THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
U S S I T N E M N T H E E N V IR O  E
U S S I T N E M N T H E E N V IR O  E
Back in October 2020, Community Action Wirral, in partnership with Independent Wirral announced a
special recognition scheme for exceptional organisations and individuals who have gone above and beyond
to support Wirral residents throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Wirral Humanitarian Awards were aimed at recognising organisations and individuals who have
played a significant role in supporting the efforts to protect the wellbeing of all Wirral residents,
particularly our most vulnerable.
We were overwhelmed with the response that we received from hundreds of residents from around our
region. So many people wanted to tell us about the organisations and individuals who had directly
supported residents in our community.
It was our original plan to award your chosen Humanitarians on World Kindness Day 13th November
2020, however, COVID restrictions meant that we had to put the scheme on hold…
So, it is our pleasure to finally announce those individuals and groups who YOU have chosen as your
Wirral Humanitarians 2020!!!
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Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, recipients of The Wirral Humanitarian Awards will receive a
specially designed medal to show our heartfelt thanks for the work they have done and continue to do for our
community.
“Because we are all proud of you.”
We wish to give special recognition to Andrew Poynton, who received over 100 nominations for his work in
setting up 'Wirral Support During Coronavirus' and provided a countless number of people with practical help
and emotional support. We are pleased to give Andrew his medal, as well as a luxury Independent Wirral gift
hamper with goods showcasing the very best of locally sourced and Wirral-made products.
“We have all felt the impact of coronavirus on our communities. If it were not for these people,
we would be in a far worse situation than we are right now. It is the work that you have been
delivering in our communities that gives us hope that we can and will come out of this
pandemic stronger and more connected as a community.
“Congratulations on your Wirral Humanitarian Award 2020 - We can never truly repay you
for the work you delivered throughout the pandemic, but I hope that this recognition of your
work makes you feel proud.
- Warren Ward,
Executive Director at Community Action Wirral
Wirral resident Ashleigh Nugent is an author, rapper, and community artist. His
company RiseUp CiC has delivered life-changing programmes all over the UK.
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Their work in Wirral includes projects in schools, pupil referral units, and
community organisations. Here is Ashleigh's story:
BY ASHLEIGH NUGENT,
CREATIVE DIRECTOR AT RISEUP CIC
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Once reborn they will harness their
own unique attributes and return
back home with a power great
enough to change the world. You
probably recognise this narrative.
Have you seen Star Wars or Harry
Potter, or Hunger Games, or Frozen,
or Wonder Woman, or Moana…?
There is a reason we keep telling
this story folks.
I am now the creative director at RiseUp CiC. I have a
beautiful and happy family. I have a 1st Class honours
degree, I am an award-winning author, a rapper, an
entrepreneur, and a community artist, and I LOVE my
job.
At RiseUp CiC, we are on a mission to help our children,
young people, prisoners, and others in our society
whose positive attributes are ignored, squandered, and
even turned against them, to understand what it has
taken me over 20 years of diligent study, practice, and
discipline to realise: Choice is a superpower.
Our method of diffusion is to take people on a 12-step
journey. A Hero’s Journey. For those who don’t know,
this is the story we have been telling around the
campfire in every world culture since time immemorial.
It starts with a call to adventure. The hero/heroine is
persuaded by a mentor to overcome their doubts and
fears. They then let go of foes and embrace real friends,
before facing a kind of death and rebirth.
OK, so back to the questions, then: Why do we, as a
society, choose not to teach this stuff in schools
before we start banging on about fronted adverbials
and bloody algebra? Why don’t we choose teaching
this stuff to prisoners as a priority over brutal and
inhumane punishment? Why have we not chosen to
have this stuff blurred out through TV screens,
plastered on billboards, and taught for free on our
high streets? Why have we not chosen to give these
simple and essential life-skills priority over
monotonous newscasts, push-up bras, and
extortionate trainers?
At RiseUp CiC, we use the arts to get people in the
room, create an atmosphere of honesty and empathy,
build rapport, and to make the learning fun.
What is more, none of this stuff is difficult to
understand.
Enough with the questions. I have no answers. But I
think I have a solution. It is time for us all to stop
waiting for ‘them’ (whoever ‘they’ are) to do something
for ‘us’: it’s glaringly obvious that this tactic is not
productive. Instead, we need to choose to do the kind
of work already being done by those at Community
Action Wirral and the charities and third
sector organisations they support.
This is what it means to RiseUp. To
RiseUp together. To do what needs
to be done for ourselves, our friends
and families, our neighbours, our
communities, and our planet.
Together.
I personally tend to use freestyle rap to achieve this:
no one can resist being mentioned in a song while the
‘Still DRE’ beat plays in the background. Now we have
your attention, we share techniques borrowed from
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Transactional Analysis,
and Mindfulness Meditation and so on.
The techniques can be used immediately.
These techniques, if practised, will induce calm and
reduce stress, they will help you to avoid conflict,
they will help you to empathise with yourself and
others, they will lead to better sleep, more
confidence, enhanced communication skills, and an
all-round more productive life.
We are a society in adolescence.
Our inception has been brutal, but
we are growing, we are learning.
Even in the most difficult of times, we have choice.
No matter what is happening in our environment we
have choice. No matter what politicians, or online
bullies, or even our friends and family choose we have
choice. Each moment of every day is a new chance to
choose.
We need to decide what we choose for our future.
And I believe the first step is to realise that we do
have choice.
We chose too RISEUP.
Ashleigh’s latest work, LOCKS, is an
award-winning novel based on the
time he spent his 17th birthday in
prison in Jamaica.
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As lockdown started last March, FYT's social media
programme offered a wealth of information. However,
it’s easy to miss posts because there’s just so much on
there, and even when you’ve spotted something, you’re
likely to scroll past and forget about it. So, in
consultation with local parents, the team designed a
weekly email, called 'Adventures at Home'.
Before Covid-19 struck, the team had been busy running
groups for parents and their children in local venues,
but this isn’t possible right now. Instead, they’ve set up
an online group, using Zoom, where parents and their
little ones can meet other families and join in with
simple activities such as songs and rhymes.
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It is safe to say that parents make a massive difference
to children’s learning by chatting, sharing books and
stories, singing songs and rhymes and making time to
play together. But sometimes, when we’re busy or
stressed, we struggle to think of ways to help our
children. FYT's social media, weekly 'Adventures at
Home' and groups aim to provide parents with tips and
ideas to keep going with their little ones.
The team at FYT urge parents to get on
board and make every day an adventure.
All parents are struggling under the current situation to
provide fun and interesting activities for their children
to keep them entertained. However, there’s a ray of hope
for parents of 0–5-year-olds living in Wirral.
