Talking Together (Edition One : Winter 2009) - West Cheshire ...

Talking Together (Edition One : Winter 2009) - West Cheshire ...

POPULAR FOREST TRANSFORMS INTOfestivewonderland4CHRISTMAS alwayscomes early for JeniWest and her ForestryCommission colleagues atDelamere Forest, Cheshire’slargest area of woodland.Long before most of us have evenstarted to think about presents,crackers and the festive turkey, Jeniand her team are busy turning thepopular forest into a seasonalwonderland.It becomes a magical setting inwhich thousands of visitors enjoy atraditional Christmas treatcomplete with carols, real trees,wreaths and Santa’s woodlandgrotto.And, of course, it comes as nosurprise that Delamere Forest –which spreads over 970 hectares ofWest Cheshire countryside – is oneFree nurserycare timeextendedFREE nursery care is availablefor all three and four-yearoldchildren in Cheshire Westand Chester.From September 2010 thefree nursery entitlement willbe extended to 15 hours aweek with the flexibleoption of spreading the timeover a greater number ofsessions.Angela Lewis, ChildcareStrategy Manager atCheshire West and ChesterCouncil, said: “We want to besure that all parents of threeand four year-olds know oftheir free nurseryentitlement and are aware ofthe ways in which pre-schoollearning can be of enormousbenefit to their children.”Free sessions are availableat private day nurseries(some are based in children’scentres), pre-school groupsand play groups,independent schools andmaintained nursery classesoperated by a primaryschool.● GET IN TOUCH... for moreinformation call the FamilyInformation Service onfreephone 0800 0852 863.TALKING TOGETHER ■ Winter 2009of the UK’s two largest Christmastree outlets.Among the labyrinth ofdeciduous and evergreen trees,open grasslands, wetlands andwildlife, the forest has varieties ofpine, fir and spruce up to 30 feethigh that help provide the biggestselection of Christmas trees in theNorth West.Last year visitors snapped up8,000 trees at Delemere sourcedfrom plantations in Scotland andIreland, with a selection of largetrees grown at Delamere Forest.SpectacularJeni explained: “Most of the treesfrom the forest are the larger type –up to 30 feet high – which areusually bought by charities,businesses or local authorities forspectacular public Christmasdisplays in venues like town centres.“Many of the smaller trees we sellcurrently come from otherwoodlands, but we haveapproximately 15,000 trees growingin Delamere. This year we hope tosupply about 200 Delameregrown trees. This number willrise in future years as theygrow to five or seven feet high,FAMILIES are being reminded to protect their treasuredpresents this Christmas by property marking them with aspecial pen.Neighbourhood policing teams across the borough areoffering to write residents’ postcodes with special ultraviolet markers on gifts from bikes to iPods and mobilephones to dvd players. If the worst happens and an itemis stolen, police who recover it can use a special lampto show the postcode and reunite the present withits owner.The more people who use the latest anti-thefttechnology, the more police will be able to find outwho owns stolen items and prevent the stockpile ofrecovered gifts from growing.Crime Reduction Adviser DavidOwens said: “We have a mountainof unclaimed bikes that can’t bereturned to their rightful ownerbecause they don’t have a simplepostcode marking.”Property marking sessions will bestaged across the borough inthe weeks after Christmas. Residentscan find contact details for theirneighbourhood policing teams byvisiting the Cheshire Policewebsite at and entering theirpostcode.Delamere Forest RecreationRanger Jeni West preparesChristmas trees for sale.which is an ideal size as the familyChristmas tree in a private house.”The Forestry Commission staffwho manage Delamere Forestensure that this splendid woodlandfeature, with its pathways and manyother visitor facilities, is sustainedby planting at least one new tree forevery one that is harvested.As well as a wide range ofspecies, shape and height of trees tochoose from, forestry staff are onhand to give visitors good advice onthe best tree to buy and how to carefor it.Santa’s forest grotto is a bigfestive attraction visited byaround 12,000 children, andthis year there’s an extra treatfor them because FatherChristmas will be tellingthem seasonal stories as well ashanding out gifts to all he sees.Cheshire Fire Cadets havevolunteered to help visitors loadChristmas trees into their vehiclesand will donate all gratuities to alocal charity.Jeni said: “Working here puts usin the Christmas spirit well beforethe festive season starts because weare busy preparing for all thevarious activities and tree sales. It’sa lovely festive atmosphere amongthe trees with the Christmas lightsand carols. It’s a great place to startChristmas and get in the mood forthe festive season ahead. Manypeople who come here at thistime of year make a day of it.”The Christmas tree salescentre will open dailyfrom Saturday, 28 Novemberbetween 9am and 5pm untilSunday, 20 December.Santa’s grotto will be open atWhitefield Car Park every weekendin December from 9am until 5pm,last entry at 4pm. Late nightopenings will be available onThursday, 10 December and Friday,12 December until 8pm, and Santawill also be available from 5pmuntil 8pm.There is a Winter Nature Trailand Wish Tree Trail for all to enjoy,as well as hot food and drinks onsite during opening hours. Atweekends a local bird rescuecentre will be exhibiting birdsof prey and a willow artistwill be working anddisplaying work.Protect gifts by marking with UV penJacobAshton, aged five,of Prestatyn, is picturedhaving his bike propertymarked during a cycling eventat Chester Zoo with, left toright, Chester Crime PreventionPanel volunteers GrahamMarsden and Gerald Watts,and Crime ReductionAdvisor DaveOwens.● MEANWHILE, anyone who receives abike from Santa this year is being urgedto put safety first when they go for aride. Schools in the area have been takingpart in the national Be Safe, Be Seeninitiative to spread safety messagesduring the winter months.Road Safety and Sustainable TravelManager, Anna Geroni, said: “Weencourage children to wearsomething reflective, crossroads at pedestriancrossings or at street lights, avoid darkand unlit roads, wear something white ifthey do not have any reflective clothingand always carry a torch at night,particularly on country roads. We alsoneed drivers to be aware of their brakingdistances, the decreased visibility and togenerally take morecare during thewinter.”

