The Mersey Gateway Project

Mersey Gateway Time Bank returns to boost Halton communities in 2020

February 5, 2020MerseylinkNews

An innovative community support scheme developed as part of the Mersey Gateway Project is coming back to boost community organisations in Halton in 2020.

The Mersey Gateway Time Bank scheme, which provides help and practical support for community groups, charities and voluntary organisations in Halton, will re-open applications for support today.

Local groups and charities will be able to submit applications by emailing info@merseylink.com until Friday 27 March 2020.

Time Bank is a way for Merseylink – the team responsible for the operations and maintenance or the Mersey Gateway – and Merseyflow – the tolling administrator – to demonstrate their commitment to the local area and provide practical help and support to community groups, charities and voluntary organisations.

The scheme offers a commitment of time, expertise and resources from Merseylink and Merseyflow. Applicants will benefit from ‘deposits’ of time and resources, which can then be used to provide long-lasting benefits to community life in Halton.

Since the scheme was launched in May 2014 the Time Bank has already gifted over 20,000 hours of support locally across 18 projects in Runcorn and Widnes.

Play areas, village halls, studios and community facilities are just some of the organisations that have benefited from previous rounds of Time Bank activity.

One of those to benefit last year was LOOSE Charity in Widnes, which had a garden area completely transformed with new paved areas, planters and garden furniture for service users to enjoy.

Louise Nulty, studio project manager at LOOSE charity, said: “To have the support of Time Bank to transform our back space into a welcoming, attractive haven is fantastic.

“The revived area lifts everyone who attends, especially those who have seen it over many years.

“They can’t believe the change and the fact that it is now a useable and beautiful place for our visitors.”

A minimum of 30 days per year are committed through the Time Bank scheme, and assistance can include anything from regeneration activities, career advice, technical advice, general maintenance, painting and litter picking, as well as any suggestions applicants can provide.

Helen Higginson, Head of Fundraising at The Warrington & Halton Hospitals’ Charity, which also benefited from the initiative, said: “The project is hugely beneficial for our patients and their families. By creating fabulous gardens to enjoy, our patients can feel more at home. We’re incredibly grateful for all of our project volunteers who are giving up their time to take on the challenge.”

Community groups, charities and voluntary organisations who are interested in applying for support from the Time Bank are advised to get their applications in as soon as possible.

Anyone interested in applying can email info@merseylink.com to apply or to find out more information.

Karen Atherton, Network Steward at Merseylink, said: “It’s been another fantastic year for the Time Bank scheme. The team really enjoyed projects ranging from reviving gardens, patios and play areas for charities across the community, including the Warrington & Halton Hospitals’ Charity, Westfield Community Playgroup and LOOSE Charity. We’re looking forward to welcoming even more projects on board for the Time Bank Initiative 2020.”

Beatriz Fuentes, Head of HR at Merseyflow, said: “We are proud to support the work of amazing local charities through the Time Bank initiative. Getting involved in the community challenges has brought our team together and provided the opportunity to engage with other volunteers and local charities. We’re excited to see what new projects we will be giving time to in 2020.”

Halton Borough Council Mersey Link

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Mersey Gateway Project