A new inspirational new
creative writing competition aimed at foster care and fostering families
AN inspirational new creative writing
competition; developed by the award winning:- 'You Can Foster'
campaign; will encourage children and young people in foster care and fostering
families from all over the North of England to tell their stories and so
encourage a new generation of adults to sign up as foster carers. And the
entries, across 5 age categories, will be judged by an auspicious panel of
children's authors and poets including:- children's author and screenwriter
Frank Cottrell Boyce, poet Tony Walsh, children's authors Cathy Cassidy, Livi
Michael and Dan Worsley.
The Inspiring Stories competition, aims to explore the ambitions of the
thousands of children and young people who are in foster care across Yorkshire,
Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside.
It is hoped that the stories will reveal the real sense of value and motivation
that foster carers can in still in the young and the profound way in which they
can help shape young lives for the better.
Children's author Frank Cottrell Boyce says:- "Stories are how we make
sense of our lives. The only way we can hope to understand another person is by
listening to their story. The only way we can hope to understand ourselves is by
finding someone who will listen to our story. When we hear other people's
stories we discover we are not alone in our troubles. And we learn that there
are solutions to our problems. As G K Chesterton said... ''We don't read fairy
stories to learn that dragons are real. We read them to learn that dragons can
Poet Tony Walsh says:- "As a poet, a writer, an artist of any kind,
ultimately it's all about storytelling, isn't it; the creation of something that
connects with another human being and touches them or shapes them in some way.
As someone from a very ordinary, working class background myself and having
worked with a huge variety of people, organisations and communities; celebrating
and encouraging the extraordinary stories of ordinary people is a big part of
what I try and do. I'm a firm believer that becoming involved in the arts can be
not only life enhancing, not just life changing, it can actually be life saving
on occasions too. It strikes me therefore that as artists and as foster carers,
in some ways we're in the same business: that of reaching out and touching
people. Enhancing lives, changing lives, saving them, even. There are some
amazing stories from the many quietly inspirational children and young people in
foster care out there and we'd love to read them. Find a pen. Write down yours.
Share it with pride. Storytelling: it's what we do."
Author Cathy Cassidy says:- "We are all made of stories, but writing those
stories down gives us the chance to be seen, to be heard, to take ownership of
our own lives and shape the way they unfold. Writing, whether it's inspired by
fact or purely fiction, is our way at getting to the heart of things, the truth
of things... and that's kind of awesome!"
Author Livi Michael says:- "Inspiring Stories is a great opportunity for
young people to see their work in print. Everyone who enters has a chance to
launch themselves on a literary career! We aim to encourage talent, of course,
but even the ones who don't win can put on their writing CV that they have been
brave, inspired and determined enough to enter a creative writing competition."
Author Dan Worsley says:- "It's an honour and a privilege to be part of
the judging panel for this fantastic competition. I spend a lot of my time
encouraging children and young people to read for pleasure and write creatively
because I believe they are 2 crucial life skills. I'm super excited about
reading the entries and can't wait to get started!"
Stories submitted can be a personal account of A fostering experience or an
inspirational tale that needs to be told. Entries can be fiction, non-fiction,
written or even drawn so that all ages can engage with the competition.
Children and young people can visit the competition's
to find out more and submit their stories which should be no longer than 800
words. The deadline for entries is 5.00pm, Friday, November 17 2017.
Charlotte Ramsden, Strategic Director of Children and Adults Services Salford
Council, representing You Can Foster says:- "The 'Inspiring Stories'
competition is about celebrating the creative and ambitious people who are, or
have been, in foster care, by giving them the opportunity to tell their story.
Not only do we want to hear their voices, but we want to share their stories
across the region by publishing them online. We hope that this will inspire
other young people who are also in foster care. You Can Foster is focused on
recruiting foster carers across the North West and Yorkshire to provide local
children, teenagers and young adults with a supportive home where they can
achieve their dreams and ambitions. We have a real need for more foster carers
and we urge anyone who is interested to get in touch with their local
Frank Cottrell Boyce, born in Liverpool, is a children's fiction writer,
screenwriter, academic and novelist. Frank's books include award winning:-
'Millions and The Unforgotten Coat.' Frank has also written a number
of sequels to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming including:- Chitty Chitty
Bang Bang…Flies Again, The Race Against Time and Over the Moon.
