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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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12/18/2014 11:29:04 AM

Our ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign has now come to an end

go for a grant

 

Our ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign has now come to an end.

 

Through the campaign, we have been working to raise awareness of charitable grants and encouraging people experiencing financial hardship to check their eligibility for support. We’ve also been sharing the stories of people who have successfully applied for grants who have told us what a difference it has made to their lives.

During the campaign, which ran from 19 November to 17 December, there were over 49,000 completed searches on our Grants search tool.

The campaign was well-received in the media, featuring in national newspapers including The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and The Sunday Express and mentioned across a number of websites and radio stations.

The campaign was also supported by financial journalist Paul Lewis, who shared it on Twitter and his blog, and highlighted it on his BBC Radio 4 Moneybox show.

As part of the campaign, we have released new research, in collaboration with the Association of Charitable Organisations, providing insights in to the vital work of the UK’s grant-giving charity sector. Read more about this and see the full report.

Thank you to all our partner charities for their help and support for the campaign.

Date of publication: 18 Dec 2014

12/17/2014 10:08:06 AM

Go for a Grant: Helen's Story

 

 

As part of our ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign, which ends today, we have been sharing the experiences of people who have successfully applied for charitable grants.

One of the people we helped to access this support is Helen, who shares her story with us in the video below.

Helen explains what a difference receiving support from several charities made when her husband suddenly fell ill and she gave up work to care for him.

Our free Grants Search tool can help you to check your eligibility for support from charitable grants, based on your personal circumstances and needs.

Also in the news

Food banks

Date of publication: 17 December 2014

12/16/2014 9:58:46 AM

New insights into the role of grant-giving charity sector

 

hands on keyboard

 

TURN2US NEWS RELEASE

RESEARCH UNCOVERS NEW INSIGHTS IN TO ROLE OF GRANT-GIVING  CHARITY SECTOR

The national charity Turn2us, in collaboration with the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO), has released new research providing insights in to the vital work of the UK’s grant-giving charity sector.

With recent benefit changes and cuts to local welfare provision, the results reveal that over a third (34%) of the charities surveyed have seen an increase in applications in the last year, and the same number expect to see an increase in the year ahead. Over two-fifths (43%) of charities cite struggling to manage finances on a limited income as the biggest trigger for people seeking help, whilst over a third (37%) said it was because of a physical illness or disability.

The research, conducted amongst grant-giving charities that provide financial help and other support to individuals, also provides greater understanding on how the sector operates and its impact.

The findings show that support still predominately takes the form of financial help, with almost four-fifths (79%) of charities giving one-off financial grants and almost a third (31%) providing regular financial payments. Grants are awarded for a wide range of purposes, with disability equipment, education/training costs, and household goods the three most common.

This support is still being issued through traditional methods, with over four-fifths (83%) of charities using cheques and nearly two-fifths (38%) using bank transfers. With new methods constantly emerging, there is potential for the sector to offer payment in other ways including pre-paid cards and mobile.

A number of charities are also starting to offer forms of non-financial support, with a fifth (20%) providing information and guidance and nearly one in seven (13%) providing debt support.

With demand increasing, the sector has focused on changing application forms and introducing online applications to improve turnaround times. Almost a third (30%) of charities are able to provide emergency support, and of these charities, half (49%) have a turnaround time of 24 hours to deliver this help.

The research also explores how charities would like to see the grant-giving sector develop. Improving public understanding of the sector was identified as the most important area, followed by a wish for greater collaboration between charities to share good practice and ideas.

Turn2us has a free online Grants Search tool to help people in financial need check their eligibility for grants and other support from over 3,000 charities, according to their particular circumstances. Individuals who have used the tool have seen an average annual income increase of over £2,400 in regular charitable grants and over £550 in one-off grants.

Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us said: “Our research reiterates the crucial role the grant-giving charity sector plays in supporting people in financial hardship. With new reports showing a growing number of UK families living in poverty*, need for this support has never been greater.

“This research, along with our current ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign will help us highlight the valuable financial and practical help available from charities to those families who are really struggling with financial hardship.

We also hope that charities will use the research findings to inform their own developments to services, collaborations and processes.”

Dominic Fox, Chief Executive of ACO said: “The research has uncovered many useful examples of good practice, areas for development and joint-working. We are drawing up a plan of action to help the sector address some of the challenges and opportunities identified. This includes inviting the Payments Council to talk to our members about the collective use of new payment methods; investigating the development of quality standards and helping to develop networks and forums for grant-giving organisations to facilitate information sharing and collaboration.”

