A UNIQUE scheme has been launched to give Halton residents the chance to become part of a ’once in a lifetime’ project.

The search is on to find hundreds of volunteers to get involved in the creation of the Mersey Gateway bridge.

They will help to tell the story of Halton and the £600 million tolled crossing and complement the thousands of jobs that are being created.

Neil Wilcock, Merseylink’s employment skills co-ordinator, said: “We’ve already started our recruitment activity and now we want to talk to local people young and old who are keen to roll up their sleeves and be part of something amazing.

“The volunteers, who have to be over 16 and enthusiastic, will find a great way to learn new skills, meet new friends and have fun.”

Merseylink will work with Halton Employment Partnership to market the training programme and volunteer opportunities.

Unemployed adults, adults facing redundancy, young people not in employment, education or training, disadvantaged groups and retired people will be invited to take part.

The Mersey Gateway volunteer training programme will equip people with a range of valuable employment skills.

Volunteers will work alongside Merseylink staff to deliver a programme of talks, presentations and temporary exhibitions in local community venues, schools, colleges. They will also support exhibitions, talks and presentations at new visitor centres.

Halton Clr Eddie Jones, board member for economic development, said: "The volunteers will be vital in the creation of a great visitor experience of which Halton can be proud "For our young people, volunteering can be very fulfilling. It can also be a major supplement to their CVs, providing valuable character building and work experience to aid their employment prospects.

“This is a rare opportunity. It can be a wonderful chance for older people to contribute, to demonstrate their skills or display some great local knowledge.

“For those keen to give something back to their community, this is the opportunity to be an important part of our amazing and iconic project.”

  • To register, e-mail volunteers@merseylink.com