This page serves to document all our archived news articles for 2014. Please note all content and images are ©Five Children and Families Trust.

FREEPHONE numbers are being implemented by Liverpool City Council for calls to the Revenues and Benefits Service.

The new system is being introduced from Monday 3 February and covers enquiries for issues including housing benefit, council tax support, free school meals and benefits maximisation advice.

The numbers and the services they will be used for are:

Mayor Joe Anderson said: "All the evidence we have is showing that the poorest people in our city are suffering as a result of the welfare reforms and the austerity measures."

"It is absolutely vital that we do all we can to support those who are being affected by making it as easy as possible to get in touch with the council. We want people to get in touch if they need advice over benefits, or are having problems paying their council tax."

"We don't want people not getting in touch with us because they are worried about the cost of making a call."

"This is part of the council's commitment to helping those who are most in need, which has also included setting up the Tackling Poverty Action Group, supporting food banks through the Mayor's Hope Fund and giving £1 million to credit unions to try and stop people turning to loan sharks."

The council's letters, bills and website are being updated with the new information on.

People telephoning the freephone numbers from mobile networks will get an automated message informing them they may be charged for the call and be given the option to dial a landline number if they prefer.

All the existing numbers will remain in use for three months.

Additional staff are also being employed by the Benefits Maximisation team to help people affected by welfare reforms.

The Revenues and Benefits Service is delivered by Liverpool Direct Limited, a joint venture between Liverpool City Council and BT.

The front page of any company website at the start of a new year generally looks at past achievements and looks to the future with a positive focus. Being a glass half-full person, that's not normally a difficult task for me. We can certainly list a whole host of achievement and, as ever, we remain forward thinking. For the first time in a long time I am slightly hesitant not just about the future of Five Children Centre but the future of services in our city.

It's a sad fact that LIVERPOOL is one of the WORST HIT local authorities in the country. We start our new year with a consultation on the closure of Parklands High School and the recent announcement that half the city's libraries and leisure centres will close their doors. Crucially children centre budgets will be slashed by 72% next year; this follow a previous round of funding reductions so the reality is far more significant for Liverpool children centres.

So as I write today with our glass potentially 28% full, it's slightly tougher to be an optimist; nonetheless, I am optimistic. Parents fought long and hard against children centre closures, and we are witnessing parent power once more in the fight to reverse the decision on Parklands closure. Don't let that happen to any other service in Speke! Go out and join your library today, get involved with the children centre, engage positively with your local schools. Work together to create positive change for our children and our community.

We celebrate 10 years of children centre delivery from the Old Speke Library in August this year; we want to use that anniversary to create a surge of energy in this community that says we are all taking responsibility for making Speke a better place to be.

Join us, and help make sure we are here to celebrate our 20th anniversary.

Kerin Dowling, a young fashion designer from Speke, teamed up with her two friends, Danielle Caslin and Hannah Corkhill, to put together an original fashion extravaganza in support of the Beat Abuse Project.

The young women have worked hard over the past six months putting the event together. The driving force behind it is not only to raise funds for Beat Abuse but also showcased other local designers' spring summer collections.

Kerin is no newcomer to the fashion limelight, and has taken part in several prestigious events around the region. Jamal Dermott, Project Development Manager for Five has been supporting the development of the project.

Since working alongside Kerin, he has been impressed with her dedication, her contacts and knowledge of the fashion world. Jamal tells us: "I believe she is a young lady who will go far because of the drive and passion she possesses".

Amongst the eighty attendees was Pat Shaw, mother of Kelsey Shaw, whose friends set up Beat Abuse after she murdered during a fatal domestic abuse attack two years ago. All proceeds raised at the event (£1,500) have gone towards supporting the project, whose aim is to reach as many young people as possible, to warn them of the signs of domestic abuse.

The event proved to be a real success and people are already asking when the next one will take place - watch this space!

Becoming a foster carer is one of the most emotionally rewarding things you can do - helping a vulnerable child or young person by nurturing them and building their self-esteem.

Being there for them to help them to try and make sense of their situation is an enormous reward in itself. Every day our foster carers look after local children who are unable to live with their birth families.

