New Business in the Pipeline for Francis

Having been in pipe and metal fabrication for over 14 years, Francis Patterson had a dream of doing things in a different and better way that suits him and his young family and the way of life they all want.

Francis had become bored with doing things the way he’d always done them; he had the dream of wanting to use different welding methods and new materials to create high quality products for his customers using the latest design technologies.

So the first thing Francis did was speak to the Smarta Business Starter Business Support Team at Alt Valley in Croxteth; they help people like Francis get started through the Enterprise Hub start up programme which is co-funded through EU funding. Francis met Business Advisor Roy Meredith who helped Francis evaluate the business opportunity and assisted with the production of a business plan and cash flow forecast.

“I hope to bring a fresh approach to fabrication” says Francis. “I want to build up a trusted client base, and also help anyone who is thinking of choosing this industry as a career, by training them to a high standard getting them fully qualified as highly skilled. These aspects will help differentiate my business from many others.”

During discussions with his ddvisor, the process for applying for start-up loan funding through the Government-backed Start Up Loan scheme was pursued, resulting in a robust business plan and cash flow that was successful in attracting the funds required to get his new business off the ground.

Francis has now set up his new fabrication company – FJP Fabrication Ltd

Francis adds: “ I plan to make innovation the cornerstone of everything my new business makes; I will use new materials, the latest welding methods, bespoke bracketry and pipe spools combined with the latest CAD/CAM design programmes to create unique work. I also want to use my interest in metal sculpture as an add-on to the business. All in all, a fresh approach in a quite conventional industry.”

Enterprise Hub Business Start Up support is available to anyone over the age of 16 yrs thinking of starting a new business in the Liverpool City Region area.

Alt Valley Community Trust is one of several partner organisations in Merseyside delivering the free business support through a high quality team of experienced business advisors.

Business Advisor Roy Meredith commented:

“Francis is typical of many of the young entrepreneurs we get through the Enterprise Hub support programme. He adds business passion to innovation and imagination and it’s no surprise that his application for loan funding has been accepted. I fully expect his new business to go onto great things.”

If you are thinking of starting your own business but unsure how to start, then please conatct the Smarta Business Starter team on 0151 546 5514 or alternativley email

Always Grave Care – An Inspiring ‘Business Start Up’ Story…

After losing several close family members over the last couple of years, Gail recognised what an important part of the grieving process a loved one’s final resting place can be. She noticed that quite a few grave sites were becoming overgrown or had dead flowers on the headstones. After a bit of research, Gail was saddened to learn that a lot of people didn’t live close enough to regularly maintain graves and that this was the cause of some guilt and frustration.

As people move away from areas for work or family reasons, this is becoming a common scenario! Gail had the idea for her business three years ago, but at the time was working for the NHS and wasn’t sure about giving up her job. She knew that redundancies were looming and started to look into her idea by carrying out some market research.

Gail was encouraged by the positive responses that she received, but was dealt a blow when she found out that she had breast cancer. After receiving treatment and being given the all clear, Gail took redundancy from her position and decided that she wanted to pursue her dream of having her own business.

She contacted Alt Valley Community Trust earlier in the year and started working with the Enterprise Hub team, receiving one to one support. Gail got help with completing her business plan, putting together her financial forecast so she could decide if her idea was viable. She was also signposted to banking, loan and website services and undertook training in keeping records for tax.

Gail was relieved to know that there was assistance for her at the early stages of start-up; “If it wasn’t for the help that was available through the Enterprise Hub, I wouldn’t have known how to get started, where to go for a website or what prices to charge, I am really grateful for the service I received.”

Best of luck with your business Gail!

If you or anyone you know is thinking of starting a business then please get in touch with the Enterprise Hub team at Alt Valley Community Trust – Kayleigh Clarke – 0151 546 5514 or email

What a Summer at Lifestyles Croxteth Sports & Wellbeing Centre!

