literary competition offers chance to train as an astronaut with
THE University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
is giving children around the country the chance to train as an
astronaut for a week with NASA.
UCLan is inviting primary school children to enter its Wish Upon a
Star competition by creating their very own ‘wish for the world’ in
a poem, short story or illustration on a star template provided by
The 10 most original and thought provoking entries will feature in a
book due to be published by UCLan at the end of the year. One
overall winner will take the trip of a lifetime to NASA’s Kennedy
Space Centre in Florida to spend a week training to be an astronaut
where they will experience weightlessness, eat space food and meet
The competition’s judging panel will be led by the author of
children’s book Giraffes Can’t Dance and creator of the Purple
Ronnie character, Giles Andreae. Giles’ children’s books have sold
more than 2 million copies to date, making him one of the most
successful children’s authors working today.
Giles commented:- "This is a wonderful chance for children to
get creative and tell us what their wish for the world is. If they
are budding writers or illustrators and want to get published like
me this is their chance. There are also some fantastic prizes; a
chance to visit the Kennedy space centre in Florida for 1 lucky
winner and a super star gazing session for the winning school. I
can’t wait to see what the children create and I wish them lots of
Debbie Williams, Manager of UCLan Publishing and Tutor on the MA
Publishing and MA Writing for Children courses, has organised the
Debbie said that:- "The idea of the project is to get children
thinking about their impact on the wider world and to look at global
issues from climate change to cultural differences, so their wish
for the world can be as big as they want it to be. The top prize is
absolutely fantastic. To spend a week at NASA training with real
life astronauts is a once in a life time opportunity and I think
we’ll be inundated with entries. 1 lucky runner up will receive a
stargazing evening for their school with not for profit educational
organisation, Beauty In The Universe. The competition is part of a
wider venture involving Indian school children from Bengaluru and
Mysore in an exchange program with North West schoolchildren that
will link them together through constellations. The pupils in
Bengaluru and Mysore will also be given star templates to write
their own 'wish for the world'."
The entire project will culminate in a book and e-Book to be
published later this year. The printed book will contain selected UK
and Indian children’s star templates and UCLan students studying
writing for children, children’s illustration, linguistics and
astrophysics courses will provide short fictional pieces, myths and
legends, facts about the night sky and illustrations.
The Wish Upon a Star competition is open to all UK primary school
pupils aged 7 to 11. Closing date for entry is Friday, 16 March 2012
and the star template can be downloaded from the Wish Upon a Star
Entries should be posted to:- Debbie Williams, School of Journalism,
Media and Communication, University of Central Lancashire, Preston,
UCLan Publishing has prior form in running such large programmes
with schools and has successfully project-managed
Letters to Africa and the Jacqueline Wilson Festival, which saw over
9000 entries to three competitions.
Growing farmers’ market
Brow Farmers’ Market is re-launching on Saturday, 10 March 2012,
with a move to a new home.
The market had been held at the Legh Arms pub in Mere Brow but has
outgrown this venue and so has been replanted some 400 yards away to
the Mere Brow Village Hall rear car park.
Organiser Kelvin Pye, who also runs the successful Southport Country
Fairs, stated:- "After successful markets at the end last year
we found we could not fit in any more producers. So rather than have
a waiting list, we have moved the market across the road to a bigger
site where we have more room to grow."
He added that the new venue also offered three times as much car
parking for the public in addition expanding the market itself.
"Mr Ged Consett, landlord of the Legh Arms, was always
extremely supportive and accommodating we are very grateful to him,
but you can't hold back progress and demand."
The market will be held on the second Saturday of
each month from 10.00am to 2.30pm and the Village Hall will also be
open for teas, coffees, real ales and soft drinks. The farmers’
market will include fresh meats, poultry and game, fruit &
vegetables, cheeses, seafood, cakes, plants, pies and much more.
Award-winning Bowland Pork, from the Forest of Bowland, will be
operating a BBQ selling free-range pork sausages, bacon and
crackling hog roast. 2, tasty, food-hampers will be given away each
day and the farmers’ market has both free admission and car parking.
While Mum shop, attractions for families include Fab Fun Faces face
painting, donkey rides by Halsall's Donkeys and a children’s play
area with slides and rides. For further information visit:-
Clean sweep for
are being brought in to help keep Liverpool cleaner and litter-free.
