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MEDICAL innovation in the UK was given a significant boost today with the announcement that an advanced diagnostics centre is to be built in Liverpool.

Rutherford Diagnostics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Proton Partners International, announced that the new centre will be situated in Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) within Liverpool City Council’s £1bn Paddington Village development.

The five-storey building, to be built by the council’s appointed contractor Morgan Sindall, will be positioned opposite the Royal College of Physicians’ new Northern headquarters, ‘The Spine’, and will be directly adjacent to the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West, which will be one of a network of Rutherford centres offering high energy proton beam therapy to cancer patients.

Mike Moran, chief executive of Proton Partners International, said: “We are delighted to bring medical innovation to Liverpool and the North West, with the provision of proton beam therapy treatment which will greatly benefit many cancer patients. I am equally as proud to announce that Liverpool – my home city – will be the site of the Rutherford Diagnostics headquarters.

“This centre aspires to be a leader in the prediction, prevention and earliest possible detection of disease, as well as being equipped to conduct the most complex of diagnostic tests across a wide range of conditions. The centre will be in a position to furnish health care providers with the most advanced diagnostic data.”

Mr Moran made today’s announcement at the MIPIM UK conference in London, the leading property summit for all key stakeholders in the UK. Rutherford Diagnostics will work alongside both private healthcare organisations and individual NHS foundation trusts.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I’m delighted this diagnostics centre is to be based in Paddington Village, it’s a huge boost for our plans to create a world leading medical research and innovation hub in the heart of the city’s Knowledge Quarter. Paddington Village is gaining real momentum now with renowned tenants like Proton Partners International, the RCP and Kaplan investing in the city and creating highly skilled jobs – and the great news is that there is much more to come.”

Aidan Kehoe, CEO of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It is really exciting that Rutherford Diagnostics is building a medical diagnostic centre in Paddington Village. It is our unique type of public-private partnership that will be critical in enabling Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter to become a centre of excellence in the provision of health and cancer care. Our vision has always been to develop the Liverpool Biocampus to attract pioneering academics, clinicians and businesses that will ultimately benefit the people of Liverpool through improved health outcomes and economic growth in the city.”

Colin Sinclair, CEO of KQ Liverpool, said: “Liverpool is at the forefront of innovation in health and science and the Rutherford Diagnostics Centre will be in great company at the heart of KQ Liverpool on Paddington Village, next to the RCP’s new home, The Spine, and close to the Universities and the new Royal and Clatterbridge Hospitals.”

The core technologies Rutherford Diagnostics will provide include CT, PET-CT, MR, ultrasound, endoscopy, genomics and personalised screening.

Proton Partners International, which is developing Rutherford Diagnostics, also runs the Rutherford Cancer Centres, which are at the forefront of providing innovative cancer care and creating a better future for cancer patients throughout the UK. Rutherford centres at Newport, South Wales, Northumberland and Reading are equipped to offer an all-encompassing cancer service, delivering class-leading imaging, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and proton beam therapy treatment. For more information, visit http://www.therutherford.co.uk/

 

Photo: Andy Green

THE world-renowned street theatre company behind ‘The Giants’ and its inspirational director are to be given the city’s highest civic honour.

Jean-Luc Courcoult, director of Royal de Luxe, is set to be awarded the Freedom of the City, following the recent ‘Liverpool’s Dream’ extravaganza with his world renowned ‘Giants’ last weekend.

It was the third and final time that these Jean-Luc creations will ever grace the streets of any city in the world, having attracted millions of visitors – and tens of millions of pounds in investment and economic impact – during their visits to the city over the past decade.

Jean-Luc

To commemorate the relationship between Liverpool and Royal de Luxe, the company will be given the Freedom Roll of Associations and Institutions for services to the city at the same ceremony.

The Giants are known across the globe for their magical street theatre performances and Liverpool was their last public performance, adding to the city’s special connection to Jean-Luc and his team.

The proposal is also in response to dozens of suggestions from members of the public for some recognition for Jean-Luc and his team.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Jean-Luc and the Giants have a special place in the hearts of Liverpudlians, having brought so much joy and wonder to the streets of our city. We feel it’s a worthy honour to propose him for the Freedom of the City and I will be nominating him at the next meeting of the Council in November.

“We don’t give these awards out lightly, but the impact that Jean-Luc and his team have had on our city has been immense. The investment we have made in bringing the Giants here has paid for itself many times over and everyone who has stood in awe as they strode past will never forget the experience.”

