AINTREE University Hospital has received a prestigious accreditation from Fair Train, a national organisation which promotes all forms of high quality work-based learning.

The hospital has received Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation at Silver level. Aintree’s programme is focused on developing a talented and committed workforce and providing opportunities to broaden the knowledge and improve the employability of young people. Traineeship programmes and work placements support school and college studies with more tailored programmes for older people looking to return to employment.

The Trust provided 548 quality placements in 2017-2018, helped 33 apprentices gain employment and in September established the first Health Cadet programme in Cheshire and Merseyside.

Formed in 2009, Fair Train is now recognised as the UK’s expert in work experience. Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation was developed in association with a number of leading UK organisations, including the Department for Education, the TUC and Ofsted, as well as employers from all sectors and learning providers.

Ruth Hoyte, Director of Workforce & Organisational Development, said: “This is a great achievement for the Trust. We are proud to offer a wide range of workplace learning opportunities in clinical and non-clinical areas of the hospital and I’m delighted that Fair Train has recognised the quality of what we have to offer candidates. With this accreditation Aintree will continue to act as an employer of choice for people who want to develop a career in the NHS.”

Fair Train’s accreditation process examines the quality of an organisation’s provision of work based learning and only those who demonstrate consistent high quality achieve it. Fair Train’s Work Experience Quality Standard has now been adopted by more than 400 organisations in every sector, including large corporations such as British Airways, Cisco UK & Ireland and Bentley Motors.

More than 40 NHS organisations are now accredited with Fair Train, the result of a year-long partnership between Fair Train and Health Education England.

Rod Natkiel, CEO of Fair Train, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aintree Hospital into the Fair Train “family”. The organisations who achieve our prestigious Work Experience Quality Standard accreditation do so because of their proven commitment to the provision of high quality work based learning, and Aintree exemplifies this. As it is the largest employer in Europe and at the heart of the well-being of the British nation in so many ways, it is terrific to see the NHS making such positive, determined and productive efforts, through work based learning, to ensure that the country’s future workforce is as effective as possible.”


MARCO PIERRE WHITE is to return to Liverpool just two months after being impressed by the city’s new Claire House Children’s Hospice in a bid to help raise more money for the charity.

The celebrity chef will host ‘An Audience with Marco’ at his Wheeler’s of St. James’s restaurant at Pullman Liverpool on Friday 6th July in aid of the charity’s new site in West Derby.

The restaurateur will recount tales of his extraordinary success in aid of the Merseyside hospice at the waterfront restaurant.

Tickets for the evening are now available to purchase at £50 and includes a three course meal from a menu created by Marco himself.

On arrival, guests will be treated to a special Wheeler’s Gin & Tonic Oyster, which has a unique molecular pearl within the seafood delicacy containing the summer favourite.

The evening will also include a raffle in aid of Claire House.

The menu which is themed ‘The Best of Land and Sea’ features Mr. White’s beef consommé, with English dumplings and wild mushrooms, Wheeler’s classic fish soup to start; the mains are grilled lobster with garlic and rosemary butter pomme frittes, English watercress and béarnaise sauce and roasted rump of lamb with cockles.

The desserts are decadent treats with warm chocolate brownie with milk ice cream and hot chocolate sauce and Blur’s bassist turned cheesemaker Alex James’s Blue Monday Stilton Cheese with drunken fruitcake.

Marco Pierre White is a long-term supporter of the charity, which was founded in Wirral in 1998 to help seriously ill youngsters and terminally ill children.

In April, he held a fundraising three-course dinner at Wheeler’s and spent a day touring the facilities and meeting families using the new West Derby hospice, which offers day care services, counselling and complimentary therapies.

Since 2011, the chef has been a patron of Claire House and the event is hoping to raise more money for the hospice to build on its care for seriously ill children.

Marco Pierre White said: “The children who are cared for at Claire House are very brave and are dealing with so much at such a young age with a smile on their faces.

“That’s because of the incredible commitment of the staff.

“When I spent a day at the West Derby site I was moved and struck by how important the hospice is to the children and their families.

