Southport Reporter (R) Online Nespaper for Merseyside

Read our Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy


Terms and Conditions

Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


Click on here to email our news room today!



Your free online newspaper for Merseyside
This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography.



Latest Edition



Order Photos  Help Client Admin Advert Options

Updated news stories weekly.  Published online only, every Thursday

Your online newspaper.   Your words.

Issue:- 16 May 2013

Rising numbers of over 60s facing homelessness

RISING numbers of older people are facing homelessness according to a national debt charity. StepChange Debt Charity has seen a marked rise in the numbers of people aged 60 and over seeking its help with rent and mortgage arrears, while the amounts they owe are increasing too.

Large numbers of older people seek help from the charity with their debts each year, usually with high levels of debt on credit cards and overdrafts but lower levels of housing debt arrears. The charity says that this is changing and that last year 1,837 people aged 60 and over contacted it for help with mortgage and rent arrears, up from 1,084 in 2009.

Rising arrears

The average rent arrears of those seeking help from the charity aged 60 and over is £825. This is up from £755 in 2009.  The average mortgage arrears of those seeking help from the charity aged 60 and over is £3,998. This is up from £3,563 in 2009.

Over 60s still repaying mortgages

As well as rising arrears, the charity is concerned about the numbers of older people seeking its help who still have mortgages. Last year, 4,317 people over the age of 60 who sought its help still had mortgages to repay, up from 2,958 in 2009.

Commenting on the figures, Delroy Corinaldi, external affairs director at StepChange Debt Charity, said:- "Struggling to keep a roof over your head is incredibly difficult and stressful at any age, but even more so as you get older. Nobody wants to be facing the prospect of facing homelessness in later life.
  It is crucial that anyone struggling to keep up mortgage or rent payments seeks help as soon as they realise that they have a problem because there is help available. The sooner they seek help the greater the chance that they will be able to stay in their home."

FREE family fitness fun

HUNDREDS of people of all ages will be getting active in Liverpool this weekend.  Newsham Park in Tuebrook is hosting a FREE family sports activity day to promote grassroots sports and encouraging people to take up a more active lifestyle. The Liverpool Festival of Sport which takes place on Sunday, 19 May 2013, from 10am to 4pm will feature over 25 different sports.  Liverpool City Council's cabinet member for culture and tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, said:- "This is a great day out for all the family, whatever their age or sporting ability. It's a fantastic way to have a go at something different and learn how to keep fit and healthy at the same time.  I would encourage as many people as possible to head off to Newsham Park on Sunday, take advantage of what's on offer and above hall have a fun day out."  There will be free taster sessions for people of all abilities, as well as a range of other exciting activities which will create a real carnival atmosphere.

FREE activities include:-

Go Karts
Climbing Wall
Bungee trampolines

Local charity calls for urgent action on support for carers

IN wake of RCGP report and government proposals, Vitalise study points to an even deeper problem.  As the government announces proposals for a 'joined up' health and social care service, and in the wake of a shock report by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), research by disability charity Vitalise shows that millions of family carers are putting their health at risk because they are unaware that support is available to them.

Vitalise runs the Sandpipers centre in Southport, which provides essential respite breaks for people with disabilities and carers from the North West and across the UK. There are an estimated three quarters of a million carers in the North West – around one person in eight – with potentially tens of thousands more who do not appear in statistics.

In response to the RCGP's report, which found that 40% of carers were thought to be at risk of depression because of their caring role, a recent Vitalise study has revealed that this may be just the tip of the iceberg.

The Vitalise study, which collated the findings of research conducted over the past five years, revealed that many carers don't see themselves as carers because they are unpaid and/or see it as a family duty. As a result they don't realise they are entitled to statutory support and may be putting their mental and physical wellbeing at risk.

As the population ages and age-related disabilities such as Alzheimer's and dementia increase, older carers are increasingly bearing the brunt of the problem. Many older carers can no longer find work or are forced to retire and find that Carers' Allowance ceases at retirement age.

Worse, the study found that over half of older carers had not even received a Carer's Assessment from their GP, since they did not regard themselves as carers. As a consequence they were unaware that local authority funding for respite care and short breaks existed.

The research was commissioned by Vitalise and presented as evidence that more needs to be done to reach out to carers and provide them with vital information about their statutory entitlements.

Vitalise Chief Executive Chris Simmonds said:- "The RCGP report highlights the incredible physical and mental toll that caring for a loved one with a disability can take. But what's worse is that the RCGP's figures are based on the carers who do realise they need and are entitled to help. How many millions more may be struggling on at home, unaware that their caring role entitles them to support?  The problems people with disabilities and carers face in accessing essential support; such as funding for respite breaks; is already well documented, but many unpaid carers may be doubly disadvantaged because they don't even know they are carers and therefore entitled to support. Clearly more needs to be done to reach out to this army of invisible carers in the North West and across the UK, since without the escape valve of regular time off from caring, we know only too well that carers risk reaching breaking point and ending up sick, depressed, and facing the very real risk of becoming disabled themselves. Vitalise was founded exactly 50 years ago for the precise purpose of supporting families struggling to cope with disability and restoring hope and dignity into their lives. It would be a crying shame if the respite breaks we lay on at Sandpipers and our other centres went unclaimed because people in desperate need didn't even know they were entitled to visit. The carers of the UK should not be left to suffer in silence."

Vitalise is a national charity providing essential respite breaks for people with disabilities; including Alzheimer's and dementia; and carers at Sandpipers in Southport and two other accessible UK centres in Chigwell in Essex and Southampton, with 24-hour nursing care on-call, personal support and a range of accessible excursions, activities and entertainment.

People with disabilities and carers wanting more advice and information about Vitalise respite breaks are requested to call:-  0303 303 0145, email or visit:-

Click on here to go back to this week's home page!

Our radio station phone in message line...   Call us now!

Click on this section to see last weeks edition of Southport and Mersey Reporter!

Sign up today for our daily email news service!

Sign up to our Daily Email News Service by clicking here now...

Southport and Mersey Reporter - leading the way for local news.
We where the UK's first online only newspaper!

All email addresses and information is held under the UK's Data Protection Act.

Highlighted events that are taking place this month:-

If you have an event and want to get it noticed, let us know by emailing us to:-

Click on the event title displayed above to find out about lots more events, as well as dates & times!

Our websites in our online series.   Group navigation, information and useful none group links...
Southport TV - Our online video archive. Liverpool Reporter - Our online music station. Mersey Reporter - OUR HUB WEBSITE.
Southport TV Liverpool Reporter Mersey Reporter Formby Reporter

Add to Google

This is what the moon is doing tonight.  Click on to find out why.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

Our live Southport Webcam.  To see click live, click on image.


Show us your location
Please sign our map and let us know where you are  from....


News Room Phone Number

(+44)  08443 244 195
Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge. 

Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the independent monitor for the UK's press.

How to make a complaint

Complaints Policy  -  Complaints Procedure  -  Whistle Blowing Policy

© PCBT Photography & PBT Media Relations Ltd. - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope