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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 19 February 2007

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Are there really no children in Southport worthy of a knighthood?

A RECENT search for special children that have shown outstanding bravery, care for others or displayed exceptional courage has prompted a huge response from all over the region with the exception of the Southport area.  Organisers of Camelot Theme Park’s annual ‘Knights in Shining Armour search have reported unusually low numbers of children nominated from Southport and is calling on people to show that the area is full of children who make a difference to their family and the community they live in.

A spokesperson for Camelot Theme Park, comments:- “We have had a fantastic response to the Knights search from certain pockets of the region but we were surprised when the entries started coming in that the number of children nominated from the Southport area were few and far between.”

The search is now continuing for talented children who have had a tough time, someone who has had to cope with an illness or even a child that always tries to help others at school to receive a once in a lifetime knighthood.  If you would like to nominate a child who deserves a magical treat you can put them forward to receive an honorary knighthood from Camelot’s King Arthur in a very special ceremony on Saturday 31 March when the gates open for the 2007 season.

Every child that is nominated will receive a family ticket to Camelot. A panel of judges will select a number of children to be invited to the private ceremony on the morning of Saturday 31 March, where they will receive an honorary knighthood from Camelot’s King Arthur.  Friends and family will be invited to watch their special star become a Sir’ or Lady. In addition, the child will also receive a framed certificate and a 2007 family pass so that they can enjoy the park for a whole season free of charge!

If you are over 18 and would like to nominate a child please send in your nomination explaining why they deserve to be knighted to Knights in Shining Armour, Alexander House, Station Brow, Leyland, Lancashire, PR25 3NZ or you can e-mail the details to Please don’t forget to include the child’s full name, address and a daytime telephone number.  Alternatively you can call the hotline and speak to one of the team on 01772 421 442. But hurry the closing date for nominations is Wednesday 16 March 2007.

Summer Pops set to return

LIVERPOOL’S Summer Pops music festival is set to go ahead later this year.  Over the last few weeks it has been reported that they would be cancelled, but now the city council has agreed in principle to sponsor a 16 day music festival at the new 4,000 seat indoor Equestrian Centre at Aintree Racecourse.  The city council will invest £50,000 matched by another £50,000 from the Liverpool Culture Company.

Council leader Warren Bradley said:- “This new proposal means that the Summer Pops will take place in Liverpool’s birthday year, which is excellent news. But I am insisting the amount of money we put into it is fixed and there is no extra risk for city council taxpayers  This sponsorship deal limits the council’s liability because the promoter is taking all the financial risk. It is a fantastic deal for the city’s tax payers and means people will still be able to enjoy seeing some of the biggest names in music in Liverpool. It represents excellent value for council tax payers.

We are also talking with other organisations interested in putting on music festivals in Liverpool. The city could soon be enjoying a number of top-class music events to help celebrate our 800th Birthday.  “I took the difficult decision to end the huge subsidies the council were paying to organise the Summer Pops. There have been some tough talks but this new deal now means we have a fantastic Summer Pops but with a much reduced contribution from the city council, saving up to £700,000 this year.  The city reaps huge benefits from music festivals and we know from the Grand National that events held at Aintree benefit the whole Liverpool economy.“

The event is to be organised by CMP Entertainments, who have run the Summer Pops music festival since 2001. In previous years some of the biggest names in music have performed at the event, including Elton John, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and James Brown.

RSI a major pain for factory workers

IN THE run up to RSI Awareness Day (24 February) a new analysis by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) reveals that 48,000 people in the North West have suffered an upper limb disorder, commonly known as RSI, which they believe has been caused or made worse by work.  The Health and Safety Executive figures, which were analysed by the Labour Research Department for the CSP, show that the rate of workers affected by RSI in the North West stands at 0.96 per 100 people employed, putting the region at number 6 in the GB regional RSI league table. Regional variations are marked. The North East of England has the highest rate of RSI (1.3 per 100 workers), followed by Wales (1.2). London has the lowest rate (0.59).

And the CSP's analysis shows that factory workers are 3 times more likely to develop RSI than managers. The jobs where workers are most likely to get RSI are:

* Metal, plastics, textile and other plant and machine workers (1.1 per 100 workers)
* Bricklayers, plumbers, carpenters and others in skilled trades (0.91)
* Nurses, journalists and IT technicians, in associated professional and technical occupations (0.76)

The jobs with lowest rates were professionals (0.32) and managers (0.36, see Table A in notes section).

Work-related upper limb disorders affect over 370,000 people in Great Britain with 86,000 new cases recorded last year. This costs employers almost £300 million in lost working time, sick pay and administration.  But RSI is usually preventable or treatable with help from an occupational physiotherapist

CSP Chair and Chartered Physiotherapist Sarah Bazin said:- 'Employers are losing hundreds of millions of pounds every year through RSI. This is totally unnecessary as RSI can often be avoided. Physiotherapists can help prevent and treat this debilitating condition.  We urge all employers to use occupational health physiotherapists. Physios can advise on appropriate equipment and safe working practices for staff. Taking regular, short breaks throughout the day and reporting symptoms early on can help. Employers who invest in the health of their workforce can expect to see a reduction in sickness absence and a more productive workforce.'

Group Head of Health for the Royal Mail Dr Su Wang comments:- 'Many jobs within the Royal Mail involve physical duties. Through the use of a Functional Restoration Programme, including physiotherapy, we estimate that we have saved in excess of £1 million pounds a year, costs we would otherwise have incurred through absence and restricted duties. The programme has also been of benefit as we have been able to retain experienced staff and it has helped to foster good relationships with our workforce.'

To mark RSI Awareness Day (24 February) the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy offers some top tips on how to avoid RSI and some advice for employers - see pdf attached or view online at:-

For manual workers:-

* try to avoid prolonged or repetitive tasks - if on a production line, try working from different work stations in half-hour periods to allow you to use different muscles

* use both hands - pick one item with your left hand then one with your right

* take more short breaks rather than one long one - use the time to stretch your arms and legs

* make sure your clothes fit well so you can move freely

* keep warm - cold muscles don't extend properly

* don't over stretch to perform a task - move closer

* report pain or other symptoms straight away - RSI is easier to treat in its early stages

Employers can make a big difference to the health of their workers while at the same time improving the productivity and profits of their business. The CSP wants to see employers:-

* provide assessments for each staff member to see what risks are associated with their job and how best to combat these

* encourage early reporting of any symptoms and provide access to appropriate help, such as consulting an occupational physiotherapist

* ensure employees are able to organise their work and take regular breaks

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