Rhino parade sculptures willlead tourism chargeA“HERD” of up to 75 rhinos is set torampage through Chester for tenweeks next year to promote the linksbetween the city and its world famous zoo.The Rhino Mania – featuring fibreglass animalsdecorated by local artists, community groups andschools – will form a trail throughout the city centreand neighbouring areas, making their way to ChesterZoo, two-and-a-half miles away.The installation art event – a trail of five feet tallanimals sculptures – will highlight the zoo’s positionas the second highest visited paid for attraction inthe UK.The Rhino Mania will also promote the zoo’sleading role in conservation and the preservation ofendangered species. The second black rhino calf tobe born at Chester came into the world in May thisyear and has been a big hit with visitors.Around 1.5 million people check out the zoo andits many attractions every year, with another eightmillion flocking to the city centre. Regenerationchiefs hope the rhino parade link will have majorbenefits for the city.Rita Waters, Chief Executive of ChesterRenaissance – set up to breathe new life into thecity – said: “The millions of visitors to the citycentre will realise that the UK’s second mostvisited paid for attraction is on their doorstep andthe rhino parade will be a colourful way ofachieving that.Regeneration“It will support local artists who will becommissioned to decorate some of the rhinosand will inspire local schools to learn about theimportance of Chester Zoo’s work.”Councillor Richard Short, Culture andRecreation Portfolio Holder, said: “There isalready a host of reasons why people shouldvisit Chester and Rhino Mania, launching inthe Spring, is perfectly timed to attract evenmore tourists to the city centre.”The Rhino Mania is just one area ofactivity for Chester Renaissance, which isa major regeneration programme ofnew development and city centreimprovements to make the city amust-see European destination by2015.Initiatives already under wayinclude:● Significant fundingsecured for majorimprovements to the publicrealm and open spaces inthe city.● £1.4m of funding secured tocomplete the second phase ofimprovements to the city’s historicrailway station, including work on platformsfour and seven.YOUNG people across the borough havebeen given pre-Christmas lessons on thedangers of binge drinking and how toprotect lives when revellers have drunktoo much alcohol.Western Rural Neighbourhood PolicingUnit, paramedics and youth workers ranthe campaign called Don’t Walk Away andLeave Someone To Die.Young people who took part were shownhow to put someone into the recoveryBashira, the Rhino calf born atChester Zoo in May, enjoys acarrot fed to him by Katie Wild,Rhino Mania Project Co-ordinatorfor Chester Renaissance.Don’tmiss the realthing! Come seeme and my palsat ChesterZoo!position to prevent choking and how tocontact the emergency services for help.PC Donna Beswick said: “We wanted topromote a sensible approach to alcoholamong young people as well as to educatethem on how to protect life and keepthemselves safe during and after drinkingalcohol. ”She urged young people to takeresponsibility for their friends andcompanions who may need help, rather● The start of a £600,000 initiative to improvethe town’s historic Roman amphitheatreincluding coloured flooring to show wherethe seating areas would have been, newinterpretation displays to brighten upthe brick wall facing the arena andbuilding a new bridge to improvevisitor access.Chester Renaissance is also involvedin highly sensitive negotiations to makethe most of the proposed Northgatedevelopment to create new shops andrestaurants, a new bus station and carpark, new homes and offices, a newlibrary and new public spaces.Rita added: “Chester Renaissance was setup to make a concentrated effort on whatcan regenerate the city, not just for the longterm, but also to achieve short-term gains. Wewere set up to make a difference to Chester and areinvolved in making sure the city receives maximumbenefit from a number of initiatives.”Young people get lessons on binge drinking dangersthan leaving them alone. “In our area inthe past we have found drunken teenagersface down in their own vomit at risk ofchoking and sometimes in a state ofundress not knowing what has happenedto them. ”● GET HELP... in an emergency call 999,or look for help from police officers whowill be patrolling party hotspots in the runup to the festive season and over theChristmas period.Seasonal tipson how toensure a safeand fire-freeChristmasFIREFIGHTERS inthe borough haveput together thefollowing festivetips to make sureresidents have a safe,fire-free Christmas.As outlined in the Fire KillsChristmas campaign andsafety leaflet, residentsshould follow these simplesafety tips:ALWAYS... Check that your Christmastree lights carry the BritishSafety Standard Sign. Test the batteries in yoursmoke alarm every week andNEVER remove them for toys. Make sure your family andvisitors know how to escapein an emergency. Make sure cigarettes areput out properly. Switch off Christmas lightsbefore you go out or go tobed. Take care around openfireplaces as clothes maycatch fire. Take time to check onelderly relatives andneighbours this Christmas asthey are at greater risk fromfire. Keep candles, lighters andmatches out of the reach ofchildren.NEVER... Place candles near yourChristmas tree or materialsthat can catch light easily. Leave your cooker or grillpan unattended as most firesstart in the kitchen. Attach decorations tolights or heaters as they canburn easily. Leave burning candlesunattended. Overload electricalsockets.Cheshire Fire and Rescuewould also like to reminddrivers to take extra care onthe roads over the festiveseason. That means notdrinking alcohol or takingdrugs while driving, makingsure they always wear aseatbelt and switching offmobile telephones.■ GET SAFE... to arrange anappointment for a free homesafety assessment please visitour website – – orcontact your local firestation.Winter 2009 ■ TALKING TOGETHER 5

Getting fit on foot is fun for walkers in the boroughHUNDREDS of people across the borough aretaking part in a series of healthy walks toboost their fitness and have fun in theprocess.Trained officers lead four regular walks inChester, with five routes in Ellesmere Port aspart of the Get Fit on Foot initiative and onein Vale Royal.Regular walking can have significant healthbenefits such as helping reduce bloodpressure and cholesterol, building muscles forincreased stability, reducing the chance ofcoronary heart disease and improving mentalhealth by reducing stress levels.■ GET WALKING... log on to and click onWalking for Health or call 01606 867680 formore information about walks in your area. Pictured above enjoying a walkin Rivacre Valley, Ellesmere Portare, left to right, Anne Harrop, AvrilKelly, Sheila Cox, Bill Fry (walkleader), Colin Titley, Beth Hendyand Freda Roe.Clampdownon underageboozingSHOPKEEPERSwho sell alcoholto underagedrinkers are beingtargeted as part of acampaign by officers in theWestern RuralNeighbourhood Policingarea.Working in conjunctionwith Trading Standards,officers have beenidentifying off licences andlicensed shops which arebreaking the law. Testpurchasing is then beingcarried out by youngmystery shoppers withpolice on-hand to providesupport.Neighbourhood Inspectorfor the Western Rural area,Phil Hodgson, said: “Anyshopkeeper that sellsalcohol to anyone wholooks under 21 withoutchecking their date of birthis breaking the law. Allconfiscated alcohol isdonated to charity – suchas nursing homes for theirfundraising raffles.”Test purchasing hasrecently been carried out inFrodsham and Helsby. Morespot checks are plannedacross the area.Healthcare services ready forwinter’s worst blastAROUND-the-clock healthcare where people can call for advice and gethas been stepped up in West details of all these services.Cheshire this winter to ensure Details are available by logging on toresidents have the very best access toprimary care services.A range of local services is available topeople requiring emergency care including anOut of Hours GP service, emergency dentalaccess, pharmacies and a communitypharmacy minor ailments service.Meanwhile, leaflets have been delivered toevery home which explain what to do ifpeople are taken ill – particularly during outof hours times and over Christmas and NewYear.Ian Linford, Head of Unplanned Care atNHS Western Cheshire, said: “We want peopleto be as aware as possible about the healthcarewww.nhsdirect.nhs.ukHealthcare options include:● People booking a routine or urgentappointment with a doctor or nurse can calltheir own GP practice between 8am and6.30pm on weekdays.● People needing access to urgent GP careafter 6.30 pm on weekdays, weekends andbank holidays can call the Western CheshireOut of Hours service on 01244 343300 orNHS Direct, telephone 0845 4647, which caneither provide advice or provide details oflocal options available.More than 50 pharmacists in theborough have signed up to theoptions available to them.scheme to advise on minorPharmacist“In the past, particularly during the winter injuries or symptoms, either Deborah Eadenand Christmas holiday period, people have recommendingof Lloyds Pharmacyvisited an A&E department with what might over-the-counterat Northwich – one ofhave been relatively minor conditions because medications and treatment 50 who have signed upthey thought it was the only place they could or referring them on to to the Communitygo to obtain treatment.another professional.Pharmacy“However there is a wider range of localservices that are available to them fromemergency GP and dental care to aThe NHS is launching anationwide campaign encouragingpeople to “Choose Well” with pharmacy scheme which canassist people if they need advice ortreatment for conditions such ascoughs, colds, feveror vomiting. NHSDirect 0845 4647 isalso another placethermometer logo signifying the differentlevels of care available, with red being themost serious – a trip to A&E.■ For more information about thehealthcare services provided log on toNHS Western Cheshire’s website atwww.wcheshirepct.nhs.ukChoosewell.6TALKING TOGETHER ■ Winter 2009