During the summer break, Lifestyles Croxteth Sports & Wellbeing Centre was packed out with young people from our local community and beyond! There was plenty on offer to keep everyone very entertained and motivated; as well as helping working families too.

Croxteth Sports Summer Play Scheme:  Coaches from our centre were on hand to provide fun to our young people during the six week break.  Plenty of sporting activities were available from table tennis, football, tag rugby as well as a mixed ‘Mini Metafit’ session…which proved very popular!

LFC Foundation hosted a 3 day football campMore than 50 children attended this camp.  Everyone enjoyed playing football for 5 hours a day, learning new skills…plus learning from some of the best coaches!

Merseyside & Cheshire Elite Boxing hosted a 4 day boxing camp:  The boxing camp was attended by 75 participants from clubs across the area and was headed by the England & Regional coach; John Warburton.  On the final day we had the pleasure of Mayor Joe Anderson visiting who was very impressed with all who was involved.  The Liverpool ECHO were on hand to capture this and produced an article about how well the camp went.  To read more click here   

We also had another special guest; Undefeated WBA International Champion Tom Farrell; who popped in to give the boys and girls some words of encouragement! Thank you Tom…much appreciated!

Centre manager, Colly Whitty commented how proud she was to see so many young people during the half term break; as well as praise the partners / volunteers who made it successful  “What a pleasure to work in partnership with LFC Foundation and Merseyside & Cheshire Elite Boxing   as well as all the lovely people that came through the doors! I would like to personally thank all the volunteers in particular who gave up their valuable time to make the kids summer a good one!”

To keep up to date with all activities that go on here; please do via the Facebook page or alternatively contact 0151 548 3421.

Children’s Activities at Lifestyles Walton

The children are now back in school (much to the relief of parents!) and Lifestyles Walton Sports and Wellbeing have lots of great activities on to get the children involved with. 
Activities include:
Roller Disco
Get your skates on! Skate around in our disco themed hall to all your favourite songs. Skates are included in the price but are subject to availability. Under 8’s must be accompanied by an adult. 
Every Tuesday and Friday from 4pm until 5.30pm.
£2.50 per child.

Dance with Miss Clare
Fun dance sessions with our dance teacher Miss Clare. 
Every Tuesday and Thursday.
Under 8’s: 4pm – 5pm
Over 8’s: 5pm – 6pm
£2.50 per child.

Football coaching sessions for children aged 3 – 7. 
Every Monday and Wednesday from 4pm until 5pm.
£3.00 per child.

A mixture of the martial arts, Jujitsu and Taekwondo.
Every Friday from 6pm until 8pm and Saturday from 11pm until 1pm. 
£3.50 per child.

Drama classes for children aged 3-15.
Every Monday.
Session 1: 4pm – 5pm
Session 2: 5pm – 6pm
£2.50 per session.

If you need to know anymore information then you can contact the centre via their Facebook page or give them a call on 0151 523 3472.

Erasmus+ Project; Education for Equity – Update

We are in the process of finalising this collaborative Erasmus + project with our partners in Sweden and Germany. The three years have simply ‘flown by’ and we are really pleased with the final outcomes.

At first progress was slow as we found that we were focusing too much on each country’s cultural differences and got involved in too much detail relating to statistics and national legislation.

In time though we worked together to research the causes of early school leaving and student disaffection. Visits to one another’s schools and training organisations led to the sharing of good practice and this was then cascaded to a wide range of Educational Professionals. Seminars, workshops, study visits and conferences were organised and the EfE website was created to capture our findings and encourage new educational approaches to increase student motivation.

We also produced a short film and published a book which summarises our findings.

Meeting partners face to face gave invaluable time to reflect upon our practice and benefit from the cross fertilisation of ideas.

The three main strands of our work were connected to;

  • How to increase learner motivation by using innovative classroom strategies
  • How to ensure that the needs of every individual learner can be met
  • How to make use of effective partnerships beyond school to secure positive outcomes for young people.