Their aim is to support parents of 0–5-year-olds to help
with their child’s learning by building on what parents
already know. They provide hints, tips, useful
information about child development, and loads of ideas
for activities to promote all areas of children’s learning.
Throughout lockdown, the team ramped up their own
campaign, 'Parents Make The Difference', using
various social media platforms to reach parents. From
the start of lockdown up until Christmas, they
provided 6,480 home learning packs for families
delivered through schools and other partners. Plus,
they organised online groups for parents and their
children.
Local charity, Foundation Years Trust (FYT), are offering
a weekly email full of tips, ideas and playful activities to
keep the little ones entertained.
Groups for parents and children together are delivered
at more than 20 partner schools (by school staff trained
by FYT) and in community centres with FYT's own staff.
FYT also facilitates the Wirral arm of the government’s
early years home learning campaign Hungry Little
Minds.
Written by the charities' team of Early Years experts,
each week’s topic covers a particular aspect of children’s
learning and development. Then parents have it in their
inbox to come back to whenever they need to. Parents
wishing to receive 'Adventures at Home' can email the
team on: info@foundationyearstrust.org.uk
The ‘Mini Explorers’ group currently runs on
Wednesday mornings from 9:30-10:30am. So, parents
and their children can join in with activities such as
storytelling, treasure boxes, sensory play and how
ice-play can support early maths! Again, parents can
email: info@foundationyearstrust.org.uk to join the
group.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity is celebrating a
special anniversary and they want you to get
involved as they look to the future of cancer care!
25 years ago, The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre
introduced a charitable fund; for those patients,
their families and our community who wanted to
give something back for the incredible care it
provides.
Today, thanks to the millions of pounds donated
by you since 1996, The Clatterbridge Cancer
Charity is achieving so much for local people with
cancer, which may not have been possible through
NHS funding alone.
Centre in Wirral, including providing funded cars
to enable staff to deliver chemotherapy closer to
peoples homes and supported the build of
Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Aintree ten years
ago. Throughout this time, money raised has also
funded groundbreaking research and new therapies,
along with helping to improve the care which has
shaped how cancer is treated in our region.
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Of course, last year saw the Charitys most
significant achievement yet, with the opening of
Liverpools first cancer hospital - a development
that would look very different without the support
of charitable donations, providing that extra
funding to create the best possible facility.
Over the years, the charity has helped to improve
facilities at the much loved Clatterbridge Cancer
Now, they look forward to the next 25 years of
supporting local people with cancer.
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In a world where 1 in 2 of us will get cancer and our
services have been impacted by the Covid-19
pandemic, support for The Clatterbridge Cancer
Charity has never been more vital.
As we move into the next 25 years, the charity has
some very exciting plans of how best it can support
patients, staff and research at The Clatterbridge
Cancer Centre which includes exciting work to
improve facilities at the centre.
Four key areas of support, covering life-saving work
that will change lives into the future, include:
RESEARCH
A research fund, for specialists at The Clatterbridge
Cancer Centre, enabling our clinicians to look at
new ways to treat and prevent cancer, support
clinical trials and enable important studies such as
those to determine how Covid-19 affects people with
cancer.
PATIENT CARE
This year introduces a brand new Innovation
Fund available to all staff members and
departments at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
It aims to identify the needs of patients that goes
beyond what the NHS can provide, using
charitable donations to help our frontline staff
and those behind the scenes to provide the best
possible care for people with cancer.
TECHNOLOGY
The world embraced the digital age in 2020 and we
know that it is key to the future of cancer care too.
It is our aim to support the team at The Clatterbridge
Cancer Centre to stay at the forefront of technology
while helping to fund the digital environment that
makes such a difference to our patients.
ENVIRONMENT
From the redevelopment of The Clatterbridge
Cancer Centre in Wirral, to funding therapeutic
work around the arts and creating peaceful
outside spaces, the charity knows that the
environment at Clatterbridge is important to the
treatment and recovery of cancer patients. They
will continue to fund this vital work to make The
Clatterbridge Cancer Centre a place where
patients feel as happy and supported as possible.
None of this can be achieved without the amazing
supporters and volunteers who make it possible,
now the Charity wants you to join them as they
celebrate 25 years of supporting patients, research
and staff at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
Find out how you can be part of the future of
cancer care at www.clatterbridgecc.org.uk
or call 0151 556 5566.
*NB: All photographs taken before the
Covid-19 pandemic
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Operating 7 days per week, young people aged 8
19 (up to 25 for disabled young people) have the
chance to experience a choice of up to 20
activities each session including: arts, media and
sport using the state-of-the-art facilities.
The Hive incorporates a four-court sports hall,
4G rooftop football pitch, climbing wall, fitness
suite, boxing gym, skate park, sensory room,
creative arts room, music room, recording studio,
dance and performance studio, salon, multimedia
suite, training kitchen and a cafeteria.
All these facilities surround a large recreation area
which houses traditional youth club activities such
as table tennis, snooker and many other games.
C. 3,000 members from across Wirral pay just £5 per
year membership and 50p per visit for up to 6 hours
of activity. All sessions are led by experienced and/
or qualified youth workers supported by an army of
dedicated volunteers.
Over and above the amazing activities and facilities,
new experiences are offered, horizons broadened,
expectations stretched, and aspirations raised, all
with the aim of motivating and inspiring young people
to transform their lives, achieve their full potential
and be the best possible versions of themselves.
Working towards these activities The Hive also
offers a range of focused and targeted activities to
further develop and support members such as:
Young Leadership
programme
Mentoring
Youth Voice Groups
Social Action Projects
LGBTQ Group
Resilience Programme
Employability
Programmes
Enterprise
Opportunities
(Weekly 1-2-1 support)
NHS Cadets
Sports Teams
Performance Events
Jamie Olivers Ministry
of Food training centre
A wide range of
partnership
programmes with
organisations varying
from the LFC
Foundation to the
police
As for all organisations, everything changed a year ago
with the first Covid-19 lockdown. For a few months,
The Hive was forced to close physically but the team
took the decision to ensure we remained open and
accessible for young people in other ways,
immediately replicating the daily offer online. With a
combination of universal activities to join in with,
focused zoom sessions, live broadcasts and interactive
opportunities for young people with known and
trusted youth workers, several thousand engagements
took place every week via social media channels
ensuring we remained connected so that young people
always had someone to talk to.
Welfare checks: Through resource deliveries,
extra support and/or referrals to other
agencies can be made to aid young people.
Proactive phone calls made every week to
check in with young people.
Our dedicated email Talk to The Hive, is
monitored 7 days per week. Messages are
responded to by telephone as needed by the
best-placed person.
Increased outreach work educating and guiding
young people.
An expansion of 100% in our mentoring
programme in response to increased numbers
of young people needing work guidance.