He added: “I have always said that culture is rocket fuel for our local economy and the images of Liverpool that were beamed around the world showed we are a vibrant European city with a strong and abiding commitment to investing in culture.”

 

SEAFISH’S annual campaign for Seafood Week 2018 is well underway and Paul Askew, Chef Patron of The Art School Restaurant in Liverpool is backing the drive by sharing a delicious recipe for Liverpool Bay seabass with Menai mussels and potted shrimp.

As part of Seafood Week, Seafish revealed that two thirds (68%) of the population aren’t eating the recommended government health guideline of two portions of fish a week as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

The chef, who also acts as joint Chair for the northern branch of The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, said: “Seafood is one of my favourite things to cook with and always has been. Wherever I go on holiday, I always have to find the fishmarket to find out what the locals are eating and try the freshest fish and seafood.

“I think people are scared of filleting and cooking fish so this Seafood Week, we’re encouraging people to experiment and try fish at home.

“At The Art School, we champion local produce and this dish is no exception. The line-caught Seabass is from Liverpool Bay and the potted shrimp is from Merseyside too. It’s a showcase of seasonal seafood from nearby and perfect to enjoy with the family over the weekend.”

Seafish, the public body that supports the £10bn UK seafood industry, is spearheading Seafood Week.

Providing accessible information through its Fish is the Dish initiative, Seafish aims to educate people on how to purchase and prepare seafood at home and ensure they are consuming the recommended two portions of fish a week.

Despite there being more than 100 species of seafood available to buy in the UK, the report shows that the majority of Brits that do eat fish stick to classic varieties including tinned tuna, salmon, cod and haddock.

Paul joins a team of top chefs from around the UK that are showing support for the campaign with delicious seafood recipes to try at home, including: Calum Richardson, Chef & Owner of the Bay Fish and Chips which recently ranked the highest UK entry in Lonely Planet’s Ultimate EatList; Aurélien Mourez, Head Chef of Glasgow’s Ox and Finch; Nathanial Tofan, Chef Patron at Manchester House; Freddy Bird, Executive Chef at Bristol Lido; MasterChef semi-finalist Leo Kattou of top Birmingham restaurant, Simpsons; and Andy Waugh of London’s Mac and Wild.

Liverpool Bay Seabass, sauce of Menai mussels, Southport potted shrimp, celeriac purée and rainbow chard

Feature for National Seafood Week 2018, showcasing recipes for delicious seafood dishes.
Pictured is Paul Askew, Head Chef at The Art School Restaurant, Sugnall Street, Liverpool
Pic Dominic Salter 44 (0) 7795800715
*Images are granted with a 1 year licence for pr use in association with the related press release only – for any further usage please contact Dominic Salter*

 

 Serves 4

 For the seabass and sauce:

 Ingredients

4 line-caught Liverpool Bay seabass fillets (approx. 170g each)

12 Menai mussels

Pot of Southport potted shrimp

100ml fish stock

50ml vegetable stock

100ml dry vermouth

200ml whole milk

1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped

Parsley (including the stalks)

Juice and zest of ½ lemon

1 tbsp capers

Finely chopped tomatoes

1 medium celeriac

Rainbow chard

Romanesco florettes

Handful of breadcrumbs

85g unsalted butter

 

Method

  1. In a hot pan, place your seabass fillets skin-side down with sea salt on the skin and cook for 3 minutes before transferring to the grill for a further 1-2 minutes under the grill, add a knob of butter and turn the fish over to give the skin a nice golden and crispy texture.
  2. Sweat off the garlic, parsley and capers in a 10g of butter with a squeeze of lemon before adding the tomatoes. Add your mussels and steam until the shells start to open. Don’t overcook otherwise they will start to look dry.
  3. Strain the juice from this and add it to your sauce to retain all of the flavours from the fish, pick the meat from the shells and leave on the side.
  4. Clean three of the shells per portion and add the meat and potted shrimp back into these. Sprinkle a little breadcrumb over the top and grill to gain a little colour.
  5. Put the celeriac into a pan and cover with the milk, 50g butter and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook them until they are soft before draining and liquidising (ensure you retain the cooking liquor to adjust the consistency as required), and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
  6. Make a quick fish stock by bringing the cooking liquor from the mussels to the boil before reducing to a simmer.
  7. Add the double cream and whisk in 25g of butter before finishing with the vermouth and seasoning with salt and pepper.
  8. Wash, trim and chiffonade the leaf of the rainbow chard. Blanch the Romanesco florettes and reheat in a little vegetable stock. Drain excess liquid.
  9. To serve, centre your puree and vegetables with the fish on top and the mussels scattered around the side. Top with a swoosh of sauce and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

SPECIAL OLYMPICS Great Britain has confirmed its 2021 National Summer Games – the 11th in the history of the organisation – will be held in Liverpool from Tuesday 3rd August until Saturday 7th August 2021.

