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Local NHS Trust encourages people to reach out this festive period

CHESHIRE and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust are urging Wirral residents to take care of each other this Christmas period and access support when needed. CWP Chief Executive Tim Welch said:- "The festive period is a joyful time for many as families and friends come together to celebrate. However, it is also a time for great compassion and to support each other through hard times. For some people, this time of year can be a struggle. You are not alone, mental health support if available to you. Please reach out if you or a loved 1 need help."

In Wirral there are a number of support options available for people who are finding it difficult to cope:-

   Talking Therapies services - offer support for issues such as depression and anxiety. Find details of your nearest service at:- NHS.UK.

   Companeros is an NHS commissioned crisis café based in the heart of Birkenhead on Price Street. Open from:- 10:00am until 10:00pm, Companeros provides a safe space for people aged 18 and over struggling with emotional distress who consider themselves to be in a self-defined crisis. It offers a welcoming environment for people to connect with others who are experiencing similar problems. Details of opening times can be found at:- CWP.NHS.UKs

   The Shout text messaging service is available for anyone who would rather not speak to someone face to face or pick up the phone. Offering total privacy, and available 24/7, it is operated by trained volunteers, who will provide free and confidential support. Text:- 'BLUE' to 85258 to start a conversation.

   For some people if your mental health gets worse and you feel you are unable to cope, this is a mental health crisis. It is important to access support quickly. The CWP urgent mental health crisis line supports people to access the help they need and is here to help 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week, including Christmas Day. Call:- 08001456485.

   More information is available on the Trust website here:- CWP.NHS.UK/Crisis.

Tim continues:- "On behalf of the Trust, I would like to send warm festive wishes to everyone and pay particular tribute to our outstanding staff who continue to go above and beyond to provide outstanding care. We are here for anyone who requires support over the festive period so if you feel you like you need help; please do reach out."

Tesco shoppers in Merseyside part of record year of giving to food banks and charities in 2022

DESPITE a year which has seen the UK in the grip of the Cost Of Living crisis, Tesco shoppers have been their most generous ever in support of food banks and local charities, with customers in Merseyside, are being thanked for their food donations.

Tesco customers donated more than 2.4 million meals during the Tesco Food Collection at the beginning of December, with 12,289 of those meals donated coming from shoppers in Liverpool; 6,440, in Southport; 1,051, in St Helens, and 6,703, in Birkenhead.

The total amount of food donated by Tesco shoppers to the Trussell Trust and FareShare during the year was equivalent of 12.5 million meals, 153,615 of which came from Liverpool; 29,666 in Southport; 22,023 in St Helens, and 31,825 in Birkenhead.

The donations to the Trussell Trust help food banks to provide emergency food parcels to people in crisis, while donations to FareShare support thousands of frontline local charities in communities across the country. Tesco has also topped up all customer donations during the collection by 20% in cash, to support the 2 charities with their operating costs and ensure the food can get to where it is most needed.

Tesco UK and Northern Ireland CEO Jason Tarry attributed the rise in donations; with donations to the Food Collection alone up 53% on 2021; to both the incredible generosity of customers, and the supermarket's work to make it easier for them to donate.

Tesco UK and Northern Ireland CEO Jason Tarry said:- "Our customers have always amazed us with their generosity, in 2023 we have seen more than ever. We know that household budgets are very stretched, but our customers have been incredible. We had people donating whole trollies of food at our recent Tesco Food Collection, and it is genuinely heart warming to see so much kindness. The fact that we now have collection points in every store has made it easier than ever for customers to donate, and those donations are really needed."

In addition to the donations of food, the pre-Christmas Tesco Food Collection saw customers donate more than £382,000 to the charities by rounding up their bills at the till, donate £133,000 through a link from Tesco's online groceries website and give more than £19,000 of Tesco Clubcard vouchers, which Tesco has matched. A further £20,000 was donated to the charities as a result of Tesco's Give Back Express pop-up shop in London.

Tesco also donates its unsold food to FareShare and, including those donations, more than 39 million meals have been provided to both of the charities by Tesco and its customers in the past year.

Ann Dobie, Development Manager at FareShare Merseyside, said:- "We want to say an enormous thank you to Tesco, and every single person that volunteered and donated across the year and at the Winter Food Collection- we had more than 2,000 amazing volunteers join us in stores this year. Our charities have told us how difficult things have become as a result of the cost of living crisis, with many expecting to see a huge increase in need as the weather gets even colder. The support we have seen from people at the collections and throughout 2022, in both time and donations, will help FareShare to continue getting much needed food to the people that need it most this winter."

Emma Revie, Chief Executive at the Trussell Trust, said:- "Food banks across the UK are facing their hardest winter yet as they struggle to cope with a tsunami of need caused by the cost of living emergency. On a daily basis food banks in our network are hearing from families up and down the country who are having to make impossible decisions between putting food on the table or turning on the heating, and too many people are being left with no option but to use a food bank because their money simply won't stretch. Thanks to the incredible generosity of Tesco customers, food banks across the Trussell Trust network can continue to provide emergency food and support to people facing hardship. Each and every donation made Merseyside will enable FareShare Merseyside to provide immediate help to people in the local community, while the Trussell Trust works in the long term to build a future without the need for food banks."

With both charities continuing to need support, Tesco shoppers can continue to make donations at permanent collection points at every Tesco store in the UK.

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