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08 - February - 2017



One family’s battle againtst Alzheimer’s




The ACE disco making a difference


Super Bowl inspires sport in Liverpool

TUNNEL TURMOIL Fury at decision to freeze tolls

Mersey Tunnel motorists are unhappy after campaigning for a long time to scrap tunnel fees saying it would ‘harm the region’, only for their pleas to be ignored. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority met last week and agreed that the fees should be left how they are. The Fast Tag toll, which most journeys through the tunnels are now done by, will stay at £1.20 for car users and the cash toll remains at £1.70. Tunnel users’ reaction was far from positive, as charges will be frozen for the next year. John McGoldrick, secretary of the Mersey Tunnels Users Association (MTUA), told Liverpool Life: “We’ve been campaigning about the tolls for a long time. Obviously, we would like to see the tolls scrapped but the chances of that in the near future are quite small.” The Mersey Tunnels Users Association (MTUA) claimed that authorities are still failing to honour what was said before the General Election as both Labour and Conservatives made several promises

© Wikimedia/ Creative Commons/ Chris


regarding the reduction, or even removal, of tolls. Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has previously said that using the tunnel tolls to finance Merseytravel’s other activities was ‘fundamentally wrong’ and that ‘all the profits made from the tunnels should go into driving down the tunnel tolls costs.’ Mr McGoldrick told Liverpool Life: “What we were mainly saying was that they should stop taking the profit and the tolls should come down substantially. So it wouldn’t be any public subsidy – it would just be the removal of what is currently taxed.” The MTUA further claimed

that not only is the authority continuing to profit from the tunnels, but is budgeting to increase the profit from an expected £12,747,000 this financial year to £13,260,000 in the year starting in April. With a new Mersey bridge due to open this autumn, the existing bridge between Runcorn and Widnes, which is currently free to use, will be subject to tolls. Both the new Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Silver Jubilee Bridge will be tolled, but free for eligible Halton residents to cross. “That obviously makes the situation a lot worse to have tolls all along the Mersey. We think that that would be a

blow and harm the region as a whole,” Mr McGoldrick added. In response to the introduction of tolls along the Mersey another user, who is not associated with the MTUA, started a petition to scrap charges and the planned tolls for the upriver issue. A Merseytravel spokesperson told Liverpool Life: “When making recommendations on the tunnel tolls we take a number of factors into account, including the authorised toll rate set out by the Tunnels Act 2004, the comparable cost of other cross-river transport as well as social and economic factors.”

© Facebook/ Anthony Welsh

Barking up the wrong street Meet Princess Cleopatra Superchill, a furry Liverpool FC fan who is currently facing a ban from her beloved Anfield stadium. • Full story on page 4


Social care chief quits due to ‘crisis’ By RHYS EDMONDSON and HAMISH ELLWOOD A social care boss has announced his resignation from Liverpool City Council following a warning that funding cuts have left the service “in crisis”. Samih Kalakeche said social services “will not exist” in Liverpool by 2019 unless urgent action is taken soon. Official figures show adult social care spending has been cut by 58% since 2010 whilst demand has risen. Mr Kalakeche, who has worked for Liverpool City Council for seven years, said unless steps are taken in the next six months, the city council will not be able to provide social care after 20182019. In an interview with the Observer, he said: “Frankly I can’t see social services surviving after two years. That’s the absolute maximum. “If we don’t do something within the next six months, I believe social services will not exist by 2018-19.

SAMIH KALAKECHE: Set to step down. ©Christian Smith “People are struggling, people are suffering, and we’re really only seeing the tip of the iceberg.” According to official figures, Liverpool City Council funds 3,500 people in care homes and provides home care for 11,000 people annually. Demand for adult social care

Liverpool literacy is poorest in UK By LAUREN REECE

A new study has revealed that adults in Liverpool have some of the poorest literacy skills in the UK. The National Literacy Trust claims that Walton, West Derby, Birkenhead and Knowsley are amongst the places in the country where people are least able to read and write. Other struggling areas included Middlesbrough, Shoreditch and Sheffield. Issues like poverty, unemployment and education were analysed to come up with


these results rather than actual literacy figures. Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “For 20 years, the government has addressed England’s widening literacy gap through national strategies. “We now know that a targeted approach is needed as our work with Experian reveals the country’s literacy challenge to be intensely local. “Strong local leadership and partnerships are vital to tackling this and MPs are ideally-placed to drive effective soltuions.”


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assessments has risen from 18,000 to 21,000 per year since 2010, but its adult social care budget was cut from £1230m to £222m in the same period. Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said the only way services could be protected was by receiving more money from gov-

ernment or introducing a rise in council tax. But plans to hold a referendum on a 10% increase in council tax were scrapped after voters rejected the idea. Joe Anderson told Liverpool Life: “I would like to thank Samih Kalakeche for his hard work over

the last 10 years as the Director of Adult Social Care and Health and I respect his decision to step down later this year. “I know from conversations with him that there are a number of reasons why he has decided to move on, and one is that he does share my concerns over the ability of Councils to continue to deliver their legal adult social care responsibilities in the future. “We have already taken £70 million out of our budget for these services since 2010 and have to find another £90 million of savings across the council over the next three years, in the face of rising demand for social care. “We absolutely need Government to realise that the current situation is untenable. Councils can’t go on cutting as we have done. The social care precept doesn’t go anywhere near covering the additional costs we face from the national living wage alone.”

Animal Rescue faces closure By ROSIE STEEDMAN Freshfields Animal Rescue Centre may be forced to close its doors as it faces a huge financial crisis. The centre in Ince Blundell has been caring for abused and unwanted animals for 40 years, but desperately needs new funds to keep afloat. Dogs and other animals from across the region go to Freshfields in the hopes of giving them a better life, but some are having to be turned away as the centre is becoming overpopulated and staff are beginning to fear for the worst. They are now appealing to their supporters through their ‘Time of Need Appeal’ for urgent funds. Debbie Hughes, from Freshfields Animal Rescue, told Liverpool Life: “It’s very bad indeed, we are having to close our doors to any new admissions. At the moment, we have around 550 animals and birds. Just paying the bills is a huge problem.”

Chefs’ new project caters for all


A Bootle-based catering company is set to improve the lives of those with a disability when it comes to their cooking skills. Stedy-Chefs company directors Sean Ellis and Stephen Bygrave are in the process of putting together a small catering school for students with learning difficulties or disabilities. The caterers are initially offering a six-week, intensive course where the future Gordon Ramsays of Liverpool will be taught everything from basic food preparation and menu construction as well as the behind-the-scenes business aspect to being your own boss in the kitchen. Sean told Liverpool Life: “What we are offering is something very hands on and practical. A lot of the parents are really on board with the idea. If everything goes smoothly, and to plan, then we’ll look into rolling out a year long course.” It is planned that students will be taken in small groups of seven or eight, so that pupils with learning difficulties are comfortable with the experience. Another comfort factor comes in the communal area just outside the kitchen where parents are encouraged to stay and watch their child learn.

