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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 100

Date:- 24 May 2003

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Are you ready for the Sefton Healthstart Festival?
Report with thanks to Nicky Williams.

CHILDREN from Crosby are taking on the adults in the battle to combat cancer and heart problems by supporting this year’s Sefton Healthstart Festival.

Youngsters from St Nicholas CE Primary School, based at St Nicholas Road, Blundell Sands, are fighting their way to health and fitness and are proving it by challenging the adults to a workout.

The pupils will face their elders at Crosby Leisure Centre on Tuesday, April 1.

It is here where they will throw the gauntlet down to members of the South Sefton and Southport & Formby Primary Care Trusts, Sefton Council’s Leisure and Technical Services Departments, along with festival organisers, Healthstart.

They will be put through their paces to show that getting fit couldn’t be easier, or more fun, if you join one of the exciting events on the Festival calendar this year.

The popular festival, now in its fifth year, runs from 4-28 June and offers a jam-packed programme of activities to suit all ages and abilities! 

Graham Walker, head teacher at St Nicholas CE Primary School, said:- “Children at St Nicholas CE Primary are fitter than others, physical activities are given a high priority both in and out of school time.

All children have at least two hours per week for PE in curriculum time and have many opportunities in after-school groups. They are encouraged to join local clubs and take part in competitions. It is hoped that many will also be involved in the Sefton Healthstart Festival events.”


The idea behind Sefton Healthstart Festival is to promote healthier lifestyles and encourage physical activity. It is also to show that increasing exercise is one of the best ways to combat cancer and coronary heart disease, which are two main causes of premature death in Sefton.

So whether you want a leisurely stroll around Hesketh Park in Southport, bike it to work or join the children’s activity day, you can be sure of one thing - the events’ programme will have something for you.

Graham Bayliss, Sefton Council’s Leisure Director, said:- “The Sefton Healthstart Festival is a wonderful programme of events and I would encourage Sefton residents to take part. The events are a fun way to get fit and are something we, at the council, would like to encourage to promote healthier lifestyles.”

Although the festival doesn’t actually swing into action until June, a challenge that is just around the corner is the Sefton Corporate Cup on Sunday, April 13, starting 11am. The 5k route starts from Victoria Park and takes runners/walkers along Old Esplanade Road, Weld Road and Rotten Row, before returning to Victoria Park. The closing date for entries is April 4, so you’ll have to hurry if you want to take part.

Cathy Warlow, Health Improvement Co-ordinator for South Sefton and Southport & Formby PCTs, said:- “The Sefton Healthstart Festival provides a range of opportunities for people to participate in. Both PCTs and their staff are even putting their best foot forward and showing commitment to physical activity by entering teams for running or walking this year’s Sefton Corporate Cup. We look forward to people joining in this and other activities and seeing for themselves the healthy benefits of getting fit.”

Other events in the Festival programme are:-

Sports Excel – Throughout June Activities for young people aged 12-24yrs.

Health & Fitness Fun Day (Seniors) – 4 June Variety of fitness events for adults and older people, including T’ai Chi, reflexology, yoga and health testing by Healthworks. At Dunes Leisure Centre, Southport.

Walk for Health – 8 June  Led by Excel instructors from Hesketh Park, Southport

Green Transport Commuter Challenge – 9-20 June.  Leave your car at home and travel by healthier or more environmentally friendly methods and win prizes. Register as an individual or organisation.

Sefton Bike to Work Week – 16-20 June
Why not join in the national campaign and cycle to work this week?

Sefton Cycle Challenges – 18 Jun & 26 June.  Five-mile leisure ride for all ages organised by Sefton MBC Travel Awareness and Road Safety Awareness Team.

Sefton Cycle Tour – 22 June.  A leisurely 25-miles ride around the Sefton countryside, starting from Maghull Town Hall. All ages and abilities welcome.

Corporate Games – 26th June.  Fun and unusual team challenges of a physical nature at Dunes Leisure Centre.

Kids Excel Fun Day – 28 June.  Challenging activities for the youngsters.

The Festival’s official charity beneficiary in 2003 is the British Heart Foundation. 

For more information call Healthstart on 0151 707 2566.

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KENSINGTON KIDS GET FLYING START 

A BOLD new project to give families a boost in the Kensington area was given a ‘hands on’ endorsement by a Bishop.

The Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt. Rev. James Jones earlier this week took the controls of a giant JCB digger to start work on one of the county’s most innovative schemes to tackle deprivation and poor health in a disadvantaged area of Liverpool.

The Kensington Family Lifelong Learning Centre is an innovative partnership between the local community and lots of organisations – schools, health service, the council and voluntary groups – responsible for a wide range of services in the area.

It will provide a campus of caring services – including a ‘Sure Start’ child and family centre, new schools, adult education training, health services and a neighbourhood nursery. The aim is to provide a one-stop shop of services aimed at children and families in Kensington, giving them opportunities to take up education and training courses, help to get into work and quality childcare and nursery places for the under-fives. 

A key partner in the project is the city council. Colin Hilton, executive director for education, said:- “The best way to tackle social deprivation is in a co-ordinated and targeted way. There are dozens of organisations involved in providing essential services in Kensington. By working together and with the local community, we can have a major impact. Everyone in Kensington will be able to take advantage of first-class education, training, health care and employment opportunities there.”

A cornerstone of the services at the centre will be a new neighbourhood nursery, funded with a £460,000 grant from the Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership.

Rita Waters, the partnership’s business advisor, said:- “Neighbourhood nurseries provide high-quality and affordable childcare places to those families who need them most. We are delighted to be involved in the regeneration of Kensington by supporting local residents to take up training and employment opportunities and the new neighbourhood nursery.”

The Centre will be built on the site of the old Kensington Junior and Infant schools on Brae Street. The schools moved into a new £3.5 million building last year. The new ultra-modern Lifelong Learning Centre will house a Sure Start child and family centre, health workers, a neighbourhood nursery, family and community room, café and meeting rooms. Play areas will be provided outside.

Manchester Wins UK Biobank 

THE University of Manchester has won the opportunity to host a co-ordinating centre for the UK Biobank project.

Supporters of the ambitious scheme - Northwest Development Agency has actively given its support for the development, and funded a comprehensive and professional bid for the project, on behalf of the University of Manchester.

Sixty million pounds of the UK Biobank project was funded by The Wellcome Trust, the Medical Research Council, and the Department of Health. It is regarded as a major UK-based resource that will be used by the world's top scientists to explore the roles of nature and nurture in health and disease. 

The project will involve up to 500,000 volunteers, aged 45-69, who will complete lifestyle questionnaires and provide a blood sample for DNA and other analysis. This information, together with their medical histories, will be combined to create a privatised national database - the UK Biobank, to be used as a resource for scientists to investigate and determine the factors that cause the common disorders of later life, such as heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and maturity-onset diabetes. 

Manchester headquarters of the study of genes, environment and health will have overall responsibility for delivering the project including data management and quality assurance, computing and financial management. It will also be responsible for co-ordinating the activities of the Manchester based scientific Collaborating Centre to the design of the project, and be responsible for participant recruitment and initial data and sample collection

Steven Broomhead, Chief Executive Designate, NWDA said:- “The NWDA is pleased to support this prestigious project of international importance. The Northwest is extremely well placed to host UK Biobank owing to the region’s scientific expertise and excellent data links and infrastructure, complementing the support of Biobank experts. This project will enhance the academic, research and development, and life sciences capability in the Northwest, placing it centre stage on the global genetics and healthcare map.”

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