WITH FIREMAN SAM FOR STEVEN AND CHARLOTTE
FIREMAN Sam had a special
meeting at a Birkenhead shopping centre with 2 young fans who don't
let disability get in their way. Brave little Steven Williams
had a huge smile on his face when he met his screen idol at a
personal meet and greet at The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre.
The 4 year old Ellery Park pupil is blind and was diagnosed with septo-optic dysplasia, optic nerve hypoplasia and eye nystagmus when
he was born prematurely. He also has autism. His mum Cheryl ,
28, of Prenton, who has 2 other children, Adam, 8, and Mia, 4
months, said:- "Steven loves Fireman Sam but when he is on the
television, obviously he can only hear him. Today he has been able
to meet him personally, feel him and it means he can use some of his
other senses to make the most of seeing him in the way other
children would. To see his face when he met him was lovely.
His face just lit up with this huge smile and it really was very
special for him to have his own personal meeting with him. He
is always such a happy and determined child anyway so it is no
surprise to see a smile on his face. He has never really let things
get in his way."
Also personally meeting Fireman Sam was 8 year old Charlotte Eccleson from Moreton who has Asperger Syndrome, a form of autism,
which can make crowded, busy events such as queuing to meet Fireman
Sam a very testing event. The Eastway Primary School pupil
came with some friends and her little brothers Jack, 6, who is also
being tested for behaviour problems, and 2 year old Joshua.
Charlotte's mum Karen, 30, said:-
"Queuing and crowded places cause Charlotte to get very stressed
which is not nice for me but more importantly, it is not good for
her either. So, if the shopping centre hadn't been able to
offer us this fantastic personal meeting with Fireman Sam, then I
simply wouldn't have come.
The thing with Asperger Syndrome is that it is a hidden disability
so outwardly Charlotte looks perfectly healthy but we have to think
about it all the time to make sure she is as happy as possible.
Everything we do together has to be planned. Even through the
holidays, I have to make sure we have a structured day together
where we all know what we are doing to avoid as much upset as
possible. When Charlotte gets worked up, it is very difficult,
she will smash things, strike out at her brothers, and often she
runs away which is very challenging if I have Jack and Joshua with
me. So I am very grateful for this personal meeting and it has
been lovely for the children as a half term treat."
Also enjoying the Fireman Sam visit were hundreds of other young
Derek Millar, Commercial Director for The Grange and Pyramids
Shopping Centre, said:- "We have had quite an astonishing
amount of people turn up to see Fireman Sam and I am pleased we have
been able to offer such a fun, free event for the half term break.
As a father myself, I know the value of being able to bring children
to events such as these, particularly when they don't cost you
anything. It has been great to have so many families enjoying
the visit with us and looking round, there were lots of happy
Also attending the event were fire
officers from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service who took the
opportunity to talk to families about the upcoming fireworks and
bonfire night season.
Michael Buratti, Arson Reduction Officer for the Wirral, said:-
"We are coming up to one of our busiest time of year so it has
been terrific to come today and give families safety messages and
advice. Linking in with Fireman Sam has been very handy and
with there being so many people here today, it has given us the
opportunity to engage with around 4,500 people and promote our key
There were also Halloween inspired dance routines put on by
Birkenhead based Expressions Dance College during the times when
Fireman Sam was taking a well earned break.
To find out more about events at
The Grange and Pyramids Shopping Centre, go to:-
website for more information!
take the budget challenge
RESIDENTS in Liverpool are
being invited to try and balance the books when it comes to deciding
the City Council's spending priorities for the coming year.
Over the past 2 financial years the local authority has had to find
savings of £141 million - £91 million in 2011-12 and a further £50
million by end of 2012-13. The Council gets 80% of its money
from central Government, and as a result of severe cuts to grants
from Whitehall, anticipates having to find a further £143 million in
savings over the next 4 years, to the end of 2016 to 17.
For the next financial year, 2013 to 2014, £32 million needs to be found, and all options are being considered. As part of the
consultation process, people are being invited to use You Choose, an
online budget calculator. They have a choice of boosting or cutting
spending, making efficiencies and generating income; but they have
to balance the books.
