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Issue:- 19 January  2012

Suicide Prevention Charity Calls for Local Support

PAPYRUS the national charity for the prevention of young suicide is calling on support from people in the North West to help reduce the number of young people who take their own lives.  Each year in the United Kingdom more than 2,100 young people under the age of 35 die through suicide. PAPYRUS believes this is a national scandal and needs to be talked about. So if your New Year resolution is to help young people in your community, the charity is inviting you to an open meeting to explore how you might become involved.

As a part of a national programme, the first regional network event for friends and supporters of PAPYRUS will be held in Warrington on Saturday, 11 February 2012, from 10.30 am to 12.30 pm. You’ll meet some of the PAPYRUS team as well as current supporters, in a very informal environment to discuss how you might get involved in your own community in young suicide prevention. The morning will include a 90-minute suicide awareness session around the question:- Should we talk about suicide?’ which safely explores some of the most challenging attitudinal issues about suicide and how people can help with prevention.  The morning is open to everyone, but in order to accommodate numbers, advance booking is necessary.

To register, or if you would like to speak to someone for more information before the event please call PAPYRUS on:- 01925 572 444 or email.  A nominal £5 donation is suggested, including sandwich lunch; free to PAPYRUS members.

80,000 jobs to be axed in North West’s public services

MORE than 80,000 jobs will be axed from public services in the North West over the next 5 years.  That’s the shock finding of a TUC analysis of official figures produced by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) following the Autumn statement in November by Chancellor George Osborne, Conservative MP for Knutsford.

The massive job losses in our region come on top of the 30,000 jobs which have already been lost from public services here since the Coalition came to power in May 2010, according to surveys by the North West TUC and the general workers union, the GMB.

The latest analysis is based on official OBR figures, which have forecast that 710,000 jobs will be axed in public services across the country up to 2017, as a result of the Chancellor’s policies.

The TUC is providing a regional breakdown of that total for the first time, which shows that of the 710,000 jobs lost nationally, exactly 81,075 jobs will go from the North West, the worst hit region in Britain outside of London.

North West TUC Regional Secretary Alan Manning said:- "This is another hammer blow to the regional economy and to tens of thousands of public servants and their families in the North West.  The cuts to public services which we have already suffered are having a devastating effect on the most vulnerable people in our communities and have choked off any hopes of growth in the North West economy, because the private sector can’t fill the gap. Now we are set for five more years of pain – without any gain. As a North West MP, George Osborne should stop and take stock – his policies are hurting, but they are simply not working. It’s time we had policies which put people first, by getting them back to work earning a living, paying taxes and helping stimulate growth."

For more information on cuts to public services in our region, see the North West TUC’s campaign website.

Who are your customer service stars?

HAVE you been wowed by waiting on staff, blown away by a bar person or had your taste buds tickled by a creative cook?  If so, Liverpool City Council’s tourism team want to hear from you.

The Liverpool Ambassador Awards are back for the 10th year, and recognises outstanding customer service in the tourism industry. 

The nomination process is now open and residents are asked to vote for the unsung heroes and heroines who go above and beyond the call of duty to make Liverpool a truly welcoming city.  There are 12 categories which recognise customer service stars such as reception staff, retail assistants and the young person of the year.

Liverpool city council’s cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- “Liverpool is a popular visitor destination and one of the key things that keeps people returning time and time again is the welcome they receive here which is second to none. The importance of excellent customer service should never be underestimated – it always makes our experience of a restaurant, shop or art gallery much more enjoyable if the staff were helpful, friendly and knowledgeable.  This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Ambassador Awards, and its popularity has grown year on year. We received around 500 nominations in 2011, so we’re hoping to smash that figure this year.  I hope as many people as possible fill out the simple nomination form and give us the chance to celebrate those who clearly have real pride in their roles and this city.”

The 12 categories are:-

Chef/Cook of the Year
Arts/Culture Staff of the Year
Bar Person of the Year
Family Friendly Staff
Waiter or Waitress of the Year
Retail Assistant of the Year
Tourism Support, Transport and Leisure Staff
Unseen Hero
Liverpool Delegate Welcome Award
Young Person of the Year
Reception Staff of the Year
Outstanding Customer Service

To nominate a customer service hero or heroine, go to:-  The closing date is midnight on Sunday 5 February 2012.

The city council organised event is sponsored by City Central BID, Liverpool ONE and Radio City.

Ged Gibbons, Chief Executive of City Central BID, which represents 630 businesses in the retail and leisure heart of Liverpool city centre, said:- "To be nominated as an Ambassador is a very special achievement and potentially a career-changing one and we will be urging all our members to get involved in promoting these awards.  To be celebrating the tenth edition of these awards is a great milestone and speaks volumes for how much Liverpool values great customer service. With a visitor economy worth almost £2bn a year it’s vital we have these ‘Oscars’ and the fact each year gets more competitive is another sign of how Liverpool is maturing as a class A destination."

Chris Bliss, Estate Director at Liverpool ONE, said:- "Ensuring a great visitor experience through excellent customer service is important to us at Liverpool ONE.  We constantly raise the bar to offer a world class service for our shoppers and visitors. These awards recognise the people of Liverpool who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their customers and visitors to the city have the best possible experience and go away feeling enriched and as new ambassadors of Liverpool – that’s why we’re proud supporters of these inspirational awards."

The award ceremony takes place on Wednesday, 28 March 2012, at the Crowne Plaza in Liverpool city centre.

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