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Viking Link supports new Age UK mobile outreach service

Local communities in Lindsey and North Lincolnshire will be taught valuable online skills including banking, shopping and video calling thanks to a new charity outreach service launching as soon as restrictions are lifted.

Age UK’s Keep Connected project will use a converted minibus to reach those left isolated by the recent pandemic and support them with how to use technology to help with daily tasks.

The vehicle, which will be heading to some of the area’s most remote communities, has received a generous donation by National Grid’s Viking Link project which is currently under construction in the area.

The service aims to reach 150 vulnerable elderly residents a month with its outreach community sessions offering digital help and advice and will include visits to some of the area’s most isolated coastal and rural locations in East Lindsey, West Lindsey and North Lincolnshire.

Age UK Lindsey Chief Executive Officer, Andy Storer said: “We are extremely grateful to the Viking Link team who have helped us enormously with the launch of this project. Such partnerships are vital as we continue our work to support older people, especially those within our hardest to reach rural and coastal communities.

“Some of those we reach will not feel confident in using technology as a way for reaching out and connecting, nor may they wish to investigate ways in which they can learn themselves. We hope that taking this knowledge to them and offering them trusted and free support will enhance their lives.”

The Viking Link electricity interconnector will be the world’s longest interconnector and is due to become operational in 2023. Once complete, the cable will stretch for 460 miles under land and sea to link Bicker Fen with Denmark - bringing in enough green energy to power 1.4 million UK homes.

Supporting this service is just one of the ways Viking Link is working with communities in the area.

Project Director Mike Elmer said: “Loneliness is a huge issue affecting elderly and vulnerable people which has become even more important over the past year. During the recent pandemic we have all had to rely on technology more than ever and we are thrilled to be supporting a service that will teach older people how do important everyday tasks such as food shopping, banking and keeping in touch with loved ones online.”

As well as supporting Age UK, the Viking Link team are also working with schools in the area to inspire youngsters into careers in engineering.

They recently released a free book for local schoolchildren to help them learn more about the project in their area.

The book called Nessa and the Interconnector is also available to download online at