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Issue:- 14 April 2010

Students get a taste of local community

An Indian dance workshop.

STUDENTS at Knowsley Park Centre for Learning took part in a series of workshops to bring them closer to their local community.

The Community Cohesion Day, which was supported by a grant from Knowsley Housing Trust, provided challenges and fun activities where students were able to learn about many different people, cultures and faiths.

Its aim was to launch a wider citizenship project, to help the students build a sense of belonging to their local community and celebrate what their community has to offer.

A group of students experienced the challenges people with disabilities face in sport, taking part in wheelchair basketball and blind judo. Other students had the opportunity to work with the St Helens Rugby League Community Team, meeting other students from different backgrounds to build links through sports.

The school’s atrium was a hive of activity and sound as students explored other cultures and faiths through drama, music and languages, supported by Roby College, rap artists and some fascinating artefacts.

Students took part in visits to local industry, while others explored the landscape, visiting Risley Moss Nature Reserve in Warrington to see firsthand what can be done to support and sustain their own local area.  Creative Partnerships also provided a grant towards the day.

Teacher Kevin Walton with Hovdan Dvaleh and students learning about Islam

Principal Marion Farrell said:- “The whole day was a wonderful opportunity for the students of Knowsley Park to celebrate the diversity and talents which so enrich our community. Students were able to learn about their community and community groups met the students. We look forward to developing these links in the year to come.”

Terry Bonner, Operational Director of Landlord Services at KHT said:- “This project aims to support students to become responsible citizens, successful learners and confident individuals, which will ultimately benefit the whole community. Equality and Diversity is at the top of our agenda at KHT and we look to promote this at every opportunity across our organisation. It is fantastic that these students have been given a taste of life in the many different sections of our communities and we hope they take away a greater understanding of other cultures and lifestyles.”

Merseyside Volunteers Man-Up!

MALE volunteering in Merseyside is at an all time high according to British Heart Foundation (BHF) Shops who have found that one in three volunteers are men compared to just one in six three years ago. Released the figures mark the launch of BHF Shops’ largest volunteer recruitment drive which will run throughout April 2011.

Volunteers are absolutely vital to the success of BHF Shops, which last year raised £22 million to fight heart disease; the nation’s biggest killer. With 15 BHF Shops located across Merseyside, at least 375 volunteers are needed to ensure the smooth running of all the sites.

The rise in male volunteers coincides with increased unemployment in Merseyside. The BHF also points to the expansion of its Furniture & Electrical stores which offer more traditionally masculine roles including warehouse assistants and electrical function testers.

According to figures from the Charity Retail Association a quarter of men (25%) consider volunteering in a charity shop and of these, just under a quarter (22%) would rather test electrical goods in comparison to only 6% of women. A third of men (30%) said they could offer management skills, compared to only 16% of women.

Women prefer the customer-facing roles; three quarters (72%) said customer service was the skill they could most contribute compared to half of men (49%). Other stereotypically female roles were more popular with women including window dressing (30%) and working in fashion (23%), which only 6% of men were interested in.

BHF Retail Director, Mike Lucas said:- “Our volunteers are vital to the work of the BHF and we appreciate every minute people donate. We also hope to give something back; at a time of nationwide job cuts BHF shops are encouraging both men and women in Merseyside to keep their foot on the career ladder and gain some excellent retail experience.”

The BHF has a network of 560 shops and over 110 Furniture & Electrical stores offering a huge range of opportunities for men and women. Roles include window dressers, telephonists, stock collectors, sales assistants, warehouse assistants, books and music specialists and electrical function testers.

To find your nearest BHF Shop call:- 0844 412 5000 and for more information on volunteering opportunities visit their website.

A Euro-MP is backing a call for changes to the European Arrest Warrant

A report from the European Commission urges EU countries to stop using the warrant for petty crimes such as bicycle theft. The result has been a huge increase in the number of arrest warrants issued – currently 1,000 a month across the EU. Supporters say that since its introduction in 2004 the warrants have been used to smash paedophile rings and to extradite terrorists from other EU countries back to Britain to face the courts. But Liberal Democrat MEP Chris Davies says that they should only be used for serious crimes. He wants provision made for a national court to be able to refuse extradition to a second country if there is a real danger of them not getting fair treatment. Davies said:- “The days of the Costa del Crime are gone thanks to the EU and the European Arrest Warrant is an extremely useful tool to fight terrorism. If Police Forces are using it to chase down bike thieves who have crossed a border though then that is clearly ridiculous. The EU needs to be honest about the fact that the quality of the legal system is better in some countries than others and take action to bring the worst legal systems up to the standard of the best. In the meantime, there needs to be a judicial safety valve in place to stop people being extradited to face uncertain justice.” Email us your views on this to

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