Francis in Liverpool"
THE Canadian comedian, actor and
Francis is currently on tour, in the UK,
with his new show 'Pun Gent.' On 11 November 2015, Stewart
played at the Liverpool Philharmonic to a packed audience. He is a Canadian
comedian, actor and writer. He has been a frequent guest on shows like Mock
the Week and 8 out of 10 cats and is best known for his dead pan one liners.
His hilarious new show proved that nothing was out of bounds and for 60
packed minutes he delivered some of the best puns I have ever heard. Quite a
feat if honest as it can't be easy. Most comedians spend their time building
a story and creating the scene before delivering the punchlines.
The set was really simple with just a small screen on stage, however this
displayed several cartoons all created and written by Stewart Francis, sadly
I was not able to see them from where I was sat, but if the show was
anything to go by then these would have been equally as funny.
The show opened with the brilliantly funny and fellow Canadian, Allyson June
Smith. Her spot lasted for 30
and had the audience in stitches. She talks about how she has gone from a
teacher to comedienne, did some brilliant impressions of Britney Spears and
Shakira and went on to talk about how she took her mum out to see an erotic
male dancer for her birthday.
This is a show that is well worth seeing, both comedians delivering a total
minutes of non stop laughter.
Care Chief warns
Merseyside MPs of looming care crisis
PROFESSOR Martin Green OBE, the
Chief Executive of Care England has written to MPs in Merseyside to warn
that within 5 years, nearly 33% of elderly people in Merseyside could
struggle to find a residential care home bed, as care homes are forced to
close their doors. The warning comes after the sector has struggled with
chronic public sector underfunding over the last 5 years and is now facing
huge additional costs with the introduction of the National Living Wage.
In light of deeply worrying findings in a report published by independent
think tank ResPublica released on 11 November 2015, Professor Green wrote to
Merseyside MPs urging them to contact the Chancellor ahead of the
Comprehensive Spending Review on 25 November 2015, and impress on him the
seriousness of the crisis facing the care sector unless urgent extra
sufficient government funding was provided.
ResPublica's report, entitled:- 'The Care Collapse - The Imminent Crisis'
Residential Care and its Impact on the NHS, evidenced that, following the
introduction of the National Living Wage, in April 2016, 37,000 local
authority funded care home beds will be lost in England as care homes are
forced to close their doors. This equates to a 28% shortfall in the number
of care home beds needed to meet demand by 2020. ResPublica also predicts a
£1.1bn funding gap, a third of which will be due to the increased cost of
paying staff the National Living Wage.
Professor Green's letter emphasised that the care sector welcomed the
implementation of the National Living Wage for carers in recognition of
their very difficult and demanding role. However, the industry leader warned
of the effect of this on care home finances and the sustainability of the
care sector. Unlike many businesses, staff wages account for 70% of care
homes' costs, and 55% of all people in residential care are state funded by
local authorities or Clinical Commissioning Groups who must be able to meet
the increase in costs caused by the National Living Wage.
The problem does not stop there. It will fall to the NHS to care for those
older people who cannot be placed in care homes, and this is set to cost the
NHS £3 billion.
Professor Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England, said:- "It is
no exaggeration to say the care sector is on the brink of a catastrophic
collapse, and in desperation we are turning to MPs in Merseyside for
We urge them to write to the Chancellor and impress on him the seriousness
of the situation which will have a significant impact on thousands of
elderly vulnerable people in Merseyside.
MPs and the government must act swiftly or be faced with a care sector
crisis bigger than the collapse of Southern Cross, and more severe than that
facing the steel industry. As ResPublica reported, some 37,000 residents may
be made homeless if the sector collapses; these are real, vulnerable elderly
people and their families who will be affected, with the government facing a
human tragedy of its own making. It must act urgently and effectively to
save the care sector."
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Social care stars
LIVERPOOL'S social care stars are
to be celebrated in a glittering awards ceremony at St George's Hall. The
Social Care Star Awards on Friday 20 November are the idea of the Children
In Care Council, which acts as the voice of young people in care in
They have worked closely with Children's Services and Culture Liverpool to
put together the event, which will be hosted by Jay Hynd and Ellie Phillips
from Bay TV Liverpool and opened by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson.
As well as rewarding young people, foster carers and staff for outstanding
achievements, the event will also feature music from MiC Lowry; critically
acclaimed as one of the most exciting young RnB groups in the world - and 18
year old singer and care leaver Molly Fairclough who was chosen to perform
Categories at the awards include:- 'Rebel to Role Model', which
recognises a young person who has overcome life challenges to transform
their life, and achievement awards for sport, performing arts and education.
Also celebrated will be foster carers and social care staff for their work
with children in care, families and partners.
Mayor Joe Anderson said:- "Too often we only read bad stories about
children in care, but I know the reality is that there are many success
stories and the Star Awards is aimed at celebrating them. This will be
an amazing evening which will feature some truly inspirational people and
demonstrate the brilliant work that goes on every day to support our most
vulnerable young people."
Michael Binns, participation officer with Children's Services and formerly
Chair of Liverpool Children in Care Council, said:- "This event is to
celebrate the big family of Liverpool, from the corporate parents that are
Council Workers, to foster carers and young people.
It is the 1st time that we have had one big family celebration and the
idea came from the Children in Care Council to celebrate how many different
people are involved in supporting our young people."
A number of sponsors have generously funded the cost of the evening. They
are: Little League Sports; Signature Living; Liquid Logic; ICT Revolutions;
School Improvement Service; Penny Lane Hotel; Liverpool FC; Everton In the
Community, KPMG and MSP Global Ltd.
Molly, who is in the process of getting her own flat as she moves to living
independently, said:- "Being asked to sing at the awards is huge for
me as it has given me an opportunity to work alongside a professional vocal
coach. It really is the best thing that has happened to me in such a long
time and is helping me look towards the future."
Local artist Cathy Cross from Make Space Create; who designed the family
area at the Liverpool International Music Festival; is creating a Tree of
Aspiration especially for the evening which people will be able to use to
express their dreams and hopes.
Liverpool has over 150 more looked after children than it had 5 years ago,
and the number now stands at more than 1,000. The rise is due to a greater
level of awareness of the issue of child neglect and abuse following the
Baby Peter case in Haringey, and is reflected across the country
The City Council has over 300 foster carers currently looking after
children, and the City is aiming to recruit more to keep up with the demand
for loving homes.
People interested in fostering can visit:-
FosteringForLiverpool.Co.UK to find out more
or call the recruitment line on:- 0151 515 0000.