We run an isolation support programme in
which young people receive a box of resources
needed for 10 days of online activities, either
arts, sports, or cooking. This is enhanced by
emails, texts and/or phone calls and
invitations to join ongoing Youth Zone activity.
Hot meals are provided for young people to
collect at lunch times.
The Hive is used as an NHS vaccination centre
for young people who would normally receive
standard vaccinations at school.
The Hive is part of Wirrals free school meal
holiday provision.
The Hive has worked with numerous Wirral
Schools to deliver a takeover home-schooling
day.
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The Hive is an inclusive, autism-friendly venue with full
disabled access. A weekly session is dedicated to
disabled members with inclusion support available
throughout the wider programme.
As soon as permitted in July, and following all
regulations and guidance, The Hive reopened and
since then the team have been working tirelessly to
support young people through challenging times in
many ways:
The Hives inclusion work was a nationwide
award-winning project at the National
Diversity Awards.
Daily Digital offers alongside a universal
activity offer, live interactive sessions and
targeted group sessions.
Delivery of activity resource packs, enabling
more young people to join in with online
activities.
Delivery of other practical resources; food
hampers, hygiene and sanitary products and IT.
Never before has youth work been so important. Please do
get in touch if you can help them to help young people.
You can contact The Hive at 0151 705 8000 or email them at
enquiries@thehiveyouthzone.org
Alternatively, you can find out more by visiting their website.
Supporting families,
partners and friends of
those with substance
misuse issues
One Day Project Community Interest Company was launched in 2019 by husband and wife, Steve and Nicky.
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The CIC, based in New Ferry, supports the wellbeing of families, partners and friends who are caring for or
helping those with drug and alcohol issues, as their wellbeing is sadly often forgotten about.
Through Steve and Nicky’s past personal experiences they found that
support in Wirral, focussing solely on those whose life is affected by
someone else’s misuse, is minimal, yet very much needed.
Nicky, from One Day Project CIC, says: “The effects on families and friends
can be huge and not easily recognised, weekly we come across and support people
with issues such as, overall poor mental health, poor wellbeing, stress and anxiety,
lack of sleep, relationships, relationship breakdowns, having no one to turn to, and
financial hardship, to name a few”.
The main premises, which is located at 79 New Chester Road, comprises a ‘charity’
style shop full of donated items, a private meeting room and a transformed
community yard.
The meeting room is available for drop-ins, informal chats, one-to-one appointments,
and a space to take time out away from the stresses that life may be causing.
The second, new, premises extend on the support already
offered by One Day Project and outsource local
professionals for some of these workshops. There will
also be guest speakers, regular weekly family meetings,
wellness and relaxation sessions and small fundraising
events available.
Therapeutic workshops will be reintroduced and include
music, creative writing, arts and crafts and a book club.
welcome those wanting to join in or just listen. From
Mozart to The Clash, we find that music is a great way of
bringing people together from all different backgrounds.”
The Community Yard provides an extended space during
the warmer days, not only to being used by visitors
accessing the services provided, but also for the local
community and traders. The space is used as a link for
local people to get to know each other more, forge new
friendships and for sharing skills and interests. Local
business owners, staff and community members can
meet, share information about the products and services
they provide and discuss any promotions and
opportunities.
Also available are small group sessions run in six-week
periods focussing on wellbeing, intervention, and further
support available across Wirral. A significant increase in
members of the Wirral community accessing our support,
particularly during the pandemic and lockdown periods,
has led One Day Project to recently take on an additional
premise to be able to offer more and see more people at a
time.
A shop area will focus on products to aid relaxation and
help reduce stress and anxiety and be open to the
public, playing a vital role in raising funds for the One
Day Project. Products include, to name a few, incense,
wax melts, simmering granules, soaps, bathbombs,
crystals, and much more.
This area will be open to all and not only helps the CIC
raise vital funds, but also acts as a guise for those a little
hesitant in visiting for support, due to the unfortunate
stigma associated with drug and alcohol misuse.
One Day Project CIC is also looking for more volunteers
for one of the shops. A full training package is available,
with refreshments provided. Volunteers can choose
which areas they would like to help in or have a go at
everything – including sales, donation processing,
merchandising, window dressing and fundraising.
Steve and Nicky, said: “We’d love to hear from anyone
with a few hours a week to spare and who would be
interested in helping out. If you are looking for relevant
experience in helping you back into the workplace, maybe
consider us too. We can be an additional option in
providing you with a reference.
“In our first year since launching One Day Project,
despite the necessary restrictions we have all been faced
with, we have been overwhelmed by the support and we
have had from the Wirral community. We aim to go from
strength to strength and community involvement, ideas
and feedback are important to us. To our funders,
donators, customers, volunteers, those who have visited
for support and everyone who has helped us along the
way in our first year, thank you!”
Steve, from The One Day Project, says: “I particularly
find music a great therapy, our groups are relaxed and
You can contact The One Day Project at 0151 644 0845
or email them at info@onedayprojectwirral.co.uk or
follow them on social media below:
onedayprojectwirral.co.uk
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Our most recent box included a book about London
which Laura particularly enjoyed going through as
we used to live in London. Weve enjoyed listening to
the CDs and watching the DVDs in the boxes too.
Were looking forward to seeing what will be in the
next box. We mentioned to Karen, the volunteer who
delivers our box, that Laura likes colouring books so
Karen is going to try and source some which Im
sure Laura will really benefit from.
Willaston & South Wirral Rotary Club kindly
donated £1,600 to the Activity Box Project. Allan
Grogan, Chair of Trustees at Dementia Together
Wirral said This is an incredibly generous
donation from Willaston & South Wirral Rotary
Club and we are extremely grateful to them for their
support.
Fiona Mosely, President of the club said We are
delighted to be able to support Dementia Together
Wirral. I proposed Dementia Together Wirral to the
Rotary Club as a charity to support for the year
2019-20 and our fundraising efforts started well.
Unfortunately, the pandemic prevented most of our
subsequent ideas from being brought to fruition. We
decided to continue our support into 2020-2021 and
managed to raise a significant amount of money
through open-air second-hand book sales in the
summer and our Santa Sleigh collection..
Dementia Together Wirral supports anyone
affected by memory loss or dementia on the
Wirral. If you, or someone you know, would
benefit from the Activity Box loan scheme, just
give them a call, email or enquire via their
website: dementiatogetherwirral.org
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Founded in 2018, Dementia Together Wirral
provides opportunities for people affected by
dementia to meet new people, make new friends
and enjoy a wide range of activities. Before the
pandemic, we hosted a variety of regular events
including; a popular and highly entertaining
Musical Minds group, a craft and games group,
monthly reminiscence cafes across 11 Wirral
locations, day trips by coach to places of interest
and a monthly walking group.
These activities have sadly been curtailed by the
Covid-19 pandemic but the Dementia Together
Wirrals volunteers have not been deterred in their
mission to help people affected by dementia to
connect and keep mentally and socially active.
