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Liverpool's Batonbearers announced

2 Olympians, a Special Olympics champion and 5 community heroes will take part in the Queen's Baton Relay when it arrives in Liverpool next week. On Monday, 18 July 2022, the City will welcome the relay which aims to bring together communities during the build up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which starts with the Opening Ceremony on the 28 July 2022.

Here are Liverpool's Batonbearers, as well as the reasons they have been selected:-

Beth Tweddle - The former Olympic gymnast, Commonwealth title holder and 3 times World Champion now dedicates her time to ensuring thousands of children have access to sport and specialist coaching in Schools.

Tom Bosworth - A double Olympian race walker and British Champion, Tom recently announced that he will retire after the Birmingham Games. He is Team GB's 1st openly gay track and field athlete and is a huge advocate for mental health.

Shauna Hogan - A double silver Special Olympics swimming medallist, Shauna is also an actor, swimwear model and motivational speaker to young people, talking about her life and Down's syndrome.

Bridget Griffin - Working alongside the British Equestrian Federation, Bridget set up Park Palace Ponies which provides horse riding opportunities for inner-city, disadvantaged children. Working with 5,500 youngsters, her work brings together communities and creates opportunities for a wide range of people.

Danny De Brabander - Diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer, Danny is defying the odds and is determined to help others. He has raised more than £90,000 for local charities, works with vulnerable people and their families and is dedicated to raising awareness of bowel cancer.

Fiona Hanik - The organiser of Run In Wirral, Fiona is a welcoming face to all, supporting blind runners, those who are bereaved, or those living with mental health issues, as well as helping people who want to get active again post-surgery. Her support group in a lifeline for many.

Sarah Kearney - An inspirational local coach and athlete, Sarah has developed a running programme which works with more than 120 athletes; with an emphasis on encouraging women to take up the sport. In 2021, she teamed up with her daughter and they set a new half-marathon world record.

Rainbow Mbuangi - A professional athlete who plays blind football for Merseyside FC, Rainbow is also a respected ambassador who travels to Schools across the Region to showcase how his disability isn't a barrier for him.

At 8am, on Monday, Beth will kick off Liverpool's leg of the relay which will start at the Pier Head, near the Beatles statue. Each Batonbearer will then travel on foot through the Albert Dock towards Keel Wharf.

From Keel Wharf, a short car journey, will take the remaining Batonbearers to Princes Avenue where it will be carried along the avenue, to Princes Park where a number of School children will welcome them.

The Batonbearers were nominated due to their sporting achievements and/or their vital contribution to their local area.

It will then leave the City for its next location - Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The baton is made from copper, aluminium and steel and features a platinum strand in homage to The Queen in her Platinum Jubilee year. It is also equipped with cutting edge technology; 360 degree camera, heart rate monitor, atmospheric sensors and LED lighting.

Please note, the Batonbearers are subject to change and more people maybe added to Liverpool's line up. Also, anyone wishing to line the route is advised that Monday is expected to be very warm, so please bring water, wear a hat and sunblock.

Liverpool's Cabinet Member for Culture and Visitor Economy, Councillor Harry Doyle, said:- "It's a privilege to be part of the build up to the Commonwealth Games, and even though the baton is only with us for a short time, as always we will give it a warm Liverpool welcome. I encourage people to line the route and cheer on our amazing Batonbearers; we hope their achievements will inspire people young and old to get involved in sport and activity, and you never know, we may uncover a future sporting champion!"

Beth Tweddle MBE, said:- "When I was told I had been nominated to be part of the Queen's Baton Relay I was over the moon! As a former competitor in the Games, it's a huge honour to be a Commonwealth Batonbearer and it makes it even more special that it comes in the year Liverpool is hosting the World Gymnastics Championships 2022 which I'm a proud ambassador for. I'm delighted to be part of any event that raises the profile of sport and hope my story inspires future generations, creating a real legacy through sports participation and having a positive impact on people's health and wellbeing."

Phil Batty, Director of Ceremonies, Culture and Queen's Baton Relay, said:- "The Queen's Baton Relay is far more than just a journey. It symbolises connecting people from every corner of the Commonwealth, celebrates Batonbearers who take on challenges, and marks the countdown the biggest sporting event in West Midlands history. We hope that communities across the country join the excitement, attend events near them, line the streets to cheer on our incredible Batonbearers and celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games."

