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Our work

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.

It is part of Elizabeth Finn Care, a charity registered in England and Wales: 207812 and Scotland: SC040987.

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Who we are and what we do

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 website brings together an easy to use Benefits Calculator and a Grants Search database giving access to over 3,000 charitable funds – all available through http://www.turn2us.org.uk/.

For individuals who are not able to access the website, our freephone helpline is open all year from 9.00 am to 8.00 pm Mondays to Fridays on 0808 802 2000.

We also provide specific services for intermediaries and charitable funds.

Our service is:

  • Free
  • Comprehensive and reliable
  • All in one place
  • Based on highly credible sources
  • Confidential
  • Secure

We were set up in 2007 and are part of Elizabeth Finn Care, a charity registered in England and Wales: 207812 and Scotland: SC040987.

Our purpose, aims and values

We hear it practically every day – 13 million people live in poverty in the UK, including 3.6 million children – and the numbers are rising.

The reasons why people experience financial hardship are complex.

Stressful life situations, such as bereavement, job loss, family breakdown, ill health, disability and caring for someone, are often significant factors, especially if these changes mean someone is no longer able to work.

The mounting costs of living and the effects of the UK’s current economic situation have also had enormous effects on personal finances, causing many people to struggle to make ends meet.

Yet one issue remains simple. Funds exist to help people – through welfare benefits, grants and other financial help – but access to them continues to be a frustrating barrier for many individuals, especially those on low incomes who are often hardest hit.

As concern grows around the mounting cost of living, the rise of child poverty and the ‘credit crunch’, the need for a service to help people access the funds they desperately need becomes increasingly relevant and urgent. This is what Turn2us provides.

Our aims

Turn2us aims to ensure that:

  • More people are aware of, and have access to, welfare benefits and grants
  • Grant-giving and public organisations are able to distribute funds to those in need more effectively
  • The voices of people in need are heard.

Our values

We are:

  • Supportive: Focused on people in financial need; respectful of each individual; responsive to their needs; focused on solutions; engaging with volunteers and partners in Government, the third, public and  private sectors.
  • Committed: Harnessing our passion to make a real difference  to the lives of people we support; setting ourselves the highest professional standards; delivering the highest quality services.
  • Transparent: Accountable at all levels in the organisation; ensuring our services are accessible to all; committed to integrity and ethical behaviour; open and impartial.
  • Innovative: Striving to improve; embracing change; encouraging imagination, initiative and development; exploring new ways to deliver the best possible services.

Individuals and Turn2us

If you are an individual seeking help for yourself or someone close to you, Turn2us aims to help you access the money available to you. For the first time, in one place on our website, you can find information and tools to help you find the support, based on your specific needs and circumstances. You can also register for a personal ‘My Turn2us’ account, which allows you to make confidential enquiries and applications directly to many of the grant-giving charities that you identify using our Grants Search database.

For more information, see Using the Turn2us websiteClaiming benefits and Are you new to grants?

Intermediaries and Turn2us

If you are an intermediary – one of the thousands of advisers, welfare officers, support workers and volunteer home visitors who have regular face-to-face contact with people in financial need – Turn2us can help you find the right resources to support the people you are working with. You can also store individuals’ details and applications in your confidential Turn2us intermediary account, enabling you to access and update files as you need to.

See Information for Intermediaries for more information about Turn2us intermediary accounts and the services we offer you.

We also work in partnership with many organisations to develop projects and services involving intermediaries. See Working with intermediaries for more information.

Charitable funds and Turn2us

If you are a charity that gives grants to individuals, Turn2us provides a comprehensive, accessible service that can help you increase your access to people who could benefit from your support, especially those who are hard to reach. Our flexible system allows you to tailor your charity’s details to suit your needs and update them as necessary. Enquiries and applications can be accepted online or directly through the Turn2us website. You can also access lists of everyone who has applied to you via Turn2us and check the current status of any requests for help.

See information for charities for more information on Turn2us charitable funds accounts and the services we offer you.

The Turn2us website

Our accessible website – http://www.turn2us.org.uk/ – is a comprehensive and invaluable resource, which provides information on benefits and grants all in one place. It is designed to help people find appropriate sources of financial support, quickly and easily, based on their particular needs and circumstances.