Frank was the writer behind the 2012 Summer Olympics ceremony and has written
for a number of television shows and screenplays including:- butterfly Kiss,
Welcome to Sarajevo, The Claim, 24 Hour Party People and Code 46. Despite
Frank's huge success across TV, film and play's Frank's passion has always been
children's writing since realising he wanted to be an author at just 6 years
old. Tony Walsh aka Longfella from Salford, is "1 of the UK's most
renowned performance poets" and a respected writer, workshop leader and
community organiser. Longfella recently gained national acclaim for his poem 'This is the place' which brought the people of Manchester and indeed the
country together after the Manchester Arena attack in May.
Standing out from the crowd at nearly 2 metres tall, Longfella has performed
everywhere from The British Library to Glastonbury Festival. From Schools,
universities, prisons, conferences, festivals, museums and theatres to the
magnificent Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw, Poland as a guest of The
British Council. Tony's poetry has been published on both sides of the Atlantic
as well as displayed with an LS Lowry image at both Tate Modern and The British
Museum as part of a Heritage Lottery Fund "Best of British"
exhibition. A multiple winner and finalist in top-level poetry slam
competitions, Tony is the current Manchester Literature Festival Comedy Slam
Champion and was the runner up in "The Times" UK Allstars Slam
Final at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2008.
Award winning author Livi Michael, was born in Manchester and grew up in
Tameside where she found her love for writing at 7 years old. Livi 1st started
thinking up stories whilst growing up in a tower block, in Ashton Under Lyne.
Here Livi spent lots of time looking up at the moon and stars letting her
imagination run wild. Livi has written 7 novels for adults and 12 for children,
including:- Whispering Road, Under a Thin Moon, Frank the Black Hamster of
Narkiz and Angel Stone. Livi lives in Oldham and is a Senior Lecturer at
MMU, teaching Creative Writing for Adults and Children. Livi has also taught at
Sheffield Hallam University and has been Writing Fellow with the Royal Literary
Fund at Lancaster and Leeds Universities.
Dan Worsley is a children's author and performance storyteller from Blackpool.
He spent 15 years in his home Town working as a primary School teacher before
leaving his position in 2013 to focus on his passion for writing. Since then Dan
has published 4 children's books, performed his stories in a variety of
locations and delivered countless writing sessions and author talks; engaging
tens of thousands of children and promoting a love of reading and writing. Dan
also spends a lot of his time visit:- ing libraries and doing everything he can
to support these vital community hubs. Dan has written a sequel to his 2014
debut, Impossible Tales, as well as 2 stories about Eric Appleby's adventures,
Eric Appleby, Zero to Hero and Eric Appleby - Danger Zone. Cathy Cassidy,
crowned:- 'the Queen of teen', wrote her 1st picture book for her
brother at 8 years old. Growing up Cathy enjoyed making comics too, pages of
pictures, features and competitions. Later in life Cathy went to Art College in
Liverpool, worked as fiction editor at Jackie Magazine and spent 12 years as an
agony aunt for teen mag, Shout. Whilst Cathy has loved her roles in teaching and
editing, her most favourite job is as a writer, she says:- "It's the
perfect excuse to daydream!"
Cathy has written over 30 books for teens and young adults, including:- Broken
Heart Club, Daizy Star and the Pink Guitar and award winning Summer's Dream and
Fostering is when someone looks after a child or young person who can't live
with their own family and is in the care of the local authority. There are a
number of reasons they might not be able to live with their family and it can be
a very difficult time for the child so they'll needs lots of support and care.
There are around 8,255 households across the North of England who foster for
their local authority. Across Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire
and Merseyside there are around 11,525 children living in foster care.
particularly need to recruit foster carers for certain groups of children
► Brothers and sisters.
► Older children and young people.
► Children from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.
► Children that will be in foster care long term.
► Children who need more specialist care.
Categories for entry are:-
► Fostered children*
up to 8 years old.
► Fostered children 9 to 12.
► Fostered teenagers 13 to 17.
► Fostered young adults**
18 to 25.
► Birth children in fostering households, up to 18.
* By 'Fostered children' we are referring to those who are currently in foster
care or have been in foster care before.
** This includes those in staying or put placements and care leavers.
Number of children
and young people in foster care placements in the North West of England, via
► Yorkshire 4135.
► Greater Manchester 2625
(Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, Oldham, Rochdale, Bolton,
Bury and Wigan.)
