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PACE service re-launches for young people

SEFTON Sexual Health Service has re-launched its PACE clinics across the borough, which are specifically designed for young people aged 19 and under. PACE clinics offer the same service as all other clinics, but young people can attend knowing that these dedicated sessions will only be for them. Teens can attend to pick up free condoms or other contraceptives, or for sexual health screening. The service is completely confidential and free to use. PACE clinics are available at all Sefton Sexual Health clinics: Southport Centre for Health and Well-being, Maghull Health Centre and Netherton Health Centre, in addition to the new Bootle clinic, located at St Hugh's. Sefton Sexual Health recently opened its new clinic in Bootle thanks to a ₤260,000 investment by Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. Located on the fifth floor of St Hugh's House in Stanley Road, it incorporates PACE alongside all age, adult clinics. A new website includes features that help users quickly find the service they need, and even order online STI testing kits to be used at home. Matron Wendy Hicks and Service Manager Lynne Hindle said:- "PACE is a dedicated service for younger people who may be nervous about coming along to a clinic; this is a new experience and can cause anxieties. We want to make it as easy as possible and reduce barriers for all young people attending our services. PACE has been relaunched after nearly three years of absence in Bootle. The service has a 30 year history, has been used by almost three generations of the local community. We have brought it back to meet patient demand, it was missed by the local community and we hope that it now becomes a well-used service for more generations to come."

Fraudulent letting applications skyrocket as agents fail to carry out the appropriate checks

RESEARCH by lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, has revealed the increasing level of fraudulent rental applications in the UK rental market, how this has ramped up in the last year and the tricks of the trade being deployed to fool letting agents and landlords. Using data from their referencing agency, LetRef, Benham and Reeves found an average of 6 fraudulent applications a month in 2018, using either fake bank statements and fake or cloned employers in order to pass the referencing stage of the tenancy process. So far this year, this has already hit an average of 13 per month; a 117% increase each month. With the recent introduction of the Tenant Fee Act 2019 meaning letting agents can no longer charge tenants for references, it's expected that the level of fraudulent applications will continue to increase as these applicants know it won't cost them a penny should they fail, all while landlords foot the bill. In June, the number of fraudulent cases has already increased to 16, above average despite the short time the ban has been implemented.  But the problem goes beyond fake bank statements and more worryingly, Benham and Reeves has seen a notable increase in the number of fake passports being used by fraudsters. In 2018, there were a total of 5 cases using fake passports, in the 1st 5 months of this year alone, there have been 11 cases of fake passports being used. This is due to a number of expert forgers who know the code formatting required to pass an AML check.

Marc von Grundherr, Director of Benham and Reeves, commented:- "This surge in fake applications is a very worrying statistic for a rental market that is already straining under the current requirements of a 'Generation Rent' and this increase demonstrates the importance of using a bonafide referencing company, where staff have been given specialist training from the National Crime Agency on recognising fraudulent documents. Unfortunately, the majority of referencing companies do not even collect ID and proof of address and conduct referencing as a sideline, in order to up sell other services and earn commission. Letting agents using one of these companies or making checks themselves are highly likely to end up with these fraudulent chancers flying in under the radar and into a rental property. We are 1 of only a small number of agents who aren't passing the cost of a thorough referencing service onto landlords despite the changes to legislation, and we will continue to ensure that the appropriate checks are being made. It's the professional duty of all letting agents to properly validate the tenants they are providing to their landlords and failing to do so with the utmost vigour simply isn't acceptable."

Fraudulent Lettings Application Received
2018 (per month)
2019 (per month to date)
Increase (%)
Source: LetRef
Fake Passports Received
2018 (total)
2019 (total to date)
Increase (%)
Source: LetRef

What are are readers views on this issue and also have you been affected by a letting scam? Please email us to:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com and let us know your thoughts on this topic.

The Glade Care Home open day supports Freshfields

A local residential care home for older people is holding its annual Summer Party, on Saturday, 20 July 2019, in aid of Freshfields Animal Rescue.  Residents and staff of:- 'The Glade,' a long established care home in Lancaster Road, Southport, have chosen Freshfields as the charity to which the proceeds from the Summer Open Day will be donated.

Mrs Lynsey Mylrea, Registered Manager of The Glade, said:- "We chose Freshfields Animal Rescue as our nominated charity this year as we are all animal lovers. We feel we would love to assist the work of this local charity as much as we can, as they do so much for the animals in their care."

Debbie Hughes, PR Officer for Freshfields, said:- "We are delighted that The Glade have made Freshfields their chosen charity. The Summer Party will be a fantastic Family Day out, with live music, raffle, tombola, face painting, Bouncy Castle and delicious refreshments and home baked cakes. We can't wait! Thank you to Lynsey, Martin and everyone for your fantastic support. Together we can help to find loving homes for the abused, abandoned and neglected animals who need us every day."

The event will start at:- 1.30pm and run until 4pm, at:- The Glade Residential Care Home, 32 Lancaster Road, Southport, PR8 2HT.  To enter, tickets are  ₤2 adults; and children under 12 can go for free.

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