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Publication date:- 2016-12-23
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Support for Wirral charity leads to a
mountain of gift donations
A Wirral business stepped in to support a Christmas
charity project which received a record number of donations in 2016 and needed
space to store and process them.
Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan's Purse, collects shoeboxes donated
by the general public which are filled with gifts, school supplies and toys and
are sent to children in underdeveloped countries for Christmas. The campaign,
which received more than 10,000 shoeboxes this year and last, had to seek space
to store and process all the gifts from generous members of the public from
across the Wirral.
Peel Land and Property helped support the charity this year (2016) by donating the use
of a warehouse in Birkenhead, with rent, rates and all running costs included in
Patricia Hardman 1 of the volunteers from Samaritan's Purse commented:-
"We can never complain about receiving too many donations. In November when we
collected the boxes, we were in desperate need of enough space to ensure we
could efficiently process and distribute them to those in need at this festive
time of year. Without the help and support of Peel Land and Property, the
management of all the kind donations from the public would have been
Robyn Walters, Property Manager, from Peel Land and Property said:- "We're
delighted to support Samaritan's Purse with their shoebox appeal this year and
are glad that the use of our warehouse allowed them to continue their amazing
work. We're sure the shoeboxes will bring joy to many children this Christmas."
Shoeboxes are delivered wrapped in festive paper and carry an exciting
assortment of items for boys and girls aged between 2 and 14. Over 120
volunteers worked hard in the run up to Christmas to ensure that all boxes were
full, safe and packed up ready in time to be transported.
Samaritan's Purse are extremely grateful to all the members of the public who
donated items, wrapped shoeboxes and sent money to cover the transportation
costs, as well as the many volunteers that made it possible to bring a little
bit of joy to underprivileged people at this time of year.
The lorry destined to carry all the shoeboxes, this year to Latvia, arrived on 1
December 2016, at the Birkenhead Warehouse and was so full that over 400 boxes
had to be sent to the Liverpool warehouse to be included in 1 of their
shipments. The lorry and its 9,862 shoeboxes will arrive in Latvia and be
distributed in time for Christmas.
Rogue trader jailed
A rogue trader, described as "disgusting" by a judge has been sentenced to 2 years in jail after conning people in
Warrington and across the North West out of thousands of pounds and also falsely
claiming to be donating to charity.
Warrington Borough Council and Wirral Council's trading standards departments
took out the prosecution against Christopher James Morris, aged 39, and his
company Eco Shield Energy Solutions Ltd. based in Neston; after 2 years of
Morris, from Springfield Avenue, West Kirby, carried out substandard painting
work, lied about the quality of his materials in promotional materials and on
his website, refused to return deposits, failed to give cancellation rights
which in law consumers were entitled to and falsely claimed to be donating money
to Claire House Children's Hospice. The company traded as a painting service,
marketing themselves as using a paint product with properties it did not have.
1 of his victims, a woman from Great Sankey in her 80's, said:- "This
experience at my age has been very stressful, making me very wary of engaging
contractors to undertake any work on my property."
Malcolm Hope, prosecuting on behalf of Warrington and Wirral Borough Councils
said:- "This is a case where, at best, profit was put before
professionalism and, at worst, there was a deliberate and persistent
exploitation of trusting consumers."
Morris pleaded guilty to 11 offences investigated by Warrington trading
standards officers under The Consumer Protection Unfair Trading Regulations in
relation to misleading actions, misleading omissions, and breaches of
professional diligence in relation to failing to return deposits and honour
request to cancel contracts. He also pleaded guilty to 24 offences on behalf of
the company; he was owner, director and sole shareholder.
Judge Stephen Everett said:- "This was a dishonest operation from
beginning to end. It was a con trick and you didn't give two hoots about the
victims. You and your employees targeted those who you believed were vulnerable.
I have no doubt you knew what was going on."
He also specifically commented that the claims in respect of Claire House on the
company flyers was "despicable" telling Morris that:-
"People buying your product believed you were donating to the charity. You may
well hang your head! This was as disgusting an operation as I have seen in a
long, long time."
Morris was sentenced to 2 years in jail with 1 of those to be served on licence.
