This page serves to document all our archived news articles for 2011. Please note all content and images are ©Five Children and Families Trust.

Gale force winds, torrential rain and even hailstones couldn't spoil the fun at Five's Christmas 2011 Grotto.

Over 200 children and young people took part in the event, which included a bakery workshop to make Christmas cookies and arts & crafts sessions where the children made their own calendars and tree decorations.

For the older children we once again had an outside ice rink and of course, all the children paid the obligatory visit to Santa's Grotto.

Well done and thank you to the Centre's staff who worked hard to ensure the day ran smoothly. In addition, a special thank you goes to Ian Johnson from Belle Vale Adventure Playground and Tom Segar for being such a wonderful Santas and making our Grotto so special for the children in Speke.

Thanks also go to St Christopher's School Choir for making the day even more festive.

Parents really enjoyed themselves too with such comments as:

"This is the third year my son has been to the grotto and each year has been fantastic..."

"It's that good I can't believe it's free - I would have happily paid to come..."

Flickr Picture Gallery

Photographs from the Grotto will be available from the Centre shortly but for now, you can view them on our Flickr page by clicking here.

There has been a lot of talk about domestic abuse with young people being violent in their own homes or in their relationships in our community; it is a very complex issue that we have been trying to tackle as an organisation.

We have invested in staff training and research to develop work to support young people. Sadly this year Kelsey Shaw became a fatal victim and this tragedy galvanised a group of her friends into taking some positive action.

Supported by Lynnie Williams and Jamal Dermott from Five, they were successful in getting an award of £1,000 from SLH Dragon's Den to host an awareness raising event on issues of teen date abuse for young people and to undertake further consultation.

Despite the circumstances which led to the event it was a very successful evening with 153 young people taking part. They all felt they had learned something about teen date abuse and were keen to learn even more.

Everyone agreed that there should be a service specifically designed to support young people and we'll do our best to make this happen.

We will continue to work with Kelsey's friends to seek out funding to make this happen. Our thanks go to the Beat Abuse Team and Pat Shaw, Kelsey's mum who supported us through the project.

Five's Dad's Group started a gardening project in June 2011 with the incentive of growing vegetables for their family Christmas dinner. Gemma Jerome, an environmental entrepreneur has been supporting the group with some amazing results.

After digging several beds at the front of the Children's Centre and preparing the ground for planting, soil samples were taken showing that it would be perfect for growing without the need for fertilizers or other chemical based feeds. This meant that what we produced could be described as truly organic.

We held children's sessions where Gemma showed how to plant seeds in pots and later how to replant them into the ground. Within eight weeks the group were able to start eating what they had grown and were sampling vegetables they hadn't ever tasted before, like Capsicums (or peppers to you and me) runner beans, turnips, carrots, potatoes, lettuce and even peas in a pod.

Much to the delight of the children, we also had a bumper crop of delicious strawberries and cranberries, and we've brightened up our reception area with beautiful Sunflowers and fragrant Sweet Williams.

So far we've grown about twenty different varieties of vegetables and flowers. In fact, the project has been so successful that we are now working with the local fire station staff to create a larger family project. If you'd like to get involved please contact Mike Smith for more information.

The Summer Programme was a great success this year with nineteen different events and outings. We worked with seventy two families, twenty six of which were new to the centre. These were made up of mums, dads, carers, grandparents and of course lots of children.

There was something for everyone this year including arts & crafts sessions, theme park trips for the adventurous and park based trips for the more leisurely motivated groups. There was also beach and cultural based outings which just about satisfied all tastes. The feedback and comments we received proved to us that we have a lot of satisfied customers..

A new venue for us this year was Tatton Hall Park, which proved very popular, as did some of the old favourites such as Camelot, Farmer Teds and New Brighton. The arts and crafts sessions had a water based theme looking at what we might find in and around our coastline, living or otherwise. .

Our story time sessions were designed to encourage families to visit their local library and join the Centres new 'Reading Passport' scheme. We visited museums and Speke Hall to find out about the past and Crosby Marina to find out how wet we could get. The families who attended the events had one thing in common, a determination to make the most of the summer with their children. Thanks to all who attended our summer programme and for making this year the best one yet!.

Come along to Speke Baptist Church between 11am to 3pm on Wednesday 1st June to help us celebrate International Children's Day.

The following services will be available:

Some of the activities provided include:

Five Children's Centre:

South Liverpool Polish Association:

Liverpool Primary Care Trust:

So far in 2011, Can Cook have run three really successful Domes events with Primary Schools across Liverpool. The first was held at Stockton Wood Primary School over three days. We achieved amazing results training 180 students from four different Primary Schools in the area.

Each student took part in a hands-on, chef led cookery session from inside the Dome. Our chefs went through different skills and techniques; introducing knife skills as well as different dishes and ingredients that students wouldn't necessarily use in school time.

Some of the dishes students got to cook (and eat!) included chicken and vegetable quesedillas and chicken and vegetable biryani- which taste amazing as well as being packed full of vegetables.

This is something we focus on within the Domes, with the students leaving having learnt some new facts about healthy eating and cooking. Every one absolutely loved cooking from within a Dome, rather than the normal classroom environment and left filled with excitement about the experience!

Archbishop Beck and Enterprise South Liverpool Academy Secondary Schools were also part of the action, inviting more local Primary Schools to take part in cookery sessions. We have had fantastic feedback from teachers and students involved, with students commenting on how the step by step instructions from the chef made cooking easier to understand.

