from Southport takes on the Step Change 2012
SARAH Mittal from
Southport, is taking on the challenge of the Step Change event at
London’s iconic 'Gherkin' building on 4 March 2012,
and is encouraging others to enter and help the NSPCC’s ChildLine
service to continue to be there for vulnerable children. ChildLine
has been granted exclusive access to '30 St Mary Axe'
to host the event, which is open to corporate teams, individuals,
families, and groups of friends. The challenge is to run up 38
flights of stairs and enjoy a well deserved glass of champagne and a
panoramic view of the city from the restaurant at the top.
'Tower running' turns the idea of a race literally on its
head. Instead of running on a typical route, participants take the
stairs up 'The Gherkin' in a race to the 38th floor.
Sarah, who turns 48 on the day of the event, and a nurse, said:-
"This is the first time I have taken part in the NSPCC Step
Change challenge. It started with my daughter Rebecca saying to my
best friend that she would like to see the Gherkin. Then another
friend, Diane, told us the NSPCC were organising a fundraising event
to climb the steps in the building so the three of us thought it
would be a fun event to do and that we could help children in need
at the same time. When we signed on and saw more about what the
NSPCC do we were amazed to see the charity was founded in 1884. It
does so much to help children, not only through ChildLine but also
by work in schools and teaching children to protect themselves
against things like bullying. We are very much looking forward to
the challenge, especially reaching the top!"
The event is being backed by mother of 3 and Olympic gold medallist
Sally Gunnell, who said:- "With this event every step counts -
1,037 steps in fact! It’s an opportunity to see the fantastic views
from the top of the Gherkin, but more importantly, a chance to
support ChildLine’s vital services during its 25th anniversary year,
what more could you ask for on a Sunday morning?! Whether you enter
Step Change as an individual, a family group, or as part a corporate
team, enter today and help ChildLine to protect vulnerable children
in this area."
The entry fee for Step Change is £20 per individual, £70 per team of
four, or £20 per adult and £10 per child for the family
registration, and participants are also asked to raise sponsorship.
For anyone who doesn’t fancy running up the 38 floors there is the
option to purchase a ‘champagne lift pass’ for £75
(accompanied children attend free with a paying adult). This is the
3rd year that Step Change has been staged and it is hoped that the
event will raise £200,000 for the charity. For more
information on the Step Change and how to enter, visit:-
Biggest football competition for
deaf children comes to Liverpool
DEAF children from across
the north of England will be putting their football skills to the
test at the biggest annual tournament for deaf friendly youth
football teams on Sunday, 4 March 2012, at Goals Soccer Centre in
Hundreds of deaf young footballers aged 6 to 18 will enter the
tournament, organised by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS),
the leading charity for deaf children and young people, hoping to
take home the championship trophy. Among the competitors will be
Everton Deaf FC’s Under 12s, defending their title from last year’s
The competition is part of the NDCS Deaf Friendly Football Club (FC)
project, which encourages junior football clubs of all sizes to open
up their teams to deaf players.
Hayley Jarvis, NDCS Inclusion Activities Manager, said:- "The
tournament is a celebration of the football clubs and coaches who
have succeeded in making football accessible to more than 1,000 deaf
children, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy football. We are
expecting some great matches to be played and encourage football
teams from across the north of England to sign up to this fantastic
event and showcase their talent."
Victoria Wenman, GB Deaf Ladies Footballer, said:- "NDCS’s
football tournament is a brilliant event for deaf young people. It
is fantastic to see the continued growth of deaf friendly football.
It was only through playing with my deaf team that I really thrived
as a confident player. My coach knew how to communicate with me
whereas in other teams I’d played in, communication had been an
issue. It is so important that deaf young people have the same
access to sport as other young people."
The NDCS Deaf Friendly FC Project was set up in 2007 with the help
of a grant from the UK’s largest sports charity, the Football
Foundation (FF). An additional grant of £129,623 was awarded by the
FF, and the Football Association also provided £10,000 towards the
NDCS now works with 100 football clubs all over England, including
Everton FC, to create regular playing, coaching and socialising
opportunities for deaf children and young people.