Following consultation with service users (or
Friends as the charity refers to them), the Activity
Box Project was launched in December 2020.
Reminiscence items, such as local history photo
books or everyday knickknacks of yore (e.g.
dolly pegs, shaving brushes, wooden spinners
etc) have proven very popular with the Friends.
Most things in the boxes are purchased
specifically for the boxes but if youd like to
donate local history photo books or small pieces of
paraphernalia of yesteryear, to be included in an
Activity Box, well gladly accept them.
Each month, volunteers collect, quarantine,
sanitise, re-fill and redistribute the Activity Boxes.
One item which is consistently well-received is
the Twiddle-Muff. A Twiddle Muff is a hand muff
with bits and bobs attached inside and out for
restless hands to fiddle with- providing comfort
and sensory stimulation. A Twiddle Muff can be
easily knitted, crocheted or made from odds and
ends of fabric. If youre interested in making and
donating these for future boxes, wed love to hear
from you.
Each loan Activity Box is carefully curated and
delivered to a Friends doorstep by one of the
charitys dedicated volunteers. Every box is unique
and contains items to encourage mental
stimulation (e.g. word searches, games, jigsaws)
plus reminiscence objects (selected to spark
conversation between carers and people with
dementia).
Dementia Together Wirral Friends John and Laura
Redmond were regularly attendees of Dementia
Together Wirrals Craft group before the lockdown.
Laura was diagnosed with dementia 5 years ago
and John, her husband, is her main carer.
John said Ive really missed being able to go to
Windsor Close with Laura and meet up with friends
weve made through Dementia Together Wirral.
Although Im in contact with friends and family on
the phone, this pandemic has made us both feel a bit
isolated and it can be quite lonely at times for me.
We have really enjoyed getting the Activity Boxes
delivered to use at home every month. Its lovely for
us to be able to look through things together and
share the memories that are prompted by looking at
old photos and postcards.
Theyre always looking for new people to join our
team of dedicated volunteers.
If youd like to get involved, get in touch with our
part-time administrator Heather on 07935797445
or at Help.DTW@gmail.com to find out more.
awstone Park opened on 1st July 1931,
a project organised by Heswall cum Oldfield Parish
Council. It will celebrate 90 years as a park later
this year. Formally a market garden owned by the
Edge family the park was laid out by 7 labourers,
2 masons and a joiner at a cost of approximately
£380. They built the flower beds, the rockeries and
footpaths and created the foundations of the park
with its magnificent views across to the Welsh hills
that we know and love today.
D
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THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
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P R E S E R V I N G
O U R H I S T O R Y
The Friends of Grange Hill Group (FofGH) was formed in 2012 to carry
out maintenance and work on the Garden of Remembrance, and
conservation of the native flora of Grange Hill.
The adjacent Garden of Remembrance was designed and created by
the Hoylake Urban District Council to commemorate the fallen in the
Second World War and opened to the public 1949.
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B Y A L A N J P E R C Y , T R U S T E E A N D P R O J E C T
C O O R D I N A T O R F O R T H E F R I E N D S O F
G R A N G E H I L L
Wirral Council owns the hill and is the custodian of the Grade II
listed War Memorial, with statues designed by the famous sculptor
Charles Sargeant Jagger unveiled in 1922 but given the budget cuts in
recent times they have strictly limited resources available. The
Council, therefore, authorised the Friends Group to undertake and
organise such work on their behalf.
The Group have undertaken many projects since first forming, the
first being clearing invasive plant species at various locations such as
European Gorse and Rhododendron, which were obliterating the
native heathers and their work was rewarded by seeing the native
heather returning to the hill and prospering in several locations!
This work was applauded in an independent ecology report
commissioned by Wirral Council, and it also led to wonderful support
from many in the local community, businesses and society groups.
The resultant support and funding enabled the first major project
the building of an all ability footpath from Grange Old Road to the
War Memorial. This path provides a safe and easy route for
wheelchair users and is particularly useful for access for the many
hundreds that gather for the memorial service on Remembrance
Sunday. The new path was funded entirely from monies raised by
FofGH, at a total of £25,000.
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
Following this clearance work, it was decided that
it would be beneficial to revitalise the garden with
a design that would retain all the features of the
original design, reintroduce some native non-
spreading plants and cut back on the invasive
non-native gorse, rhododendron and laurel.
The total cost, including specialist supervision is
estimated at £45,000. We have offers of funding
from the War Memorials Trust and Wirral Council
to carry out this work.
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Six bench seats have also been purchased or refurbished and re-sited, some of which are positioned at
notable viewing points. One of these benches, commemorating the Johnstone family that lost 5 of their 7
sons as a result of action in the First World War, serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by
so many.
The friends group also has five major projects at various stages of implementation and unfortunately
progress has been seriously curtailed because of the pandemic:
We commissioned a specialist Conservation
Architect to produce a condition report on the
memorial and this was published in April 2018,
highlighting works that needed to be carried out to
restore it to pristine condition, and preserve it for
future generations.
Repair work on the Obelisk and Plinth
They also plan to install a new lighting scheme that
has been designed by Philips Lighting (now Signify)
and will utilise 6 sunken LED lights flush with the
pavement surface. Computer simulated displays
promise a stunning lighting effect on the
monument statues which we hope will become an
iconic image for West Kirby.
The pavement surface around the plinth is badly
cracked and crazed. We plan to lay a new resin
bonded aggregate material which will be very durable
and have a finish in harmony with the memorial.
New Pavement Area around Plinth and
New Lighting Scheme
FofGH secured Planning Approval for the lighting
scheme in August 2019.
When the Friends Group was first established the
initial task addressed was the clearance of the
above large parts of which had been totally lost
in the undergrowth. Some paths were revealed
that had been covered for many years.
Garden of Remembrance
We created a circular path to facilitate
wheelchair access and level the grassed area to
eliminate the hazard of uneven surfaces. Making
the garden more manageable to maintain with
the limited volunteer labour available.
The Garden of Remembrance is listed with the
WMT as a memorial for the fallen in the Second
World War. The stunning surroundings see an
abundance of visitors for the annual
Remembrance Sunday services.
FofGH is keen to raise awareness of the War
Memorial and Grange Hill. If you havent already,
please do take the time to visit (obviously being
mindful of current travel and social distancing
guidelines).
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To enhance the visitor experience, we have plans
for a board to display a range of information
including, a brief history of the War Memorial,
a rotating display of the lives of those
commemorated by the War Memorial, Flora and
fauna found on the hill and footpath routes from
the hill to explore the surrounding area.
Notice/Information Board
We have designed a double-banked, double-sided
board, with a roof and information displays, which
we plan to install adjacent to the pathway at a
viewing point in the Garden of Remembrance, in
compliance with BS Standards, giving access to all,
including wheelchair users and children.