Features include:

  • A Benefits Calculator that helps people ensure that they are receiving all the welfare benefits they are entitled to
  • A Grants Search containing details of over 3,000 charitable funds (national, regional and local) that may be able to give financial support and other services 
  • confidential ‘My Turn2us’ online account that can be used to make enquiries and applications to grant-giving charities
  • Information and resources on a wide range of subjects related to welfare benefits, grants and managing money
  • A Find an Adviser tool to help users find local advisers, according to need
  • A monthly Ask an Expert feature to enable website users to a panel of experts their questions on topics relating to benefits, grants or managing money.

Shaw Trust Web Accreditation

The Turn2us website has been awarded Web Accreditation for accessibility by the Shaw Trust. To achieve this award, the Turn2us website underwent a fully comprehensive web accessibility audit involving over 60 hours of rigorous user testing against the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C's) Web Accessibility Content Guidelines (WCAG 1.0, WCAG .2.0) and Section 508. The Shaw Trust accreditation is the most comprehensive accessibility audit service available and is endorsed by The Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS). Any site carrying this mark has been tested by people with a wide range of disabilities and found to be accessible and WAI AA compliant.

See also Accessibility

Plain English Campaign Internet Crystal Mark

The Turn2us website has been awarded the Plain English Campaign Internet Crystal Mark. This means the Plain English Campaign have checked that the site is clearly written and easy to use. They also review the site annually to make sure it keeps to their standards..

All Turn2us content should conform to the Turn2us_editorial_guidelines_(PDF_file_size_227kb)

Website security

The website is secured via the SSL protocol, which is the industry standard for communications between users and websites. This means that any information sent via an SSL connection is protected by encryption to prevent eavesdropping and tampering with transmitted data.

Turn2us holds a unique web server certificate (also known as a secure server certificate or SSL certificate), which is required to initialise each SSL session. Users can see when a secure SSL session has begun. Their browser will display a little gold padlock and the address bar will begin with ‘https’ rather than ‘http’.

Data Protection and Confidentiality

See our Confidentiality, Data Protection and Website Privacy Policies

The Turn2us helpline

The Turn2us helpline is a free, confidential and independent service for people who do not have internet access or need help to use it. The service helps people in financial access the money available to them in welfare benefits and charitable grants.

On this page you can find out more about how the helpline works.

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How Turn2us helpline service can help you

The Turn2us helpline gives information about the following subjects using resources available on the Turn2us website:

  • Benefits including help to use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator
  • Grants including help to use the Turn2us Grants Search
  • Managing money issues
  • Finding a local adviser using the Turn2us Find an Adviser tool.

Individuals

If you are not able to access our services on this website, you can speak to one of our helpline staff, who can:

  • Check your entitlement for welfare benefits and provide  information on how to apply
  • Undertake a grants search to find charitable funds that may be able to support you, based on your personal circumstances and background
  • Support you with a grant enquiry and making an application to a charity
  • Help you if you have a query about  using the Turn2us website.

Intermediaries

If you are an intermediary helping people in financial need, please pass on the Turn2us helpline number. Our helpline can also assist you if you do not have access to the internet or you have a query about using the Turn2us website, such as using your 'My Turn2us' intermediary account.

See also Information for Intermediaries

Charitable funds

If you are from a grant-giving charity, our helpline can support you with enquiries you have about our services, your profile on our website and your 'My Turn2us' account.

See also Charitable Funds User Guide

If you need advice

The giving of advice about your personal situation with regard to benefits, grants or managing money is outside the scope of our service. We give information that may refer to your situation, possible actions available to you and points to bear in mind.  If you would like advice, you can use the following resources on our website to find the help you need:

  • Find an Adviser to find a local adviser
  • Useful Links section which contains links to many organisations and services that users of our website may find helpful.

Contacting the helpline

Call us on: 0808 802 2000 (9am-8pm Monday-Friday)

Calls are free for all landlines and for major mobile network providers (including 'pay as you go' phones) - EE, Orange, 3, Vodafone, T-Mobile, Virgin and O2 - charges may apply for other network users.

