Volunteers’ Week celebration for Mersey Gateway volunteers
Forty local people have been honoured in a special award ceremony to mark a year of volunteering with the Mersey Gateway Project.
The celebration event took place at Runcorn Town Hall in recognition of national Volunteers’ Week 2015 (1-7 June).
Construction consortium Merseylink organised the event to thank its volunteers for giving up their time to get involved with the project.
All Mersey Gateway volunteers were presented with certificates of recognition for their contribution, and special awards were given to individuals who had reached 100 hours of voluntary service.
Five volunteers received an Outstanding Contribution Award for the most hours volunteered over the last 12 months.
Between them, Malcolm Findlow, Rob Richardson, Barrie Davison, Bob Ditchfield and Ian Johnson have spent around 800 hours volunteering. Each received a framed project photograph of their choice taken by Merseylink’s professional photographer.
Merseylink launched the volunteer scheme in May 2014 with the aim of recruiting local people to help tell the story of Halton and its landmark bridge project – one of the largest construction projects currently underway in the UK.
Since then, the 40 volunteers who signed up have contributed approximately 3,500 hours to the project (or 70 weeks based on a 40 hour working week).
Supported by the project team, their roles have involved staffing the Mersey Gateway visitor centre at the Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes, and taking part in delivering the project’s schools presentation programme.
They have also been attending numerous local groups and events to deliver presentations and provide information about the Mersey Gateway project to the local community.
Malcolm Findlow from Widnes, one of Merseylink’s longest serving volunteers, said:
“Being a Mersey Gateway volunteer is a fun and rewarding experience. Some of us work in the project’s visitor centre, sharing information about the new bridge and hosting visits to the viewing gallery, while others deliver presentations to schools and local community groups. It’s really great to be acknowledged by Merseylink for our efforts during the last year.”
Hugh O’Connor, general manager of Merseylink, said: “The commitment and dedication of our volunteers cannot be underestimated. They are important ambassadors of the Mersey Gateway Project and we value their support immensely. This celebration event has enabled us to say a huge thank you to all of our volunteers for the excellent work they do on our behalf.”
Chief executive of the Mersey Gateway Crossings Board, David Parr, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many individuals giving up their time to tell the story of our new bridge. This is a historic time for Halton and the Mersey Gateway volunteer scheme provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for local people to be part of this iconic construction project. I’d urge anyone interested in volunteering to contact Merseylink to find out more.”
Merseylink is seeking hundreds more volunteers to join the project.
Volunteers are enrolled on the four-week Mersey Gateway volunteer training programme, where they learn a range of skills, including community engagement and customer service. They also find out details about the ecology, environment and the local history and heritage of the project.
To find out more about becoming a Mersey Gateway volunteer visit https://merseygateway.co.uk/volunteer/.