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North West park goers invited to nominate their favourite green spaces

DO you think that your local park, playground or playing field is the best in the country? Here's your chance to prove it. UK wide green space charity, Fields in Trust, has launched a campaign to find the UK's Best Park, and are seeking nominations from the north west Region. This unique public award is open to all public green spaces across the UK through a simple online nomination at:- FieldsInTrust.Org. Perhaps your local park is great for a Sunday afternoon stroll, your neighbourhood playground is a hive of children's activity, or a nature reserve provides a stress free space to relax. This is your chance to help your favourite space gain the recognition it deserves.

Nominations for the UK's Best Park open as Fields in Trust publish new research, the Green Space Index reveals that over 200,000 people across the North West of England live more than ten minutes walk from a park or green space. The Index uses Ordnance Survey data to comprehensively analyse, for the 1st time, park and green space provision across Great Britain and finds that the North West Region, along with London, Yorkshire & the Humber and the North West, falls below the minimum level. The average amount of green space per person in Great Britain is just over 35 square metres, less than half the size of a six-yard box on a football pitch. In the North West, this number drops to just 30.57 square metres per person.

These findings show that there is an urgent need to ensure the current level of park and green space provision is maintained. The charity is calling for parks to be legally protected for future generations to enjoy and for our existing parks to be championed and celebrated. Having 1st been awarded in 2015, the prestigious UK's Best Park Award returns this year in a new summer time-slot which sees it form part of Fields in Trust's 'Summer of Parks.'

Chairman of Trustees at Fields in Trust, Tim Phillips, said:- "Parks and green spaces are not simply nice to have, they are a necessity for healthy happy communities, positively impacting on a range of key wellbeing issues from physical and mental health to social cohesion. This Award recognises the vital role that local parks play in our neighbourhoods, bringing people together and creating places for play, sport and the enjoyment of nature; places that should be protected for everyone. We want to celebrate these much loved green spaces and invite all park users to vote for their favourite."

Fields in Trust is a UK-wide charity that legally protects parks and green spaces in perpetuity for current and future generations to enjoy. The UK's Best Park Award recognises the role that parks play in our communities, supporting mental and physical health and bringing people together. The charity is concerned that many parks and green spaces are under threat from financial and development pressures and want to stem this cycle of disappearance and decline.

The UK's Best Park award runs throughout the summer as Fields in Trust are leading a discussion about our nation's parks and green spaces. The 'Summer of Parks' began with the launch of the Green Space Index, which for the 1st time comprehensively analysed publicly accessible park and green space provision across Great Britain. On Saturday 6 July the annual Have a Field Day event will see communities coming together for a picnic at their local park to celebrate with their neighbours. Each week throughout the summer Fields in Trust will be exploring a different theme relating to parks and green spaces as part of a discussion on the importance of valuing and protecting these green lungs of our communities.

Cooking up a great event for carers

Liverpool's carers are being asked to “rise” to the occasion next Thursday, 13 June, as part of the annual Carers Week event.

THE Local Solutions organised event is hosting a cake competition for the 1st time and bakers who enter a cake will have their efforts judged by Liverpool's own Great British Bake Off contestant Flo Atkins (judging will take place at 1.30pm).  As well as the baking competition, dozens of organisations will be on hand as usual to give information about the support available for the City's estimated 50,000 carers. In 2019, the popular event will be held for the 1st time at the beautiful Isla Gladstone Conservatory in Stanley Park. Doors are open from 10.30am to 3.30pm and the event will be officially opened by Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Peter Brennan.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Peter Brennan said:- "So many carers do not realise that they are entitled to have an assessment. An assessment is a valuable opportunity to speak to a professional about how caring may be impacting your life.  Local Solutions' carers centre and Barnardo's Action with Young Carers are the cornerstones of providing advice and support to our City's carers and I would encourage anyone who supports a loved one to have an assessment so they can find out about all the superb services we have in Liverpool.  Liverpool's new Integrated All Age Carers Strategy also underlines the City's commitment to supporting our caring community by improving our systems to make sure that they are carer friendly."

Deputy Mayor of Liverpool Cllr Wendy Simon will also be officially launching Liverpool's new Integrated All Age Carers Strategy which sets out the City's commitment to its all its carers, from adults caring for a loved to young carers providing support to family members. The Isla Gladstone is easily reached by bus (number 19) and there is also plenty of parking close by. Local Solutions is also running a shuttle bus on the day. Buses will leave the carers centre at Local Solutions, Mount Vernon Green, at 11am and 1pm. The return journeys from the Isla Gladstone to the carers centre are at 12.30pm and 3pm.

Hazel Brown, head of carers services at Local Solutions, said:- "This annual event is a great opportunity to showcase the support available for carers across the statutory, voluntary and health sectors. As Local Solutions we have the task of organising this event each year, but it would not be possible for us to succeed without the support for the over 40 organisation who attend and celebrate the diversity of support for carers that we have in the City."

All carers, including young carers, are entitled to have a carer's assessment, even if the person who they are caring for does not receive a service organised by the Council.  In Liverpool, about 3,000 carers have an assessment each year, with about 2,500 receiving support as a result. An assessment is a chance to talk about how caring affects health and wellbeing and, if eligible, a carer then receives a support plan and tailored information and advice. This can include access to:

The Carers Health and Wellbeing Service delivered by Local Solutions.

The Carers Advocacy Service offered by The Brain Charity.

Support for carers aged 25 and under delivered by Barnardo's Action with Young Carers..

To find out more about carer's assessments please visit:- Liverpool.Gov.UK or call Careline, on:- 0151 233 3800.  Further services, information and activities can also be found on the Live Well Directory.

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