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "We face some horrendous decisions
due to the cuts which have been imposed upon us by central
Government. 4 out of every 5 pounds we spend comes from Whitehall,
with only a relatively small proportion of our income generated
through Council tax. The scale of the reduction means that no area
of our spending will be immune. We face some stark and difficult
choices. People should be under no illusion that it will change the
way we deliver services forever and will impact on the lives of
people in the City. But I am clear that we have no choice but
to make these decisions and set a legal and balanced budget. Failure
to do so would be an abdication of responsibility and mean the
Government would send in somebody to do it for us, with no regard to
the Council's priorities. This is a chance for local people to
tell us what their priorities are and where they would choose to
direct our spending if they had control of our finances. The
information that is fed into the system will be included as part of
the consultation when we come to make choices in order to balance
the books. We want to protect, as far as possible, the
essential services to the most vulnerable. However, given the scale
of the reductions we face, and coming on top of already having to
find £141million in the past 2 years, even important front-line
services will not escape the impact. We are determined to be
as open and honest as we can about the process, because the
decisions we make will affect every single resident in one way or
Budget options are being released in three tranches so that there is
proper detailed consideration of the consequences before setting the
final budget in March 2013. The first tranche have already been
approved by Cabinet and will be considered by Full Council on 7
The spending categories which people can consider and prioritise
► Children's services
► Adult services
► Housing and neighbourhoods
► Culture, Sports & Leisure
► Roads and refuse
► Environment and regeneration
► Council support and public engagement
Feedback from You Choose, which is
open until 4 January, will form part of the budget-setting process.
There will be other public consultation exercises and regular
updates posted onto the Mayor's
take the budget challenge.
CURRENTLY RECRUITING PATIENTS IN MERSEYSIDE TO ASSESS ASTHMA
SYNEXUS, the world's
largest multinational company dedicated to the successful
recruitment and running of clinical studies, is currently recruiting
patients across eight countries - including the UK, for a study to
assess a treatment for Asthma. The study has been mandated by the
FDA (US Food and Drug Administration).
Asthma is a long-term condition that can cause a cough, wheezing and
breathlessness due to inflammation of the airways. The severity of
the symptoms vary from person to person with the condition affecting
both adults and children. The World Health Organisation estimates
that there are over 300 million asthma suffers worldwide, and
worldwide deaths from asthma have been estimated at over 250,000
patients per year. In the UK, 5.4 million people are currently
receiving treatment for asthma and this figure is on the increase.
That is 1 in every 12 adults and 1 in every 11 children and the NHS
spends around £1 billion a year treating and caring for people with
While there is no cure for asthma, symptoms can come and go and
there are a number of treatments that can help control the
condition. It is vital that additional research is carried out to
find treatments which may help to reduce the severity of the
condition and provide improved medications for everyday use to
control and treat the symptoms.
The study that Synexus is
currently running is an assessment into a treatment that may help
ease the symptoms associated with Asthma. Synexus is looking for
► Are aged 18 years old or over
► Have been diagnosed with asthma
► Are already taking medication for their asthma
Synexus is now offering complimentary health screens to people who
meet the above criteria at its 7 Dedicated Research Centres across
the UK. At this visit patients can have an informal chat with a
Synexus Doctor or Nurse about their asthma condition. Also included
is a respiratory health check involving a pulse and blood pressure
check, and peak flow measurement (air flow from your lungs). The
outcomes of these simple procedures will be discussed with the
patient on the day (no preparation is required for the health
screen). Synexus is interested in seeing patients even if their
asthma symptoms appear to be under control, and even more so if they
have had a recent asthma attack.
Those who would like to find out more or are interested in
participating in this study should contact their nearest Synexus
centre and quote the relevant reference number - Merseyside:- 0151
5509951 (Ref: code 10334)
Alternatively they can register their interest at:-
challenge-asthma.com - a dedicated website that
Synexus has set up as part of its 'Challenge asthma' campaign which
has been launched in the run up to the study to raise awareness
about the need for further asthma research.
There is no obligation for people to participate in the study and if
they do decide to take part, their GP will be kept fully informed of
their involvement. Patients will be reimbursed for their time and
all reasonable out of pocket expenses if they are accepted onto the
Synexus has many years experience in conducting a wide range of
clinical studies. The purpose of a clinical study is to answer
important questions about a new medicine, for example: does it
improve a person's health and which dose of the medicine works best?
Each year, thousands of patients take part in clinical studies at
Synexus' Dedicated Clinical Research Centres. There are many
different studies running at each of the Centres throughout the year
including potential treatments for conditions such as osteoporosis,
smoking cessation, high-cholesterol, insomnia, vaccines, psoriasis
and childhood eczema.
Participating in a Synexus clinical study means patients receive
increased medical attention and may benefit from medications that
aren't yet available to other sufferers of their condition, while
making a positive contribution to the health of future generations.