It comes to Ivanhoe's aid

PUBLISHED: 09:37 13 February 2008 | UPDATED: 22:20 26 October 2009

Gill Aston, right, with Ivanhoe advisors Pauline Jones and Paul Robinson

Gill Aston, right, with Ivanhoe advisors Pauline Jones and Paul Robinson

AN award-winning outreach service has been given a boost from the National Lottery, writes Chris Lennon. The benefits advice service, run jointly by WGC-based Hertfordshire Action on Disability (HAD) and Age Concern Hertfordshire, has secured a three-year

AN award-winning outreach service has been given a boost from the National Lottery, writes Chris Lennon.

The benefits advice service, run jointly by WGC-based Hertfordshire Action on Disability (HAD) and Age Concern Hertfordshire, has secured a three-year cash deal through the Big Lottery Fund.

It will get a share of over £200,000 awarded to Herts.

The service was originally launched in May 2005 and operates from HAD's mobile equipment lorry, Ivanhoe.

In its first year it helped more than 7,000 people unsure how to claim benefits entitled to them.

A year later it received an award in the National Information Forum's annual Getting the Message Across Awards.

Now, after an eight-month wait while new funding was secured, the service is back on the road with new benefits outreach advisor Gill Aston on board.

Gill, from WGC took up her new role last month, after previously working for St Albans District Council.

As well as housing the benefits advice service, Ivanhoe has a range of equipment for disabled and elderly people with drivers/ independent living advisors Paul Robinson and Pauline Jones giving expert and friendly advice.

Gill said: "I'm already amazed at the public's awareness of the service and Ivanhoe in general.

"People all over the county flock to see us on the lorry and I'm really impressed at the knowledge of the staff on board."

n Ivanhoe will next be at the Asda store in Hatfield on Monday, February 18, and opposite Specsavers in Howardsgate, WGC, on Tuesday, March 4.

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