News release
29 January 2024

Halton communities to receive a boost in 2024 thanks to Mersey Gateway Time Bank


The innovative local support scheme developed as part of the Mersey Gateway Project to boost community organisations in Halton is returning this year, after a successful range of projects in 2023.

The Mersey Gateway Time Bank is a way for Merseylink and Merseyflow to demonstrate their commitment to the local area and provide practical help and support to organisations like schools, colleges, charities, and community groups.

The scheme matches the skills of the Merseylink and Merseyflow teams with local needs to provide long-lasting benefits to community life in Halton by offering a commitment of time, expertise, and resources.

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 by emailing

In 2023 alone:

  • Sandymoor Pre-School in Runcorn received support to give its garden a much-needed revamp for the children to enjoy.
  • St Patrick’s Care Home in Widnes saw its garden areas improved and a new sensory garden created for its residents, many of whom suffer with dementia.
  • Oak Meadow Care Home in Widnes received a revamp of its courtyard area, installation of new flowering window boxes, as well as improvements to the decor of communal areas and a sheltered area outside for residents, many of whom are receiving short-term rehabilitation support.
  • Runcorn Food Bank saw improvements to its site, which supports over 4,500 people a year with emergency food supplies, which is a 35% increase on the previous year.
  • Clifton Road Allotment Association in Runcorn received support to establish a communal garden within the existing allotment site for allotment-holders and their family and friends, where events can be held.

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.

Individuals from Merseylink and Merseyflow have also expressed an interest in offering more personal commitments such as mentoring, coaching, and presentation skills aimed at young people or the unemployed to increase their chances of securing sustainable employment.

Karen Atherton, Merseylink Network Steward and Time Bank Lead, said: “We had a fantastic response from the community to our Time Bank initiative in 2023 and were able to work on some great projects that will really benefit local charities and support their work in Halton.

“We can’t wait to see what exciting new projects we can get stuck into for 2024 and would urge any organisations thinking of applying to send us an email to see if we can help.”

Emma Simons, Head of HR at Merseyflow, said: “Working together with Merseylink on the Time Bank initiative has been very rewarding and we’re pleased we can support the work of some amazing local charities in the area. We’re looking forward to another year of giving time back to the community in Halton and engaging with new volunteers and organisations.”

This year’s Time Bank is open for applications until Friday 29 March 2024. More information is available by emailing

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