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CHIEF executive of Liverpool-based charity, ADHD Foundation, Dr Tony Lloyd, has been included in the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List, presented by the Financial Times, in recognition of his work to promote workplace equality and drive change in the public sector, and his endless support for the LGBT+ community.

Tony ensures that all staff at the foundation are trained in cultural diversity and the Equalities Act and, as the largest patient-led service for ADHD in Europe, they have a proactive policy to recruit from minority population groups including LGBT+. He is passionate about workplace equality and actively promotes their service as LGBT+ friendly and participates in LGBT+ community activities, such as Liverpool Pride.

Externally, Tony has regularly been invited to speak on diversity at conferences and addressed the UN in Geneva on equality and diversity. He led and raised the funding for 14 groups of young adults on visits to Auschwitz in Poland to educate them about diversity, racism and LGBT+ rights. He also worked as a consultant for Merseyside Police on recruitment of LGBT+ police officers, and actively supports Sahir House – the Liverpool-based HIV charity – who he has been associated with for over 20 years.

Tony joins the likes of Dinesh Bhugra CBE, president of the World Psychiatric Association, Maura Healey, attorney general at Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and Aziz Rashid, head of BBC North West, who all make the top 20 list.

Tony said: “It’s an incredible honour to be named in the OUTstanding Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List. To be in the company of such esteemed individuals, who all do great things in support of the LGBT+ community, is deeply humbling.

“ADHD Foundation celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2017, so this the cherry on the cake.”

The Leading LGBT+ Public Sector Executives List – compiled by OUTstanding, a leading LGBT+ membership organisation for global businesses – is one of four categories, the others being the Top 100 LGBT+ Executives, Top 50 Ally Executives and the Top 50 LGBT+ Future Leaders lists.

Suki Sandhu, founder and CEO, OUTstanding, said: “These lists exist to challenge the assumption you cannot be out and successful in business, and to highlight the importance of role models in inspiring the next generation of business leaders. By recognising and celebrating those who are leading the charge, the lists demonstrate how far the quest for workplace equality has come. But there is always more to be done. Big business and the public sector have the power and influence to promote LGBT+ inclusion more widely, paving the way for real societal change around the world.”

All nominees were nominated by peers and colleagues, and then reviewed by OUTstanding’s judging panel. Everyone included in the list has given their permission to be included. LGBT+ Public Sector Executives were also in the unique position of being judged by the honourees from the 2016 OUTstanding Hall of Fame. These individuals work in non-LGBT+ focused organisations, and advocate for diversity and inclusion as visibly out leaders, both in and out of the workplace.

To be considered for a place on the list, role models had to be visibly out or a vocal ally, actively working to create an environment where LGBT+ people can bring their authentic selves to work. Nominees needed to be working towards this goal over and above their day job. The nominee’s seniority and influence was taken into consideration.

To view all the lists in full, visit https://www.out-standing.org/nominations/

For more information about the ADHD Foundation visit http://www.adhdfoundation.org.uk/ or call 0151 237 2661.

 

CAINS Brewery Village – home to popular destinations such as Baltic Market, Peaky Blinders Bar and Ghetto Golf – has announced it is now offering the fastest internet speed in Liverpool.

With Hyperoptic’s 1Gb Fibre-to-the-Premises infrastructure, tenants in the unique grade II-listed building can access speeds of 1,000Mbps broadband – over 27 times faster than the average connection in in the UK.

Users of this superfast broadband will be able to download HD movies in less than one minute and 4K content in minutes, and Cains is the first new business development in the city to benefit.

With the likes of Salford’s Media City attracting many businesses up north, Cains Brewery Village Managing Director Sid Dusanj hopes this unique offering will attract bigger businesses to the city.

Mr Dusanj said: “We are thrilled with how popular Cains Brewery Village has become, and by offering these incredible broadband speeds we are hoping to attract more businesses to the area.

“The Baltic Triangle is a creative digital hub and full of exciting independent businesses, so Cains would be ideal for a larger tech firm to set up a Northern base.”

The Village, which has become an independent business and entrepreneurial hotspot, was launched in 2017 and has gone from strength-to-strength ever since.