Teachers were also happy that the students got to experience cooking healthy meals from scratch and were able to work with unfamiliar ingredients, as well as different tastes and textures of foods.

Overall a great success and we hope to work with even more schools over the coming months!

It was a normal day at Five Children's Centre with staff turning up for work in their pyjamas, and mums and their children parading around Speke in tutus, painted faces and red wigs.

No we haven't all gone mad, we were all just doing our part for Comic Relief's Red Nose Day. If you watched the telly on 18th March you will have seen the many worthy causes that are helped each year by this event.

Lois, together with local families and children from Five's Nursery, went on a fundraising mission around the shops and even to the local Police station. Their combined efforts raised a grand total of £330 pounds.

A big thank you goes to all our families for their kind help and generosity - well done to everyone involved.

We are really lucky here at Five Children's Centre to have a very mature and well-qualified Nursery staff team, with a number of them educated to degree-standard.

Danielle Woods is currently working toward a Post Graduate Qualification, the Early Years Professional Status which Sarah Lake our teacher already holds.

Kit Lynch our nursery manager in addition to her NNEB qualification has a Certificate in Education and has worked for many years as a college tutor teaching childcare to adults and 14-19 students. All of these in-house skills combined with consistent access to training and development for the staff team really drive up the quality of our service.

Five has a strong tradition of supporting young people in the community and we regularly offer work experience for local school children and placement opportunities for students. Students do not count in our ratios and they will always be supervised by a member of staff.

Jenny Nilson has a leadership role to support and challenge students in our setting and is currently working towards an Assessor's Qualification which will enable her to formally assess students in our setting and provide a higher level of support.

We are committed to creating a strong learning environment for our staff and students as we believe a skilled and confident staff team will ensure that children in our care flourish and learn.

SAFE Place Merseyside is the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for the Merseyside area. It is a joint venture supported by the Home Office, Merseyside Police, Liverpool CitySafe Partnership, Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, Merseyside NHS Primary Care Trusts and Local Authorities.

SAFE Place offers a service for both males and females who have been sexually assaulted both recently and at any time in the past. They have a staff of highly-trained healthcare professionals who are there to support you at the centre in Liverpool City Centre.

As well as emergency treatment, emergency contraception and advice on many other services, SAFEPlace can offer referrals to counsellors and can help you if you would like to contact the Police.

SAFEPlace operate a policy of strictest client confidentiality and are there for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need to contact SAFEPlace, just call 0151 295 3550 any time day or night. All calls are treated professionally and in confidence.

If you would simply like to know more about what they do, please visit the new website.

On the 27th March household in the country will be asked to complete the census form. The census provides a high quality estimate of the population and is a count of all people and households in England and Wales and is carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Everyone is asked the same questions on the same day in order to take a snapshot of the population at one point in time. The statistics describe the population at national, regional and local levels.

The information collected on the questionnaires is used to help government and local authorities plan the services and resources people need, such as transport, housing, healthcare and education as well as community groups and voluntary services in your area.

The amount of money your council has to spend on these important services is based on population statistics from the census. That is why it is so important that everyone takes part.

Every householder must, by law, complete and return a 2011 Census questionnaire. Failure to complete the census will mean you could face prosecution, a hefty fine (up to £1000) and a criminal record.

If you are not sure how to answer some of the questions on the Census call in to the centre and speak to a member of staff who will be glad to help you.

Merseyside Police will be holding another Crime Prevention Weekend on Saturday 5th / Sunday 6th March 2011:


You can also access the Centre from Aigburth Road:


It's important to introduce children at an early age to different cultures from around the world, so, as part of the recent Chinese New Year celebrations, Five's Maureen Fisk and a group of child minders and their children visited the Maysum Chinese restaurant.

After enjoying a delicious meal of fried rice, samosa, and noodle stir fry, each of the children was presented with their own set of chop sticks as well as a Chinese New Year animal.

The children also designed their own Chinese lanterns to take home to their parents.


Once again we need to encourage those in at risk groups to contact their GP practice for a flu vaccination if they have not already been vaccinated this winter. It is not too late to be vaccinated but people at risk who have not had their vaccine yet really should be contacting their GPs now to arrange one as we are well into the flu season.

Flu vaccine is available for people at risk, i.e. people under 65 with chronic medical problems, pregnant women and those aged 65 and over. We are especially keen to push this message out to pregnant women.

Please note that those who are not in an at risk group are not eligible for flu vaccination.

The other key messages which continue to be important to continue to get across are:

  1. Respiratory Hygiene - Encourage use of tissues when sneezing or coughing, wiping and blowing noses [ "Catch it, Bin it, Kill it"] and raise  awareness re the importance of covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible.
  2. Hand Hygiene - Encourage and promote routine hand hygiene periodically during the day with soap and water, and ensure young children are supervised when washing hands.
  3. Most people with flu will get better in a week or so with bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids and paracetamol without needing to see a doctor. If you need advice, initially phone NHS Direct on 0845 4647. Phone your GP if you have a child with flu who is under 5 years old or for a patient with flu who has a long term health condition or who is pregnant.
  4. Do not visit Accident and Emergency (A&E) with flu symptoms.

Jennie Piet
Senior Public Health Manager