He was disqualified from being a company director for 5 years and paid £100
Cllr Judith Guthrie, executive board member for public protection, said:-
"Once again this shows the sterling work being done by our trading standards
officers and the joint operation with colleagues from Wirral Borough Council
shows what can be achieved with cooperation between agencies. This man
deliberately conned Warrington people and is quite rightly facing a jail
Cllr Bernie Mooney, Wirral Council cabinet member for environment, said:-
"Thanks to the evidence provided by victims and the hard work of Trading
Standards colleagues from Wirral and Warrington, we've been able to put a stop
to Mr Morris' underhand business practices and I believe the custodial sentence
shows just how seriously the justice system treats cases such as this."
Coping with the Festive Season
CHRISTMAS and New Year can be a difficult time for many
of us, with people experiencing difficulties such as:- low mood, stress,
sadness, loneliness and anxiety. Others may feel socially isolated or may have
recently been bereaved and perhaps unable to tell people how they feel.
Access Sefton provides NHS talking therapies services to people experiencing a
wide range of common mild to moderate mental health conditions. Services include
face to face or telephone consultations and workshops to people aged 16+ who
live in Sefton and are available from a number of accessible locations across
The service is delivered in partnership by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS
Foundation Trust (CWP) and Insight Healthcare on behalf of the borough's 2
clinical commissioning groups, NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby
NHS South Sefton CCG clinical lead for mental health, Dr Sue Gough, said:-
"Access Sefton supports people with conditions including anxiety, depression and
stress, and treatments can help people develop strategies to cope better.
Residents can be referred by their GP or they are able to self refer into the
service if they'd prefer."
Ryan Forrest, Deputy Operations Manager of Access Sefton added:- "We are
very pleased to enable people to seek help early on, allowing them continue
their day to day lives without any negative impact. Having someone to talk to,
that won't judge, tell you what to do or how to feel, can really help."
For more information about how talking to Access Sefton can help you, call us
on:- (0151) 955 3200, you can also contact them
online or ask your GP for more information about our services.
If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts or you know someone who is, seek
immediate help or contact your GP or one of the support services that are
organisations listed below:-
► Samaritans:- 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours)
► MIND:- 0300 123 3393 (9.00am to 6.00pm)
► CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably):- 0800 58 58 58 or text:- 07537
404717 (5.00pm to Midnight)
► Papyrus HOPELineUK:- 0800 068 41 41 (young people under 35's)
► Cruse Helpline:- 0844 477 9400.
Professional Drivers on course to be aware of cyclists
PROFESSIONAL drivers are being given
training to make them more aware of cyclists on the road.
Merseyside Road Safety
Partnership has provided funding for the training which is aimed at making
drivers more aware of the risks of vulnerable road users and help them avoid
The course aims to help drivers understand cycling, recognize hazards and give
them guidance on how to avoid them, reinforce the Highway Code and emphasise the
importance of the use of mirrors and the potential dangers of blind spots.
Drivers from Liverpool Street Scene services, which includes refuse collectors
and street cleansers, are among those who have already benefited from the
training which is provided by BikeRight, the cycle training organisation.
The course also offers the opportunity to gain practical experience of cycling
on the roads accompanied by qualified National Standards cycling instructors.
Councilor Malcolm Kennedy, cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said:-
"As cycling in the City increases in popularity and more journeys are made by
bike it is important that all drivers are aware of cyclists. This training was
specially tailored for those who drive for a living and Streetscene employees
have taken part to enable them to better assess situations involving cyclists
and ultimately avoid accidents."
The course will take place in February and March next week and for more
information and to sign up
Liz Clarke, managing director of BikeRight!, said:- "Courses aimed at LGV
drivers have a positive impact on road safety. Getting drivers out of their
vehicles and on to bicycles on busy roads is a real eye opener. After just a few
minutes sharing the road with heavy traffic the penny really drops about how
challenging it is for cyclists using city centre streets."
All of the courses are approved by the Freight Operators Recognition Scheme (FORS)
and contribute to drivers Certificate of Professional Competence, or DriverCPC
as it is known in the industry. The course is also available for bus and coach
drivers and has been incorporated in to new bus driver training by Merseytravel.
Matthew Chamberlain, Employment and Skills Officer for Merseytravel added:-
"Working closely with BikeRight!, Merseytravel's employment and skills team
successfully piloted the driver training course into new bus driver training
programme. Road safety is of primary concern and adding this course gives
Merseyside's new bus drivers the knowledge and understanding of cycle users
before they start work behind the wheel of a bus. This course is now a necessity
and we are seeing 1st hand the positive impact this has on our learners and for
all road users, not just cyclists."
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