Three cheers for Three Piers 

Staff, volunteers, trustees, supporters and clients of N-Vision, the Blackpool Fylde and Wyre Society for the Blind, are under starter’s orders for their now annual 3 Piers sponsored run/walk.

They reckon their charity is without peer – and all three of our historic Blackpool piers play their part in the fun fundraiser on Sunday September 16.

Racers, runners, walkers, amblers and trundlers pick a pier – or all three – and their pace.  The distance spans 3, 5 or 6 miles depending on whether they head for South, Central or North Pier – and back to N-Vision’s base at Bosworth Place, Squires Gate.

The 3 Piers raises vital funds to help the independent local charity support 2500 people living on the Fylde – from coast to urban and rural communities inland – with low or no vision.  The charity dates back to 1910 and runs a range of community services, café clubs, social and activity groups, Low Vision Centre, sight loss support, Talking Newspaper, and more – including the Princess Alexandra Home which offers residential and respite accommodation.

Organiser Abby Newby explains: “After doing sponsored walks for several years N-Vision introduced the 3 Piers last year to make the event accessible, so we should have a distance that will suit (almost) everybody – while the six-mile option will appeal to runners.

“Last year we raised £2875 so we would REALLY like to smash the £3000 mark this year. It is important people start signing up.”

The 3 Piers starts from N-Vision’s base at Bosworth Place, Squires Gate FY4 1SH, at 10am – fancy dress welcome or come as you are. It’s £6 to register. Contact Abby at (01253) 362692 or email  [email protected] to receive your registration pack.

The first 20 participants to sign up will receive a free N-Vision water bottle. Food and refreshments will be provided after the event. Fylde Coast YMCA are kindly hosting the warm up sessions on site.

The event also raises awareness of the charity’s work ahead of National Eye Health Week, which starts Mon Sept 24 and stresses the need for all of us to have regular sight tests as a routine – not just when your eyesight may be letting you down.  The charity’s eye clinic liaison officer Linda Sethi  will be at Blackpool Victoria Hospital (Mezzanine on Tuesday Sept 25 from 10am-2pm ) to raise awareness including of hospital ophthalmology services. On Friday Sept 28 the charity hosts an exhibition of the latest technology, products and services to help people with sight loss, between 10am and 3pm, on site at Sharples Hall, Bosworth Place, Squires Gate, FY4 1SH. It’s a chance to see high tech innovations – as well as aids to everyday life – which have hit the headlines globally. It’s hosted by low vision worker Brian Casey who was the first European to trial eSight glasses – which enabled him to ‘see’ for the first time in almost 30 years.

Urgent treatment centres provide ideal alternative to A&E

Urgent treatment centres provide ideal alternative to A&E

Urgent care services across the Fylde Coast have been renamed in an effort to make things simpler for people living in the area.

The walk-in centre in Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, and same day centre in Fleetwood, Dock Street, are now both called ‘urgent treatment centres’.

The move is part of a national drive to standardise all urgent care services across the UK by December 2019 and make it easier for patients to understand the service offer. Urgent treatment centres will all offer the same level of service, no matter where they are in the country.

Last year, the Blackpool and Fleetwood services were improved to offer both walk-in and pre-booked appointments in order to meet the new urgent treatment centre standard. Pre-booked appointments are available by calling NHS111 between 8am and 8pm seven days a week. Previously the same day centre was only available for appointments booked in advance while the walk-in centre did not offer pre-booked appointments. 

Speaking on behalf of the Fylde Coast NHS, David Bonson, chief operating officer at NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Many patients are understandably confused about which part of the NHS offers which service, and by then relying on A&E they are being treated in wrong setting. This is bad for the local NHS because it puts unnecessary pressure on A&E and other parts of the urgent and emergency care system.

“The new standard brings in a clear and comprehensive offer to patients. Urgent treatment centres are usually a GP led service, open for at least 12 hours a day, every day of the week, every week of the year – including bank holidays – and offering pre-bookable appointments.

“They have access to simple diagnostics such as swabs and pregnancy tests and have access to x-ray facilities, as well as a range of other services. They can also issue prescriptions and e-prescriptions.”

Apart from the name changes, there are no further changes planned to the services on offer at the urgent treatment centres or the way they are delivered.

Representation

  • To enable the diverse views of the local voluntary sector to be represented to local statutory bodies and others and, where appropriate, to be a conduit for this representation.
  • Tasks.
  1. Have effective mechanisms for encouraging consultation with local groups.
  2. Have opportunities for groups to respond to consultations
  3. Feedback to groups the outcomes of consultations.
  4. Arrange occasional meetings for the sector with local authority and other relevant statutory bodies.
  5. Inform the third sector of partnership developments and opportunities.
  6. Establish accountability for third sector representatives and establish clear two way feedback mechanisms.

Liaison

  • To develop and maintain links across the voluntary, community, statutory and private sectors and promote the ability for all sectors to engage in networking with each other.
  • Tasks
  1. Establish and maintain a range of communication channels within and between the third sector statutory and private agencies. Use these channels to promote the importance of the Third Sector in delivering public service priorities.
  2. Provide and support opportunities for networking for the Third Sector, including the Blackpool Third Sector Forum.
  3. Provide space in the newsletter and on the website for information from local agencies and relevant policy items.
  4. Have regular contact with other local development agencies, especially around common areas of work.
  5. Encourage and enable effective involvement of the local third sector in strategic partnerships.

Support

  • To provide the support which will underpin the functioning and develop the capacity of local voluntary groups.
  • Tasks.
  1. Provide accessible, accurate, relevant information in various formats
  2. Provide or signpost advice on a range of relevant topics, including fundraising.
  3. Provide or signpost a range of practical resources for local groups.
  4. Provide appropriate, accessible training and/or information on local training providers.
  5. Designate a training officer to organise capacity building courses.
  6. Have a directory of local and relevant sub-regional, regional and national third sector organisations and ensure it is complete and current.
  7. Promote local third sector activity.
  8. Monitor and evaluate information, advice and training services regularly.
  9. i. Market the services and purpose of CVS to the sector, with particular reference to smaller groups who have had no previous contact.

Development

To support sustainable development in the voluntary sector.

Tasks
a. To ensure that we are aware of existing local voluntary and statutory provision and are able to identify gaps in provision.
b. Contribute to monitoring unmet social need in the area and to the sharing of this information between relevant agencies.
c. Are proactive in seeking to develop local provision for unmet need.
d. Give direct support to new and emerging groups.
e. Help to sustain the existence of local groups.

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