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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue Date:- 17 February 2009

Terrence Higgins Trust gives over 35s safer sex lesson this Valentine’s Day

AS rates of sexually transmitted infections rise in the over 35s, Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) is issuing a warning that the safer sex message isn’t just for young people.  Many over 35s come out of long term relationships and enter the dating scene again but fail to use condoms with new partners. As a result, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) within this group have soared in the last decade.  The most recent figures from the Health Protection Agency show that almost half of syphilis and a quarter of herpes cases were in people aged 35-64. In 2007, over 13,000 people in that age group were diagnosed with genital warts and more than 10,000 with chlamydia.

Genevieve Edwards, Director of Communications at Terrence Higgins Trust said:- “Sex is one area of life where age can bring complacency rather than wisdom. People may have been used to one sexual partner for a long time and when they start dating again, they’re too embarrassed or nervous to talk about condom use or STIs. However, ignoring the issue could mean you end up with an infection, a gift you definitely don’t want from your partner this Valentine’s Day.”

Condoms are available free from Terrence Higgins Trust offices or GUM clinics. Alternatively, they can be bought in chemists, supermarkets, garages and vending machines in pubs and clubs. Internet sites also sell a large variety of condoms and can deliver to your home. Always check that the condoms you use have the British Safety Standard Kitemark and the CE symbol on the packet.   To find out more about sexually transmitted infections and safer sex visit the Terrence Higgins Trust website.

BII Says “Lean On Me” To Struggling Licensees

BII, the professional body for the licensed retail industry, has launched a business support helpline for its licensee members. The new service will complement BII’s existing range of helplines, which already provide advice and guidance to members on a daily basis.

The BII Licensees' Business Helpline is the first initiative to be launched by BII under its new chief executive Neil Robertson. Neil commented:- “In these unprecedented times of economic downturn, licensees are turning to BII in increasing numbers for general business help and support from their professional body. Our existing helplines offer an excellent service in times of need, however, we sometimes find member enquiries fall outside the remits of our existing providers so we have introduced this new service to make our support even more comprehensive.”

The support service is being provided by trusted industry expert Phil Dixon CMBII. Phil has helped hundreds of licensees during his long standing career in the industry and is highly respected by licensees and pubco bosses for his knowledge, direct approach and integrity.

To access the helpline, BII members can call 01276 684449 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and will be phoned back  for a business support conversation within two working days. The service is free to BII members and totally confidential.

Benefits staff help reduce risk of fire

BENEFITS staff at Liverpool City Council are being trained to help spot fire risks in the homes of people they visit.  It follows the creation of a new partnership between Liverpool Direct Limited – which runs the city’s Revenues and Benefits Service - and Merseyside Fire and Rescue.

Statistics show that older people on benefits are among the most likely groups of people to be killed or injured in a house fire, and that many have not taken advantage of the fire and rescue service’s free home safety test scheme.  If they give their consent, up to 6,500 people aged over 60 who live on their own and receive a disability benefit are being contacted by the Community Fire Safety department for a free safety check. 

Fire fighters will make an appointment to visit the homes of those taking part to carry out the check, and will fit smoke alarms there and then if they are needed. They will also give advice if they identify risks such as overloading of electrical sockets.  As part of the scheme, officers from the Benefits Maximisation Team and revenues and benefits service are also being trained by the fire and rescue service to identify dangers when visiting people in their own home.

Deputy council leader Councillor Flo Clucas, said:- “The council deals with many vulnerable people who are not always aware of the potential fire dangers in their own home.  By sharing our information with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service we can help them reach the people who are most at risk of becoming victims of fires in the home. 

We are also giving our staff a potentially life saving role by training them to spot for fire hazards in the home of the people they visit.”

It follows a similar initiative launched last year in which 307 older people aged 65 and over in Speke and Garston received a free fire safety check and smoke alarm. That scheme is now being extended to Walton, Anfield and Toxteth and people who are eligible will be contacted in the next few weeks.

Mersey Fire and Rescue Service Deputy Chief Fire Officer Mike Hagen said:- “Fire does discriminate and we know which people are most likely to die or be injured in a fire.  Unfortunately despite completing over 400,000 home fire safety checks since 1999, there are still people who either don’t know about our service or haven’t contacted us to arrange a visit.  A lot of these residents are known to the council because of heir vulnerability. It’s logical that we should work together to help keep these residents safe and that’s exactly what we are doing here. 

We are delighted to be working with Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Direct on this new initiative which will reduce the risk of fire in the home.”

For further information about the Home Fire Safety Check call Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 731 5958.

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