The board has now completed manufacture at a
specialist company in Shrewsbury and awaits
collection, once travel restrictions are permitted.
We secured a grant to cover the costs from the
Duchy of Lancaster so will be moving ahead as
soon as circumstances allow.
For some time, we have planned to install a
Webcam/CCTV system to live stream images
over the internet of the War Memorial and the
magnificent views of the Dee Estuary, Liverpool
Bay and the Welsh Hills. We hope to raise
awareness of what a very special part of the
world this is, as well as encourage support for
our Friends Group.
Webcam/CCTV Systems
As in many other locations, vandalism and anti-
social behaviour are sadly a feature of Grange
Hill around the war memorial area -
particularly during the summer so we hope
this system will act as an effective deterrent.
We have planning permission for this installation
to be completed in 2021. We were fortunate to
secure a grant for this work from the Co-op
Community Fund and the balance still required
will come from funds already in hand.
If you would like to know more about the activities of the Friends Group, please visit fogfh.com or
find them on Facebook.
If you wish to join as a passive, or active member, for a fee of £5.00 per year, FofGH would be
delighted to hear from you. Please fill in the membership form on the website, or contact our
membership secretary on fofghmembership@gmail.com
23
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
Wirral Wildlife is the local group of Cheshire Wildlife
Trust and it is entirely run by volunteers. The group
came into being in April 1971 so this year we celebrate
our 50th anniversary. In 2017 we were awarded the
Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of
the impact the group has had in protecting our
environment.
But there are many threats to wildlife such as
pollution, climate change, building developments and
modern farming techniques which disturb wildlife
habitats. To help counter this they record the wildlife
in Wirral, respond to planning applications and help
manage six nature reserves. All this needs lots of
volunteers as well as a coordinating committee.
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Their aim is to inspire, inform, educate and
encourage people to protect nature in Wirral.
The Wirral has a wonderful range
of special places: From the
coastline to sand dunes,
heathland and woodland,
each has their own unique
flora and fauna.
They always need people who can go out and
record what is to be found in local Wildlife Sites and
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). New
volunteers would always be with an experienced
recorder who will help hone their identification
skills.
If we don’t know what is
there how can we
protect it?
They would normally also have a programme of talks
and guided walks open to the public. Monthly talks
from September to April are held in Heswall Hall and
feature a wide range of speakers. In the summer
guided walks include a (very early) Dawn Chorus and
a bluebell walk. Each autumn we hold an Apple Day at
Eastham Country Park where you can taste locally
grown varieties of apples and help to make juice
using our traditional wooden apple press.
But this reserve isn’t just for invertebrates, it’s very
much for people, an unexpected oasis in an urban
area. In summer it is open every Sunday afternoon
from May to September (noon to 4pm). Running this
reserve needs lots of volunteers. Wardens supervise
Sunday openings and help children with pond
dipping. During term time they act as guides for
school groups and evening visitors like Rainbows
and Cubs. Other volunteers maintain the meadows
and paths. New Ferry Butterfly Park has self-guided
nature, art and history trails too.
New Ferry Butterfly Park is perhaps one of the most
surprising of our reserves as it is an urban reserve that has
been developed on the site of a railway goods yard next to
Bebington Station. This too is a SSSI. A variety of different
plants grow here reflecting the different soils created by the
industrial deposits of the past. They all provide food and/or
shelter for the many invertebrates for which the reserve is
managed. As its name suggests there are plenty of
butterflies, 27 species of butterflies have been confirmed
with up to 18 species breeding there.
Cleaver Heath on the edge of Heswall is open to the public
with easy access. This SSSI is a lowland heath which
harbours a wide range of birds such as nuthatch, jays and
kestrels and a small population of common lizards.
Volunteer work days would normally be held once a month
from September to March.
"We are committed to a
Wirral richer in wildlife
and welcome your
support."
If you would like to join Wirral Wildlife please
contact them via their website:
Thornton, Foxes and Intake Woods are ancient deciduous
woodlands and SSSIs. Ash, oak, elm and hawthorn support
many birds and small mammals. Foxgloves, golden saxifrage,
wood sage and bluebell flower there. Volunteers normally
hold regular workdays, but the woods are in a steep valley
preventing us opening these areas to the public.
Red Rocks coastal reserve near Hoylake is made up of sand
dunes, reedbed and marsh. The reedbeds are important for
many species of wintering birds and the pools nearer to the
tideline support the only breeding colony of natterjack toads
in The Wirral. Volunteers monitor the numbers of spawn and
toadlets each year and count calling male natterjack toads in
the breeding season.
As well as all these opportunities they need people to
help with raising funds and awareness of the
wonderful nature in Wirral.
25
This needs plenty of volunteers. Our group also
attends events like Science Day at Ness Gardens,
Ness Children’s Day and Science under the Stars.
www.wirralwildlife.org.uk
www.wirralwildlife.org.uk or via our Facebook
pages Facebook/Wirral Wildlife and
Facebook/NewFerryButterflyPark.
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THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
27
Planting Creative Seeds
Planting Creative Seeds
and growing together
and growing together
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
28
29
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
Margaret put up posters around the area to attract support, as well as canvassing her local
contacts. The first volunteer sessions took place, and a committee was set up to oversee
the management of the Gardens. They now have a core group of a dozen or more dedicated
and hard working volunteers who meet on a monthly basis, sometimes more depending on
workload, to maintain and improve the various areas. At first, they relied on donations of
plants from local residents and organisations, but since then the committee has raised
funds by various means such as the Co-op community fund, the National Lottery and
Postcode Lottery. This has also enabled the Friends to get the tools and equipment we
need in order to look after the Gardens, as well as funding various different projects.
Hill House Gardens is in the heart of Heswall, consisting of the park area behind Heswall library as well as a small,
secluded garden which is below the terrace of the Jug and Bottle pub.
A Friends group was set up in 2017 after a local resident, Margaret Milner, was challenged with making a local green
space into a more wildlife-friendly environment, following a Wildlife Connections course at Chester Zoo. Wirral
Council own the land, but it had become rather neglected due to the demands on their time and resources. So,
there was plenty of scope to turn it into a more desirable place to visit, both for wildlife and for local residents.
They’ve added in a wildlife feeding area, bird and bat boxes, and even an owl box to try and
entice some of the tawny owls from the nearby woods! A hedgehog box was placed in an
area of scrub, and at least one hedgehog has been sighted so far. They hold bat watch
evenings and also regularly survey the wildlife in the area, feeding this information back to
the relevant organisations such as the RSPB and iRecord.