Support for people tobeat recessionPRACTICAL measures tohelp people find their wayout of the recession are atthe heart of Cheshire West andChester Council’s wide-ranging“Bouncing Back” campaign.Twin boosts to job-seekers andbusinesses have already beenannounced in the form of new jobsfor 18-24-year-olds, and astreamlined, easier-to-use method ofpitching for Council contracts.On the jobs front, 190 posts havealready been pledged across theborough to people who have beenunemployed for over nine months,following an offer by the Council tonon-commercial employers to createnew fully-funded posts.Applicants for the Future Jobs Fundscheme will be guided via Job CentrePlus into the new jobs which benefitthe community for six months,unlocking their potential in a realwork environment. A number ofvoluntary, social enterprise and publicsector bodies, including the Councilitself, have stepped forward to makeopportunities available.SustainableCheshire West and Chester is thelead partner with Cheshire East andWarrington Borough Councils in the£4,875,000 Future Jobs Fund initiativewhich aims to create a total of 330new jobs by March 2010 and a further420 by 2011.Jane Stanley-McCrave, EmploymentDevelopment Manager, praised thecommitment of the employers whohave pledged jobs. She said: “We arelooking for sustainable jobopportunities, and there is arequirement that every young personwill acquire some accreditedqualifications.“At the moment the jobs pool isHELPING LOCAL TRADERS “BOUNCE BACK” – Belinda Davenport,being flooded by people who have co-owner of Davenports Farm Shop at Bartington, Northwich, holds anever been out of work before, so it is Cheshire West and Chester Council “bag for life” filled withvital that young jobseekers can obtain locally-produced goodies for Christmas. It is an example of how the Councilsome work experience to be able to is encouraging businesses in the borough to trade with each other.compete in the jobs market.”Meanwhile businesses in the but businesses can already register and residents through the recession.borough are set to benefit from a their interest via The Chest at We have a number of schemes tostreamlining of Cheshire West and support individuals and localChester Council’s e-business The Bouncing Back campaign, businesses for the benefit of the localprocedures. Firms looking to secure which was launched in November, is economy.”orders from the local authority worth also running workshops for localmore than £10,000 can access new suppliers through Business Link. ■ For the full range of informationsoftware to register for free via a Councillor Mike Jones, Leader of on recession support, visit thesupplier portal known as The Chest. the Council, said: “We are determined Council’s website at www.cheshireThe facility goes live early next year, to do all we can to support businesses uk/businessBenefits advice for those losing their jobsSPECIALLY-targeted benefits and debt. People coming into the on housing, in-work benefits andadvice is being given to local jobs market for the first time as a Disability Living Allowance, thepeople who have lost their jobs in result of the jobs crisis will Council’s benefits staff havethe recession. receive vital information about stepped up their direct approachWelfare benefits surgeries are recent changes in the benefits to residents during the past sixbeing held at various locations regulations. months.”across the borough as part of the Councillor Les Ford, Finance ● GET IN TOUCH... by emailing“Everybody Benefits” campaign Portfolio Holder, said: “Focusing benefits@cheshirewestandbeing run by Cheshire West and on essential benefits and tax or callChester Council to tackle poverty credits, but also offering advice 0300 123 7021.GoWestA light-hearted look at life in Cheshire West and ChesterSaturday night’s alrightfor regulatory servicesTHEY stood out like theproverbial “sore thumb”among the Saturday nightrevellers in Chester citycentre. Their mission was notto party but to observe withsober and clinical eyes – allfor the public good.They were a group ofaround 10 trading standards,licensing and environmentalhealth officers from CheshireWest and Chester Councilwhose duties require them toregulate and make checks oneverything from pubs to nightclubs and taxis to takeaways.These guardians ofcustomers’ rights, health andsafety legislation, and by laws– as well as many othermatters of public interest –had decided to spend a fewhours viewing at first-hand thecity’s night time economy infull swing.And they stuck to their taskfrom 9pm right through to3am when clubs wereemptying out.Dressed in sensible attirewith overcoats and flat shoes,the local authority delegationwere a stark contrast todiverse high-spirited crowdsincluding fancy-dress partygoers, Jack the Lads and girlsflaunting the latest fashions –some tottering on the ChesterGOLFERS joke that their ideaof going to heaven is to liveright next to a course.However, talk of suchmatters at Vale Royal AbbeyGolf Club’s 19th hole takeson an unexpectedly serioustinge.A ghostly medieval nuncalled Ida inhabits thesurroundings of the GreatHouse which is home to theclubhouse at Whitegate nearNorthwich.A ghost-hunting probe ofthe course, which is built onthe site of the grounds of aCistercian Abbey, recorded anapparition of Ida who diedwhile caring for an abbot.Lynne Goldemann, EventsCo-ordinator at the golf club,MR BLOBBY– won ’ t be giving outenforcementnotices.cobbles in high-heeledgladiator shoes.Word about their presencespread quickly around thelicensed establishments andmay have caused a littleconsternation in somequarters – although theyreceived a warm welcomefrom the vast majority ofplaces.“We had some odd looks –it was hardly an undercoveroperation,” admitted theCouncil’s Regulatory ServicesManager Vanessa Griffiths.“But it’s all part of the job andit was very useful time spent.”Maybe next time theCouncil could provide somefancy dress costumes... butthen again could you reallyimagine Mr Blobby serving anenforcement notice?Ghost scores a hole in nunsaid: “A number of peoplehave felt a ghostly chill inparts of the Great House.”Winter 2009 ■ TALKING TOGETHER7

Top tips to enjoya tipple withoutgetting too tipsyMORE people are getting ontheir bikes across WestCheshire in a bid to stay fit andreduce carbon emissions fromtraffic.A new borough-wideinitiative launched to doublethe number of cyclists acrossthe region by 2011 gatherspace.The cycle project aims toencourage more people to takeup the activity by creatingcycle-friendly routes across thearea and promoting morecycle-based activities.Employers are being urged tomake it easy for employees tocycle to work. The scheme willalso educate children andyoung people about thebenefits of cycling as well aspromoting it as an activity thewhole family can enjoy.Councillor Neil Ritchie,Even SantaClaus is travelling bycycle these days. Here,he is pictured withCameron Davies and AnnaPunkett, both pupils atSt Oswald’s School,Mollington, nearChester.Bid to encourage peopleto get on their bikesEnvironment Portfolio Holder,said: “Cheshire West andChester provides perfectopportunities to cycle.“Its picturesque landscapeensures a wide variety of routesfor cyclists, from family-friendlyto competitive racing. Our aimis to double the number ofjourneys made by bike over thenext two years and makecycling the most obvious choicefor local travel,” she added.Plans are also afoot toestablish a comprehensivenetwork of cycle routes andpathways across the region,which organisers say will allowthe scheme to gainconsiderable momentum as itprogresses.