► Merseyside 1315 (Knowsley,
St Helens, Sefton, Wirral and Liverpool.)
► Cheshire 715 (Warrington, Halton,
Cheshire West and Cheshire East.)
► Cumbria 320.
► Lancashire 1045 (Lancashire,
Total number of foster carers not including friends and family or short breaks
carers within the North West of England, via area:-
► Yorkshire 4625
► Greater Manchester 2455
(Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Trafford, Tameside, Oldham, Rochdale, Bolton,
Bury and Wigan)
► Merseyside 1040 (Knowsley, St
Helens, Sefton, Wirral and Liverpool)
► Cheshire 720 (Warrington, Halton,
Cheshire West and Cheshire East)
► Cumbria 200
► Lancashire 1070 (Lancashire,
(SOURCE: UK Fostering Dataset 2015/16)
Work gets underway on new
station at Maghull North
WORK has begun this week on the
construction of a new Railway Station, at Maghull North, which will give
increased travelling options to rail users in the area. The new Maghull North
station will be located just off School Lane adjacent to the former Ashworth
Hospital site, between the existing Maghull and Town Green Station, that is
located on the Ormskirk branch of Merseyrail's Northern Line. The Station
is a key piece of infrastructure in the Sefton Local Plan, supporting demand
from an adjacent new housing development which will include 370 homes, with more
homes planned for the area in the near future. It will also offer relief for the
existing Station, within the Town.
Facilities at the new station will include:-
► Staffed station building and ticket office with passenger toilet.
► Passenger waiting facilities on platform.
► Step free access with lifts and a bridge to, from and between both platforms
and the station building.
► 156 space car park with blue badge, motorcycle parking and cycle storage.
► Pedestrian and cycle routes from School Lane and Park Lane to the Station and
Bus Stops to be located on School Lane.
► Future provision for electric vehicle charging points.
► The new station, which will be operated by Merseyrail, is expected to be open
to the public in May 2018.
The ₤13m scheme is being funded through the Government's Local Growth Fund (LGF),
Merseytravel and the Homes and Communities Association, which previously owned
the land on which the station will be built. It will form part of the wider
₤340m investment by Network Rail and the Liverpool City Region in rail
improvements over the next 3 years.
Network Rail are undertaking the scheme on behalf of Merseytravel, using the
contractor Buckingham Group. Initial work has begun on clearing the vegetation
on the existing railway cutting to allow construction work to begin. To
help progress the work further, Network Rail require 2 weekend
"possessions", which will see the closure of the railway between Maghull
and Ormskirk on the weekends of:- 27 October to 28 October 2017 and 4 November
to 5 November 2017.
A Rail Replacement Bus Service will be in
place during this period. A further possession will be required towards the end
of 2017, with full details to be confirmed nearer the time. More details on the
scheme can be found on the Merseytravel's
website. Information about the wider Network Rail investment and
Liverpool City Region investment can be found
Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Merseytravel said:- "The start of work on the
new Maghull North station is fantastic news for the local area. The new Station
is a prime example of our Long Term Rail Strategy being put into practice. The
facilities at the new station will give local residents more travel options and
play a big part in helping the on going development of Maghull. We look forward
to seeing the facilities open in 2018."
Jan Chaudhry-van der Velde, Merseyrail's managing director, said:- "The
opening of another station on the network is testament to the surge in
popularity of our railway, as an increasing number Liverpool City Region
residents become aware of how easy and convenient it is to travel on Merseyrail.
With more houses being built close by, we are confident that Maghull North will
soon be seen as an essential amenity within this expanding community"
Martin Frobisher, Network Rail's London North Western route managing director,
said:- "With passenger figures set to double during peak periods by 2043,
the upgrade to the railway across Merseyside is vital to transform train travel
for passengers in the future. We've worked closely with our colleagues across
the transport industry, and the Liverpool City Region, over the past 2 years to
build a robust plan to keep passengers on the move during our upgrade."
Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member Locality Services, said:-
"Now that Planning permission has been granted, it is great to see work
commencing on this important piece of infrastructure promoting public transport
in Maghull. Not only does the new station provide some of the infrastructure
needed to support our Local Plan, it also complements other transport schemes
like the improvements to junction 1 on the M58 and the A59 making Sefton even
more accessible. I look forward to the scheme progressing with the station
planned to open in 2018."
