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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:-  15 May 2006

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Young homeless charity runners in St Helens Corporate Cup

STAFF and young people from the Merseyside Accommodation Project (MAP) are taking part in the forthcoming St Helens Corporate Cup on Sunday 28 May. MAP, which is part of the charitable organisation Local Solutions, supports homeless teenagers, aged 16 and 17, in Merseyside.

Marie Hardman, MAP support worker said:- “the young people decided that they would like to take part in the Corporate Cup, which would enable them to adopt a healthier lifestyle. They also thought it would be an excellent idea to donate all proceeds towards a social activities fund for young homeless people at the project.”

This will be the 8th running of the St Helens event, although the first time it’s moved to a weekend. It will start at 11am and is using the attractive course around the 150 acres of Sherdley Park that has proved popular amongst the runners over the previous few years, with the finish in the athletics track at Sutton Community Leisure Centre.  The Corporate Cup is open to both runners and walkers. All members of the community are encouraged to take part, from businesses, hospital and council staff to friends and family, social clubs and pub team entries as part of a team of 4.

MAP is unique in the fact that it provides accommodation in a ‘family style’ environment with registered householders, who have offered a spare room within their own homes. The ultimate aim of the project is to prepare each individual with the skills to cope independently in their own accommodation. Many of the young people have gone on to gain employment, or to University or college, some have even reconciled with their own families and returned home.

The team for St Helens consists of Tony Smith, Sue Shelley, Tracey Regan and Kerry Roach from the Sefton group. Other members of MAP will be taking part in the other Corporate Cups, which include Knowsley and Liverpool.

Entry forms for the Corporate Cup are available by contacting Pennine Events on 01695 682020, email or downloading from  Runners can also enter online at

The event is organised by Healthstart / Pennine Events Ltd on behalf of St Helen’s PCT.

Calling new bands from Mersey & Southport!

PRS, the Performing Right Society, is once again offering local bands the chance to perform in front of Edinburgh Festival crowds as part of Fringe Sunday.

On 13 August 2006, the PRS New Music Stage will feature a packed line-up of new musical talent from across the UK. And with music industry A&R staff attending, that first big break might not be too far away.

An application form for the UK-wide talent search can be downloaded from, with all entries to be with PRS by 2 June.

Jo Prowse of PRS says:- "PRS is all about creating a future for music. The royalties we collect for bands often mean all the difference to them; particularly at the start of their careers. And here’s another great way for new bands to get a lift. We had a great response from Mersey and Southport last year and we’re looking forward to receiving more of your demos this year."

Paul O'Grady supports 'sadly neglected' older heroes

TV PRESENTER and former social worker Paul O'Grady has called for more recognition for older volunteers and has offered his congratulations to members of CSV's Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) being presented with awards by foreign diplomats next week.

Paul, who has used his own show to raise the profile of the work of older volunteers, says:- "I think that volunteers are sadly neglected in this country. They do sterling work and should be rewarded more for the important role they play. Volunteers taking care of lonely and isolated people are literally keeping thousands of people going. I think it's fantastic that RSVP volunteers are being honoured for their commitment. Keep up the good work!"

At a ceremony at Dover House, Whitehall, the Ambassador of Moldova and the High Commissioner for Ghana will honour two British RSVP volunteers for making a significant contribution to their countries. Amongst those being thanked include a 68 year old from Swansea who was made an honorary chief in Ghana for helping children and a knitting volunteer from Stirling who distributes knitted toys and clothes to orphanages and hospitals in Moldova.

Older Volunteers being honoured at the ceremony include:
David Howells, aged 68 and from Swansea, is a RSVP volunteer reader at his local primary school and was made an honorary chief after spending eight weeks teaching children and raising £4,500 to help build the country's first primary school library in the capital, Accra. David will meet the High Commissioner for Ghana, Isaac Osei.

David, a former industrial chemist who was given the title Nii Kwa Botswe (the first) by the Ga people of Ghana and who will be wearing his ceremonial robes on the night, says:- "I volunteer to help children learn English and Welsh in schools in Swansea and I was amazed at the standard of spelling in Ghana. Despite the lack of facilities at the school, I met seven year olds able to spell-out complicated English words like 'palanquin'. Being a chief comes with responsibilities and each year I am expected to return to my new 'home' and help determine decisions on social development for the tribe."

Chrissie Morrison aged 52 is a RSVP volunteer knitter from Stirling, Scotland who regularly visits the former Soviet republic of Moldova to deliver knitted toys and clothes to orphanages and hospitals. She is also hoping to do a sponsored bicycle ride from Stirling to London. Chrissie will be meeting the Moldovan Ambassador Mariana Durlesteanu.

Doreen Beaumont, aged 76 from Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, sailed for 9 days between Portsmouth and Bilbao as a crew member on the Tenacious, a tall ship especially built so that it can be crewed by people with disabilities as well as able bodied people. Doreen took part in memory of her daughter and to raise money for the Mission for Sailors.

Doreen, who volunteers with the RSVP Evergreen Club, which brings together 30 isolated older people each month in the Fishguard area, says:- "I was a wee bit nervous setting off on the ship and was worried that I might not be accepted as I was the oldest but I proved that I could keep up with the rest of them and even climbed the mast. I enjoyed the thrill of sailing, and it is something absolutely different to my hum drum life. As long as you don't get too seasick I would recommend it to anyone."

Anna Blackmore, aged 50 from Notting Hill, London. Anna, who with virtually no climbing experience, raised £9,000 for RSVP by climbing Mont Blanc and was only prevented from scaling the last 100 meters to the summit due to dangerous weather conditions.  Anna says:- "I wanted to raise money for RSVP because I think it is important to recognise the skills of older people and to keep them active and engaged in life."

An incredible 5 million over-50s take part in unpaid work each year.  Volunteers assisting patients in GP surgeries are cutting patient prescriptions by 30% and volunteers in primary schools are helping to raise the reading age of children. Research also shows that volunteering can benefit older volunteers in many ways, including making new friends, gaining self confidence and living healthier lives. 51% of over 65s say volunteering has improved their health and fitness and 62% of over 65s say volunteering helps reduce stress.


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