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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 17 July 2014

Prince's Trust spruce up hospital gardens

VOLUNTEERS from the Prince's Trust have worked hard clearing and replanting more than 32 concrete planters at Southport hospital.

10 volunteers from the Prince's Trust gave the planters and borders a new lease of life bringing colour to the main entrance, outside the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre and around the hospital grounds.

Dobbies, the nearby garden centre, donated plants and equipment for the project and the Prince's Trust have not only volunteered their time but also fundraised towards the project.

The project is being run by Catherine Carter, medical device manager, as part of the Scope for Change, a Trust staff development programme which is putting staff in charge to deal with the everyday issues that get in the way of patient care.

Catherine said: "It's been very rewarding working with the Prince's Trust volunteers and supervisors. Their energy and enthusiasm meant we could complete far more than I originally envisaged and they've left our Southport hospital site looking blooming lovely!”

Photos show planters before and after and Prince's Trust volunteers


MORE than half of the troubled families living in Merseyside have turned their lives around in little over 2 years, according to the latest government statistics.  Councils have been praised for helping to get the lives of 2,767 families back on track out of the 4,805 troubled families living in the County.  Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference in Bournemouth, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced that 52,833 of the most troubled families in England have been turned around by local authority teams since April 2012.

This means that:-

►  children are back in school for 3 consecutive terms where they were previously truant or excluded.

►  high levels of youth crime and anti-social behaviour have been significantly reduced.

►  and/or adults that were on benefits have been in work for at least 3 months.

The Secretary of State said that councils all over England had risen to the challenge of helping whole families improve their lives, through a 'tough love' approach that combines intensive and practical support.  Eric Pickles said:- "To have helped so many families so quickly is testament to the hard work and determination of troubled families teams across the Country.  Nobody is saying that troubled families will become model citizens overnight, but turning them around starts with getting kids off the streets and into school, giving them a better chance in life, and helping adults into employment or better able to work.  This is good for the taxpayer, good for the families themselves and good for the communities around them.”

Local authorities are paid up to £4,000 on a payment by results basis for turning around troubled families. The government's £448 million 3 year budget for 2012 to 2015 is drawn from 6 Whitehall departments who all stand to benefit from the public sector working more effectively with troubled families.  At the Spending Review last year it was announced that the Troubled Families programme would be expanded to work with more families. The Budget in March 2014 announced that work with up to 40,000 of these families would begin this year.

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