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Pampering and fizz on the menu for Ladies Night at Dobbies Southport

Dobbies prepares to host Ladies Night on 29 November

PRESENT list starting to spiral out of control? Worried when to book in those essential beauty treatments before the office party? Fear not, Dobbies' festive Ladies Night is back with a bang for 2018. With fizz and canapés on arrival and a variety of entertainment, pampering treatments and exclusive offers available, Dobbies will have you Christmas ready in no time. The jam packed evening, on Thursday, 29 November 2018, from 5pm to 9pm, is the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends while making a start on gift buying or stocking up on seasonal treats. With tickets available for just a ₤1 donation to Dobbies National Charity Partner, Teenage Cancer Trust, shoppers will enjoy an evening of indulgent shopping having donated to a good cause.

Zoe Stanmore, Community Champion at Dobbies Southport, comments:- "Ladies Night at Dobbies is a fun filled evening with so much on offer. What could be better than starting an evening's shopping with a glass of fizz in hand knowing you are supporting the life changing services that our charity, Teenage Cancer Trust offer young people diagnosed with cancer. Our customers love this event and we're really looking forward to getting into that party spirit once again."

Linda Noon, Interim Director of Fundraising at Teenage Cancer Trust adds:- "We're really grateful to Dobbies staff for organising yet another fantastic seasonal event. Ladies Night is a great pampering night out and money from ticket sales will help support our work with young people diagnosed with cancer. The generosity of Dobbies' customers is always amazing and once again it's an absolute pleasure to be a part of the events."

The event will take place at Dobbies Southport, and tickets cost ₤1 and all proceeds will go to Teenage Cancer Trust.  They are available to purchase in store in advance or on the night.

OSSME 20th Birthday Highlights Needs of Autistic Children in Liverpool

OSSME, a specialist autism service which supports children and young people in Merseyside and Cheshire, celebrated its 20 year Anniversary, alongside autistic people, families, professionals and autism practitioners.

The event which took place at the Liverpool Medical Institute, on 21 November 2018, saw people from across the Region coming together to highlight the need for autism specific support focussed on children in mainstream education and celebrating the achievements of Autism Initiatives' ground breaking service OSSME.

Speakers included the charity's Patron Dame Lorna Muirhead; Liverpool City Councillor Barry Kushner; OSSME Manager Sharon Williams and a number of parents, professionals and autistic people who have worked alongside OSSME.

OSSME, which stands for Outreach Support Services in Mainstream Education was initially set up in 1998 by charity Autism Initiatives UK to provide specialist support to autistic children in the Region and to work alongside Schools and colleges, and other professionals, to ensure each child and young person fulfilled their potential.

Over the last 20 years OSSME has evolved and now also provides support to autistic children excluded from School; free parent training courses; and training and support to employers, in addition to working with children and young people in mainstream education.

Councillor Barry Kushner speaking at the event highlighted the ongoing need for OSSME's support services in Liverpool saying:- "More than 40% of children excluded from School in the City have special needs and many of these have autism."

The Labour Councillor for Norris Green who represents children and young people in the City Council went on to say the way children are treated across the City was inconsistent. He said.- "We should not put our children in silos, those that can be in mainstream education should have the opportunity and support to thrive."

It is estimated that OSSME has supported more than 500 autistic children and young people to reach their potential within mainstream education plus hundreds more families and professionals since it started.

OSSME Manager Sharon Williams said:- "I am proud to be a part of the OSSME team and to lead a group of dedicated, skilled professionals who strive to make a difference every single day. With the right support and understanding of how autism affects each individual uniquely every autistic child and young person should have the opportunity to achieve their ambitions and reach their potential. We support, empower and enable people to change their own lives."

Autism Initiatives UK was founded in 1972 by a Merseyside mum who couldn't find the support she needed for her autistic son. Nearly 50 years on the charity now supports over 3,000 autistic people, families and professionals each year across the UK and Ireland. The charity works positively alongside people with autism, their families and carers providing specialist services tailored to each individual.

New inquiry into sexual violence on Merseyside launched

A new inquiry which aims to uncover the true picture of sexual violence across Merseyside has been commissioned by the Deputy Police Commissioner and her partners. The Sexual Violence Review will examine the extent and nature of sexual violence in the Region and map the services which are available to support those who have been subjected to such crimes. The inquiry, which has been launched to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Day, will also reach out to survivors to hear about their journey following an incident, including how they were treated within the criminal justice system and the extent to which the support currently offered met their needs. The research project has been commissioned by Cllr Emily Spurrell, the Region's Deputy Police Commissioner, in partnership with NHS England and will be carried out by Liverpool John Moores University's (LJMU) Public Health Institute.  It will speak to partners in the Region's local authorities, agencies, experts, victims and their families, as well as drawing from a range of reports and qualitative data produced by Merseyside Police and partners, including charities RASA and RASASC, who deliver the Police Commissioner's dedicated aftercare support service for survivors of rape and sexual assault.

The report could have a significant impact on both the understanding and funding of sexual crime support services. It will also feed into the Deputy Commissioner's work to produce a Region-wide Violence against Women and Girls strategy alongside the Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram and a host of partners.  Emily said:- "Sexual violence ruins lives, destroys women's emotional and mental wellbeing and leaves wounds that can last a lifetime. Sadly, sexual violence remains far too prevalent in our society. The launch of this review is an important step in better understanding the nature and extent of sexual violence in our Region and provide a baseline from which we can monitor and assess the work we do in future years. The inquiry will also examine the issue of street harassment in Merseyside and the extent to which women experience unwanted sexual contact or attention in a public place. Crucially, we will also be asking women who sadly have suffered these horrendous crimes to find out about their experiences of reporting an incident of rape or sexual assault. We want to hear about their journey through the criminal justice system and the path they took to accessing support to see if that process is working and whether it is working effectively. We know there is room for improvement. At the moment, far too many women do not get the support they need and deserve. This inquiry has the potential to help make a real difference in the lives of thousands of women."

The project will get underway this month, conducted by LJMU's Public Health Institute (PHI) in conjunction with partners. PHI specialises in applied research and educational programmes addressing health issues at all levels from policy development to service delivery. LJMU were selected as the research organisation following a competitive tendering process and assessment panel. Zara Quigg, Reader in Behavioural Epidemiology at the Public Health Institute, said:- "We are delighted to have been commissioned by the Police and Crime Commissioner to conduct a review of sexual violence in Merseyside. The Public Health Institute is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Violence Prevention and as such we are looking forward to applying our international knowledge and experience to this project."

The final report is expected to be produced by April 2019.

Did you know?  'International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women' is held annually on 25 November. Backed by the UN, it aims to increase understanding and knowledge of the issues affecting women and highlight the support that is available locally, Regionally, nationally and around the globe. The date also marks the launch of 16 days of activism that conclude on 10 December, which is 'International Human Rights Day.'

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