This will be the first time that the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games have been held in Liverpool city centre – although Knowsley in Merseyside did host the first ever Games in 1978.

Venues for the Games will include Greenbank Sports Academy, Wavertree Athletics Village and ACC Liverpool – all helping to host the UK’s biggest disability sports event in 2021.

A spectacular opening and closing ceremony at Sefton Park and Echo Arena Liverpool will also trigger a major cultural programme for the games – with a major legacy plan set to include an annual festival and a new Intellectual Disability Forum.

Over 2,000 athletes will take part in a wide range of sports including Athletics, Boccia, Football, Gymnastics, Swimming, and the Motor Activities Training Programme for people with multiple cognitive disabilities. (This is a provisional list of some of the potential sports. A finalised list will be published closer to the games.)

Special Olympics GB is the largest registered charity providing year-round sports training and competition opportunities for people with intellectual (learning) disabilities – transforming the lives of thousands of people through the power of sport.

Around 1.5 million people in the UK (2% of the population) have an intellectual disability.  Special Olympics GB’s National Summer Games is the showpiece domestic event every four years for the organisation and its athletes.

In this country, Special Olympics GB serves over 10,000 registered athletes annually through almost 150 volunteer-led local clubs and 19 regions. Special Olympics GB is also a registered charity and is supported annually by individual and corporate donations.

A spectacular opening and closing ceremony at Sefton Park and Echo Arena Liverpool will also trigger a major cultural programme for the games – with a major legacy plan set to include a festival and a new Intellectual Disability Forum.

The event is another huge sporting coup for Liverpool as the city prepares to host a raft of major events such as the Netball World Cup in 2019 and the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 2022.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “As a city we have a belief in the power of sport, physical activity and events to transform lives and to inspire people to fulfil their potential, regardless of the nature of their disability.

“Liverpool will deliver an inspirational event that provides everyone involved with ‘the time of their life’ including athletes and their families, spectators, volunteers, officials, partners and everyone watching who can be inspired by these memorable moments.

“Liverpool’s cultural offer will make these games a true celebration of disability sport. From the delivery of an exciting Opening Ceremony at the Echo Arena to a Families Programme that includes some of the biggest names in culture and the arts, including some amazing artistic commissions, Liverpool will reset the bar for what these games mean and how society treats the issue of intellectual disability.”

Murton Mann, Special Olympics GB’s Chairman, said: “We are thrilled to be heading to Liverpool in 2021. We expect in the region of 2,000 athletes and 500 voluntary coaches – supported by a further 500 volunteers and estimated 5,000 family members – to visit Liverpool in the summer of 2021 for our biggest national event which takes place every four years.

 “We are looking forward to the support of the people of Liverpool and businesses of the city at this very significant sporting event.  We are sure that the great City of Liverpool will provide a very successful and hugely memorable event for our athletes, their families, coaches and volunteers.

“The people of Liverpool are well known for their warm embrace and love of sport.  So, what better host venue for our Special Olympics GB athletes to enjoy this landmark event in the lives.  Liverpool is the most welcoming and inclusive city and we are proud to be heading there for our National Games.

“The economic benefit of hosting our National Games in Sheffield in 2017 was over £3.2m and we hope that Liverpool will enjoy similar benefits in addition to the magical and priceless atmosphere this Special Olympics’ event will create.”

Michelle Carney, Interim CEO of Special Olympics, said; “I am absolutely delighted that Liverpool has been selected to host the Special Olympics GB National Summer Games in three years’ time. Liverpool has it all and this decision is testament to the fact that Liverpool is a great, diverse, inclusive sporting city, home to the sort of world-leading venues that befit a highly prestigious event such as this.”  

