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Issue 312 May 2013

The Countess of Wessex officially opens multi-million pound Hospital


BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT HE Countess of Wessex met a little princess during a tour of Whiston Hospital as she officially marked its opening.



Sophie chatted to Grace Walker-Reid who was born at Whiston Hospital, lives in Widnes before chatting to patients and volunteers as she took a tour of the multimillion pound hospital. More than half a million people are treated each year, from across the North of England, including North Wales and the Isle of Man. Completed six months ahead of schedule and within budget, the new Whiston Hospital opened to patients in 2010. Since then, the old Victorian buildings have been demolished and car parks and landscaping has been completed. Ann Marr, Chief Executive said: “We were privileged that HRH The Countess of Wessex, GCVO, visited the Trust today to officially open the world class new Whiston Hospital. “Staff and patients were thrilled to meet the Countess. It has been a very special day for our local community.” The re-development has been the biggest and most significant project in their history and the largest investment in healthcare in this area since the formation of the NHS.

WORK STARTS AT KIRKBY PAGE 2 FUTURE OF CHRIST THE KING Page 3 BUILDING A GREENER FUTURE Page 4 WHAT’S ON THIS MONTH Pages 10/11 BMX AND SKATEBOARDING LEGEND IN HUYTON Page 32 The Countess of Wessex receives a bouquet from Grace Walker-Reid who was born at Whiston Hospital, lives in Widnes


Picture: Tom Murphy

BUS DRIVER SPAT AT IN HUYTON Detectives have released CCTV stills from a woman they want to speak to after a bus driver in Huyton was spat at and slapped. The 35-year-old driver had asked two women to get off the bus after they tried to board the Huyton Travel Ltd service with a bus pass only valid for another travel company. Initially they tried to persuade him to change his mind but when he refused, they boarded the bus anyway. One of the women then left her seat and

approached the driver and verbally abused him before spitting in his face and grabbing his hat. She left with the other woman after making verbal threats at him. The driver then left the bus stop in Liverpool Road near the junction of Woolfall Heath Avenue in Page Moss, Huyton and continued on his journey to Kirkby. He reported the incident - which happened at around 9.30pm on Wednesday, March 6 - the following morning. • Continued on Page 6

2 The Challenge May 2013


FIXED PENALTY CHARGES REACH MORE THAN 1000 Nine people have been prosecuted for failing to pay fines for dropping litter in Knowsley. Each had been separately issued with a fixed penalty notice by the council’s enforcement team for littering, but did not pay the £75. Each was ordered to pay a £100 fine, £50 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. Another two people pleaded guilty by post and paid fines, costs and victim surcharge. A further two people paid £100 each before the court date, so the cases were withdrawn. More than 1000 fixed penalty notices have been issued since November through Knowsley’s environmental enforcement campaign. Knowsley Council appointed the Xfor Group to work alongside council enforcement officers and Police community support and traffic officers to keep the borough clean. They have been issuing fines to people caught littering, dropping cigarette butts and failing to clean up after their dogs. A spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “These prosecutions show our commitment to our campaign to keep the borough clean and tidy for everyone’s benefit. “We have increased our enforcement activity over the last few months in direct response to feedback from our residents. “Our message is clear; if people drop litter or fail to clean up after their dog, they will be given a fixed penalty notice. If they fail to pay that fine, we will prosecute them.”

The Mayor of Halewood, Cllr Gary See along with his consort Jenny, present Janine Prescott of Halewood Centre for Learning with her award

PUPIL RECOGNITION AWARDS 2013 On Friday 26 April 2013, the Mayor of Halewood, Cllr Gary See hosted an evening of awards to pupils from the nurseries and schools in Halewood as part of a ‘Pupil Recognition Awards’. The awards highlight and recognise the outstanding achievements of children and young people attending nurseries and schools within the town. Cllr Gary See said: “We have much to be proud of in the children and young people of Halewood and it is fitting that the town council recognises them in this way. “Our thanks to all of the staff in our nurseries and schools, and also the parents and carers, who do so much to support them. For further news and images of the awards go to


Construction work is now well under way on one of the key elements of the £200m programme to regenerate Kirkby. Contractors are on site at St Kevin’s Drive to build 71 new homes for Plus Dane Group and Cherryfield Co-operative residents who currently live on Cherryfield Drive. Once the St Kevin’s Drive development has been completed, the residents’ former homes on Cherryfield Drive will be demolished. This will allow construction work to start on the new Tesco store and retail units in Kirkby Town Centre. Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills, Cllr Dave Lonergan, said: “It is fantastic to see construction work under way on St Kevin’s Drive and I’m really pleased that residents can now look forward to being in their new homes. “The council and our partners have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to drive the regeneration programme forward despite the ongoing national economic difficulties, and I’m delighted that residents can now see visible signs of the great progress we are making in Kirkby.” “It is great news for residents that we are about to take such a significant step forward. This is a key milestone in the delivery of the new town centre for Kirkby.” Louise Davies, director (programme & partnerships) at Plus Dane Group, said: “We are really excited to be part of the regeneration of Kirkby. This development is a fantastic opportunity to provide brand new homes that will better meet the needs of local residents. “We have been working with residents to develop a scheme that offers a mix of homes that will offer more choice. We can’t wait to take handover of the first properties in 2014.” Steve Parrington, area director at Keepmoat, said: “The mixture of two, three and four bed houses and bungalows will greatly contribute to the wider regeneration of Kirkby, opening doors to better facilities and shops in the town centre. We are very proud to be part of a project which is going to leave a lasting legacy for many years to come in Kirkby.”

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The Challenge May 2013 3

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FUTURE OF CHRIST THE KING CENTRE FOR LEARNING information on how to have their say Knowsley Council’s cabinet has during the consultation period. approved a proposal to consult on the Cllr Graham Wright, cabinet member possible closure of Christ the King for children and family services at Joint Catholic and Anglican Centre for Knowsley Council, said: “We realise this Learning in Huyton. will be a difficult time for everyone at It had been hoped that the school’s future could be secured as a sponsored Christ the King Centre for Learning, but we ask that parents, pupils and staff academy, in line with government carefully consider the information we policy. Knowsley Council, Liverpool have sent to them. During the Archdiocese and the Anglican Diocese consultation period, we will be listening have been working with the Department for Education (DfE) and have considered to their response to this proposal before making our final decision. a number of potential sponsors for the “There are some centre over the past two years. complex challenges However, the DfE has now said that at Christ the King, sponsorship is not compounded by a possible due large number of to surplus places concerns s a rning h, a which mean the about the e L r o ly ntre f s. Current e centre is running centre’s C g the Kin ll. From 0 pupil at a substantial overall Christ acity for 90 pupils on ropected to ex loss. This viability. cap are 428 a is n a is e h there ber 2013, t ich would ms. inevitably affects Despite the h e m the quality of the best efforts of Septe just 381, wsurplus plac fall to tal of 519 education which all involved han t e r o to s m ted, on a can be with Christ the w it fic or re’s dewas last rep provided. King, pupil t n e c The when it 12. 0 2 “The numbers have , 1 £1.2m March 3 be l il council, continued to w e closur binet Archdiocese decline over the ion on ouncil’s Ca is c e d C l y a and the past few years le in . f s A w 13 by KnoJuly 10, 20 Diocese are and the number of n e k e a r t nt on all in surplus places the Ce 31, , d a e ah ust g o g u agreement have increased the A s e n lose o ure do that we financial pressures If clos arning will c 13. 20 have a on the centre. With for Le moral duty no prospect of to carefully sponsorship, the consider the best interests of council now has no those pupils currently studying at the alternative than to centre.” consider the possibility “I would like to reassure parents and of closure. pupils that if the centre does close, we A four week consultation period will do everything we can to make the began on Thursday 25 April, during transition as smooth as it can possibly which time the council will liaise with be, and that parents will be kept everyone affected by the proposals informed at every stage in the process.” before making a decision on the best You can find more information about way forward. the consultation at Parents, pupils and staff will receive information about how the council/consultation.aspx. proposals might affect them and

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Work is under way on the site of the new Kirkby Market. Knowsley Council is investing £2.5m in the new, modern undercover facility, which will replace the old market which had stood since 1960. While traders continue to operate from a temporary market next door, diggers have started work on site to build the new market, which is due to open later this summer. Cllr Lonergan said: “The new Kirkby Market will be a fantastic asset to the town centre and I know traders and shoppers alike will be delighted when it is completed. While the construction work is carried out, I want to remind residents that it is business as usual at the temporary market, right next to the old site.” Martyn Davies, chair of the traders’

committee, said: “The traders are really looking forward to seeing the new market open this year. “We have worked closely with the council throughout the process and it is great to see the construction work in full swing. In the meantime, traders are continuing to operate from the temporary market next door.” The wider regeneration of the town centre has already seen the new St Chad’s Health Centre open its doors, and some derelict buildings in the area demolished. In addition, redevelopment work continues at the Kirkby Centre, where Knowsley Council is investing £5m to bring a range of public services together in one modern facility, and plans are also being drawn up to refurbish the public spaces across the town centre.

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Teacher Sue Hulme with the Evelyn Primary ‘eco team’. Pupils at a Prescot primary school are building a greener future – with the help of hundreds of recycled plastic bottles. Evelyn Primary School’s latest ‘green’ initiative involves building an outdoor classroom made from recycled plastic bottles – following a successful project to create a greenhouse made from drinks containers. The school is one Knowsley’s leading ‘eco schools’ and has gained bronze and silver awards recognising their environmental efforts. They’ve also scooped the eco schools top green flag award twice, and are currently bidding for a third. From recycling in the classroom and reusing items for art projects, to

switching off electrical items when not in use and composting fruit and vegetable waste - the children have proved their green credentials. Eco schools is an international award programme which encourages schools to reduce waste, encourage recycling and protect the environment. Knowsley currently boasts 44 eco schools, including St Albert’s Catholic Primary in Stockbridge. The school has recycling bins in every classroom, as well as compost bins, wormeries, a battery and textile recycling scheme, and even makes bricks out of paper. As a result St Albert’s has reduced the waste it sends to landfill by two thirds.

KNOWSLEY CABLE FIRM FINED OVER SEVERE ELECTRIC SHOCK A cable manufacturer has been fined £15,000 after an employee suffered a severe electric shock at its factory in Knowsley. Medics had to resuscitate the worker on the way to hospital when his heart stopped beating as the result of a cardiac arrest. He also sustained serious burns to his arms and hands. Tratos Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in April after an investigation found the safety lock on the entrance to a highvoltage testing area at the factory had been removed. Liverpool Magistrates’ Court was told the 28-year-old, from Hindley near Wigan, who does not wish to be named, had been working in an area of the factory used to test cables at voltages of up to 2,000 volts. However workers at the factory had been struggling to shut the door leading to the testing pen after one of the hinges became damaged. They

altered the locking mechanism for the door which tricked the safety system into believing it was locked shut. This meant power could be applied to the pen with the door still open. The worker suffered a severe electric shock when he disturbed one of the cables in the testing pen while a current was being fed through it. Tratos Ltd, of School Lane, Knowsley, was fined £15,000 after pleading guilty to a breach of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by failing to ensure the safety of its employees. The company was also ordered to pay £4,206 in prosecution costs. Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Bruce Jones said: “Workers shouldn’t have been able to gain access to the testing pen while electricity was being fed through the cables, but the safety system that prevents this from happening was overridden.”

The Challenge May 2013

COUNCIL WANT YOUR VIEWS Knowsley Council is working with Tay Valley Lighting (TVL) to carry out a multi-million pound revamp of the borough’s street lighting. Work is scheduled to commence in the Halewood North area in July. Members of the community in Halewood North are invited to attend a consultation event being held on Monday 20 May at Halewood Environment Centre, Okell Drive, Halewood. Representatives from both Knowsley Council and TVL will be on-hand to answer any questions residents may have regarding the work that will be taking place. The event will start at 6.15pm and will begin with a presentation outlining the street lighting scheme, along with details of the timescales and benefits it will bring to the area. This will last for around 15 minutes and will be followed by an opportunity for residents to ask questions, until approximately 7.15pm.

Cllr Dave Lonergan, Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills, said: “The street lighting project is a major investment for Knowsley and it’s important that we keep residents informed as the scheme progresses. “I urge members of the Halewood North community to go along to the consultation event to see what the project will involve and how it will benefit them.” The four-year street lighting project will see 70% of Knowsley’s street lights and 80% of the borough’s traffic signs and bollards being replaced. The latest technology being used will feature the ability to vary the level of lighting and reduce the level of CO2 emissions. Brighter lighting may also assist in the reduction of crime and night-time traffic accidents, as well as making CCTV images clearer. Improved visibility could also help drivers, pedestrians and cyclists feel safer.

THEFT OF GENERATORS FROM BUSINESS IN KIRKBY Merseyside Police is appealing for information after 24 generators were stolen from a business in Knowsley. The offenders forced a disused gate at the back of the premises in Gores Road on Kirkby industrial estate. They used a forklift truck on the site to remove the generators from portacabins that had been prepared for lease to contractors. Its thought a haulage vehicle may have been used to carry the generators away. No other parts of the site were targeted by the suspects. The generators have been described as Harrington 9 KVA upright generators and are valued at around £6,500 each. Detective Constable Diane Robson, who is leading the investigation, said: “These generators are extremely valuable and the theft represents a substantial loss for the company. “Anyone who might know anything or who might have seen anything suspicious on the night, is asked to call 0151 777 6573 or Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111”.

