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Southport & Mersey Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 10 December 2007

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Call Yourself A Fighter?

FORGET man flu. Today’s males are showing their strong fighting side. A survey released by Beechams has revealed that when it comes to colds and flu, 64% of men that have suffered from cold and flu symptoms in the last 12 months said they try and fight their nasty symptoms and carry on as normal while only 54% of women in the same group battle it out to beat those nasty bugs.

The survey asked over 2,000 members of the public to give their attitudes to cold and flu and uncovered some fascinating findings. Britain’s Biggest Fighters were revealed as most likely to be men, aged 45 to 55 years, living near or in Newcastle, working in manufacturing, while Britain’s Biggest Resters were most typically women, aged 18 to 24 years, working in media, living in Nottingham, Brighton or London.

72% mighty manufacturerswho have had a cold or flu in the last 12 months consider themselves fighters and battle on to fight their cold and flu compared to just 47% of media bods. When asked why they fight on and try and carry on as normal, 39% of manufacturing workers said it’s because they “refuse to let illness beat them” – revealing a truly British fighting spirit. In fact 63% of manufacturing workers had not had a single day off work in the last 12 months with a cold or flu and not one of them said they would exaggerate their symptoms to get sympathy.

Compare that to the IT industry in which 15% admitted to exaggerating their cold or flu to get sympathy from their peers and 33%, to avoid having to go to work. According to the research, 21% of respondents working in hospitality or travel had exaggerated their condition in order to stay in bed and 44% to avoid having to go to work, perhaps they should consider a career change!  The research also indicated that media and entertainment workers proved they do live up to their partying reputation with 31% exaggerating their cold or flu to cover up for a hangover!  But when they do get a cold or flu, media workers were the most honest of all the respondents with 95% telling it like it is, not like lawyers and accountants with 17% saying they had a dodgy tummy to avoid work!

Newcastle topped the list of British cities with the most number of fighters with 74% of those that had a cold and flu in the last 12 months fighting it and going about their daily life as normal, versus a measly 49% of Edinburgh inhabitants. Lazy Londoners, Brighton and Nottingham residents were the biggest bunch of resters, with 8% opting to “rest and recuperate” when they were hit by cold and flu symptoms in the last 12 months.  And in Norwich 46% of respondents admitted to exaggerating their cold or flu to avoid going to work!

Commenting on the findings, Beechams Brand Manager, Francesca Gates says:- “We Brits should be proud of ourselves for the research reveals a huge 59% are fighters, battling on against the symptoms of our colds to carry on as normal.  Busy lives mean many of us simply can’t give up at the first sign of a sniffle, we have too many responsibilities, be it work, family or home.   Nearly half of those fighters feel that people don’t appreciate their efforts to carry on as normal so Beechams wants to reward the nation’s true fighters and has launched a search to find and reward Britain’s Biggest Fighter – nominate a fighter now at”

The survey also asked people to reveal the most bizarre excuse they had heard for someone calling in sick to work – 18%** of respondents gave a cat or dog related excuse! Here are a few of the funniest excuses:-

• My cat is depressed
• My hamster died
• Watford got relegated and I couldn’t face work
• A bird pooed on my head
• I’m having a bad hair day
• I can’t find my false teeth
• My dog caught fire
• I have to go to the first day of the Next sale!
• My brain is dead!
• I was cooking my breakfast in the microwave and it exploded

Other interest findings from the survey:-

• Contrary to general perceptions, more men (64%) than women (54%) fight a cold or flu – 46% of respondents thought women were more likely to be fighters and 11% thought men (39% thought they were both equally likely)

• 56% of respondents have not taken a day off work with a cold or flu in the last 12 months

• 82% of people have suffered from a cold or flu in the past year so Brits had better brace themselves for the winter bug

• The 45-54 year age group had the biggest number of fighters (63%)

• The 18-24 year age group had the biggest number of rest and recuperaters (10%)

• 18-24 year olds are most likely to fib when they call in sick to work with a cold or flu – 1 in 3 say they have a tummy bug or 24 hour sickness

• 18-24 year olds are most likely to exaggerate their cold or flu as they want a bit of sympathy (10%) – bless!

• 42% of respondents use a specific cold or flu medication like Beechams All in One to relieve their symptoms

Come on Brits, show us your fighting spirit!

Southport International Street Market September 2007

GERAUD Markets Liverpool Limited, has confirmed the Rendez-vous for the 3rd Southport International Street Market of 2007 on Lord Street and Chapel Street from 13 December 2007 to 16 December 2007. The market will consist of over 20 traders from France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Iran, Poland, UK and Spain offering a wide range of Continental goods.

Products on offer include fruit, vegetables, cheeses, craft items, olives, antipasties, French bread, plus many traditional dishes to take away such as Bavarian Sausage, Spanish paella, garlic potatoes, French crepes, waffles and toasted nuts.