■ GET ON YOUR BIKE...find out more about CycleChester by visitingwww.cyclechester.comA carol concert for everyoneEVERYONE is welcome to the annual emergency services carolconcert organised by the police, fire and rescue and ambulanceservices. This year’s concert takes place in Chester Cathedral onTuesday, 8 December at 7.30pm.The ideal curtain-raiser to the festive season is free and is opento the general public. Highlights will include performances byDee-sign – a choir whose members are deaf – and ChesterPrimary School Choir.Favourite Christmas carols will be performed throughout theevening by the Cheshire Constabulary Band. After the servicemince pies and mulled wine will be served in the refectory.PARTY-TIME binge drinkers whoend up needing hospitaltreatment in the run-up toChristmas and the New Year are to begiven a personal wake-up call at theCountess of Chester Hospital NHSFoundation Trust.Staff have been specially trained to talk toemergency medicine patients about theiralcohol consumption, and point out thedangers which include death in extreme cases.They will urge them to move away fromexcessive drinking habits during the festiveseason, and become more aware of the alcoholcontent in drinks. The seasonal message is: OUT WITH selfish festive drinking thatharms personal health and can prejudicethe care available to other hospital patients. IN WITH responsible drinking that takesinto account the units on each bottle.Each year the Emergency MedicineDepartment at the Countess ofChester deals with high numbersof minor alcohol-relatedinjuries as well as someserious head injuries whichpeak in the week beforeChristmas.Drunken revellersneeding treatment takeup valuable time andresources that couldbe allotted topriority patientsneeding care.They also distressother patients waitingfor treatment.Stephen Moore,Consultant inEmergency Medicine atthe Countess of Chester,said: “Nationally, 35per cent of the NHSworkload results fromalcohol-relatedhospital visits, but asChristmas approachesthis escalates due toincreased socialising.FOR some people Christmas brings thefear of becoming a victim of violence intheir own home.Sadly it is a fact that cases ofdomestic abuse at the hands of a violentpartner or family member tend toincrease during what should be theseason of goodwill.However, men and women need notsuffer in silence. They have the right tobe safe in their homes and relationships,and help is at hand from the national 24hour Domestic Violence Helpline on0808 2000 247.This freephone service is linked to twocharities – Refuge and Women’s Aid –and also provides information on spaceavailable in Domestic Abuse Family“At the Countess of Chesterduring the festive run-up injuriesare mostly minor cuts but somepeople sustain serious headinjuries, and sadly somepeople die.EmergencyMedicineConsultant StephenMoore treats patientThomas Price for a headinjury sustained whileplaying football.Safety Units around the country at anygiven time. The helpline also providesgeneral advice on keeping safe,accommodation, finance and legal issues.As well as providing abuse victims andtheir children with safe and secureemergency accommodation, the FamilySafety Units liaise with agencies dealingwith the victims of domestic abuse.“When people report for treatment foran alcohol-related problem we will havea chat with them – to give them cause forreflection. It’s not a case of telling themoff, but of informing them about thedangers of consuming excess units andadvising them how to change theirbehaviour in the future.“Not everybody will be ready todiscuss the problem, of course, but this isa good opportunity to educate membersof the public following treatment aboutthe harm that excessive alcohol cancause.“They also need to realise that theincreased workload also puts a strain onour resources – if these cases did notoccur we would have more time toattend to the genuinely sick and peoplewith priority illnesses.”Stephen, together with twocolleagues, has been holding trainingsessions for nursing and medical staffin the department, advising them onhow to talk to the patients and givethem information about the alcoholcontent of individual tipples.“We want people to enjoy Christmasin moderation,” he said. “But they needto understand the importance ofAlcohol Units Awareness – and be awarethat there are units indicators on thebottles that they buy.”Women should consume no morethan 14 units per week, and men 21units. “The scenes in the EmergencyMedicine Department before Christmascan be unpleasant,” added Stephen.“Abusive drunks can be bleeding andvomiting, and sometimes they becomeviolent to the staff.“We don’t tolerate any kinds of abuse –unruly patients will be escorted from thepremises provided they are in noimmediate danger.”Helpline can be a lifeline for domestic violence victimsThose in need of help can referthemselves to a Family Safety Unit inWest Cheshire by phoning 01606351375.The Cheshire Domestic AbusePartnership offers help to everyone,regardless of gender, who is sufferingfrom domestic abuse – including menand those in a same sex relationship.STREET PASTORS – volunteers fromChristian organisations – will be inthe city centre on Friday andSaturday nights over the Christmasbreak to offer vulnerable revellers ahelping hand.They hand out tin foil jackets toprevent hypothermia, offer a safewaiting area for taxis and provide flipflops for women who have difficultywalking in high heel shoes.One grateful mum wrote to theWest Cheshire street pastors afterher daughter became “the worse forwear” after a night out celebratingher exam successes, and was helpedby the Christian volunteers. “As anordinary Mum,” she wrote, “it is sorefreshing and reassuring to knowthat there are kind genuine peopleout there who are keeping ourchildren safe.” Pictured above with tin foil jacketsand flip flops are Street PastorCo-ordinator in Chester TrevorBeckett, right, and Trainee StreetPastor Dani Morris, left, with localhairdressers Lisa Ellesmere, secondleft, and Sarah Heron, who tried onthe jackets and footwear.Too much alcoholcan blur the sensesas simulated inthis image – andwhat could be agood night out canend in misery.■ Help isavailable foranyonesuffering theanguish andanxiety causedby domesticviolence.CHEERS! ‘Tis the season to be jolly and for many of usthat means enjoying a Christmas drink.However it is sometimes tempting to quite literallyenjoy too much of the festive spirit and consume levelsof alcohol that puts the health and safety of revellers atserious risk.Watching how much you drink over the holidayperiod need not make you look like a killjoy. Why notraise a glass with an alcohol free cocktail? Below wefeature some of the recipes you can use to make zeroalcohol drinks that are pleasant to sip and put you inthe party mood.Jayne Street, Deputy Head of Specialist HealthPromotion for Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust,said: “Many of us enjoy alcoholic drinks throughout theyear and particularly over the festive period with familyand friends.“It is important to remember that you should alwaysadopt a sensible approach towards your drinking andtake control from the start. Moderation and keepingsafe are key to this.“Women can drink two to three units of alcohol perday and men three to four units a day withoutdamaging their health. There are many tips around tohelp you adopt safer drinking. For example, try to aim tohave more of your drink intake with a meal and makesure you drink some non-alcoholic drinks as well due tothe dehydration effects alcohol has on the body. ”Follow sensible rules like the ones below and enjoy adrink without getting into trouble:● Decide on a limit of how much you plan to drink andstick to it.● Avoid rounds – they often mean you drink more thanyou want – or skip some rounds by drinking moreslowly.● Take smaller sips and drink water or soft drinks inbetween alcoholic drinks to dilute the alcohol and avoiddehydration.● Top up spirits with more mixers and never leave yourdrink where it may be “spiked.”HERE is a selection of recipes foralcohol free cocktails that can helpmake your party go with a swing:MOCK MARTINI: 5 parts tonic water, 1 part lime cordialjuice, lemon slices, olive. Pour tonic and lime over ice, garnishwith a slice of lemon and an olive and wait a little for theflavour of the garnish to have its effect.STRAWBERRY FROST: 10 oz can of strawberries with juice,4 fl oz lime juice, half a pint lemonade. Blend until frothy, pourinto a jug and add a few ice cubes.TOMATO JUICE COCKTAIL: 1 glass tomatojuice, 2 dashes lemon juice, 1 dash Tabascosauce, 1 dash Worcester sauce, pinch of salt orcelery, pepper. Shake with ice and strain intoglass. Garnish with lemon slice and cocktailonions or stick if celery.GINGERTIME: 9 parts alcohol free lager, 1 partginger beer. Pour ginger beer into glass and addalcohol free lager. Serve chilled with ice and sliceof lemon.PARTY PUNCH: 1 part red grapejuice, 2 parts ginger ale, 2 parts nonalcoholicsparkling white wine, fruit slices.Pour all drinks into punch bowl. Garnish withslices of fruit.APPLE ICE: 1 part vanilla ice cream, 2 parts applejuice, freshly ground nutmeg, whipped cream. Putice cream into blender and blend a little. Add applejuice and generous sprinkling of ground nutmegand blend until frothy. Garnish with whipped creamsprinkled with a little nutmeg.8TALKING TOGETHER ■ Winter 2009Winter 2009 ■ TALKING TOGETHER 9

