Launch of online advice service

Opening of community libraryat Swineshead Methodist Chapel. Front L-R Councillor Nick Worth, Rev Bruce Thompson, Margaret Syrett - Library Co-ordinator, Councillor Martin Trollope-Bellew, Councillor Michael Brookes and Debbie Hutson - chair of parish council. EMN-160710-142920001
Opening of community libraryat Swineshead Methodist Chapel. Front L-R Councillor Nick Worth, Rev Bruce Thompson, Margaret Syrett - Library Co-ordinator, Councillor Martin Trollope-Bellew, Councillor Michael Brookes and Debbie Hutson - chair of parish council. EMN-160710-142920001

A new online advice service has launched – thanks to a collaboration between Vodafone and the Standard.

Earlier this year, the Boston branch of the telecommunications giant teamed up with this newspaper to launch a competition to find the recipient of a £1,000 Community Connections Award.

The sum was won by Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire, which has used the money to help people in rural communitites access its services.

Visitors to Swineshead Community Library, situated behind the Methodist Chapel in the High Street, can now use computers to access the Citizens Advice website, and browse information.

Webchat and email services will also be available for computer users.

Additionally, Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire is trialing access to its advisers located in Boston and Sleaford via Skype – an online video and call service application.

Debra Lee, business development manager at Citizens Advice Mid Lincolnshire, said: “We have been delivering advice and information to the people of Boston for over 25 years.

“With poor public transport and the threat of further cuts, we need to find cost-effective and more inventive and modern ways of reaching those people living in outlying villages and hamlets, who are the hardest to reach.”

“Our solution is to work with established community groups to provide our services electronically, which is a very simple method of receiving advice and information using computer equipment and electronic communication services.”

“We are very grateful to the Boston Standard and Vodafone for awarding us £1,000 to purchase the computer and equipment and to Swineshead Parish Council for the opportunity to work from the community library.”

For details, go online at www.citizensadvice.org.uk.