Holiday Fun @ St James Centre

NBDTThere are loads of activities for the whole family to enjoy at St James Centre and across the North Birkenhead & Bidston area this summer.

Details of the craft and cookery activities, street dance, playschemes, summer trips and how to book your place can be found in the Summer Newsletter.

Saturday 23rd August sees the Making Links’ Community Celebration of Creativity at Picnic in the Park taking place at Ilchester Park from 12 noon to 4pm. Go along and join the celebration, and take a picnic too!

The newsletter also gives details of adult education classes at St James Neighbourhood College.


Wirral Youth Enterprise competition, Summer 2014

HYPEWirral Youth Enterprise Project is in The Pyramids this summer and is giving young people, aged 7 to 24 years, the chance to win cash to start their own enterprise projects across Wirral.

Young people can download and complete the Competition Form and send it to HYPE or drop it in to the HYPE team at the Bandstand, St John’s Square, Pyramids Shopping Centre from 10am to 4pm on 30th July to 2nd August and 27th to 30th August.

Click here for more information.

Creative Family Activities at Birkenhead Priory

Birkenhead Children’s Centre and Williamson Art Gallery are inviting families to join them for 5 weeks of free activities at Birkenhead Priory, for parents to develop their craft abilities with their children.

On Thursday mornings, there is an artist coming down from the Lake District to build a giant paper boat with the families. This will be taken down to the waterside near The Priory and actually floated on the water.

Starts Thursday 24th July 9:30am to 11:30am, for 5 weeks

On Friday mornings, dramatist and storyteller Lucy Fiori and Neil Winterburn will be working with families to create stories and plays loosely exploring the history of the Priory, starting with a Bear Hunt in the Priory. At the end of the 5 weeks, the families will make an eBook of illustrated children’s stories that people can read to their families on their phones or tablets.

Starts Friday 25th July 9:30am to 11:30am, for 5 weeks

All are welcome to join in the fun. See the flyer for details or contact Nikki at Birkenhead Children’s Centre on 0151 647 4445


Free five week fun and interactive programme

RampworxWirral Community NHS Trust has teamed up with Rampworx to help local children and young people (aged 11-16) and their families to lose weight, get more active and eat healthier.

The FREE fun and interactive programme encourages children and young people to get more active and try activities that they may have never considered before. It includes coaching and development, and learning how to get more active by skateboarding or riding a scooter/BMX biking.

There will also be sessions for parents and carers around:

  • choosing healthier food and drink options
  • understanding food labels
  • positive wellbeing
  • physical activity

First session: Wednesday 30 July 2014

Weekly sessions: 30 July  - 27 August

Sessions start:

  • 9.30am – 10.30am physical activity sessions for children and young people
  • 11.00am – 11.30am – sessions for parents/carers

Venue: Bebington High Sports College (Sports Hall), Higher Bebington Road, CH63 2PS

Meeting point: Main school reception

Children must be accompanied by an adult from 9.30am – 11.30am.

There are limited places so, if you would like to book your child a place, call the team on 0151 630 8383.


Things to do this summer @ Wirral Multicultural Centre

WMOWirral Multicultural Organisation is holding free Stay and Play sessions at the Multicultural Centre every Friday from 2pm to 3.30pm throughout the summer holidays, starting on 25th July. Families with children aged 1 to 5 years are welcome to go along and join in the fun.

They’ve also arranged for Angelica from the Lady Lever Art Gallery to visit the Centre on Tuesday 29th July from 10 am to 12 noon to talk about the Gallery and give information and activity ideas for children, young people and families, with the chance to get involved in some art work included.

All are welcome to go along to Wirral Multicultural Centre, 111 Conway Street, Birkenhead, CH41 4AF. Click on the links above for further information or contact Suzie on 0151 666 4547

Support available for parents of children with a learning disability

MencapWirral Mencap has an Outreach Service providing information and support for parents of children with a learning disability, in addition to supporting adults with a learning disability, their parents and carers.

Appointments are available for a confidential chat to identify ways of prioritising difficulties and finding solutions to overcome them.

The service includes:

  • Help and support with paperwork.
  • Support and guidance to ensure access to relevant services and develop good working relationships with professionals.
  • Guidance on planning for the future with information on care providers, Wills & Trusts etc.
  • Information on inclusive activities in the area.