“Claire House does important work and its new site helps extend its reach even further from Wirral to Liverpool and across the North West, giving hope and support to thousands.

“This fundraising event will be one to remember and I hope we can raise more money to help Claire House in building on its services to help even more children and their families.

“I have two restaurants in the city, Wheeler’s of St. James’s at Pullman Liverpool and the Steakhouse Bar & Grill, and for me it’s very important that local businesses help support such as fantastic charity in any way they can.”

Dan Halliday, partnerships manager at Claire House Children’s Hospice, said: “We’d like to say a huge thanks to Marco for all of his support, we are really looking forward to the evening. The money raised will make a huge difference to the children we care for whilst giving us a great opportunity to tell people what Claire House is all about, allowing us to reach out to more children and families across the region.”

To book visit Alternatively, call 0151 945 1010 or email

ohn James Audubon The Birds of America in Central Library. Courtesy Liverpool Libraries

FROM a Monet masterpiece to an Egyptian head, the civic silver and a totem pole, Liverpool has a wealth of hidden treasures to be rediscovered by the public this Liverpool Biennial 2018.

Worlds within worlds will reveal some of Liverpool’s great civic treasures, paintings and objects. Some of these have rarely been seen by the public and will be presented as part of the Biennial’s international programme, Beautiful world, where are you? running from 14 July – 28 October 2018

Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial, said: “Telling the story of Liverpool as a port city – its great prosperity, its post-industrial decline and its post-colonial histories – these collections have acted as inspiration and context for the development of the 2018 Biennial, alongside the commissions to international contemporary artists for the programme.”

Objects and Collections at Victoria Gallery & Museum
Permanent and temporary displays

The Museum displays include examples of scrimshaw – works of art carved from tusks – attributed to French prisoners of war held in Liverpool during the Napoleonic wars; the ‘Waterloo’ teeth, dentures made from teeth extracted from fallen soldiers on the battlefield, so-called because the Battle of Waterloo produced such a rich supply; a taxidermy aardvark, a lion’s skull, as well as mammoth and elephant teeth from the Zoology Museum collection; and a first edition copy of Robert Hook’s Micrographia, the world’s first scientific best-seller published in 1665. Also on display will be a selection of anatomical models of plants from the World Museum made at the turn of the 20th century, one of the largest collections of its kind in the UK.

Audubon’s Book of Birds of America at Central Library
Permanent display; pages turned at 12 noon every Wednesday between 14 July – 28 October, as well as 14 July and 4 August  

Liverpool’s Central Library holds on display one of only 120 copies in existence of the largest and most beautiful illustrated book of birds made by the celebrated ornithologist John James Audubon (1785-1851). These life-size coloured images of birds are contained in 435 aquatint plates, originally issued in 87 parts between 1827 and 1838.

Collection of Garstang Museum of Archaeology
Permanent display

Named in honour of Professor John Garstang, who founded the Institute of Archaeology and its associated museum in Liverpool in 1904, the museum features artefacts from the excavations of Garstang in Egypt, Sudan and the Near East. Highlighted from the display is the head of an Egyptian woman’s wooden coffin dating back to 1539-1252 BC.

The Minton Floor at St George’s Hall
On view 3 – 12 August

St George’s Hall is widely considered one of the finest examples of neo-classical architecture in Europe. The encaustic tiled Minton floor in the Great Hall dating from 1852 and containing over 30,000 tiles is rarely revealed. Spread over an area 42 metres long by 22 metres wide, the floor is in mint condition and has been mostly covered since the late 1800s. The floor is studded with iconography including Neptune with Tritons, sea nymphs, boys on dolphins, the City of Liverpool’s coat of arms, and circles containing the Star of St George, the English Rose, the Scottish Thistle and the Irish Shamrock.

The Civic Silver Collection at the Town Hall
On view 13 – 24 August

Liverpool Town Hall is going to open access to the city’s eclectic collection of silver gifts received by the Lord Mayors and people of Liverpool over the centuries. Works include a Mace formerly belonging to Charles II, gifted to the Town Hall by Lord Derby in 1676; George III tankards; George IV Five Light Candelabrum; and minutely detailed decorative objects such as silver galleons, snuff boxes and memorial gifts.