 

For further information and interviews with Turn2us case studies or spokespeople, please contact: Emma Lamberton, Communications Officer, Turn2us

Email: Emma.Lamberton@turn2us.org.uk Telephone: 0208 834 9259

Notes to Editors

·         All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from research conducted by nfpSynergy between September and November 2014. 215 grant-giving charities completed the research online and by post

·         *Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion - Joseph Rowntree Foundation 24 November 2014 www.jrf.org.uk/publications/monitoring-poverty-and-social-exclusion-2014

About Turn2us

·         Turn2us is part of the national charity Elizabeth Finn Care

·         Turn2us helps people in financial need gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and other financial help – online, by phone and face-to-face through our partner organisations

·         The Turn2us free, accessible website - http://www.turn2us.org.uk/ is designed to help people access the money available to them – through welfare benefits, charitable grants and other help.

·         The website has a number of tools to make the process simpler, including a Grants Search, Benefits Calculator and ‘find an adviser’ tool to help locate someone to speak to

·         Turn2us works in partnership with organisations across the UK, including AdviceUK, Association of Charitable Organisations, Citizens Advice, Child Poverty Action Group, Home-Start UK and Money Advice Trust to develop our services and reach the many millions of people that need our help.

 

About the Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO)

·         ACO is the national UK umbrella body for trusts and foundations that give grants and welfare support to individuals in need

·         ACO provides support to its members through networking, raising standards, lobbying and campaigning, information and online services

·         ACO currently has over 100 charity members.

Date of publication: 16 Dec 2014

12/12/2014 9:56:50 AM

Find out more about the first stage of Universal Credit's national expansion

Turn2us Universal Credit information section


 

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP has published information about the first stage of the national expansion of Universal Credit to local authorities and jobcentres. 

This will take place between February and April 2014 and will affect new claims from single people, who would otherwise have been eligible for Jobseeker's Allowance, including existing Housing Benefit and Working Tax Credit claimants.

Once stage one is complete, Universal Credit will be available in 1 in 3 jobcentres across Great Britain.  More stages will then be developed until the national expansion is done (expected to be Spring 2016).

Find out more about the Universal Credit national expansion (link opens in a new window)

Read the Turn2us Universal Credit information

Also in the news

Bereavement

Housing

Mental health

Universal Credit

Young, homeless people

Date of publication: 12 December 2014

12/10/2014 10:29:18 AM

Join our Grants Twitter Chat on 11th December between 11.00 am and 12.00 noon

Turn2us Twitter feed (link opens in a new window)


 

Have you got a question about grants or charitable?

Would you like to know more about how charitable funds work?

As part of our 'Go for a Grant' campaign, Turn2us (@Turn2us_org) will be hosting a Question and Answer Twitter chat on Grants on Thursday 11 September between 11.00 am - 12.00 noon.

Our panel will include the following grant giving charities:

  • Cavell Nurses Trust (@CavellTrust)
  • Family Fund (@FamilyFund)
  • RSABI (The Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution) (@RSABI).

Just use #GrantsChat to participate.

Further information

Find out more about the Turn2us 'Go for a Grant' campaign

Use the Turn2us Grants Search

Find Turn2us on Twitter (link opens in a new window)

Date of publication: 10 December 2014

 

12/8/2014 3:07:25 PM

RSABI: Determined to help with fuel poverty through its 'Help for Heating' Fund

Read the RSABI profile on the Turn2us Grants Search


 

As part of our 'Go for a Grant' campaign, the Scottish rural charity, RSABI (Royal Scottish Agricultural Benevolent Institution), explains more about the work they are doing to reduce fuel poverty through their 'Help for Heating' Fund.

What is RSABI?

RSABI is a unique Scottish rural charity with roots going back to 1897 that helps people who have depended on the land in Scotland and who are in need.

RSABI assists anyone currently working in a land-based industry when they are faced with crisis because of accident, ill-health, redundancy or other misfortune. The charity also helps people who are in retirement or who are no longer able to work and who have been in a relevant occupation for at least 10 years – allowance is made where accident, ill health or disability has caused someone to stop working while in land-based employment.

RSABI also helps the dependents of such people.