Everton CEO Prof. Denise Barrett-Baxendale MBE, who chaired Liverpool’s bid panel for the games, said: “I am delighted that the Special Olympics will be coming to my home city, Liverpool. I had the pleasure of leading a dedicated and hardworking panel for our successful application and this announcement is the proud culmination of that process.  

“Our Special Olympics GB athletes will remember their Liverpool experience forever. These games are a chance to make a huge difference to the lives of many inspiring athletes and their families. Liverpool 2021 will represent a highly-significant opportunity to showcase the talents and abilities of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Athletes visiting Liverpool will be able to compete at a national level, as well as making friends, building confidence and socialising with other competitors.

“The Special Olympics are no stranger to Liverpool – the city region successfully hosted the first-ever games in 1978 and I know the athletes, their families, and visitors will enjoy a warm scouse welcome as the games return home in 2021.”  

Peter Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Liverpool Football Club, said: “Liverpool Football Club is delighted to support the City Council in welcoming the Special Olympics GB to Liverpool in 2021. Our great city has a unique passion for sport, culture and diversity and we are extremely proud to open our doors to such an inspirational event to showcase the talents of so many extraordinary individuals, living with intellectual disabilities.”

Beth Tweddle, city of Liverpool’s triple World Gymnastics Champion who has competed numerous times at the Echo Arena, said: “I am delighted that my home city of Liverpool has been selected to host the 2021 Special Olympics. The city has been host to so many historical sporting moments over the years and this will be another event to add to the city’s legacy. I am honoured to be involved in the event and cannot wait for the games to unfold!”

A major legacy programme is also being devised to follow the games, with Liverpool City Council set to expand sport training and competition programme in the region with a number of partners.

 

LIVERPOOL City Council has revealed the most detailed designs yet for the city’s new cruise liner terminal within Peel Land & Property’s £5bn ‘Liverpool Waters’ scheme.

A 90 second fly-through video has been released online on the council’s YouTube account detailing the terminal, showcasing its state of the art passenger and baggage facility, complete with security checking and customs areas, lounge, café, toilets, taxi rank, coach and car passenger drop off and pick up point, short-term car park and four-star hotel.

The reveal of the RIBA Stage 4 designs for the terminal, which will be constructed at the Princes Jetty Site along Princes Parade at Princes Dock in Liverpool Waters, follows recent pre-planning consultation with residents and businesses in relation to the new 200-room hotel which would be opposite the terminal.

The fly-through video also shows how the 10,000 sqm new terminal would be built on two floors with the baggage hall in the ground floor and the passenger lounge, café and check in on the first floor. It also depicts how it will be connected to the existing cruise ship landing stage by a vehicular and passenger link-span bridge and walkway.

The proposed terminal development would comprise the dismantling of the redundant and derelict jetty and construction of the new terminal on a new jetty in the River Mersey. The scheme will also include new public open space, hard and soft landscaping and associated servicing arrangements.

An outline planning permission was granted for the scheme in April and the city council has applied through Mersey Docks and Harbour Company for a Harbour Revision Order for the construction of the Jetty in the River Mersey.

This year Liverpool welcomed more than 60 vessels, with 100,000 passengers and crew, and the city council wants to capitalise further on the cruise boom by creating a state of the art facility to cater for Liverpool’s growing appeal in the cruise industry. The current terminal generates more than £7m a year to the city’s economy.

The new cruise liner terminal, equivalent to the size of two football pitches, would be serviced by an off-site multi-storey car park and will enable the world’s largest cruise ships (up to 3,600 passengers) to embark and disembark at Liverpool and is expected to directly create more than 500 new jobs.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The construction of this new terminal will mark a new chapter in the city’s maritime future as we create a world class experience for the cruise companies and their passengers. We are working with some of the very best in the construction industry to deliver these facilities as this stunning video shows.”

Liverpool City Council has appointed Ramboll (with Stride Treglown as Architects, Jones Lang Lassalle as planning advisors and Turner & Towns end as Cost advisors) as the lead designer and McLaughlin & Harvey as the contractor for the works. The detail design is being progressed with a view to submit a reserved matters planning application in November.

Joyce Brady, Project Director, Ramboll, said: “Ramboll is delighted to have reached the stage on the new Liverpool Cruise Terminal where we can release the final images and fly-through of the new terminal. This is a major regeneration project for Liverpool City Council and their partners that will play an important role in growing Liverpool’s tourist numbers.

