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Here you will find details of news stories that have been published on the Turn2us home page and Twitter feed (link opens in a new window).

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5/1/2015 2:10:29 PM

Turn2us and Elizabeth Finn Care to come under one name

Image: Man looking at his mobile phone


 

Turn2us and parent charity Elizabeth Finn Care have announced that they will come together under one brand later this month. The move will involve all parts of the charity coming under the Turn2us name and is part of a broader move to integrate the support provided by the 118 year old charity. Last year we helped over 3.8 million people who used Turn2us and through Elizabeth Finn Care we awarded over £3 million in direct grants.

Chief Executive Simon Hopkins commented: “This is a great opportunity for the charity to push its support out to more people in financial difficulty. Turn2us is used by millions and by refreshing the brand in this way we can be even clearer about what support we can offer to those who need us as well as those who support our work. ”

Operations Director Alison Taylor commented: "Turn2us will continue to provide support through our Benefits Calculator and Grant Search tool but this move will also allow us to develop help in other areas too. By allowing Elizabeth Finn Care and Turn2us to come under one single brand we can do more to help those living in financial hardship.”

Further details to be announced shortly.

Date of publication; 1 May 2015

4/30/2015 10:01:54 AM

Poverty is rising and deepening - New Policy Institute report

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Poverty is rising once more among all age groups and deepening. This is the overall finding of 'What happened to poverty under the coalition', a new report by the New Policy Institute (NPI) - a UK research institute which produces evidence-based research on a range of social and economic issues.

NPI hopes that the report's publication might provide an opportunity to have the subject of poverty discussed during the election campaign.  It also stresses the need for the next Government to develop policies to stop poverty rising and deepening.

Estimates of the combined effects of changes that have taken place since the latest published poverty statistics

'What happened to poverty under the coalition' presents the NPI's estimates of the latest headline poverty statistics for the United Kingdom, for the financial year ending in March 2015. Starting with the latest published poverty statistics, for 2012/13, NPI has estimated the combined effects of the changes that have taken place since then in terms of:

  • the size and mix of the population
  • the levels of employment and earnings,
  • the value of benefits and tax allowances.

What has happened to poverty?

NPI say that the conclusion is clear: poverty in the UK is rising once more; it is rising among all age groups; and it is also deepening.

Three specific points highlighted in the study suggest that 2013 may have been a turning point:

  • Incomes in the middle are rising once more.
  • Pensioner poverty is rising after a long period during which it fell steadily
  • Poverty among tenants in the social rented sector also rose after many years in which it was falling while poverty in the private rented sector rose..

The challenge for the next government

In past recoveries, this is the moment when people on the lowest incomes get left behind as the top and the middle start to pull away. Because this recovery has been so delayed, the estimated poverty rate in this government's final year is the same as it was in the last one's final year. If a recovery takes hold, the next government will need explicit pro-poor policies to stop poverty both rising and deepening.

Comment from NPI's research director

Tom MacInnes, NPI's research director, told the Guardian newspaper: "The clear conclusion is that poverty in the UK is rising among all age groups. The trajectory over the second half of the coalition's term has been a bad one. The next government, whoever wins next week, will be dealing with worsening, deepening poverty."

Sources: New Policy Institute: Summary of the report: 'What happened to poverty under the Coalition (link opens in a new window) and The Guardian: Poverty – and child poverty in particular – is rising (link opens in a new window)

Use Turn2us tools and services to find help

Check your benefits

You can check your benefit entitlement using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator

Are you eligible for a charitable grant?

If you are on a low income, you may also be eligible for help from a charitable fund. Use the Turn2us Grants Search to find support based on your circumstances, background and needs.

Further information

You may also find the following information useful:

Also in the news

Carers

Health

Housing

In-work poverty and parents

Date of publication: 30 April 2015

4/27/2015 10:41:02 AM

The Prince's Trust Team Programme for young people 16-26

Information about the Prince's Trust Team Programme (link opens in a new window)


 

Are you a young person aged between 16-25 years old living in South London, who is not currently in education, employment or training (NEET?

South Thames Tooting Prince's Trust are recruiting for its May Prince's Trust Team Programme starting 11 May.

What is the Prince's Trust Team Programme?

South Thames Tooting Prince's Trust have been running Prince’s Trust Team programmes successfully for over 15 years in SW London, positively changing young lives. Over 70% of its Prince’s Trust Team members go on to employment, education or training.

The Prince's Trust Team Programme is a 12-week full time personal development programme designed to develop young people’s skills through teamwork. 

The team will comprise of approximately 15 young people who will get the chance to attend a four day residential team building in the Peak District, complete community projects, gain valuable work experience, focus on their next steps and do a final presentation of all their achievements to friends, family, support workers and project partners. 