Commonwealth Games Federation President Dame Louise Martin DBE said:- "The Queen's Baton Relay symbolises hope, solidarity and collaboration across the Commonwealth at a time when it is needed most. It continues to inspire people wherever it goes and creates huge excitement for Birmingham 2022 as it journeys towards the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony on 28 July 2022."

Local charity crowned employer of the year at national awards

COMMUNITY Integrated Care, 1 of the UK's most successful social care charities with services in Southport, was proud to celebrate a double success after being awarded two prestigious care sector accolades at this year's National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards, including the top award of the evening; the:- 'Employer Award.'

Working in the community, Community Integrated Care employs over 5000 caring and committed colleagues to deliver life-enhancing support to over 2,500 people with a diverse range of care needs, including: learning disabilities, autism and mental health concerns.

Hosted by leading social care publication, Care Talk; the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards celebrate individuals, teams and organisations who have gone above and beyond over the past 12 months, providing outstanding care and support to people with learning disabilities and autism.

The highly coveted 'Employer Award' recognises:- 'an exceptional employer' in the care sector.

In presenting the award to Community Integrated Care, judges commended the charity's:- 'innovation, passion and drive to enhance the lives of people they support' and praised them on being:- 'a dynamic organisation who focussed on making a tangible difference to people's lives.'

Mark Adams, CEO of Community Integrated Care, said:- "It is a great honour to be awarded the Employer Award and to be recognised on a national level amongst so many fantastic organisations across the sector. I am incredibly proud of our frontline colleagues and support services teams for the efforts that they go to every day, to ensure the best lives possible for the people we support. This recognition is a testament to the amazing things that we have achieved over the past year, and I can't wait to see what we accomplish in the next 12 months."

The charity was also awarded the:- 'Making A Difference Award' for their ground breaking partnership with the Rugby League World Cup 2021. The accolade celebrated the partnership's world-1st Inclusive Volunteering Programme. The initiative sees hundreds of people with learning disabilities and autism have the opportunity to play a variety of important roles at live RLWC 2021 fixtures in stadiums across England; from supporting Hospitality guests to capturing matchday photography.

Praising the partnership's successes over the past 12 months, judges spotlighted their teams as:- "passionate and completely devoted to [their] work within 1 of the best community projects in global sport" and stated that:- "this gives more than 300 people life-changing opportunities to fulfil their true potential through aspirational experiences, achieving dreams, securing paid work and also challenging and tackling prejudice and discrimination."

James Brooks, 1 of the charity's Inclusive Volunteers, attended the awards evening and collected the trophy. He said:- "It was brilliant to join everyone celebrating at the awards on Friday, we had a great time. I felt so proud to collect the Making A Difference Award for our team. I love being an Inclusive Volunteer and getting to have lots of exciting experiences and learning new things; it's such a great programme to be part of. I am over the moon that we won!"

John Hughes, Community Integrated Care's Director of Partnerships and Communities, said:- "I'm delighted to see our partnership with the Rugby League World Cup 2021 and our Inclusive Volunteering Programme take home the gold for the Making a Difference Award. Championing inclusion, tackling discrimination and securing once in a lifetime opportunities for people with learning disabilities and autism are at the heart of this programme. It's fantastic to see the judges recognise this and for it to be highlighted as a leading project within the sector, at a national event. I am really proud of everyone that has contributed to the programme so far and would like to extend my gratitude to the Rugby League World Cup 2021 for helping make dreams a reality, and supporting to us in promoting inclusion on a global scale."

The annual awards, which took place at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham also saw the charity shortlisted for 4 further honours in the:- 'Breaking Down Barriers,' 'Sporting Chance,' 'People's Award' and 'Supporting People with Multiple Learning Disabilities' categories.

Community Integrated Care is currently recruiting Support Workers in Southport at an industry leading pay rate of £10 per hour. To find out more about the charity's current vacancies, visit their careers website here or register your interest at:- WorkInCare.Co.UK.

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