Appointments are available in the office based in the Lauries Centre, Birkenhead or in the home.

Contact Gaynor Rowlands on 0151 666 1829 or call in to the office at 136 Claughton Road, Birkenhead CH41 6EY

Download the flyer to display or circulate.

WSCB Safeguarding News update: 18th July

WSCBWelcome to the latest Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) weekly Safeguarding News Update, the purpose of which is to give updates about a safeguarding item. It may be an issue of local or national significance, information about an aspect of the WSCB’s work, or information designed to support good professional practice.

The purpose of this week’s email is to clarify the current process for professionals to escalate concerns if they disagree with the course of action set for a child or young person from a multi-agency meeting, conference or review and to highlight a recent important change endorsed by Wirral Safeguarding Children Board. Wirral Safeguarding Children Board’s multi-agency escalation procedure is published (along with all their multi-agency safeguarding procedures) on their procedures website:

The basis of the procedure is that differences of opinion about the best course of action for a child or young person are always likely to occur and are best resolved by professionals at the multi-agency meeting. In the few cases where this does not prove possible, professionals should use the multi-agency procedure to escalate concerns with the manager of the agency of the lead professional within specialist or targeted services.

Wirral Safeguarding Children Board has undertaken some work with professionals about use of the procedure, and analysis of the feedback from colleagues reveals that 29% of professionals who work with children and young people are unaware of the procedure, and 55% of colleagues who have used the procedure found it unsatisfactory, mainly because they were not informed of the result of the escalation.

To address this, Wirral Safeguarding Children Board is reviewing the procedure but in the interim the Board request that, where the procedure is used, professionals copy the escalation form to David Robbins, using the secure email address below,  to ensure oversight of usage is monitored.

If any partners would like an aspect of their work highlighted in a future update please contact David Robbins, WSCB Business Manager by email at

Project Support Worker vacancies, Merseyside Offender Mentoring Project

Sefton CVS have vacancies for 2 Project Support Workers in their Merseyside Offender Mentoring Project.

The successful applicants will work on many aspects of the Merseyside Offender Mentoring Project, supporting offenders both in prison and in the community. They will need to work closely with key partners, HMP Liverpool, Merseyside Police, Local Authority leads and voluntary, community and faith sector organisations across Merseyside.

For more information about these part-time posts and to apply, visit the Sefton CVS website here.

Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Monday 4th August 2014, with interviews being held week commencing 11th August 2014

Job Vacancies @ Youth Action

Youth Action are recruiting for the following vacancies:

NCS Programme Manager

£21k -£25k per annum, depending on experience. Full time, permanent

To manage the National Citizens Service (NCS) programme at Youth Action, lead on and plan recruitment, provide line management support and assistance to programme staff through all stages of the programme. To work with partner organisations to ensure that young people are being engaged at all levels.

Development Officer (2 vacancies)

£17k – £21k per annum, depending on experience. Full time, permanent

Vacancy 1 location: Blackburn; Vacancy 2 location: Liverpool

To work on a range of youth engagement programme with young people from a diverse range of backgrounds. Experience of engaging young people and project management is essential.

To apply, and for further information about these positions, visit the Youth Action website here.

Closing date for applications: Midday on Monday 4th August 2014

Assessment day: w/c 11th August 2014

WSCB Safeguarding News update: 11th July

WSCBWelcome to the latest Wirral Safeguarding Children Board (WSCB) weekly Safeguarding News Update, the purpose of which is to give updates about a safeguarding item. It may be an issue of local or national significance, information about an aspect of the WSCB’s work, or information designed to support good professional practice.

The purpose of this week’s bulletin is to introduce you to Operation Encompass, which will be launched across Merseyside in October. It is an initiative between Police and schools and was originally developed and successfully launched in Plymouth. It has recently been successfully trialled in Knowsley.

Operation Encompass aims to provide next day support to children who have witnessed or heard domestic abuse in their home the previous day and the police have attended. Schools will be informed the following day of such incidents and staff can provide overt or covert support, as necessary. Named key adults will be identified in every school and training will be facilitated by Wirral Safeguarding Children Board in September.

Operation Encompass forms part of a wider strategy to combat domestic abuse, and its effectiveness in Wirral will be evaluated by Wirral Safeguarding Children Board. More information about the launch will be provided in a future update in the autumn.

