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Open day at Southport Hospital

ON Saturday, 8 September 2018, hundreds of locals attended a fantastic open day here at Southport Hospital. Despite the rain, families turned up to learn more about our services, chat to the teams, tour the theatres and even try out basic life saving skills.

Visitors had the chance to see how our accident and emergency department would manage a major incident, along with ambulance crews, paramedics and fire fighters. Our clinic for teddies was very popular with injured toys, with even Toy Story hero Woody needing a plaster.

Medics explained how we use simulators to train doctors and people could even try their hand at cannulation (on a dummy of course!)

We opened our new Garden of Reflection on the day, with MP for central Sefton Bill Esterson cutting the ribbon, and all enjoyed a moving performance from local ladies choir, Just Voices. The garden has been created thanks to support from the Trust's Organ and Tissue Donation Group, the West Lancashire Freemasons and Dobbies Garden Centre. It will be used by patients, their families and friends, visitors, carers and staff; anyone who wishes to find a quiet space.

We were delighted to welcome the Mayor of Sefton, Councillor Dave Robinson and MP for Southport, Damien Moore. They visited the stands, chatting to staff and public about the Hospital. Our annual general meeting also took place, and alongside all the fun we held a recruitment event. Offering job interviews and; potentially - conditional offers on the day, enticed an impressive crowd. So we were able to offer jobs to an incredible 25 health care assistants and 5 registered nurses!

The event was so well attended and well received that the Trust hopes to hold a similar 'Open Day' again in 2019, this time at Ormskirk Hospital.

Savers to earn 50p for every ₤1 thanks to new Government backed saving plan

441,022 hardworking people on low incomes in the North West are set to benefit from a new Government savings account that offers a 50% bonus. Help to Save will reward savers with an extra 50p for every ₤1 saved, meaning over 4 years a maximum saving of ₤2,400 would result in an overall bonus of ₤1,200. The launch of the new account follows an 8 month trial, with over 45,000 customers who deposited over ₤3 million. Help to Save is easy to use, flexible and secure, will help those on low incomes build up a 'rainy day' fund, and encourage savings behaviours and habits. How much is saved and when is up to the account holder, and they don't need to pay in every month to get a bonus.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said:- "Savings shouldn't be a luxury, they are an essential part of planning for the future. But for some, putting away even a tenner each month can be a tough habit to get into. Whether you're saving up to take the family on a much needed holiday, or to take the next step in life, Help to Save is designed to make saving possible for every hardworking person in this country."

Help to Save is available to working people on Tax Credits and Universal Credit. Account holders can save between ₤1 and ₤50 every calendar month and accounts last for 4 years from the date the account is opened. After 2 years, savers get a 50% Tax Free bonus on savings. If saving continues there is another 50% Tax Free bonus after 4 years.  On maximum savings of ₤2,400 over 4 years, the overall bonus would be ₤1,200. 

To apply, savers can visit:- Gov.UK/HelpToSave or use the HMRC app. View an animation on Help to Save on YouTube.

Merseyside State Schools team up with Oxford University

5 teachers from across Merseyside will spend the year working with academics from Oxford University. For a  2nd year St Peter's College, Oxford has offered its innovative access initiative to Schools in the local area, which focusses on providing professional development for teachers. Known as the St Peter's College Foundation Schools Ambassador Project, the scheme sees the College link up with 12 secondary Schools from the state sector across England.

The teachers participating teach at Carmel College, King David High School, Sacred Heart Catholic College Sefton, Upton Hall FCJ, and Wirral Grammar School for Boys. St Peter's academics, some of them professors, will work with the teachers throughout the year across a range of disciplines, helping them keep up to date with developments in their field, Participating Schools will also gain a better understanding of the University admissions process, the College's own identity, and Oxford as a whole. Jonathan Lavelle, Maths teacher at Carmel College said of the programme:- "The programme is an amazing opportunity for teachers to develop the knowledge and resources to bring the gap between Alevel and degree level thinking. This should hopefully empower our students with a new passion and confidence in their chosen subjects"

Mark Damazer, Master of St Peter's College, said:- "I am delighted that we are offer this programme of support again. The whole project is in the interest of the individual teachers, their Schools and the College. We know many teachers have a thirst to get back to their subject, and we have academics here full of excitement about the thought of teaching motivated School teachers who want to refresh or add to their knowledge. I hope the scheme leads to a richer understanding in the Schools as a whole about what an Oxford College is really like and helps boost the confidence of teachers to get their best students to apply here.'

The teachers taking part in the scheme come from Schools in Merseyside and North East London; St Peter's link regions; as well as Bournemouth, Cambridgeshire, Derbeyshire, Hertfordshire, and King's Lynn.

Wirral Grammar School for Boys joins the scheme for the  1st time following the project's pilot year in 2017 to 2018. Michael Askew, Deputy Headteacher, said:- "this project offers real value in broadening horizons, raising aspirations, and demystifying the process."

David Webb from the chemistry department at the School said:- "We don't have time in School to develop enrichment programmes that go beyond the curriculum. Working with my mentor will help me to develop some new sessions for my students that really are on the cutting edge of research." He will be mentored by Professor Mark Moloney.

Patrick Walton from King David High School will be working with Luke Jew, a Research Associate. Patrick said:- "This scheme means that I can raise aspirations with our brightest students. The College's support has been offered in a very supportive and open way."

Over the last year Angela Case, an English teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic College in Sefton, has worked with Professor Abigail Williams. Reflecting on her participation in the scheme she said:- "The scheme was just lovely. I was able to just pick up the phone and chat to Abby about things that will help my students in the classroom. She is very human and approachable!"

St Peter's College has an active programme of regional work planned for Merseyside in the coming year. It is hoped that this pilot scheme will run for at least 1 other year beyond this academic year. For more details please visit:- SPC.Ox.AC.UK/Schools.

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