Protestors call on ISS to
treat Liverpool Hospital cleaners with dignity
A protest has been staged outside the
Make a Difference Awards in Liverpool, on 22 September 2017, where the private
outsourcer ISS is a sponsor. ISS facilities staff provide vital services to the
Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals, cleaning our Hospital wards,
transporting patients around Hospital departments and cooking for patients,
visitors and staff.
ISS stands accused by the Union of stripping its workforce at Royal Liverpool
and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust of a fair sick pay policy. The ISS sick
pay policy means the most seriously ill, suffering from illnesses like cancer,
heart problems, or physical injuries, could face with the unacceptable choice of
either working when unfit to do so, or facing severe financial difficulties.
Unite, Britain's biggest Trade Union, and they are currently calling for the
reinstatement of the NHS sick pay policy. The event is a staff awards event for
those employed by Trust, but despite ISS being a sponsor of the awards, its
staff, cleaners, porters, and cooks; responsible for keeping the Hospital safe
and running smoothly; appear that they not to be eligible for any of the awards.
On Wednesday, 21 September 2017 Liverpool City Council unanimously passed a
cross party motion requesting the Mayor write to the Chief Executive of ISS
Facilities Management calling for a fair sick pay scheme.
Unite regional Officer Keith Hutson said:-
"This is not just about workers at ISS being treated as 2nd class citizens,
they are being denied access to a humane sick pay scheme while working at a
Hospital of all places. The workforce has been stripped of a fair sick pay
policy. It has been replaced with an inferior scheme where employees can only
accrue 12 sick days per year. This compares to the NHS sick pay scheme where
workers get up to 6 months on full pay and a further 6 months on half pay. It
would take around 15 years' service with ISS, without a single day off work sick
to accrue 6 months on full pay. The ISS sick pay policy means the most seriously
ill, suffering from illnesses like cancer, heart problems, or physical injuries,
are faced with the unacceptable choice of either working when unfit to do so, or
facing severe financial difficulties. Stripping workers of their dignity does
nothing to help the workforce or the Hospital and we hope the Council will
support the workforce and call for the reinstatement the original scheme."
Nicola Lyons hopes to become
Miss England 2017
NICOLA Lyons, 25 years old, a Beauty
Therapist and Make Up Artist, who is from Liverpool, has recently lost 4½
stone and is currently 1 of 21 contestants competing for a place in the
1st Miss England Semi Final Heat, for the Miss England 2018 competition.
The public vote acts as 1 judge on the panel so Nicola needs the support of her
local community before voting lines close in order to help her secure a place
within the Miss England Semi Final, to be held in June 2018.
The ladies will now have a month to promote
themselves in the area they live and on social media to gain votes from the
public. During this time, contestants are also invited to raise awareness and
funds for the Miss World Charity ‘Beauty with a Purpose.' The
judging panel will decide who is the most photogenic and who has promoted
themselves and the charity including gaining votes through the public.
At least 1 winner from this heat will be
selected to go through to a Miss England Semi Final, in June 2018. "The competition is about being
beautiful inside and out, we are not just looking for a pretty face..."
says Miss England national director Angie Beasley.
The reigning Miss England is Stephanie Hill,
age 22, is a talented singer and a qualified Therapy radiographer from Hope
Valley, Derbyshire. Stephanie will be representing England at the next Miss
World final, which has a top prize of ₤100k.
The winner of Miss England 2018 will be
invited to spend her year raising awareness for the Miss World charity Beauty
with a Purpose and will receive a whole host of prizes worth ₤30,000, including
a luxury holiday and a place in Miss World 2018.
Miss World then becomes a global charity
ambassador for the year as her role raising millions of pounds throughout the
world for disadvantaged children. Since its creating, Beauty with a Purpose has
raised over ₤2 billion for disadvantaged children throughout the world.
Miss England is the only competition in the
country to send its winner in to Miss World. Nicola needs your support to
help win the Miss England Semi Final Heat Title.
You can vote for Nicola by texting MISS SEMI14 to 63333. Text votes costs
50p. The voting line closes on Monday, 16 October 2017, at 12 midday.
Entries for Miss England 2018 are now open, anyone wishes to enter please send a
snapshot photo with your name, age, occupation and interesting fact to:-
Info@MissEngland.Info or please enter the competition via the