Sunday Snippets for week ending 22 August 2021

Welcome to “Sunday Snippets” a weekly feature from birkenhead.news. 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.

Looking ‘On the Bright Side’ at Birkenhead’s Convenience Gallery

Convenience Gallery is a community and contemporary arts gallery and organisation based at the Bloom building on the Priory Industrial Estate in Birkenhead. It has been creating and bringing a free programme of art, exhibitions, talks, and arts education to the community over the last two years.

The gallery is about to embark on its 2021/22 programme, ‘In Cahoots’, bringing in over 20 local, national and international artists to the area. 

birkenhead.news popped in for a coffee and a chat with Ryan Gauge and Andrew Shaw, the co-directors of Convenience Gallery, to find out what’s what.

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Metro Mayor announces £30m to boost post-pandemic recovery

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, has announced that up to £30m of funding is available for urban development schemes because of successful investments made by two city region lending funds.

Loans repaid by previous successful applicants to both the Chrysalis Fund and the LCR Urban Development Fund are now available to be reinvested into other projects.

Speaking about the funding, Mayor Rotheram said: “Coming out of the pandemic, our local economy still needs all the help and support it can get. Because of the wise investments we’ve made over the last few years, we now have an extra £30m of funding to help rebuild and recover. That’s on top of the £150m COVID Recovery Fund that I announced on day one after May’s election.

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Have Your Say on COVID-19 in Wirral

Residents are being asked to “Have Your Say” about COVID-19 and help shape the future priorities of Wirral’s Community Champions network.

The voluntary network was launched on 1 September 2020 by Wirral Council to support the need for clear, accurate information, shared by trusted voices, during the pandemic. Since that time more than 600 people have signed up to help keep their communities safe. 

Now the local authority is asking residents to answer a series of questions relating to COVID-19 to help them evaluate their response to the pandemic.

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Police Commissioner launches £50,000 Youth Diversion Fund for projects over autumn half-term

Community groups that will offer safe and engaging activities for young people are being invited to bid for grants for projects running during the autumn half-term, thanks to Merseyside’s Police Commissioner.

Emily Spurrell has announced that she is releasing the first round of funding from her Youth Diversion Fund, using money raised through the Police Property Act which sees money from the sale of unclaimed stolen goods or property recovered by the police which cannot be returned to be diverted into worthwhile causes.

The Commissioner is encouraging community organisations, charities and groups to apply for a vital cash boost of up to £3,000 grants for grassroots initiatives that are working to divert young people away from anti-social behaviour and crime during a time when this traditionally spikes.

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Wirral Met College nominated for national Innovation Value Award

Open Awards, an awarding organisation and access-validating agency, has nominated the college for its innovative Access to Higher Education diplomas in Psychology and Mental Health, and Policing – developed alongside Merseyside Police and The College of Policing.

Designed to support those without the grades get in to university to pursue their dream careers, the year-long access diplomas are equivalent to three A-levels.

Bryony Mercer, who studied an Access to HE Psychology course at the College, is progressing to the University of Liverpool this September to study a BSc (Hons) Psychology Degree with aspirations to become a Psychology Doctorate or Clinical Psychologist.

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Top architects to help shape the future look & design of Birkenhead

Award-winning Anglo-Dutch architects have been appointed by Wirral Council to help create a high-quality design guide for future development of Birkenhead.

Maccreanor Lavington has been chosen to assist in devising a comprehensive Design Guide and Public Realm Guide for the town as it moves towards the next major step in ambitious regeneration plans.

Establishing a minimum threshold of high-quality development standards will help ensure all new developments deliver excellent quality homes, offices, and business premises.

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Wirral autism charity sees surprise birth of baby alpaca

A local autism charity had some good news this month with the surprise birth of a baby alpaca at its site in Raby, Wirral.

Autism Together’s animal husbandry team manages a menagerie of animals – with help from the autistic adults the charity supports – including pigs, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and, of course, alpacas. However, the team had no idea that mum Ali was even pregnant.

Claire Quinlan, an Activity Leader at Raby was the first person to meet the new arrival. “Half-seven in the morning I came in and he had just been born,” said Claire.

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Climbing new heights for Stick ‘n’ Step

Stick ‘n’ Step supporters are donning their hiking boots to take part in the National 3 Peaks Challenge, to raise essential funds to support the cerebral palsy charity.

This latest fundraising venture will assist Stick ‘n’ Step to continue to provide essential support for children and young people with cerebral palsy through the provision of free weekly conductive education sessions at its specialist centres in Wallasey and Runcorn.

One such child is Heidi, who has been attending Stick ‘n’ Step centres for the last ten years. Her parents, Hayden and Kirsty, have supported Stick ‘n’ Step throughout this time by taking part in many charitable fundraising challenges. Hayden has run several 10k races, and has also recently taken part with Heidi in the 15mile Wirral Coastal walk.

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Libraries consultation goes out on the road

Library staff will visit different areas across the borough to help answer residents’ questions on the consultation to help improve and shape Wirral’s Library Service.

Residents will be able to meet and talk to library colleagues and take part in the ongoing consultation as council staff visit areas including Heswall, Bidston and St James, Moreton, Seacombe, Liscard and Leasowe.  

Extended until 20 September 2021, the consultation that started at the end of June invites residents to share their thoughts on the library service. It asks those taking part what services are most important to them as well as what services people would like to see offered so that an attractive, relevant, modern and flexible library service can be delivered. 

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COVID-19 Jab Invite Letters Sent To 16 And 17 Year Olds Across North West

Invitations to get a COVID vaccine are landing on the doormats of all 16- and 17-year-olds in the North West in a further effort to boost take-up in this age group, as the biggest and most successful vaccination programme in NHS history expands further.

In the North West, more than 47,000 people aged 16 and 17 have already had their jab – which includes those who were eligible previously eligible due to an underlying health condition, with more than 13,500 getting their jab in the two weeks since the NHS was given the green light to offer all 16 and 17 years olds the lifesaving jab.

The JCVI updated guidance on 4 August so that all 16 and 17-year-olds could be offered one dose of the vaccine, and anyone in this age group can now find their nearest centre through the ‘grab a jab’ NHS online walk-in finder, with more sites becoming available every day.

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