A DISUSED Runcorn playground has been transformed into a community garden, thanks to a big-hearted team of volunteers.

Young people have been working tirelessly for five weeks at Murdishaw Community Centre in Barnfield Avenue.

They raised more than £600 themselves to help create an ornamental vegetable and flower garden.

Team leader Billy Elliott said: "They did really well. The project from the start was hard work.

"We had to remove rubber playground blocks and wheelbarrow soil, sand, gravel and paving stones just to start the transformation. It involved laying slabs, making wooden raised beds, gardening, painting and so many other things as a team.

"The young people showed amazing commitment and supported each other so well.

“Their endeavour has created an amazing new facility for the benefit of the community and centre users at Murdishaw.”

The teenagers hope to encourage residents to learn how to grow vegetables, eat well and enjoy green spaces.

The project is part of the innovative Changing Young Lives National Citizen Service (NCS), which promotes volunteering and confidence building. It helps young people to aspire and achieve.

Halton Clr Ged Philbin, board member for children, young people and families, said: "This is a tremendous example of what young people can do in Halton when they have the opportunity.

"Hopefully they will inspire others, of all ages."

The NCS is a government initiative aimed at 16 and 17 year olds. The programme is designed to engage young people during school holidays.