GETTING READY: Work begins as launch is planned on March 6. Photo © StedyChefs

Sean continued: “We decided to include the communal area for the parents for many reasons, but a big one was so they could watch their child flourish as a caterer. Many places offer this kind of training but here they are able to see the results with their own eyes as it happens.” As well as the planned intake of students, the kitchen has already begun receiving interest from schools in the local area for taster sessions and mini cooking classes. With an official launch planned on March 6 and as building work continues to go to plan, the Stedy-Chefs are looking to confirm a celebrity guest who will make an appearance and ‘cut the red ribbon’.


No Pain No Gain for this Liverpool supporter Wirral By MOLLY COPOC

PAIN: This Liverpool supporter Niall will face the needle later this month for a great cause © Niall Byrne

A Liverpool fan has shocked friends and families with the idea of getting a Man United crest tattooed on his leg for charity. Niall Byrne raises money for Autism units in Arklow, County Wicklow, Northern Ireland, throughout the year. Recently, he came up with the idea that if he raised 1,500 Euros in donations he would get his rival team crest tattooed on his leg. Niall spoke to Liverpool Life about his inspiration for fundraising: “My daughter Freya was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (HFA) when she was three. “We were just lucky for her to get a place in the units

and to see the progress she has made in the past four years is nothing short of amazing.” After witnessing the work the teachers, Special Needs Assistants and pupils themselves do, Niall made a promise to himself that he would do anything he could to raise funds for the units. All proceeds raised will go to the school, St. Joseph’s National, Arklow. Niall has always been a keen fundraiser. He holds charity football tournaments every summer alongside other parents. The tournament brings in great success every year, raising in excess of around 2000 – 2500 Euros. He claimed the idea of the tattoo is probably the craziest, wackiest and probably

most stupid idea he could think of. It seems to have paid off as he has smashed his target of 1500 Euros. When asked if he will continue fundraising, Niall said: “Absolutely, when I see what the funds raised over the years have contributed to it gives me a sense of pride that I played some part in that. “Don’t get me wrong, other parents do fundraising as well but I’m the only volunteer for this mad cap idea.” Representative for Irish Autism Action, Niall Murphy, told Liverpool Life about the benefits of autism units: “An Autism unit provides the opportunity for students to follow the curriculum at an appropriate pace.”

Family’s campaign to tell mum’s story By ISABEL EATON A student has set up a Facebook page documenting her mum’s journey with Alzheimer’s. Carol Miltiadous’ main carer is her partner, Panicos, who is working alongside their daughter Ellisha to highlight the struggles of having a family member with the condition. Ellisha and her dad hope that their group will educate people on what Alzheimer’s is and outline the fact that it is not just about memory loss. The 22-year-old graphic design student, said: “I think people forget how hard it is on the family. There are seven stages of Alzheimer’s and my mum is in the sixth stage, which is severe decline. Every morning my dad wakes up to her screaming, he will check on her and she won’t even know what he’s talking about.” The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease progress slowly over several years. Carol was diagnosed when she was 48 and is now 52. Both Ellisha’s parents live in

Liverpool whilst Ellisha studies and lives in London. Ellisha said: “I don’t live with my mum but I do get to see a lot of it, I FaceTime my dad every morning and evening. When I get the chance, I go home every month so my dad can have a break. I admire him so much, he runs a full time business as well as looking after me and my 18-year-old brother and he also cares for my mum full time.” Ellisha said that the family do not receive much support, even from family and friends. In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the symptoms become increasingly severe and distressing for the person with the condition, as well as the people around them. Hallucinations and delusions can come and go over the course of the illness, but can get severely worse as the condition progresses. Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s disease can be violent, demanding and suspicious of those around them. Speaking of her mum’s hallucinations, Ellisha said: “The

New Brighton Seaside market © Wikimedia Commons

Spring will bring a festival of fun to New Brighton, following the announcement of a three-day event in May. Orb Events will bring the first large scale seaside festival of its kind to the area. It will be held over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

By RHYS EDMONDSON Health bosses in Wirral have decided to stop offering cosmetic surgery to patients in a bid to cut costs. The move, decided by the Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group yesterday afternoon, forms part of a plan to balance a budget deficit of £9m. This means both male and female patients in the borough will no longer be funded by the NHS for operations such as breast reduction surgery. The decision also affects funding for IVF fertility treatment. It has now been reduced from three cycles to two cycles. Thresholds on hip replacement surgery have also been introduced and hip injections will be encouraged instead. Knee replacement surgery was one of few procedures to have its funding remain intact.

Illegal drone near-miss By SACHI KONDO

AWARENESS: Carol Miltiadous’ partner and daughter have set up a Facebook group to highlight the reality of dealing with Alzheimer’s other day my dad called me and told me he took my mum out for coffee and bought her new clothes and bedding. When I was on FaceTime to him, my mum started accusing him of hitting her. “If anyone else heard that

they would wonder what was going on. If she has mood swings it’s hard to calm her down.” Ellisha’s parents have been together for 25 years but she says it is a struggle for them both to get out of the house:

“At this stage he physically can’t be out of the house, there’s a lot of things stopping them from going out. She added: “It is mentally draining for my dad trying to take her out; it’s like a job with no reward.”

Seaside Festival set to spring into New Brighton By AMY SHIRTCLIFFE

to halt cosmetic surgery

The New Brighton Seaside Festival promises entertainment, family activities and a host of seaside-filled attractions. Orb Events has been behind huge Merseyside projects in the past, including Liverpool Loves and Farm Feast. Live music from a range of local acts will be on through

the weekend. The line-up will include Marc Kenny, Eleanor Nelly and Sing Me Merseyside Choir, just to name a few. Children attending the festival can enjoy the activity program that will take place every day, with a Vintage Funfair, puppet shows and exciting workshops from Jun-

ior Chefs Academy. Orb Events has also catered to the foodies, bringing in enough street food and activities to fill a long weekend. The festival will also have a gin garden and artisan market The diverse program by the events management company is expected to be a huge success.

A drone nearly collided with an EasyJet plane heading into Liverpool John Lennon Airport on Sunday. The near collision occurred five miles from the airport, according to a report from the pilot of the flight coming in on an Airbus A319 from Lisbon. It has been described as ‘absolutely unacceptable and highly dangerous’. In a video clip uploaded to YouTube by air flight channel AviationUpClose, the flight captain was heard spotting the drone that was ‘close enough to see’ when the plane passed it. “On our left, just to our left, a few hundred meters, there was a white drone about DJI Phantom size at the same altitude we were,” he said. Within the European Union, it is illegal to fly drones or unmanned aircrafts higher than 500 feet.