Below, for your interest, is an introduction booklet to Operation Encompass which explains its origins and introduction in Plymouth.

If any partners would like an aspect of their work highlighted in a future update please contact David Robbins, WSCB Business Manager by email at

Children’s Summer Activities in Birkenhead Park

There’s plenty for children and families to do in Birkenhead Park this summer.

The Summer 2014 Programme has a range of great, fun activities, including Bat Walks, Teddy Bears Picnics, Boccia, Handball and rounders, and lots more…..

They will be celebrating National Play Day in the Park on 6th August and the Wirral Flower and Vegetable Show will be held on 10th August.

There’s also family fun events with the Park Rangers at other venues across Wirral.

Age restrictions apply for some activities. Many of the events are easy access, suitable for wheelchair-users or those with limited mobility.

Booking is essential for some activities. To book contact Birkenhead Park Visitor Centre on 0151 652 5197 or email

**  Please note that Olly’s Olympics on 26th July and 9th August has been cancelled. The 2nd August session is still going ahead**


Summer activities for disabled children, young people and their families

Wirral CouncilWirral’s Sports Development Unit have released their Active All-Sports Summer Programme 2014 for children and young people with disabilities and specific needs.

invigor8The programme includes all relevant information and booking forms. Bookings are on a first come, first served basis and should be addressed to Stacey Addison on 0151 637 6157, 07825 402594 or email

Guinea Gap Baths have programmed a disability family swim on Wednesday mornings  from 10am – 12pm throughout the summer holidays. The swimming sessions are free but places need to be booked each week by calling the Leisure Call Centre on 0151 606 2010. Sessions will be held on the dates below and bookings will be taken on a weekly basis, from week commencing 21st July.

  • Wed 23rd July
  • Wed 30th July
  • Wed 6th Aug
  • Wed 13th Aug
  • Wed 20th Aug – session is not running on this date
  • Wed 27th Aug

Please note that parent/carers must accompany their children in the water as the Disability Sport Development Team will not be present at the sessions.

If you have any further questions, contact the Call Centre and ask to speak to Guinea Gaps Centre Manager.

Propulsion Trampolining Club are running their activities for disabled children, young people and adults throughout the summer.

The Club runs from Birkenhead Youth Club and session times can be found on the poster here.

To book a place on a session, send a text message to Andy on 07720 708 371 or Jayne on 07835 063 540 or email



Free Summer Playschemes from Wirral Play Council

WPCWirral Play Council has published details of their 2014 Summer Playschemes for children aged 6 to 13 years old.

The schemes will run throughout Wirral from 21st July to 15th August and are free of charge and open access.

The attached poster gives details of times and venues.

All the schemes will be closed on Wednesday 6th August for the free National Play Day event in Birkenhead Park from 12noon until 4pm.  All are welcome to attend the event.

For more information, contact Wirral Play Council on 0151 650 0030.

Funding for families and individuals

If your organisation works with families in crisis but can’t help them financially, Buttle UK may be able to help. Their small grants programme provides essential items for children and young people whose development, health and well-being are at risk. It provides a fast response to families who lack basic items such as bedding, a cooker or a washing machine.

Parents of children and young adults who are disabled or seriously ill are able to apply for a share of the £27.3 million Family Fund. 

family fund, the UK’s largest grant giving charity, is designed to make life easier for low-income families with disabled and seriously ill children and young people. The money can be used for days out, garden play equipment, computers, toys and kitchen appliances like dishwashers and washing machines.

The fund helped more than 50,000 families in England last year, from a total of £27 million. The fund is now in its 40th year.

Applications can be submitted at any time. For more information on how to apply, please click on the link here.

Funding opportunities and training for groups and organisations

Lloyds Foundation’s new grant programme is open. INVEST and ENABLE will help charities supporting people to break out of disadvantage at critical points in their lives, and promote practical approaches to lasting change. Support will be adapted to the needs of small and medium sized charities (income between £25,000 and £1 million) that are committed to delivering work which breaks or prevents cycles of disadvantage.

  • INVEST – A flexible, long term core funding programme for organisations delivering clear, targeted outcomes for disadvantaged people (Grants up to £25k per annum and up to six years);
  • ENABLE – A smaller and shorter grants programme for organisations that have identified clear development needs (Grants up to a total of £15k over two years);
  • ENHANCE –provides an option of tailored in-kind support to strengthen and develop charities funded through invest or enable.

