Sunday Snippets for week ending 5 December 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.

Community Environment Fund returns for 2022

A £500,000 fund that brought wildflowers, bees, upcycling, food planting and climate awareness to communities across the Liverpool City Region is to return next year.

The Combined Authority has approved a further £500,000 to bring back Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Community Environment Fund for 2022 with a view to making the scheme larger and self-sustaining through private sector backing.

More than 150 bids were received for this year’s successful pilot with 58 projects chosen to share the £500,000 pot.

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Hoylake woman hits the beach thanks to grant for new wheelchair

A Wirral woman with cerebral palsy has fulfilled her dream to go to the beach after getting a new off-road wheelchair thanks to the Steve Morgan Foundation.

Pippa Bellis lives in a Hoylake flat with her parents but has severe cerebral palsy which was preventing her going to the nearby sea or enjoying trips to the countryside.

Described by her friends and family as ‘an adventurous and outgoing lady’ they say her inability to get out and about left her on the ‘sidelines’ and was having a negative impact on her mental health.

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Shop local for Christmas – Birkenhead Market has everything you need

Christmas shopping can be a long and frustrating experience but a trip to Birkenhead Market can make things a whole lot easier.

During lockdown, businesses at Birkenhead Market clubbed together to provide a delivery service to ensure local people, particularly elderly and vulnerable residents, didn’t go hungry. The service was so popular, many shops in the market have continued to offer home deliveries.

But remember, local independent businesses need your support all year round. If our independent high street shops are to survive and thrive, we should #ShopLocal as often as possible.

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Bebington Care Home under new ownership

Bebington Care Home has been acquired by Calendula Group from Four Seasons Health Care and a £1m refurbishment programme will be carried out on the property.

A spokesperson for Calendula Group said, “Our plans are to enhance Bebington care home with a one-million-pound programme of refurbishment works that will lift the reputation of the home and create a much-improved experience for our residents.”

Experienced care home construction contractors Greenchurch Developments will be carrying out the refurbishment works.

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How to volunteer for tree planting following Storm Arwen

Tree planting season has officially started and with more than 2,000 trees already planted across Wirral, we are well on the way to meeting the council’s annual planting target of 21,000 trees.

Last weekend, Storm Arwen claimed many of the borough’s trees and this initiative started before the storm wreaked havoc across the UK. The tree-planting programme will help to replace the number of trees lost and many more besides.

Wirral Council has a ten-year strategy during which over 210,000 trees will be planted, at least 21,000 per year. The trees that are planted will see Wirral’s tree canopy cover doubled by the time they are fully grown.

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Mersey Tunnel Tours receive VisitEngland seal of approval

The Mersey Tunnel tours have once again been recognised by national tourism VisitEngland as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction.

The popular tour, consistently one of TripAdvisor’s top three most popular tours in the area, attracts visitors from across the country and around the world.

Guided by knowledgeable staff, the tour gives visitors a sneak peek into the inner workings of the iconic Mersey Tunnels. Highlights include the Queensway (Birkenhead) Tunnels’ original 1930s control room and the giant fans which provide airflow to the tunnels, over 8 metres in diameter.

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Wirral based specialist housing provider scoops prestigious award

Specialist housing provider Alpha Living is celebrating after scooping a prestigious housing accolade for Best Older People’s Landlord across the UK.

The Wirral based housing association won the Award at a glittering gala ceremony for the housing sector in London where it was judged by an expert panel as the best provider of housing for people aged over 55 in the UK.

The judging panel was impressed with how close the Alpha Living team is to its customers, how it responded to the challenges of COVID and how positive decisions continued to be made around growth.

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Ridgeway High School students raise thousands for Ronald McDonald House at Arrowe Park Hospital

Students at Ridgeway High School in Noctorum have raised more than £5,000 to support Ronald McDonald House Charities UK and the local House at Arrowe Park Hospital. The money will enable the school to support families who need somewhere to stay while their child or baby is being cared for in hospital.