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Kop cold shoulder Sexual violence for rescue dog Cleo week plea

By LAUREN REECE Merseyside charity RASA is working to raise awareness of the support available for sexual abuse victims as this week is national sexual abuse and sexual violence week. A range of activities and campaigns have been launched to help support those who have been affected by sexual abuse and violence According to Rape Crisis, one in five women in the UK will experience rape or sexual assault in their lifetime. The UK Office of National Statistics estimates there are approximately 85,000 rape cases reported each year meaning there is a rape every six minutes in the UK alone. Only 15% of rape victims will report the crime and become part of the statics. RASA is a Merseysidebased charity which aims to support people who have experienced sexual abuse. Over the course of Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence week, they are encouraging people to tweet using the hashtag #itsnotokay. Josephine Wood MBE, Finance and Strategic Development Manager at RASA said: “We offer a full support service for survivors reporting their assault to the police. We will guide them, with the ISVA (advocacy service) through the Criminal Justice System and beyond. “We understand people might be too scared to come forward. We know how it works, but we will listen without judging and believe without questioning.”


A furious owner claims his famous pet has suddenly been banned from attending Liverpool FC matches – and puts the club’s run of bad luck down to the loss of its unofficial mascot. Anthony Welsh pays £27 a year for pampered rescue staffy Princess Cleopatra Superchill’s own Liverpool Football Club membership and she is yet to miss a home game this season. The fitness instructor, 55, said for the last 18 months he has taken the five-year-old pooch into Anfield’s family fan zone for 50 home matches without issue – but claims when he tried to do so last month he was turned away by stewards with no explanation. Anthony and his pet, known as Cleo for short, have previously spent home matches standing by a stage in the fan

zone and do not actually enter the stands themselves. The Liverpudlian, who said he treats Cleo as his daughter, said: “I usually get to Anfield about three hours before matches and walk around the stadium with Cleo so fans can take photographs of her. “I don’t want any bad publicity for Anfield but Cleo isn’t being made to feel welcome anymore. “Liverpool FC’s slogan is ‘You’ll never walk alone’ but they are trying to make me walk alone without my daughter. “We’ve lost our last two matches at home because Cleo wasn’t allowed in. Cleo is a lucky mascot.” Cleo has become a local celebrity since she was rescued by Anthony in 2012 and in the past three years he has spent £18,000 on the pampered pooch – buying her a £1,500 pram, convertible children’s toy sports car and all-terrain

4x4. Anthony claims when he arrived at Anfield with Cleo on December 31 for the 7.30pm match against Manchester City the pair were turned away by a steward 35 minutes before kick-off without an explanation. He has now launched a formal complaint against Liverpool FC and is waiting to hear back from the club. Anthony said: “I haven’t been given a reason for why she has suddenly been banned.” As Liverpool Life went to press, LFC were not availible for comment.

Liverpooch: Unofficial mascot Cleo poses outside Anfield stadium and LFC club shop© Anthony Welsh

Mosque welcomes local community People were welcomed in to Al-Rahma Mosque on Hatherley Street, Toxteth, as part of Visit My Mosque Day. Over 150 mosques in the UK held open days on Sunday as part of a national initiative to better understand the Muslim faith and foster good community relations. Secondary Imam at Al-Rahma Mosque, Ahmed Alwajdi, said: “As a community, living in Toxteth, Muslims have their own beliefs as other parts of the community have. Everyone in Toxteth, Muslim and non-Muslim, they have the same environment, so together we’re the people of Toxteth. We have the same issues, there’s no difference

between us.” Visitors were invited into the prayer room on a guided tour. Key speakers gave speeches that explained the belief system, common misconceptions and how Muslim communities deal with radical opinions. Ahmed Alwajdi added: “I think the biggest challenge is wrong ideas, or the wrong pictures that media try to give across the communities about Islam. Muslims are facing very big challenges, with the media trying to demonise them. That’s what we’re trying to solve and overcome.” Some non-Muslim women covered their hair as a mark of respect in the mosque, while everyone took their shoes off.

but economic gain often trumps conservation.” Unless an immediate worldwide action is taken the accelerated increase of such pressures due to human exploitations will result in a large number of instabilities, environmentally and scientifically. Professor Wich said: “Humans for a long time have been trying to understand their own kind. “We’re incredibly curious as a species and we want to know why is cognition the way it is, where does language come from, why do only humans have this very elaborate language and so many of them?” He added: “Primates give us an insight in trying to figure out how these things evolve. If they

disappear, we won’t be able to solve puzzles that will help us understand our own kind and that’s a scientific loss for curious people and many people are interested in these questions, not only scientists, but also laymen. “Primates stand for the forest they live in and these forests, if they disappear, create a negative impact on people due to less regular water supply, less stable climates and less pollinators.” The majority of the wild primate population originate from tropical countries, as well as China and Japan. The only primates in the UK are the ones in captivity, such as zoos and safari parks, as part of international breeding programmes for endangered species.


Breaking Barriers: Local Imam speaks to guests at Al-Rah-Ma Mosque © Kerri Fitzpatrick

Expert warns over primates threat By SACHI KONDO

An LJMU professor, along with a group of internationally recognised experts, has published a paper highlighting the potential threat to human culture due to a declining primate population. The article, published by Serge Wich, programme leader for the MSc Wildlife Conservation at LJMU in the journal Science Advances, highlights a predicted increase of one-fifth in the primate population in the next 20 years. More than 500 currently recognised primate species worldwide face the threat of extinction and three-quarters have declining populations. The findings state that around two-fifths of the then recognised

primate taxa were under threat in 1996, and the number has increased to a staggering 60% in 2017. The findings suggest that more conservation efforts should be implemented to halt this increase. NGOs, universities and both local and global organisations are working continuously to tackle this issue. However, due to complexities, the process has been ‘less progressive than hoped.’ Professor Serge Wich told Liverpool Life: “It’s a very complicated issue because there are a lot of different pressures on primates – pressures from large industries, small farmers, people that hunt, and so on. Certainly, governments have been involved


Child mental health concern By SACHI KONDO

New figures show a major rise in the number of calls to Childline, raising concerns over the mental health of children in Merseyside. Recent data from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) revealed more than 50,000 children and youths turned to Childline last year because of serious mental health problems. The figures found a rise of 8% over the past four years as 50,819 children and young people in 2015/16 reportedly received counselling for mental health issues. In addition, Childline saw a 36% increase in youngsters seeking help for depression and other mental disorders, as well as a rise in the number of those feeling suicidal. Children aged 12 to 15 made up a third of the sessions, with girls seven times more likely to seek help than boys. The figures were released at the start of Children’s Mental Health Week.

Dining out in top style By SACHI KONDO Two Merseyside restaurants are to feature in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants supplement. The Art School in Liverpool and Fraiche in Oxton are the two restaurants that made it to the list. The judging panel included well-known chefs Jamie Oliver, Antonio Carluccio and Nick Jones. In 2016, Fraiche celebrated its ninth consecutive Michelin star. The Wirral restaurant, run by chef Marc Wilkinson, has also been mentioned by a number of guides as one of the best places to eat in the country. The Art School made the top five in a list of 100 UK restaurants compiled by online restaurant booking service OpenTable in 2016. The supplement will be included in monthly food magazine The Dish.