The Haida Pole at the World Museum
Permanent display

The Haida pole originally stood in front of ‘Something Terrible Happened House’ in the village of Xaayna, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, Northwest Coast, Canada). It was carved during the 1860s or 1870s from western red cedar, commemorating the wife and husband who lived there. Poles were traditionally raised to mark deaths, new long houses, as well as the forming of new political connections through marriage and receiving a name. The Haida pole was the centrepiece of Middle Mayer Hall’s important ethnography collection in Liverpool. It miraculously survived intense fire and flying shrapnel during the Second World War and now stands in the atrium of the World Museum in Liverpool.

Selected Paintings from the Walker Art Gallery
Permanent display

Paintings from the Walker Art Gallery collections will be highlighted to Liverpool Biennial visitors including masterpieces by artists ranging from Claude Monet, Giovanni Bellini, Augustus John and George Stubbs, to David Hockney and Peter Doig.

Other highlights include Allerton Oak in Calderstones Park, the oldest oak tree in the North West at about 1000 years old, and Chalybeate Spring at St James’ Gardens discovered in 1773 by quarrymen.


ORGANISERS of Liverpool’s summer-long Pier Head Village Festival, the UK’s first all summer festival, have announced that the event will return for its third year to the city’s waterfront on Saturday 14th July.

The Pier Head Village has evolved to become a celebration of Liverpool art, music and culture, for people of all ages. The Village is now a complete day-to-night summer experience, from art, music, bars, street food and breakout seating areas to the chance to experience some of the world’s biggest thrill rides. 

This year the event has rides including Air Maxx, No Limits, Top Buzz and Magic Mouse rollercoaster, as well as the return of the hugely popular Sky Swing completing what organisers have dubbed “The Thrill Village”. 

Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Three Graces, part of Liverpool’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, the free to enter, 7 day a week festival will run from July to September and will completely transform the Pier Head to deliver a programme of world-class offerings for people of all ages.

Following the festival’s success in 2017, attracting more than 500,000 visitors, the Village has proven to serve as a launchpad for visitors to experience the entire Liverpool waterfront.  Recent study of the festival revealed that it significantly grew the city’s day-tripper market, with almost 50% of Pier Head Village Festival visitors extending their city visit to experience the Albert Dock, British Music Experience, Beatles Story, Mersey Ferries and the Museum of Liverpool.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “Our research into last year’s event shows that thousands of people are choosing to come to Liverpool specifically to enjoy a day out at the Pier Head Village. They are bringing their friends and families with them to share the day with and many are taking the opportunity to visit other renowned Liverpool tourist attractions while they’re here.

“We know that the festival is helping to attract and retain visitor interest in the city, supporting the tourist economy and helping to showcase our iconic waterfront. It will be a fantastic addition to the Liverpool 2018 line-up of events.”

Village Creator, Martin O’Shea said: “We are hugely excited and proud to announce the return of this year’s Pier Head Village and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever before with a programme of activities to entertain people of all ages and tastes.

“The Village returning is a fantastic addition to Liverpool’s already impressive 2018 line up of events and will further showcase Liverpool’s iconic waterfront hub enabling our visitors to experience other renowned Liverpool tourist waterfront attractions with a much greater menu of fun to pick from.   

“We want the festival to continue to play a major role in attracting and retaining visitor interest in the city, supporting the local tourist economy as well as providing more than 100 new summer jobs for local people every year”.

The Village is free to enter and will run from 14th July – 9th September. For more information go to


A NEW location has been revealed for the Liverpool Pride Festival 2018 – which will see the event taking over Tithebarn Street on 28 July.

Liverpool Pride organisers believe that Tithebarn Street will prove popular with festivalgoers, as the new location is close to the city’s Gay Quarter and nearby Pownall Square, the site of Mersey Pride in 1995.