Gavin Sterry, headteacher, said, “We have managed to raise a grand total of £5,727.78 for a wonderful organisation – Ronald McDonald House Charities. It has been an outstanding effort by students, parents and staff.

“Charity fundraising has always been a big part of the Ridgeway experience. In recent years the school has supported Claire House Children’s Hospice and the Samaritans. Last September the student body voted to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities and that has been our focus over the last year.

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Wirral people and places nominated for Tourism Awards

The shortlist for this year’s Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards has been unveiled – and they continue to recognise excellence across the City Region’s tourism and hospitality sector.

The annual awards are delivered by Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company and this year in association with Liverpool BID Company.

Amongst the nominees are some Wirral based organisations. Jaime Stanton of Woodside Ferry Village has been nominated for ‘Tourism Young Person of the Year’, Caffe Cream of New Brighton and Benty Farm Tearooms at Thurstaston have been nominated in the ‘Café/Bistro of the Year’ category, and Redstones Cottage, Greasby has been nominated in the ‘Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award’ category.

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West Kirby to host Christmas Merseyside Makers Market

Merseyside Makers launched its first physical market in West Kirby in October, when hundreds of locals attended, met the makers and enjoyed the market.

On Saturday 11 December they will be hosting their final market of the year, The Merseyside Makers Christmas Market. It will be packed with over 20 stalls, featuring a variety of handcrafted goods by talented makers from across Merseyside and the surrounding areas.

The Merseyside Makers Christmas Market is the ideal place to find something different and special for friends and family, and to shop small and support local makers this Christmas. Local crafters, bakers and candle makers will be at St. Andrew’s Church Hall in West Kirby, as they bring a bit of Christmas magic between 10am and 3pm on Saturday 11 December.

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Mecca Birkenhead to donate hampers to its local community this Christmas

Following last year’s success, Mecca Bingo Birkenhead is launching it’s second unique ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ appeal to help individuals and families in need this Christmas.

Mecca’s renowned UK-wide Christmas appeal involves all 71 clubs across the country and aims to provide hampers to those most in need, allowing them to go through the Christmas season more comfortably. Last year, the original bingo brand partnered with 52 charities to raise an incredible total of £185,000 in cash and hamper donations, providing 3,800 hampers across the UK. 

This Christmas, Mecca is upping its efforts and going above and beyond, especially in a year that has shown food poverty to be an ever-increasing issue. A new goal was set, with the aim of providing 4,000 hampers across the UK, each valued at £50 – a total amount of £200,000. Mecca Bingo Birkenhead is getting involved again this year and is raising money for Wirral Food Bank, one of the charities at the heart of its community.

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Hopes to make Rock Ferry station fully accessible

A long-running campaign led by Labour councillors and Birkenhead MP, Mick Whitley to make Rock Ferry station fully accessible has paid off thanks to support from Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram.

Currently, passengers using wheelchairs who are travelling between Rock Ferry to Chester are unable to cross to the Chester platform due to steps. 

In 2020 the Tory government turned down an application for accessibility funding for Rock Ferry, even though Liverpool City Region had put it at the top of their list.

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Port Sunlight commemorates 100th anniversary of War Memorial unveiling

On Friday at 11am a ceremony was held at Port Sunlight War Memorial to commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of its unveiling. The ceremony was conducted by the Minister of Christ Church, Port Sunlight; Reverend Ian Smith.

The ceremony was inspired by the Order of Service from 1921 and included music and wreath-laying by Port Sunlight children.  A two-minute silence was observed.

The ceremony started with a recording of Handel’s “Ombra mai fu” (otherwise known as “Largo from Xerxes.”) This was followed by words of welcome from Reverend Ian Smith. Opening the ceremony, he said “One hundred years ago today this Memorial was unveiled. Some 7000 people gathered, having processed from services at Christ Church [Port Sunlight], St Andrew’s, Bebington, St John’s New Ferry and St Mark’s, New Ferry, and a special service for children at the now-demolished [Port Sunlight] auditorium.”

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