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Mersey Men benefit from ₤14k funding

FOR the men of Merseyside, 1's self reliance is sometimes all that is left after decades of economic and social neglect. However, one charity is changing perceptions and helping the men of Merseyside to find support, confidence and comfort in 1another. Mersey Men has been awarded a grant of ₤14k by People's Heath Trust from monies raised by Health Lottery North West. This funding will support their drive to encourage openness, friendship and wellbeing in the men who attend meetings in search of everything from a new hobby, to new friends.

The 2 year project provides a weekly group session for men living in Sefton, Merseyside who are experiencing various mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The scheme provides the men with a safe space to meet, reduce their isolation, enable them to develop friendships, and improve their mental wellbeing. It also provides them with an opportunity to gain new skills through monthly training workshops. Members shape the project via steering group meetings every 6 months and feedback sheets following the training workshops.

The centre is informal, and user led, meaning the help offered is addressing the specific needs of men in the community. Often this can be as simple as a welcoming, open place to have a chat with people facing similar personal or professional struggles. It offers tailored courses available to new members, all directed towards facilitating health ways to deal with anxiety, depression and isolation.

Sandra Bell, Managing Director of Reach Men's Centre, said:- "Unlike many other charities, we weren't able to continue a lot of our regular activities during COVID. There are many reasons for that, but 1 is that the tech necessary to use zoom wasn't immediately available to these men. However, staff checked in on members via phone calls which was really appreciated by participants. People have also created really strong friendships from coming to the group and certain members have been instrumental in supporting others during COVID. They always keep in touch. The group started to meet again face to face in April and we were delighted to see members coming back. Our numbers are now growing as we are being joined by clients who access The Reach through our telephone counselling service which has been very busy throughout Covid and is still continuing to draw in new members."

Managing Director of the Health Lottery, Martin Ellice, said:- "We are delighted that money raised through The Health Lottery is continuing to support great local community initiatives like this 1."

Civic thank you to honour those who supported Liverpool's Pandemic response

Young resident Fox Capper holds up a drawing urging people to stay safe during the Pandemic.

PEOPLE involved in Liverpool's response to the Covid19 Pandemic will be honoured at a civic thank you event at the Town Hall, on Wednesday, 13 October 2021. Around 100 guests will be at the ceremony, from Hospital staff and care home workers, through to those who delivered food parcels and took to the streets to give out vital public health information, together with individuals in shaping and leading the City's strategic response. Those present will also receive a copy of a limited edition book produced by Liverpool City Council documenting the Pandemic, Liverpool's Covid Journey. The publication uses powerful images to document key moments since March 2020 from the start of lockdown, to the vaccine roll out and the gradual reopening of society, including the pioneering role Liverpool played in the national response to the Pandemic by piloting City wide Covid testing and large scale events.

Liverpool's Covid Journey also showcases individuals and organisations who helped keep people's spirits up during the darkest days of the Pandemic, such as young resident Fox Capper who wrote a thank you note on his bin to support refuse staff working through the lockdown, and Park Palace Ponies who took their small horses to visit residents in the Welsh Streets. The Faculty of Public Health; which represents almost 4,000 public health professionals in the UK and around the world; will also be presenting a medal to the Director of Public Health Matt Ashton, in recognition of the work of the Council's Public Health team's response to the Pandemic. The ceremony will be livestreamed on Liverpool City Council's social media channels from 5pm.

Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Mary Rasmussen, said:- "It is often said that people come together to support each other at times of crisis, and we saw exactly that in our City during the Pandemic when the very best of the human spirit was on proud display. We wanted not just to thank organisations, but also those individuals who went above and beyond, whether it was providing care and support to others, helping with the Covid19 response or just helping lift the City's mood during what was a very difficult time for everyone. I know this is a just a small snapshot of the incredible response from communities right across Liverpool, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who played their part; however big or small; in getting us through the Pandemic."

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said:- "The generous and caring nature of Scousers is famous around the world and it has definitely shone through over the last 18 months. I have been blown away by the amazing work that I have seen; both before and since I became Mayor, and it makes me incredibly proud and humbled to lead this City. While the effect of the Pandemic will still be felt for many years to come and we are not completely out of the woods yet, it is very important that we take a moment to thank some of those who have helped us through the most difficult days for our City in generations."


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