To coincide with the location announcement, the first act can also be revealed – international drag star and winner of Celebrity Big Brother 2018, Courtney Act.

Courtney is no stranger to the limelight. The contemporary artist and activist made it through to the semi-finals of the premiere season of Australian Idol in 2003, and went on to sign with Sony/BMG. Courtney is probably best recognised globally for making the top three in the Emmy Award-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race. She later released her debut EP Kaleidoscope, and her videos have been viewed online more than 40 million times.

Courtney will also perform at Heaven nightclub on Victoria Street during Pride Weekend.

Liverpool Pride takes place across two days – Saturday 28 July and Sunday 29 July 2018 and the festival is free to attend.

Saturday’s festival programme will focus on the area round Tithebarn Street, which will be closed between the Superlambanana and Moorfields to ensure the festival takes place in a safe and controlled environment.

The Barclays Main Stage from headline sponsor Barclays will be situated by the  Superlambanana, while the San Francisco Cabaret Stage hosted by sponsor Manchester Airport will be located in the square between Vernon Street and Cunliffe Street and they will also host the Manchester Airport VIP Boston Bar.

Areas adjoining Tithebarn Street will also feature in this year’s programme, and will include a Community & Acoustic Stage, Community Expo, Food Market and a Quiet Zone.

Festivalgoers are reassured that the Liverpool Pride March will go ahead as normal, starting from St George’s Hall and finishing at Moorfields.

Sunday’s programme of activities will take place at arts venues across the city, with the central hub at The Bluecoat. Details will be announced shortly.

John Bird, Co-Chair of Liverpool Pride said: “This is an important year for Liverpool. It’s a decade since the city held the prestigious title of European Capital Of Culture 2008 – and the Liverpool Pride Festival 2018 will play its part in this year’s celebrations.

“We’ve had a wonderful three years with the St George’s Quarter as our home, but we are taking this milestone cultural year as an opportunity for change to move forward, develop and expand the festival. We are working closely with Culture Liverpool and other cultural partners to ensure that this year’s event in its new location proves to be a huge success.”

Mayor Joe Anderson added: “Pride is one of the biggest events in Liverpool’s calendar and attracts huge numbers to the city to join together to empower people and celebrate diversity and equality.

“As a city we are committed to fighting intolerance and we are proud to support what will be one of the biggest Pride events in Europe. Thousands of festivalgoers are expected to head to the heart of the city centre to enjoy the event which will be one of highlights of the summer.”

Liverpool Pride has grown to become one of the city’s major annual events, last year a record 8,000 people joined the march and over 50,000 festivalgoers enjoyed two days of entertainment to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.


THE first installation has taken its place on the Liverpool Plinth outside Liverpool Parish Church. Gold Lamé is by disabled sculptor and artist Tony Heaton and will occupy the plinth outside St. Nicks overlooking Chapel Street for the next 12 months.

The sculpture is based on the famous Invacar – a small, blue one-seater vehicle given to disabled people during the 1960s and 1970s. Sprayed gold and suspended vertically above the plinth, the sculpture reclaims the word lame and confronts the negative stereotyping of disabled people the vehicle represented.

Artist Tony Heaton

The project is the result of a collaboration between Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool Parish Church who commissioned city gallery and art organisation, dot-art to showcase sculptors in the north.

With Gold Lamé, Tony has transformed an object that previously marked out disabled people as ‘other’ into something more inspirational. “A golden invalid carriage landing from the heavens” as Tony puts it.

Tony continued: “Disabled people have always been present in society and figure often in the Bible; the curing of the lame, miracles and outsiders. The sculpture acts asa catalyst for discussion and debate on how disabled people are viewed and considered within contemporary society, including that of religion and faith.”

Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company said: “The idea this project feeds into some of the core aims of Liverpool BID Company – in this case, to bring public art to the heart of the Commercial District BID, to attract footfall and encourage more locals and visitors to use the businesses we represent here,

“Gold Lamé certainly grabs the eys but carries an important message as well. We are sure it will be a welcome new addition to the area and enjoyed by businesses, residents and visitors over the coming year.”

