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Pub-goers can enjoy a January Sale at The Lifeboat in Formby.

Manager Ashleigh-Jane Bauress is reducing the price on a range of drinks at the pub in Three Tuns Lane.

From Tuesday January 3 until Wednesday January 18 inclusive.

Wetherspoons January Sale LiveThe range of drinks featured in the sale are; a real ale (Sharp's Doom Bar), a craft beer (Shipyard), one lager (Coors Light), two ciders (Strongbow Dark Fruit and Magners), three wines from Coldwater Creek (red, white and rose), three spirits; Gordon's gin, Smirnoff vodka, Bacardi rum (inclusive of a mixer), two soft drinks; SanPellegrino (Aranciata Rossa and Limonata) and Monster (Energy, Ultra and Ripper), Guinness as well as takeaway Lavazza filter coffee and tea.

The sale prices include

  • a pint of Sharp's Doom Bar at £2.29,
  • a pint of Coors Light at £2.49,
  • a glass of Coldwater Creek wine (175ml glass) at £2.55,
  • a pint of Guinness at £2.99,
  • Gordon's gin (single measure with mixer) at £2.80,
  • SanPellegrino at 95p
  • and a takeaway cup of Lavazza filter coffee at 79p.

Ashleigh-Jane said:

Department stores and shops hold their sale in January, so it is the perfect time to have a sale in the pub too.

The range of drinks on sale in the pub is aimed at suiting a wide variety of tastes.

I believe that the January Sale will prove popular with our customers.

As always, staff at the pub will serve customers responsibly.

(Source: direct communication from Wetherspoons)


Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Greetings to all of  you who visit and follow this blog my thanks for your support.

I'm unlikely to add any new posts to the blog this side of the New Year. 

image from www.formby.todayHere's an appropriate image on which to end the year and start the festive break and remind us all of the season and the story behind the celebrations.

I'll still be tweeting over the holiday season and you can follow these on this page. 

I will use the following hashtag #formbyxmas

Join in the conversation. Share your celebrations,  send your images, your stories and tales of Christmas and the New Year Holiday season.

Until next year then, au revoir.

Sean Brady 
Editor and Curator of FormbyFirst.org.uk and twitter.com/formbyvillage

NHS staff go on manoeuvres with Army Reserves

Hospital staff got a taste of military life on a team-building and leadership day at Altcar Training Camp, Formby.

NHS manoeuvres LiveEighteen people took part with representation from the wards, radiology, A&E, dermatology, sterile services, the walk-in centres, administration, theatres and gynaecology.

The day was a mixture of interactive classroom sessions on team-building and conflict resolution. Presentations and command tasks were delivered by the commanding officer, majors, warrant officers and other personnel from 3 Medical Regiment.

It also included outdoor command tasks with the grand finale being indoor ranges where staff demonstrated their newly-acquired skills handling SA80 rifles, the military services’ current issued weapon.

The training day was organised by Kath Higgins, Head of Nursing for Planned Care, who is also a major with 207 Field Hospital at Chorley-based 3 Medical Regiment. Both are units within the Army Medical Services employing regular and reserve personnel.

She said:

“It was one of the wettest and windiest days of the year but this did nothing to quash people’s enthusiasm. We had brilliant feedback and this is sure to be the first of many such exercises.”

(The picture shows Kath Higgins, head of nursing and Army Reserves major, with hospital colleagues.)

Issued by Tony Ellis, Marketing and Communications Manager
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Telephone 01704 704494
Email tonyellis@nhs.net
Web www.southportandormskirk.nhs.uk

How building a Dalek helped my chronic pain

A father with chronic pain surprised staff and patients at Southport hospital when he toured the wards with his homemade, life-sized dalek.

DalekKevin Howard has been using the pain service for 14 years since he woke up one morning with pain in his shoulder. The pain intensified and numerous tests and investigations over two years failed to produce a diagnosis.

Kevin was eventually diagnosed with chronic pain, though after two years of suffering he was no longer able to work as an electrical engineer and required regular pain medication.

It was a referral to Clinical Psychology at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust that helped Kevin turn his life around.

“The pain is still the same, I just have a different mindset now,” said Kevin.

Because of his pain, Kevin was no longer able to play football with his son, Stewart, they set about building a life-size dalek so they could do something together.

“We call the dalek Jeremy and he’s 12 years old now. We started building him when my son was six and it helped to teach him how to use tools, it took us three months to build. We even used Jeremy as a Christmas tree one year. My wife wasn’t too happy!”

Stewart is now 18 and accompanied his Dad (and Jeremy the dalek) around the hospital to boost the spirits of patients and staff.