However, despite the high number of existing tenants, there is still 150,000 square feet available to rent in Cains Brewery Village – and with the addition of this hyperfast broadband, prospective tenants will be queuing at the door.

This new broadband service will also hugely benefit tenants in Brewery Works – a co-working and private office space within Cains Brewery Village.

Tomi Jones, Owner of Brewery Works, said: “The kind of businesses that will be working within Brewery Works rely on connectivity to go about their daily work.

“To be able to benefit from this incredibly fast broadband will make everyone’s jobs a lot easier, and our Brewery Works tenants are already incredibly excited to try out the speeds.”

Speaking about the impact high levels of connectivity will have on Liverpool’s perception as an international business destination, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Liverpool has always been an international destination for tourism, sport and culture – and now we are harnessing that inventive streak to become an international centre for creative and digital business.

“One of my key mayoral pledges is to make Liverpool the most digitally connected city in the UK, so this is great news for the sector and a massive boost to the Baltic area and the city’s burgeoning digital cluster. It’s another big step forward in the vision for Cains Brewery Village.

“Being able to offer the fastest broadband speeds in the country enables Liverpool to complete on the international stage with the great cities of the world.”

Steve Holford, Chief Customer Officer at Hyperoptic, said: “You cannot understate the role of digital infrastructure in enabling business success. Businesses become empowered when they try full fibre – they have fast and reliable connectivity that supports them.

“The feedback we get from our business customers is phenomenal – all their data-driven processes and interactions become instantaneous, giving them an immediate and significant productivity boost, many of which find measurable in net profits.”

For more information about opportunities available at Cains Brewery Village, interested parties can email Sid Dusanj at ssd@cains.co.uk

Credit: Lesley Martin

STAND-UP comedian Mark Thomas returns to Liverpool from 8-10 March with a comedy show directly from a Palestinian refugee camp..

Showtime from the Frontline follows previous shows Trespass and The Red Shed that both visited Liverpool in 2016. With this show Mark brings his political and satirical comedy back to the Playhouse alongside two aspiring comedians from Thomas’ comedy club based in Gaza.

Dodging cultural and literal bullets, Israeli incursions and religion, Mark and his team set out to run a comedy club and put on two nights in Jenin in the West Bank. Only to find that it is not so simple to celebrate freedom of speech in a place with so little freedom.

Jenin refugee camp, a stronghold for the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade during the Second Intifada, is not a place synonymous with laughs. But it is also home to the Jenin Freedom Theatre and to people with a wealth of stories to tell.

Known for his human-rights activism, Mark tells this story alongside Faisal Abu Alhayjaa and Alaa Shehada, two performers, actors and now aspiring comics from the Jenin Club. This is a story about being yourself in a place that wants to put you in a box. Funny, moving and necessary.

Mark, Faisal and Alaa will perform in cities across the UK as part of their UK. They visit the Playhouse for three performances in March. Tickets are on sale now by calling the Playhouse Box Office on 0151 709 4776 or by visiting www.everymanplayhouse.com/whats-on/mark-thomas-showtime-from-the-frontline.

 

NOMINATIONS are now open for the new Knowsley Education Awards, which will take place in June this year.

The Knowsley Education Awards will highlight achievements across the borough’s schools, honouring and rewarding the many examples of excellent practice, as well as showcasing the talent, ambition and dedication of Knowsley’s pupils, teachers and schools.

A total of 13 awards will be on offer, with a panel of experts assessing nominations before producing a shortlist ahead of the awards evening on June 27, 2018.

The categories will be as follows:

  • Outstanding Achievement (Three awards, one for Primary, Secondary and Special Schools)
  • GCSE Star of the Year
  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Teacher of the Year
  • Team of the Year
  • Senior Leadership Team of the Year
  • Governing Body of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution to School Life
  • Most Inspiring School of the Year (Three awards, one for Primary, Secondary and Special Schools)
  • Outstanding Performance of the Year
  • Innovation of the Year
  • Outstanding Employer/Education Initiative of the Year
  • Partnership of the Year

More detail about the criteria for each category, and how to enter, can be found on the Knowsley Education Awards website at www.KnowsleyEducationAwards.com.

