Event marks volunteers’ commitment to Mersey Gateway project
Volunteers who work in the Mersey Gateway Project’s visitor centres and help tell the story of the project to local schools and community groups have been recognised for their hard work, with a special event to thank them for their dedication.
To mark the start of National Volunteers Week, which runs from 1-7 June, 55 volunteers from the iconic project, attended St Marie’s Church in Widnes, on Thursday (June 1).
Volunteers were presented with certificates, badges and mementos to recognise their work and achievements by Halton Borough Council Chief Executive David Parr, and Hugh O’Connor, General Manager of Merseylink.
The event was also attended by Leader of the Council Cllr Rob Polhill, and Cllr Eddie Jones.
Bill Slater, a volunteer who has been working on the project for over a year said: “I love being a volunteer on the Mersey Gateway Project, as a local person it is wonderful to be associated with such an important project. This event to celebrate everyone’s contribution makes me feel really proud.”
Cllr Polhill said it was only right the hard work of volunteers was recognised.
“These volunteers are local enthusiasts, and work within the project’s visitor centres to explain how the bridge is being built. Some of the volunteers go above and beyond and help deliver talks, presentations and exhibitions in community venues, schools and colleges,” he said.
“This has really helped us tell the story of the project and has increasingly built local pride and interest in the work that is going on. The volunteers are special people who selflessly give up their time to share their knowledge of this fascinating engineering project with visitors and the people of Halton.
“They are making an enormously valuable contribution, not just to the project, but to the local community as a whole.”
Construction consortium Merseylink has trained up 55 volunteers so far.
The Mersey Gateway volunteer scheme launched in May 2014 with the aim of recruiting local people to tell the story of Halton and its landmark bridge project – one of the largest construction projects currently underway in the UK.
The training programme consists of a four-week course where people can learn a range of skills including presentation skills and customer service. They also find out details about the ecology, environment and the local history and heritage of the project.
The volunteers act as information guides at the visitor centres, which are based at the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes and in Runcorn Shopping Centre.
They also get involved in delivering presentations to local schools and community groups, and take part in site visits to learn about the ongoing construction process.
To find out more about Mersey Gateway volunteers visit www.merseygateway.co.uk/volunteer/
The new bridge is scheduled to open in the autumn, with registration for tolls being launched this summer. You can find out more about how the tolling system will work at www.merseyflow.co.uk.