VANDALISM: Residents of Bold Place were forced to move their vehicles into nearby paid parking facilities for fear of vandalism, after three cars in the city centre were broken into over a 48-hour period. Drivers had their windows and windscreens smashed and repairs are expected to cost between £100-£400. Merseyside has seen a dramatic increase in vehicle crimes since May 2016 with 200 more crimes reported in November 2016. Words and pictures by Amy Shirtcliffe.

Campaigning to keep our streets safe By RHYS EDMONDSON

Crimestoppers have launched a new campaign on Merseyside following a spike in gun crime across the region. ‘Keep Our Streets Safe’ is the name of the new initiative, urging people with information on gun crime to

come forward. The campaign has arrived following a series of gun deaths to hit Liverpool in the same week. Last week 44-year-old Thomas Baker was shot dead as he left a gym in Old Swan, making him the third victim on Merseyside since April 2016.

There have been 77 firearm discharges in the area during the same period, 28 of which resulted in non-fatal injuries, compared with 60 discharges, two deaths and 11 injuries in the whole of the previous year. Gary Murray, North West Regional Manager for Crimestoppers, said:

“We want to appeal to local people to tell us who is responsible for these crimes, without fear of repercussion. “We know that picking up the phone, or logging onto our site, is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do. But by doing so, you will be playing

a significant role in keeping your friends, neighbours, and community safe.” Crimestoppers is an independent charity helping to find criminals and help solve crimes. They can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their website www.Crimestoppers-UK.org

mass on the head of the pancreas. I was then transferred to the Royal Hospital in Liverpool, which is a specialist centre for pancreatic cancer and they decided my tumour was operable, many aren’t, I was lucky.” Peter was hospitalised for three months after the operation before being sent home and was then given a couple of months to recover. It wasn’t long before the 67-year-old was offered the chance to start the Cancer Research UK funded clinical trial ESPAC 4, where he and over 700 others were treated with a combination of chemotherapy drugs.

The aim of the six-month trial was to combine two chemotherapy drugs, Gemcitabine and Capecitabine, to see if the combination worked better than the standard treatment of just Gemcitabine. Mr Braeden, an ex-employee of Southport Hospital said: “I received the two counts of drugs instead of just one. I am pleased to have been part of the trial, this research is absolutely essential and needs all our support.” Results of the trial showed that the combination of drugs was more successful, with 29 per cent of patients surviving

up to five years, compared to the 16 per cent of patients who survive for up to five years on the single dose. These results have led to calls for this approach of combined chemotherapy drugs to become the new protocol for pancreatic cancer treatment. Dr Neoptolemos, the Chair of Surgery in the Department Molecular and Clinical Cancer Medicine at the University of Liverpool, said: “Unfortunately, most patients are not candidates for surgery when they are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. These findings are significant because they show that those

patients who can undergo surgery have a fighting chance of surviving the cancer with the combination of two commonly used chemotherapies.” The safety of this new Gemcitabine/Capecitabine treatment opens the doors to opportunities that add further treatments to the combinations. Experts hope this might further improve outcomes for patients and are planning to focus future research on developing tests to predict which patients would benefit most from a particular surgery followed by chemotherapy treatment.

Cancer success rate spikes after drug trial By ISABEL EATON

A grandfather of five from Southport has taken part in a new ground breaking trial to tackle pancreatic cancer. Peter Braeden, from Churchtown, took part in the ESPAC 4 trial, the second largest clinical trial to be conducted on patients with pancreatic cancer, after undergoing surgery in 2010. Peter said: “I became jaundiced in late April 2010 and following blood tests I was admitted to Southport Hospital where they carried out the first ultrasound and then CT scans. They diagnosed a large

Choir calls for more youth talent


The Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company are calling out for bright, new musical talent to apply to be a part of their Youth Orchestra and Choir. They are looking to recruit young musicians and singers from in and around Liverpool before the end of March. Being a part of the Philharmonic Youth Orchestra involves performing alongside massively influential

and talented musicians. It also gives the opportunity to attend workshops and master classes with internationally-renowned artists, as well as performing a concerto as a soloist with the Youth Orchestra. The Youth Choir performed at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and have since been recognised as one of the top choirs at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. Members of the Liverpool

Philharmonic Youth Company said: “Get involved in as much as you can, it isn’t just simply a choir and an orchestra, it offers you so much more and if you take advantage of that, your experience will be all the more rewarding. “We would thoroughly recommend being involved. It has been fantastic to work with such a supportive, friendly group.” The Youth Orchestra are looking for musicians between the ages of 13-23

YOUNG TALENT: The Youth Company in rehearsal and The Youth Choir are looking for singers between the ages of 13-18. Those who are interested

can attend an open day on Sunday February 19. To apply, go to the Royal Philharmonic website.


The mother who will never stop fighting for justice


or almost three decades, Marie McCourt has lived a nightmare. On February 9, it will be 29 years since Helen McCourt, her 22-year-old daughter, didn’t come home. Helen was just 500 yards from home when she disappeared. Ian Simms, a local pub landlord, was convicted of her murder following overwhelming evidence being found. But the conviction did not bring closure to Marie. Helen’s body was never found and Simms, to this day, has not given clue to her whereabouts. Helen’s case is a rare example where a murder conviction was obtained without the presence of a body. Since Helen’s disappearance, Marie has devoted her life to work for Support after Murder and Manslaughter (SAMM). SAMM and Marie launched a campaign for change in December 2015, along with a petition that currently has almost 400,000 signatures. The petition gained enough signatures for Marie’s MP Conor McGinn, of St Helen’s North, to introduce a bill into Parliament under the Ten Minute Rule. The Unlawful Killing (Re-

Amy Shirtcliffe explores the fight for justice surrounding ‘Helen’s Law’ and explains why Helen’s mother Marie McCourt will never give up her fight covery of Remains) Bill 20162017, also known as “Helen’s Law”, states that parole be denied to all convicted of murder or manslaughter if they do not provide relevant knowledge in finding a victim’s remains. Ian Simms received a 16year minimum tariff and his repeated appeals for release have been denied. Simms could have been eligible for release 13 years ago, but he has always maintained his innocence, which has been a huge factor in keeping him behind bars. Marie has spoken out in the past against Simms’ release until Helen’s remains are found, claiming that he would immediately be in breach of his licence as he is denying the right to a Christian burial and the right to a coroner’s inquest. The first Helen’s Law Bill reading received unanimous support in Parliament. The second reading was scheduled for February 3, but

there was no time, much to the disappointment of Marie and the other SAMM families who took a trip to London to witness the reading. Mr McGinn made it his duty to speak about the bill, expressing his disappointment that there was no time for the reading and his gratitude to the almost 400,000 petition supporters, as well as the families whom the bill affects. He added in his statement to Parliament: “Today is not the day, but there will be a day for Helen’s Law.” The second reading of the bill will now be held on February 24 2017.