 Cllr Joan Lilly, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said: “We have incredibly dedicated teachers, talented and ambitious pupils here in Knowsley, and it is high time that those stories were told and those achievements recognised – that’s what these awards are all about.”

The Knowsley Education Awards will bring together Knowsley’s Education Commission, Knowsley Council, local schools, pupils, families, teachers and governors all working collectively in the spirit of the borough’s new ‘Knowsley Better Together’ initiative. By celebrate achievements and sharing good practice, the Awards will also ultimately help to raise educational standards across the borough even further.

All shortlisted nominees will be invited to a prestigious awards ceremony at The University of Liverpool’s Leggate Theatre, in the heart of Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter. It is a setting chosen to inspire any pupil nominees who may be considering higher education.

Cllr Lilly added: “My message to everyone involved with education in Knowsley is: Don’t be shy! If you’re involved in great work, shout about it! Nominate yourselves and tell us what you’re doing, how it’s working, and why others should be doing it too. And for anyone who has benefitted from the work or efforts of others, now is the time to say thank you, by nominating them for an award.”

Nominations can be submitted by anyone – students, parents, teachers, head teachers. You can nominate somebody who has helped or inspired you, or even nominate yourself.

All nominations are to be submitted by Friday 30 March via a nomination form or a video nomination – take a look at www.KnowsleyEducationAwards.com for help and guidance on the nomination process.

 

AF Ambassador Kim Hughes tests Sarah Oldnall for AF

INNOVATIVE technology is being introduced across Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and south Cumbria to prevent strokes and save lives.

Portable devices which detect an irregular heart rhythm are being distributed by the Innovation Agency to GP practices, pharmacies and NHS community clinics across the North West Coast.

The devices identify possible cases of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common type of irregular heart rhythm which is responsible for around 20 per cent of all strokes.

One million people in the UK are known to be affected by atrial fibrillation and experts estimate that an additional 422,600 people are undiagnosed. Stroke survivors often live with disabling consequences and treating the condition costs the NHS over £2.2 billion each year.

The Innovation Agency has been a leader in introducing devices and raising awareness of the importance of pulse checking. In the last four years, they have recruited health professionals, individual volunteers and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in their campaign to prevent strokes.

Their work has identified an estimated 7,000 people with atrial fibrillation – potentially preventing more than 300 strokes.

During National Heart Month this February, the Innovation Agency and its partner 14 Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) are starting to distribute 6,000 more devices to health professionals across the country, funded by NHS England.

Dr Julia Reynolds, Head of Programmes and lead for AF at the Innovation Agency, the AHSN for the North West Coast, said: “In our region there are around 11,000 people who are unaware they have irregular heart rhythms and of the dangers that this can pose to their health.

“We have highly effective treatments that can prevent these strokes, but early detection is key. Using cost-effective technology, the NHS will now be able to identify people with irregular heart rhythms quickly and easily. This will save lives.

“As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, this is also a great reminder of the way that healthcare is continually evolving and innovating. Taking advantage of digital health solutions will be even more important for the next 70 years. Today’s new devices are just one example of the way that low-cost tech has the potential to make a huge difference.”

In the North West Coast alone, the project is expected to identify 1,219 new cases of atrial fibrillation over two years, which could prevent up to 34 strokes and save more than £750,000 in associated health care costs.

Nationally, the aim is to identify 130,000 new cases over two years, which could prevent at least 3,650 strokes and save £81 million in associated health and care costs annually.

The innovative technology includes a smartphone-linked device that works via an app and a blood pressure cuff that also detects heart rhythms. Small and easy to use, the devices can also be taken on home visits to patients.

The new technology will allow more staff in more settings to quickly and easily conduct pulse checks. The new mobile devices provide a far more sensitive and specific pulse check than a manual check and this reduces costly and unnecessary 12-lead ECGs to confirm diagnosis.

The Innovation Agency is recruiting volunteers to become AF Ambassadors to test people’s pulses in their communities and anyone who would like to get involved should call Debbie Parkinson on 01772 520250 or email debbie.parkinson@innovationagencynwc.nhs.uk.

NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said: “Cardiovascular disease kills more people in this country than anything else, but there are steps we can all take to prevent it.

“These innovations have enormous potential to prevent thousands of strokes each year, which is why NHS England has committed to funding the rollout of 6,000 mobile ECG devices to help identify cases of atrial fibrillation so behaviours can be changed and treatment started before strokes occur.

“We are also encouraging people, during National Heart Month, to learn how to check their own pulse so we can catch even more cases.”

 

RECOGNISING that many people want to help those they see sleeping on the streets or without a home, Liverpool Cathedral has joined forces with Liverpool’s leading homeless charity, The Whitechapel Centre, to create the Liverpool Cathedral Sleepout on 6th April 2018.

The Liverpool Cathedral Sleepout is a fun and friendly event open to people of all ages. It is a rare opportunity to spend the night sleeping inside the country’s biggest cathedral and raise money for the local community at the same time. While it won’t be like being on the streets, both The Whitechapel Centre and the Cathedral hope it will help people understand how difficult it might be when you don’t have a place to go.

Ruth McCaughley, Fundraising Manager, The Whitechapel Centre, said: “The Whitechapel Centre’s vision is to see an end to homelessness, social exclusion and housing poverty in Liverpool. We can only do this by working in partnership with organisations like Liverpool Cathedral. There are many different complex reasons why someone can be homeless and we help people address these problems as well as finding suitable accommodation.

The Whitechapel Centre opens its doors every day of the year – supporting people to find suitable accommodation, managing their finances, building relationships with landlords, looking after their health and their home, plus linking with the local community so that every individual can reach their potential. The money raised from the Liverpool Cathedral Sleepout will help The Whitechapel Centre move closer to this vision.

Paul Smith, Liverpool Cathedral’s Director of Enterprise added: “Not only does our Cathedral dominate the city skyline, it is core to the city’s life. We welcome people from all backgrounds and our events are one of the ways we engage with the Liverpool-wide community and beyond.

“We are very pleased to host this event which will provide vital funds for both ourselves and the The Whitechapel Centre.

“By raising money in innovative and thought-provoking ways we can continue to fund essential work and maintain our position in the life of the city.”

The two charities are particularly hoping to encourage children and young people to get involved. Ruth said: “We know that many children and young people are concerned about the rise in homelessness and rough sleeping in Liverpool and want to help. The Liverpool Cathedral Sleepout gives them the opportunity to experience the sense of vulnerability that you feel would feel when you’re not in your own bed, within the safety of the Cathedral.”

The Liverpool Cathedral Sleepout is on Friday 6th April at Liverpool Cathedral. It costs £5.00 per person to register and you’ll need to raise £50.00. All funds raised will be split equally between the two charities. Children are encouraged to take part but they’ll need to bring a responsible adult. For safeguarding purposes, a maximum of five children can accompany one adult for this Sleepout.

To register for the Liverpool Cathedral Sleepout visit: www.liverpoolcathedralsleepout.org

 

 

A PUBLIC consultation on the future of Liverpool’s historic Williamson Square is to be launched this Friday, February 23.

Liverpool City Council together with Liverpool BID Company and the Everyman & Playhouse are to kick-start the consultation with a debate on how to reimagine and revitalise the public square, at the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre.

The consultation, which will run until Monday 30 April, has been designed as “an open conversation” and will ask the public and businesses to provide suggestions and ideas on how best to breathe new life into the open space – both during the day and the evening.

The square, which was initially laid out in 1745 and became pedestrianised more than 20 years ago, was last upgraded in 2004 with a £5.75m public realm programme introducing new seating, planting and a fountain.

Since then, more than £150m has been invested in the surrounding areas and with various changes to the city centre it has left the square feeling disconnected. Despite enjoying high footfall, it is used more as a through route to other areas rather than a gathering place.

The consultation is also responding to the Liverpool City Centre Strategic Investment Framework which set out a 15-year blueprint to transform and revitalise the city centre through major investment and regeneration projects with Williamson Square identified as a key priority.