Kevin is also a volunteer at the pain clinic, based at Ainsdale Centre for Health and Well-Being, every Friday and with the Living Well programme. For more information on the pain clinic and Living Well, visitwww.southportandormskirk.nhs.uk and click on the Clinical Psychology section.

Issued by Kimberley Rushton, Senior Communications and Marketing Officer
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Telephone     01704 705061
Email              kimberley.rushton@nhs.net 
Web                www.southportandormskirk.nhs.uk
Twitter            @SONHSTrust

Children’s University comes to National Trust Formby

The National Trust at Formby is delighted to be registered as a Learning Destination for the Children's University

NTFormby Childrens University LiveThe Children's University is a nationwide initiative which aims to promote learning outside school hours. The idea is to get kids involved in various activities with their families, sparking a love of learning, whilst having fun in the process!

While the National Trust already has a number of incentives to encourage children to explore the great outdoors, such as '50 things to do before you're 11¾', it is hoped this new partnership will act as a further way to kindle an interest amongst young people in the countryside and coastline. Participants will get stamps in their 'Passport to Learning' as they complete activities.

The scheme is launching in time for the Christmas holidays, with Make a Kite, Hunt for Bugs and Woodland Bingo just some examples of what is on offer.

For more information about the activities available during your visit, please head towards the Membership trailer, open at the weekends and school holidays between 12pm -3pm. On submission of your evidence, it’s here you will also be able to collect your stamp - don’t forget to take your Passport to Learning! Please note that some activities have a charge for materials.

“We are very pleased to be working with the Children’s University to encourage young people to get out and about and discover this special place. We’ll be offering a range of hands-on fun learning activities over the coming months from bug hunting to kite flying – perfect for bringing the family together to work off that Christmas pudding whilst having fun in the great outdoors. We look forward to welcoming you soon.”
Andrew Brockbank, Countryside Manager, National Trust Formby

For more information, visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/formby/features/childrens-university-at-formby or www.childrensuniversity.co.uk

The National Trust is celebrating 50 years of caring for 210 hectares of land at Formby in 2017. Formby is home to a wealth of rare wildlife including red squirrels and the natterjack toad. It is one of the largest and most important sand dune systems in the UK and is enjoyed by locals and thousands of visitors every year.

The Formby coast is, however, very fragile due to the forces of nature operating here and is the fastest changing coastline in the National Trust’s care. Our aim is to work with our neighbours, partners and those who enjoy this area to care for this special place for the benefit of wildlife and current and future generations.

For more information visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/formby

Emma Farley
Interim PR & Communications Consultant (North)
National Trust
North Region
Goddards, 27 Tadcaster Road, York YO24 1GG

Mobile: 07901 500565



It's the Winter Solstice

SolsticeThe Winter Solstice is an astronomical phenomenon which marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

For one small moment in time the movement of the earth and the sun in relation to each seems to pause. For one brief moment the sun is neither rising or setting when viewed from the earth.

The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning the Sun stands still. This is because on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most (or northern-most during the June Solstice) position as seen from the Earth. It seems to stand still at the Tropic of Capricorn (and Tropic of Cancer during the June Solstice) and then reverses its direction.

Here in Formby that astronomical moment is  on Wednesday, 21 December 2016, 10:44 GMT. 

After that until the summer solstice, each day gets longer and each night shorter. I think I've read somewhere it either gets darker or lighter by two minutes each day depending upon the season.

In a scientific terms:

The December Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its most southerly declination of -23.5 degrees. In other words, when the North Pole is tilted furthest – 23.5 degrees – away from the Sun.

For the less scientifically minded it's an occasion of joy and celebration. It's conveniently timed close to Christmas and the celebrations to mark the 'birth of Jesus'. It was also a moment of celebration in Norse times when it was known as Yule and believers in the Scandinavian God Thor burned a Yule log to symbolise the life-giving properties of the returning sun.

Similarly the Romans also celebrated a festival called Saturnalia on December 17 in honour of Saturn, the father of the Gods.

Enjoy this special day knowing that from tomorrow each and every day that follows will get longer until we celebrate the summer solstice.

(Source: http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/december-solstice.html)

Try a 'Pay it Forward' Christmas

Pay it forward is an expression for describing the beneficiary of a good deed repaying it to others instead of to the original benefactor.

The concept is old, but the phrase may have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight.

I remember watching a movie some years ago, based on this idea, it's impact on me has lasted ever since.

So much so, I thought I'd invite you try it out for yourself.

In Formby this year there will be people for whom this Christmas will be bleak. I'm asking you to join me in contributing to your nearest Foodbank.

Here's a short movie to explain the idea better than I can.

If you want to know what to buy the Trussell Trust have publised the following guidance.