Online faultreportingboosts roadsHIGHWAYS infrastructure in WestCheshire is being driven forwardby a detailed online fault reportingsystem.The website – which allowsusers to flag up everything fromfly tipping to potholes – givesresidents the chance to use aninteractive map of the area topinpoint concerns.Faults are relayed to staff in theCheshire West and Chester AreaHighways Team who act on theinformation and come up withsolutions.By typing in a postcode oraddress a user can zoom to houselevel and highlight the problemarea by dragging a flag onto themap.They can also view featuressuch as constituency areas, rivers,railways, bus stops, street lights,schools, libraries and countryparks to enable them to giveprecise location information.Councillor Neil Ritchie,Environment Portfolio Holder, said:"The online reporting systemmakes it easier and faster for thepublic to provide preciseinformation to the Council.“Details can be fed directly intothe system, ensuring themaintenance teams have all theinformation they need to addressthe faults."Making yourarea betterA PILOT scheme in Ellesmere Portand Winsford which involvesresidents in improving the areaswhere they live has been sosuccessful it is to be extended toother parts of West Cheshire.Agencies including CheshireWest and Chester Council, Police,Fire and Rescue, housing providersand the probation service, areinvolved in the public consultationover a four-week period.Week one is spent finding outwhat people want in their area,week two looks at ways of makingthe neighbourhood cleaner,greener and tidier, while the thirdweek tackles enforcement issueslike speeding, dog fouling, parkingand graffiti. The fourth week isspent gathering feedback.Now ten more ConfidenceWeeks schemes will be rolled outbefore March 2010 to other areas,including the Blacon district ofChester.Jane Makin, Community SafetyPartnerships Team Leader, said:“This initiative is targeting theareas where people feel leastconfident. It has already maderesidents feel more secure andconfident about where they live.”Why being a good neighbour helps combat crimeORGANISERS of ascheme that helps totackle crime andantisocial behaviour at streetlevel are encouragingresidents to be goodneighbours this Christmas.Homewatch, which wasfounded in this country inCheshire almost three decadesago, enables people to set upnetworks which not only improvesecurity in their community butprovide peace of mind.There are now around 1,000schemes operating in the WestCheshire area – andco-ordinators are asking residentsto be extra vigilant as the busyfestive season approaches.Liz Biddle, Co-ordinator forCheshire West and Chester said:“This time of year brings with ita lot of changes on the homefront as people go to visit or stayover with friends and relatives tocelebrate Christmas.“There may also be a lot morevaluables in homes as people buyor receive expensive presents.Unfortunately there are criminalswho will take advantage of thesituation and if people aren’tvigilant they can really spoilChristmas for families.“Homewatch schemes are setup to reduce crime and antisocialbehaviour in neighbourhoodsHelsby village Homewatch Scheme Co-ordinator Ray Symes,left, with Neighbourhood Co-ordinators, left to right,Andrew Lorimer, Graham Chesterton and Andrew Hayes.and any communities that have a just a case of keeping an eye on “I use a cascade system toscheme in place will have this an empty house or being vigilant disseminate information by emailextra security. for strangers or odd activity.” which means people can find outCouncillor Lynn Riley, Area ● Individual Homewatch what is going on really quickly.and Community Services schemes are tailored to each “Helsby is a low crime area butPortfolio Holder, said: “We are community’s needs and to we have had concerns over coldcalling on all residents to be good combat specific types of crime callers, bogus officials andneighbours this Christmas to and antisocial behaviour and vandalism. Homewatch has helpedmake sure the festive season co-ordinators have their own way us combat the situation, allay fearspasses as happily as possible for of disseminating information. and most of all spread peace ofthe majority of people. Ray Symes, 63, who is mind.”“Being a good neighbour co-ordinator for the Helsby village Anyone interested in setting updoesn’t mean you have to be Homewatch Scheme, said: “The or joining a Homewatch schemeintrusive and it doesn’t have to beauty of Homewatch is its should email up too much time. It is often flexibility. cheshire.pnn.police.ukAppeal for new foster familiesSeasonal tipsTOP tips for being a goodneighbour at Christmas are:■ Look out for suspicious activity– strangers hanging aroundalleyways, cars that look out ofplace or arrive at odds times ofthe day and night.■ Help cut down on the telltalesigns that a house is empty.If your neighbour is away overChristmas, offer to open andshut curtains, and remove milkbottles off doorsteps or postand newspapers sticking out ofletterboxes.■ Look out for neighbours –particularly older people – wholive on their own. Pop aroundto have a chat and/or send aChristmas card.AN APPEAL has been launched to find between Children Portfolio Holder, said: “We are looking50 and 70 new families to foster or adopt for people from a wide range of backgroundschildren and young people in the borough. who can use the knowledge, experience and skillsMarried couples, people in a same-sex from their personal and working lives to becomerelationship, single parents and single people can foster or adoptive parents.”all be eligible, and fostering and adoption is open Helen Keaney-Cheetham, Service Manager forto people from all ethnic, religious and cultural Looked After Children, said “Anyone who hasbackgrounds.fostered or adopted will tell you what aThere is a particular need for families to look personally rewarding experience it is. The impactafter children with disabilities, older children you can have on a child’s life is immense.”aged ten and over and sibling groups of three or The assessment procedure for those applying and intrusive process, but aims to ensure thatmore children. Fostering can involve short-term to be foster parents takes around six months, every child who is fostered or adopted is loved,care of perhaps two weeks while a parent is in while assessment of adoptive parents takes eight kept healthy and safe and helped to achievehospital or to provide respite for a carer. months. First-time foster parents and people their full potential.”However young people can also stay with foster planning to adopt are given support and training ■ GET INVOLVED... Call the Council’sparents for several months or even years. by the Council. Fostering and Adoption hotline onCouncillor Arthur Harada, Education and Helen explained: “This may seem to be a long 01244 972222.10TALKING TOGETHER ■ Winter 2009

A CAMPAIGN has been launched toensure the safety of Christmasrevellers who flock to Chester citycentre to enjoy the festive fun.The Police and Cheshire West andChester Council have joined forcesto reduce the chance of seasonalcelebrations being marred byviolence.The Crime and Disorder ReductionPartnership has provided £30,000funding which will target theprevention of assaults that causeless serious injury – a particularproblem in the centre of Chesterduring the Christmas period.There will also be an intensivepublicity campaign, aimed largely atwomen, with advice on how to lookafter themselves by stayingtogether in groups and sharing taxishome.The police will provide a dedicatedrapid response vehicle to attendincidents before they get out ofhand, and thanks to the extrafunding two extra Police CommunitySupport Officers (PCSOs) will be onhand to provide a reassuring citycentre presence.Most city centre assaults over theChristmas period are drink related,so community safety staff from theCouncil will liaise closely withowners and managers of bars, clubsand pubs in order to avoid the kindof cheap drink promotions that canfuel violent and disorderlybehaviour.Jane Makin, Community SafetyPartnerships Team Leader, said: “Ourcampaign is aimed at ensuring thateveryone who visits the city centreover Christmas will have a goodtime without coming to any harm. ” WORKING TOGETHER FOR A SAFECITY CENTRE – Community SafetyPartnerships Team Leader Jane Makin,right, PCSO Melissa Sawojka, left, andPC Melanie Pemberton.A FIVE-YEAR project to develop a newbusiness improvement district andstimulate a vibrant tradingenvironment has been given the greenlight.The transformation of GadbrookPark at Northwich will help ensurebusiness support is betterco-ordinated, as well as enhancingsignage, improving transport andwaste management and helping toreduce crime.The go-ahead for the project, whichwill run until 2014, is the result of18 months work led by companiesbased on Gadbrook Park.It has been supportedthrough apartnership,thatCampaign to ensureCITY CENTRESAFETY“Business improvement plan given go-aheadincludes Cheshire West and ChesterCouncil and environmentalimprovement organisationGroundwork Cheshire.Councillor Herbert Manley, CheshireWest and Chester Council PortfolioHolder for Prosperity, said: “This isthe second successful BusinessImprovement District in the borough.