PRESCOT BUSINESS FINED OVER PREMISES The owner of a business in Prescot has been fined for failing to keep his premises in good order. Enforcement officers from Knowsley Council originally warned Alan Healy about the conditions at Prescot Tyres and MOT Centre back in February 2011. The premises on Kemble Street were extremely untidy, with scrap vehicles, used tyres and vehicle parts scattered around the site, giving it the appearance of a scrap yard. When Mr Healy, of Bell Lane in Rainhill, failed to clear up the premises, the council sought approval to take enforcement action. However, before action was taken, a fire damaged the building, along with the vehicles and parts stored at the site.

The business was given a further period of time to clear the site but failed to do so, leaving fire-damaged vehicles and parts and general rubbish at the premises. Mr Healy pleaded guilty to failing to tidy up the site, under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. At Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, he was fined £500, ordered to pay £390 costs and instructed to tidy the site. A spokesperson for Knowsley Council said: “The council will not hesitate to take strong action against any business which fails to meet its responsibilities. “The condition of this site was simply unacceptable and was having a negative impact on the local area”.



The Challenge May 2013


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• Continued from Page 1 Detectives from Knowsley CID have viewed CHEV taken on board the bus that evening and are keen to identify and trace the woman seen on camera as she may have information that could help progress the investigation. Detective Constable Judy Nicholson said: “This was an extremely unpleasant and nasty incident committed against a bus driver who was simply doing his job. This woman did not have the correct pass for his service and had no money to pay. “When he and other passengers tried to advise her where else she might get her bus home, she became verbally abusive and aggressive. Thankfully the driver was not physically hurt but to be spat at and threatened in this way will have been incredibly distressing. “There were several passengers on board who saw what happened and have been a big help to the police however I really need to speak to the woman in the CHEV to progress this investigation”. Call Kirkby CID on 777 6571 or Criticasters on 0800 555 111. How Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help you succeed Terry McElhinney is living proof of the power of NLP. Through the study and practise of NLP techniques he has not only overcome his personal barriers, but has achieved goals beyond his dreams and he can help you in the same way. Terry uses his own personal experiences and wealth of knowledge on motivation, NLP and his understanding of human behaviour, to enable the people he deals with to tap into their inner talents and achieve great things. He is recognised as a corporate advisor in this field, whose talents for effective interaction with people is key to his success. A former British Middleweight Kickboxing Champion who is a self-employed Martial Arts Instructor, Fitness Trainer and ‘Life Coach’.

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COLLEGE HOSTS LONE PARENT OPEN DAY Dozens of Knowsley residents attended an Open Day at Knowsley Community College, eager to gain new skills. Up to 100 people attended on the day and were treated to demonstrations in DIY: how to paint and hang wallpaper, as well as hairdressing and cake decorating demos which showcased the range of courses available at the College. The event was organised in conjunction with Knowsley Engagement Cooperative and Job Centre Plus for a large group of lone parents who were keen to find out more about training opportunities in the local area. Gary Bell, Digital Champion for Job Centre Plus in Knowsley, asked the College to host the event because of the positive feedback from previous JCT customers who had attended short taster courses such as Digital Awareness. Many enquiries were taken on the day for courses starting in September, including Access to HE, Health and Social Care and Hair and Beauty, along with others for short courses. Jean Gray, Community Engagement Coordinator at the College said: “The event went really well and helped to raise awareness of the opportunities available. We hope to hold a range of similar events in the coming months.”

PUPILS LEARN ABOUT LIFE IN POLITICS Pupils from Northwood Primary School in Kirkby visited Knowsley Council to gain hands on experience and learn about democracy. Pupils learned about the voting process and the importance of residents getting a say in how services in their area are run. After learning about democracy the pupils had the chance to participate in a live debate in the council chamber about how decisions are made. Pupils also learnt about how the Mayor is elected and what mayoral duties consist of. The visit was arranged as part of the schools curriculum about local and

national government. In addition, pupils will be visiting the Houses of Parliament in June to give them an insight of what life is like in national government, and how the decisions made in parliament effect local people. Jan Smith, headteacher at Northwood Primary School, commented: “The visit to Knowsley Council gave pupils an insight into life in local politics. “It was an excellent opportunity for the pupils to see how decisions are made and to participate in a debate. The pupils enjoyed the day and are now looking forward to the trip to Parliament in June”.

POLICE APPEAL AFTER MAN ROBBED IN HUYTON Detectives in Knowsley are appealing for information following a robbery on Saturday, 27 April in Huyton. At around 10.50pm, a 19-year-old man was walking down Montgomery Road, when he was approached by two men - one of whom was carrying a knife. The victim was punched to the face before the offenders made of with his G-shock watch, an ipso and an ironer. The victim received minor injuries to his face, but has been left distressed by his ordeal. The first offender is described as white, around 22-years-old, 5ft 11" tall, of large build with large shoulders and stubble. The second offender is described as white, wearing a dark coloured jacket with white or reflective drawstrings on the hood. He had blonde hair and is thought to be younger than the first offender. Anyone with any information about this incident or anyone who has seen this watch or been offered it, is asked to contact Knowsley CID on 0151 777 6570 or Criticasters anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The Challenge May 2013 7

CROWDS TURN OUT FOR ELIZABETHAN FAYRE The sun shone as revellers once again turned out in their numbers to enjoy the annual Prescot Elizabethan Fayre. The festival recreates the old May Frayne that were held in Prescot, during the era of the first Queen Elizabeth. This year’s event was opened by Prescot Town Council Mayor, Lynn O’Keefe, with a parade of local school children from Evelyn Primary School in Prescot, dressed in Elizabethan costume. Throughout the day, people were entertained by some atmospheric traditional medieval music. An estimated 2,000 people also enjoyed a taste of life in 16th century Prescot, trying their hand at traditional crafts such as basket making and wood turning. Visitors were also able to take a bell tower tour at Prescot Parish Church and learn a little bit more about this historic building. Children enjoyed face painting, watching the incredible birds of prey displays, and trying circus skills and workshops. Revellers were also able to browse the stalls of tempting locally produced goodies at the monthly Prescot Producer’s Market, which takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Cull Eddie Connor, Knowsley Council’s cabinet member for leisure, community and culture, said: “The Elizabethan Fayre has become a real highlight in the local events calendar and with the lovely Bank Holiday weather there was a really

fantastic atmosphere this year. “The great thing about the Elizabethan Fayre is it reminds us of Prescot rich history and heritage. You only have to look around the town to see evidence of this in the buildings, many of which are due to be restored to their former glory thanks to the £.m funding we recently secured from The Heritage Lottery Fund.” The five year heritage project will see the repair and restoration of the town’s historic fabric to improve its overall appearance and emphasise Prescot rich heritage. New uses will be found for vacant and underused premises. The physical works will include the replacement of dilapidated, or inappropriate modern shop fronts with a more traditional design to reinstate the original look and feel of the high street. The project will also include a wide variety of educational work and community events. A training programme will give local people historic skills, as well as providing recognised qualifications to give them a foothold on a career in conservation construction and restoration. The majority of the works will be focused around Market Place and Eggleston Street to improve links between the modern retail park and traditional town centre in Prescot. The next Prescot Producers’ Market will be held on Saturday, June 1.


Gifted and talented students from the Knowsley central area were delighted to have the opportunity to attend Huyton Arts and Sports Centre for Learning to take part in the innovative CUSICK Huyton project. Students worked with two key members of staff from the English and science departments to develop their enquiry skills to solve the crime scene mystery. Over 60 students attended both days collecting clues and solving parts of the crime. One student commented: “I’ve never done anything like this before. I love having to work out what is fact and opinion and coming to my own conclusion”. A parent also said: “Once again HAULS provide a fun, engaging activity for the children during the holidays when there is nothing else for the children to do. My daughter can’t wait

to go to summer school again this year”. The project was supported by PC Beattie and the local fire service and a fabulous two days was had by all. Following on from the success of this year’s HAULS summer school it will run from 29 July – 2 August and is aimed at years 3, 4 and 5.

DIABETES UK MEETING The next meeting of the St Helens & District Group of Diabetes UK will be on Wednesday 5 June 2013 at 7.30pm in St Helens Town Hall. The speaker will be Prof Sarah O’Brien, who will be talking about: Looking after your diabetes when you’re ill. Sarah is a Diabetes Nurse Consultant, based at the Diabetes Unit in St Helens Hospital. For further details contact Cherry Bowman on 0151 480 0821

Children from Evelyn Primary School in Prescot march through the town to officially open the 2013 Elizabethan Fayre.


The Challenge May 2013

FUN DAY AT KNOWSLEY PARK QUIZ It was all serious fun at the fourth Knowsley Park Centre for Learning Quiz recently as 11 primary schools gathered together in Prescot. The quiz is seen as a highlight in school calendar as over 500 pupils and parents gathered for a morning of fun and knowledge. The Year 5 event tuned out to be a colourful affair with schools bringing their own specially designed banners to show support for their class mates. Each school ran a series of qualifying heats to select the team of five to represent each school. Mr Paul Stanley, vice principal at Knowsley Park said: “The pupils had a wonderful time and the support that each school received was amazing, and loud, it was a totally brilliant atmosphere. “Special thanks must go to Jean Bradley, transition coordinator, who organised the event, we hope all enjoyed the day”. The overall winners of this years event were Huyton with Roby Primary with Stockbridge Village Primary runners-up.

Quiz champions Huyton with Roby Primary School

Quiz runners-up Stockbridge Village Primary School

The Challenge May 2013 9

APPEAL TO SUPPORT LOCAL JUNIOR MENTORING Edge Hill University student Thomas Holt, 25, is appealing for Merseyside residents to get behind a mentoring scheme which transforms the lives of local youngsters. Thomas, who is in the second year of a BSc (Hons) Children’s Nursing degree, was named UK Student Volunteer of the Year 2013 at the Student Volunteering Awards for his work with Knowsley Junior Mentoring. Run by Action for Children, the scheme provides mentoring for children aged 5-11 who need additional support. Thomas and his mentee, 10-year-old Ewan Harrison, are attending a special celebration event held by the leading charity at Croxteth Hall to mark the end of their year-long involvement with Knowsley Junior Mentoring. Thomas has spent the last 12 months mentoring Ewan, from Huyton, after they were paired by staff from Knowsley Junior Mentoring Scheme, which is delivered by Action for Children in partnership with Knowsley Council. And he enjoyed the experience so much that Thomas has given the Mentoring Scheme £500 of the £1,000 charity donation he received as part of the Student Volunteer award. Thomas said: “I do a lot of volunteering with children and when I heard about the mentoring scheme, I knew it was something I wanted to get involved in as it makes such a difference to the lives of the young people and their families. “It has been very rewarding to mentor Ewan for the past 12 months and I would appeal to the residents of Merseyside to

support this vital service. “Knowsley Junior Mentoring Scheme always needs both donations and volunteers - anyone who supports the service is making a huge positive impact on the lives of children, their families and the wider community.” Mentors commit to a 12 month voluntary relationship with a child whom they are matched with by Action for Children. They then meet on a weekly basis for two to four hours. Each session is planned and could range from trips to the park or the library to group activities, such as art and crafts or drama. The mentor is someone whom the child can talk to and establish a bond with, thereby helping to grow confidence, develop strategies for dealing with challenges and improve communication skills. Carol Iddon, Director of children’s services at Action for Children said: “Knowsley Junior Mentoring makes an enormous difference to the lives of local children. Having a mentor provides stability, improves self-esteem and interpersonal skills and builds confidence. It sets children on a path to a much brighter future, giving them selfbelief and helping them to fulfil their potential. “We’re delighted that Thomas has chosen to donate £500 to Action for Children. This vital boost will allow us to extend the scheme to Liverpool and work with even more children. Ensuring that funding is in place to deliver these schemes remains a constant challenge and the support of the local community is

essential.” Ewan’s mum, Clare Harrison, said: “It’s wonderful to see the transformation in Ewan after his year with Knowsley Junior Mentoring Scheme. His self-esteem, behaviour and friendships with his peers have all improved tremendously. “Teachers at his school have commented on his school work, which has come on in leaps and bounds. Everyone in the family is very proud of

what he has achieved and we are so grateful to Thomas and everyone at the Scheme for all their hard work and support.” Anyone wanting to find out more about Knowsley Junior Mentoring Scheme or make a donation should contact uk or visit ley-junior-mentoring


The Challenge May 2013


FUN DOG SHOW - PAWS FOR CLAIRE HOUSE Sunday 23 June 12pm - 2pm Lydiate Town Hall Maghull, L31 2LA Sponsor: West Lancs Dog Display Team Email: Sponsor Telephone: 07880802453 Ticket: £1 for first competition and then 50p for any other competitions entered. For more information please call Lynn from Claire House on 0151 227 4941 or call Scott from West Lancs Dog Display Team Ticket Price: £1.00 Come and enter your

