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News Report Page 18 of 26
Publication Date:- 2018-31-03
News reports located on this page = 4.

Tesco offers more surplus food to community groups in Southport

CHARITIES and community groups in Southport are being invited to sign up to receive surplus food from their local Tesco store.

Across the UK the supermarket distributes hundreds of thousands of meals to good causes every week as part of its Community Food Connection scheme, which is run in conjunction with food redistribution charity FareShare and powered by FoodCloud technology.

Almost 7,000 charities and community groups already receive surplus food from Tesco through the award winning scheme, with recipients including:- older people's lunch clubs, school breakfast clubs and charities working with vulnerable and homeless people. But more food is available, and Tesco is reaching out to groups in Southport to encourage them to find out more about how they could receive surplus food from the supermarket.

Tesco's Head of Community, Alec Brown:- "Community Food Connection is making a real difference in communities across the UK, but we know there are more groups that could receive food from the scheme. This is the biggest supermarket food redistribution scheme in the UK and I'd encourage any group looking to use food in their work to discover how they could benefit."

The surplus food available includes fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables, bakery products and chilled food like meat, cheese and ready meals.

Groups registered with the Community Food Connection are given scheduled collection days and receive a text alert to tell them what food is available at their local Tesco store. They can then choose what they want from the surplus food on offer.

Lindsay Boswell, Chief Executive of FareShare, said:- "We support many amazing frontline charities which use in date surplus food from Tesco at store level to feed thousands of vulnerable people. We know that the surplus food makes a real difference to the work of these groups, often saving them money which can go towards other valuable services."

If you are a charity or community group that could benefit from the support of Community Food Connection then visit:- Fareshare.Org.UK/Fareshare go to find out more.

Are community co-operative pubs the answer to widespread closures?

IS your local pub calling last orders? Does your Village no longer have a central place to meet now that the only watering hole has shut up shop; unable to make ends meet?

Setting up your own community co-operative pub could be the answer, says national charity Plunkett Foundation; responding to recent figures showing that 18 British pubs are now calling time for good, every single week.

The figures were contained in news released by CAMRA (The Campaign for Real Ale) which called on the Government to cut the Tax burden placed on pubs in an attempt to keep them from having to close.

But meantime Plunkett has another answer to the problem; encouraging communities to rally round and run their own pub when it can no longer operate purely commercially.

The charity helps communities up and down Britain to run co-operative organisations, such as:- pubs, shops and even woodland. Plunkett steps in to help when these businesses can no longer be commercially run, or shut due to retirement.

So far the charity has helped communities from around the UK set up and run 54 pubs themselves and you can see if there is 1 operating in your area by clicking here.

Plunkett head of engagement Harriet English says:- "The news released by CAMRA that 18 pubs are now shutting every week is worrying indeed. At Plunkett we have done a lot of research around problems of loneliness and isolation in some of Britain's more remote areas, and we have heard many people say that when the local pub shuts, it can rip the heart out of communities because people no longer have a warm, sociable place to meet. Our work is to engage closely with communities to run their own organisations when this happens, and we find that when local residents work together to run their own pub, that brings with it a host of other benefits; for example, helping tackle isolation especially in remote areas where opportunities for interaction can be limited. In the light of these new figures showing that 18 pubs are still shutting every week in Britain, we would strongly encourage communities to use our website to find out where their nearest community co-operative pub or other organisation is, and perhaps find out how we could help if they are considering taking matters into their own hands and running a pub themselves. We have lots of resources and specialist advice; and it's all free!"

Other benefits to having a community co-operative pub in the community include:-

Volunteer opportunities; good for older people wanting to socialise, and good for younger people putting together their CV.

Running a co-operative pub means it can respond specifically to the needs of the community, eg:- offering free WiFi, dry cleaning, or home meals delivery for the housebound.

The co-operative ownership model means that local people are really invested in their local pub.

Not only are there 52 pubs across Britain now operating as community co-operatives with Plunkett's help, there is a growing recognition that pubs are more than just places to have a pint, with more than 1,250 now registered as assets of community value.

A good example of what can be done this way is:- 'The Anglers Rest,' Bamford, in the Peak District, Derbyshire. 'The Anglers Rest' was bought by the community through the Bamford Community Society, in 2013, to maintain Bamford Village's social heart. It also meant the Post Office could be preserved, as that was due to shut its doors too. With 50 volunteers, 25 paid staff and serving a population of 1500, The Anglers' Rest has been up and running as a community co-operative since opening officially, on 4 November 2013. The pub provides other services, such as dry cleaning, as well as being a venue for the sale of local produce, and invests around ₤250,000 in the Peak District area by employing local staff.