How much does it cost?

The programme is totally free, travel expenses are reimbursed (if attending) and benefits are not affected.

It’s all about having fun, facing challenges, learning new skills and realising potential. Team members work towards a Prince’s Trust Certificate in Employment, Teamwork and Community Skills. 

How do I apply? 

The next programme starts  on Monday 11th May  2015. It is based at South Thames College – Tooting Centre.

For more information, contact the Team Leader, Bethan Evans, email: tooting.pt@south-thames.ac.uk Telephone: 07794 011 414 or 020 8918 7506. 

If you live in other parts of the country and want to do the Prince's Trust Team Programme

The Team Programme is also held in other parts of the country.

See the Prince's Trust website information on the Team Programme (link opens in a new window)

Also in the news

Wales

Date of publication: 27 April 2015

4/23/2015 9:57:08 AM

'Fuel bank' pilot initiative launched

Turn2us Benefits Calculator


 

A fuel voucher scheme for families in financial need who have to switch off their electricity or gas supply because they cannot afford energy bills, is to be piloted in 21 locations in County Durham, Kingston-upon-Thames and Gloucester.

Run by charities such as the Trussell Trust and the energy company npower, the "fuel bank" initiative will provide a £49 credit for struggling families who use prepayment meters and are referred to food banks by advice agencies, GPs and social workers.

Source: The Guardian: Fuel banks pilot scheme aims to address austerity-era dilemma of 'heat' or 'eat' (link opens in a new window)

Use Turn2us tools and services to find help

Check your benefits

You can check your benefit entitlement using the Turn2us Benefits Calculator

Are you eligible for a charitable grant?

If you are on a low income, you may also be eligible for help from a charitable fund. Use the Turn2us Grants Search to find support based on your circumstances, background and needs.

Further information

You may also find the following information useful:

Also in the news

Disability

Food banks

Northern Ireland

Scotland

Voting and poverty

Date of publication: 24 April 2015

4/21/2015 9:42:48 AM

Depression Alliance launches Work in Progress campaign

Information about the Turn2us One Change campaign


In Depression Awareness Week, Depression Alliance has launched ‘Work in Progress’ - a UK-wide campaign aimed at improving the employment rates of people with depression. This will involve working with incoming MPs from all parties to implement policies that will help millions of people with depression improve their employment prospects.

Prioritising support for people with depression to get back into employment

A UK-wide survey commissioned by Depression Allowance and European Depression Association shows that nearly three quarters of MPs believe the next Government (2015-20) should prioritise supporting people with depression to get back into employment (72%). MPs also agree that the Government should provide support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to promote prevention and early intervention in depression in the workplace (72%).

50 MPs participated in the cross-party survey. Other findings from the survey show that 60% of MPs agree that mental health problems such as depression are an important national policy issue in the UK (second only to cancer) and that cost-effective mental health services should have the same mandatory funding as physical health services (76%), with only 8% agreeing that the NHS is sufficiently prepared to manage depression efficiently.

Comment from the Chief Executive of Depression Alliance

Emer O’Neill, Chief Executive of Depression Alliance says, “With one in every six working-age people living with depression at any one time, improving awareness and support for individuals and businesses is critical. People with depression can work, yet it is still a taboo, with too many people – individuals and employers - afraid to discuss the issue and find meaningful and appropriate solutions.”

“Beyond providing income, work provides structure and focus, it creates social opportunities and give us a sense of achievement and it’s a very important part of maintaining recovery from depression.”

She added: “The majority of MPs agree that this should be a priority of the next government, so we call on the incoming class of 2015 MPs to work with us to improve employment rates for people with depression in order to boost businesses and strengthen the UK economy.”

Source: Depression Alliance news item: Depression Alliance launch ‘Work in Progress’ (link opens in a new window)

Turn2us One Change campaign

Having depression is an example of 'one change' in a person's life that can cause financial difficulties - the theme of Turn2us' Benefits Awareness Month campaign this year.

Our recent research showed us that experiencing just one change in circumstances – such as job loss, family breakdown or the onset of an illness - is enough to double a household’s financial struggles, even to push them to the breadline.

The campaign features a blog with information, stories and guest posts from other charities to keep you informed about the help that’s available through benefits and about what to do if you experience a change in your circumstances.

Remember, it is important to do a benefits check any time your circumstances change – or even if it has just been a while since you last checked. Our free Turn2us Benefits Calculator will help you make sure you’re claiming all the help that you’re entitled to.

