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Issue:- 5 August 2009

Kids jump for joy over play projects

A YOUNG England football star and local children are about to say ‘Thanks a million’ for 3 stunning new play projects in the city.

14-year-old Paige Williams, who plays for England and Everton girls team, will join hundreds of Liverpool youngsters to celebrate the opening of a new nature playground on Mill Road, Everton.

The brand new Mill Road ‘Nature Play Space’ is 1 of 3 fantastic schemes - worth a total of almost a million pounds - being launched.  2 further facilities are being opened in different parts of the city. A new adventure playground will be officially launched in Walton Park; and Mab Lane Youth Centre, West Derby, will open its new outdoor adventure play ground and play area.

The projects have come about thanks to a huge cash boost from the Big Lottery Fund, aimed at providing new play areas in different parts of the city where there is little or no provision, improve existing play facilities and increase opportunities for children aged 5 to 13 to get involved play activities.

The city council’s executive member for safer, stronger communities, Councillor Marilyn Fielding, said:- "The launch of these three new projects is great news for Liverpool, placing invaluable play resources at the heart of our communities.  We're committed to providing children in every part of the city with high quality play facilities. Well planned and well supported playgrounds help improve children's well being, promote healthy living and encourage social interaction.  These projects will transform play facilities in areas of the city which need it most. And they will improve the quality of children's lives by giving them easy access to leisure activities on their doorstep."

The £100,000 Mill Road Nature Play Space is the first scheme of its kind in Liverpool. Young people themselves played a central role in the unique project, mucking-in to transform local wasteland into a nature playground. Children played a significant role in planning and landscaping, and they will continue to develop the area through the planned development of totem polls.

The Nature Play Space aims to increase young people's connection with the natural environment.  Nearly £350,000 has also been spent on the refurbishment of Mab Lane Youth and Community Centre to incorporate a children's play area. A new outdoor adventure playground has also been created, attached to the centre.  And more than £400,000 has been spent on the new adventure playground in Walton Park, next to the sports centre.

The council’s executive member for the environment, Councillor Berni Turner, said:- “It’s fantastic that, in our Year of the Environment, we are launching these three new play projects. They will benefit thousands of young people, giving them the chance to take part in regular exercise and interact with other children.  We are committed to investing in our green spaces, encouraging youngsters to turn off their television and enjoy physical activities in their local environment. These projects will help us achieve this.”

The Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Planning for Play’ project has seen 12 local authorities in the North West sharing £6.3. Liverpool received a total of £1.5 million, which has been used to create the three new play projects as well as refurbishing existing playgrounds in Dingle and Fazakerley and appointing 14 mobile play workers to work at a range of city venues.

Think your hands are clean?

HAND hygiene has never been more important, but just how clean are your hands?

Washing your hands is one of the simplest, but often most effective way to stop the spread of infections from MRSA to Swine Flu. To raise awareness of the importance of not only washing your hands but doing it properly, infection control nurses are teaming up with GOJO Industries for two hand washing days at our hospitals.

They will be at Ormskirk & District General Hospital on Tuesday, 11 August 2009 and at Southport & Formby District General Hospital on Wednesday, 12 August 2009.

Visitors to our hospitals, and indeed anyone else, are welcome to come along to the stands where they will have a chance to test how good their hand washing really is. They can put on some UV light sensitive hand cream called Glo-germ, wash their hands and then, put them under a UV light to see how thoroughly they have washed their hands.

They can also receive advice on hand washing and get free samples of the alcohol gel used in our hospitals.

17 year old arrested after 9 year old girl is raped

ON Wednesday, 5 August 2009, a 17 year old boy from St Helens was arrested on suspicion of rape. This follows an attack which happened near the Meadow Street, Great Harwood on Tuesday, 4 August 2009. It has been reported that the 9 year old girl was subjected to a violent, sexual assault in a wooded area adjacent to Alan Ramsbottom Way. Police were initially alerted at around 6:45pm by a local family who raised the alarm, after finding the young girl. A spokesman for Lancashire Police said that they have to praise two local residents who detained the suspect before police arrived. A forensic examination of the scene of the attack has now been carried out..

Employers commit to training 413 Sefton workers

EMPLOYERS representing 413 Sefton workers have publicly committed to investing in their workforce’s future by taking the first step to making the Skills Pledge at an event hosted by the Learning and Skills Council Greater Merseyside.

The Skills Pledge is a voluntary and public commitment taken by employers to demonstrate their belief in the value of staff training. The Learning and Skills Council is the body responsible for the funding of work-based training in England and at the event announced that just under £20m of new funding is being pumped into Merseyside.  Helen France, director of area at the LSC said:- “I welcome the local businesses which have made a public declaration that they are committed to training and up-skilling their staff by making the Skills Pledge, and also encourage others to make the pledge. Research shows that businesses that do not train their workforce are two and half times more likely to fail during a recession. The fact that local employers have made the pledge demonstrates their commitment to their staff and signals their recognition of the value of training.”

The event, held at Formby Hall Golf Resort and Spa, was attended by representatives of businesses from all parts of the spectrum that enjoyed an engaging and inspiring presentation from Olympic high jump medallist, Steve Smith.  If your business would like to make the Skills Pledge, then please visit the website or contact Train to Gain Brokerage Service direct on:- 0845 00 66 888.

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