RSABI Help for Heating Fund

The RSABI “Help for Heating Fund”, launched at the beginning of December 2014, has an initial £30,000 available on a first come, first served basis to provide single grants, each of £300, throughout Scotland – the aim being to directly alleviate the effect of fuel poverty amongst people who have depended on land-based occupations.

RSABI recognises that many rural households will be inadequately heated in the months to come. With the weather changing and winter around the corner, many people will be worrying about paying their energy bills.

Helping Katherine

Following the passing of a well-respected Scottish farmer, his widow found herself with little retirement provision and only her home to show for years of work. Putting aside her pride, she approached the charity in desperation when her modest savings ran out, meaning she was struggling to keep herself warm and to run her car.

RSABI immediately provided heating oil, before taking her on as an Annual Beneficiary.

She commented: “What a difference in my life. I feel I am now living and not just existing”.

Contacting RSABI

Call RSABI on 0131 472 4166 or go to the RSABI website (link opens in a new window) to view 'Help for Heating' Fund details and learn how to apply or put us in contact with someone who needs help. 

RSABI is determined to take action to help!

Find RSABI on the Turn2us Grants Search

Turn2us Fuel Poverty Campaign January 2015

Turn2us will be launching its annual fuel poverty campaign on 14 January 2015. This year the campaign will focus on families and the huge struggles faced by low income families to keep themselves warm and healthy. We’ll be raising awareness of the support that could be available to help them. Look out for more information on our website in the New Year.

Date of publication: 9 December 2014 

12/8/2014 9:25:18 AM

Benefits related problems single biggest reason given for food bank referrals

Turn2us Benefits Calculator


 

Benefit delays, an income squeeze and excessive utility bills are key factors in the huge rise in the use of food banks, the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty in Britain has found. They say many families are one unexpected bill away from a financial crisis.

'Feeding Britain' report launched today

The cross-party group, led by Frank Field, MP for Birkenhead, and the Bishop of Truro, Tim Thornton is launching its final report into hunger and food poverty, Feeding Britain, in the House of Commons today. This is based on evidence taken on the extent and causes of hunger in Britain, the scope of provision to alleviate it and a comparison with other Western countries.

Key findings

  • Benefit related problems were the single biggest reason given for food bank referrals by almost every food bank that presented evidence to the Inquiry
  • Lengthy delays in the administration and receipt of benefits payments have caused severe hardship for new claimants
  • Hunger in schools was an area of concern, with some schools estimating up to a quarter of pupils arrive hungry each morning. Low parental income is a key factor but children also often go hungry because of lack of organisation at home.

Recommendations

The Inquiry makes many recommendations in its report, including:

  • Benefits to be paid within five days of a legitimate claim and more discretionary payments to be made when delays occur.
  • Free school meals to be extended to more children of low-income parents
  • A campaign to decrease the number of children arriving at school hungry
  • A national organisation to be set up to end the destruction of edible food and ensure more of this goes to people in need. 

Turn2us statement on the 'Feeding Britain' report

Turn2us has issued the following statement about the 'Feeding Britain' report:

“The launch of the ‘Feeding Britain’ report confirms what many of us have known for some time. The huge rise in the usage of food banks demands immediate and urgent action. It’s not scaremongering; the facts are now plain for all to see.

"Time and again at Turn2us we hear from parents forced to forego eating properly to feed their children. These people are trapped. Trapped in a perfect storm of rising food prices and energy costs that outstrip household income. These families have no choice but to approach food banks for help or be swallowed up by debt as they try to support themselves. It’s equally alarming that even being in work is now no guarantee of financial stability.

"The report also highlights families in crisis facing benefit delays of up to 13 weeks, which is further compounding the problem. With over a quarter of Britons having no money set aside, people have no choice but to turn to food banks or payday loans to make up their shortfalls.

"It is more important than ever that people can access financial support and advice now. This report must act as a watershed moment. Food banks should not be seen as a cure for the startling problems the most vulnerable face, but the signal that something must change.”

Simon Hopkins

Chief Executive

Use Turn2us resources to find help

If you are struggling to make ends meet, use our Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Turn2us Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

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.     

Read more about the All Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty in Britain (link opens in a new window)

See the Trussell Trust website for more information on food banks (link opens in a new window)

Sources: BBC News article (8 December 2014): 'Pay benefits faster' to reduce hunger, MPs urge (link opens in a new window)

Also in the news

Benefits

Pensions

Date of publication: 8 December 2014

12/5/2014 2:48:04 PM

Leeds and Maidstone workshops: spaces still available

Information about Turn2us regional workshops


 

Are you working with people in financial need?  Would you like to know more about how Turn2us tools and resources can help your clients?

