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Oh, I do like to be bark-side the seaside! Beach loving homeless hounds enjoy a day out in Southport

LONG summer days may be some time off yet, but a day at the seaside couldn't come soon enough for beach loving dogs who have found themselves in need of new families.

The team at Dogs Trust Merseyside headed to Southport this week to give their 4 legged friends some fun, sadly not in the sun; but not even the drizzle could dampen their spirits.

Georgina Lowery, Manager of Dogs Trust Merseyside, which cares for more than 70 dogs at any 1 time at its Huyton rehoming centre, says:- "It's fantastic to be able to take our dogs on a day trip. Some love hiking through countryside, but others adore the beach and feeling the sand and sea under their paws, so Southport was our doggie destination this week."

Five-year-old Greyhound Leo usually likes to take a bit of time to get used to anywhere new, but at the beach the team saw a totally different side to his personality. As soon as he had a sniff of sea air, he was immediately happy to speed along the sand and say hello to everyone he met.

Leo's canine companion for the day was Foxhound Fran. Fran, who is three, was sadly found as a stray but proved herself to be a perfect beach buddy alongside Leo, happy to follow in his sandy paw prints, as she is much more confident when she has a 4 legged friend with her.

Georgina adds:- "Leo is very laid back and can often be found snoozing in his kennel watching the world go by, and because Fran was found as a stray, we have no idea what she loves to do or what she has experienced in the past. To see them both really come alive on the beach was fantastic and it has given us so much more information that we can pass on to potential adopters. It was great to chat to people about them too! They had a fantastic day and I'm sure we'll be back soon, whatever the weather, as to see our dogs so happy is what it's all about for us."

Neither dog needs a beachside home, but Fran would love to live with a calm canine chum as she is a sweet, gentle, friendly girl. She can live with children of secondary School age, as can Leo, but he would like to be the only pet in the home.

Bootle Stands Up! invites people to take part in comedy workshop and show at Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender

DO you think you're funny? Can you make people laugh? The brand new Bootle Stands Up! event, sponsored by Dowhigh Ltd, would love people to take part.

It's part of the 2024 Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender, run by Big Comedy UK and Sefton Council, which is taking place across the May Bank Holiday Weekend on 23-26 May.

Bootle Stands Up! Is seeking around a dozen people to challenge themselves and take part in a free 6-week comedy masterclass, led by established local comedian Brendan Riley.

The initiative is raising money for the superb YKids charity in Bootle, which aims to empower and support children and young people in the local community to believe that they can, and then do, make a difference.

Big Comedy UK Director Brendan Riley said:- "We were delighted by the success of the 1st ever Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender last year! Each year we are looking to add a new element to the festival and this year we are introducing Bootle Stands Up! It is a really great way to engage with the local community. We know there are lots of budding comedians in Bootle and we would love them to come and join us for our comedy workshops. We are delighted to be raising money for YKids, which is a fantastic local charity in Bootle. We would like to thank Dowhigh Ltd, a Bootle based firm, for their support in making this event happen. We have run successful comedy workshops and events like this before, raising money for local charities such as Claire House Children's Hospice, the Community Link Foundation and Southport Lifeboat. This is a 6 week comedy workshop, culminating in a show on the main stage at the new Salt and Tar events space on the opening night of this year's Comedy Weekender. We are looking for around 10 people to take part. It could be someone who has always wanted to have a go at stand up comedy; it could be someone with a great sense of humour who's good at making people laugh; it could be someone keen to build their confidence and improve their public speaking skills. I always encourage people to use original material in the show. The workshops will take place on 6 Monday evenings leading up to the festival, with a venue to be confirmed soon. We are not looking for the next Michael McIntrye! Just someone looking to enjoy a new challenge, through a really fun learning experience. We will teach people lots of skills, including how to deal with a heckler; creative writing; public speaking; dealing with nerves. At the end of the course, the participants will deliver a 10-minute set on stage at Salt and Tar on:- Thursday, 23 May 2024. It should be fun! If you're interested in taking part you can apply through our Big Comedy UK website or call me on:- 07770591625 and I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have, or explain more about the process. The workshops are a fantastic way of building your personal skills and public speaking confidence. The people in the group are always really supportive of each other. All we ask is for people to commit to 6 weeks of doing the course and then the show. For anyone thinking of taking part, it is a really great experience."

The course is available to anyone aged 18 and over. You can apply via the website.

The Salt and Tar's Comedy Weekender in Bootle is back for 2024, with a star-studded line up that is sure to keep the audience laughing.

The event will take place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, launching with Bootle Stand Up! on:- Thursday, 23 May 2024, and running to Sunday 26 May 2024. Tickets start from just £5.

Gary Delaney and Brennan Reece, alongside local comic Katie Tracey will appear on the Friday, with Bingo Nights UK's Disco Bingo taking to the stage on Saturday night, followed by Seann Walsh, Peter Rethinasamy and Hal Cruttenden on the Sunday.

During the daytime, Salt and Tar will be home to plenty of family fun, with Comedy Bingo hosted by local comedian Brendan Riley and Britain's Got Talent Finalist Steve Royle performing on the Saturday, and John Harding's Magic Show and a second helping of Comedy Bingo on Sunday.

Cllr Christine Howard, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills said:- "Last year's comedy event was a brilliant success and, following the event, we received lots of positive feedback that highlighted what a hit it was. The acts this year are sure to draw a fantastic crowd and make it another successful weekend."

Tickets for the Comedy Weekender can be bought at:- SeeTickets.Com.

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