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News Report Page 13 of 18
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Charity training for struggling small charities in Liverpool

SOUTHPORT is getting ready to rock in an unforgettable fundraiser for Queenscourt Hospice; after the original event was postponed so people could pay their respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Rock The Bandstand was originally due to take place on 10 September 2022, but was swiftly postponed following the death of the much loved monarch at the age of 96.

Organisers have now confirmed a brand new date of midday to 4.30pm, on Sunday, 9 October 2022, at the Victorian Bandstand, on Lord Street, in Southport's Town Centre, in front of The Vincent Hotel.

They are inviting people to come along and enjoy a superb day of live music, courtesy of 3 top quality local bands: Fag Ash Lil, Slick Cupid and Offenders.

Attendance is free. Volunteers from Queenscourt will be present to give visitors the opportunity to donate to the hospice if they wish to do so.

Queenscourt operates a Hospice in Southport and cares for around 2,000 local families in West Lancashire, Southport and Formby every year, both on site and in people's homes. It relies on the generosity of members of the public to keep providing its vital services.

Babs Arthur from Fag Ash Lil said:- "We are looking forward to Fag Ash Lil joining other bands in presenting a charity gig for Queenscourt Hospice, well known in the area for its palliative care role. At the Bandstand, the event will feature 'Battle of the Bands 2022' winners Slick Cupid and the up and coming Offenders. Fag Ash Lil will finish what we know will be an eventful musical afternoon. Kick off is 12 noon, finishing at 4.30pm or thereabouts! Come along and enjoy an afternoon of musical adventure and contribute to the essential work of Queenscourt Hospice."

Fag Ash Lil band member, Steve Norris, explains why the Lord Street bandstand has been chosen for the event. He said:- "I think 1 of the reasons we wanted to put some music out there was that, sadly, the Rock The Lakes Festival had been cancelled as ticket sales weren't happening… therefore we missed playing at their 10th Anniversary gig. Fag Ash Lil has been the only band to have played every year it's been on. The other sad thing is we are losing pubs and other venues that a full band can play in. We've had loads of musicians asking to be included in this event. Hopefully we have started something that could possibly run and run."

Although not a band member, Southport artist Tony Wynne has been working with Fag Ash Lil to help pull the event together. Tony and the band are no strangers, however. He said:- "Everyone knows Fag Ash Lil and they have a massive and loyal following. I've worked with the band before; at the Waterfront, on Market Street and twice at the Bandstand. I agree with Steve's comments about the reducing number of venues for full on bands and, sadly, more could disappear due to the economic crisis. Lord Street is a superb open air venue and is wholly suitable for putting on music gigs. As Steve has said, let's hope it is the start of 'something that could possibly run and run'."

Just to recap... Rock The Bandstand is a free event at The Bandstand, on Lord Street, Southport (PR81JR), that will run from:- 12pm to 4.30pm, on Sunday, 9 October 2022.

For more details on supporting the work of Queenscourt Hospice please visit:- Queenscourt.Org.UK.

Over 21 million people at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning this winter

HUNTS Cross rail users will now benefit from a step free route from the street to the platforms with the opening of new lifts and footbridge at the station. The 16 person capacity lifts will make it easier to reach the platforms for wheelchair users, people with mobility needs, heavy luggage, bicycles or those with children in buggies.

On the 28 September Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder, was joined by ward Councillors, Garston and Halewood MP Maria Eagle and Andy Heath, Managing Director of Merseyrail, for the ribbon cutting ceremony. This completion of the works now brings the total number of Step Free Stations in the Liverpool City Region to 59 out of a total of 83.

It's been made possible through funding from the Department for Transport's (DfT) Access for All programme and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority's Transforming Cities Fund, as part of a wider vision to make the local rail network the most accessible in the country.

As part of this round of investment, Merseyrail passengers can also look forward to greater accessibility as new lifts will be up and running at both Hillside and St Michael's stations in the next few months, while Northern passengers will benefit when Broadgreen on the City Line has new lifts installed next year. There are also plans for a second lift to the Northern line platform at Liverpool Central next year.

The Combined Authority has also recently submitted a bid to DfT to make 10 more stations step-free between the station and the platform, via the latest round of Access for All funding.

The upgrades align to the Metro Mayor's wider vision of building a London-style transport system for the Region that is quick, simple, affordable, and accessible to all. Improving accessibility at stations will also complement the introduction of the City Region's new, state-of-the-art trains with pioneering sliding step technology, which are due to be phased into service from later this year.

Cllr Liam Robinson, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Portfolio Holder said:- "Mayor Steve Rotheram has made clear that his ambition is to make the City Region public transport network 1 of the most accessible in the UK and the opening of these new lifts and footbridge at Hunts Cross station takes us another step closer to realising that aim. Being able to independently travel across our rail network can have a huge impact on people's everyday lives. Our long term aim is still to make every station step-free from pavement to platform and alongside the work we are already carrying out at Hillside, St Michael and Broad Green, the recent bid we submitted to DfT for further funding will help bring us nearer to that target."

Andy Heath, Managing Director of Merseyrail, said:- "It is fantastic to see this next important step towards our aim of Merseyrail becoming the 1st network in the UK to have step free access at every platform on our network. I know the people of Hunts Cross and the wider community will welcome this fantastic new facility. Our purpose as a business is to provide a railway that the communities we serve can be proud of, and we are delighted to be working alongside the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and our other key partners to deliver station improvements such as this. In the coming months this new lift and the further 5 being launched on our network this year will be perfectly complimented by our new fleet of Class 777 trains. These will see level-boarding on platforms become the norm; with Merseyrail setting the standard nationally for a truly inclusive railway."


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