“The first successful vote was onWinsford Industrial Estate in 2005,which has since gone on to become athriving and much improved tradingenvironment for companies, attractingnew businesses and retaining many ofits long term resident companies.”Funding for the district is beinggenerated by a supplementary levy onbusiness rates. This was approved by amajority of companies in a secretballot earlier this year.It will also be used to appoint abusiness park manager,who will work closelywith the residentcompanies on aBarclays Bank officesat Gadbrook Park.range of ways to improve the tradingenvironment on Gadbrook Park.John Fifield, Acting Chair of theGadbrook Park BID Group, said: “TheBusiness Improvement District willdeliver four themes of work, aimed atreducing crime, improving transport,enhancing signage and ensuring thatOur campaign is aimed atensuring that everyone whovisits the city centre overChristmas will have a good timewithout coming to any harm”JANE MAKINCOMMUNITY SAFETYPARTNERSHIPS TEAM LEADERbusiness support is bettercoordinated.“The project will also provide aBusiness Park Manager, who will workclosely with the resident companieson a range of opportunities toimprove Gadbrook Park as a tradingenvironment.”Have yoursay on futurepolicingprioritiesPEOPLE are being askedto have their say onthe future of policingobjectives andpriorities in theborough.Cheshire PoliceAuthority has alreadystaged a series ofevents giving residentsthe opportunity to talkto them about whatpriorities matterlocally.Now everyone inCheshire West andChester is being urgedto log onto a websiteto give their feedback.The website has been setup by Cheshire PoliceAuthority, which is theindependentorganisationresponsible forensuring CheshireConstabulary deliversan efficient andeffective police service.It is made up of 17local people whoinclude nine councillorsand eight members ofthe public.MargaretOllerenshaw, Chairmanof the Police Authority,said: “Each year, theAuthority asks thepublic about policingservices to help it setthe Chief Constable’sobjective and the policebudget. This year wehave visited all themain towns as it isimportant that weunderstand whatmatters to local peoplewhen it comes topolicing.”Last year’s surveyyear highlighted thepublic’s key policepriorities as being:■ Responding toemergency calls;■ Detecting crime andarresting offenders;■ Targeting drugdealers;■ Targeting organisedcrime and terrorism;and■ Tackling domesticand child abuse.These priorities wereused to set the agendaand budget for policingin Cheshire West andChester during2009/10.Winter 2009 ■ TALKING TOGETHER 11

Adults havemore choiceover careADULTS receiving social care fromCheshire West and Chester Councilare being given more control overthe services they need. The “My Life– My Choice” initiative gives morechoice to people with mentalhealth, physical or learningdisabilities and the elderly who arecared for in their own or specialisthomes.They are being offered a personalbudget, with the option of buyingthe support services they needthemselves rather than havingthem arranged by a care manager.The new arrangement consists ofan assessment of needs followed byallocation of a personal budgetbased on the assessment, and thedrawing-up of a Support Planoutlining how the budget will bespent.Councillor Brenda Dowding, AdultServices Portfolio Holder, said: “Akey element of the new system ischoice, with people being enabledto take decisions about their owncare needs.”Reassuranceon securityPOLICE officers visited 300households in just two hours toask residents for their views onantisocial behaviour andreassure them on communitysafety. Officers visiting homesin Boughton asked residents ifthey were experiencing anyproblems and offered advice onsecurity and safety.Sgt Simon Owen, of theChester Neighbourhood PolicingUnit, said: “We also used theopportunity to recruitHomewatch co-ordinators tojoin the initiative to cut downon crime in the community.”■ GET INVOLVED... would youlike officers to visit homes inyour community.? Contactpolice online by visitingwww.cheshire.police.ukGarage sealof approvalMOTORISTS looking for a garagewhich provides high standards anda fair deal when it comes tovehicle sales, servicing and repairscan trust the Golden Spanner.Garages are only awarded theseal of approval by Cheshire Westand Chester Council TradingStandards service if they are anestablished business with a historyof fair trading.■ For a list of participatinggarages phone 0300 123 8 123,visit or call Consumerdirect on 08454 040 506.Fire crews spray a“contaminated vehicle” asemergency plans swing intoaction in a simulated toxicchemical spill near the M56.Local community is involved for thefirst time in a catastrophe simulationEmergency plans actioned in‘toxic cloud’ exerciseIT was every resident’s nightmare... atoxic cloud of chemicals leaking from atanker at a motorway service stationnear a quiet Cheshire village.Emergency plans rolled into action... couldthe 999 services cope? Could a major tragedy beprevented?Thankfully the “catastrophe” was asimulation, when thousands of people had thechance to find out what they should do in theevent of a real emergency when Cheshire Fireand Rescue Service staged the major trainingexercise.The Shelter Day at Hapsford Services just offthe M56 saw crews responding to a “toxic cloud”leaking from a road tanker which would haveaffected the nearby village of Elton.In the run-up to the event letters andemergency information leaflets were sent to over2,000 local homes and businesses. In addition,officers visited the local school and gave aspecial presentation to pupils about what wouldhappen in the event of a real emergency.The “Go In – Stay In – Tune In” message toldpeople to go indoors, close all doors andwindows and tune into a local radio station forfurther updates. On the day of the exercisesafety advisors visited over 60 businesses as wellas giving out information at local playgroups,churches, surgeries, other community premisesand to parents collecting their children fromschool.Staff also used a mobile transmitter with arange of up to 250 metres to send out messageswhich could be accepted by anyone in the areawith bluetooth enabled on their phone.AwarenessPaul Hancock, Cheshire’s new Chief FireOfficer, said: “While we carry out regularexercises like this to train our firefighters, thiswas the first time we have involved the localcommunity.“It was a great opportunity to use a range ofdifferent methods in raising people’s awarenessof what they should do if an incident like thiswas to happen for real.”■ GET READY... more information on what todo in a major incident is available where residentscan also sign up to receive text messagealerts from the fire service.Firefighting appliances were rushed to the scene to deal with the simulated chemical “spill.”A firefighter wearing full decontaminationgear is washed down after taking part inthe toxic leak exercise.12TALKING TOGETHER ■ Winter 2009

Campaignto improveSTUDENTSECURITYUNIVERSITY of Chesterstudents are beinggiven a friendly lectureon common sense as part of apolice campaign to cut crime.Young people starting theirstudies away from home for thefirst time have been advised by theneighbourhood policing teams ofthe risks of walking alone andshowing off expensive MP3 players,mobile phones and laptops.It is part of an initiative calledCSI – which stands for CommonSense, Innit? – taking place in themain areas where students live.At the same time they werewarned of the negative impact thatmaking a noise, playing loud musicand general boisterous behaviourcan have on neighbours.More than 250 personal attackalarms and 200 timer switches forlights were handed out at anIMPACT event in the area.And extra patrols, including beatofficers, police community supportofficers and special constables, havebeen mounted along the mainthoroughfares between the citycentre and the main student areason Monday and Wednesday nights– which is when bars and clubs inChester offer students special deals.Sgt Simon Owen, of the ChesterInner Neighbourhood PolicingTeam, said: “We have been out andabout to reassure students andPC Stephen Baldwin gives advice on personal safety and securityto Chester University students Jodie Bennett, left, and Jo Burton.advise them on their safety. Forinstance, we tell them it is best notto be walking alone late at night, orto be chatting away on their mobilephone or listening to their iPod.Avoiding crime is often aboutremoving the attraction to acriminal.“We also advise young peopleliving away from home for the firsttime about the importance oflocking up their accommodationand not leaving valuable items likelaptops on show.”Neighbourhood beat officer PCStephen Baldwin gave a lecture tostudents starting their first year oncampus.Sgt Owen said: “PC Baldwin iswell-known in the student areasand will give advice to youngpeople on staying safe.“But he will also tell them whatbehaviour is acceptable and what isnot.