What’s On Guide Park 443 3114 or 07771 550843; Jubilee Park & Ten Acre Pits 07766 205541 Wednesday 29 May Kite making Webster Park 1pm to 3pm. Have a go at building your own kite to fly in the park. All materials provided. Contact: Ranger 07810 054159 May Saturday 11 May Minibeast hunt Littlewood, Stockbridge Village, 10am to 12 noon Halewood Park, 2pm to 4pm Discover which creatures live in the local natural environment. All equipment provided. Contact: Littlewood 07810 054159; Halewood Park 488 6151 Saturday 18 May Henley Park Good Neighbours Day Henley Park 12 noon to 4pm. A family fun day with lots of free activities including a climbing wall and birds of prey display. Please note that some activities incur a small cost. Contact: Ranger 489 1239 Saturday 18 May Unusual tree walk Court Hey Park Starts at 1pm. Come and see what unusual trees are living in Court Hey Park. Contact: Ranger 443 3114 or 07771 550843 Saturday 18 May Discover wildflowers Woolfall Heath Meadows 10am to 12 noon. Discover the wildflowers of Woolfall Heath and have a go at our quiz. Contact: Ranger 07766 205541 Sunday 19 May Tea dance Sawpit Park 1pm to 3pm. Come along for an afternoon of song and music provided by the Norman Roy Orchestra. Contact: Ranger 443 3114 or 07771 550843 Tuesday 28 May Treasure hunt Court Farm Woods, 10am to 12 noon. Halewood Park, 2pm to 4pm. Use your map to hunt down the clues, solve the puzzle and claim your prize. Contact: Ranger 488 6151 Tuesday 28 May and Wednesday 29 May Scarecrow making Tuesday, Jubilee Park, 10am to 12 noon Tuesday, Court Hey Park, 1pm to 3pm Wednesday, McGoldrick Park, 10am to 12 noon Wednesday, Ten Acre Pits, 1pm to 3pm Come along and make your own miniature scarecrows. All materials provided. Contact: Court Hey Park & McGoldrick

Wednesday 29 May, Thursday 30 May and Friday 31 May Nature art Wednesday, Stadt Moers Park, 1pm to 3pm Thursday, Eaton Street Park, 1pm to 3pm Friday, Henley Park, 1pm to 3pm Be creative and produce art using natural materials from the local environment. Contact: Ranger 489 1239 Thursday 30 May and Friday 31 May Pond dipping Thursday, Acornfield Local Nature Reserve, Kirkby 10am to 12 noon Friday, Halewood Park, 2pm to 4pm What weird and wonderful creatures lurk in the depths of the pond? Let’s get dipping to find out. All equipment provided. Contact: Acornfield 07810 054159; Halewood Park 488 6151 Friday 31 May Mini beast hunt Acornfield Local Nature Reserve, Kirkby 10am to 12 noon Discover which creatures live in the local natural environment. All equipment provided. Contact: Ranger 07810 054159 Friday 31 May Milkshake! Live Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park Shows at 1.30pm and 4pm Starring favourites including Little Princess and Scruff, Noddy and Tessie Bear, Roary and Big Chris, Fifi and Bumble and B1 & B2 - the Bananas in Pyjamas. Tickets: Adults £12; Children £10; family £40 (2 adults & 2 children) Contact: Carla Simkin 443 5749

pooch into one of our many competitions with prizes to be won! Fun Dog Show Categories include: • Dog with the loveliest eyes • Dog with the glossiest coat • Dog with the waggiest tail • Dog the judge would most like to take home • Scruffiest dog • Retrieve the sausage • Best six legs... dog & owner • Best puppy under 12 months • Prettiest bitch • Most handsome dog. Enjoy some light refreshments and meet Claire Bear.

7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra returns to Knowsley for a spectacular evening of wonderful classical music. Tickets: Adults £12; Concessions £10 (over 60s and under 16s). Contact: Carla Simkin 443 5749

Printing’ exhibition Huyton Gallery A collection of woodcut prints, watercolours and sketch books reflecting a lifelong passion for the British landscape. Contact: Tina Ball 443 5617 or email

Saturday 15 June Cronton gala Cronton Pasture 12 noon to 4pm A family fun day in the park with lots of activities. Please note that some activities incur a small cost. Contact: Ranger 489 1239

Sunday 30 July Summer Gala 11am-5pm. The Friends of Bowring Park are holding their Summer Gala at Bowring Park, Roby. Includes a Chinese Lion dance, amusements, circus skils, side shows, dogshow, refreshments and many more. Free entry. For further information contact 0151 482 1116

Sunday 16 June Bird watching walk Acornfield Local Nature Reserve, Kirkby 10am to 1pm. Join the ranger on a pleasant countryside walk to spot some of our resident birds. Contact: Ranger 07810 054159 Monday 17 June to Saturday 5 October ‘Shoreline & Watershed: British Landscape and Contemporary Woodcut

Ongoing until Saturday 13 July Kirkby creates exhibition Kirkby Gallery Exhibition showcasing some of the local community’s views on Kirkby which has helped to develop three public artworks planned in Kirkby town centre. Contact: Sarah Craven


The National Wildflower Centre has a fun filled time planned to help you Be Active… and enjoy the Great Outdoors during the half term holiday. Between Monday 27 May and Friday 7 June we have a whole host of FREE activities for you to come along and join in with. Starting on Monday 27 May with Wear Your Wellies Trail, this is a June self-led trail for you to do at your own pace, drop-in anytime between Saturday 8 June Bowls taster session 10am – 4pm and collect a trail. McGoldrick Park, On Wednesday 29 we’ll be setting 10am to 12 noon off for a family bike ride with Pedal Court Hey Park, 1pm Away (time tbc). Thursday 30 sees to 3pm us finding out about compost with Compete against Annick from our Great Outdoors your friends and Project - ‘Compost Corner’ is a dropfamily, or just in workshop for you to come along have a go yourself. to between 1pm – 3pm. Crown green Friday 31 the Friends of Court Hey bowling is a Park will be joining us as we have a fantastic and easy go at Archery Skills with Bridgefield sport for young and Archers and Bow making with My old. All equipment provided. Contact: Outdoor Classroom. Come along Ranger 443 3114 or 07771 550843 and have a go anytime between 11am – 3pm. Please note there will Friday 14 June Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra be an age restriction for this workshop. Concert Our second week starting on Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

Monday 3 June sees us putting on our wellies again for ‘Wear your Wellies Trail’ on Monday 3 and Friday 7, drop-in anytime between 10am and 4pm and pick up a self led trail. Wednesday 5 has us checking out ‘Seeds Under the Microscope’ between 1pm and 3pm, why not drop in and take a look! For further details about these workshops and the work we do, please go to out our website at

The Challenge May 2013

ALZHEIMER’S SOCIETY KNOWSLEY - WHAT’S ON Evening Carers Group on May 13 at the Village Hotel Bar, Fallow's Way, Prescot, L35 1RX 6-8pm, all carers who care for family with dementia are invited to come along to meet other people who are in the same caring role as yourself. Dance and Movement Support Group on May 21 at Knowsley Leisure Centre, Longview Drive, L36 6EG 1-3pm. People living with dementia and their carers are asked to come along and join the group, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Reading Together Support Group on May 15 at the Old Schoolhouse, St John’s Road, Huyton L36 0UX 12.30 - 2.30pm. People living with dementia and their carers are asked to come along and join the group, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Maintaining Skills Support Group on May 29 at the Arncliffe Centre, Arncliffe Road, Halewood, L25 9PA 1-3pm. People living with dementia and their carers are asked to come along and join the group, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Music and Sound Support Group on May 17 at Centre 63 Youth Centre, Old Hall Lane, Kirkby, L32 5TH 12.30-2.30pm. People living with dementia and their carers are asked to come along and join the group, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Carers Café Support Group on May 24 at South Avenue Community Centre, South Avenue, Prescot, L34 1LT 10am till 12pm. All carers who care for family with dementia are invited to come along to meet other people who are in the same caring role as yourself. Art Support Group on May 24 at South Avenue Community Centre, South Avenue, Prescot, L34 1LT 10am till 12pm. People living with dementia and their carers are asked to come along and join the group, tea, coffee and biscuits are provided. Telephone 0151 426 4433 for further information.

THE NINTH ANNUAL PRESCOT FESTIVAL 2013 Prescot Festival Full Programme Friday 21 June 7.30pm Prescot Methodist Centre Opening Night: Songs From The Shows with BOST £6. An evening of Broadway and West End hits featuring the Birkenhead Operatic Society, one of the North West’s most renowned musical theatre companies. Saturday 22 June 7.00pm Prescot Parish Church From Darkness To Light: Liverpool Harmonic Gospel Choir & Prescot Festival Chorus £4. An irresistibly eclectic concert of sacred music from Liverpool’s leading gospel choir, under the directorship of Tyndale Thomas, and a performance of Fauré’s Requiem. (Sopranos, altos, tenors and basses are invited to “Come & Sing” the Requiem. Sunday 23 June 3.00pm Prescot Parish Church Guest Organist In Recital: Daniel Bishop. Followed By Cheese & Wine £4 Daniel Bishop, Liverpool Anglican Cathedral’s outstanding young Associate Organist, performs a programme of sacred and secular classics. Monday 24 June Schools Verse Speaking Festival 6.30pm St Mary & St Paul’s Primary School. Free. Primary pupils from across Knowsley recite poetry and prose - with some fun and entertaining twists Tuesday 25 June 7.30pm Prescot Salvation Army Hall Celebrating 125 Years Of The Salvation Army In Prescot. Free. A musical celebration featuring the Songsters and Band of The Salvation Army. All are welcome. Wednesday 26 June 6.30pm Evelyn Community Primary School. Young Instrumentalist Of Prescot. Free. For the second year running, primary and secondary schoolchildren from across Knowsley compete to demonstrate their musical talent. Local experts judge on the night and present awards. Thursday 27 June 7.30pm St Paul’s Church Festival Barn Dance £6. Barn dances and easy ceilidh with a live band and a delicious two-course dinner. Join in or

just sit back and enjoy. Soft bar available - bring your own alcohol. Please contact us to book the vegetarian option. 8.00pm The Old Mill Pub Acoustic Night & Open Mic Free. Chill out with a pint, and enjoy the music of Liverpool musician Chris Bayley and other local talents. Friday 28 June 7.30pm Prescot Parish Church Celebrating Britten & Elgar: Wirral Symphony Orchestra In Concert £8 A very special classical concert in honour of the centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth, featuring his dramatic Four Sea Interludes from the opera Peter Grimes, Elgar’s celebrated Cello Concerto (soloist Gethyn Jones, RLPO), made famous by Jacqueline du Pré, and Dvorak’s delightful Symphony No. 8. RLPO Principal Oboe Jonathan Small conducts. Saturday 29 June 11.30am Prescot Methodist Centre (New Room) Prescot On Film Free Relive memories and step back into yesteryear, with this rare screening of vintage footage of the town, courtesy of the Prescot Film Archive Society. 7.00pm Prescot Parish Church Brass & Buffet With Wirral Brass £6 We welcome Wirral Brass to the festival for the first time to perform popular classics, and film and TV themes. Fine food and drink included. Sunday 30 June 6.00pm Prescot Parish Church Choral Evensong. Free. Prescot Parish Church Choir is led by Edna Weaver, with Tim Hall on the organ for this musical setting of evening prayer. Refreshments follow. 7.30pm Prescot Parish Church Festival Finale £4. Haydock Male Voice Choir lead festival-goers in the traditional Proms-style finale, which this year includes music to celebrate 60 years since the Queen’s coronation. Bring your flags and join in timeless patriotic songs such as Rule Britannia and Land of Hope and Glory. Advance Tickets In person: The Wool Shop, 32 Eccleston Street Prescot, L34 5QJ Phone: 08444 771 000 (Ticketwebbooking fee applies) Online:

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The Challenge May 2013

ST LAURENCE’S GETS COOKING! St Laurence’s Catholic Primary School, Kirkby recently got the taste for some delicious food and flavours from around the world. The Junior Chefs’ Academy, a leading provider of healthy eating workshops and food education

events, brought out the chef in everyone when they arrived to provide every child from nursery to Year 6 with outstanding educational cooking classes. The children were given the opportunity to develop an active interest in how food is produced

and prepared and created everything from a Fair Trade Tiramisu to a Citric Coleslaw salad and a Tropical Fruit Crunch. This promises to be the start of something tasty with St Laurence’s already booking their next tongue tingling sessions.

