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Issue:- 27 February 2014

Commissioner signs up to Living Wage

A new initiative to encourage disabled people to get sporty has started in Liverpool. More than 70 people have joined the 'Active Me' programme which began in December 2013 and aims to open up opportunities for adults with disabilities to get involved in a range of sporting activities.

Figures show that only 22.6% of people; that is around 3,200; living in Liverpool with a limiting disability are involved in physical exercise once a week.

The aim of this programme is to inspire and motivate disabled people to take up a sport or physical activity such as athletics, dance, badminton and swimming.

There are currently 6 sessions each week taking place at Lifestyles Ellergreen, Everton Park, Garston, Peter Lloyd and Walton. A team of 'Activators' are on hand who will give one-on-one support to participants interested in accessing a particular sport, building their confidence and being on hand to give them advice and help them become as sporty as possible.

Plans are in place to also recruit Sports Buddies to offer initial support to anyone joining a sports club for the first time.

And, to make sure the new initiative is as accessible as possible, each session will cost just £2 and the first session is free.

Some of the newly signed-up participants will take part in showing off their new sporting skills in a handball match on Tuesday, 4 March 2014, at Lifestyles Ellergreen in Norris Green.

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for leisure, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "We want to be able to eradicate any barriers which could prevent people with disabilities taking up a sport, and support them in trying something which may be new to them. Through Active Me, we want to see an increase in the number of people involved in physical activity every week. We're delighted to have so many have signed up since December, and hope to encourage even more to take part. We're committed to increasing inclusive sports participation at every level and with this new initiative hope to create a legacy of lifelong sport for disabled people."

The project will initially offer opportunities to people with one of three disabilities:-

Mild to moderate learning disability.

► Visual impairment.

► Hearing impairment.

The programme is funded by a £330,000 Sport England grant along with financial support from Liverpool Mutual Homes and Your Housing Group.

The City Council is working in partnership with Everton in the Community who provide a coaching team for the scheme.

Alt Valley Community Trust is also involved, contributing venue space, delivering events and promoting the service.

Residents who started using the service in December said:-

Matthew Barrett - "I like the Active Me sessions, the coaches are respectful and helpful, encouraging and polite. It refreshes me and makes me feel happy and more confident."

Kyle Burns - "I like the sessions because the staff are all very welcoming and helpful. I haven't played these sports for ages so it is fun to be learning them all over again."

Robert Roscoe - "The sessions are fun. I am now feeling active and I enjoy every sport session. It has made me think of my own health and I am now eating more healthily."


MERSEYSIDE Police have stepped up patrols to reassure people after a robbery and two attempted robberies on the same road in Aintree, over February 2014.  During the 1st incident on Wednesday, 19 February 2014, officers were called to Heysham Road at around 6pm by a 14 year old boy reporting he'd been with a friend on scooters by the railway bridge when they saw a group of youths. One of them approached the boy, threatened him with what he believed to be a shotgun and demanded his phone. The boy handed over his mobile, described as a black Apple I-Phone 4 16GB.  3 days later, on Saturday, 22 February 2014, a man and a woman reported that they had just come out of a cash and carry on Heysham Road at around 3.30pm when they were stopped by a youth armed with what appeared to them to be an air rifle.  He demanded the woman's phone, but the couple kept walking to the main road and the offender eventually left empty handed.  Around 2 hours later, at 5.30pm, patrols were called to the same area by 2 women reporting that they had been walking under the railway bridge when they were approached by a youth carrying what's believed to be a crowbar. He threatened them and demanded 1 of their phones and the contents of her handbag, but the women managed to get to a busier part of the road and the offender ran off empty handed. Enquiries into all 3 incidents are continuing and a number of CCTV opportunities are now being explored. High visibility patrols throughout the area have also been stepped up.  In each case, the offender is believed to be white, around 16 years old, between 5ft 6in and 5ft 9in tall and spoke with a Liverpool accent. Two of the victims described the offender as wearing a royal blue jacket and dark trousers.  Detective Inspector Andy Black, Sefton CID, said:- "I want to take this opportunity to reassure people in Aintree that we are doing everything we can to arrest the person or people responsible and bring them to justice. Our investigations are continuing, but at this stage we believe all three incidents are linked. I would appeal to people who may have seen anything suspicious in the Heysham Road area over the last week, or recognise the descriptions of the offenders, to get in touch with us. We will act on all the information we receive."  Anyone with information can call detectives in Sefton CID on:- 0151 777 3833 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.

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