It trundles around the Ribble Valley’s leafy lanes offering a host of help on everything from benefits advice and bus passes to boiler replacements and business rates.
It’s called STAN the Van and you are cordially invited to step on board. STAN, which stands for Services To A Neighbourhood, is the Ribble Valley’s popular travelling customer services van, offering advice and information on a wide range of council services.
A joint venture between Ribble Valley, Pendle and Rossendale borough councils, and Help Direct, STAN will be out and about in the borough over the winter months providing residents with information on over 800 public services and 2,000 community organisations.
And representatives of Veterans in Communities, which specialises in the social reintegration of former servicemen and women, will be on board STAN on selected dates, offering information, advice and guidance to Armed Forces personnel who have recently left military service.
Ribble Valley Borough Council’s culture and leisure services manager, Colin Winterbottom, said: “The staff on STAN are knowledgeable about public services and can put residents in touch with community and voluntary groups that can offer them help and support.
“We are particularly delighted that Veterans in Communities will be joining STAN on selected dates throughout the winter, offering a warm welcome to former military personnel looking for information and advice.”
STAN is fully equipped with a copier, printer and scanner, and can access computer systems via satellite technology. There are private interview rooms, a hearing loop and access for wheelchairs.
STAN has been supporting residents in the Ribble Valley for three years now and feedback shows a satisfaction rate of 98 per cent.
STAN co-ordinator/driver Caroline Jarvis added: “One resident said the advice she received resulted in a Disability Living Allowance award that has more than doubled her household income and restored her independence as well.
“If residents are facing issues, or just want to explore the comprehensive information available on STAN, they are invited to hop on board next time we are in their village and they will receive a warm welcome.”