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News Report Page 7 of 9
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Entries now open for the Great NSPCC Dog Show

ENTRIES are now open for the NSPCC's 1st ever virtual dog show, calling for canines across the North to show their talents for charity. Owners can enter their furry friends into a selection of categories, including best rescue, funniest dog, and waggiest tail, among others. The NSPCC is asking for a ₤5 donation to join in, but you can then enter as many categories as you like, with entries submitted to:- by Monday, 25 May 2020. Other categories include best puppy, most handsome male or prettiest female, and there is even a prize for the best dance routine. Prizes will be awarded for each category, as well as an overall best in show. The event is set to celebrate man's best friend, after many of us have spent the lockdown period with them.

Tess O'Callaghan, Corporate Fundraising Manager for the region who organised the event, said:- "Dogs have played an important role during lockdown in helping to keep families calm and provide a much needed distraction during what is a very worrying time. They've been with us on our daily walks, they've taken part in fundraising challenges and made a few unscripted appearances on conference calls. It's time to celebrate your canine companions!"

Aside from the exciting event, it's important to remember how crucial donations are for the NSPCC at the moment. All proceeds from this event will go towards supporting children and families through this extremely difficult time.  The NSPCC has recently launched a promotional campaign to expand and raise awareness of its helpline service to protect more young people, as well as helping communities understand how to identify the possible signs of abuse and neglect. Your entry donation alone means our staff can answer someone through the Helpline, who may be worried about a child in danger. Helpline staff will guide them through the next steps to take, and if necessary can refer their concerns to other agencies such as Police or Social Services.

If you're worried about a child or want advice on disclosing abuse, the Helpline can be reached 24 hours a day by email:- Help@NSPCC.Org.UK; or through its online reporting form. Its team of experts can also be called Monday to Friday, from 8am to 10pm or 9am to 6pm at the weekends, on:- 08088005000. To sign up your doggy friend, visit:- JustGiving.Com, before Monday, 25 May 2020. By entering the competition, you are giving permission for your photo or video to be used by NSPCC on social media.

Co-Op gives Southport causes payment boot

THE Co-op has given local causes in Southport a funding boost through its Local Community Fund, money which has been raised by Co-op Members and through the sale of carrier bags. In total ₤26,350 has been shared by 21 local causes. Co-op is a long term supporter of these causes who already do amazing things in the community, many of which are adapting their work to help others during the Coronavirus outbreak. These include:- Hope St, Formby Little Theatre and Woodlands Animal Sanctuary.

Co-op members receive a 5% reward every time they purchase own brand goods and services with a further 1% going to local causes. Since the scheme began in 2016 more than 21,000 local causes across the UK have received over ₤60m. The Co-op will continue to support these causes, with another 6 months of funding through the Local Community Fund. Co-op members can choose to support a particular cause by logging in at:- CoOp.Co.UK.

Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community and Shared Value at the Co-op, said:- "The local community fund is now a well established way of supporting local causes who help to make communities safer, happier, and healthier places to live. All the local community causes we're connected to are at the centre of helping their communities. We've increased the payout to give the causes a vital cash injection to help them continue the essential work they do in the community at this time of crisis and difficulty for so many people."

The Co-op is also urging its members to help alleviate the impact of the present lock down by donating their personal unspent existing five percent reward to a new Co-op Members Fund set up to support foodbanks, funeral hardship and local community causes.

The Co-op Members' Coronavirus Fund has been established so that the Co-op's 4.6 million members across the UK can donate their unspent rewards, that total over ₤30m, into these vital areas. The Co-op's CEO Steve Murrells has kicked started the fund by donating 20% of his salary over a 3 month period.

The five percent reward members receive is held in an online wallet which can be redeemed on future purchases. By visiting the Co-op's website members will be able to donate the existing money in their wallet to the fund.

Steve Murrells the Co-op's CEO said:- "1% of what our members spend already goes to local causes and now if they wish they can donate their five per cent personal rewards to help lessen the impact the emergency is having on millions of our communities. I know that many of our members want to support others at this very difficult time and our new fund makes it as simple as possible for them to contribute in their own way. The collective effort of our members could have a massive impact for thousands of lives in the weeks and months ahead. The Co-op has been supporting the communities in which it operates for 175 years and we will be still be here when this crisis is over."

