DEDICATED volunteers who help 'tell the story' of the Mersey Gateway Project to schools and community groups have been recognised for their efforts.

To mark the start of National Volunteers' Week, which ran from June 1 to June 7, 55 volunteers from the iconic project attended St Marie's Church in Widnes last Thursday.

They were presented with certificates, badges and mementos as a mark of recognition for their work and achievements by Halton Borough Council chief executive David Parr and Hugh O'Connor, general manager of Merseylink.

Council leader Cllr Rob Polhill and Cllr Eddie Jones also attended.

Bill Slater, a volunteer who has been working on the project for more than 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," he said.

"Some of the volunteers go above and beyond and help deliver talks, presentations and exhibitions in community venues, schools and colleges.

"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 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 residents to tell the story of Halton and its landmark bridge project.

The new bridge is scheduled to open in the autumn, with registration for tolls being launched this summer.

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