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Issue:- 7 June  2012

Celebrities don't cut it with children

CELEBRITIES aren't that important to children after all according to research, despite the panic over the burgeoning celebrity culture.   When school children were asked to pick the most important people in Britain, celebrities ranked significantly lower than royals and politicians, with showbiz mogul Simon Cowell getting less than half as many votes as David Cameron (20% versus 45%).

The research among 650 UK school children, conducted for Galt Toys by leading child research experts ChildWise, showed Ant and Dec were important to only 21% of children and chart topper Harry Styles just 13%. Daniel Radcliffe has lost his magic, only receiving 8% of votes.

It isn't great news for David Beckham either who ranked lower than Boris Johnson with 13% of the votes versus 14%. Cheryl Cole was important to just 11% of children.   Brit winner Adele gets just 6% of votes and Victoria Beckham trails in last with only 4%.

John McDonnell, Managing Director of Galt Toys commented:- "Children aren't as frivolous as adults fear them to be. Our findings show it's good news for the Royals in Jubilee year with the Queen topping the importance poll by a significant margin (91%) and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2nd and 3rd place."

The Royal family can't rest on its laurels though as 2nd in line to the throne Prince Charles lagged behind Prince William and the Prime Minister, coming in 5th place. Prince William got more than double the number of votes as his father (53% versus 25%).

Practice Makes Perfect is moving Monday Group

THE Southport based Practice Makes Perfect is a voluntary group that teaches finger spelling for the deaf and also for deaf and blind. The courses cover things like sign language, deaf awareness and communication skills. The group's weekly Monday classes are soon to move to a new venue. The move will take place on Monday, 2 July 2012 and will see their evening classes being held at the The Salvation Army's New church. Shakespeare Street. Southport. The classes will be held at the same time (6pm to 8pm) and will still have disabled access. The new venue also has disabled toilet and very large car park, as well as internet access! Friday classes remain at Joint Learning Partnership, 4th floor at the C.V.S building, on Shakespeare Street. Southport. They will still run from 1.30om to 3pm weekly.

Southport hospital staff snorkel their way to Everest!

STAFF from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust have begun training for the challenge of a lifetime to Mount Everest with some unusual equipment; snorkels.

3 brave staff members are taking on the 19-day trek to Everest base camp to raise money for 3 charities. Ann Wearing, uro-oncology specialist nurse, Cara Percival, staff nurse and Gurpreet Singh, consultant urological surgeon are raising money for The Prostate Cancer Charity, Macmillan and Southport's Spinal Unit Action Group (SUAG).

Training for the trek sees them walking for half an hour, 4 times each weekday and 2 hours on both Saturday and Sunday building up to 8 hours every Saturday and Sunday. They have also been getting a feel for the altitude by donning snorkels and walking up and down stairs. The snorkels are intended to mimic the effect of breathing thinner air at altitude.

The team will leave for Everest in March 2013 visiting Kathmandu, Namah Bazaar, Dingboche, Kalapatar and finally arriving at the base camp 5,545 metres above sea level.

Ann said:- "We're all training hard for the trek as we know it'll be tough. There is a training walk in September that we're going on and we're currently looking for walking clubs that we can join for our long weekend walks.   Each of us are looking to raise at least £3,750 for our chosen charities. I'm fortunate that Co-op stores in Southport have chosen The Prostate Cancer Charity for their charity of the year. All money raised through the stores will go towards my target. We will also be arranging some events throughout the year, including a charity dinner at the Ramada, Southport in September."

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