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St Peters' Church Formby Carol Service
Photographs by L Trollope

THESE photographs of a Carols by Candlelight Service were taken at St Peters' Church, Formby, on Sunday, 22, December 2019. This was just 1 example of similar services that had taken place across the country. It was very well attended and much appreciated by the congregation.


Liverpool Philharmonic announces Music and Mental health programme expansion to reach 20,000 people by 2023
Photograph by Mark McNulty.

THE Liverpool Philharmonic is set to expand its Music and Mental Health programme, now in its 11th year, establishing new partnerships with Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Wirral Council. We aim to create a Liverpool City Region where any person experiencing mental ill-health can access, enjoy and benefit from music to support their recovery and wellbeing.  The new partnership launched in Autumn 2019 with Liverpool Philharmonic's musicians leading music sessions and performances at Springview, a mental health inpatient unit on the Wirral. Sessions involved people living with dementia and all service users, families and staff in the unit's communal healing environment.  Participants from Cheshire and Wirral will also take part in the growing number of community music and mental health courses, performances and activities at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, supported by:- Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, the Foyle Foundation, Medicash and BUPA UK Foundation.

In the last 11 years, more than 10,000 people have participated in Liverpool Philharmonic's Music and Mental Health programme in partnership with Mersey Care. Through in-patient services and a range of community based courses at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall and Mersey Care's Life Rooms centres, service users have engaged in activities including singing, improvisation, composition, music and film, music promoters courses, as well as rehearsal visits and performances by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and guest artists.  A report assessing the 10 year impact of the programme highlighted a range of positive impacts for service users, supporting their recovery, health and wellbeing by increasing confidence and participation and reducing isolation. The expansion of the programme with Cheshire and Wirral Partnership and Wirral Council forms part of Liverpool Philharmonic's ambition to reach a further 10,000 people by 2023, creating opportunities for Cheshire and Wirral services users to access high quality, person centred musical experiences.

Acting Associate Director of Operations for Specialist Mental Health at Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Sarah Quinn said:- "Music can play a key part in supporting our service users' wellbeing and recovery and we are thrilled to be able to host world class musicians from Liverpool Philharmonic to play for them. The sessions are truly uplifting and deliver person centred musical experiences to everyone at Springview."

Julie Webster, Director for Health and Wellbeing at Wirral Council said:- "We are incredibly proud to be a part of this project. Supporting our residents to improve their mental health and wellbeing is a key priority in Wirral, and the wider Cheshire and Merseyside region. By working with creative and community-based partners, such as the Liverpool Philharmonic, we're offering more and more people the opportunity to access health and wellbeing activities alongside the medical support they currently receive."

Peter Garden, Executive Director; Performance and Learning, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic said:- "Our music and mental health programme is a significant part of the work we do to connect with residents across Liverpool City Region, both on and off the concert stage. We know that music can impact lives in a very powerful way."

Person dies in Boxing Day house fire

MERSEYSIDE Fire and Rescue Service Crews were alerted to a house fire on Church Road, Litherland, that started on Thursday, 26 December 2019, at 2.23pm. Firefighters arrived at the location at 2.28pm, with 3 fire engines. Despite firefighters' best efforts, 1 of the 2 involved, who are believed to be aged in their 70's, sadly died. We are told that Firefighters left the scene at 4.02pm and an investigation is underway. Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager Gary Oakford said:- "On arrival crews found a fire in the 1st floor bedroom of the property. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property equipped with hose reel jets. 1 person was pulled from the property by firefighters. Sadly they were pronounced deceased at the scene. A 2nd person was assessed at the scene by Paramedics, from North West Ambulance Service, and taken to Hospital for further treatment. Merseyside Police also attended. A joint investigation into the cause of the fire will be carried out in due course."

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