The city council has now brought in 3 ride on street cleaning
machines which can be used on pavements and footways. And it is also
calling on the public to play their part, especially by not dropping
chewing gum on the pavements. The new machines, provided by Hako
industries, are narrow so as well as being used to sweep roads and
gutters can also be driven on pavements and manoeuvre between parked
cars. They are also much more flexible and can tip rubbish into
large waste bins rather than having to return to council depots as
frequently so spending more time on the streets cleaning. The
machines can also be adapted for grass cutting, weed removal and
gritting. The Council is looking to use them extensively in
residential areas and district shopping centres where litter
problems are greatest.
"We are investing in new machinery to make Liverpool cleaner and
tidier. Litter is a persistent problem and one that the public is
rightly concerned about. But while we are making efforts to improve
the situation, at a difficult economic time, everybody has to play
their part and show pride in the city. As well as not dropping
litter we also have a major problem with chewing gum which gets
deposited on pavements. You can see its effects most obviously in
areas like Dale Street and Castle Street where considerable amounts
were spent on high quality pavement and yet within a matter of days
they were covered in gum. While we do try and clean the pavements it
is a never-ending battle and all that is needed is for people to put
the gum in bins." said Council leader, Councillor Joe
Council officers will be distributing gum wraps packs of papers for
people to wrap their discarded gum in.
Councillor Tim Moore, cabinet member for the environment and climate
change, said:- "Litter and chewing gum are 2 of the biggest
concerns of the public. We have trialled a number of machines to
find the most appropriate and one that gives the most flexibility.
We think that these can make a real difference in improving the
cleanliness of the city and tackle areas which other machines cannot
reach. We are also urging people not to drop litter or chewing gum.
They need to be aware that as well as the environmental problems
this causes we will have no hesitation in issuing penalties for
those who are found to be doing this."
Ged Gibbons, Chief Executive of City Central BID, the UK’s only
private sector ambassador of Keep Britain Tidy’s 'Love Where
You Live Campaign', said:- "Liverpool city centre has
gone through a huge transformation over the past decade and now
attracts record numbers of visitors and shoppers; but this creates
its own set of challenges. The city centre has a good record for
cleanliness but there is always room for improvement. I applaud the
council for this investment as cleanliness plays a critical role in
how the city is perceived as a destination and so has a huge impact
on our economy. City Central BID takes this issue very seriously
which is why we’ll also be launching an anti-cigarette litter
campaign in May with Keep Britain Tidy to encourage workers and
visitors who smoke to love Liverpool."
Merseytravel cash grant extends
MERSEYSIDE is to benefit from up to £1.3million of Government
funding to continue cycle training in primary and secondary schools.
Merseytravel’s bid to the Department for Transport (DfT) for the
continuation of the Merseyside Transport Partnership’s (MTP)
Bikeability scheme was successful after the partnership demonstrated
its commitment to delivering cycling initiatives.
It means Merseyside continues to be home to the biggest cycle
training scheme in the country.
The new tranche of funding; provided by the DfT for the Bikeability
training scheme; this means that schools across the region will be
able to offer cycle training to a further 10,800 pupils in school
years 5 to 9 this year, with 23,400 receiving training in the
following two years.
The initiative, run by the MTP’s TravelWise campaign, will see
children given the chance to take part in training sessions to suit
their ability, starting with basic cycling and balancing skills and
progressing to on-road training.
Research into the long term effects of cycle training programmes for
young people and adults, commissioned by the MTP, showed that nine
in every ten children who have completed the course now cycle at
least once a week, and according to parents and guardians; the
children are also safer and better able to deal with roads and other
Jim Barclay, Interim Chief Executive of Merseytravel said:-
"This award from DfT is reward for the Merseyside Transport
Partnership’s long standing commitment to developing our young
cyclists. These courses give a real boost to cycling in the region,
which has already seen a 25% increase in cycling since 2006. The
training offered to school pupils increases skills and confidence
and in turn leads to many becoming regular cyclists."
The initial bid will see Merseytravel awarded £432,000 for MTP for
2012/13, with further bids of £456,000 for year 2 (2013/2014) and
£480,000 for the third year (2014/2015).
Jim Barclay added:- "Cycling can help create a healthy, low
carbon city for the future. TravelWise and its partner organisations
are working hard to promote cycling in Merseyside, resulting in real
and tangible benefits for the city region. Our research showed 73%
of parents thought that cycle training had improved their child’s
enjoyment of cycling and more than half reported that the sessions
had encouraged other members of the family to get on their bikes."
For more information on cycling in Merseyside, please visit:-