WIRRAL Council is pledging more help for thousands of volunteers who give up spare time for their communities.

Its Wirral Together Strategy - which will be considered by cabinet when it meets on Monday - has been drawn up in light of the recent explosion in New Ferry and events in Manchester and London.

It proposes a new programme of support for volunteers, including specialist training and advice alongside seeking more funding to help community organisations develop and grow.

Cllr Matthew Patrick, cabinet member for localism and community engagement, said: "The terrible recent events in London and Manchester demonstrated how important and powerful communities are in times of crisis.

"The stories of people opening up their homes and helping total strangers were incredibly inspiring and showed the world what it means to be part of a community in Britain.

"Here in Wirral, we saw the same effect following the explosion in New Ferry: communities rally together, they support each other and get each other through incredibly challenging times.

"The council and all public services have got to do more to support these local heroes.

"That's why I asked for this plan to be put together, and I am extremely grateful for the community organisations and partners who have helped lead its development.

"It's not about asking people to work for free, it's about providing the support and help which communities need to support each other.

"We are extremely lucky in Wirral.

"We have thousands of residents who care passionately about their local communities and who think nothing of giving up their time to help others.

"I have been a councillor for almost four years now and I have also been amazed at how much work gets done – often unnoticed – by local people determined to make their community a better place.

"This strategy is about Wirral getting better at supporting those residents, at highlighting and celebrating what they do, and making it easier and more attractive to be a volunteer".

The strategy was developed in partnership with Community Action Wirral, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group, Wirral University Teaching Hospital and Merseyside Police.

Annette Roberts, chief executive of Community Action Wirral, said: "I was really pleased to be asked to lead the development of this strategy, which recognizes the essential role activie citizens and volunteers play in building strong communities.

"There are many benefits which volunteering brings to the person offering their time and the people and organisations they support.

"For many, volunteering is about sharing skills to support others but it's also a great way to meet new people, learn new things, have fun and improve health and well-being in the process".