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Southport Flower Show returns with special headline opener

SOUTHPORT Flower Show is looking for a VIP to launch this year's event; and it could be someone you know. After a 2 year break, the show will once again be a highlight of the summer calendar as it returns to Victoria Park, from Thursday 18 August to Sunday 21 Auggust 2022.

In previous years Southport Flower Show has been opened by some of the best known faces from TV and entertainment, but this time it will be launched by a new kind of household name.

To celebrate the unsung heroes who have helped Britain through the last couple of years, organisers are inviting you to nominate someone who you know has made a difference.

Southport Flower Show Directors will select 1 worthy winner to open the event, sponsored by Home Bargains, on Thursday, 18 August 2022.

After launching one of Britain's biggest summer festivals, the special guest will enjoy a VIP day out including free show entry, parking, a complimentary show programme and a 3 course lunch.

Alan Adams, General Manager of Southport Flower Show said:- "Southport Flower Show and Victoria Park have very strong links with the local and wider community and what better way to celebrate this by asking a 'community hero' to open the show. Nominations are welcome from all across the North West."

Southport Flower Show has already confirmed a packed programme of events for the 4 day show which will ensure a fun filled family day out.

Highlights include celebrity appearances by Strictly Come Dancing couple Janette Manrara and Alja˛ Skorjanec plus Children's TV star Justin Fletcher as well as arena entertainment and live music.

Hairy Biker Si King and Ready Steady Cook chef Ellis Barrie will be among the famous faces staging cookery demos in the show kitchens.

And there will be a wealth of gardening advice from experts including:- Adam Frost from Gardeners' World, ITV's Love Your Garden presenter Katie Rushworth and Daisy Devine, who is known to thousands of Instagram followers as the Drag Queen Gardener.

Visitors will also find inspiration in the incredible show gardens and floral displays for which Southport Flower Show has long been famous

Kids go free at Southport and visitors can also bring along their 4 legged family members with pet dogs allowed on the site.

You can help find our show opener by sending your nomination before Friday, 1 July 2022, to this email address:- Info@SouthportFlowerShow.Co.UK. And if you have personally gone the extra mile for friends, family or neighbours in recent years, then it's absolutely fine to nominate yourself and tell the show directors about your own story.

The winner will be chosen by Monday, 18 July 2022, and then arrangements will be made for the big day when they will open the show to the 55,000 visitors who will come to Southport over the 4 days.

The Southport Flower Show, sponsored by Home Bargains, is a registered charity (charity number 1000698). Early bird tickets are now on sale for £24 until Wednesday 17th August. Gate price is £27. Children under 16 go free.


Careers support inspires young carers to study

A selection of the young carers, including Bella and Serena, on their visit to UCLan.

A group of young carers from Lancashire are considering University for the 1st time, after completing a mentoring course with a leading careers advice programme.

Future U, which works with Schools and Colleges across Lancashire to encourage more young people to consider higher education, is running a series of mentoring sessions with young carers to encourage them to apply for higher education when they leave School.

Research shows that young carers are twice as likely to end up out of education, employment or training when they leave School, while one in four young carers says that their caring responsibilities have prevented them from going to University.

For Bella, 17, from Fleetwood, University education wasn't originally on her radar for when she finishes School.

A carer for both her parents, Bella looks after her mum, who lives with epilepsy, while also being the emergency carer for her dad, who has diabetes. As a result of her caring roles, she also looks after her younger brother, meaning the thought of starting University was one she felt she could not entertain.

Instead, she presumed she would have to find a job in order to stay close to her family and continue to support them financially.

After being recommended to the Future U mentoring sessions via the Lancashire Young Carers Service at Barnardo's, (funded by Lancashire County Council and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group), Bella visited the University of Central Lancashire in the spring to find out about what education support was on offer.

The mentoring course involved talking to the young carers about the process of applying to University, life while studying, exams and coursework, and how student finance works.

For Bella, finding out about the financial support for starting University has opened her eyes. Bella said:- "I originally only thought you could get a student loan for your tuition fees, but I now know, that the maintenance aspect can be covered as well, while I might also study while staying at home rather than having to move onto campus. I wouldn't have thought about going to University at all until the sessions with Future U, but knowing what I now know I am planning to apply for a counselling degree once I finish College."

Bella's story is1 echoed by the other students on the course. For Serena, 15, from Morecambe, her caring duties meant she also thought she wouldn't be able to attend University, until her opinion was changed. "The Future U course has made me think that it would be possible for me to attend higher education and to get a degree in what I want to do and perhaps get a higher qualification after I graduate. I previously thought I would only be able to go to College and not attend University but my aim now, after finishing high School, is to go to College and do a public service course as well as doing a course on criminology. Once I have finished College, I would like to go on to University and study higher criminology."

Future U's mentoring sessions, delivered in partnership with Barnardo's, help young carers to explore ways to overcome their barriers to education, as well as information on the support available to them in applying for University. The sessions allow the young carers to get equal access to the training and development that will guide them in their employment, education, and personal lives.

Rachel Ibram, from the Lancashire Young Carers Service at Barnardo's, added:- "Many of the young carers we support juggle their caring role alongside their education, amongst many other responsibilities, and feel that there is a lot to consider when deciding on their future. This mentoring programme has allowed them to explore their options and develop new skills in a safe space. The programme has provided our young carers with the opportunity to ask questions of people who have the right information to support them, meet other young carers facing similar challenges and to make the 1st step in considering their future in further education."

Oliver Norris, Outreach Officer at Future U, said:- "Caring at a young age is a big responsibility and it's easy for some young carers to struggle to see how they could live a regular teenage life and go on to study at University and get a degree. However, there is plenty of support available for anybody who wants to continue studying and anybody who is keen to find out more can speak to their School teacher or visit our website."

It is estimated that there are around 800,000 young carers in England, equivalent to 6 young carers in every secondary School in the country.

Future U works across Lancashire to increase the career and higher education knowledge of young people and encourage teenagers to think about studying at University and their career aspirations.

The project also supports families and young people from areas which are currently underrepresented in higher education, including:- Fleetwood and Blackpool, Burnley and Blackburn, Morecambe, Preston, Leyland and Chorley, Ormskirk and Skelmersdale, and works with adult learners, children in care, young carers and students from military families.

Since the start of the project in 2017, Future U has delivered over 1,100 careers activities across 70 Schools and Colleges in the area, in addition to creating a range of educational and careers resources available to download from its website.

Future U is part of the national Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students, and involves institutions and organisations across the county including:- University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the University of Cumbria. Its list of partners also include Blackburn College, The Blackpool 6th Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Cardinal Newman College, Kendal College, Lancashire County Council, Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster and Morecambe College, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College Group, Preston College, STEMFirst, Runshaw College, The Lancashire Colleges, West Lancashire College, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust.


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