One thing that has really helped the group is forming links with other local groups and
organisations. For example, Cheshire Wildlife Trust organised a group of their volunteers to
help us dig out the shrubs on the slope bed. This was no mean feat, with pickaxes and a lot of
muscle power involved, and we were further hampered by freezing temperatures, heavy rain
and snow during the work session!
Because of the events which have unfolded over the last year, like everyone else we’ve had to
put many things on hold. There are several projects in the pipeline such as the new wildlife
area, which will include a fairy garden designed by local children. We also have funding from
Heswall councillors for a raised planting area at the entrance to the park, and we want to
renew a lot of the planting in the small garden and around our new olive tree, but this will all
have to wait until the time is right.
In the meantime, we’re doing all we can to maintain the Gardens throughout this difficult time and were gratified to
see that they were getting a lot of use by the local community during the lockdown periods.
With all of the focus on the benefits to be gained from being out of doors and around nature, both on a mental and
physical level, we want to make sure that we continue to develop and care for the Gardens so that they provide a
welcoming and nurturing environment for everyone who uses them.
If you’d like to find out more about the group, or come along and volunteer, you can
contact Margaret by email at heswallwildlife@aol.co.uk or join our Facebook.
30
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
Friends of Hoylake and Meols in Bloom are a small charity who aim to make both Hoylake and Meols
admirable places to live, visit and play. The Friends manage this with groups of volunteers who all play
their part in maintaining the surrounding area at its current standard, from planting and caring for
the many floral displays in and around town, to improving their parks and railway stations.
In 2020, the Friends entered both Meols and Hoylake
stations for Cheshires Best Kept Station awards. Both
stations won awards, with Hoylake Station winning a
highly commended award for 2020, after previously
winning many of the awards at the event.
In Parade Gardens, the Rockery and Gravel bed
they crated in 2019 is now looking better than
ever. Other beds that were created by the Friends
over the last few years are now well established
and it is a credit to the Friends volunteers for
maintaining and working hard to keep them
looking in top shape for the public to enjoy.
In Queens park, the Friends have concentrated on
improving the area around the bug house and
opening the playground. They even received a
wonderful offer from painting contractor Kevin
Mock to paint, free of charge. Sadly, in an act of
vandalism, the climbing frame was damaged,
As well as for everyone else, 2020 was a strange and difficult year for the Friends, but even through
this they managed to achieve so many of their goals.
As restrictions began to ease, they made sure they
followed all the rules, working in small groups of no
more than six keeping the beds tidy and the weed
free as possible while ensuring social distancing was
met by volunteers to keep everyone safe.
Even with the setback, The Friends were thrilled to
have received the Green Flag award for both Parade
Gardens and Queens Park which is a fantastic
achievement especially during such a difficult year.
Meols Station was entered into the competition for
the first time, winning the 2020 Special Awards plaque
that is soon to be put on display at the stations
booking office.
Thanks to the tireless work of the stations volunteer
teams, the beds outside the station are now looking
magnificent and can be viewed on their website here.
The parks in the first lockdown were a big problem
for the Friends, as they were not allowed to work in
them at all, not even as solo volunteers.
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33
Parade Gardens tennis, basketball and 5-a-side
pitch have been in a state of disrepair for many
years. The Friends have been in discussions with
the council for some time in order to make plans
to renovate them for the public. When planning
was sought to build houses on St. Lukes tennis
courts, a provision was added that a sum from the
sale of the house would go to regenerate Parade
Gardens courts as they were the last left in the
Hoylake. Additional funding was also provided by
the council to ensure all three courts were
renovated to a high standard.
The Friends volunteers group has grown considerably in the last few years, increasing its activities to
cover two of their parks and two railway stations.
In Queens Park, the main project was to re-model
the overgrown, unmanageable Rosa Regosa beds.
The parks department cleared these beds for the
Friends, as part of their winter works program,
which allowed them to then install two Rose
Arches funded by Wirral Together.
Sadly, at the end of December the Rose Arches were
vandalised and severely damaged after being bent
out of shape. On top of this, on mischief night last
year, the tea kiosk door in Parade Gardens was
smashed in and the surrounding fences were broken.
with coming up with the money so put in a request
for help on their Facebook page where they were
taken back with how generous people across the
peninsula were in helping with the cost of repairing
the damage.
unfortunately meaning that even though the play
items are looking brilliant with freshly painted
coats, the Friends are waiting for the climbing
frame to be replaced before the playground can
officially open.
There is one other major project the Friends are
planning for Parade Gardens, which is to improve
the ornamental grass bed. This will be quite an
expensive project which has been partly funded by
Wirral Together.
They were hoping to start in the winter months of
2020, but in the current situation we all find
ourselves in, the start has been delayed until work
can be safely completed again.
In the parks, they have raised both their standards to Green Flag status and maintained this level of a
quality park or green space for some years. The transformation of Meols and Hoylake stations have both
been quite incredible, and their floral displays are now something to admire.
There are many tasks that volunteers can get involved in, with something to suit everyone from basic
garden maintenance, park tidies, heavy work, tea rooms, litter picking, painting, putting gazebos up or
creating a new flower bed.
If you would like to volunteer with The Friends of Hoylake and Meols in Bloom
or to find out more information, contact Jan at 07725540049 or send an email
to jan1.hoylakeinbloom@gmail.com
If you would like to donate to the cause, visit their
website at www.hoylakeinbloom.org/donate
This damage is very costly, and all has to be funded
by the Friends to repair. The Friends were struggling
Wirral Bird Club
Do you consider yourself to be a bird watcher? Perhaps not initially, but I suspect
nearly all of you can recognise a robin, a blackbird or a magpie. How many of you feed
and watch the birds in your garden? Feel a thrill from witnessing the very first
swallow of the summer? Maybe, you’ve even heard the call of a distant
cuckoo? If so, I would suggest that many of you are really bird watchers
too!
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
Research has demonstrated how beneficial getting out and
connecting with nature can be to people’s physical wellbeing as well
as their mental health. Exercise, fresh air and positive emotions
from seeing wonderful wildlife and landscapes all
contribute to a "feel good" boost, an issue that is
especially important during these difficult times.
34
Wirral Bird Club is a friendly, local group that caters
for anyone with an interest in wild birds, and nature in
general. The Club was founded in 1977 by 4 student members of
Workers' Educational Association (WEA), and we are proud to
still be going strong today.
There is normally an active programme of meetings
running through the year, although these have sadly
been disrupted by the pandemic. We usually have
monthly indoor illustrated talks held on the 4th
Thursday of each month (apart from August and
December) at our new venue, St. Bridget’s Church
Centre, West Kirby. We serve refreshments at the end
which gives everyone the chance to chat with the
Speaker and each other. However, in place of these
indoor meetings, we are currently holding Zoom
versions which are proving very popular with members.
Different speakers give informative and entertaining
presentations on a wide range of bird-related topics.