A report to the city council’s Cabinet on the day of the consultation launch has identified four key themes to steer the debate on the future direction of the square, which also lies within the buffer zone of Liverpool’s World Heritage Site.

The cabinet report also recommends that mechanisms be created for securing funding for a regeneration strategy and specific development opportunities, in the short, medium and long-term.

Councillor Nick Small, Assistant Mayor of Liverpool, who will launch the debate next Friday, said: “Williamson Square is one of Liverpool’s main public open spaces and should be a vibrant gathering place but over the past decade has for various reasons lost its way and sense of purpose.

“This debate and public consultation is an ideal opportunity to have an honest conversation which, with the calibre of the major partners involved and the support of the people of Liverpool, I’ve no doubt will reset the play button and lead to some positive action – both in the short and long term.

“Liverpool city centre has made phenomenal progress over the past decade, the time has now come for Williamson Square to join the party and live up to its potential as a dynamic public space the city can be proud of.”

Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company, representing 1,500 BID levy payers in Liverpool city centre, said: “Williamson Square, which falls within our Retail & Leisure BID area, has for too long been a place to hurtle through. With careful planning, it has great potential to become one of the city’s best public spaces.

“Following years of ongoing discussions with our BID levy payers in the area about how to best improve Williamson Square, it is great to see that the outcomes of these are now shaping the next phase, ensuring the square plays a greater role within the city centre, and allowing our businesses to thrive at the same time.”

Deborah Aydon, Chief Executive of Everyman & Playhouse, added: “As we celebrate how far Liverpool has come since our Capital of Culture year, this is a perfect time to be shaping the future. 

“This summer, we’re joining forces with the Liverpool Biennial to offer a new way to experience the Playhouse, as a starting point for exploring fresh ways for people to enjoy both the theatre and the square.  We are looking forward to a conversation that is creative, inclusive, imaginative and ambitious. 

“This square is absolutely brimming with untapped potential and is a perfect location for cultural, social, economic and environmental advances in the years ahead.”

The initial consultation to gain ideas from the public in Williamson Square will be run by PLACED, an award-winning Liverpool social enterprise. More than 1,000 feedback forms will be available for people to pen their suggestions – these forms will be available at the Playhouse Theatre, Marks & Spencer café and Sayers.

The public can also send ideas via an email to: contact@regeneratingliverpool.com or even tweet suggestions, using the hashtag #NewWilliamsonSq

A further cabinet report will then be produced analysing the results of the consultation with recommendations for next steps in identifying likely funding sources.

For more information the public can also visit www.regeneratingliverpool.com/project/williamson-square

Photo: Richard Haighton

THE Playhouse continues its wonderfully diverse season with The Wedding next week. Running from 21 to 24 Feb this show promises to be a visual feast of physical theatre.

We are all married, bound by a contract.  But what are the terms of this relationship and can we talk about divorce?

Gecko’s latest creation is inspired by the complexities of human nature; the struggle between love and anger, creation and destruction, community and isolation. In a blur of wedding dresses and contractual obligations, their extraordinary ensemble of international performers guides audiences through a dystopian world in which we are all brides, wedded to society.

Combining movement, imagery and provocative narratives into Gecko’s trademark style, The Wedding brings these contracts into question with an emotionally charged and spectacular performance.

We want to believe in our journey but where are we heading? Is it too late to stop, to go back, to fall in love, to start again?

This production has been described as ‘jaw-dropping’ and we all know that the Playhouse don’t put on duds – this has to be worth a look.

Book at www.everymanplayhouse.com

 

Photo: Manuel Harlan

By Nigel Smith

AUTHOR Jessica Swale has a keen eye for adapting literary classics in inventive, modern interpretations. Here she has taken Kipling’s collection of stories and woven a tapestry out of many of their key threads, to create a hugely engaging, colourful and timely play.

It opens with Keziah Joseph’s Mowgli being tucked up in bed by her parents, creating a simple but effective framing device. This enables the allegorical nature of all the characters in the story, human and animal alike, to shine through.

With its complex set made up of ladders and scaffolding, this is very much an urban jungle, and the whole piece takes on the feeling of a flight of dreamlike imagination.