We are told that 1 regular says:- "The opening of the Anglers Rest as a community pub has made a big difference to my social life. I've made new friends through the Wednesday quiz night. I've joined in with the dancing on music nights. The cafe has enabled me to meet other crafters on alternative Friday mornings for coffee and crafting (usually sewing or knitting) and most important a good natter and a laugh with friends. My life has been enriched in lots of ways. I feel that I'm part of Bamford Community and know that I'm very fortunate indeed to live in Bamford Village."

You can view a list of which community co-operative shops Plunkett supports can be located via clicking here.

Please do let us know your views on this idea, via emailing us to:-

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results reveal a golden year for the goldfinch in Merseyside

THE latest results from the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch have revealed a golden year for the goldfinch along with a number of other small birds after a surge in sightings in gardens across Merseyside.

Now in its 39th year, the Birdwatch is a chance for people of all ages to count the number of birds that visit their garden, helping the RSPB build up a picture of how they are doing. This year, more than 450,000 people across the country, including over 6,000 in Merseyside took part.

The event held over the last weekend in January revealed an increase in sightings of smaller birds, such as goldfinches, long tailed tits and coal tits that can usually be seen visiting gardens and outside spaces in mixed flocks. Recorded sightings of the brightly coloured, sociable finch rose by 17% on 2017 figures for Merseyside and its bright red face was seen in more than a 3rd of gardens. Other small birds that are thought to have benefited from the mild January weather include long tailed tits (+20%) and coal tits (+7%).

It also proved to be a good year for the greenfinch after a 4% rise in numbers seen, a welcome sign for a species that has undergone a 60% decline in sightings since the 1st survey in 1979.

The influx of these species to our gardens is thought to be linked to the favourable conditions during their successful breeding season in 2017. This, combined with the kind autumn and early winter weather in the run up to the Birdwatch in January, will have contributed to the rise in sightings.

Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist, said:- "Our garden birds are a part of our everyday life, whether it's the robin perched on the garden fence or the flock of starlings you see on your way to work. To have hundreds of thousands of people spend an hour watching the wildlife in their garden isn't only great to see, but it also helps us build up a picture of how our garden birds are doing, which is really helpful. Last summer was a really good year for many breeding birds with warm weather creating great conditions for many smaller birds to raise their young to adulthood. The rise in sightings of goldfinches, long tailed tits and coal tits, along with chaffinches and greenfinches nationally, goes to show that in the absence of cold weather they can survive the winter months in good numbers. Looking at the results it is likely that across the UK this is what people saw in their garden."

The survey also highlighted a dip in the number of recorded sightings of blackbirds (-12%), robins (-12%) and wren (-6%) on the figures from 2017, for Merseyside. Dr Hayhow explained:- "We all will have noticed that the weather earlier in the winter was slightly warmer than we're used to, and our garden birds have felt this too. It's usual for there to be more food available in the wider countryside during a mild winter meaning birds are less reliant on the treats we put out on the garden feeders. However, unlike the finches and tits, robins and wrens did not have a good breeding season in 2017 and data from other surveys indicate that their numbers may be down overall this year."

The house sparrow remained at the top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings as the most commonly seen garden birds with an average of more than 3 per garden recorded in Merseyside throughout the weekend. Starling held down the 2nd spot, with the blackbird rounding off the top 3.

Throughout the 1st ½ of the Spring Term, the nation's School children took part in the RSPB's Big Schools Birdwatch. The survey of birds in School grounds saw over 670 School children in Merseyside spend an hour in nature counting the birds. The magpie was top of the Big Schools Birdwatch rankings with one being spotted in over 80% of Schools in the county.

For a full round up of all the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch results and to see which birds were visiting gardens where you live, visit:- RSPB.Org.UK/Birdwatch.

Get your Army Cadet Youth Band Concert tickets

THE National Army Cadet Youth Band will be holding a 'Band Concert' at Ince Blundell Village Hall (L38 6JQ) on Wednesday, 4 April 2018. The event will start at 7:30pm and tickets can be obtained via Formby Home or the Hightown Village Store. Alternatively you can also call:- 01704 871927 or phone:- 01704 874101. All funds raised will go towards the Poppy appeal and the National Army Cadet Youth Band.

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