They operate an online application process.

The latest Funding Bulletin from Zel Rodgers at Community Action Wirral is available here, and includes details of the Rank Foundation Small Appeals Programme and the PH Holt Foundation.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available for charities and non-profit groups working anywhere in the UK. Grants can be used to purchase PCs, laptops or IT services within a year of receipt of funding and successful groups will receive full support with no on-going committment.  Further information is available here. To apply, email The scheme is on-going, until at least April 2015.

The Morgan Foundation now have an expanded grant programme of over £1.5 million per year and target their funds where they can be most effective in making a real difference to the lives of the people in Merseyside, Cheshire (west of the M6) North Wales, and North Shropshire.

The Foundation specialises in supporting organisations helping children and families as well as elderly, disabled and socially isolated people. They will consider any work which has a positive effect on their welfare and quality of life, or which expands the opportunities and life choices for young people in this region. Trustee meetings are held regularly throughout the year and there are no specific dates for applications to be received.

See their website for further details and how to apply.



Health, wellbeing and educational activities available across Wirral

July 2014′s Livewell Programme, Wirral Community NHS Trust’s programme of health and wellbeing activities and courses, is available to download hereCourses and activities are available throughout  Wirral, most are free to attend, and most sessions don’t need to be booked so people can just turn up at the venue. 

LivewellThe Livewell Programme (formerly the Community Programme) aims to:

  • support local people to make positive lifestyle changes
  • encourage people to get involved in local activities and courses near to where they live
  • help people reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • support local organisations and workplaces with training, advice and resources around health and wellbeing promotion.

For further information call 0151 630 8383 or visit their website

Wirral Mind have launched their programme of courses and groups running from May to August 2014. The Programme includes Calm and Create workshops, Action for Wellbeing, Keeping Well in the Workplace, and much more. Course Application Forms should be sent to Wirral Mind, Fountain Project, Birkenhead, CH41 5DL or by email to  They also have a Bereavement and Loss support group and a Stop Smoking support service, for anyone who would like support with those issues.

Wirral Adult & Community Learning Partnership have a range of courses for adults for the summer term in venues across Wirral. Courses range from English, maths and IT to photography, gardening and British Sign Language. Programmes for each district can be downloaded below and adults on an eligible income-based benefit can access them for free, or at a reduced cost:

The Wallasey Area programme includes a 10-week Level 1 Award Equality and Diversity course, designed for anyone who is interested in developing knowledge in Equality & Diversity as part of their job role, to enhance their volunteering opportunities, or to contribute effectively within their communities. See the flyer for more details.

Do you have clients in need of literacy or numeracy support? A Literacy Buddies group is available at St James Centre, Laird Street, Birkenhead on Tuesdays from 1pm to 3pm. 

Contact North Birkenhead Development Trust on 0151 670 9974 and they will organise a short initial assessment and signpost to the St James Centre group, or a more suitable group, depending upon their individual learning needs. Please do not refer clients to the group before they have been assessed.  Contact Anna Barnish at the number above or email for further information.

Wiser Solutions operates community projects from the former Glass Barrel pub in Market Street, Birkenhead. Their focus is helping people gain skills which will increase their income and help improve the quality of life for local people. 

They will be running low cost training sessions and regular community clubs from February onwards. One will be a weekly club where people can learn facepainting from a qualified professional face painter. Other clubs and workshops include computer skills training, photography, cycle maintenance, first aid and health and safety. There will be a modest charge to cover expenses.

To book, phone 0844 415 4898 or email


An Independent Visitor service in Wirral requires volunteers

Barnardo'sA Barnardo’s service in Wirral is appealing for people who could volunteer for them as Independent Visitors.

Independent Visitors are positive role models who provide children and young people in care with a reliable relationship built on trust.

The service recruits, trains and supports Independent Visitors who develop long-term relationships with children and young people aged 6-21 who are being looked after by Wirral Local Authority.

An Independent Visitor is ‘independent’ as they do not work for the Local Authority.

Barnardo’s understand children and young people in care often do not have contact with their parents and families; for others contact can be limited, inconsistent and unpredictable leading to children and young people feeling isolated, which may impact on their self-esteem, sense of trust, wellbeing and development.

