Falklands veteran Simon Weston was the inspirational speaker at the launch of a county-wide advice network in Sleaford.
The scheme, backed by £350,000 of Lottery funding over two years, is a partnership of advice agencies including the county Citizen’s Advice Bureaux, Lincolnshire Credit Union and Age UK branches to provide easier access to information and advice on a wide range of topics affecting people’s lives.
Around 110 delegates attended the launch of Lincolnshire Advice Network (Lincs 2 Advice as it will be known) at Sleaford’s New Life Conference Centre on Wednesday.
Stuart Hellon, chief officer for Boston CAB said from their research some people did not know who to turn to and in other cases an organisation would be dealing with a client and then something outside their area of expertise ‘crept in’. They have created a database of all advice and support agencies.
Mr Hellon said: “The CAB deals with general advice for people with problems they face in their lives, things like finance, debt, benefits, housing and employment, but there are specific organisations out there that can really help with areas such as mental health, problems with addiction and alcohol, or getting youngsters into their first house.
“We need to make sure people are aware and able to access the people who have that specialist advice as quickly as possible. We want to represent every advice organisation in Lincolnshire down to the smallest self help group.”
Go to www.lincolnshireadvicenetwork.org.uk. Telephone lines open on June 1.
Badly burned in the attack on the Sir Galahad, Simon Weston spoke about his search for advice and support to rebuild his life.
He said at times when access to information has been poor, life has been desperate. He supported the call for unification of advice bodies for people to access information necessary to allow them to move on. He added: “It was wrong back then but things have changed a lot and it is far better now.”
Although he said broadband access was still a barrier.
He said: “I am impressed with what has been put together but will be more so if people take it up and use it.”