Sunday Snippets 21 February 2021

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

Wirral charity to offer free autism advice sessions thanks to lottery grant

Merseyside charity Autism Together has received a grant from The National Lottery to fund a number of free Autism Advice Sessions.

These sessions provide a confidential and safe environment to chat with a qualified talking therapist from the charity’s award-winning Autism Training and Advisory Service (ATAS).

Available to people with an autism spectrum diagnosis, the sessions can be taken either in person, at the charity’s Oak House head office in Bromborough, Wirral, when it is safe to do so, or otherwise through a virtual session over video chat.

Each session lasts for 50 minutes, with up to 3 free sessions available per person. After that, there is a charge for extra sessions.

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Census 2021 to be the first run predominantly online

From Wallasey to West Kirby and from Birkenhead to Bromborough, households across Wirral will be asked to take part in Census 2021 this spring.

The census, run by the Office for National Statistics, is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives us the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every ten years since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales.

Census outputs inform where billions of pounds of public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health – on cycle routes, schools and dental surgeries.

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New venture will put Wirral’s young entrepreneurs into business

A MAJOR new venture has been launched on Wirral to inspire and support the next generation of young entrepreneurs.

As the region begins to count the cost of the coronavirus pandemic, with thousands of jobs already lost and yet more predicted to come, young people are being given a chance to create their own livelihoods – by becoming their own business owner.

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy concept, to be piloted on Wirral, is the brainchild of Sandra Kirkham, an entrepreneur whose vision for a robust economy has always focused on unity in local communities, with business leaders using their expertise to set young talent on the road to employment.

She has teamed up with two other well-renowned business leaders, Paula Basnett, CEO at Wirral Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Jonathan Quinn, Managing Director at Quinnovations.

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Could the UK’s next astronaut be from Wirral?

For the first time since 2008, The European Space Agency (ESA) is on the lookout for new astronauts, and UK citizens of any walk of life are invited to apply.

So, if you are from Bebington or Birkenhead, Hoylake or Heswall, it could be you!

Following an intensive period of training, which will include a 3-week course in caving and a course in practical geology, the new astronauts will take their first flights into space when they are deployed to the International Space Station. They are likely to be part of the crew on the next missions to the Moon in the late 2020s and through the 2030s.

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Two strange stories of cranes that toppled into Birkenhead docks

When Harry Pleavin uploaded some of his father’s photos to local interest group ‘Birkenhead Memories‘, little did he know the response he’d get.

The photos show a crane that had toppled over and fallen into Morpeth Dock, between Birkenhead and Wallasey in the 1990s.

A member of Suzanne Dodd’s family worked on the docks at the time, so she was able to provide some interesting insight into how the crane came to fall into the dock.

“There were two Grayston White and Sparrow cranes, working together, lifting a wooden greenheart gate that had been removed from the Egerton/ Morpeth passage.”, she said.

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Chaii Coffee delivers free meals across the borough

Ibi Syed from the Deen Centre, Birkenhead – the Wirral Islamic Centre that is open to the whole community – has launched a new venture, Chaii Coffee, in Prenton.

This is a community coffee shop which will bring people together with tea, coffee and bites. He is working closely with an old and close friend, Dane Brookes, to make this new venue (currently take away only) a success.

On Valentine’s Day, Sunday 14 February, Chaii Coffee helped spread the love to the people of Birkenhead and the wider Wirral. Mick Whitley MP joined up with Ibi, Labour candidates for the May elections, and other volunteers to follow up on last year’s “Taste Ramadan” event to get celebration meals to some of our most vulnerable residents.

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A heartwarming tale of notes put through doors by unknown girls

When there was a knock on her front door and Gemma James saw two schoolgirls running away, she wondered what was going on. She went to the door and saw that a note had been posted through her letterbox. What she saw brought a little tear of joy to her eye.

birkenhead.news spoke to Gemma and one of her neighbours, Amanda Hobbs who both live in Upton, to find out more.

Gemma described what happened after she heard someone at the door, “I thought it was the postman. When I opened the door I saw the little note and a pencil sticking out from under my mat.

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Linghams reaches finals of Bookshop of the Year awards

Sue Porter is the owner of Linghams Bookshop in Heswall, which has been named a regional finalist in The British Book Awards 2021.

The British Book Awards 2021, or Nibbies, represent the best of the book trade – the UK’s leading creative industry.

The last year has been difficult for the entire trade but indie booksellers were perhaps at the sharp end of the pandemic and to be named as a regional finalist during hard times shows passion and commitment from Sue and her team.

birkenhead.news spoke to Sue about Linghams and of the recognition from the Nibbies.

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Meet Spike the bearded dragon on his trip around Wirral

Spike is no ordinary reptile! He surely has a superstar modelling career ahead of him, judging by these photos of him taken at landmarks around Wirral.

Kirsty Garbutt is from Whitehaven originally but moved to Wirral when she was little and now lives in Birkenhead with a veritable menagerie: a dog, a hamster, giant African land snails, a burrowing scorpion, a royal python, a leopard gecko and 2 crested geckos as well as Spike the bearded dragon!

birkenhead.news spoke to Kirsty about Spike and his travels around Wirral, from West Kirby to Wallasey and from Birkenhead to New Brighton.

Kirsty is a bus driver with Arriva and sometimes her partner meets up with her when she is on a layover in New Brighton … and of course Spike comes along, too. “He meets me down on layovers during the summer, normally New Brighton routes. He has had a go in the cab but obviously, while the bus wasn’t running, haha!!!”, Kirsty told us.

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How to wear a face mask properly!

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