Some other mobile networks also offer free calls to numbers with the '0808 80' code. However, this is not guaranteed and we recommended you check with your provider.

Email us at info@turn2us.org.uk

Fax us: 01443 827616

Write to us: Turn2us, Unit 9, Cefn Coed Parc, Nantgarw, Cardiff CF15 7QQ.

A translation service for people who have limited English is available through Language Line (link opens in a new window) .

Text Relay service (link opens in a new window) is available for deaf people. 

Service provision: you can expect from us

Turn2us strives for high standards both as an employer and as a provider of services.  In so doing, Turn2us recognises the need to ensure that all telephone calls received and made by our helpline advisers are handled in an acceptable and appropriate manner.

  • Our hours of service are from 8am until 8pm Monday to Friday each week.
  • After authorised announcements, and in each 24-hour period, 90% of offered calls are answered within 15 seconds
  • No more than 0.1% of callers receive an engaged tone 
  • All callers waiting longer than 20 seconds receive an information message
  • All callers are given a confidentiality statement.

Email enquiries to us

Your email will be acknowledged within one working day and answered within two working days.

Where we need to refer to a third party, a reply will be sent within three working days.

Where the enquiry is outside the scope of our service, we will signpost you to whichever services we think may be relevant for you.

Postal enquiries to us

We will respond to postal enquiries within two working days of receipt of your letter.

Where we need to refer to a third party, a reply will be posted within three working days.

Where the enquiry is outside the scope of our service, we will signpost you to whichever services we think may be relevant for you.

Call signposting and referral

There will be some instances when your enquiry may be outside the scope of our service. We will try to signpost you to a relevant organisation. 

Confidentiality

Turn2us helpline advisers comply with the Confidentiality Policy (PDF file size 112kb).  We advise callers of the confidential nature of our service and obtain consent before sharing information that may be needed in order to send a grant enquiry or apply for grants on your behalf.

In certain circumstances confidentiality may need to be broken. These are outlined in the Confidentiality Policy and our adviser will explain to you why they need to breach confidentiality.

Caller numbers

When you telephone our helpline, the caller number will be showing to the adviser. This will not be used by them without your permission, for example to call you back.

If you do not wish your number to be shown, please dial 141 before the helpline number and this will ensure that the number is not visible to the helpline advisers.

Data protection

All personal information received from individuals from enquirers will be handled and recorded in accordance with the Data Protection Policy (PDF file size 268kb). In particular, we follow the eight principles of good information handling:

  1. Personal data will be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully
  2. Personal data will only be held for specified and lawful purposes and not in any manner incompatible with those purposes. The purposes for which personal data are held is described in Turn2us’s entry in the Data Protection Register, and information will not be held for another purpose
  3. Personal data will be relevant and only used in relation to the purposes for which it is held
  4. Personal data will be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
  5. Personal data will not be kept for longer than is necessary for the purposes covered by the registration
  6. Personal data will be processed in accordance with the data subject’s rights.  This means that the data will be made accessible to the person concerned and where appropriate the information will be corrected or erased
  7. We will take security measures to:
    • Prevent unauthorised access to or alteration, disclosure or destruction of the personal information, and
    • Prevent accidental loss or destruction of the personal information
  8. We will not transfer personal data to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection of the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data.    

 

Feedback

We aim for high standards in our service delivery and welcome feedback from our users. If we have done something that you are pleased with, we’d like to hear about it. If you have a complaint, we’d like to know about so we can resolve it or do better next time. If you have a query or a suggestion for us to improve our service, please tell us about it.

You can make give us feedback;

Full details of the procedures we follow can be found by reading our Compliments and Complaints Policy.

If you have a speech, hearing or language difficulty

Please let the adviser know what actions they can take to best help you. We will use the most appropriate channel for you, for example TextRelay (link opens in a new window), Language Line (link opens in a new window), or email.

Policies

All enquiries received by our helpline are dealt in line with the following policies:

Protecting our staff

We do not tolerate abusive behaviour towards our staff.