The Revd Dr Crispin Palling, rector of Liverpool, added: “Churches have always been a place where the visual arts have engaged people in different ways and helped them to see the world around them in new ways. I am delighted that we have been able to continue this tradition and create The Liverpool Plinth project. The sculpture will animate, provoke and engage, and is an important contribution to the commercial and waterfront area of the city.”

Revd Dr Crispin Palling, Tony Heaton and Bill Addy

The Liverpool Plinth – inspired by Trafalgar Square’s 4th plinth – will host a new sculpture every 12 months. As well as the exposure and publicity given to the artist and their work, they also receive a £1000 prize.

HUNDREDS of volunteers turned out to help celebrate the launch of Green Sefton on World Oceans Day (June 8).

Litter picks and waterside clean-ups were held across the borough ahead of a special launch event at Crosby Coastal Park to welcome the formation of Green Sefton, a brand new team to help keep Sefton clean, green and beautiful. 

Clean-ups were held at Southport’s Marine Lake, Ainsdale Beach and the Brewery Lane stretch of the Leeds-Liverpool canal.

Green Sefton brings together Coast & Countryside, Parks & Greenspaces, Flooding & Coastal Erosion, Risk Management and Grounds Maintenance teams all together to ensure a joined up approach to the vital management, development and oversight of Sefton’s beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces for years to come.

Residents had the chance to meet the Green Sefton team who explained the work they will do, from land management and community engagement to vital work surveying the changing shape of Sefton’s coast and what this means to residents and visitors.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “We want to to say a massive thank you to all the community groups, volunteers and green-fingered helpers who came out to help on World Oceans Day.

“Sefton is a clean, green and beautiful borough that is internationally recognised for its natural beauty and we will build on this through the work of Green Sefton and working closely with our volunteers.

“Green Sefton has been created to make sure we continue our focus on a collaborative approach to the management, development and oversight of our beautiful coastline, parks and green spaces.

“We believe this will also encourage more community cohesion, more involvement with our volunteers and residents, as well as eco organisations.”
For updates on Green Sefton events, activities and partnership opportunities, check out Sefton Council’s social media channels.

By Nigel Smith 

THIS week saw the first major production to appear at the recently created Hope Street Theatre – an intimate new performance space hidden away on the ground floor of the Masonic Hall. Venus Rising was written by Ian Salmon for the Page to Stage festival and presented at
Liverpool’s World Museum in 2014.

In this revival, the lead role of James is played by James Sutton, who is probably most familiar for his parts in Emmerdale and, more recently, Hollyoaks. Here he takes on a script that is very nearly a 75 minute monologue, and gives a flawless and compelling performance.

James is a writer. His books have earned him a fortune and the author is in demand all over the world for public appearances and book signings, but nobody would recognise him in the street and he’s never met a single one of his avid readers. Because James writes the sort of stuff that, in his words, your mother keeps on the top shelf.

It all began a few years ago, when he was living a hand-to-mouth existence trying to write serious literature. He wanted to write ‘The Great American Novel’ (despite not being American) but it was getting him nowhere except broke. That was until his mate Liam made him a bet over a pint, that he could earn more money writing lurid fiction of the Shades of Grey variety.

Four books down the line, with the publisher clamouring for him to produce the fifth, and James is a very wealthy man, drowning in lifestyle, so why isn’t he happy?

Truth is that he hates the stuff he’s peddling as art, and still longs to write something meaningful. His characters, with their increasingly lascivious lives, are eating him away from the inside. His wife has left him and every day’s first glass of wine gets closer and closer to breakfast time. The publisher insisted from the outset that his readership wouldn’t accept this kind of stuff if it were written by a man, so he writes under the name Terri. A former model presents his public persona, travelling the world and taking all the glory while James sits staring at the four walls and a computer screen.