“Our team, including architect sub consultants Stride Treglown, and major sub-consultants JLL and Turner and Townsend, are looking forward to seeing the scheme through its construction stage and into operation and accepting ships.”

Reflecting on the design, Gordon Tero, Director at Stride Treglown, commented: “The Liverpool Cruise Terminal is a new gateway to a beautiful city, loved the world over. We have acknowledged the historic setting, whilst also looking to the future, and reflected the excitement of travel in our architecture. We designed the new terminal to be open and outward-looking. Expansive glass walls frame far-reaching views across the city and out to the Irish Sea, and a zinc skin will shimmer with tones of the River Mersey. A concrete plinth, upon which the building sits, is a modern interpretation of the old dock walls.”

John Mariner, Contract Director at McLaughlin & Harvey, said: “We are delighted to be selected to deliver this iconic project on the Liverpool waterfront. To be awarded this prestigious contract is testament to the reputation we’ve built up for delivering high-quality marine developments. We have been working closely with the council and the design team to optimise the design and develop an efficient construction methodology which minimises the impact of the work on the local area and the River Mersey.”

Liverpool City Region Combined Authority recently approved £20m funding from its Single Investment Fund for the new Cruise Terminal facility.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “The new cruise liner terminal is a key element in plans to further boost our flourishing visitor economy, which is now worth more than £4.5bn a year to the city region’s economy and provides more than 53,000 jobs. Attracting more visitors, in bigger ships, will give a boost not just to businesses in the city centre, but around the city region, indirectly creating additional jobs for local people across the supply chain. This video brings the plans to life and helps demonstrate how much closer this project is to becoming a reality.”

The site of Princes Jetty and the land known as Plot 11 along Princes Parade, which are needed for the construction of the new cruise terminal and the hotel, will be gifted to the city council by Peel Land and Property Ltd.

Site preparation works for the new facilities are expected to start in the New Year, subject to approval of the Harbour Revision Order.

 

 

WORK has begun on The Spine – the Royal College of Physicians’ new £35m northern headquarters in Liverpool – with a ceremony to mark the breaking of the ground upon which it will be built.

The 160,000 sq ft building, in Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) – the city’s biggest Mayoral Development Zone – will be one of the healthiest workspaces for mental and physical wellbeing in the UK and it is hoped that it will be among the first to achieve the international WELL standard of modern building design when it opens its doors in 2020.

The Spine takes its name from a striking staircase on its north elevation that resembles human vertebrae.

While the bottom three and top four storeys of The Spine will become a new 70,000 sq. ft. centre of clinical excellence for the RCP, the remaining seven floors will offer a flexible range of innovative, contemporary workspaces designed to meet the needs of organisations in the health, science and education sectors.

Located within Liverpool City Council’s £1bn Paddington Village development, The Spine will boast an internal sky garden, complete with high-oxygen producing plants, a fine dining restaurant available for private hire, a large bicycle and shower facility and under croft car parking for 50 spaces featuring five electric charging points.

A dedicated mezzanine exhibition space will connect via a spiral staircase to a ground floor café and foyer, while each of the floors, which are circa 11,550 sq ft, will enjoy some of the best views of the city thanks to floor-to-ceiling glazing throughout.

Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure, contracted by Liverpool City Council to deliver the Paddington Village scheme, has instigated the planning process and consultant appointments for the building and last year competitively appointed AHR Architects and Arup to design the building and advise on how to achieve the prestigious WELL standard.

GVA and CBRE have been appointed as joint agents on the Paddington Village scheme and a new marketing brochure has been produced to launch at MIPIM UK, the property conference in London, later this week.

Professor Jane Dacre performed the groundbreaking ceremony, with the Mayor of Liverpool, in one of her last official duties before handing over the presidency of the RCP to Professor Bod Goddard.

Professor Goddard said: “I am lucky to have become president at a time when the Royal College of Physicians has both been celebrating its 500th anniversary and is also about to open a brand new chapter in its history with an amazing building that will embody our commitment to wellbeing as we bring high quality research, medical training, examination and conference facilities to Liverpool and work more closely with our regional members.

“This is a physical statement that we have come a long way from our origins as a college and are now very much an organisation for the 21st century and our members and fellows throughout the UK and the world.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “I’m delighted that work has now begun on the new northern HQ for the Royal College of Physicians – it’s a landmark moment for them and the city of Liverpool. The Spine is going to be an outstanding building and a real statement of our intent to deliver a world class medical research hub at Paddington Village. Its opening will be a historic occasion and one of many which will cement the flourishing reputation of the city’s knowledge sector and its role as a major economic engine in the North of England.”