At the final conference held in Uppsala University, Sweden in May 2017;  AVCT were represented by 12 delegates and their feedback demonstrated that the experience was valuable and that the project has been an important source of generating new knowledge.

We encourage you to view the short film on the website or contact Kayleigh Clarke if you would like a copy of the book which provides an overview of all our work and key findings.

Fazakerly High School @Alt Valley Communiversity – Open Days

Alt Valley Communiversity are now accepting applications for September 2017 admissions for 6th Form College!

The Open Dates for September admissions are;

  • ‘GCSE Results Day’ Thursday 24th August at Fazakerly High School 9:30am – 4:00pm
  • Friday 25th August at Alt Valley Skills Centre 9:30am – 4:00pm

We hope you can join us at on one of our Open Events to find out about our exciting new vocational provision. Please see below a list of what we have to offer;

  • Catering & Hospitality
  • Childrens Worksforce
  • Construction
  • Hair & Beauty
  • Health & Social Care

You will have the chance to talk to our expert staff, meet our current students and have a look around our excellent facilities!

Don’t worry if your grades are not as you hoped – we are hosting a GCSE Results Day Clinic at Fazkerley School on the 24th and at Alt Valley Skills Centre on the 25th to help you understand your options. It is an extra opportunity to speak to us and put your mind at ease.

If you are interested in finding out more about our Post – 16 Study Offer – Or if you would like to arrange a visit to our college please contact the admissions team on 0151 546 5514 or email 

Application forms are also available, please contact the admissions team for yours today…

‘Introduction to Teaching Assistant’ Course is back!

Due to popular demand; we are pleased to announce that we will be recruiting for an ‘Introduction to Teaching Assistant’ course very soon!

The 10 week course will focus on a range of areas you will require working in a school environment including:

Communication and professional relationship
Safeguarding the wellbeing of children and young people
Supporting those with disabilities or special educational needs

For more information about this call 0151 546 5514 today.

Fazakerley 6th Form Open Day

As many of you may be aware; AVCT will be working collaboratively with Fazakerley High Sixth Form in order to benefit our young people in the North Liverpool area. Read more here

Due to this we will be holding an Open Day on Tuesday 11th July at The Skills Centre from 2pm – 5pm.

Parents and potential leaners are most welcome to attend in order tomeet our current learners and staff and ‘try out’ activities including Hairdressing, Childcare, Construction, Health and Social Care.

Light refreshments will be provided plus as we also run a variety of Adult Education courses; parents / carers may be interested in to find out more what we have on offer!

There is no need to book your place, just turn up at the allocated times.  For further information please contact our team at The Communiversity on 0151 546 5514 or email email

The Skills Centre, Gillmoss Lane Croxteth Liverpool L11 0BE  

AVCT to offer FREE Computer Classes

AVCT is offering FREE Computer Classes to anyone aged 30+ who is unemployed under the new “Include-IT Mersey” project; which is jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the Big Lottery Fund as part of its 2014-2020 Building Better Opportunities Programme.

These classes will aim to help people develop a great understanding of ICT, build up confidence when using a computer as well as help to improve employability skills.

Classes begin next week at our various centres and if you would like to enrol, please contact Dave Mason or Chris Howard on 0151 254 1879.

Monday 26th June, Dovecot MAC 10am – 12:30pm

Tuesday 27th June, The Communiversity 12:30pm – 3pm

Friday 30th June, Ellergreen Community Centre 12:30pm – 3pm

Job Vacancies at North Liverpool Community College

North Liverpool Community College have part time and full time vacancies for experienced Health and Social Care tutor/assessors preferably with Quality Assurance qualifications also sessional staff required to teach Maths/English up to GCSE level. Please forward CV in the first instance to Gill Mason, Principal, North Liverpool Community College, The Communiversity, Altcross Road, Croxteth L11 0BS or email