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Business News KNOWSLEY COMPANY TAKES HEALTHY APPROACH TO STAFF WELFARE A Knowsley-based small firm that offers its staff a range of benefits including free gym membership, regular holistic therapies and healthy food is set to launch a recruitment drive. The Fieldway Group, which also involves its 28-strong workforce in weekly decision-making meetings, says its forward-thinking staff welfare policies are resulting in high levels of commitment, staff retention and increased productivity. The company’s approach is supported by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Directors (CIPD) which says that businesses recognising that their employees are their greatest assets and who foster team spirit and wellbeing, reap the benefits in terms of productivity and motivation. Derek Holcroft, business development manager at the Fieldway Group, which is set to create around six new posts, said: “We are passionate about the wellbeing of our staff and offer a range of benefits that you would normally see in a major company or organisation. “As well as providing benefits like free gym membership and healthy food, we also work with the Knowsley ‘Working Well’ initiative which involves our employees benefiting from regular

health checks. “We have a meeting every Friday that all our staff are involved in. They can raise any issues they have, contribute ideas and keep updated on how the company is performing. We also take the opportunity to praise any staff who have done particularly well. This has lead to a focused, passionate workforce who love working at Fieldway.” Based at the Paramount Business Park in Huyton, the Fieldway Group provides electrical installation and maintenance including CCTV, access control, intercom systems and fire safety services across the UK. It has demonstrated continued growth and has developed since 1999 when it was set up under sole trader status, to its current standing within the Knowsley business community, working on prestigious contracts for clients including Liverpool Housing Trust, Apollo Construction and Kier Construction. The Fieldway Group is also committed to creating opportunities for young people, with a thriving apprenticeship programme that sees trainees working one to one with a qualified member of staff. “We have gone back to basics to ensure the training we provide is good

quality and this is helping to ensure we have a highly trained workforce that are carrying out contracts across the UK,” added Derek. Derek is also confident that the company’s annual £1.5m turnover will double this year, as it secures more contracts and seizes opportunities being created by the Government’s ‘Green Deal’ programme. The Fieldway Group is a member of Knowsley Chamber where it is getting lots of help and support to grow. Lesley Martin-Wright, Chief Executive of Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is great news that the Fieldway Group is going from strength to strength and, along with many other successful businesses in Knowsley, is helping to create an atmosphere of vibrancy and incredible optimism. “We are doing all we can to support businesses like the Fieldway Group and

Fieldway sales manager Tony Carden benefits from holistic therapy from therapist Jodie Connor can provide assistance to any firms considering opening a base in the borough, re-locating here or looking to grow their business.”


BUS SERVICE TO CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING Member of Knowsley Older Peoples Voice are celebrating the introduction of a regular bus service to the Centre for Independent Living (CIL) in Huyton. The group have lobbied for such a service since the opening of the CIL in early 2011. The CIL is designed as a one stop shop for health and disability issues in Knowsley, bringing together a range of related services under one roof to help people with disabilities or mobility issues live more independently. It is open to the public five days a week. Tom Best, vice chair of Knowsley Older Peoples Voice said: “The opening of the CIL was warmly welcomed by the elderly and disabled looking to access these important services and maintain their independence. “However, the only building suitable for the facility - which required large areas of showroom space, consultation areas, and equipment storage - was on the industrial park at Wilson Road, Huyton. “This was not served by any existing regular bus route within easy walking distance”. Knowsley Older People’s Voice has been looking to influence the improvement of public transport to this important facility. They have made representations to Merseytravel with detailed suggestions for existing bus route diversions to serve the CIL, and gained the support of the local MP, local authority officers and a range of other agencies. Eventually a chance meeting with Darren Stewart from Huyton Travel Ltd highlighted that as the operator of the 883 service running between John Lennon Airport and Huyton, they were open to the idea of a minor rerouting of the outward and inward bound services every other hour which would take it past the CIL. Approval from Merseytravel was gained, and the new service commenced on 11th March 2013. Tom said: “We are delighted that our sustained lobbying for this service has now been successful, and are grateful to Huyton Travel, Merseytravel, and our partners for their support and co-operation”.

Carter House, a specialist dementia scheme in Parr has been officially opened by Villages Housing, St Helens Council and MHA Care Group. The scheme, developed by Villages Housing is made up of 15 flats – three of which are for two people to allow greater choice. The flats are arranged in three clusters with central communal areas. The design and use of colour scheme have been well researched in order to provide a ‘dementia friendly’ environment. 24 hour support and care is provided by MHA who help residents maximise their remaining skills and interests. The building was declared open by its name sake Mike Carter, Villages Housing board member who said: “Today is important for all those who have been involved in creating this scheme, we have been on a journey and we are delighted with the results. The journey continues for the people living here and we hope the scheme offers them the benefits they need to live safely and provide their families with peace of mind.” Carter House, is the second dementia scheme developed by Villages Housing in St Helens following on the success of the award winning Portland House, Newton-leWillows. Leader of St Helens Council Marie Rimmer who spoke at the ceremony said: “Housing has always been important to me, 10 years ago when we opened Portland House we were talking about the next scheme, this is even better than we imagined. It is great to be here and spend time with the residents and many of them have commented how it feels like a home. The name represents all the community work that Mike has been involved in over the years which is fantastic.” Over 50 people attended the launch including residents and family members and partners involved in the delivery of the scheme.

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16 The Challenge May 2013

Education News Inspectors have heaped praise on a Huyton Primary school which they found to be ‘Outstanding’ in all areas. St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School on Edenfield Crescent, was found to be “an extremely caring school” which is an “exciting place for pupils to learn”. There was acclaim for teaching staff, with Ofsted noting: “The quality of teaching and learning is outstanding because teachers set their sights very high and pupils always rise to the challenge.” The report continues: “Leaders and mangers are highly ambitious for every pupil. They aim for nothing but the best... governors challenge and support the school vigorously to make sure that high standards are maintained.” And there was special attention given to the successes the school has seen recently in English and Maths, with pupils at St Joseph’s consistently achieving well above average in both subjects. Head teacher Charlie Newstead said: “We are all delighted with the judgement from Ofsted. Everyone involved with the school works hard to provide the best possible environment for learning so that our pupils get the highest quality education we can give them. It’s great to see that being recognised.” Earlier this year St Joseph’s received a personal letter of congratulation from the Minister of state for schools, MP David Laws, when pupils excelled at Key Stage 2 tests at the end of last year.


Joseph’s Catholic Primary School pupils celebrate their ‘outstanding’ assessment Every pupil at the school achieved Level 4 or above in both English and maths, and 60% even managed Level 5 or above in English and 56% in maths.

The school has a long track record of out-performing the national average at Key Stage 2, but the results in 2012 were among their best ever.

The full report is available to view on the Ofsted website and on the school’s own website

MATRIX MISSION ACCOMPLISHED AT KNOWSLEY COLLEGE The quality of Knowsley Community College’s advice and guidance for students received a big thumbs up from Government-appointed assessors recently. The college has again been accredited with the Matrix Standard – the nationally recognised quality mark for giving students impartial advice and support for their careers and progress at College. After a three-day review, more than half the 27 features examined at the college were rated as strengths. The report highlights the college’s focus on ‘getting back to basics’ which is “embedding fundamental skills that students will require in the world of work”. Areas singled out for particular praise included, the excellent relationships staff built up with students and the systematic management approach which makes student support a “key pillar” of the college’s work. College Principal Steve Logan, said: “The Matrix Standard assessment pulls no punches. The 15 strengths highlighted in the report underline the real quality of the impartial, advice and guidance we give to our students. “This report is yet another piece of hard evidence of the huge steps

Student Becky Flattery forward we’re taking. And there’s more to come!” As student, Becky Flattery, explained during the exacting assessment. “You really can start here at Knowsley Community College and go anywhere! “The College has helped me to get the qualifications and skills I needed to land my dream job, working on a luxury cruise ship as part of Steiner’s Spa at Sea team starting in July”.

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18 The Challenge May 2013

Health PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS SAY PARTNERS ‘NOT FAZED’ WHEN TOLD ABOUT THEIR CONDITION Two in three (63%) people with mental health problems who tell their partners about their condition have said that partners ‘weren’t fazed’ and were ‘really understanding’ when they first heard the news. The UK’s leading mental health charity Mind and the largest provider of relationship support, Relate, have released research which shows that 77% of people with a mental health problems surveyed actively tell their partners about their mental health, and only 5% of those people said their partners broke up with them when they heard about their condition. 74% of a random sample of people with experience of being a partner of someone with a mental health problem surveyed said they weren’t fazed or wanted to understand the other person’s situation when they were told, and just 4% of those people said they felt afraid. Mind and Relate surveyed over 1,000 people with an experience of mental health problems in romantic relationships and asked a range of questions about communication and commitment. The charities have found that the majority of people in relationships where someone has a mental health problem communicate openly about the issue. Romantic relationships can have a major positive impact on people’s mental health, and the majority of partners are understanding about the situation.

“When I talk to my friends about my experiences they all say that they wouldn’t have known what to say to me, or how to help me” However, people with mental health problems and partners revealed, amongst other pressures such as financial and employment issues, that the mental health problem did put the most strain on relationships. Four in five people (80%) with mental health problems surveyed said it had affected their sex life, with loss of libido and feeling unattractive or selfconscious as main issues, in comparison to just three in five (60%) partners who said it affected their sex life. Melissa Thompson, 30, from Halewood in Liverpool, found herself struggling to cope with the loss of her mother and broke down after organising the funeral on her own and not feeling able to open up to anyone about her grief. After months of feeling suicidal and self-harming, she was eventually diagnosed with depression and received professional support. Melissa has said that Andy, her current boyfriend, was the only person she felt like she could fully open up to about her mental health problems.

The survey found that: • 74% of people surveyed with a mental health problem said they regularly talk about their mental health with their partner, and three in five (60%) of these people said it then ‘made the relationship easier to manage’ • Three in five (60%) people with mental health problems said being in a relationship has had a ‘positive impact’ on their mental health • Half (50%) of partners surveyed said dating someone with a mental health problem wasn’t as daunting as they thought it might be • Of these people, 47% said it was because they felt the mental health problem does not define the person. Melissa said: “Andy was the only person who I could talk to. He became the closest person to me as he took the time out to listen and tried to understand what I was going through. “I often felt like I was worth nothing, but Andy was there every step of the way and helped me through everything, all the tears, frustration and even the times when he found out all about my past and the lead up to my break down. “I can’t say it was easy, but he was the rock that I needed and he persevered with me when I was at my worst. “When I talk to my friends about my experiences they all say that they wouldn’t have known what to say to me, or how to help me. That’s why Andy is unique, he didn’t judge me, he was positive, and he just sat there and listened to me. “It’s not about giving people counselling when they’re going through a tough time or giving them answers, sometimes you just need a pair of ears to listen to you when there are no easy solutions.” Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: “We are really delighted to see that there is a culture of openness between people with mental health problems and their partners and, maybe because of lessening stigma, more people feel that a potential partner revealing that they have a mental health problem isn’t as big as an issue as expected. “However, we know that mental health problems can put a substantial strain on romantic relationships, as three in five people with mental health problems said it caused partnerships to break-up in the past. “This research shows us that there are unique benefits of close relationships for people with mental health problems and that open communication is vital, so we would encourage anyone finding their relationship hard to manage to seek

Melissa Thompson and partner Andy

appropriate support and advice as soon as they can.” Ruth Sutherland, chief executive of Relate, said: “It is heartening to hear that 60% of people surveyed thought that being in a relationship has had a positive impact on their mental health, which bears out the experience of Relate, where we know that relationships are one of the most important aspects of our everyday lives and are central to our wellbeing. “However, this survey also shows that mental health problems can place extra strain on a relationship and it is worrying to hear that four in five people said that it had affected their sex life for instance. “We would encourage people who are experiencing problems in their

relationship to seek help and support as you don’t need to feel alone.” Mind provides information and advice for people affected by a mental health problem and people who are worried about someone they know. To find out more about Mind’s work visit or contact the Mind Infoline, a confidential helpline on 0300 123 3393. Relate provides information, support and counselling about relationships to people of all ages and backgrounds. Support and counselling from Relate could help couples and families deal with the impact of a mental health problem on their relationships. For more information, visit or call the helpline on 0300 100 1234

CQC INPATIENTS SURVEY The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has announced that St Helens and Whiston hospitals are two of the cleanest hospitals in the country according to patients. The findings are part of a national survey undertaken by the CQC, which regulates standards of quality in healthcare organisations, and aims to find out what patients think about the care and treatment they receive in hospitals. Results show that patients rate the trust as providing some of the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness, compared to other hospital trusts. The knowledge of specialists working at the trust was also praised, as patients commended doctors for the information available about the condition or illness of their patients. Ann Marr, chief executive said: “We are pleased that patients feel they are well cared for in a clean and safe environment. The trust is never complacent and remains committed to providing exceptionally high standards of care for our patients”.

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Lifestyle Only 17% of women wear matching sets for their big day! Recent stats showed that more UK women would rather buy a matching set for a date than they would for their wedding day. A Brastop survey revealed that only 17% of UK women managed to wear a matching set on their wedding day last year, due to the hefty price tag and lack of choice. Although a staggering 79% of women bought matching sets last year only 48% of those women said they wear their matching sets for special occasions. Surprisingly, the top occasions for wearing a matching set was revealed with date nights being the most popular followed by birthdays, Valentine’s Day and lastly their wedding day. With the UK bust bigger than ever, finding a pretty matching set for the fuller bust that doesn’t break the bank proves difficult. D plus brides are now being forced to think practically rather than worrying about what’s underneath for their special day. Soon to be bride, Tamara Nelson comments ‘Weddings are expensive and I’ve found myself struggling to find a matching set for my 34GG bust that isn’t worth a fortune. All of the options I’ve found are very basic so I’ve had to consider just getting the bra instead of a set’ Brastop has included a bridal collection to their on line haven for D plus lingerie and swimwear giving brides a new outlet to choose from. With sets as low as £24 and over 15 different styles, brides will be spoilt for choice. The bridal range includes sizes ranging from 28-44 back and D to K cups.