Colin Sinclair, CEO of KQ Liverpool, added: “Attracting the RCP to The Spine at Paddington Village is the perfect example of how we can successfully collaborate across Liverpool to support private and public initiatives in health, tech and science. We are unbelievably proud to welcome the RCP to the City Region, as they join us in creating a world-leading Innovation District here in KQ Liverpool.”

 

By Nigel Smith

RIGHT from the outset, Kneehigh’s trademark brand of naughtiness is apparent in resetting their adaptation of Jim Dodge’s Californian tale in the depths of the company’s native Cornwall which, as Granddaddy Jake is keen to point out, is in England but not of it.

Jake himself is a shambling, whiskey swilling centenarian, played with immense energy by the craggy form of David Mynne. The play opens as he and his 18 year old grandson Tiny celebrate their joint birthdays. Calvin Dean brings both warmth and mystery to his reading of Tiny, who refuses to celebrate because of the weight of things pressing on his mind.

Magically, we are taken back in time to meet Tiny’s mother Gabrielle and his father ‘Sonic’ Johnny, and to learn of the double tragedy that has left him an orphan. Jake goes to extraordinary lengths to secure the right to adopt his grandson, but Tiny struggles to deal with the loss of his mother and begins to build barriers around himself for protection.

The feminine influence in this dysfunctional family takes the form of Fup (a duck, naturally), rescued from near demise as a hatchling by a dose of Jake’s home-brew, Ol’ Death Whisper. Fup is a sassy, wise and stabilising presence in the household.

Jenny Beare is a remarkable chameleon, playing a series of characters including Tiny’s mother Gabrielle, an over-zealous social worker, and the general party animal Dolly. She also lends an extra pair of hands to Rachel Leonard, the puppeteer who breathes life into both Fup and the young Tiny. Sarah and Lyndie Wright’s puppets are genuinely magical. It takes a conscious effort to remember that they rely on the puppeteers for their movement.

The writing is tremendously clever, paring the story down to something that genuinely works dramatically, distilling the essence of the fable as potently as Jake’s Ol’ Death Whisper. The threads of truth woven through the story’s rich tapestry keep emerging at the surface, and the sheer joy of the show’s energy is balanced beautifully with its layered messages of loss, despair, love and hope.

The action is enhanced throughout by live onstage music, from Ben Sutcliffe and Zaid Al-Rikabi. Ranging from witty set-pieces to underpinning sound effects, their contribution really adds to the sense of drive and movement, and grows out of the story rather than feeling like an accompaniment.

To dwell too much on the design would be to give away a lot of the many surprises that it has in store, but Rosanna Vize’s set is very much part of the action. From light touches, such as the building of a tiny fence, through to a grand gesture at the breathtaking conclusion, it’s a masterpiece of staging. Buster Keaton would surely have raised his hat to this.

Above all the sheer theatricality of this adaptation, storytelling remains key, and the beauty of Dodge’s original tale shines though from beginning to end. The heartbreaking battle that Tiny faces to let down his guard and live is immensely moving. As his granddaddy tells him, any fence is only as secure as its gate. When he finally finds the gate open, the audience are bound to suddenly find something in their eyes.

This is about as good as theatre gets.

 

ARTISTIC students from Aigburth-based St Margaret’s Academy (SMA) were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with the Giants during this year’s spectacular event.

Lucky individuals from years 7 and 8 had the chance to create bespoke artwork as part of a programme called Liverpool’s Dream which featured alongside the Giants.

The youngsters were encouraged to think about their own dreams, for example, what their hopes are for the future, what they envisage for the place they call home, and what they imagine will be their legacy for future generations.

Their work then inspired the design of an enormous picnic blanket which formed part of the show when it visited Princes Park. Colourful applique, embroidery and printing were used to depict their dreams.

Those involved were given the opportunity to attend the exclusive picnic in the park, where they were joined by the Little Boy Giant and Xolo the dog.

Year 7 student Harry Grimes, said:  “I have really enjoyed being involved in the Giants -although I wish this was not the finale as it has been great for the city! I feel lucky to have put together images and pictures for the collaborative collage and had lots of fun in the process.”