An oft-levelled criticism of Kipling is that it can be both preachy and racially offensive, but Swale has brought all the best loved and most reviled players in the book very much into a modern context. Balloo is a lovable great lump of a bear merrily brought to life by Dyfrig Morris and Bagheera the panther has great maternal wisdom and protectiveness in Deborah Oyelade’s sinuous and dignified portrayal. Meanwhile Lloyd Gorman cuts quite a dash as the evil Shere Khan, his tiger becoming a very different sort of King in a black and gold striped jump suit straight out of Las Vegas.

The real big win of this adaptation is its sense of inclusivity. The idea that it’s ok to be different and that “everyone can bring something to the party” is celebrated wonderfully throughout. There is some lovely puppetry too, from the tiny Mowgli growing up amongst the wolves, to the half-human half-puppet python Kaa. The wolves themselves, and a band of mischievous monkeys, bring energy and humour to the mix.

The text is augmented by a splendidly rich and colourful musical score from Joe Stilgoe, with many of the actors taking their parts in the onstage band, which often becomes part of the action.

This is really excellent family theatre, with something to offer for every age group. The show is comically interactive without ever becoming pantomime, and it really has some important things to say along its way. Anyone looking for a half-term treat that’s steeped in theatrical quality need look no further.

The Jungle Book is at the Playhouse till Saturday and then continues touring a further 11 venues nationwide until May.

 

A REPORT outlining how Liverpool intends to save its World Heritage Status is set to be endorsed by the city council next week.

The council, together with Government and Historic England, has drafted a Desired State of Conservation Report (DSOCR) which describes the corrective measures Liverpool is proposing to protect the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the site which the city hopes will persuade UNESCO to remove the site from the “in danger” list.

The DSOCR will go to the council’s Cabinet next Friday (23 February) for endorsement following its recent submission to Government, and once approved will be submitted to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for subsequent examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 42nd session in July.

The report focuses on the main issue of how the city needs to balance its projected population and economic growth over the next 15 years, which will see the creation of 35,000 new homes and 30,000 jobs, whilst protecting its World Heritage Site (WHS).

The main threat to the city’s WHS, as perceived by UNESCO, is the proposed developments in the £5bn Liverpool Waters scheme, specifically for its Central Docks area, which was given outline planning permission in June 2013. However, the report shows that Peel’s initial outline proposal for Central Docks is now being reviewed and a neighbourhood masterplan will take in heritage concerns and planning guidelines on heights of buildings.

 Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s World Heritage Status is of great importance to the city, not only in showcasing our unique maritime heritage but in how we can use it to shape our future boosting both our tourism economy and our civic pride.

“This report shows in great detail the lengths Liverpool has already gone and will continue to go, to balance the needs of a growing city whilst protecting our World Heritage Status.

“This is a delicate task and involves all the major city stakeholders working together to understand very specific planning issues and creating solutions that works for the city and UNESCO.

“With the support and input of the DDCMS I am sure this collaborative approach means we can all ensure Liverpool’s World Heritage Status is secured when the committee meets in July.”

Liverpool has already taken many steps to protect and improve the physical state of its WHS. A survey has shown that since 2012 the number of Buildings at Risk have been reduced to below 2.75% of building stock – far below the UK national average – with recent successes including the re-opening of St Luke’s Church (also known as the Bombed Out Church) while work this week has begun to save and eventually transform the historic Wellington Rooms (the city’s former Irish Centre).

In total more than £750m has been invested into historic assets within the WHS in the past decade including the upgrade of 37 listed buildings, 18 with council financial assistance, such as the Aloft Hotel, the award-winning Central Library and Stanley Dock.

Since 2015 each development proposal that has the potential to affect the OUV is accompanied by a Heritage Impact Assessment that details the significance of the asset/s that may be affected, the nature of that impact and, where appropriate, how any harmful impacts can be mitigated.

And since the 2017 World Heritage Committee Session Liverpool has also established an independent Task Force to re-establish a positive debate with Government and UNESCO with a view to the retention of WHS status.

 

 

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