The Co-op has also announced the national launch of Co-operate; an Online Community Centre, available on:- CoOp.Co.UK. It connects vulnerable people to local and national support initiatives, but also to volunteers who are willing to run virtual events such as:- exercise classes, music groups, or arts and crafts classes for others, across the country.

Check your vehicle for these 5 things before driving

IF you are using your vehicle for the 1st time in several weeks; while following Government advice; Highways England has an important message for you:- check it!  You should still stay at home as much as possible. But if you are leaving home for 1 of the reasons the Government has given, remember that any vehicle which hasn't been on the road for some time will need a thorough check to ensure it is roadworthy and safe.

Richard Leonard, Highways England Head of Road Safety, said:- "We should only be leaving home for the reasons the Government has set out; and we want those journeys to be safe ones. If you haven't driven for a few weeks you might feel a bit strange getting back behind the wheel, and your car will need a few simple checks, like your tyres, oil, water, lights and fuel. As our teams have been able to continue working, while following social distancing guidelines, the layout of some roads have slightly changed. Everything will not be the same as the last time you were on the road, so please ensure you and your vehicle are prepared."

So far during the lockdown, Highways England has seen a drop in traffic flow of up to around 85% at weekends, showing that many people have been following Government advice to stay at home.

Here is Highways England's advice for drivers:-

Check tyres:- prior to setting off on a long / significant journey, check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load and the condition of your tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit.

►  Check engine oil:- use your dipstick to check oil regularly and before any long journey, and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you're topping up more than usual.

►  Check water:- to ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen.

►  Check lights:- if your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MoT.

►  Check fuel:- before setting out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to get to your destination.

More tips, including:- 'how to videos.' are available online.

Southport water worker has starring role in TV's Sewermen show

A big pipe expert from Southport is starring in the 2nd series of Sewermen, a fly on the wall documentary celebrating the everyday heroes keeping our taps flowing and our toilets flushing. Often funny, sometimes shocking, but always enlightening, the 2nd series of Sewermen aired on Thursdays, on Paramount Network (Freeview Channel 31; Freesat 132 and Sky 150). Filmed by production company, Label1 TV, the brains behind the BBC's award winning documentary series Hospital, Sewermen gets down and dirty with the hard working folk from the North West's Regional Water and Wastewater firm, United Utilities. For 5th aficionados there's lots of fun and games with the firms' poo patrol, poking around in our drains to clear blockages and stop sewer flooding. Viewers also get a bird's eye view of a mammoth feat of engineering as the water company starts the multi million pound revamp of the Haweswater Aqueduct which pipes 570 million litres of water from the Lakes, through Cumbria, Lancashire and into Greater Manchester every day. Among the shows stars is engineering expert, John Dawson, who returned on Thursday's, 14 May 2020, episode contends with driving rain and gale force winds, as he manages construction of key sections of the 109km Haweswater Aqueduct.

John, 46, from Southport, is construction manager for special projects at United Utilities. He says working on the programme was initially daunting, but became enjoyable as filming progressed. "The crew were brilliant at putting me at ease and asking all the right questions to help me explain what was going on in a clear way. Towards the end we were having quite a laugh making it especially on 1 day when we'd rushed to finish our work so we could open the road then waited for over an hour for a car to come by!"

United Utilities' Customer Services Director, Louise Beardmore, said:- "This show is a window into our world and shines a light on the essential service we provide. It's a great opportunity for people to see what we do every day. Water and wastewater company staff are among the army of key workers making sure the UK continues to have the vital services it needs during the current COVID-19 crisis. Thousands of our people continue to be out on the UK's streets carrying out critical maintenance, laying new pipes, finding and fixing leaks and unblocking sewers."

Label1 Series Editor, Helen White, said:-
"We were privileged to capture a 2nd series of Sewermen following the everyday heroes at United Utilities. We've filmed more great stories this year from technicians battling blocked drains to engineers tackling burst pipes and huge engineering projects. We'd like to say a heartfelt thank you to all staff and customers who took part in or helped with filming."

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