Would your community group or organisation like an illustrated talk on birds and bird
watching with Wirral Bird Club?
If you are interested in joining us, you can find more about Wirral Bird Club by contacting us via:
Email: wirralbirdclub77@gmail.com
Or phone Bill on 07795 148140
Website: www.wirralbirdclub.com
Twitter: @wirralbirdclub
Facebook: wirralbirdclub
The aim of the club is to promote an appreciation of
bird watching. Providing opportunities for members to
share their common interest in birds and to increase
their knowledge of birds through a programme of
meetings, lectures and ventures to interesting bird
watching sites. Wirral Bird Club also supports national
and local organisations concerned with the protection
of birds and the conservation of bird habitats.
35
We have also had to cancel the outdoor trips for the time
being but will restart them when it is safe to do so. These
field meetings are held in most months of the year. Many
are based on Wirral, but they also involve trips, some by
coach, to places outside of Wirral, to sites of particular
interest. We take a gentle stroll, looking out for the
many different birds that can be seen here. You do not
need to be an expert to join in and enjoy the experience,
there are members who will help point out the birds and
their key identification features, so it is a good way to
learn more. Field meetings generally last all day, but for
local trips it is possible to stay for just the morning.
The beach at Hoylake by the Lifeboat Station is a roost
for wading birds at high tide over the winter, when
hundreds if not thousands of knot, dunlin,
oystercatchers, redshank and curlew may be seen.
Another good spot to view from is Heswall Fields, where
shelduck, black-tailed godwits, teal and pintail are
frequently seen. The Wirral Way is popular not just for
walkers and cyclists, but it is also enjoyed by many
woodland birds such as various tit species, whitethroat,
thrushes and the ubiquitous robin. These are just some
of the bird hot spots on Wirral – there are many more to
for you to explore.
We are very fortunate on Wirral to enjoy a range of
different landscapes within a relatively small area, such
as woodland, farmland, reed beds, extensive beaches and
salt marsh. These different habitats in turn attract a large
variety of species, sometimes in huge numbers, that all
find a suitable niche to feed and, in summer, breed.
The Chair of Wirral Bird Club, Joyce, can be booked for a small fee to come along to your group and present “Wings,
Walking and Watching”, an interesting but short, illustrated presentation on the pleasures of bird watching, with
plenty of bird images from the garden, country, seashore and abroad.
The talk length can be geared to your needs, 30-45 minutes, and questions at the end are welcome. Just contact
Joyce by email – jaylittle122@gmail.com, or by telephone – 07719 570579 to make an enquiry.
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
38
Since I founded the Friends in 1993 it has been a long
hard road to establish the solid team that we now
have, which works in such close partnership with
Wirral Borough Council. It has been great to see how
the volunteers themselves have developed and
benefited from their different roles. Several spend
long periods working on restoring just a few graves,
others just like to cut back weed-grown vegetation.
One of our volunteers has worked for years on
locating memorials hidden beneath grass and another
has spent most of last year restoring four gates.
39
I am very happy to report that despite Covid we have
had a fantastic year at Flaybrick. One reason for that is
that our executive committee has continued to meet
every month, except for some lock down absences. We
were able to do this thanks to the permanent pergola
we have access to, allowing us to meet outdoors
socially distanced. Meetings were productive but of
course very cold and windy at times!
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, our members' meetings
and AGM had to stop, and our guided walks were
massively reduced to a handful of walks limited to only
6 people, all of which had a big effect on our income.
However, against the odds, we managed to hold a
scaled-down socially distanced Armistice Day
ceremony, with people attending and no hymn singing
of course.
Our volunteers worked pretty much all throughout the
year, keeping socially distanced and compliant with
council reporting and Health and Safety standards.
We also installed interpretation boards which we
managed to produce in house and installed with the
help of the council. In fact, one very encouraging
development was the site supervisor starting to refer
to, “Team Flaybrick”, meaning the Friends volunteers
and the council staff.
The outcome was that on our third attempt, Team
Flaybrick achieved the Green Flag award in October!
Other members like to interact with the public by
leading walks and giving presentations. Some
members worked all of 2019 establishing a new
woodland walk which is much loved by visitors whilst
others work on our Find A Grave service for members
of the public.
Of our 69 members, particular credit must go to Brian
Sinton who leads the onsite volunteer workers in
partnership with WBC ranger Neil Mutch. Also, Rob
Dolphin, who has done a great deal to strengthen our
society since he became our chairman.
Our health and wellbeing are more important than
ever now, and it is widely recognised that
volunteering work helps. If you like to feel the
benefits of working as a team and are interested in
joining Team Flaybrick you can join us onsite at 11am
every Thursday and Saturday (when Covid restrictions
are lifted).
For more information and to receive a membership
form (£7 or £3.50 per year), visit www.flaybrick.org
Or if nothing else, you are welcome to come and
visit for your exercise walk and enjoy the
tranquillity and peace of Flaybrick Memorial
Gardens.
A STATEMENT FROM JOHN MOFFAT, SECRETARY AT FRIENDS OF FLAYBRICK
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
After first starting in 1996, the charity has worked to
mitigate the impact of climate change and to alleviate
the effects of fuel poverty across Merseyside and
Cheshire. Their work has led to measurable
reductions in carbon emissions from homes across
Wirral and lowered the fuel bills of those thousands of
people that they have supported.
Their ‘Warm Homes Liverpool City Region’
programme, funded by the British Gas Energy Trust,
has helped over 900 Wirral households over the past
12 months with advice and support in tackling fuel
poverty, fuel debt and short-term crisis through
issuing fuel vouchers as well as a broader support
such as providing white goods and furniture to
residents with none.
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Since 2010, award winning charity, Wallasey based Energy Projects Plus(EPP) have helped over 20,000 Wirral
households to insulate their homes and replace broken or inefficient heating systems.
Not only this, but they also provide advice to a further
10,000 households each year, covering everything from
simple LED light bulbs through to renewable energy
systems such as photovoltaic panels and green tariffs.
Warm Homes Liverpool City Region
Through its delivery of the LEAP programme,
EPP has supported over 200 Wirral households so
far this winter, providing more than 50 fully-funded
boilers and first-time central heating installations
and over 70 brand new energy-efficient white goods
to Wirral homes.
LEAP
The LEAP programme provides households who
are on a low income, or vulnerable to the cold with
free and impartial in-depth energy advice and
support including switching energy suppliers,
income maximisation and fuel debt support,
Priority Service and Warm Home Discount
registration and energy saving advice to help
reduce energy bills.
Where residents are living in cold homes with
broken heating systems, the team at EPP will link
them with grants and funding for repairs or
replacement systems. They can also provide fully
funded first time central heating to eligible
residents.
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
41
Their ‘Energy Action for Warmth’ programme focuses
on engaging the community and inspiring energy-saving
action and improvements through, direct support to
residents across Seacombe, Birkenhead and Greasby.