JUSTICE: Helen McCourt, prior to her death.

Photo: ©McCourt Family

Brief timeline of ‘Helen’s Law’

SUPPORT: MP Conor McGinn. Photo: ©Twitter: ConorMcGinn.

• February 1988: Helen McCourt travels home from work before being killed, no further than 500 yards away from her door step, close to the George and Dragon pub, run by Ian Simms. • February 1988: Residents in Billinge begin searching for Helen’s body in woods and fields alongside Merseyside Police.

• February 1988: Helen’s handbag, coat, scarf, trousers and mittens are all found on a riverbank in Irlam, around 20 miles away from her family home. The bin bag that is used to hide Helen’s contents is proved to be from Ian Simm’s pub. • March 1989: Ian Simms goes on trial at Liverpool Crown Court. He pleads his innocence and denies comitting the murder. Further evidence is found in his flat and car that furthers his link to the case.

FIGHT: Marie McCourt has battled for justice since 1988. Photo: ©Change & Marie McCourt.

• 1989: Simms is found guilty and recieves a minimum tariff of 16 years in prison. He maintains his innocence and doesn’t reveal the location of Helen’s body

• 1999: Simms challenges the findings of the DNA evidence that linked him to the crime but is unsuccesful in his appeal. • July 2008: A marble bench is placed in the grounds of St Mary’s Church in Billinge to mark Helen’s 43rd birthday and her memory. • October 2013: Merseyside Police officers begin an exhumation at St Aidan’s Church, Billinge, acting on new intelligence that suggests Helen’s body could have been placed in a grave. Unfortunately, the body wasn’t found. • December 2015: Marie McCourt launches a campaign that calls for change in the law that would prevent convicted murderers who refuse to reveal the location of bodies of victims from being released on parole. • 2016: Marie’s campaign rolls into a petition that gains around 400,000 signatures and the attention of St. Helen’s North MP, Conor McGinn. • 2016: McGinn introduces the Unlawful Killing (Recovery of Remains) 2016-2017 bill to Parliament, gaining unanimous support.


LIFE EXTRA Roanna's journey from marketing to magazines

© All pictures: Roannafaith Instagram

JOSH DOHERTY talks to graduate Roanna Day about how she landed her dream job working for Red magazine


or some, the beginning of a fulfilment of a childhood ambition can start at university. That was certainly the case for Roanna Day, who graduated in 2011 and is now the Social Media and Fashion Editor for Red magazine. She said: “I’ve always loved magazines and it’s every girl’s dream to work for a glossy mag - and I’ve always loved writing, too - so the journalism degree just sounded so interesting to me.” Not only did Roanna find her journalism degree at LJMU interesting, but she also found it to be vital part of her personal development on her journey towards working in magazines. She said: “One of the things the journalism course did for

me was it made me totally fearless, because from the beginning I had to go and find a story on the streets of Liverpool and at the time I was just a shy and retiring Southerner. “Now that I’m older, what I’ve noticed is that the people who come through a journalism course or background, compared to someone who has done, say, English literature, is that they have so much more bottle - and you really need that.” Nevertheless, Roanna still places a great deal of impor-

'The perks are absolutely ridiculous!'

tance on the experience she gained after university. She’s worked in a wide range of roles that cover everything from marketing positions, which helped her improve the way she uses social media, to spending lots of time freelancing to build her portfolio of lifestyle writing. “Red were looking for someone who was a journalist but had digital skills, someone who understood search engine optimisation and how to drive a successful campaign online. "Because I’d developed all these marketing skills and had a journalism background, it was perfect.” Despite admitting that it isn’t a role she intends to stay in forever, Roanna certainly finds her work fulfilling. She is happy at where she is, and thankful for the expe-

'At the time I was just a shy and retiring Southerner' riences gained on her journalism degree that helped her get there. She said: “It’s my dream job, the perks are absolutely ridiculous. It’s kind of everything you think the magazine world is going to be and in fact a bit more too, and a bit friendlier. "You get to go to exciting places and meet incredible people and write stories about them. “If 20-year-old me could see me now she’d tell me to stop being so ungrateful and be very happy with myself.”

Classic comedy's fresh approach takes Pride of place A perfect representation of pride and prejudice; this charming production by Deborah Bruce breathes a new lease of life into Jane Austen’s brilliantly witty comedy. After a sell-out performance at London’s Regent’s Park Theatre, the company’s first show in Liverpool was well received by a packed audience. Despite the love story of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet being 203 years old, this new adaptation by Simon Reade

Rosie Steedman reviews a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice at the Playhouse

seemed to tell it in a way we’ve never heard before. With a beautifully designed set constructed with decorative cast iron revolved to portray the various different houses and surrounding scenes, with such little on stage it really is the glorious performance of the actors which grasps your attention. This wonderful cast is led by

Felicity Montagu (Mrs Bennet) and her hugely powerful and comic performance steals the show. Mrs Bennett’s obsession to have her daughters married to suitable men with property and wealth is her life’s ambition and she will stop at nothing until this is completed. Alongside her is Matthew Kelly who plays her patient husband (Mr Bennet), his dry humour and

relaxed behaviour complementing Montagu’s extravagant character. Despite Montagu and Kelly having an overflowing CV, new faces Tafline Steen (Elizabeth Bennet) and Benjamin Dilloway (Mr Darcy) follow in the footsteps of Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen in producing some truly charming and memorable scenes. Elsewhere, Steven Meo - who portrays a fabulous Mr Collins - left audience members howling with laughter at his foolish,

pompous and at times sexist behaviour. He did the character justice by making him as annoying as possible. • Pride and Prejudice will continue to show at the Playhouse theatre until February 11.

VERDICT:  If you’re a fan of this classic or not, it’s a brilliant piece of theatre that will leave you satisfied.

Life| Community |8

A chance to dance!

Andrew Nuttall on how Active Community Enterprise is giving fun opportunities to those with learning difficulties


ot many of us would think to spend our aftenoon in a Liverpool nightclub, but this has become a popular addition to one group’s weekly routine. ACE, or Active Community Enterprise, is a service which provides activities and events for those with additional needs, including a mid-week disco held at Fusion in Liverpool city centre. The group are also given experience of working in a bar environment, with hopes of securing employment in the future. Steven Percival, Managing Director of ACE, said: “Some of them will sit on the door, work on the tables and serve food or behind the bar, even helping out the DJ. "Then we open to the public, like carers for people with learning difficulties. They can come along and attend the event, have a dance and a good time. It’s not just a chance to socialise, it’s a chance for them to see their friends.”


he organisation was set up by Steven and his partner has been running for the last ten years, starting out at a community centre in Belle Vale, and has since grown from there to provide more support to those with disabilities, including three disco-type clubs a week, an arts and crafts club and cinema visits. Aside from enhancing