Art teacher, Mark Bradfield-Smith commented:  “It is wonderful that St Margaret’s has been part of this amazing event and our students were very excited about the Giants’ arrival and to see their artwork used within the Liverpool’s Dream project.

“Events like this really help students unleash their creativity and I’m delighted they were included in such a unique experience.”

 

 

IT was a ‘giant’ occasion for Ronald McDonald House Liverpool, as the charity celebrated its 25th year on Friday, by hosting a black tie ‘Glitter Ball’ at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool. Over 200 guests attended, to raise funds for the local charity.

Auction prizes on offer included a glittering diamond pendant donated by David M Robinson jewellers, which went under the hammer for £3,000 and a pair of Christian Louboutin ‘So Kate’ python heeled pumps, donated and signed by supermodel Kate Moss, which sold for £550.

Entertainment came in the form of local swing singer Alan Cross and his band, along with the Mac House dancers – a group made up of business people across the city who came together to take part in a dance-off on the night, in aid of the charity.

The independent charity, known fondly as ‘Mac House’ has provided accommodation and support for over 32,000 families with critically ill children at Alder hey hospital since it opened its doors back in 1993. Since then, the house has expanded twice and can now accommodate up to 84 families at one time, offering practical and emotional support as well as sibling group activities and group meals each week. A donation of £25 will pay for one night in one of the 69 bedrooms while £40 covers the cost of a night in one of the 15 apartments. On average, a family stay at Mac House is usually 17 days. Doors are open to families 365 days a year, and rooms are given to families free of charge, to relieve them of any financial worries while their child is in hospital.

Fundraising Manager at Ronald McDonald House Gillian Wilson said:  “As an independent charity, our main source of income is through fundraising and donations. In order to keep Mac House running, we need to raise £600,000 each year, and with 84 rooms we have a lot of families depending on us. Our ball was a fabulous occasion to celebrate this great milestone in the charity’s history.”

Challenge the stigma and don’t be afraid to talk about how you really feel.

THE City Council is spearheading the launch of the city’s mental health awareness campaign – This Is Me…This is Liverpool.

Liverpool City Council has joined forces with a host of big name companies, including Barclays, Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) and Seddon Construction to launch the city’s own This Is Me mental awareness campaign.

The campaign focuses on good mental health and wellbeing within the workplace by helping employers to provide a platform for staff members who have experienced mental health problems to share their stories with others. This Is Me also brings together expertise from mental health and support charities MIND and The Samaritans.

Liverpool Town Hall was the venue for the launch of This Is Me, which saw more than 100 delegates and invited guests turn out to show support for the campaign.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, who officially opened the event, said the council would play a leading role in promoting good mental health amongst its workforce.

Mayor Anderson said: “The real challenge is to change people’s perceptions and challenge the stigma that surrounds mental health wherever we find it.”

“The message is, if you are struggling with your mental health, it’s ok to talk to people. In the city council we will be setting up teams within the different departments who will be able to give support to anyone who has issues that they need to talk about. We are encouraging everyone to have a conversation about their mental health. I would urge everyone to speak to one of your colleagues and take the time to tell them how you feel today.”

The city council is hosting a special This Is Me page on its website where businesses can find out more and register to join the campaign.

According to mental health charity MIND, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

The launch event heard real life testimonies from many professionals who have experienced various forms of mental health issues such as stress, anxiety and depression.

Leading the charge for Liverpool was Barclays North West Director of Transformation, Christine Meakin.

Mum of two Christine told the audience how she experienced ‘burnout’ in 2014.

“I never thought I’d be someone who’d suffer from anxiety or stress – I thought I was too strong,” said Christine. “I was pushing myself to be everything to everyone because I didn’t want to let people down,”

“I was in denial about how I felt, but I didn’t want people to see that I was struggling and I didn’t want to ask for help because I saw it as a sign of weakness.”

Christine told the audience how she eventually spoke to her employer about how she was feeling, which led to her taking five months off to recover.

She added: “What’s most important is that people are talking about mental health and that they don’t feel ashamed if they are struggling with it. If I’d known more about wellbeing when this happened I may not have reached the low that I did. I learned that stress is indiscriminate, it can happen to anyone and is not a sign of weakness. Taking the first step is hard, but once you’ve taken it you won’t look back. I felt like a weight had been lifted when I opened up.”

To find out more about the This Is Me campaign in Liverpool, visit: www.liverpool.gov.uk/thisisme

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