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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 05 February 2007

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Skills for Care increased involvement from carers

SKILLS for Care Enabling Fund has been key in developing a project which involves carers and users of services in social care education. FOCUS (Forum of Carers and Users of Services), based in Liverpool, undertook a unique project with the Greater Merseyside Health & Social Care Centre of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) at Southport College, involving the Health and Social Care Cadet Scheme.

This scheme was designed in conjunction with the NHS and Social Care Academy working in partnership with local further education colleges and Health & Social Care employers to equip young people aged 16 to 22, with the skills and knowledge needed to work successfully in the care sector. Supported placements within the Health & Social Care sector are provided to enable Cadets to develop practical work based skills, as well as essential skills and theory based knowledge.

A programme of 7 workshops was developed, with each workshop being delivered by carers and users of services to a class of around 20 Cadets. A number of topics were covered including mental health services, living with a physical disability, being a carer, learning disabilities, the ageing process and being an inpatient.

The aim of this project was initially to prepare the Cadets for their work placements by providing a greater sense of realism, developing better understanding of service users' and carers' needs and opinions. Jane Ratcliffe, Course Leader, Southport College, comments that the project has "exceeded our expectations and has not only prepared the Cadets for placement but also improved their understanding of theory, their confidence, punctuality, attendance and their written coursework." The carers and users of services have also benefited from the experience and felt that it gave them a voice and an opportunity to help young people understand the issues they face.

Tessa Wilson (CoVE Manager) comments that:- "The success of this project has been due to a lot of hard work, planning and preparation by Jane and Terry. The evaluation party at the end of the programme was a true testament to how beneficial and valuable everyone involved found this exercise, students, service users, carers and tutors".

Terry Williams (Co-ordinator, FOCUS) says:- "Over the past two years, Members of FOCUS have shown how valuable service user and carer involvement has been in the training of social work students, medical students, nursing students and other health professionals. We feel that this project at Southport College has demonstrated that service user and carer input is equally important in the field of Social Care Training and we are delighted to have played a part. The success of the project suggests it would be greatly beneficial to extend service user and carer involvement to other social care courses and to courses at other colleges."

The Rotary Club of Southport Announces the 6th Annual Charity Walk

EACH year for the past 5 years, Southport Rotary Club has helped individuals and groups to raise funds for their own favourite charities and good causes through the Annual Charity Walk.  Now in its 6th year, the Annual Charity Walk provides an ideal framework for fundraising - one of the most challenging tasks for any voluntary organisation. We organise and manage the event, you arrange for walkers and sponsorship, and collect the money!

This year, the Walk will be on Sunday 13 May, and will be along the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, starting at Heaton's Bridge Inn, and finishing in Maghull, a distance of about 10 miles.

How Does The Walk Work?  Simple!

* You decide which Charity you want to support.

* You ask all your friends and colleagues to sponsor you.

* You register for the Walk with us.

* You Walk!

* You collect all the money from your sponsors.

* You give all the money you have collected to your chosen Charity - directly!

100% of everything you collect goes straight from you to your choice of Charity.

Who can enter?

Individuals, families, office groups, charity members, church and club parties....  anyone who can manage the distance. You don't have to be a Paula Radcliffe, or a Sebastian Coe! There's plenty of time to walk the course, with attractive pubs on the way for a little refreshment.

What does Rotary get out of the Walk?

Individuals and many charities don't have the resources to organise major fundraising events, and any charity or good cause can benefit from an extra event. The Walk is designed to help you, your friends and colleagues, to raise funds for any charity or good cause you wish.

All of the costs of organising the Walk are met from Entry Fees and money separately raised for the purpose by Southport Rotary Club. If there is a surplus, it goes directly to our own Rotary Charities.

As an organisation dedicated to serving the communities in which we live, the motto of Rotary throughout the world is "Service above Self" and organising the Southport Rotary Club's Annual Charity Walk is our way of serving as many people, charities and good causes as we can, at one go!

Where can I get more information?

Our special Events Website is designed to answer all the questions you might have, AND you can download entry forms, sponsorship forms and all sorts of useful information. Just go to and then click on the Charity Walk button.

We hope you found this useful, and will be interested in the Walk. If so, why not tell your friends and colleagues about it, form a group, and walk for your favourite Charity or Good Cause!  We hope to see you on Sunday 13 May 2007!

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