Baked Cannelloni This quick and easy version of the classic baked pasta dish can be made with dried pasta tubes, which you can buy in most supermarkets. This recipe is perfect for vegetarians who will love the spinach and cheese filling and tomato sauce. Ingredients 8 cannelloni tubes A few basil leaves, torn 2 level tbsps grated Parmesan cheese For the filling: 227g/8oz fresh spinach, washed and trimmed 227g/8oz fat-free natural cottage cheese freshly grated nutmeg 1 egg yolk salt and ground black pepper For the sauce: 426ml/¾pt passata pinch of sugar 1 garlic clove, crushed salt and ground black pepper Method To make the filling put the spinach in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid and cook very gently over a low heat for about 5 minutes, until the leaves are limp and bright green. Drain in a colander, pressing down on top of the spinach with a saucer to squeeze out all the liquid. Chop the spinach and mix with the cottage cheese, nutmeg, egg yolk and seasoning. Spoon the filling into the cannelloni tubes and arrange them in an ovenproof dish. Mix the passata, sugar, garlic and seasoning together and pour over the cannelloni. Sprinkle with basil and Parmesan cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 200C°/400°F/Gas Mark 6 for about 20 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.

Thinking about an Apprenticeship? then don’t miss...

Apprenticeship Jobs’ Night at Knowsley Community College Tuesday 4th June 2013 2pm - 7pm Kirkby Centre, Cherryfield Drive, L32 8SF Find out about the latest apprenticeship vacancies and how to apply. Tour the College workshops and listen to what employers have to say about our apprenticeships.


To confirm your place please call Mary Storey on 0151 477 5757 or email your CV in advance to

20 The Challenge May 2013

This Month

with Jess Corcoran

Why I will be celebrating life riting ‘this month’ has this month been a struggle. I don’t want to attempt to entertain you with musical ramblings or inform you what you must wear now.

quite awhile…


Every time I see something good, I write it down. This could be someone giving a stranger some loose change, or a bus driver stopping for someone even though they haven’t quite reached the bus stop yet.

Instead I want to introduce myself a little more and explain to all of you what this four week period means to me.

These are the little things that make me smile and help me to realise that life is not as half as bad as most of the media makes out.

The Beginning of bare legs weather does not feature in my consciousness, nor really does the approach of the festival season. Fashion and music have no overhaul on the fact that this month, I'm leaving school, forever. After five compulsory years in education then another two in sixth form I’ve been moulded and shaped. Once a shy Year 7 who faced bus rides alone with trepidation to 18years-old, moving to a different city in just a few short months. When did this happen?! Life has flown so quickly and I can't believe I’ve spent three years short of a decade in the same place, with the same people, doing pretty much the same thing. Sure I’ve exchanged GCSE'S for A Levels but ultimately it’s been pretty monotonous. This leads me on to my future plans.

It could be a slice of chocolate cake, seeing the joy on someone’s face when you hand them an unexpected present or card, or even being able to put a few more pounds into the holiday fund.

And I’m hoping it encourages you to think about yours. I'll be going to university, and in that time I am determined to live life properly. I don’t mean the typical student lifestyle, but instead spending my free time reading and writing, doing things I have missed while having my head stuck in a text book. I am so excited to have more time to concentrate on what inspires me, but my main enjoyment is going to come from my attempt to love every single day.

William Morris said that “The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life” and I most certainly believe this to be true. From September I’ll be on public transport without my headphones, because it is great to hear about a fellow passengers day and amazing to see how you have brightened someone’s smile just by listening to them. I’m also going to continue with something I have been doing for

Life should be celebrated, as should as the good in humanity. I think these days it is all too familiar just how precious time is, and we don’t really know how tomorrow will map out no matter how much we try to plan it. Seven years have been spent not giving my all and failing to appreciate the good, sweet moments. Yet you make the effort to look, they are all around you. Here’s my resolution to see the good, and enjoy it. What’s good for you this month?

Health & Fitness - With Emma Armstrong of Zest Wellness Vitamin D We all know it is important to get our five a day to make sure our body gets enough vitamins and minerals to keep us healthy. Unlike all other vitamins in the diet, Vitamin D is the only vitamin which is not essential in the diet due to its ability to be synthesised by the body using sunlight. The primary role of vitamin D is to regulate calcium in the body. This is done by vitamin D increasing the absorption of calcium during digestion whilst causing less calcium to be excreted in urine. Dietary sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, liver and oily fish however, often the majority of dietary intake is via fortified foods such as milk, cereal or margarine. Around 90% of the vitamin D in our body is formed using sunlight with around 10% through our diet. However, many of us are not getting enough vitamin D. Deficiency is especially common in people who do not receive adequate amounts of sunlight and in particularly vulnerable groups of people. Typically a 70 year old will produce only around 20% of the vitamin D a 20 year old produces with the same amount of sunlight. Therefore deficiency is particularly common in this age group and often leads to a condition called osteoporosis which leads to fragile bones and a high risk of fractures. Children who are deficient in vitamin D may develop rickets which causes there bones to weaken and fail to harden, it

is then common for these children to develop bowed legs because of this. In adults this condition is referred to as osteomalacia. Vitamin D has also been linked to reduced risk of cancer and is used in the treatment of psoriasis. Tips for adequate vitamin D • Spend small amounts of time in the sunlight to help maintain vitamin D stores and bone health. • Aim for around 30 minutes of sun exposure to hands and face each day. • If you believe you are not able to get enough sunlight to synthesise enough vitamin D it is recommended you eat fortified foods when possible and to visit your GP. • If supplementing with vitamin D be sure not to exceed the recommended dosage as too much vitamin D can be toxic. • Be sensible in the sun, and to avoid prolonged exposure, especially without sun cream! Emma –

The Challenge May 2013

Monday Huyton The Old School House, St John’s Road 6.30pm Kathryn 07865 014437

Huyton St Aidan’s Club, Longview Lane, Huyton 9.30am & 11.30am Michelle 07940 181515

Dovecot Dovecot Labour Club Finch Lane Entrance 6.00pm Jean 290 0034

Huyton St Aidans Club Longveiw Lane 5.30pm & 7.30pm Michelle 07940 181515

Wednesday Dovecot St Margaret Mary’s Social Club (Behind Church) Pilch Lane 4.00pm & 6.00pm Julie 449 1074

Friday Dovecot St Margaret Mary’s Social Club (Behind Church), Pilch Lane 9.30am Julie 449 1074

Huyton The Royal British Legion Archway Road 5.30pm Ro 07709 956191

Saturday Huyton The Huycap Centre, Rupert Road 8.00am & 10.00am Joanne 254 1298

Thursday Whiston George Howard Centre, Lickers Lane, 5.00pm & 6.30pm Kathryn 07865 014437

West Derby The Crown Inn Leyfield Road, West Derby 8.30am & 10.30am Marji 548 0018

Stockbridge Village Craigs Community Centre, Little Moss Hey 6.00pm Ro 07709 956191

Prescot Parish Church Meeting Rooms (next to Deans House), Vicarage Place 9.00am Lynn 480 1665

Tuesday West Derby The Crown Inn, Leyfield Road 9.00am, 11.00am, 5.00pm & 7.00pm Marji 548 0018 Kirkby Centre 63 Old Hall Lane, Next To St Chads 9.30am & 11.00am Eileen 548 0658 Speke The Metal Boxonions Sports And Social Club, Speke Boulevard 5.00pm & 6.30pm Clare 07950 631858 Prescot St James Church Hall St Helens Road (Near The Wellington Pub) 9.30am, 11.30am 4.30pm & 6.30pm Lynn 480 1665

Huyton The Royal British Legion Archway Road 6.00pm Joanne 254 1298


22 The Challenge May 2013


Roughsedge House community centre re-opened to residents at the end of April following refurbishment. To promote the refurbishment, social work students on placement with Villages Housing organised a buffet lunch and a sing-along which was thoroughly enjoyed by residents. The students wanted to raise awareness to residents about all the activities held in the community centre on a weekly basis and encourage greater participation as research proves that social inclusion can have a dramatic influence on the overall well being of individuals. “It was great to see the community centre full of residents and the day could not have gone any better with the residents really getting to know each other. It was worth all the effort we put in to see the residents enjoying themselves. All in all a brilliant day.” Tony, Student Villages Housing and residents at Roughsedge House would like to thank the students for all their hard work in organising the event. Roughsedge House provides accommodation for people over 55 years of age. For more details contact Villages Housing on 0151 480 1313.

Looking for Rented Accommodation?

For under £100 per week*, (including heating), you could rent a spacious 2 bedroom apartment in Stockbridge Village. Benefits include • Newly refurbished kitchen and bathroom • Parking facilities • Caretaking service • Excellent motorway links • Balcony - some with magnificent views • No deposit required • Access to brand new leisure facilities including library, gym and swimming pool Contact us if you are working, 2 individuals looking to share or a single adult/couple with child over 16 and we will do our best to help you. Please quote REF 01. Phone – 0151 480 1313 and ask for the Customer Services Team E-mail – Website – * based on 52 wk/year

INSPIRATIONAL MARGARET IS A HOUSING HERO Inspirational sheltered housing manager Margaret Roe has been nominated for an award after she helped a vulnerable elderly man that was being conned out of thousands of pounds. Margaret, scheme manager at Knowsley Housing Trust’s (KHT) Cross Street Sheltered Housing Scheme in Prescot, went above and beyond her duties to help the man who was being coerced into handing over money amounting to £32,000 to a younger man who had befriended him. She saw what was happening and helped the resident break free from the situation and move to a new home. He is now happy and well and Margaret has been shortlisted in the 2013 Housing Heroes awards as Inspirational Colleague of the Year as a result of her great work. Margaret noticed the 75-year-old resident was losing weight and when she investigated, found that his fridge and cupboards were empty. He had become very distant and had stopped joining in with social events at the scheme. On further investigation, she discovered a younger man had been regularly visiting the resident and doing his shopping for him. She called Social Services and when they checked the resident’s finances they found that £32,000 had been withdrawn from his bank account over 12 months. Margaret contacted the younger man who said he didn’t know anything about the missing money. “Something wasn’t right,” she said, “We heard reports that this man had been using his bank card to buy hundreds of pounds worth of scratch cards at the local shop and that he had taken the resident to the bank to withdraw large sums of cash. “I knew we had to get him away from this man but the resident thought he was his friend and couldn’t believe he would steal from him. “I’d noticed the man turned up regularly and was stopping the resident from coming into the scheme’s community hall.” Margaret began cooking his meals, organising for his shopping to be fetched, taking him to the community hall and calling to check in on him on evenings and weekends to make sure he was ok. He then allowed Margaret, with supervision from KHT and Social Services, to take control of his finances so that every penny could be accounted for. The man didn’t give up and continued to try to visit the resident, and so Margaret arranged for him to move to a new extra care housing scheme where he would be safe. She even took him to his new accommodation herself. He has lived there for six months and she keeps in touch with him regularly. He is now back to his old self and loves his new home. She said: “Our role is to inform social services when we feel there is a safeguarding issue and hand the case over to them. “But I knew the resident trusted me and I wanted to make him feel safe so I stayed

KHT’s Margaret Roe with him throughout the process. The man lived nearby and was watching him, I was scared for him.” KHT made a video of the case with Margaret which is now used to train other staff in safeguarding residents. “I didn’t expect the nomination or all this attention,” she said, “but it’s nice to be recognised. It is our job to keep our residents safe, many of whom are vulnerable and have no close family. It is a judgement call, and you have to act fast if you think someone is at risk. “I just hope this story will make people more aware of elderly or vulnerable people in their neighbourhoods and more able to protect and support them.” Sheila Tolley, executive director of customers and communities at KHT, part of the First Ark Group, said: “Margaret is an inspiration to us all. Her dedication and selflessness have helped this resident out of a very distressing situation and back to a safe and happy life. “It is through staff like her that we are able to offer such high quality support services that allow older people to live securely and independently.” The Housing Heroes awards will be held on June 24 in Manchester.

SCAMS AWARENESS MONTH May is Scams Awareness Month and Knowsley Trading Standards is offering advice to residents to help you avoid falling victim. More than three million people in the UK fall victim to scams each year, costing £3.5bn. Spotting scams, it could be a scam if: • The call, letter, email or text has come out of the blue • You have never heard of the lottery or competition they’re talking about and you didn’t buy a ticket • They are asking you to send money in advance • They are telling you that you have to respond quickly so you don’t get time to think about it before making a decision • They are telling you to keep it a secret Stop scams • Report it. If you have been scammed or suspect that someone has tried to scam you, ring Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 To get advice speak to Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06 Also, make friends and family aware of scams you have heard about to help them avoid becoming victims.

The Challenge May 2013 23

24 The Challenge May 2013

SAFARI RHINOS SCAMPER INTO SPRING Following the harsh winter months, Knowsley Safari’s trio of adorable rhino calves Njiri, Thabo and Nonu are set to make the most of the warmer spring weather, as they explore their 100 acre enclosure. The three babies were born in the depths of winter to the same dad, 18year-old bull Shaka but different females Piglet, Winnie and Meru, and keepers have been waiting for the arrival of the warmer weather before they could safely encourage them to head off and explore the grounds.