Energy Action for Warmth
EPP’s ‘Wirral Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency’
Programme, funded by Wirral Council, promotes
energy efficiency and available grants for measures to
wards across the Borough identified as facing greater
challenges in reaching affordable warmth. Each year,
over 10,000 households receive information on
support available and how they can take action.
Wirral Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency
Their ‘Merseyside Collective Switch’ programme has
supported Wirral residents through the energy
switching process for the past eight years, providing
members with access to exclusive tariffs and helping
them save a combined £405,000 and £1.5 million for
city region residents as a whole.
Merseyside Collective Switch
EPP delivers this programme with six Liverpool City
Region Local Authorities. Originally set up in 2013, the
Merseyside Collective Switch is one of the longest-
running Local Authority Collective switches in the
country.
This past year has seen a huge change in the way many
of us live and work, and with more people working
from home, and more price rises coming, many are
struggling to cover the cost of their energy bills.
The Merseyside Collective Switch uses the power of
the group to negotiate cheap energy tariffs, available
exclusively to its members. Anyone can join and it’s
completely free.
In addition to exclusive and often market-beating
tariffs, the Merseyside Collective Switch also includes
a full market comparison, so if the winning deals
aren’t right for you, you can find one that is.
To join the Collective Switch, visit:
www.lcrenergyswitch.co.uk
On top of all of this, the charity has also developed a
new Carbon Literacy training programme, accredited
with the Carbon Literacy Foundation, that will enable
residents and organisations across Wirral to understand
their impact on climate change and take positive steps
to reduce their contributions. They will be recruiting
community groups to start with, and supporting them to
develop action plans that community members can get
involved in.
Carbon Literacy Training Programme
EPP deliver 1-day Carbon Literacy training, after which
learners will be certified as ‘Carbon Literate’ by the
Carbon Literacy Project.
If your organisation is looking to improve its green
credentials and reduce its carbon footprint, then this
behavioural-change focused course is a great way to
start a cultural shift in your workplace. You can contact
EPP to book an online session.
Energy Projects Plus have a number of future events
planned, including Free Affordable Warmth Training
course for frontline workers, an online session in aim to
provide front line workers with knowledge and
confidence about energy efficiency in the home, so they
can pass on this advice to their vulnerable clients, helping
them keep their homes warm and cosy this winter.
If you would like to find out more or are in need of
support, you can call their Save Energy Advice Line on
0800 043 0151 or email: advice@epplus.org
www.epplus.org.uk
Once you have registered, you will be able to access
exclusive offers time and time again and can make
sure you’re not missing out on a great deal on energy.
THE ENVIRONMENT ISSUE
42
In the Summer of 2009, a couple moved to New Brighton,
not unusual in itself. But after seeing rubbish all over the
beach, they decided to do something about it.
They raised some funding from Mersey Docks and
Harbours to buy rubbish pickers, bag hoops and gloves
and started cleaning the beach with some friends.
How does a Voluntary Group get started? It’s a bit like
asking, “How many grains of sand are there on New
Brighton’s beaches?”
In 2013, another couple went through a similar process,
getting pickers and hoops from the Countryside Rangers.
Again, with a few Facebook friends, they started to ‘ad-
hoc’ litter picking when they took the dog along the
beach.
Initially neither group knew of the other, until a Ranger
happened to mention to one group, the existence of the
other, and ‘Shazam’, they decided working together would
be a good idea, and on the 29th August 2013, at the Olive
Tree Restaurant, New Brighton, The New Brighteners
(TNB) was launched.
The next step was to set up a Facebook Group Membership
that grew steadily, and currently stands at 3,400+, with
members in other parts of the world. Members join in
group picks, and some do solo daily picks all year round.
We even have some friendly Canine members!
Like many voluntary groups, TNB are very cheap to
run –since members are volunteers, the only expense
is equipment [Pickers, Bag Hoops, Gloves etc]!
Members now cover an approx. 4 mile stretch of the
New Brighton coast.
5 years ago, we successfully obtained ‘Your Wirral
Wide’ cross-constituency funding. Helping kick-start
four new community rubbish picking groups across
Wirral Constituencies. These autonomous groups are
based in Egremont, West Kirby, Wallasey Central Park
and the Bidston Moss area.
In the last 11 years, TNB have gained a reputation and
are often asked to assist at special events. Members
liaise with both local and national associations
including, Keep Britain Tidy, The Marine Conservation
Society, Surfers Against Sewage, The Wildlife Trust
(UK) and Wirral Wildlife Trust and The Environment
Agency and various other local agencies.
TNB has advised Wirral Council, over numerous
environmental issues leading to more rubbish bins, the
banning of balloon releases on Council land and are
pushing the authorities to ban polystyrene use by local
event food concessionaires. We also raised funds to
sponsor two of our own, Big Red Bulk Bins which
display brightly coloured anti-rubbish messages.
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The Planet and its oceans face the most serious
environmental threat ever - Plastic, and we all need to
do something about it. What will you do?
Another crucial element is to spread the rubbish-free
message to young people via clubs, schools, youth
clubs and colleges, including classroom sessions, and
sometimes follow-up rubbish picks, focusing on the
environmental dangers of beach rubbish: plastics,
polystyrene, etc., entering the ocean ecology.
Notable achievements include winning the 2016
Liverpool Echo’s Neighbourhood Project Award, The
Wirral Tourism Award for, Volunteer Team of the Year
2017, and were Finalists again in the Echo Awards in
2018. We also created a (fairly) tame Rubbish Monster!
We were also acclaimed by the BBC’s Breakfast
Programme, as ‘Coastal Champions’ in September 2017.
We won’t make too much mention of 2020: The Day the
World Stood Still! We only had one group pick, in May.
This was a special socially-distanced clearance of
rubbish in the Marine Lake, which saw the lake cleared
So..... what does the next 10 years and
So..... what does the next 10 years and
beyond hold for The New Brighteners?
beyond hold for The New Brighteners?
Another thing that is special the strong partnership with
other Volunteer Groups including, the Black Pearl
Pirates, the Friends of Vale Park, Heart of Egremont, the
Momentary Art Project, the West Kirby High Tidiers and
groups who operate on the far shores of the great River
Mersey!
of: 25 shopping trolleys, 10 chairs, 3 bicycles, 1 table,
1 skateboard, 1 scooter, I buggy, 1 metal guardrail, 4 large
traffic cones, a Wheelie Bin, 1 commercial trolley and a
Metal framed Window out of one of the shelters. Messy
but worth it! Even got some pics in the Liverpool Echo!
U S S I T N E M N T H E E N V IR O  E
U S S I T N E M N T H E E N V IR O  E
U S S I T N E M N T H E E N V IR O  E