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New films portray how the Liverpool City Region's Households into Work programme has transformed people's lives

A series of heart warming new films has revealed how a programme supporting long term unemployed people commissioned by Mayor Steve Rotheram is giving Liverpool City Region residents much more than just work opportunities.

7 people have spoken candidly about the emotional turmoil of finding themselves unemployed; and how the ground breaking Households into Work scheme has put their lives back on track.

Delivered by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Households into Work was launched in 2018 as a pilot project to support long term unemployed people who, because of their circumstances, have difficulty finding and sustaining employment.

Over the course of 12 months, the participant works on a 1-2-1 basis with a dedicated Employment Advocate who helps them to the point where employment is a realistic and attainable goal.

Health issues, redundancy, parenthood and settling here after seeking asylum are among the reasons for the group being out of work.

Despite the Pandemic, since October 2020 more than a thousand people from across:- Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and the Wirral have been supported, with nearly a quarter of those moving either into education and training or into work.

During this time frame, clients have also undertaken more than 380 skills development courses such as confidence building and managing finances.

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram said:- "There can be many reasons why people might find themselves out of work for periods of time, but we're here to help them and offer the support they need to get back on track. Our people will always be the bedrock of the Region's fortunes; ultimately, our success depends on them. Yet for too long, too many people in our Region have been held back; not by of a lack of talent, but a lack of opportunity. Households into Work is a pioneering programme that simply would not exist without devolution. In stark contrasts to the Government's sanctions 1st approach, it has so far given thousands of local residents the support, skills and confidence they need to get back into work and build a brighter future for themselves and their families."

Portfolio Holder for Education, Skills, Equality and Diversity Mayor Joanne Anderson said:- "It's clear the Households into Work programme is having a massively positive affect on individuals across the City Region. It shows how working collaboratively with a joined up approach to support people achieves so much more in helping people move on with their lives."

Households into Work has a team of 32 based in each of the 6 Liverpool City Region Local Authority areas. They work on an outreach basis with long term unemployed people who are dealing with a range of issues, including financial crises, mental health problems, the risk of eviction or homelessness, domestic abuse, social isolation or chronic health issues.

Kirsty from Widnes was involved in 1 of the films. She said:- "I hope these films encourage everyone to get involved in Households into Work. I've had support in the past, but this support is everything in 1 whether that's counselling or courses, so I was keen to get involved. I hope that by sharing our stories, it will mean other people will access the same support and see the same benefits as I have."

For more information on the Households into Work programme or to find out how you can be referred go to:- LiverpoolCityRegion-CA.Gov.UK.

Pet Pawtection!


80% of pet owners from Liverpool don't know if their pets have allergies, according to a new study conducted by eyesight experts All About Vision. This research, which saw 1,000 UK pet owners surveyed, has been conducted by the eyesight experts to help raise awareness on eye diseases in pets and how important it is to look after your furry friends' eyes to avoid irreversible damage. Worryingly, 36% of pet owners from the area revealed they wouldn't know if their furry friends were suffering from eye disease and 13% don't know the impact of these diseases if left untreated. This is slightly concerning as untreated eye disease can lead to intense pain and suffering. Resulting in permanent damage such as corneal scarring and partial or total blindness.

Top 10 Cities in the UK who are best at pawtecting their pets' eyes:-

1. Brighton (77%)

2. London (76%)

3. Blackpool (75%)

4. Birmingham (72%)

5. Newcastle (72%)

6. Oxford (69%)

7. Nottingham (63%)

8. Manchester (60%)

9. Liverpool (56%)

10. Glasgow (55%)

Discussing the results, leading Medical Reviewer and specialist in veterinary medicine, Dr Matthew Belden, said:- "These statistics are not surprising at all. Most people don't know they have allergies, much less their pets. Allergies are very common in dogs and the types of allergies we usually see include food allergies; which can cause chronic diarrhoea, inhalant allergies and contact allergies."

The most common sign your furry friend is suffering with allergies is excessive itching or scratching to the point where the skin is damaged. Other signs include itchy, watery eyes and sneezing.

Dr Belden said:- "If allergies are left untreated, your pet can suffer terribly. Damage to the skin from excessive itching can become prone to yeast infections, which can become difficult to treat. Since our pets can't tell us when they are suffering, we need to be observant."

Unsurprisingly, 76% of Liverpool pet owners said that better education is needed on how to look after their pets' eyes correctly. As 32% of pet owners wouldn't know what they would need to do to help improve their pet's eye health.

Here are Dr Belden's top tips for looking after your pets' eyes:-

See your vet annually... Conjunctivitis is the most common eye problem in pets. Most eye issues can be detected during a good physical exam, so yearly veterinary check-ups are very important. That's also an excellent time to ask any questions you may have about your pet's eyes.

Know what's "normal..."?  Pets' eyes work the same way humans' eyes do and are just as sensitive and delicate. In "normal" eyes, the cornea is crystal clear, the sclera (the white part of the eye) is bright white and the conjunctiva is healthy pink.

Keep your pets eyes clean...  Pets can usually clean their eyes with their own tears. It's not unusual for pets to have a bit of dried discharge on the inside corner of the eye, especially on windy or dusty days.  However, if cleaning is needed, human ophthalmic saline is fine in the short term. Owners should avoid contact with the cornea when cleaning their pet's eyes and always follow their vet's instructions.

Know the signs... The main signs your pet could be suffering include:- redness of the sclera (the white part of the eye), excess discharge, cloudiness of the cornea or pupil, squinting or frequent blinking or a reluctance to open the eyes.

Dr Matthew Belden concluded:- "Eyes are delicate structures. If there's a problem, owners should absolutely not "wait and see if it gets better on its own." They should seek veterinary care as soon as possible to alleviate needless suffering and prevent serious, and possibly permanent, damage."

For more information on how to look after your pets' eyes, please visit the All About Vision website.


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