SEARCH IS LAUNCHED FOR KNOWSLEY’S RISING STARS Up and coming singers are being offered the chance of performing in front of thousands at Knowsley’s largest community event this summer. Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) has launched a search for talented performers in its ‘Rising Stars’ competition, with the opportunity to sing at its community day in July. The shortlisted entries will perform in the grand final at the community day, which is this year being held on Saturday, July 6 at King George V playing field in Huyton. The winner will receive a day in a recording studio and will get their song played on KCC Live. The free community day, which has become one of the largest community events in the north west, is expected to attract thousands. It will be a fun-packed family day out with dancing, music and entertainment. Jamie Sowler from KHT, part of the First Ark Group, who is co-ordinating the event, said: “This will be a fantastic addition to this year’s community day and offers budding stars the chance to get out there and shine.” To enter, singers can upload a recording of them performing to YouTube or Soundcloud and post the link, together with their name, phone number and address, to KHT’s Facebook page at Alternatively they can send a CD recording to: Marketing, First Ark, Lakeview, Kings Business Park, Prescot, L34 1PJ. The closing date for entries is May 31, 2013. The competition is for individual singers, but entries can be accompanied by an acoustic instrument. Entries must be 12 years old or over, and either live, work or go to school in Knowsley.

At six-months old, they could already weigh a whopping 75 stone between them, Njiri, Thabo and Nonu were bestowed with names that celebrate their bloodlines. The latest calves are the 12th, 13th and 14th rhino calves to be born at Knowsley Safari in the last decade as part of their extensive breeding programme which is managed in association with the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). Knowsley Safari is particularly excited about these births as they will bring much needed diversity to the captive gene pool and will ultimately help to bolster the captive rhino population – important should they ever become extinct in the wild. It is estimated that over 146 rhinos have been killed for their horns so far this year, so as part of their conservation work, Knowsley Safari has pledged to fund the important work done by the Lowveld Rhino Trust (LRT). The LRT are a conservation organisation operating primarily in Zimbabwe to help reduce poaching and increase the chances of the long-term survival of rhinos, one of Africa’s ‘big five’. Eveline De Wolf, Head of Animal Division at Knowsley Safari comments: “The trio of calves are extremely mischievous, they love to run circles around their mums, so we’ve been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the warmer weather to see them fully interact with their new surroundings and the rest of the crash. “Visitors can expect to see the calves close to their protective mummies for a while yet, but as rhinos can reach up to 35mph at full speed, they are sure to be keeping their crash extremely busy.”

KNOWSLEY PARK WELCOMES BULGARIAN VISITORS A Bulgarian delegation has visited a Prescot secondary school to see what could be learnt from the way schooling is run in the UK. Staff and pupils at Knowsley Park Centre for Learning welcomed the visitors, who are all head teachers at schools in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Assen Alexandrov, Emilia Lazarova, Eleonora Lilova, and Tanio Stoytchev visited Knowsley Park as part of a fact finding mission to the UK, identifying good practice which they could take back

to Bulgaria and share with schools there. Throughout the day, they had a tour around the school, visited lessons and talked to staff and pupils about life in a UK school. They were very impressed with the friendly welcome from pupils and staff and commented on the modern school building. A number of areas were highlighted as good practice, which the group will be taking back to Bulgaria. This includes laptop trolleys and the cashless lunch

system operating in the Centre for Learning. In addition, they were impressed with assessment for learning techniques used in lessons to promote progress and attainment Mrs Judy Walker, headteacher at Knowsley Park Centre for Learning commented: “I was delighted to welcome the group from Bulgaria and I know they valued their time with us. They thought behaviour was excellent and liked our systems for promoting positive classroom behaviour.”

HOUSING GROUP ANNOUNCES ALDER HEY AS CHARITY OF THE YEAR The First Ark Group in Knowsley has announced it will be supporting the vital life-saving work of one of the country’s busiest children’s hospitals. The Group, which includes Knowsley Housing Trust and repairs and maintenance company Vivark, has chosen Alder Hey Children’s Charity in Liverpool as its Charity of the Year 2013. Over the next 12 months it will be supporting the charity with a range of fundraising activities. The charity raises funds to support Alder Hey Children’s Hospital's pioneering work and aims to improve the quality of life for patients and, through innovations and research, the quality of life for children across the world. Helen White, Chair of Knowsley Housing Trust, said: “We are proud to be able to support the amazing work of this world-renowned hospital. “The hospital has helped so many children and their families over the years including many of our tenants and staff so we understand the amazing work it does. As a parent seeing your child poorly is devastating, the care, treatment and the facilities available for them and their families are so vitally important at such a difficult time. “The First Ark Group strives to make a difference in communities and through this commitment we are supporting a vital facility for local families.” Alder Hey is one of Europe’s biggest and busiest children’s hospitals providing care for over 270,000 young patients each year. The charity supports its work in many ways, from funding research into medical conditions to buying vital equipment, building a better environment and providing facilities for families. Clare White, Director of Alder Hey Children’s Charity, said: “I’m delighted that First Ark has chosen Alder Hey Children’s Charity as their charity of the year. It was lovely to meet the team and show them around Alder Hey to see the difference that fundraising can make. We’re looking forward to working together with them to benefit our young patients.”

Pictured is (L) Clare White (Director of Alder Hey) and (R) Helen White (Chair of KHT).

The Challenge May 2013 25

CHILDREN UPDATE NATIONAL TRUST LIST OF THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU ARE 11 ¾ The National Trust has updated its list of 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾, because so many children have already completed the list, adding old favourites like playing pooh sticks and making a daisy chain. The annual list was published for the first time last year to encourage children to go outdoors. It has been so popular, many children completing the 50 things already, that children have demanded more ideas for activities in the countryside and where to do them. The National Trust collected 15 new ideas from children visiting properties and suggestions sent in via the website and social networking ideas. The new ideas include star gazing, trying rock climbing and learning to ride a horse. Many are old favourites like playing pooh sticks or making a daisy chain. The National Trust have also revealed the top ten most popular activities and the best places to do them. The new list of the top 50 suggests the best places to do the activities on National Trust land – although the charity is keen to emphasise that pooh sticks is fun on any river. The best place in the country to climb a tree is Wallington’s ‘the tree climbing tree’ in Northumberland. The National Trust polled 1,730 children and 1,692 adults to find out favourite activities in the countryside. Den building was voted the most fun and exciting activity by under 12s, and over half of children chose bike riding because they could do it with their family.

Nearly all parents agreed these activities helped to strengthen their child’s relationship with the natural world. However, four in five parents reported that their child spends less time playing outdoors than they did at their age, with almost three quarters blaming the rise in technology as the main obstacle for boys and over a third claiming concerns over safety prevents girls from enjoying the great outdoors. Nearly three quarters of parents agree that active adventures, such as tree climbing, are the best way to get their children playing outside. A third of the children asked had completed at least ten of the activities. Jessica Swales, aged 8 who was chosen by the National Trust, was one of only a handful of children how have already completed the activities. “I have completed every activity from the 50 things to do before you’re 11¾ list and tree climbing is my favourite thing to do outdoors, so I’m really glad other children really like it too. I love playing outside and climbing this big tree at Wallington with my friends was great fun. I can’t wait to get outside and start ticking off the new 50 things list!” Here is the updated list in full of 50 things to do before you are 11 ¾ The top ten activities and best places in the UK to experience them are:

1. Go on a really long bike ride – Wimpole Estate, Cambridgeshire 2. Build a den – Lyme Park’s woodland, Cheshire 3. Climb a tree – Wallington’s ‘the tree climbing tree’, Northumberland 4. Cook on a campfire – Stackpole, Pembrokeshire 5. Hunt for fossils and bones – Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, East Sussex 6. Discover what’s in a pond – Florence Court, County Fermanagh 7. Track wild animals – Castle Drogo, Devon 8. Hold a scary beast – Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire 9. Go birdwatching – Kingston Lacey, Dorset 10. Go on a walk barefoot – Strumble Head to Cardigan, Pembrokeshire The 15 new activities chosen by children are: 1. Go on a really long bike ride 2. Make a trail with sticks 3. Make a daisy chain 4. Create some wild art 5. Play pooh sticks 6. Jump over waves 7. Go on a walk barefoot 8. Go star gazing 9. Explore a cave 10. Hold a scary beast 11. Catch a falling leaf 12. Make a home for a wild animal 13. Go bird watching 14. Try rock climbing 15. Learn to ride a horse

NHS Physiotherapy for your back and neck With recent changes to government guidelines free physiotherapy treatment is now available! Do you have back or neck pain?

and self-management techniques.

Are you aged 16 or over?

If you feel you have a problem with your back or neck and could benefit from free physiotherapy at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust then visit your GP who will assess your eligibility and arrange your first appointment.

Are you registered with a GP in the Merseyside area? If you have answered ‘Yes’ to the above questions, then physiotherapy treatment at 5 Boroughs Partnership may be able to help you. We provide high quality NHS services for back and neck problems for anybody living in Merseyside. Our well-established service is made up of chartered physiotherapists with a wealth of shared experience and expertise. You can expect a warm welcome and a thorough assessment where our dedicated team will support and advise you on treatment methods

FREE for everyone There’s no need to travel far or pay expensive fees, with 13 local locations to choose from you can receive free physiotherapy and follow-up sessions from 5 Boroughs Community Health Services. For more information on 5 Boroughs Community Health Services in Knowsley, call the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0151 244 3453 or 3454.

26 The Challenge May 2013

REASSURANCE CAMPAIGN FOLLOWING FATAL FIRE Around 300 homes were visited in a day-long reassurance campaign in Fazakerley after a man died following a chip pan fire in the kitchen. Five fire appliances were sent out to roads across Fazakerley on April 9 and more than 40 people including firefighters and advocates visited the properties. They were joined by Merseyside Police PCSOs and staff from Knowsley Council. It followed the fire at a house in Fazakerley recently, which was caused by a chip pan that had been left cooking unattended. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service was called out to the fire on Winifred Road in Fazakerley at 8.13am on Thursday, April 4. When firefighters arrived the fire was out and they discovered the body of a man inside the premises. A woman was also assessed by paramedics for smoke inhalation and shock. It is believed the fire had started at around 10.30pm on April 3 and had been burning for some time but had extinguished itself by the time firefighters were called out the next morning. Smoke alarms were present in the property however the battery had been removed from the one on the first floor and the one on the ground floor had a very low charge of battery. It is not known whether the second smoke alarm

MF&RS staff and partners from Knowsley Council and Merseyside Police had activated. During the reassurance campaign firefighters and advocates handed out fire safety advice and information. MF&RS staff carried out 142 home fire safety checks and fitted smoke alarms at properties. Fly-tipping was also reported to Knowsley Council, which had teams out removing the rubbish. Alt Bank House homeless facility on Field Lane opened its doors to MF&RS staff, who used it as a base throughout the day. Group manager Gary Oakford,

Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service district manager for Knowsley, said: “It was very sad to hear that a man had died following a chip pan fire. “Through the reassurance campaign we have been providing people in the community with important fire safety information to try and prevent a fire like this happening in this community again. “We have also carried out home fire safety checks and fitted smoke alarms at properties. “We advise people to never leave cooking unattended as fires involving food can produce large amounts of

smoke quickly. “People are also urged not to use chip pans but to opt for deep fat fryers, which are a safer method of cooking. “A working smoke alarm can save a life and can give someone vital seconds to get out of a property if there is a fire. “We advise that smoke alarms are installed on each floor of a home and that they are tested every week. Also, a domestic sprinkler system will actually fight the fire and reduce its fire spread”. For a free fire safety advice call 0800 731 5958.

Outdoors with The Hairy Gardener Hi, my name is Peter Frances a.k.a. the Hairygardener You may remember I was talking about planting by the moon in the last edition, so quickly I’ll finish with this subject as the weather is good for us gardeners and there is plenty to do outside. There are three methods of planting by the moon and they are the Synodic or waxing and waning cycle, the Sidereal and the Biodynamic cycle. The Synodic cycle is a simple form of moon planting which divides the lunar cycle into four phases. It then groups plants into categories i.e. root, foliage, crops with seed on the outside and crops with seed on the inside then assigns the plants to the phases of the moon best suited for these plants. Secondly the Biodynamic cycle which is more detailed using the twelve signs of the zodiac, this method was developed by Rudolph Steiner in 1924 and the zodiac signs used where the actual positioning of the signs in the sky as the moon passed through them. Lastly the Sidereal cycle is very similar to the Biodynamic cycle except only the moons orbit around the earth is used to define the best times to sow and harvest. If you do start to plant by the moon remember to keep a diary and add as much detail as you can and if you bump in to me let me know how it’s going. Back to the garden isn’t the weather good? Anyone growing gooseberries, now is the time to look out for the gooseberry sawfly caterpillar which if allowed to will defoliate the bush in next to no time, these are small black and yellow caterpillars. The way I discourage them is by spraying the bush with a garlic spray made by boiling two or three cloves of garlic and using the liquid in a sprayer and spray all the leaves underneath as well, this should be repeated if we have rain and through out the season, stop spraying when the berries are swelling, by the way the best time to pick the berries is when you press the end gently with your thumb and it gives a little, it’s at it’s sweetest then. Good Gardening

DOG OF THE MONTH – VALERIE, FEMALE, STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER, APPROXIMATELY 18 MONTHS Valerie is a daft girl who loves to play with her toys with you. When she is out and about she loves to pick up sticks and branches, and occasionally gets so excited, she tries the whole tree! She came to the centre on Valentines Day this year as a stray, and has so much love to give; she’s looking for the perfect partner. Valerie doesn’t enjoy being in the company of other dogs, and will need an owner who is patient and willing to continue to work on this aspect of her training with her. She can live with children over the age of 10, but isn’t keen on cats, so wouldn’t want to live with them. If you can be Valerie’s love of her life, please contact Dogs Trust Merseyside on 0151 480 0660 or drop into the centre at Whiston Lane Liverpool L36 6HP, United Kingdom For more information about the charity’s work please visit

