AN INNOVATIVE community support scheme developed as part of the Mersey Gateway Project is returning to boost community organisations in Halton in 2019.

The Mersey Gateway Time Bank scheme, which provides help and support for groups, charities and organisations in Halton, will re-open applications for support on Monday, January 7.

Time Bank is a way for the operations and maintenance team at Merseylink and the tolling administrator merseyflow to demonstrate their commitment to the area and provide practical help and support to schools, colleges, charities, and community groups.

It offers an innovative way of matching the skills of the Merseylink and merseyflow teams with local needs to provide long-lasting benefits to community life in Halton.

Since the scheme was launched in May 2014, the Time Bank has already gifted more than 20,000 hours of support with £121,000 worth of community benefits delivered across 18 projects in Runcorn and Widnes.

Care homes, village halls, play schools and community facilities are just some of the organisations that have benefitted from previous rounds of Time Bank activity

Brunswick House, which provides supported accommodation for older people, have benefitted from Time Bank and are enjoying their new look garden.

Merseylink provided a landscape architect to design the outdoor space, and four general construction apprentices helped to physically create the garden.

Secretary Ann Burns said: “Since we approached Mersey Gateway Time Bank our project went from strength to strength. If we had to pay for the work ourselves it would have taken all of the funding we had raised and more. Our new garden is beyond our wildest dreams. We really cannot thank Mersey Gateway Time Bank enough for helping us to complete our project.”

Groups and charities will be able to submit applications by emailing until Friday, March 29.