In direct address to the audience, James unburdens himself over the unbroken hour and a quarter of the play. In a recent interview Sutton described it as being like having a nervous breakdown on stage, which is as good a description as any. Although the narrative is such that he spends the whole time alone in a room, while talking to us, he is actually supported onstage by three other actors, Laura Connolly, Thomas Galashan and Abigail McKenzie, who in turn represent his wife, his friend Liam and the woman hired as his female stand-in. They step in and out of his dialogue as he describes the events that have brought him to this point in his life. They also play out the scenes in his books as he sits at the keyboard writing. Under the direction of Julia Carstairs, they are acting their socks off throughout the piece (and numerous other items of clothing too) as they remain in view like spectres in James’s mind at all times. It is, however, Sutton who carries the heaviest burden of the piece with his almost unbroken text. It is a genuinely mesmerising performance, and it’s great to have the opportunity to see him demonstrate his skill in live theatre in such a concentrated piece of work.

Salmon says this is a play for anyone who’s ever spent time in their life doing a job that they hate, which should get it a pretty big audience in itself, but what should really attract the crowds to see his work is the extraordinary quality of his writing. I reviewed his most recent work ‘Those Two Weeks’ for Good News Liverpool a few months ago,  and remarked on the well-observed dialogue. Venus Rising is, if anything, an even more dialogue-driven piece, and there isn’t a word out of place. His work is imaginative and extremely detailed, and his voice deserves to be heard a great deal more.


Photo: Nick Taylor/LFC

KENNY DALGLISH has been made a knight of the realm in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Recognised for his contribution to football, the 67 year-old said he is “hugely grateful” for the award and immediately dedicated it to Jock Stein, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.
“Obviously it was for others with more education and knowledge than myself to decide whether or not I deserved a knighthood and it goes without saying that I am hugely grateful to them for the decision that they have made,” said Dalglish.
“All I can say is that from my own point of view I am definitely no more deserving of an accolade like this than Jock Stein, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley were. I am just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and I would like to dedicate this honour to them because without the standards that they set at Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool, individuals like myself would not have been able to thrive as much as we did.”
In a hugely successful career in football for over 20 years, he played for Celtic and Liverpool winning major honours with both clubs. Internationally, he remains Scotland’s most capped player with 102 appearances.
During his managerial tenure at Liverpool, he secured three league titles, including a league and cup double in 1986 – the first person to ever achieve this feat as a player/manager. A further league title followed with Blackburn Rovers in 1995.
“The most important thing to stress is that this honour is not a reflection of myself,” he said.
“It is a reflection of everyone who has played a part in my life and my career. Nobody achieves anything alone, especially in football, and in my case any success I have enjoyed has been due to the contributions made by my family, the players, coaches and managers that I was fortunate enough to work with and the supporters who backed me. This instance is no different.
“The enjoyment that I have derived from being involved in football for as long as I have is outstripped only by the sense that I’ve been hugely fortunate to have the right people around me at all times. None more so than my family whose support allowed me to focus on playing and managing, sometimes to the detriment of their own aspirations and ambitions. They share this honour as much as anyone else because without them none of this would have been possible.
“Similar sentiments apply to those in football who believed in me sufficiently to give me opportunities and who backed me on and off the pitch in a multitude of ways. At Milton Bank Primary, High Possil Secondary, Glasgow Boys, Cumbernauld United, Celtic, Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United I was fortunate to be supported and accompanied by individuals who gave me a chance to do my job to the best of my ability, whether as a player or a manager. I have always appreciated the roles that they played in my life and that applies even more on this day as it does on any other.”
Dalglish’s Knighthood is also recognition for his contribution off the pitch in support of the Hillsborough families and The Marina Dalglish Appeal. He has helped to raise over £10 million to improve cancer care across Merseyside.
Sir Kenny has thanked those who nominated him for this honour. He added: “Last, but by no means least, I would like to express my gratitude to those who nominated me for a knighthood. I don’t know exactly what the process is but obviously something like this couldn’t happen unless someone puts your name forward so thank you to whoever it was who holds me in sufficient esteem that they believe me worthy of such an accolade. It is extremely humbling to have people who think of you in this way.”