The tournament will take place on Sunday, 4 March 2012, at the Goals
Soccer Centre, 151 Park Lane Netherton, Liverpool, L30 1QQ. Teams
can enter by
email or go
online for details.
Dive with sharks
to save lives
A leading charity which
funds research into treatments and cures for muscle diseases is
challenging adventurous people to learn the basics of scuba diving
in a gigantic aquarium tank; with a variety of sharks, stingrays and
conger eels for company.
The ‘Discover Scuba’ challenge, organised by the
Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to raise funds to fight muscle disease,
is aimed at diving beginners and takes place at the Blue Planet
Aquarium in Cheshire, 1 of only 2 places in the UK where this
activity can happen. Those brave enough to take the plunge are asked
to raise a minimum amount of sponsorship and the next session is on
Sunday, 25 March 2012.
Participants learn the basics of scuba diving among one of Europe’s
largest collection of sharks, including 10 foot sand tiger sharks,
as well as hundreds of other fish. Scuba equipment and training is
provided under Professional Association of Diving Instructors
Maria Drozd, who did a Discover Scuba dive recently said:-
"Thanks for organising such a great event. I absolutely loved every
second of it. Diving with sharks is a great way to raise funds to
help the work of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. It was a unique
opportunity to come face to face with one of nature’s most feared
creatures. I would definitely recommend it."
If you would like to learn the basics of scuba diving and get close
up and personal with the sharks please contact Charles Horton by
email or call the Regional
Office of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign on:- 01244 536551.
PATIENTS and the public are
being asked for their views on proposed changes to the way
specialist vascular services are provided at Southport and Ormskirk
Hospital NHS Trust. Vascular services are changing nationally and
the proposals for Merseyside and Cheshire aim to save more lives and
improve the quality of life for patients following treatment. These
services are for people with disorders of the arteries and veins,
including narrowing of arteries, blocked vessels and varicose veins;
but not diseases of the heart and vessels in the chest. Treating
vascular disease well is not easy. Research shows that the chances
of survival and improved quality of life after the treatment of
arterial diseases are greatest when patients are treated by a highly
trained specialist team, working in a large centre to which many
patients are referred. In addition, some hospitals are unable to
offer a comprehensive round-the-clock service; for example,
specialist consultant support or the interventional radiology
techniques which can help surgeons save limbs and organs. A number
of hospitals carry out vascular surgery but one-in-five cases are so
complex they would be best carried out at a specialist unit. This
means that specialist surgery needs concentrating in fewer centres;
something widely agreed upon during thorough engagement with a range
of stakeholders in 2011.
Mr David Jones, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Southport and
Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:- "Earlier engagement with
the public, patients and clinicians overwhelmingly supported the
approach to concentrate the specialist surgery in order to improve
patient safety; even if this meant specialist surgery was not
carried out at their local hospital."
Medical Director Dr Geraldine Boocock added:- "Changing the
way we provide vascular services will save more lives and improve
the quality of life after treatment. We are thoroughly supportive of
these proposals which retain day cases, follow-up and rehabilitative
care within the Trust."
The Clinical Commissioning Groups, made up of GPs who commission
services for their patients, also agreed there should be 2
specialist vascular centres. It is proposed that one specialist
centre is at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, working with
hospitals north of the River Mersey, and one at the Countess of
Chester Hospital, working with those south of the river. A series of
public events is being held to ensure north Sefton and West
Lancashire patients can debate the proposals fully.
They would include:-
► Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Road,
Aintree, L9 5AS on Friday, 24 February 2012.
► Reflections Gallery, The World of
Glass, Chalon Way East, St Helens, WA10 1BX on Wednesday, 28 March
Both events will run from 10am to 2pm; with registration from
9.30am. Further information is available
online. The site also lets people
as submit their views.