The Challenge May 2013 27

Motoring News

UK Car Buyers Guide: Top 5 Money Saving Tips Buying a car online? There are plenty of places to find a secondhand or used car, from a dealership website, to online sites such as Autotrader, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, Pistonheads etc. But there are some things worth noting when shopping online, especially if you buy privately. This is because you have very little comeback if things go wrong, or your next car turns out to be stolen, or has been involved in an accident. Here are five tips before you go shopping for that next Mini, Fiesta, Corsa or Aygo: 1. A HPI check does not guarantee the car has never been in an accident, or is roadworthy. It is always worth paying for a HPI check, but it doesn't always reveal the entire history of the car. Unless the car has been a write-off, it won’t reveal details of smaller accidents for example. It also does not show if the car has been stolen and recovered, or has had its identity disguised behind a false number plate, fake VIN plate etc. This is called ‘ringing’ in the trade. There are no details on previous owners or the service history included in a HPI check. 2. Get an insurance quote before you buy the car. Always get the registration number and enter all details on the car into a big car insurance comparison site, such as More Th>n, or theMeerkats. Enter the car’s colour, engine size, transmission type, year of manufacture etc. This is another good way to check if there is something odd about the car - if there’s something unusual about the car or it's a ‘grey import’, then an insurer may ask you to phone them for a quote instead. 3. Buying privately? Always meet in a public place, in daylight. Take a friend along, ideally someone who knows about cars or is a mechanic. There are three crucial things that thieves need to fake a vehicle identity; VIN plates, fake V5C paperwork and fake registration plates. All are reasonably easy to forge. Someone who

Missile attacks on motorists double Britain’s motorists are finding themselves increasingly under missile attack from mindless vandals. An Autoglass Freedom of Information request has unearthed that the number of recorded incidents of motorists pelted with potentially fatal objects, such as bricks, more than doubled to 1,021 last year. But Matthew Mycock, managing director of Autoglass, said that the true extent of the problem is unknown, since many incidents go unreported. He said: “What may seem a prank to some yobs is likely to result in tragedy and must be stopped.” Mr Mycock called on more motorists to report incidents to police to prevent future fatalities, adding: “Our customers tell us about a wide range of problems they face on the roads each day, but this is by far the most distressing." The study also shows that threequarters of the incidents reported ended in arrests.

Mini factory celebrates its 100th birthday works in the motor trade may well be better at spotting signs that the VIN plate, or V5C logbook has been faked than you. 4. Some ‘private’ sellers are actually traders, selling cars from home, or online. Ask how long they’ve owned it, which tyres grip best in wet weather, how practical it is at carrying luggage on a family holiday? Traders won’t have much info to give you - as they haven’t driven the car very far. If the ‘private’ seller says he can take your car in part-ex then there’s a good chance they are traders. But these types of traders won’t give you a refund, or fix your car if it goes wrong. So be wary. 5. Check under every mat, piece of carpet and inside every seat pocket. The history of a car is often revealed in a detailed, almost forensic search. Are there bits of chewing gum,

ciggarette butts, or maybe bits of food, or litter lurking under mats or in the passenger seat pockets? That suggests a less than caring owner. Lift the mat in the boot, or hatchback space and check the spare wheel - if there is one. Remove the wheel and check the bare metal at the back end of the car. If the car has been in a crash and then repaired there could well be signs of welding, or newer sections of metal sitting next to older, slightly rusty or grime covered sections. One final piece of advice: If a car seems too cheap to be true, then there’s often a good reason. Prestige brands like Mercedes, Range Rover, Audi and BMW are generally targeted by professional thieves and ‘ringers’ and sold in volume from rented houses, so they appear to be ‘private’ sales. If you are offered a cheap Merc at 3K5K below its market value, be very, very careful before parting with your cash.

VW unveils supercar-rivalling Golf Motoring enthusiasts at the annual Woerthersee festival are getting the first glimpse of Volkswagen's stunning new 503-horsepower Golf concept. Anyone aiming to join the 150,000-strong crowd in Austria should set their journey planner for Reifnitz - but hurry. This year's event, offering the first chance to see the Golf Design Vision GTI up close, ends on May 11. The mark VII Golf's ultra-versatile MQB chassis architecture is coupled with shortened overhangs, a 57mm lower roof and much wider track (579mm at the back and 1,595 at the front). And an in-built infotainment system

features an on-board camera which can be inked to social networks. Marking a conceptual return to V6-powered Golfs, its frontmounted turbocharged 3.0-litre unit pushes out 503 metric horsepower. Thought to be the fastest Golf thanks to a DSG twin-clutch gearbox which sends power to all four wheels - it shifts from 0-62mph in a supercar-rivalling 3.9 seconds. Volkswagen says the car is designed to handle "the most demanding of race tracks" and, while top speed data is not available, it would be limited only by aerodynamics.

A bastion of the British car-building industry, Mini’s ‘Plant Oxford’ in Cowley, Oxford celebrated 100 years of building cars in March. Currently responsible for producing the second-gen BMW Mini range, Plant Oxford has been the birthplace more than just trendy city cars: it’s stamped out over 11.5 million cars since 1913, including legend like the Morris Minor and Frogeye Sprite, and clunkers like the Morris Marina. It also contributed to the war effort by repairing damaged RAF fighter aircraft during the Second World War.

Ferrari plans to sell fewer cars in 2013 Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo has announced an unusual plan for the Prancing Horse: to sell fewer cars in 2013 than the 7000 it delivered in 2012. Speaking in Maranello, di Montezemolo stated: “This is a farsighted decision to strengthen our brand equity, from what I learned from Enzo Ferrari… “We must resist people who say the competition will benefit from us making fewer cars… When others penetrate our markets, we are happy to meet this challenge”.

28 The Challenge May 2013


Our Haunted Roads ne August night in the late 1970s, a couple in their thirties – Gary and Julie – embarked on the return journey from the home of their friends in Bebington to their home on Sugar Lane, Knowsley, and this trip necessitated a route which took them through the Queensway Tunnel. Julie listened as the car radio went dead as Gary drove into the mouth of the tunnel. She looked at her watch and saw it was exactly midnight, and she then turned to Gary and said she’d be glad to get home to bed because she was feeling so exhausted. Julie had been up since six because her youngest, Danielle, had developed a bad cough, and then Julie had gone to work at the Bird’s Eye factory. She yawned, and then noticed something – a silhouetted figure of a woman – standing in the middle of the road, about a hundred yards ahead. “What’s she doing standing there?” Julie gasped, and turned to look at Gary, but she saw that his eyes were bulging and his mouth was open as he stared transfixed at the woman straight ahead. If he continued on this course, he’d hit the woman squarely. Julie cried out for him to swerve but Gary just said: “No!” and looked through the windscreen with a strange expression of sheer determination. Julie’s right hand grabbed at the steering wheel as she tried to turn it to avoid running the woman down, but her husband held the wheel with a vice-like grip. Julie let out a scream as the car smashed into the woman, and a strange icy coldness gushed through the car at the point of impact. Julie was now in tears but Gary said: “Look in the side mirror! She’s still there! She’s a ghost! Look at her!” And Julie glanced in the side mirror and saw that the woman was still standing there in the middle of the road – even though the car carrying Gary and Julie had just run straight through her. An old Ford Anglia following behind swerved to miss the shadowy woman – and it collided with another car as a result and smashed into the wall of the tunnel. Gary explained how, a year before, during a trip to Birkenhead, he had seen that same eerie silhouetted woman standing in almost the same spot – near a bend in the tunnel, and when he had swerved to avoid her (thinking she was a real flesh blood person), he had narrowly missed a van just around the curve in the road. Gary had the impression that the ghostly lady had been trying to make him crash into another vehicle by standing in the path of his car. Unknown to Gary, that uncanny apparition of a woman had been seen many times over the years, and the ghost seems hellbent on causing accidents. She seems to date from the 1960s, and has a bob of curly hair and wears a ‘stickyout’ knee-length dress.


WOMEN NEEDED TO LEAD CYCLE RIDES IN KNOWSLEY The identity of the phantom is still unknown, but she is not the only ghost that haunts the Queensway Tunnel. The ghost of a girl who had a fatal fall from a motorbike in the Queensway in the 1960s has also been seen hitch-hiking in the two-mile tunnel over the years. There are other ghosts roaming the roads of Liverpool and the suburbs, and the most durable one if known as ‘The Thing’ on Higher Lane in Fazakerley. This is a shadowy, amorphous entity which has been seen sliding across Higher Lane at night like some unearthly oil slick. The entity often takes on the shape of a man who runs out in front of cars on the lane near to Sparrow Hall playing fields, and the deadly ghost has caused many fatal crashes over the years. Even patrolling policemen at night have encountered ‘The Thing’ on Higher Lane, but to date, no one knows whose ghost is responsible for causing so many tragedies at what has become an infamous black spot. The close proximity of Everton Cemetery to the lane could have something to do with ‘The Thing’ of course. Just a stone’s throw from the haunting ground of the Higher Lane entity, there is a stretch of the East Lancashire Road which seems to be haunted by an invisible pair of hands that seize the steering wheel of passing vehicles. In 2010 a reader named Frank Dorlin wrote to me to tell me how, one night in May 2009, he was driving along the East Lancs around 11pm, on his way to his Aunt’s home in Knowsley, when the steering wheel of the car turned in his hands as if something invisible had gripped it. The car veered to the left and Frank just managed to regain control of the vehicle, but the ‘invisible hands’ then turned the wheel in the other direction, sending the car into a spin. As this was going on, the temperature in Frank’s car seemed to plunge to freezing point. I have had many reports of the phantom hands grabbing the steering wheel’s of cars travelling on that stretch of the East Lancs, and it may be just a dark coincidence, but that section of the motorway passes by West Derby Cemetery. • Surf to for more Tom Slemen stories.

Are you a woman who’d like to do more cycling? Knowsley Council has signed up to a project to get more people cycling. The Sky Ride and Breeze schemes train up local people to lead cycle rides on scenic planned routes in the area. The Sky Ride scheme is for everyone and the Breeze programme is aimed at women. The Breeze organisers are looking for women to lead the rides. The leaders don’t need to be expert cyclists – just enthusiastic and comfortable on a bike and able to commit some time. They will get free training and a free kit and equipment. In return, they’ll need to commit to leading around 12 rides a year locally. The Breeze training courses take place on Sunday 19 May at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park in Longview Drive, Huyton. There are several places still available. If you’d like to find out more, go to www.goskyride/breeze and click on one of the champions stories or email The Breeze programme is run by

British Cycling and the Sky Ride scheme is a collaboration between British Cycling and Sky. Several men and women have been signed up to lead the Sky Ride events in Knowsley which will begin on 30 June and continue until October. The rides are free and offer something for everyone – whether you’re building your confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge. There’ll also be a major bike ride organised for as many people as possible to take part in with details to be confirmed in the coming months. Sky Ride and Breeze add to a range of measures to encourage cycling in the borough, such as the BMX track and the Velodrome at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park. Last year, British Cycling and Sky reached their target of getting one million more people on bikes. Now almost two million people ride regularly in the UK. To find out more about Sky Ride and the rides planned in Knowsley, visit

SCARECROW FESTIVAL COMPETITION Following the great fun and success of their Scarecrow Festival last year, The National Wildflower Centre are hosting another one at the centre in Court Hey Park. The festival will take place on 6 and 7 July 2013, when all entries to the scarecrow competition will be displayed around the site. There will also be a selection of vintage and craft stalls for you to browse around and pick up a bargain. Plus different workshops taking place each day. Entry to the Centre will be free all weekend! (although donations are always welcome) Would your school/group like to make a scarecrow and participate in their scarecrow festival competition? they have three winning categories: Infant, Junior and a “Best Effort”. If you would like your school/group to join in or just find out more, go to their website at If you have any One of the winning scarecrows from 2012. ‘Roy questions please email Al’ Made by St Bridgids School from Stockbridge Village.

The Challenge May 2013 29

FREE DIGITAL SESSIONS HELP RESIDENTS GET ONLINE Older people in Prescot were helped to get online this week in free digital taster sessions. Knowsley Housing Trust, part of the First Ark Group, organised the sessions at its South Avenue Supported Housing Scheme, where residents were introduced to the internet, email, Skype and more. Sisters Betty England, 89, and Olive Kershaw, 83, had used a computer before but for both it was the first time they had been online. During the session they were able to ask questions about computers generally and how to access the internet, were Pictured is Betty England, 89 (left) and Olive Kershaw, 83 (right) with Hayley Summers, KHT shown how to setup an email account and given information Customer Involvement Officer. on using Skype. They are now looking forward to being able to ‘Skype’ their sister in Australia and to email photos to her. The communal hall at the scheme is soon to have a new touch-screen computer installed where the sisters and the other residents will be able to practice their MP Steve Rotheram is supporting this year’s Woodlands Hospice Starlight Walk new skills. by officially starting the event on Saturday 18th May 2013 in the hope of Free computer and internet sessions were held around the country last week as raising thousands of pounds for the hospice. part of Spring Online, a digital inclusion campaign to encourage people to develop Steve will be starting the event at midnight on Saturday 18th May 2013, their internet skills. when hundreds of walkers will step out for the hospice. If you would like to take part in the event or support Woodlands Hospice in Sheila Tolley, Executive Director of Customers and Communities, said: “Being any other way, please contact the Woodlands Hospice fundraising department digitally connected is vitally important for people of all ages. on 0151 529 2640/8193 or visit their website at “We want to make sure as many of our residents as possible have the skills and facilities to access all the benefits being online brings, from keeping in touch with family and friends to doing their shopping, paying bills and applying for jobs. “We work to improve lives across Knowsley in many different ways, and we know that improving digital inclusion is a crucial stepping stone to opening up many more opportunities.” KHT and First Ark staff will be volunteering to give further training and advice at the scheme once the new communal access computer is installed. First Ark has pledged 500 working days each year to staff volunteering projects such as this, allowing its workforce to use their expertise and skills to benefit the wider community.