Former Chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, Bishop James Jones KBE praised Kenny Dalglish’s “humanity and compassionate leadership” as he put the Hillsborough Families and survivors above himself.
“Kenny Dalglish showed truly exceptional pastoral care to the Hillsborough Families from the day of the disaster.
“His humanity and compassion comforted and sustained the community of the bereaved and survivors, and indeed the City itself, in an exceptional way and over the long period in which they were not believed. He put their needs above his own reputation.
“The global culture of football has many negative features. His honour sends out a signal that the world of football and society at large, value his humanitarian and compassionate leadership which are an antidote to the values of fame and fortune so often associated with football today.
“He is truly an exceptional role model.”
 Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram said: “I am delighted by the news that the King is to be knighted by the Queen.
“It is appropriate recognition of Kenny Dalglish’s unparalleled playing and managerial career in football, and of his many charitable efforts over the years, most notably in support of the Marina Dalglish Appeal – offering assistance to those with breast cancer and their families.
“15th April 1989 changed Liverpool forever. Kenny stood by the Hillsborough families and survivors in their hour of need and he has been ever present in the decades-long campaign for justice that followed.
“In 2011, on behalf of Hillsborough families and the city of Liverpool, I called for Kenny to be recognised for everything he had done over many years to support those affected by the traumatic events of Britain’s worst sporting disaster. He is a worthy recipient of this honour – and I look forward to taking my place in the ‘Sir’ Kenny Dalglish stand in the future.”


LIVERPOOL BID Company’s annual Mystery Shop Awards has revealed the city’s best shops, hotels, leisure businesses and eateries when it comes to customer service.

Wongs Jewellers on Whitechapel scooped the Best Independent Retailer award for the second successive year and were joined as the best in their respective sectors by easyHotel (accommodation provider) on Castle Street, Jenny’s Bar (leisure & hospitality venue) on Fenwick Street, M∙A∙C (national retailer) at Metquarter, and LILA (service provider) on North John Street. Awards for the most improved businesses went to Holiday Inn, Prescient, Lili Bizarre, Clas Ohlson and Johnsons the Cleaners.

The Mystery Shop Awards are a cornerstone of Liverpool BID Company’s activity that aims to proactively work with its BID levy payers businesses to develop employee skills and encourage high standards in customer service.

With Liverpool regularly voted as one of the UK’s friendliest cities it’s no surprise to see the city’s businesses maintaining a high standard of customer service across all sectors. The results of the mystery shopping showed an increase in the number of businesses rated at 100%, rising from 19 in 2017 to 23 this year. The number of businesses surveyed matched last year’s record total of 200 and 75 of those were rated 90% or better.

Cynthia Aldridge, business manager, Wongs Jewellers, said: “It is fantastic to pick up this award for the second consecutive year. To be recognised like this once again in the city is all credit to the Wongs’ team for going that extra mile. Customer service is at the heart of what we do and it’s a great honour to be awarded Best Independent Retailer.

“We look forward to this event every year and it is a great way to celebrate and support businesses in the city. Liverpool BID Company really supports its levy payers and we would be lost without them.”

Bill Addy, chief executive, Liverpool BID Company, said: “Liverpool BID Company created the Mystery Shop Awards as an important exercise in helping and supporting our levy payers who are not performing to the standard they want to be – it is essential for them as individual businesses and for the city as a whole to provide customers with a first-class customer service.

“Let me congratulate those who scored highly in this year’s mystery shop. We should not take for granted the hard work being put in by our levy payers in the retail, leisure and service provider sectors to give visitors to Liverpool the very best experience. They are examples to us all and must be congratulated.”

Liverpool BID Company commissions the mystery shop service to emphasise the high standards set by businesses in the BID areas they deliver – Retail & Leisure BID and Commercial District BID. The BID recently launched the business plan for a further term in the Retail & Leisure BID that would see an additional £5m invested into the area to improve safety and cleansing and boost footfall through events and animation.



AINTREE University Hospital has received a prestigious accreditation from Fair Train, a national organisation which promotes all forms of high quality work-based learning.The hospital...


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