Spaces are still available on our free regional workshops in Leeds and Maidstone on 19 December.

Leeds

Friday 19 December 9.30 am - 12.30 pm or 1.30 - 4.30 pm
Venue: St Vincent Support Centre, 82 York Road, Leeds LS9 9AA.

Maidstone

Friday 19 December 9.30 am - 12.30 pm or 1.30 - 4.30 pm
Venue: Maidstone Skills and Community Centre, Titchfield Road, Maidstone, Kent ME15 8FX.

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: 5 December 2014

12/5/2014 9:39:17 AM

'Go for a Grant' campaign: How Sheena found help


As part of our ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign, we’ve been sharing stories of people we’ve helped to find support through charitable grants.

One of the people we’ve helped is Sheena who found herself in financial need when severe back pain meant she had to give up the job she loved as a children’s nurse.

In the video linked above, Sheena shares the struggles she faced to buy food and keep her home warm and how receiving grants from several charities helped to turn her life around.

'Go for a Grant' campaign

Our ‘Go for a Grant’ campaign runs until 17 December. It aims to encourage people in financial hardship to check their eligibility for grants and other support.

Our free Grants Search tool can help you to check your eligibility for support from charitable grants, based on your personal circumstances and needs.

You can read more of our users’ stories on Turn2us's Facebook page (link opens in a new window), Turn2us's Twitter (link opens in a new window) feed and Turn2us's Instagram page (link opens in a new window).

Use the Turn2us Grants Search

Find out more about the Turn2us 'Go for a Grant' campaign 

Date of publication: 5 December 2014

12/4/2014 10:10:43 AM

Autumn Statement 2014

Good news for economy and NHS but 2-year freeze on working-age benefits


Turn2us Benefits Calculator


 

The Chancellor, George Osborne, delivered his Autumn Statement yesterday.

Although there was positive news that the UK's economy is continuing to improve and there is to be more money for the NHS, measures announced in relation to welfare spending are likely to affect people on low incomes.

Welfare spending

  • Welfare spending to be £1 billion lower than forecast in March.

Working-age benefits

  • There will be a two year freeze in working-age benefits, including Universal Credit work allowances.

Universal Credit

  • Surplus earnings that are in excess of £100 above a household's Universal Credit award threshold will be accounted for in award calculations over a six-month period
  • Tax credits will be cut where there is a certainty of overpayments
  • Migrants will lose unemployment benefits if they have 'no prospect' of work after six weeks.

Other measures

Employment

  • 'To support businesses who take young people on', employer national insurance contributions are to be abolished for employing anyone under the age of 21 from April 2015
  • From April 2016, employers will not have to pay national insurance contributions for apprentices under 25 unless they are high earning
  • Employment Allowance worth £2,000 extended to carers.

Tax

  • Tax-free personal allowance will rise to £10,600 in April 2015.

Health

  • An extra £2 billion will be provided to the NHS every year until 2020
  • GP services will get £1.2 billion in extra funds.

Education

  • £10,000 loans for postgraduate students studying for masters degrees.

Concerns about the Autumn Statement measures

Many charities working to help people on low incomes and reduce poverty have expressed concern about the welfare related measures in the Autumn Statement and how these will impact the poorest households - many of which are in work.

As Turn2us has highlighted earlier in the year, through its 'Be Aware' benefits awareness campaign, many people are on insecure contracts and low paid work. Work is simply not paying them enough to keep up with soaring housing, energy and food costs.

In research carried out by Turn2us for the 'Be Aware' campaign, two-fifths of low income workers told Turn2us their outgoings now outweigh their earnings. Over two-fifths have cut back on food and other basic essentials.

Welfare benefits and tax credits can serve as a vital top-up for those on low incomes. 85% of current claimants in work said benefits have made a positive difference in helping with housing costs, bills and avoiding debt. The proposed freeze on working-age benefits and the Universal Credit work allowance could place even greater strain on household budgets that are already stretched to the limit.

Use Turn2us resources to find help through benefits and grants

If you are struggling to make ends meet, use our Turn2us Benefits Calculator to check your entitlement to benefits and our Turn2us Grants Search database to see if you are eligible for help from a charitable fund, based on your personal background, circumstances and needs.

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. 

Sources:

Date of publication: 4 December 2014

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