WOODLANDS HOSPICE GETS £498,000 BOOST Woodlands Hospice in Aintree has received a massive Government award to boost its services. The hospice will get £498,000 to make alterations to the current Day Therapy building to create a suite of new therapy rooms, a rehabilitation/gym facility and a modern art room. In addition the Hospice will convert its current lounge area into a new café/hub area to improve facilities for patients and visitors and ensure they are able to more readily access the mature garden areas. Rose Milnes, chief executive of Woodlands, said: “This is absolutely wonderful news. We are delighted to have been awarded this grant and are very excited to put our plans into operation

Rose Milnes as soon as possible. “The changes to our building at this time will help to support the delivery of our redesigned day/out patient services in a modern environment and the creation of the café area will be a welcome new facility for all patients, families and visitors.” Rose added: “While we

are thrilled to be able to enhance our buildings, it does not mean that funding of our daily work gets any easier. We need to raise £2,000 every day through fundraising and donations to sustain our current services so we still very much need the support we get from our local community”. Woodlands has both day care and inpatient facilities, and serves North Liverpool, Knowsley and South Sefton. The Department of Health awarded 176 grants totalling £60 million to support a wide variety of hospice projects, including improvements to day therapy facilities and developing outreach services to support people in their own homes.

30 The Challenge May 2013

Challenge Classified PUBLIC NOTICE



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Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel (2012) Knowsley Town Council has received a copy of the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel in respect of the payment of Parish Basic Allowance and Chairmanʼs Allowance. The Panel noted that Town Councils may resolve to pay their members an allowance known as Parish Basic Allowance. The Panel acknowledged that Town Councils may also pay a Chairmanʼs Allowance under existing Regulations. Conclusion of the Panel No Parish Basic Allowance be payable during the financial year 2012/13. Reasonable out of pocket expenses for travel and subsistence be reimbursed in respect of duties and meetings covered by the relevant regulations. Knowsley Town Council having regard to the Panelʼs report on allowances, noted the conclusions of the Panel and RESOLVED to pay members a Basic Membersʼ Allowance of £830 per year and a Chairmanʼs Allowance of £1,000 per year. Copies of the Panelʼs report are available for inspection by arrangement at: Knowsley Town Council Office, Knowsley Village Hall, School Lane, Knowsley Village, Merseyside, L34 9EN. Contact: Paul Lawday – Clerk of the Council on 0151 548 4545

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The Challenge May 2013 31

KSC SECURES BARCLAYCARD BACKING FOR PROJECTS Kirkby Sports College is strengthening a longstanding partnership with its local Barclaycard branch after receiving backing for a series of educational workshops and international exchange projects. The partnership will see Barclaycard staff at the Kirkby site holding special mentoring and educational tutorials with KSC students. Barclaycard is further set to match fund a series of school fundraising activities designed to generate more than £20,000 to support ongoing international work with African schools. A group of 14 students and four teachers from KSC have just returned from Namibia after visiting Rehoboth High and Dr Lemmer secondary schools, as well as Oanob and Five Rand Primary schools. The were joined by 10 teachers from local primary schools in the Knowsley area. KSC acting headteacher Bill Leyland said a core part of KSC’s ethos is to engage with nearby businesses and residents to bring the community together. “This is a terrific example of how the education sector can work within the local community and create partnerships for mutual benefit,” he said. “We have a strong relationship with staff at Barclaycard Kirkby which has been developed over time. We place great importance on creating meaningful and longstanding links within the community to help improve opportunities for all. The work we are doing with Barclaycard this year will help to drive productivity both in the classroom and with projects outside the curriculum. We are delighted to be welcoming in staff members who will be holding workshops to teach students about banking and business skills. This will help to expose students to the real working world. It will encourage them to think about future careers and job opportunities as well as the importance of gaining key skills.” Mr Leyland said the business partnership will also support KSC’s vision to engage with the international education sector. “The additional

Bill Leyland KSC acting headteacher financial support being offered by Barclaycard will enable us to continue in our mission to work alongside our partner schools in Africa.” he said. “This work helps to give our students a greater understanding of the world. It further raises ambitions, expectations and broadens horizons.” The Knowsley college, for pupils aged 11-16, is twinned with a number of schools in the Namibia region through the Africa Dreams and Teams project run by the British Council and Youth Sports Trust. The African trip follows a visit by members of Rohoboth and Dr Lemmer secondary schools to KSC in May 2012. The visitors stayed with students’ families and enjoyed a whistlestop tour learning about Merseyside’s education system, lifestyle and culture. Kirkby based Barclaycard analyst Jacqui Wright has played a leading role in the partnership. “We have been working with Kirkby Sports College for a number of years as part of our Citizenship programme,” she said. “There is a natural link as many of the staff at the branch send their children to the school. We are delighted to be supporting the college in its bid to drive academics standards and raise aspirations.”

MERSEYSIDE ARTS FESTIVAL INVITES LOCALS TO GET INVOLVED The Prescot Festival offers opportunities for people of all ages to get involved in arts and music this June. A ‘Come-&-Sing’ performance of Fauré’s inspirational Requiem is a highlight of the festival, which takes place in the historic Lancashire town of Prescot, Merseyside. Sopranos, tenors, altos and basses from across the region are invited to join Prescot Festival Chorus and conductor Philip Arkwright, of Liverpool Cathedral. The festival encourages audiences to bring flags and join in with traditional patriotic hymns in the Proms-style Festival Finale, which this year features Haydock Male Voice Choir. As always, children will play an important part in the Prescot Festival. Primary schools from across Knowsley will compete in a Verse Speaking

Competition at St Mary & St Paul’s School, while instrumentalists from both primary and secondary schools in the borough will compete for the title of Young Instrumentalist of Prescot at Evelyn Community Primary School. The Short Story Competition, a Schools Art Display, and an Acoustic Night and Open Mic are just a few of the ways talented locals are taking part in 2013. The Ninth Annual Prescot Festival of Music and the Arts runs from Friday 21 to Sunday 30 June. This year’s programme also includes Songs from the Shows with BOST and a performance of Elgar’s Cello Concerto, with soloist Gethyn Jones of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. Full programme information is available online at and tickets for all events are on sale now.

BMX EQUIPMENT FOR HIRE IN KNOWSLEY Would you like to have a go at BMXing but haven’t got the equipment? There’s a world class BMX cycle track at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park in Longview Drive, Huyton. You can now HIRE the bikes, helmets and safety equipment and get the help of a coach to learn how to improve. It costs just £2 to hire a BMX bike and a helmet and you can also hire the track and equipment for birthday parties. One hour’s use of the track for a birthday party with a coach and equipment would cost a total of £80 for 12 riders. It costs £3 for every extra rider and £20 to hire a party room for later. There are also certificates for those people who’ve taken part at £5 each. The BMX track is suitable for everyone, although you’ll need an adult with you if you’re under 13. There are supervised drop in sessions throughout the week and induction and coaching sessions for beginners on Saturday mornings. Two hour sessions on the BMX Track

cost £3 for over 16s and £2 for under 15s. Clubs can hire the facility for £30 per hour. There’s also a cycling velodrome track at Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park for accredited cyclists aged 8 and up (adults need to supervise under 12s). Two hour sessions at the Velodrome cost £5 for over 16s and £3 for under 15s. Taster sessions and sessions to get accredited cost £5. Clubs can hire the facility for £30 per hour. A Friday night track league is starting at the site on Friday April 12 which will run until Friday August 23, weather permitting. There’s also a Velodrome track event on Sunday June 16 as part of a series of three Northern events, that will attract national riders hoping to qualify for a national final later in the year. To find out more about the BMX track or the velodrome, call 0151 443 3540 or log onto and click on facility hire.

STUDENTS GET A TASTE OF SUCCESS Knowsley Community College students and local school pupils were treated recently to a visit from head chef Paul Feery, of Blakes restaurant in Liverpool’s Hard Day’s Night hotel. Paul demonstrated to the students how an afternoon tea is put together at The Beatles-themed 5 star hotel. Students got to taste the afternoon tea and ask questions about the catering industry, as well as get tips on how to work their way up the career ladder. College student, Peter Brandrick, is employed at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel alongside his college studies and aided Paul in the demonstrations. He explained to his peers how he has worked his way up from kitchen porter to chef de partie

in the hotel and how his College course helps his work. Pete said: “Coming to college has expanded my basic knowledge in catering, which made me more confident in the fast working kitchen at Blakes.” Many thanks to Paul, Peter and the Hard Day’s Night Hotel; the students all commented that they had found the afternoon inspirational in terms of their career aims for the future.


The Challenge May 2013

Challenge SPORT If you have got any sports news contact us on 0151 706 7411 or email:

289 9999


Neil Danns with students from Huyton Arts and Sports Centre for Learning A world-class BMX and skateboarder visited pupils at a Huyton school recently to inspire them and teach them life skills. Former British and European skateboarding champion Neil Danns, from Toxteth, held special assemblies at Huyton Arts and Sports Centre for Learning, as well as skateboarding master classes with pupils at the OurPlace youth facility in Huyton. The visit was part of Sky Sports’ Living for Sport project which uses sport stars and sport skills to inspire and improve the lives of thousands of young people. A group of pupils from Longview Community Primary School were also invited to the sessions. Neil coached the students in key life skills such as confidence, people skills and mental toughness. He also highlighted the importance of aspiration and setting personal goals. Neil said: “Skateboarding helped me to focus on the positive aspects of my life and gave me the motivation to be the best I could be. Through the

Living for Sport project, I hope to inspire others to do the same. “Negative influences are all around us and it is easy to let these take your life in a direction you don’t want to go. Through sport, young people can meet new friends, learn respect for themselves and others and rise above the challenges that life can present”. Principal of Huyton Arts and Sports Centre for Learning, Stuart Jamieson, said: “It has

been a great opportunity for our students to meet such an inspirational sporting figure and we hope they will use this to fuel their confidence and aspiration and achieve their full potential”. Living for Sport is a free UK secondary schools initiative, delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, which uses sport stars and sport skills to boost confidence, change behaviour, increase attainment and improve life skills.

SUPPORTERS ARE ON THE PITCH Prescot Cables football club have come up with a novel way to raise much needed funds. The club is attempting to raise money to improve the playing surface at Hope Street and is hoping to raise £2,000 to contribute towards the cost of reseeding the pitch, applying and spreading sand on the pitch, verti-draining and the leveling of the surface. As an assist to the scheme the club is calling all its friends, supporters, members players, parents, family members and local businesses to dig deep and help with the improvements by ‘claiming’ a square of the pitch. Every little bit helps so the club has divided the pitch up into 100 squares. Square by square the pitch can be improved by a contribution of just £20 per square. The pitch will be displayed throughout the 2013-14 season in the clubhouse with contributors names whether personal or companies... or anonymous! To see which squares are available and for details of how to contribute - click the link below

Tots FC Under 7’s

TOTS FC ENJOY SUCCESSFUL YEAR Football Tots FC in Kirkby has enjoyed great success at Under 7 and Under 8 level this season in the Hightown Junior Football League. Their Under 7's collected two fantastic trophies during their maiden campaign, losing only two league games all season; a record unmatched by any of their rivals. Nine of their squad can be traced back to the Football Tots Development Centre in Aintree, where they were nurtured from the age of three. Their talented Under 8’s also collected silverware, following an excellent season, with some of their young squad having now been together for an incredible four years. Manager, Jay Roberts, said: “I would like to thank our sponsors, The Carters Arms public house in Kirkby for their magnificent support. “I’m delighted with the progress of both teams and am extremely proud of their achievements. “I must also acknowledge their first class attitude, character and sportsmanship, which is a real credit to their parents. “If the boys continue to display the same approach, effort and commitment, they will have a bright future in football.” Football Tots FC are currently producing their new Under 7 team for next season. Anyone interested in coming along for a trial should telephone 0151 521 4407.

Knowsley Challenge is a free community newspaper to serve the Borough of Knowsley. Circulation 30,000. Editorial Office: 36 Henry Street, Liverpool L1 5BS. Telephone: 0151 706 7411. Advertising, Graphic Design and Typesetting by Mersey Mirror, 36 Henry Street, Liverpool L1 5BS. Telephone: 0151 709 7567 Fax: 0151 707 1678 Printed by News International Newspapers Limited at Kitling Road, Prescot, Merseyside L34 9HN.

The Challenge  

Local independent newspaper for Knowsley and Liverpool North

The Challenge  

Local independent newspaper for Knowsley and Liverpool North