Home Coronavirus: Community response Volunteers stage clear up at new memorial centre site

Volunteers stage clear up at new memorial centre site

by Laura Johnston

Volunteers have been helping to pave the way for the long-awaited new memorial building and heritage centre at Knowsley Cemetery in Whiston.

Workers from Wates Construction – currently working to deliver Prescot’s new Community Fire and Police Station – and young people involved with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Prince’s Trust programme volunteered their time to help clear the site in preparation for the start of building works. They have also helped out with grave levelling, turfing and creating hanging baskets for the cemetery.

In recent years, the Whiston Initiative in Cultural Heritage (WICH) group has been working hard in organising events to raise money for the memorial building. The group has raised around £80,000 and is hoping to see construction work begin in the coming weeks. They have also received help from VINCI construction to the value off £35,000.

When complete, the memorial building will feature many of the original features from the demolished Victorian workhouse chapel at Whiston Hospital, including stained glass windows and stone work. As well as providing a place for quiet reflection for those visiting the cemetery, the memorial building will also feature a heritage exhibition and a unique computerised book of remembrance.

Cllr David Williams, Vice President of WICH, said: “Knowsley Council has been working closely with WICH, partners and local businesses to enable the centre to be built and provide a unique space for cemetery visitors.

“We hope we will see all of the hard work coming to fruition in the coming weeks and are very grateful to our volunteers who have given their time and their great efforts to prepare the site for building work to begin.”

Tony Shenton, Business Unit Director of Wates Construction North West, said: “I’d like to thank my colleagues at Wates and the team from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service for their sterling efforts in clearing the site at Knowsley Cemetery. The work that the team undertook is a fantastic example of how our Reshaping Tomorrow week supports communities, enhances environmental and economic sustainability, and ultimately improves the lives of local people.”

Anthony Dunn, Programme Support Worker with Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service Prince’s Trust Team, said: “This was a great opportunity for the young people who are part of our Prince’s Trust programme to be involved in an important project for the community in a really hands-on way. They enjoyed working as part of a team alongside partners from Knowsley Council and Wates Construction, and were proud to contribute to such a worthwhile initiative.”

Keep up to date with the latest WICH fundraising events by visiting http://www.wichfoxsbank.co.uk/. Anyone willing to support the project can contact the group on 07805 028581 or email wichfoxsbank@gmail.com