Sunday Snippets 18 April 2021

Welcome to “Sunday Snippets” a weekly feature from It is a round-up of our most popular good news stories from the last seven days. Click on each story to read the full article.

Guidance for Wirral communities ahead of relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions

As lockdown restrictions continue to ease, Merseyside Police is reminding our communities to familiarise themselves with the latest guidance and enjoy themselves safely.

From Monday 12 April, facilities including non-essential shops, hairdressers and gyms reopened, however the ‘rule of six’ remains in place, with outdoor gatherings still limited to six people or two households.

The mixing of households indoors is still not permitted.

Beer gardens and restaurants with outdoor seating are allowed to reopen, and the requirement to eat and drink while seated will remain. Public buildings such as libraries and community centres, and the majority of outdoor settings and attractions including zoos and theme parks will also be allowed to open once again.

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Woodside Ferry Village expands with the creation of a new independent retail hub

A new, waterfront independent market and artisan retail hub is set to open on land adjacent to the iconic Woodside Ferry Terminal Building in Birkenhead this Spring.

The Independent Market @Woodside is a joint collaboration between Woodside Area CIC, which developed the existing Woodside Ferry Village in 2019 and Independent Wirral, an organisation that champions and supports local independent businesses, retailers and artisans.

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Birkenhead 2040 Framework – Have Your Say

Residents and businesses of Wirral are being asked for their views and suggestions for the proposed transformation of an entire town.

An eight week consultation started on Wednesday 24 March.

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New funding launched to help community facilities re-open safely

Community and voluntary groups in Wirral are being invited to apply for grant funding of up to £5,000 to help them re-open their doors and welcome back the communities they serve.

With a total of £250,000 available from the borough’s ‘Social Sector Setting Road to Recovery Fund’, a minimum of 50 local community groups are set to benefit from the new scheme.

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Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes receive £1000 grant from Cadent Foundation

Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes work with hospitals across the regions to provide a vital transportation service. The charity, which makes thousands of life-saving deliveries every year, is manned entirely by volunteers and relies on donations to keep going.

Pamela Bowker, Fundraising Coordinator said, “Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes are absolutely delighted to have been awarded a donation of £1000 by the Cadent Foundation as part of their Connecting Communities Programme. It will help our charity enormously, as we have had to recently replace two of our Blood Bikes due to very high mileage.

“With our voluntary riders they have helped many patients over their years of service transporting blood and blood products, blood samples, specimens and swabs, medicines, equipment and donor breast milk. More recently they have been transporting Covid 19 swabs for testing both day and night to help the NHS in its fight against this terrible enemy.”

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Wirral Sea Angling Academy: One man’s journey from addict to community hero

“A few years ago I was a homeless heroin addict living in a tent in a train station car park in Birkenhead.”, Ben Koba told He knew he had to change something about his life or he was going to die.

“I had been into sea fishing as a youngster and decided to try it again.”, Ben continued. When pay-day came around, instead of buying drugs, he bought a rod and reel and got back into fishing. “It immediately gave me something to focus my energy on and I have never looked back.”, Ben explained.

Through despair and determination to turn his life around and from these humble beginnings, Ben started the ‘Wirral Sea Angling Academy.’

The word of Ben’s project got around and other addicts starting asking him to take them sea-fishing and teach them how to do it. “It just snowballed from there.”, Ben said. “Soon I had all kinds of people wanting to go sea-fishing, Veterans, the disabled, people with mental health problems and people who just wanted to try it out.”

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New 10 week programme for aspiring chefs with LEAF

A new Pre-Apprenticeship Programme launching this May will provide young people with a route in to an exciting career in hospitality.

Wirral Met College is partnering with LEAF to deliver a new programme dedicated to helping young people aged 16 to 24 gain the critical skills needed to progress onto an apprenticeship in the hospitality industry.

There are a total of 15 trainee chef positions available across LEAF’s venues across the Liverpool City Region including their function and event venues Oh Me, Oh My and One Fine Day.

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Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner elections: Who will you vote for this May?

Merseyside will elect a new Police and Crime Commissioner on 6 May 2021. Jane Kennedy, who is the current PCC for Merseyside announced in 2019 that she would not be standing for re-election.

Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) are elected representatives with responsibility for policing in each police area in England and Wales. Each police area (with the exception of Greater London and Greater Manchester, where the directly elected mayor is the policing authority instead) elects a commissioner every four years.

The elections for PCCs was due to take place in 2020, but were postponed until 6 May 2021, due to COVID-19. In the 2016 PCC election, Merseyside had a turnout of 302,253, representing 30.2% of the voting population. Jane Kennedy was reelected taking 186,661 votes, representing 61.8% of those who voted.

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Open-air cinema returns to Claremont Farm

Storyhouse’s Moonlight Flicks returns this summer with their largest and longest open-air season of cinema to date opening with a showing of Wonder Woman 1984 at Claremont Farm, Bebington on Saturday, 29 May.

The extended 2021 programme of big-screen entertainment opens on the late May Bank Holiday weekend and will take place at three venues across the region. Open-air cinema is back in Chester Cathedral’s Dean’s Field for a second year, as well as at Claremont Farm in Clatterbridge where there was a sell-out season of screenings last October.

This year there is a new addition to the summer season with Snugburys Ice Cream at Park Farm near Nantwich joining the Moonlight Flicks film family. It will host cinematic favourites on Saturday evenings from 3 July to 28 August. Almost 70 separate screenings are taking place between May and September with more dates and titles set to be added in the coming weeks.

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Hoylake RNLI Coxswain to hand over the helm

When Andy Dodd became Coxswain of the Hoylake Lifeboat in 2016, he realised a childhood ambition that saw him following in his father’s footsteps and continuing a long family tradition of saving lives at sea.

After five years at the helm, and many more serving on the Hoylake crew, Andy is now taking on a new challenge in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Andy has been promoted to Area Lifesaving Manager within the RNLI and will be stepping down as Hoylake RNLI Coxswain later this year. In his new role, Andy will be responsible for providing support to five lifeboat stations in Cardigan Bay. He brings with him his considerable experience of volunteering and working in the RNLI and the wider maritime sector.

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Voting deadlines loom for May elections

On Thursday 6 May residents in Wirral will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at local council elections, the Liverpool City Region mayoral election as well as Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

Voters have a range of options for casting their ballot – in person, by post or by appointing someone they trust to vote in their place, known as a proxy vote. There are three fast-approaching deadlines that all voters need to be aware of.

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