We have worked with nutritionists to develop a food parcel that contains sufficient nutrition for adults and children, for at least three days of healthy, balanced meals for individuals and families.

A typical food parcel includes:

    Pasta sauce
    Tinned meat
    Tinned vegetables
    Tinned fruit

Many foodbanks also provide essential non-food items such as toiletries and hygiene products, helping people in crisis to maintain dignity and feel human again.

For more advice and where and what to give see: https://southport.foodbank.org.uk/give-help/donate-food/


Help yours-elf to stay well this winter and use A&E wisely

With Christmas just around the corner, health experts in Southport and Formby are urging local patients to prepare for minor illnesses and to consider how they use 999 and A&E over the festive period for them and their families.

Examine your option compliation LiveAs many prepare to tuck into turkey, celebrate with friends and family or enjoy a festive night out, the health professionals at NHS Southport and Formby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are reminding residents to think before dialling 999 or visiting accident and emergency departments over the bank holidays. They are also reminding them to examine their options should they become ill over the festive period and to prepare for minor illnesses by stocking up on over the counter medication.

The Examine your Options campaign aims to give people information so that they know where to go to in the first instance, to get fast, expert advice when they need it and how to help themselves and their families if they have a common illness or ailment – and help ease the pressure on A&E and 999 services at the same time.

It also reinforces the message that A&E and 999 services are for serious illnesses and life-threatening injuries only.

Dr Rob Caudwell, local GP and NHS Southport and Formby CCG chair said

“The best advice that I can offer is to be prepared, if you are entitled to a free flu vaccination then make sure you get it, visit your pharmacist to ensure that you have the right at home medication and order your repeat prescriptions through your GP practice well before the bank holiday rush.

It’s also really important to make sure that we look out for not only family and friends, but also for any elderly neighbours as well, those who may struggle to get out of the house this time of the year, to ensure that they have everything that they need.”

With the increasing pressure on emergency services over the busy Christmas and New Year period, we are stressing the importance of ensuring A&E and the 999 number are kept free for genuine medical emergencies.

Dr Caudwell continues:

“It is vital to remember that the ambulance service and A&E should not be used as an alternative to your GP if your surgery is closed. If you or your children require medical assistance outside of normal surgery hours this bank holiday, patients in Southport and Formby have access to a wide range of alternative health services available including GP out-of-hours services and pharmacists who are qualified to offer advice and treat common, everyday illnesses quickly and conveniently.”

Dr Dave Snow, associate medical director for urgent care at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said:

“We are not saying don’t use A&E. We are saying use A&E wisely.

“Many people who arrive at A&E, particularly by ambulance following a 999 call, do need hospital care and will be seen immediately. However, there are others whose care needs could be met just as well by their GP, a pharmacist or by treating the symptoms themselves.

“A&E is for people facing life-threatening and serious emergencies such as serious accidents, breathing problems, heart attacks and strokes. Please keep our staff free for them.”

Feeling Unwell? - Examine Your Options

Across the area there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care. There are a variety of services that can support you to do this:

Pharmacy Services

Your local pharmacy can offer free, confidential and expert advice on a range of health issues for those who need it. They can help you prepare for many of the common illnesses like coughs and colds.

For your pharmacy opening times over Christmas and New Year please click here www.southportandformbyccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/pharmacy-opening-times-for-christmas-period


You can find a wealth of trusted advice about hundreds of health conditions and details of GPs, pharmacies and dentists in your local area by visiting the NHS.uk website: www.nhs.uk. It also includes a symptom checker.

NHS 111

When you need medical help or advice fast, but it is not a 999 emergency, you can also call the NHS 111 service. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you need medical care for illnesses you cannot treat yourself, then your GP should be your next port of call.

Your Local GP

Your GP should be your first point of contact for non-emergency illnesses you can’t treat yourself. Your GP is available from 8.00am to 6.30pm weekdays.

If you don’t have a GP, you can register with your local surgery. If you’re not sure where this is, you can find out at: www.nhs.uk or call 0300 77 77 007.

Patients can also manage their health needs at home using Patient Access which is available on desktop or as a free app where you can arrange appointments, order repeat medications and update your personal details.*

For more information on Patient Access visit: https://patient.emisaccess.co.uk/account/login or watch this video for more information: www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRM5YzabvVc

GP Out of Hours Service

If your local surgery is closed, you can still see a GP with the GP out-of-hours service; just call 111 and you can speak to a local GP over the phone or face to face if necessary.

It is very likely that you and your family will be seen and treated more quickly using the out-of-hours service than if you were waiting to see a doctor in A&E, especially at busy times.

For more information please visit www.examineyouroptions.info

*please note that some practices may use a slightly different system to patient access so it is worth asking your GP practice for more information