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A food bank for pets has received some festive cheer with a ₤1,000 donation from a Persimmon Homes

Some of the food in the food bank.  Pawz in Need founder Vikki Thomas with her dog Lola.

A Merseyside pet food bank has received funding from a leading house builder to enable it to carry on its good work. Pawz in Need not only helps out pet owners who have run into financial difficulties and are struggling to buy food for their pet, but also distributes dog food to homeless people living on the streets to help them feed their pets. As part of its Community Champions initiative, Persimmon Homes North West has awarded ₤1,000 to Pawz in Need. The scheme is a national programme where charities and groups can apply for funding up to the value of ₤1,000 to match the funds they have raised themselves.

Jillian Paris from Pawz in Need said:- "Thank you Persimmon Homes for selecting us to receive ₤1,000 through you Community Champions scheme, this is such great news and will make the world of difference to our charity. We recognise how important a pet is when people are going through difficult times and how heart breaking it would be to have to give up that pet because they can't afford to feed it. There is little provision for pets at regular food banks, so we dedicate a huge amount of time dropping off food throughout Merseyside and Cheshire, helping up to 25 families a week. Requests are on the up and just having that buffer to help with running costs has made a world of difference and means that more families and homeless people with animals can be helped."

Pawz in Need is supported by a number of local business and members of the public who regularly donate food. Jillian added:- "It is the running costs for the charity that we particularly struggle with. Although they are kept to an absolute minimum, it is essential that we have a secure storage unit for the food and a reliable vehicle with which to make our deliveries. This donation from Persimmon Homes has ensured that our running costs are covered for almost a year, and that we are able to continue helping animals and their owners."

Dave Hodgson, sales Director at Persimmon Homes North West, said:- "We are delighted to be able to support a cause that makes such a huge difference to people's lives when they fall on hard times."

For more information on how to apply for Community Champions funding, visit the website.

Sefton Council wins national economic development award

Sir Howard Bernstein (IED patron), Mike Mullin and Stuart Barnes (Sefton Borough Council) and Bev Hurley (IED Chair)

SEFTON Council's Economic Growth and Housing Service has won the Most Sustainable Outcome award from the Institute of Economic Development (IED), the UK's leading independent professional body representing economic development and regeneration practitioners in local and Regional communities.

The award was given for the Council's 'Business Friendly' strategy for supporting new sustainable development and maximising the social, economic and environmental benefits in the borough; and includes input from all its incumbent services for planning, business growth and inward investment; employment and skills; regeneration, visitor economy and housing.

At the forefront of this approach is InvestSefton, the business growth and inward investment team, which has developed a range of growth and investment projects including Mersey Reach, a ₤20 million prime urban logistics development serving Sefton and the wider Liverpool City Region area; and the related Planning Development Agreement which saw a requirement for the developer, ChanceryGate, to enter into an employment charter with the Council to ensure that local residents had the maximum opportunity to benefit from resulting employment and training opportunities through Sefton@Work.

The Council's planning, InvestSefton and Sefton@Work teams have worked collaboratively to deliver maximum impact for the borough. When completed Mersey Reach will create over 300 new full time jobs, a total investment value of ₤20 million and generate ₤5.5 million GVA additional impact. The development exhibits many sustainable measures, all secured through a detailed planning process.

Stuart Barnes, Head of Economic Growth and Housing at Sefton Council, said:- "We are delighted to win the IED Most Sustainable Outcome award for our 'Business Friendly' strategy and work on Mersey Reach. The economic benefits are business growth and the creation of new jobs, making a positive contribution towards the operation of the local economy. This has increased in borough spending and brought about spin off benefits for other local businesses. The secured measures offer upskilling of local workforce, reduced levels of unemployment and worklessness, increased living standards and reduced inequality. The way in which the project has been delivered provides a template for the Council in terms of handling new development and investment."

IED Chair Bev Hurley said:- "We would like to congratulate Sefton Council on winning our Most Sustainable Outcome award for 2019. The initiative harnessed a multi-agency approach and built in a local economic benefit to every aspect. The judges were particularly struck by the genuinely integrated approach to the project and the sustainable outcomes that are starting to be achieved through it. Among the stand out aspects was the increasing innovation in sustainable heat solutions and ability to use clean technology to drive local economic gain as well as an environmentally sustainable solution."

Sefton Council's Economic Growth and Housing Service award success was announced at the IED Annual Awards 2019, staged as part of the IED Annual Conference in London, on 4 December 2019.

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