Liverpool City Council has responsibility for looking after over 800 children across the city who, for many different reasons, are unable to live with their birth families.

Every one of these children matters and we work hard to find loving families who are looking to foster a child.

We want to give them opportunity to flourish and that is why we need foster carers with the passion and commitment to make a difference to a child's life.

If you would like to find out more about how you could help by fostering a child, please come along to the Centre and have a chat with the Fostering for Liverpool Team on Friday 16th May, 09.30-2.30pm.

The local authority plans to cut funding to Children's Centres across Liverpool by 72%. If these plans go ahead most of our Children Centres will close.

The level of cuts for children centres are higher than for any other service. Research tells us that the long term costs to our communities will be far greater than the short term savings. Ironically this is acknowledged in Liverpool's own strategy documents.

Across Liverpool parents will come together and join hands around their local centre at 3.30pm on Friday 27th June to protest about the level of cuts to Children Centre services.

We are urging everyone - regardless of you having children yourself - to show your support and join us in this protest.

All events will have a fun element as part of Children Centre's commitment to Child Safety Week, so do please check what's happening with your local Centre.

Over 200 parents, children and friends of Five Children's Centre came to offer their support and show their outrage at the local authorities planned funding cuts of 72%.

We appreciate that the Local Authority need to achieve savings, but this huge cut to vital children services will almost certainly mean the closure of the majority of Children Centres in the Liverpool area.

Even the miserable June weather couldn't dampen the resolve of hundreds or families from Children Centres throughout Liverpool, as they protested against the unfairness of these latest rounds of cuts.

Maria Eagle MP and Labour Councillors Lynnie Hinnigan and Mary Rasmussen joined us, and as people held hands protectively round the Centre the chant grew in volume:

"No ifs. No buts. No Children Centre Cuts"

To be kept updated on our campaign and alerted to any other planned events please follow us on FaceBook:

We are celebrating our 10th birthday this year as your local Children Centre and we would like to invite everyone (regardless of having young children) to join in.

The party will run from 12.00 – 4.00 on Saturday 6th September and we will have lots of fun things for all the family to enjoy.

There's also a special treat for all the young girls with a guest appearance of the fabulous new boy-band: 'THE VALENTINE BROTHERS'!!!

We've been reminiscing about the things we have done and all the families we have worked with over the past 10 years. We would really appreciate you sharing some of your memories with us.

We'd love to create a big display of all the children that have passed through our Centre - but we need your help to do it. So dig out your old photographs, perhaps some then and now pictures of your children. Send them to or post them on our Facebook page. Don't forget to include names and dates.

With the proposed funding cuts still looming, we don't know what the future has in store for the Children Centre, so we'd like make this the biggest and best birthday bash ever!

We have been around since 2000 as a Sure Start Local Programme; working out of many different community venues (including Speke market!). In August 2004 that we were proud to complete the refurbishment of what was the old Speke Library transforming it into a Children Centre for the community.

Ironically, as we celebrate 10 years of our Children Centre, we witnessed our High School close its doors whilst we, together with other groups across Speke, are currently being threatened with serious funding reductions.

The people of Speke have really come together to show support - not just for the Children Centre but also for our other local services. Over 200 people turned out in drenching rain to support our Hands Around Liverpool Children Centres event, The Austin Rawlinson Summer Party was a huge success and we are pleased to say that over 1000 people joined us for our 10th Birthday Celebration.

We have a renewed energy in Speke with more and more local people taking a lead in volunteering for their community. New Futures is a group of parents who are closely affiliated to Five Children and Families Trust who have worked with the Centre to develop their own constitution. They are committed to their Children Centre and to children in Speke and were successful in raising £12,400 to support the Birthday Event and our wider community project, The Big Book of Speke.

We would like to express a massive thank you to everyone who supported our event, especially all our partners who supported with funding, guidance and additions to our event team, our staff, New Futures, Graham's Team and everyone else who volunteered their time to make this event such a success.

Finally, a big thanks must go to the local Speke community for such a fantastic turn out on the day. We hope that there will be many more.