“It’s a matter of common senseto make sure they avoid becominga victim of crime and, at the sametime, be a good neighbour to thelocal community.”Family Support Worker Soraya Fowles, whose adviceincludes healthy eating and home cooking tips, isbased at the Over Children’s Centre, Winsford.Free and impartialadvice for familiesHELP is available for anyone in the borough whoneeds information, advice and guidance forfamilies and young people.Cheshire West and Chester’s Family InformationService (FIS) supports parents, prospectiveparents, carers, children and young people and canhelp on a range of issues including availablechildcare and childcare options, support forchildren with additional needs and/or a disability,information about flexible working and advice onhow to access tax credits or childcare vouchers.Call the service on 0800-0852863 Monday ­Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm, to speak to an advisor ore-mail via our website at websites are the key tofacts about local public servicesA NEW website has been launchedwhich explains how local serviceswork, who provides them and howpeople can get access to them.It outlines the wide range of workin health and social care carried outby NHS Western Cheshire, CheshireWest and Chester Council, and otherpartner organisations such as thehospital and mental health trusts.It gives members of the public theopportunity to have their say on theday-to-day services provided andmake suggestions on what is workingfor them and what needs to beimproved.The website – which is found bylogging on to – alsosignposts the public to the latestinformation on pressing health issues– such as swine flu or detail aboutemergency out-of-hours healthcare.Gill Swash, Head of Knowledge andLibrary Services at NHS WesternCheshire, said: “We carried out asurvey and found that there was arelatively low awareness ofinformation on the NHS andhealthcare websites in the area, otherthan that of the Countess of ChesterHospital. The website will help addressthat by giving people all theinformation they need to know abouthealth and social care services servicesthey can access in one place and howthey work together.“The site lists healthcare providersin the area and gives information onhow to find a doctor or dentist.“It tells people about the choice ofhospitals available to them and alsogives them the opportunity tofeedback their thoughts on services.This feedback is used to improvehealth and social care provision forthe future. ”GillSwash, Headof Knowledge andLibrary Services atNHS WesternCheshire, accessesthe newwebsite.■ Another new website allowsresidents to register to receive updates,messages and security alerts aboutmajor incidents which may affect theirbusiness or family. The email and textmessaging service from Cheshire Fireand Rescue Service passes on alerts tosubscribers. People sign up to theservice by entering up to threepostcodes from Cheshire i.e. home,work and relatives’ postcodes. To signup visit 2009 ■ TALKING TOGETHER 13

Tailor-made servicesgive vital supportSinglemother CarolineBeadle and herson Jake have hadtheir lives changedfor better by theBridging Workerservice.SINGLE mum CarolineBeadle has been thrown alifeline by a new careservice, which offers help andsupport with her son whilegiving her the chance to holddown a full time job.E-commerce team leaderCaroline, has taken advantage ofthe borough’s innovative BridgingWorker project which giveschildren with physical andlearning difficulties theopportunity to access safe andsecure play and leisure activitiesbefore and after school.It gave the 33-year-old, ofHelsby, the opportunity to lookfor a full time job but with thepeace of mind that herfive-year-old son Jake – who hasbehavioural difficulties – wasbeing cared for through thetailor-made service.She said: “It is a wonderfulservice and has really helped meout. I wanted to make sure Jakehas the best one-to-one care butat the same time needed to workfull time to support us. TheBridging Worker scheme offeredme a lifeline when I needed it.”The Bridging Worker service,which started as a pilot projectfour years ago, has been widelysuccessful in helping disabledchildren and young people toaccess play and leisureopportunities in authorised outof school settings close to home.A Bridging Worker acts as a“link” by getting to know thedisabled child and his or herfamily in their own home, thenworking with the chosen out ofschool club to overcome potentialbarriers, such as the need forspecial equipment, training orone-to-one staffing.Peace of mindCaroline added: “Our BridgingWorker, Chris Greers, waswonderful. She helped me sortout appropriate before and afterschool clubs for Jake’s schoolwhich meant I could go out towork with peace of mind.“Thanks goodness for theservice I have nothing but goodto say about it.”In Cheshire West and Chester atotal of 42 disabled children arecurrently enjoying out of schoolcare – and many of them haveimpairments that required theout-of-school club to undertakespecialised training to deal withissues such as tracheotomytraining, peg feeding, personalintimate care and positive liftingand moving techniques.The Bridging Worker Servicealso works closely with otheragencies in order to provide evenwider support for disabledchildren and their families.Barbara Jones, BusinessSupport Officer for CheshireWest and Chester Council’sChildcare Strategy Team, said:“Research by an independentcharity has demonstrated thatinclusion can be best promotedwhere there is a person who canact as a link or ‘bridge’ between adisabled child, their family andthe play or childcare setting.“The bridging role has beenshown to be an effective way ofsupporting inclusive settings.”The Bridging Worker scheme ispart of a raft of services fordisabled children which are beingtransformed by the Government’snational initiative called AimingHigh for Disabled Children(AHDC).More services being developedas part of AHDC are to be rolledout across the borough anddetails will be published in futureissues of Talking Together.Parents are required to pay fora childcare place and collect theirchild at the end of each session. Ifyou are looking for a localout-of-school club or achildminder for your disabledchild, or for further informationplease contact The FamilyInformation Service by freephone on 0800 085 2863.Good advice prescribed to combatexpected second wave of swine fluWITH a second wave of swine flu immunosupressed (i.e. lacking acases expected this winter, health fully effective immune system).officials in West Cheshire are People aged over 65 withprescribing good advice to people underlying health conditions.most at risk from the H1N1 virus. Sarah Johnson-Griffiths,Most cases of swine flu are mild Specialist in Public Health for NHSand simply require rest at home, Western Cheshire, said: “For mostplenty of fluids andpeople swine flu will be a mildover-the-counter flu medication. illness which can be dealt withThe main symptom is a high without medical intervention.temperature, and the patient mayalso have a cough, sore throat, body Priority groupsaches, chills, aching limbs or a lossfollow the “catch it, bin it,“However, people who are in theof appetite. Some people with thekill it” commonsensefour priority groups we have NOT go to the hospital Accidentvirus have also reported nausea andhygiene rules in order to help reduceidentified are at most risk ofand Emergency Department or theirdiarrhoea.the risk of the disease spreading:developing complications if they do GP surgery, but instead call theHowever, despite the fact the vastcontract the virus. Therefore we National Pandemic Flu Service on Cover your nose and mouthmajority of those infected onlywould urge them to have the or go online to check theirwith a tissue when coughing orsuffer a mild form – people in “atvaccination.symptoms at the dedicated website sneezing.risk” groups are urged to have a“People considered to be a (see numbers and address above). Dispose of the used tissueswine flu vaccination. The fourpriority for the vaccinationHowever, there are particular promptly and carefully.priority “at risk” groups are:programme will be contacted by groups who need to contact their Wash hands frequently with soap Anyone aged between six months their GP practice and invited to GP if they have flu symptoms – and water and clean hard surfacesand 65 years who has anhave the jab. If there is anyone who these include the chronically ill such such as door handles to reduceunderlying health problem (eg has any concerns at all about the as those with heart, kidney orthe spread of the virus.diabetes or heart disease).vaccination they should contact respiratory disease, the very young It is also a good idea for people – Pregnant women.their GP.”(particularly the under-ones) and particularly those living alone – to Anyone who has household To avoid spreading the virus, pregnant women. choose a “flu friend” in case theycontact to a person who is people with the symptoms should And of course it’s important to develop swine flu symptoms forTamifluanti-viralmedication isavailable atcollectioncentresthroughoutthe borough.which they would require theTamiflu anti-viral medication. Tohelp stop the virus spreading, flufriends can collect the treatment ifneeded.Sarah added: “It is better to beproactive and choose a flu friendnow rather than waiting for theonset of symptoms. People who donot have friends or relatives near bycould consider makingarrangements with a neighbour.”More details about the latestadvice on Swine Flu are availableby logging onto the NHS WesternCheshire’s website atwww.wcheshirepct.nhs.uk14TALKING TOGETHER ■ Winter 2009