'I'd be lost without them' their future employment prospects, the group are also gaining valuable social interaction in the present. Steven continued: “It gives people the chance with learning difficulties, who might be intimidated going out in the evenings, to come to a mainstream club in the city and they can have the same sort of experience that most people have and take for granted. "They might have loads of stress in their life but for anyone to go and dance somewhere for a few hours, see friends and just relax for a while has a massive impact on them.” The entirely self-funded event proves a hit with the midday clubbers, with one telling Liverpool Life: “I like mixing and mingling with my mates and I like the disco dancing too. ACE really does a lot for disabled people like me. I tell you now straight, I’d be lost without them.” In addition to their own disco, ACE has teamed up with one of Liverpool’s biggest names in the Clubbercise circuit. Jo Parry works for Ace by delivering her unique classes, blending club music and exercise into a fun workout. She said: “It is so reward-

DANCING: Top - Members of the ACE busting a move FOUNDER: Right- Managing Director of ACE, Steven Percvial © Andrew Nuttall ing working with people with learning disabilities, we have so much fun. We laugh, chat, smile and dance! The difference in people's confidence is amazing. I love seeing the participants getting up on the dancefloor, joining in, having a great time whilst improving their fitness and exercising.” The exercise instructor will have upwards of 30-40 people at these events up on the dancefloor who would not normally engage in much physical activity. Jo added: “I knew ACE participants would love the classes as having the glowsticks made the experience more accessible and interactive for those who couldn't move as much."

MEMBERS: Active Community Enterprise in action at Fusion, Liverpool

© Andrew Nuttall

Scouse sequel builds on Brick's success Hamish Ellwood reviews the sequel to the smash-hit 'Brick Up the Mersey Tunnels'

MISCHIEF: Cast of Brick Up 2

© Zanto Digital

A sequel to the 2006 production ‘Brick Up the Mersey Tunnels’ has returned to the Royal Court theatre. ‘Brick Up 2: The Wrath of Ann Twacky’ premiered on January 27, and follows one Wirral Conservative’s terrorist plot to separate the Wirral and Liverpool postcodes. The production fantastically explores and accentuates the many nuanced differences between Merseyside and Wirral. It is crammed from start to finish with Scouse jokes and references, some

of which may even go over the heads of a born and bred Liverpudlian. This certainly makes it an enticing watch, and the use of dynamic props and scenery gives the right sense of immersion. As well as this, the show is explosive and gripping with humorous musical numbers. We are re-acquainted with the Kingsway Three – the Scouse terrorists who bricked up the Mersey Tunnels in the 2006 original. The three have fortunately not

changed their ways in the past ten years, and are up to just as much mischief in the sequel. The story begins just after their previous endeavours and despite the successful separation, one Wirral resident is not entirely content just yet. Favourites from the prequel have returned, including Dickie Lewis, Ann Twacky and Gerry Gardner. The show was written by Dave Kirby and Nicky Allt and directed by Bob Eaton. Kevin Fearon, executive producer at the Royal Court, said: “The response from the audience has been incredible. Audiences have

been asking for a Brick Up sequel for years so there was a lot of pressure on the theatre, the cast and the writers to make sure that it measured up to the first one. We have had standing ovations every night and a bundle of five star reviews so we are all very happy here.” The production will run at the Royal Court until February 25.

VERDICT:  Fans of the original play will not be dissappointed with this sequel coming 10 years later.


Model student By JAMES JONES


hen it comes to being a model, you would expect to live an exciting and busy life – and this is exactly what former LJMU student Leigh Kimmins McManus does. The journalism graduate now travels across the world walking the catwalk for some of the most famous brands in fashion, including Gucci and Louis Vuitton. He was even a part of an historic event, as he was one of the models who walked at the first-ever fashion show at Westminster Abbey last year. The 22-yearold was encouraged by a scout with whom he had a fortunate meeting in London, who then told him to visit the Wilhelmina agency. Even though it was not the first time he had been approached about being a model, it was the first time he was living in England with the chance to follow it up. Talking about the meeting, he said: “So when this guy approached me when I was 21, I at first expected that he was a tourist and wanted directions and then he said ‘I like your look, I like your face’. “I sort of just giggled because I knew what he was talking about. “It just sort of made me feel quite nervous but excited because I knew this time I was living in England and that this could actually happen. “I just sort of said ‘Why not?’ and I went to the agency and on the spot got signed to what is apparently one of the biggest agencies in the world.” The career choice also has its ben-

efits, as the Irish-born model has been a fan of Manchester United all his life and got to meet some of his childhood heroes, including Rio Ferdinand and David Beckham. He spoke of meeting the idols, saying: “It’s a really strange feeling. I grew up with Rio Ferdinand playing and I love Manchester United so that was crazy. “After having a conversation with him it turns out he was really down to earth and nice, and he was interested in me as much as I was interested in him, which was amazing. “But when I see David Beckham - who’s not just a footballer but also one of the biggest celebrities in the world and one of my biggest heroes – I honestly froze. “He was getting absolutely hounded by people for pictures and I felt sort of bad for him and I wasn’t going to partake in that. “Then I thought ‘this is David Beckham, the biggest celebrity in the world, my hero’ – so I grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him to me. “Even though I didn’t think he was smiling or anything or looking at the camera when I checked the photo afterwards, he is so used to getting photographs that he looked genuinely happy to be in the photo with me.” Talking about his original dream of being a journalist, he said: “This modelling thing is amazing and I don’t want to downgrade it but you know from the first moment that it’s going to be over at some stage. “It’s almost like people are ready-

TREND SETTER: Leigh on the catwalk (far left) and photoshoots (left, above) © Vogue, Abbie Douglas, Karen Ryska, Sarah Newman

ing you for that. “The shows I did as a new face were Gucci exclusive and Louis Vuitton and now I’m going for castings for brands I’ve never even heard of so I know the end is maybe not near but approaching. So journalism has always been in my mind. “The casting director for Gucci approached me and said ‘Leigh, what do you do?’ and took an interest. “I thought this is amazing, she earns a lot of money and she works hand in hand with the creative director of the biggest brand in the world and she approached me and told me to always keep journalism as number one and always keep it in my mind.

“We were sitting in a Gucci after-party in Piccadilly and there’s all these people with clothes draped over them that are worth more than my life, and this woman approaches me and tells me to keep journalism as number one. “When modelling is done, when I feel it’s not working for me, not giving me what I need and not giving me money and I’m not having fun anymore, I’m going straight back to London or Liverpool and looking straight for a job. “All I want to do is write and interview people and that is what I love doing. “I love talking to people and I want to find out about people.”


