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Liverpool is going on a Bear Hunt!
Image by Helen Oxenbury.

Image supplied by Liverpool City Council - © 1989 Helen Oxenbury.

"SHHH!" There are lots of bears coming to Liverpool and Liverpool City Council is looking for places to hide them! As part of the City's Year of Reading, Liverpool City Council and its #LiverpoolReads partners have teamed up with publishers Walker Books to set up a Bear Hunt, inspired by the children's classic We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. And now the council needs businesses to come forward to be hiding places for the bears. Throughout August 2020, businesses across the City are being asked to display cut outs of the book's famous bear, as drawn by illustrator Helen Oxenbury, for youngsters to find throughout the summer holidays.

Jane Winterbotham, Publishing Director, Walker Books, said:- "We're delighted that Liverpool will be hosting Michael and Helen's Bear Hunt now that lockdown has ended. We're sure that the bear will get a warm Liverpool welcome and we know that he is happy to be lending a helping paw to Liverpool's Year of Reading. Best of luck with spotting; he's popping up all across the City so you need to find him everywhere he goes!"

Cllr Barbara Murray, Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills and #LiverpoolReads lead, said:- "As 2020 is Liverpool's Year of Reading we wanted to do something special for families over the summer holidays despite the restrictions that remain in place. We are really lucky to have the support of Michael Rosen the author of We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Walker Books UK for a Liverpool Bear Hunt. Special thanks to them. Stay alert has a whole new meaning at the moment. See if you can spot bears everywhere across the City, spot ten and get a certificate. We will be announcing other activities related to the Liverpool Bear Hunt throughout August. Stay safe and have some fun!"

Youngsters who spot 10 bears can then get an e-certificate to mark their achievement. When children spot a bear, a grown up will need to take a photo of them with the ursine interloper. When they have photographs of themselves with bears in ten different places they will then need to complete the online form on, to receive their certificate.

Businesses that would like to join in the fun should complete the Bear Hunt form, on Liverpool Year Of Reading's website, in order to be sent a resource pack. Businesses taking part will be listed on the webpage and also on the #LiverpoolReads Facebook Page.

Bear spots can also be shared on social media using #LiverpoolBearHunt to help other bear spotters in their quest. Bear spotting is now open and will continue until 31 August 2020. Children can apply for their certificates until 12 September 2020. #LiverpoolReads is running throughout 2020 and aims to get everyone in the City picking up a book for fun.

Galloway's chairman Simon Booth and his family take on a 1,000km challenge as part of the Great North Run Solo

imon Booth with his Mum, Mavis Booth.

FOR Charity Chairman and retired Supermarket Director, Simon Booth, fundraising is a real family affair. Simon, who has been involved with sight loss charity Galloway's for more than 40 years, has signed up to the Great North Run Solo virtual event. But he won't be doing it alone, as he has roped in his wife Jill, and 5 children Beatrice, 20, Grace, 18, twins Harry and Scarlett Tillie, both 16, and 11 year old Arthur, to join him. Even Simon's, 91 year old, Mum Mavis, who has dementia, will be walking laps around her garden and occasionally using her wheelchair. To add to their challenge, they have set themselves a combined target of 1,000km by the event deadline of 13 September 2020.  All funds raised will go towards helping Galloway's continue supporting blind and partially sighted people across Lancashire and Sefton.

The Booth family get ready for their challenge. Left to right: Simon, Grace, Beatrice, Arthur, Scarlett-Tillie, Jill and Harry.

Simon, who is a retired family director of Booths supermarket, said:- "Our family has been involved with Galloway's since the beginning, as both my father and grandfather were chairmen. Our family has a business in Preston, Booths, and we have always supported the charity, so we are really proud to be associated with Galloway's. We want the charity to be successful in helping people with sight loss lead more independent lives. My children also actively support Galloway's, as they have visited the centre in Penwortham and helped with activities. My 2 eldest daughters have also assisted during trips to the Lake District and had great fun. We have some runners in my family and they were looking for an activity to do. They found the Great North Run Solo, where participants complete 40 runs from 28 June 2020 to 13 September 2020, and my wife came up with the idea of us all joining together to have a goal of running or walking 1,000km. There will be 8 of us in total. Hopefully, my mum, who is 91, will be able to contribute a few kilometres. She will walk around the garden and if she finds that difficult, she will use her wheelchair. I will also be walking. We wanted to do this to benefit others and as I am the chairman of Galloway's, it was key for me to show my support."

The family will use running app Strava to keep a log of their distance and some members will even perform one run blindfolded. Simon added:- "It is one thing to raise money, but it is also important for us to be aware of how difficult it would be for a blind or partially sighted person to run and experience the hazards."

The Booths family started the challenge at the end of June 2020. Simon added:- "It will certainly push us, but hopefully we will have reached 1,000km by 13 September 2020. We want to do our very best and raise as much money as we can for Galloway's. The trigger for us is looking at what we can do to help provide more independence and a better quality of life for people who use our services. Hopefully people will give generously and raise money for the best cause I can think of."

To support Simon and his family, visit:-

Did you know? The Charity Galloway's has sites in:- Penwortham, Chorley, Southport and Morecambe, supports more than 7,000 blind and partially sighted people across Sefton and Lancashire.

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