VOLUNTEERS who help provide a safe space for people living with mental health conditions have been shortlisted for a national award.

The nine individuals operate the Warrington Day Service in Allen Street as part of Making Space, a charity providing health and social care services for adults with mental health conditions, learning disabilities and dementia.

The Warrington Day Service allows people to socialise and eat a meal together every week day and is open to all adults who use the Warrington-based mental health service.

Volunteers, who also have to balance their own mental health needs, provide a midday meal, serve hot drinks and snacks and socialise with members to make them feel welcome and comfortable.

Between them, they have clocked up more than 50 years of volunteering and will soon find out of they have won a volunteer team of the year award.

Gary, 60, who has volunteered with the Warrington Day Service for 10 years, said: "Volunteering has helped me to build my confidence and talk to people.

"I like people knowing my name and feeling appreciated.

"I’ve gained new skills in customer service and completed courses including health and safety and food hygiene.

"It’s good to feel part of a supportive team, and I feel appreciated by Making Space and always listened to.

"The centre is somewhere I can talk to people and has helped me through some very dark times."

Paula Spence, performance and quality manager at Making Space, said: "Warrington Day Service has always relied on the generous time given to us by our volunteers.

"We are extremely grateful and humbled by people who just want to do things for nothing in return.

"Some of our volunteers just simply want to say thank you for all the past support they’ve been given.

"They’ve done this by giving the centre their time, skills and effort to help others in their journey to good health.

"Some are more serious about wanting to improve their knowledge and experience to look forward to a career, so we are only too pleased to help this happen by offering training and opportunities whilst in a true working environment."

Anyone interested in volunteering with Making Space, at the Warrington Day Service or with other projects, can email volunteering@makingspace.co.uk or call 581747.