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Heatwave: bathers warned of drowning risk ahead of scorching temperatures

CASUAL swimmers should be aware of the risk of drowning when taking a dip in the water during the hot weather, Council leaders are warning today.  The Local Government Association, which represents Councils across England and Wales, is urging people to keep safe in the water and learn what do in case of an emergency, ahead of next week's heatwave.  Last year, 277 people died as a result of accidental drowning, an increase in 23 deaths from the previous year.  With more people likely to be out near water during the latest spell of hot weather, Councils are urging everybody to be vigilant to the dangers of drowning, especially parents with children.  People are being warned particularly of the risk of cold water shock, which is 1 of the biggest causes of drowning. Even strong and confident swimmers can struggle and drown after jumping into cold and unpredictable seas, rivers, canals and lakes where temperatures can be as low as 15⁰C in the summer; ½that of typical swimming pools heated to 30C.  The warning comes ahead of the second annual World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July 2022. This year's theme is:- 'Do 1 thing to prevent drowning' and encourages people to share safety advice, take swimming lessons and support local downing prevention groups and charities.

Cllr Nesil Caliskan, Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said:- "In a heatwave, 1 of the 1st things people do is flock to their local bathing spot to cool off and what might look like a safe place to take a dip or have a swim could in fact be a danger. Councils want to make sure everyone is safe around water, which is why we are urging people to follow our advice to be careful and vigilant to the dangers. Our advice is to brush up on your water safety skills and always swim in water that is clearly marked as safe and under the control of a lifeguard. Swimming in unknown water could lead to tragic consequences."

Paymentshield abseils down Trafford Centres as it raises £15,000 for local Hospice

SOUTHPORT based insurance solutions provider Paymentshield took on the Trafford Centre last week, as 5 members of its team abseiled down a 170ft tower at the iconic Manchester landmark to raise money for Queenscourt Hospice. The abseil raised £2,800, which takes Paymentshield's total fundraising for Queenscourt to over £15,000 since naming it as the company's Charity of the Year 2021 to 2022.  Queenscourt, which is located near the Paymentshield head office in Southport, cares for patients with serious illnesses and relies heavily on charitable donations to keep the Hospice running.

Rob Evans, CEO at Paymentshield, said:- "For over 30 years, Queenscourt has been making a huge difference to the people of West Lancashire, Southport and Formby. The care that they provide to patients with serious illnesses enables them to achieve the best possible quality of life. We know 1st hand just how much of a huge difference the Hospice makes to the patients and their families at the time when they need it the most. I'm hoping our volunteering and fundraising efforts this year can help the Hospice continue its amazing work providing the very highest level of care."

The abseil is the latest in a series of Paymentshield fundraising events for Queenscourt, with the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge already ticked off and activities including:- Boombox Bingo and a charity cricket match coming up later this year.

She Inspires football tournament reaches its finale

MORE than 90 young women from across Merseyside competed in the final of the:- 'She Inspires' football tournament hosted by the Region's Police's Commissioner and Chief Constable and a squad of top sporting partners, on Sunday, 3 July 2022. Eight teams came together from all over Merseyside to compete in the tournament's 1st ever final at the Jeffery Humble playing fields in Aintree. The final was the culmination of a 2 month project which saw approximately 120 girls, aged between:- 15 and 18, from areas where diversionary activities would have the biggest impact receive free training sessions from Liverpool County FA, LFC Foundation and Everton in the Community. As well as gaining skills on the pitch, the young women had the chance to earn accredited FA qualifications and further education via the:- Fowler Education Football Academy, LFC Foundation Sports Works employability programme and Everton Football College. After fierce competition, Liverpool Feds White beat runners up Hesketh Colts Blues 4-0 and were presented with the winning trophy and their medals by Merseyside Police's Commissioner Emily Spurrell, Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine and Liverpool FC Women player Missy Bo Kearns.

Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell:- "It was brilliant to see so many young women coming together today for the 'She Inspires' project. Football is a fantastic way to engage and inspire young women and I'm proud to have supported this project, giving young women across our Region the opportunity to work as a team, develop leadership skills and gain qualifications to help them reach their full potential. I was delighted to be able to present the awards to the winners of the tournament and see how far all the young women have come since taking part in the project. My congratulations to all involved, especially the winners at Liverpool Feds White, and a big thanks to Liverpool County FA, the coaching staff at Everton in the Community and Liverpool FC Foundation, and all our partners for supporting this event."

Merseyside's Police's Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) lead Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine said:- "It was my privilege to attend on Sunday and get to watch these talented young women put so much passion into something they enjoy. Their enthusiasm and focus on the pitch was inspiring to watch. Initiatives like this that offer our young people an opportunity to bring all their potential to the fore are so important. Merseyside Police is committed to working with our partners and communities and the 'She Inspires' initiative will ensure that girls who take part build their confidence and realise their potential both on and off the pitch. This has been a great example of the good that comes of working closely with our community partners. Football clubs, Colleges, blue light services, local facilities; all coming together to create a unique opportunity for Merseyside girls."

A spokesperson from the winners, Liverpool Feds White said:- "It was an inclusive and enjoyable tournament with some good football and great attitudes to the game on show. The players value the opportunities to complete some coaching and referee courses as many want to continue in the game in many different ways."

A spokesperson for the runners up Hesketh Colt Blues added:- "It is always great to see the women's game growing and the aspirations of female football being taken seriously. It's great to see more organisations getting involved and backing the opportunities in the sport for the early development stages in girls football, followed by evolving pathways into the sport and related professions for the women's game. The tournament was well run and our Hesketh Colts girls enjoyed the whole day. Hopefully this will go each year from strength to strength, helping grow the opportunities with women's football."

Liverpool County FA, LFC Foundation and Everton in The Community worked with the Police and Crime Commissioner's office, Merseyside Police and Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership to provide resources and time to facilitate the girls coaching in a strong show of Merseyside communities and groups coming together for the benefit of young people.

Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer, Head of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, said:- "As with our other ongoing culture, media, and sport programmes, She Inspires has offered young people opportunities to grow, be healthy and progress and be away from any potential toxic influences. I think it has also exposed them to positive female role models, personified of course by the tournament's founders, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside and the Chief Constable."

Anna Farrell, Football Development Officer at Liverpool County FA:- "Football brings people together and can be used to break down barriers and create positive relationships and experiences. The girls involved in this programme, have all experienced weekly fun and inspiring coaching sessions. They now have the opportunity to develop as football players, referees, coaches and now know what Further Educational opportunities and support are available to them as well as careers in Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. By working collaboratively for the 1st time, we have inspired this group of girls and we aim for this to continue."

LFC Foundation CEO Matt Parish said:- "The LFC Foundation is proud that we have been part of this partnership with EitC, LCFA, the PCC, the Chief Constable and Merseyside VRU to deliver this programme for young women in Merseyside. It is hoped that the participants will have increased their confidence and self-esteem and in doing so their resilience and ability to resist getting drawn into risk taking behaviour and unhealthy relationships."

The event was also used to host the 11 v 11 Sefton under 16 girls League Cup Final between:- Crosby Stuart Girls and Rainford Ladies, with Rainford being crowned as winners.

Rainford Ladies FC coach Darren Drury said:- "Our girls had the best Cup Final Day. From our mascots to players, to parents and spectators, it was enjoyed by all. A day to remember. Thank you to all involved."

Crosby Stuart Coach Neil Fletcher said:- "An exciting day competing and looking at footballing opportunities. Missy Bo Kearns presenting the medals is a brilliant memory for the players. Well done Rainford."

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