Find out more about the Turn2us One Change campaign

Also in the news

Universal Credit

Date of publication: 21 April 2015

4/16/2015 10:16:58 AM

Mental health experts: Austerity measures profoundly affect emotional and psychological wellbeing

Turn2us Emotional, family and relationship support useful link (link opens in a new window)


Austerity cuts and "intimidatory disciplinary regime" for benefits claimants are having a “profoundly disturbing” impact on people’s psychological wellbeing and the emotional state of the nation, 400 mental health experts, including psychiatrists, counsellors, psychotherapists, creative therapists and academics, have said in a letter to The Guardian newspaper published today.

The letter calls upon all parties to review what the signatories call "anti-therapeutic practices, and appropriately refashion their much-trumpeted commitment to mental health if and when they enter government".

Source: The Guardian: Hundreds of mental health experts issue rallying call against austerity (link opens in a new window)

Struggling financially? Turn2us resources can help

If you are struggling to make ends meet, help may be available to you through benefits and grants, depending on your needs, circumstances and background.

Turn2us Benefits Calculator and Grants Search

Use our Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

Turn2us information pages

The Turn2us Information and Resources section contains resources on benefits, grants and managing money, including useful links sheets and a Find an Adviser tool to help you find national and local sources of further help. 

We also have a Turn2us Emotional, family and relationship support useful links section and a Turn2us Mental health useful links section to signpost you to organisations that can help with issues relating to mental and emotional health.

Also in the news

Banking

Poverty

State Pension changes

Date of publication: 17 April 2015

4/16/2015 9:54:52 AM

Places still available on our Leeds and Hammersmith intermediary workshops

Information about Turn2us intermediary workshops


 

Are you an intermediary working with people in financial need in Leeds or London?

Would you like to learn more about how Turn2us tools and resources can help you in your work?

Spaces are still available on our half day intermediary workshops to be held as follows:

Leeds

  • Tuesday 21 April  9.30 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm

Venue: St. Vincent's Support Centre, 82 York Road, Leeds LS9 9AA.

London (Hammersmith)

  • Wednesday 22 April 10 am – 1 pm or 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm

Venue: Hythe House, 200 Shepherds Bush Road, London W6 7NL.

Book a place

To book a place or for more information, contact: Michelle Brookes, Turn2us Training Co-ordinator, at email: training@turn2us.org.uk.

Find out more about Turn2us regional workshops

Date of publication: 16 April 2015

4/13/2015 10:55:20 AM

Read our guide to Shared Parental Leave and Pay

Turn2us Shared Parental Leave and Pay guide


 

From 5th April 2015 Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay came into effect as part of the government’s policy package aimed at encouraging shared parenting from the earliest stages of pregnancy and adoption.

For further details see the Turn2us Shared Parental Leave and Pay information guide.

Date of publications: 13 April 2015

4/9/2015 4:24:22 PM

New non-state pension rules start

Access the Pension Wise website (link opens in a new window)


New rules about non-state pensions have been introduced from 6 April which give you more choice and flexibility on how and when you can take money from your pension 'pot'.

Get advice before you decide what to do with your non-state pension pot

The Government has launched a new impartial Pension Wise service to help people understand their options around non-state pensions. They are working in partnership on this with Citizens Advice (England and Wales), Citizens Advice Scotland, Northern Ireland Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux and the Pensions Advisory Service.

You can get guidance on your pension options from the Pension Wise website. If you prefer to speak to someone, you can talk to an impartial guidance specialist on the phone or face to face. They’ll talk about the steps you can take to turn your pension pot into income for your retirement. You can book this appointment on the Pension Wise website.

Access the Pension Wise website (link opens in a new window)

Money Advice Service has information on options for using your pension pot (link opens in a new window)

Pension 'flexibilities' and Department for Work and Pensions benefits

There are rules around how your pension, and any money you take from it, will be treated in the calculation of your entitlement to the following income-related benefits:

  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit.

For more information, read the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Pension flexibilities and DWP benefits fact sheet (link opens in a new window)

Date of publication: 10 April 2015

4/9/2015 10:17:15 AM

Attend our Eastbourne intermediary workshops

Information about Turn2us regional intermediary workshops


 

Are you an intermediary working with people in financial need in the Eastbourne area? 

Would you like to learn how to use Turn2us tools and resources to help your clients?

Turn2us is running two free half-day intermediary workshops in Eastbourne on Wednesday, 15 April 9.30 am – 12.30 pm or 1.30 pm – 4.30 pm. Venue: East Sussex Disability Association, 1 Faraday Close, Eastbourne BN22 9BH.

To book a place or for more information, contact: Michelle Brookes, Turn2us Training Co-ordinator, at email: training@turn2us.org.uk.

Find out more about Turn2us regional workshops

Date of publication: 9 April 2015

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