Pupils help designnew play areasPUPILS across the borough have helpeddesign 22 new play areas in a millionpound project to boost health andfitness. Landscape architects aredrawing up designs for therefurbishment or development of 22sites, promising “play areas with adifference” to encourage young people,especially girls, to get active.Work on the first phase of the playareas is set to start before the end ofthe year with the first 11 sitescompleted and opened before the endof March. Plans to “break the mould” bydesigning the play areas to meet youngpeople’s needs will be based aroundthemes like climbing, rolling andjumping.Natural materials like bark andsand will be used instead ofconcrete floors and initialconcept drawings posted on theproject website show plenty ofroom for borders including herbsand sensory plants to provide anatural environment for play.SHOPPERS are beingurged to support localtraders during thefestive season by lookingfor bargains “on theirdoorstep.”The wide range of specialisedgoods available at competitiveprices from high street outletsand the borough marketsmeans people don’t need totravel long distances to stockup.The message from CheshireWest and Chester Council is:“Stay close, buy local” – while atthe same time reducing yourcarbon footprint.“We are encouraging peopleto help keep the high street andlocal markets alive,” saidCouncillor Herbert Manley,Prosperity Portfolio Holder.“Nobody wants to seeboarded-up shops – and ourclose-to-home servicesincluding restaurants, butchers,greengrocers, corner shops, hairsalons and nail bars all deservesupport.“By making the most of ourlocal shops and markets, peoplewill also ensure they have agreener Christmas by cuttingdown on their food miles.”Jessica Jeffreys, Team Leaderfor Markets at the Council,emphasised the wider choice ofspecialised goods offered bylocal shopping.“The five markets managedby Cheshire West and Chesterare situated in the heart of ourcommunities and they offer apersonal service with a diversityof products,” she said.“People seeking presents witha difference will find that manytraders are able to customisehand-crafted gifts for them,specifically to their taste.“They also have moreflexibility on prices.“Markets are definitely theplace for bargains, with friendlystallholders who are often onfirst-name terms with theircustomers.” Eight-year-old Lucy Threlkeld is pictured flying high onthe old swings at the Victoria Street play area in Lostockwhich are set to be replaced by modern play facilities.Bargains on the doorstep willcut carbon footprintSalesassistant MargoStokes serves 81-yearold customer RonBrumby at the Big Applestore, located inEllesmere Port’sindoor market.THE OPENING TIMES OF THE MARKETS ARE:Chester Market: Mon-Sat 8am-5pm.Ellesmere Port Market: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri,Sat 8am-5pm. Sunday 10am-4pm.Neston Market: Fri 8.30am-3pm(supplemented by a farmers’ market on the thirdSaturday of each month).Northwich Market: Tues, Fri, Sat 9am-4pm.Winsford Market: Mon, Thurs, Sat 9am-4pm.Take festivecards andtrees to berecycledHUNDREDS ofthousands of residentsacross the borough are beingurged to make it a greenChristmas by recycling theirfestive cards and trees.Local recycling sites andwaste collection services aregearing up for apost-Christmas rush asfamilies do their bit for theenvironment by sensiblydisposing of their paper, cardand real trees.It will not only reduce theamount of waste sent tolandfill, but trees will bemulched and used in parksaround the borough andpaper and card will be sentaway to be pulped and usedagain. There are differentarrangements for recycling indifferent communities acrossthe borough and anyone whoneeds to find out how torecycle this Christmas isbeing advised to call theCouncil on 0300 123 8 123or visit Neil Ritchie,Environment PortfolioHolder, said: “We have a goodtrack record of recycling inCheshire West and Chesterwith the latest figuresshowing over 46 per cent ofhousehold waste currentlybeing recycled. RecyclingChristmas cards and realtrees sometimes captures theimagination of people whodo not usually recycle. Wewant them to catch the bug,do their bit for the planetand carry on throughout theyear.”■ TASTY recipes to use upfestive leftovers from turkeyto Christmas pudding areavailable through thegovernment’s Love Food, HateWaste campaign atwww.lovefoodhatewaste.comOne of the most popular isthe recipe for mouthwateringturkey, ham and leek pie,pictured below.Winter 2009 ■ TALKING TOGETHER 15

AIMING HIGH: Cheshire Jets basketballplayers, left to right, Shawn Myers, PaulPeterson, John Simpson and Chez Marks,with pupils from Guilden SuttonPrimary School, left to right,Sohayla Rahmani-Torkaman,George Hassall andDavid Baird.Hoops for Health is aslam dunk hitCity receivesaccolade forsafer businessCHESTER is one of onlytwo cities to be awarded aprestigious Safer BusinessAward with Distinction bythe Home Office.A special partnership,Chester Against BusinessCrime, has worked toreduce business crimesuch as shoplifting, whichestimates show costsChester as much as £20million pounds each year.Rita Waters, ChiefExecutive of ChesterRenaissance, said: “Thecouncil, police, city centremanagement and theprivate sector have cometogether to make Chestera more viable place workand trade in, and supportefforts to make it animportant destination forpeople to visit.”Chester Against BusinessCrime has over 150members across the city,and all share informationacross the network andwith police.Rita added: “In the caseof shoplifters, this enablesus to quickly identify anyactive criminals in the areaand alert other memberstores within minutes.”THE borough’s very own professionalbasketball team – the Cheshire Jets – isproving a real slam dunk hit with localyoungsters by putting some bounce into theirlives with a specialised healthy livingprogramme.The Cheshire Jets tailor-made fitness andwellbeing scheme – Hoops for Health – is beingbrought to primary schools across the region in abid to encourage and show young people how tolead a healthy lifestyle.The scheme involves the players visiting localschools three-days-a-week where they take pupilsthrough each of the programme’s four steps –healthy eating, anti-smoking, basketball skills andgeneral fitness.During each visit the youngsters get the chanceto take part in a number of sporting activities andeveryone is given a book that accompanies theprogramme. The team also run competitions towin basketballs and T-shirts, and all those takingpart get tickets to the next Jets home game.Jets Marketing Manager Jess Forbes said:“Hoops for Health is the biggest and mostsuccessful sporting community programme in theNorth West. And who better to give advice andpractical help on diet and exercise thanprofessional athletes?“The team also inspires youngsters to getactively involved in sport and act as positive rolemodels for the community as a whole.“We have been running the scheme for the past18 months now, and over the coming season –which runs from September until next May – theteam will visit 140 schools, bringing this uniquehealthy living programme to more than 10,000schoolchildren.Up-and-coming talent“The scheme is part of the players’ contractsand they are very dedicated. They spend Tuesdays,Wednesdays and Thursdays each week visitinglocal schools. Fridays they are training andobviously they’ve have a game at the weekend.Monday is their only day off.”The club also runs 17 Junior Jets teams andemploys a team of community coaches who arealways on the lookout for up-and-coming talent.“When we visit the schools we take note of anyoutstanding pupils and pinpoint them so we canget them on to the nearest one of our teams,” saidJess. “Many of the young people who take part inJets star Shawn Myerslines up a shot.our healthy living programme or join one of ourclubs also go on to do the basketball degree nowrunning at Chester University, which we are alsoheavily involved in.”The Jets, who are based at the Northgate Arenain Chester and play in the top-tier BritishBasketball League, are sponsored by CheshireWest and Chester Council.■ For more information on Cheshire Jets orHoops for Health telephone 01244 302010 oremail to planwedding dayINFORMATION for anyoneplanning to tie the knot in2010 is being circulated bythe Cheshire West andChester RegistrationsService.A new brochure hasbeen put together to helpbrides and grooms to plantheir big day, withinformation on everythingfrom choosing the perfectvenue to the legalrequirements for civilceremonies.■ GET READY... for moreinformation or to requesta brochure telephoneJodie Carstairs on 01244973 715.Talking Together is published by West Cheshire Together, apartnership of Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire Police,Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cheshire Police Authority andNHS Western Cheshire.16TALKING TOGETHER ■ Winter 2009Editorial Services by Smith Davis Press, Chester. Printed by PCP.

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