Through monthly visits, Independent Visitors dedicate their time getting to know a child or young person in order to provide a listening ear and advice, and share in their hobbies, interests, hopes and concerns.

Independent Visitors can encourage the child or young person to talk about issues important to them and support them to communicate their feelings to others. Independent Visitors can introduce the child or young person to new experiences and enhance their social network.

Key responsibilities are:

  • To visit a child or young person each month for a few hours, sharing in an activity that promotes their wellbeing and development
  • Arranging activities alongside the child or young person and ensuring these are appropriate to their age, aptitude and ability
  • Completing feedback reports following visits to provide a supportive representation of the young person’s needs
  • Respecting the confidential nature of the relationship
  • Communicating any concerns, incidents and/or feedback to the Independent Visitor Coordinator

Attitude/skills/knowledge for Independent Visitors are:

  • Ability to communicate effectively with children and young people
  • Ability to maintain an attitude of tolerance and acceptance to children and young people whose values and behaviour may be different to their own
  • Patience, reliability and sensitivity to the rights, needs and wishes of children and young people
  • Commitment to the role for at least six months in order to develop effective relationships
  • Commitment to undertake training and attend group meetings

Training and other support is:

  • Two 3 hour training sessions to introduce the role of an Independent Visitor
  • Regular support from the Independent Visitor Coordinator through individual meetings
  • Peer support from other Independent Visitors at group meetings
  • Expenses to cover activities and transport

Anyone who is interested in volunteering should contact Emily Dunn on 0151 637 6173 or via email at


Learn Sign Language with MSDP

MSDPMerseyside Society for Deaf People has a new Level 1 introductory British Sign Language Course starting at the Wirral Deaf Centre, 15-19 Grange Road West, Birkenhead, CH41 4BY.

The 8-week nationally accredited course starts on Monday 22nd September 2014 from 6pm to 9pm and costs £67, plus an assessment fee of £18.

See the poster for details. For an application form or to book your place, contact Gill on 0151 285 4013 or email


I Wheelie Can

I Wheelie Can….. working to improve disability awareness amongst young people

I Wheelie Can“27% of 16 to 19 year olds with a disability are not in any form of employment, education or training” – Office of National Statistics.

I Wheelie Can… wants to change this by supporting those with disabilities and changing the attitudes of those without as well as helping organisations achieve a greater understanding of the needs of their disabled clients, in addition to the benefits disabled employees can bring.

For the young individuals I Wheelie Can… offers one to one mentoring, encouraging the individuals down realistic paths towards achieving their desired goals and proposing strategies that can help them achieve their targets.

They also offer inspirational speeches to groups of young people who may be struggling with motivation. This is targeted at both disabled and non-disabled young people and covers the problems and situations I Wheelie Can… founder Emma Hawkins has faced in her life and the attitude and coping strategies she adopted to successfully come through them.

I Wheelie Can… has worked with a number of clients in Wirral, including Wirral NHS, Options for Supported Living and Wirral Metropolitan Collage.

Below are some testimonials from young people who have attended I Wheelie Can… workshops:

“It helps to understand the needs and psychology of disabled people, respecting disabled people’s dignity and rights”

“I think Emma is an inspiration to people and her work to increase awareness of disability is amazing”

“I didn’t expect to get as much from the session as I did. I found it engaging and thought provoking and a valuable addition to my previous experience of disability”

“Appreciated Emma’s openness, would of been happy to ask her anything, admired her confidence”

If you feel your organisation could benefit from the services I Wheelie Can… offers, call 07983 208719 or e-mail Emma Hawkins to discuss how you can work together with I Wheelie Can… 

Want to know more about owls? *extra session added*

Rockcliffe Raptors are presenting informative family workshops about owls in Wirral parks this summer.

Join them and a selection of owls for an informal educational talk for both young and old, followed by some fun activities that will enhance your knowledge of owls, at a cost of £2 per person.

Booking is essential for these workshops at:

Workshops will be from 10.00am to 12.00pm, followed by an open display of the birds until 3.00pm. Children must be accompanied, minimum age 5 years.

This poster can be downloaded for display.

* Due to the very high demand for places on the “All About Owls” family workshop, an extra session will be held in Birkenhead Park on Wednesday 13th August. Telephone 0151 652 5197 or email