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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 13 May / 12 May 2009

BBC Blast Returns to Liverpool

FOLLOWING the success of last summer’s event in Sefton Park, BBC Blast will be returning to the city, enabling creative Liverpool teenagers to let their imagination run wild in a series of free workshops.

Events kick off on Saturday 23 May when Blast joins forces with Hub Festival 2009, for the UK’s biggest free urban youth festival. Blast will build an impressive mobile creative village at Wellington Dock, with purpose built digital workshop spaces and a separate performance area. Over the weekend, young people can use state of the art equipment to produce their own work with advice and support from BBC staff and industry professionals.

Specially selected workshops for Liverpool include:
Hip Hop Shakespeare - hone your writing and MCing skills with MOBO award winner Akala. This is also a chance to enter the Hip Hop Shakespeare competition and perhaps win the chance to perform at the legendary Maida Vale Studios with Akala and Bashy to be broadcast on 1Xtra.

Festival Fashion - work with fashion designer, Kirsty Doyle, who's designed clothes for Colleen Rooney.

Sample-ist - The Human Beatbox! The Sample-ist shows you how to create grooves, beats, hooks and riffs from just the human voice alone.

Hip Hop Music Production - produce a track with leading industry professional Baby J and find out about working in the industry.

Graffiti Art – get some tips from one of the competitors in Write4Gold: the most popular graffiti competition in the world!

There are many other workshops on offer:
Media – Film the Fest and get it shown on the big screen on the main stage! (2 day workshop), try Blast Out Loud radio, re-mix the Blast Advert, or be a VJ and mix video clips to music

Dance & Performance – practice Slam Poetry, listen to (or join in) an open-mic Scratch Performance, or learn some moves in Hip Hop Dance

Creative arts – make a Digital Photography Collage, use the software Comic Life to create your own photo-stories and comics, or create your own stop motion Animation featuring your favourite celebs!

Each day culminates with the Blast Talent Showcase, when films, music, dance and radio pieces created that day will be shown to the public, and you can get to see the finest of the city’s emerging talent!

All workshops and showcases are free. Workshops will be available from 11am tp 6.30pm daily, for more details and to sign up see:- or email

New Mums Get Little Angels

NEW mums at Ormskirk & District General Hospital are ensuring their baby's get off to the best possible start in life, thanks to Little Angels Breastfeeding Support scheme funded by NHS Central Lancashire.

Breastfeeding is natural and normal, and gives babies the best start. The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, and can continue to benefit babies along with appropriately timed solid food for many months after.

The benefits of breastfeeding for both mum and baby are immense. As well as getting support and advice from the midwives new mums on the postnatal ward at Ormskirk Hospital are now supported in all aspects of breastfeeding by Little Angel Breastfeeding Peer Support workers. Little Angel breastfeeding supporters are all mums from the local area that have breastfed their own children and would like to pass on their skills and experience to other mums. Having completed an accredited training programme they provide support to new mums on the postnatal ward by offering a listening ear and providing practical help and breastfeeding support. They also run a 24-hour breastfeeding help line offering information and support over the phone both before and after the baby is born.

Little Angel Michelle McFarlane-Johnson said:- "I am glad I have been given the opportunity to offer breastfeeding support on the postnatal ward. I decided to get involved because there are so many benefits of breastfeeding, but I know from my own experience it can be challenging in the early days, just knowing there's another mum you can turn to for general reassurance can really make a difference."

New mum Stephanie Crookshank from Southport said:- "The Peer Supporters have given me really helpful support and advice, which I am already benefiting from and I am more confident about continuing to breastfeed."

Every day of breastfeeding makes a difference to your baby. If you receive help and support whether it be from a friend or family member, a health care professional or a peer supporter you are likely to breastfeed for longer, giving you and your baby important health benefits. Research shows that good peer support integrated with health care professional support has a significant impact on mum's decision to continue breastfeeding.

Kerry Hesketh Infant Feeding Coordinator at Ormskirk Hospital said:- "The Little Angel Breastfeeding Support Workers are a welcome addition to the wards, they offer an invaluable extra layer of help in the early days for new mums from one mother to another, providing a listening ear and giving them all the extra support they need.

Support for breastfeeding is a necessary element for any woman irrespective of her circumstances. We are delighted to be able to offer our new mums as much support as possible to help them give their baby's the best start in life."

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