The market will operate from 9.00am Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Lord Street and Chapel Street and finish at 5.00pm.  On Sunday the opening hours will be from 10.00am to 5.00pm.

Local communities urged to care for people bereaved by road crashes

9 people are killed and 82 more are seriously injured every day on UK roads. Local communities across the North of England are being urged to help support people bereaved by road crashes by volunteering for Brake, the national road safety charity.

Volunteers are urgently needed to provide face-to-face support to families and individuals who are newly bereaved as a result of a death on the road. The service aims to provide immediate practical and emotional support, helping prevent Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and other conditions.

It is estimated by the NHS that about 30% of people exposed to a traumatic event, such as the sudden death of someone close to them, will develop post traumatic stress disorder.

Volunteers will help clients through the initial shock and grief period, help them to understand traumatic grief and its stages, develop coping mechanisms, and help them to access relevant emotional support services. Volunteers will take satisfaction in knowing that they have made a crucial difference to both the individuals they are supporting, and to their extended family and friends.

Volunteers for this service will come from a range of backgrounds, but are likely to have some relevant experience working with people bereaved or traumatised.  To apply to volunteer or to find out more, contact Diane Bevan on 01484 559909/683 482 or

Sarah Fatica, head of BrakeCare, says:- “Brake urgently needs volunteers to help make this vital care service possible. From our experience of working with people bereaved by a road crash we know that early intervention from a friendly face, with access to the right information, can really help victims feel supported and cared for and significantly improve their long term health. Please contact Brake today to volunteer to really improve people’s quality of life at such a tragic time.”

All selected volunteers will receive extensive free training provided by expert bereavement and trauma specialists. The training will cover everything a volunteer would need to know including understanding traumatic grief and its stages, practical ways to support families in shock, understanding of BrakeCare literature and its other services, NHS and private treatments for PTSD and other clinical conditions, available voluntary sector support, reporting and recording methodologies and developing their own coping mechanisms.  On an ongoing basis, welfare and debrief opportunities will be provided for volunteers, as well as a 6 monthly face to face session with a professional therapist.

BrakeCare, the support division of Brake, is the Government-appointed provider for bereavement literature following a road crash in the UK. 'Advice for bereaved families and friends following a death on the road', produced by BrakeCare, is handed out following every UK road death.  People bereaved and seriously injured by road crashes remain the ‘forgotten victims’ receiving little Government-funded support. As a 1st step, Brake is calling on Government to prioritise funding for the face-to-face volunteer support service. Face-to-face support services from Brake and other charities are much-valued, but extremely limited, due to lack of funding.

BrakeCare also runs a national helpline providing emotional support and practical information for people affected by a road crash. If you have been affected by a road crash and need support please call the BrakeCare helpline on 0845 603 8570.

Crackdown on Clothes Collection Con

LIVERPOOL City Council is backing a new drive to help people check if clothing collections are for charity or not.  It aims to ensure that people who want their donated clothes to go to a charity know what information to look out for on leaflets and bags that come through their letter box in the run-up to Christmas.  The initiative is supported by the Cabinet Office, Charity Commission, Trading Standards Institute, Advertising Standards Authority, Office of Fair Trading, Association of Chief Police Officers, Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services and the Association of Charity Shops.

While many leaflets distributed to households are from genuine registered charities some which look like they have come from a charity are actually from companies that profit from collections.  It is estimated that charities lose between £2.5 million and £3 million a year through theft and people giving clothing to organisations that they think are charities but are commercial companies collecting for profit. Although they may be acting legally, their leaflets may be largely indistinguishable from charities, unless people know what information to look for.

A leaflet for householders with tips to help check clothing collection leaflets has been produced.Additional top tip leaflets can be printed off from all the participating group websites. Posters will be also displayed in charity shop windows.

Tips for spotting a genuine charity collection include:
* Does the sack or leaflet say the collection is for a registered charity? If so, what's the registered charity number - call 0845 3000 218 or visit the online register of charities at to check that it's genuine.

* Do they only give a registered company number? This just means that the organisation is registered with Companies House.

* Is the charity actually named? Be wary of wording that just says 'families in need' or 'sick kids at Christmas'

* Does the leaflet or bag give a phone number? The absence of a phone number may mean the collectors don't want to answer questions.

Liverpool residents can also call Liverpool, Direct on 233 3015 to check on leaflets as the city council is responsible for issuing permits for house-to-house collections of goods.

Cllr Malcolm Kelly, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said:- “Liverpool people are renowned for their generosity and at this time of the year they particularly want to help charities. So it is very important that when they donate clothes, they are doing so to genuine organisations who help those in need. We fully back this campaign and I would urge people to make the necessary checks before giving.”

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