Shoppers in Southport and Formby help provide sight for Africa

SPECSAVERS in Southport and Formby have thanked customers for donating more than 18,000 of their old, unused glasses this year, as part of a charity campaign to help people in Africa to see more clearly.

GlassesThe Southport store had 14,000 donations during 2017, while Formby was able to donate over 4,000 pairs to the charity.

Founded in 1985, Vision Aid Overseas has been helping some of the poorest people in the world to see properly for more than 30 years. The charity’s mission is to enable people living in poverty to access affordable glasses and eye care.

All the collected glasses are recycled and the money made is used to help provide optical services in developing countries.

Working with Vision Aid Overseas, staff and customers at Specsavers Formby and Specsavers Southport have shown their generosity by bringing a record-number of old glasses to the store for donation over the past year.

Southport store director, Victoria Dunn, says:

‘The campaign this year has been a massive success thanks to our very kind and generous customers bringing in their old glasses. Every single one will make a difference.

‘In a country where opticians’ services are readily available, such as the UK, it is easy to take our vision for granted. In poorer parts of the world where people don’t have access to eye care services, these donations and Vision Aid Overseas can make a significant impact on people’s lives.’

VAO has been Specsavers international eyecare charity since 2008. The group has raised over £600,000 for Zambian eye care including an optometry technologists training course at the Chainama College of Health Sciences in Lusaka, 10 staffed vision centres across Zambia and a national eye care outreach programme.

To make an appointment with Specsavers Southport call 01704 501944 or visit or to book an appointment with the Formby team call 01704 832311 or visit


Travel Strike Friday 22 December

Posted Friday 22 December 4.30 am

Travel issues on Friday 22 December 

Unfortunately due to strike action by guard members of the RMT union, a reduced train service will run across the Merseyrail network on Friday 22 December 2017.

  • There will be no trains running on the Ellesmere Port or Hunts Cross lines during the strike action.
  • Most services will run between the hours of 07:00 and 19:00. However, there will be a break in service during the middle of the day.
  • Some stations will be closed.

Please Note: Arriva Buses have agreed to accept Merseyrail tickets on Friday 22 December for bus journeys covering Merseyrail’s Northern and Wirral lines. To prevent overcrowding on buses, Merseyrail tickets will not be accepted between 07:00 - 09:00 and 16:00 – 18:00.

Valid cross river rail tickets will also be valid on Mersey Ferries.

The Southport - Liverpool Timetable details as published by Merseyrail can be viewed here:

(Source : Merseyrail web site accessed on Wednesday 20 December 11.00 am)

Railwat Tracks

Southport & Ormskirk Hospitals Help Organ Donation Message

Southport and Ormskirk hospitals help give the organ donation message a much-needed lift  …almost 200 patients awaiting life-saving donations across Merseyside and West Lancs.


Dr Andrew Kent with Specialist Nurse Laurence Frys

Southport and Ormskirk hospitals are working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant to promote organ donation to all its staff, patients and visitors. The doors to the main lifts have been covered with promotional messages urging people to sign up to be an organ donor.

In total, there are currently 23 people across West Lancashire and 172 in Merseyside who need a lifesaving organ transplant. They need people to say yes to organ donation so they can get the organ they so desperately need.
The hospital is promoting organ donation - in both Southport and Ormskirk hospitals - with the aim, it might make people think about it while waiting for the lift and then go on to register. This would hopefully, in turn, open the door to more people getting the transplants they need.

During the past decade, people in Merseyside and West Lancashire have had their lives saved or transformed thanks to deceased organ donors from across the UK. However, sadly three people a day still die whilst in need of a transplant due to the shortage of people willing to donate organs.

In total, eight out of 10 of us agree it’s important to tell those closest to us our views about organ donation after death, but only a third say their family knows their wishes about organ donation.* 
Laurence Frys, the Specialist Nurse for Organ Donation at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said: 

“Organ donation saves lives and one organ donor can save or transform up to nine lives and even more by donating tissue as well.
“I know that more families agree to donation if they know their loved one was on the Organ Donor Register. Save your family from having to guess what you would have wanted. Join the NHS Organ Donor Register and let your family know your decision. One day it could be someone you love in need of a transplant.”

Dr Andrew Kent, Clinical Lead for Organ Donation at Southport Hospital, added:

 “We are delighted to be promoting organ donation on the doors of the lifts within the hospitals. Transplants save lives and are only possible if people are willing to donate.

“Every single hospital in the UK will be in a town or city where there are patients waiting for a transplant and we hope this initiative will prompt our employees, patients and visitors to the hospital to think about organ donation and to commit to saving lives as a donor by signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.”

Please sign up today at and Let your friends and family know you want to help others after your death. For further information please contact 0300 123 2323.


It's the Winter Solstice

Posted Thursday 21 December 9.00 am

image from

The 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 today, 21 December 2017, at 16.28 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 on the season.

Carols with Brass Concert

Posted Wednesday 20 December 7.30 pm

Formby Choral Society is performing a carol concert this December with the Formby Band.

New members are always welcome and further details can be obtained by contacting the Membership Secretary

FCS Carols with brass