SELF-SHOT: Leigh at a shoot in Paris https://themodelcitizenblog.wordpress.com/

© Leigh Kimmins McManus


Super Bowling you over Liverpool-based American Football teams tell Liverpool Life how the Super Bowl has inspired sport in Liverpool and how you can get involved. CAI GRIFFITHS-STURGE reports


iverpool and the rest of the world of American Football was shocked by the dramatic events of Super Bowl 51, which saw the New England Patriots complete an unprecedented comeback to beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 after being 28-3 behind at one stage. American Football is a popular sport across Liverpool and there are a number of teams based in the city. Could the astounding events at the Houston Super Bowl - likened to Liverpool’s famous comeback against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League Final - be the catalyst in support for American Football in Liverpool and the rest of the country exploding? Or is the sport already on a solid foundation? Liverpool Life spoke to the LJMU Fury Club President offensive lineman Bob Evans, and members of Liverpoolbased American Football teams LJMU Fury and the University of Liverpool Raptors about the effect the Super Bowl has on American Football in Liverpool. Bob said: “We tend to see a lot of extra interest in the teams around Super Bowl time, as lots of people want to get involved soon after the event.” LJMU Fury, along with the Liverpool Raptors and the non-university based

Nighthawks, held a Super Bowl party at Shooters bar where they could enjoy the event and drum up interest in the sport. Bob said: “The hard work of the club committee in hosting these events really helps push the sport, especially when the Super Bowls are high quality.” Bob’s interest in American Football was sparked by the entertainment provided by the NFL on Sky Sports. He said: “I was attracted to the sport because there was so much going on. It’s not just about ball watching - there are so many individual battles going on around the field.” LJMU Fury, who are one of the biggest LJMU sports teams with 75 registered members, were the first University American Football team in Liverpool after being founded 10 years ago and are planning a game against their alumni, showing how far the club has come. Bob said there are still lots of ways to get involved: “The two university teams are coming to the end of their seasons but are always looking to get people playing or involved in off-field roles. “The best thing to do is to

PLAYING THE FIELD: University of Liverpool Raptors in action get in contact with a club and find out when you can visit. The Merseyside Nighthawks are open to everyone and are just starting to prepare for the new season as well as having a junior team for under-19s.” Liverpool Raptors are an American Football team based in the University of Liverpool. Liverpool Life spoke to Gregory Hardy Webzell, a Raptors committee member and tight end.


regory agreed that the Super Bowl creates new American Football fans and one way this happens is through viewing parties. A number of venues held large viewing events for hundreds of people to watch the game with other fans. He said: “Around the Super Bowl, interest in the club does spark up again as students look for what’s available to them. Viewing party events are great for raising the sport’s profile here. “It’s good for the expe-

rienced fans and you will always find someone at the events whose first exposure to the sport is the event.” Gregory, 22, added: “I was first attracted to American football because it was different. It was especially good timing coming to university because I didn’t have the opportunity in school.” The tight end is positive about the impact of American Football and is full of recommendations for people wanting to get involved: “The Raptors are giving all of the students here at the University of Liverpool a chance to get involved.” The number of people participating in American Football in the UK has fallen steeply over the past decade but numbers are back on the rise. Both LJMU Fury and the Liverpool Raptors believe that American Football is a growing sport in Liverpool and that events like the Super Bowl are imperative in creating new fans and players.

© Michael Berry

Fighting Fury

LJMU Fury play against the University of Nottingham American Football team in two weeks’ time in Liverpool. Fury club captain Adam Holmes told Liverpool Life: “It’s going to be a difficult game because Nottingham are top of the league but we are confident and are going to try everything to get a win against them.” LJMU Fury have an impressive 3-3 record after achieving promotion as champions last season to the Division One Northern Conference. The club captain said: “I am proud of how our season is going because we lost a lot of our best and most experienced players after the last graduation, so we have quite a new team.

“The way we have trained and brought everyone up to the same level has been impressive and I think the coaches have done very well”. The team were successful in their last outing with a win over the Staffordshire Stallions. Adam said: “Despite being away we won 130. It was a very defensive game and not much really happened offensively.” The team scored two rushing touchdowns through Daishawn Honohan and Cameron Wright and had a field goal through Enoch Nkhoma. Adam added: “We were able to rally ourselves in the second half and got our heads in the game and pulled out a win with a strong offensive performance”.

Students celebrate stunning Super Bowl The New England Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, beating the Atlanta Falcons in front on hundreds of NFL fans packed into the Liverpool Guild of Students. The Patriots’ extraordinary 34-28 win in Houston turned out to be a big screen hit at the Guild. The crowd slowly subsided in the early hours of Monday morning after the Falcons had taken what seemed like an unassailable lead following three first half touchdowns. However, the Patriots scored 19 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, which took the game to the

first ever overtime in Super Bowl history. Not many of the fans who turned out for the event stayed to its conclusion at 4am, but a plucky few stayed up to see the Patriots win the toss and storm up the pitch for James White to score the all-important touchdown and seal the destiny of the 51st Super Bowl. Jordan Irving, 20, from Halifax, said: “You can never be sure in American Football. Even though I’m a Falcons fan, you have to look at it in both ways – we scored that many points in the first half so it was always going to be possible that they [the Patriots] could do it in the second half.”

STILL SMILING: Falcons’ fan Jordan Irving ©Cai Griffiths-Sturge

TOP: Crowd at the Liverpool Guild of Students ABOVE: Patriots’ fan James Mitchell Pics © Cai Griffiths-Sturge


Rage at Reds’ chief tweet By MOLLY COPOC Liverpool’s principal owner John W.Henry caused a stir this week with a tweet about the superbowl. The billionaire tweeted about New England Patriots’ record in the Super Bowl ahead of the 51st instalment of the fixture. John tweeted: “Patriots are in their seventh Super Bowl in the past 16 seasons. Falcons are the sixth opponent the Patriots will face in those appearances.” The Patriots went on to beat Atlanta Falcons 34-28 to claim their fifth title. After the tweet he was bombarded with a horde of messages from angry Liverpool fans about the club’s lack of transfer activity, with most wanting more money spent on the club. The uproar was sparked following the defeat against Hull last Saturday, which left the club disappointed and wondering how the season had fizzled out so quickly.

Walsh’s scouting strategy By MOLLY COPOC Everton’s director of football Steve Walsh has spoken out about his scouting strategy, identifying talent like Ademola Lookman and Idrissa Gueye. Walsh is well known throughout the club for his ability to unearth outstanding stars like Jamie Vardy. He has recently announced that the key is to discover what type of players Koeman preferred, before he took it upon himself to scout future gems for the club. Walsh added that it is not all about quality but “character” is an essential ingredient in any players he has recommended.

Horse debut Faugheen could be set to make his Aintree debut at the Grand National meeting this spring, after injury ruled him out of the Cheltenham Festival.

