forest.

Ennerdale (Cumbria). This wild valley is another spectacular place to visit in autumn. The contrast between the golden colours of the larch's, beech and oaks along the lakeshore with the evergreen of the spruce trees is magnificent.

The heather, bracken and bilberry also add new vibrant colours to the mountains above the forest. Ennerdale also has a webcam, which can be viewed on the Forestry website

Giggle Alley (Cumbria). Nestled in a small wood called Giggle Alley, in Eskdale, a Japanese Garden had lain largely neglected since its sale in 1949. But over the past few years the Forestry Commission has teamed up with local volunteers to rescue it.

The maples in the autumn look like they are on fire. There is a canopy of red maple leaves above you and the ground is carpeted with scarlet stars. The garden is close to the car park in Eskdale Green.

Miterdale valley near Eskdale (Cumbria). In autumn this oak and birch woodland in the Western Lake District is a joy to walk through. You can soak up the colours of the season as the forest and fells shed their summer dust in preparation for winter.

For more information about the Forestry Commission in the North West, log on to it's website.

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