Rainbow laces set to tackle gay hate


Liverpool Guild of Students has teamed up once again with Sport Liverpool to run the Rainbow Laces campaign. The campaign aims to tackle homophobia in sport and raise awareness over issues that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender players and fans face. Launched by LGBT equality charity Stonewall, the Rainbow Laces campaign gained its largest amount of support last year when the campaign was recognised by the Premier League, Football Association, English Football League, Premiership Rugby and Rugby Football Union. Account manager for Rainbow Laces Juliet Chard spoke to Liverpool Life about the aims of the campaign: “The Rainbow Laces campaign is all about welcoming and accepting lesbian, gay, bi and trans people at all levels of sport. “Unfortunately many LGBT people have a poor experience in sport and it holds them back from being part of the sport community, whether as fans or players.” The Guild have decided to

support the Rainbow Laces campaign for a second time this year, after the success they received in 2016 when they managed to get all 50 of their sports clubs to sign the pledge and commit to making sport at Liverpool inclusive for all of students. Oba Akinwale, Deputy President for the Liverpool Guild of Students, spoke to Liverpool Life about the inspiration to support the campaign: “After its great success last year, I wanted to continue the campaign and build on its success. This was a sentiment greatly shared by the Athletic Union and the work that they have put in to make that happen has been instrumental.” “So this year, we are also working with the Athletic Union and our LGBT+ Society to produce a ‘Sport for All’ policy which captures our vision of sport being inclusive and putting the sentiments of the campaign into action.” With the aim of achieving this goal once again, the Guild will also be catching up with individual teams and finding out what steps they have taken to make their club more inclusive since last year. Members of any sports team

are encouraged to grab a pair of rainbow laces and wear them to their next fixture. Supporters can also tweet using the hashtag #RainbowLaces to help spread awareness. CAMPAIGN: Rainbow laces aims to tackle homophobia in football © Stonewall

Football rivals walk stadium to stadium for charity By ANDREW NUTTALL

It’s not often Manchester United and Liverpool FC fans share the same common goal but best friends Scott Baron and Craig Hoyland enjoyed a winning result together - raising hundreds of pounds for two great causes in the process. Scott, 31, from Grapenhall, has started his charitable quest by putting football rivalries aside to walk from Anfield to Old Trafford, accompanied by his childhood friend and Liverpool supporter Craig, 32, from Great Sankey. The Warrington duo set off from Anfield at 6am and had reached Old Trafford 11 hours later, raising over £340 for the charities. The men successfully completed the 34-mile walk with Nick Owen, a 36-year-old former Royal Marine from

Orford. He said: “I’ve always wanted to do something for charity and I’m not one to do things by half. So this year I’m going to push myself and lots of different friends to the limit. The Anfield to Old Trafford walk is just the start.” The former British Army soldier has devised ‘Scott’s Dirty Dozen’, a series of 12 challenges, such as cycling around Anglesey; a 10km army obstacle course, and completing the Three Peaks mountain adventure challenge to support the ‘Blue Apple Heroes’ war veterans’ charity and ‘Beating Bowel Cancer’. He continued: “Manchester United and Liverpool fans can come together in a very powerful and productive way.” To support Scott, visit his dedicated website scotts dirtydozen.wordpress.com.

RIVALS COME TOGETHER: The two friends outside Old Trafford

© Scott Baron


LifeSPORT 08 Feburary 2017


ACTIVITIES: Rock climbing and pool © The Homeless Games

The Homeless Games will return to Liverpool this April for two days full of action-packed sports. The event, held at Wavertree Sports Park, will support the growing number of people experiencing homelessness in Liverpool. Ali Slimas, a representative for The Homeless Games, told Liverpool Life how the games were established in 2009. “The Homeless Games were founded by Eric Houghton. Eric had himself experienced homelessness and alcoholism. He was presented with an opportunity to play for the England Homeless Football Team, leading him to captain England in the first homeless World Cup in 2003.” Eric found this opportunity provided him with a way out and he soon understood that not everyone would have such an opportunity. A conversation between Eric and Dave Morton followed and led to a concept that would offer everyone a chance to participate in sports they are enthusiastic and passionate about. Eric’s vision, which has now become reality, provides members of the homelessness community with the chance to be treated as equals, regardless of their background. The games aim not to combat homeless head on but to give hope to

members of the homeless community, offering them the chance to participate in sports in a secure and safe environment, which itself can lead to helping individuals progress with their lives and get advice on health and well-being, both physical and mental. Through the catalyst of sport, participants gain a chance to explore education and training and to enhance their future career prospects. There are a range of sports on offer from football to swimming and members are given the additional support of professional coaches, training, staff and health support workers throughout the events. Ali further explained how the games would benefit the homeless community. “Since 2011, Liverpool’s leading homeless shelter has experienced a 42% increase in people needing their help. “Through sports, we can help to break down those barriers people face when homeless, allowing them to not only join in fantastic sports and camaraderie but also providing them with access to help and advice on a range of issues.” The games are set to take place from April 12 to April 13. Entry is free but those who wish to volunteer at the event can do so by emailing; takepart@thehomelessgames. The games also have a range of sponsor packages available for businesses if they wish to sponsor events, help with the transport and food on the days of the event.

Paddy ‘The Baddy’ defends world champ title By HAMISH ELLWOOD

Scouse MMA star Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett, 22, will be defending his Cage Warriors featherweight world title for the second time on April 1. The defence will take place at the Echo Arena as the main event for Cage Warriors 82. Yesterday the

contender was revealed as Nad Narimani, a 29-yearold from Bristol. Narimani boasts a professional record of 9-2. Pimblett is currently on a nine-fight win streak, and the contender Narimani is on a streak of two wins The champion is two inches taller than Narimani, and there is an age difference

of seven years between the two fighters. This will be Pimblett’s second title defence of the 145lb Cage Warriors title, the title that Conor McGregor once held before fighting for the UFC. Pimblett fights out of Next Generation MMA in Liverpool, Nad Narimani fighting from CHAMPION: Paddy ‘The Baddy’ outside the ring Iron Mann MMA. © Alistair Baker

© Creative Commons

dodges injury By MOLLY COPOC Tennis umpire Arnaud Gabas has narrowly dodged a serious injury after being hit in the eye by a ball that Denis Shapovalov struck in anger. After spending two hours in Ottawa General Hospital for precautionary checks, Gabas was released, looking battered and bruised but suffered no serious damage to his eyes last Sunday. The 17-year-old Canadian tennis player was immediately defaulted after the game after taking his frustration out on a ball. The incident happened when Shapovalov’s serve was broken leaving him two sets and 2-1 down in his Davis Cup singles with Kyle Edmond. The result earned Great Britain a 3-2 victory over hosts Canada and a quarterfinal tie with France. There was no intent on Shapovalov’s part and he apologised immediately after Gabas was struck. The reigning Wimbledon junior champion was fined $7,000 by the International Tennis Federation.

Rovers’ replay By JAMES HARRISON Tranmere Rovers will travel to the Melbourne Community Stadium today to face Chelmsford City in the Buildbase FA trophy third round replay. on Saturday Tranmere managed to come back with a goal in the second half from Cole Stockton to force the replay after the visitors fired in a shot from 25 yards in the first 30 minutes.

Profile for Steve Harrison

Liverpool Life 5:11 February 8 2017  

Liverpool Life is a weekly newspaper produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism programmes...

Liverpool Life 5:11 February 8 2017  

Liverpool Life is a weekly newspaper produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism programmes...

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