We take every measure to support our staff, and in cases of abusive behaviour, tone or language, we may terminate the call. In extreme cases, we will report such behaviour to a relevant authority, such as the Police, in accordance with the Confidentiality Policy (PDF file size 112kb) and the Data Protection Policy (PDF file size 268kb).

Recording calls

All calls to and from the Turn2us Helpline are recorded to ensure accuracy and monitor our service. They are kept securely in a central store for three months, then deleted.

What people are saying about our helpline

"I like the fact that you can talk about your situation to a real person on the helpline as well as using the resources on the Turn2us website."

"A very efficient, friendly and professional response from the telephone responder. It left me more confident that a solution to my personal situation can be improved."

"When calling for help, I encountered a very kind and sympathetic service."

"Being apprehensive and hard of hearing, the assistant was understanding and spoke clearly. If I did not hear her properly, she was pleasant and repeated the question without embarrassing me. I felt at ease and a load lifted off my shoulder."

"The lady who rang me communicated in a very friendly, informative and professional way."

 

Our partnerships

We believe that no single individual or organisation can help the millions of people who are in financial need. It is only by working in partnership that we can develop our services and ensure that we reach all those who could benefit from them.

Strategic Development Group

The members of our Strategic Development Group are representatives of organisations with an interest and expertise in financial exclusion, charitable grant giving and welfare benefits. They provide us with advice and act as our ambassadors.

Current members are:

Advice UK (link opens in a new window)
Advice UK is the largest UK support network of advice giving organisations.  Its services include management support, insurance, training, money advice and information.

Association of Charitable Organisations (ACO) (link opens in a new window)
ACO represents over 200 charities offering aid and guidance to individuals in needs. It helps them to work together to share and co-ordinate their activities to increase the numbers of people in need they help.

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) (link opens in a new window)
CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for families and children with low incomes. It aims to raise awareness of the causes, extent, nature and impact of poverty, and strategies for its eradication; bring about positive policy changes for families with children in poverty; and enable those eligible for income maintenance to have access to their full entitlement.

Citizens Advice (link opens in a new window)
Citizens Advice helps people to resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free information and advice from 3,300 locations using 20,000 volunteers. They also have a comprehensive online advice guide (opens in a new window).

Elizabeth Finn Care (link opens in a new window)
Turn2us is part of the Elizabeth Finn Care family - a leading direct grant-giving charity specifically dedicated to helping people in financial need . For over 100 years, it has been giving practical and financial support to people from a wide range of backgrounds who have fallen into financial need because of age, physical or mental illness, family breakdown, bereavement or redundancy.

Home-Start UK (link opens in a new window)
Home-Start UK is a leading family support organisation, offering support friendship and practical help to parents with young children in local communities throughout the UK and with British Forces in Germany and Cyprus.

Money Advice Trust (link opens in a new window)
The Money Advice Trust aims to reduce the unmanageable debt of UK consumers by working with the government, private sector and UK’s leading money advice agencies to increase the availability and quantity of money advice as well as improve its efficiency and effectiveness. It runs two free, independent money advice helplines for people with debt problems – National Debtline (link opens in a new window) and Business Debtline (link opens in a new window).

Working with intermediaries

Working with intermediaries, i.e. the thousands of advisers, support workers, volunteer home visitors or welfare officers who have regular face-to-face contact with people in financial need, is a fundamental part of Turn2us’s work.

Read about our initiatives working with intermediaries

Building partnerships

If you are an individual or organisation from the voluntary, public or private sectors, there are many ways in which you could work with us to become part of the solution we offer.

You could help us by:

  • Funding service development and delivery
  • Helping us promote Turn2us and disseminate our materials
  • Donating expertise, services or products

If you are interested in working with us, contact Alison Taylor, Turn2us Director, for more information.

Messages of support

Turn2us’s groundbreaking new service to help the millions of people in financial need in the UK has received support from many influential people:

“The development and establishment of Turn2us is the most significant third sector development for many years.”
Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)

‘Thousands of intermediaries and advisers across the UK do a fantastic job to support people in desperate financial need everyday. Turn2us will help them further support people to maximise their income and will prove to be an invaluable source of information for everyone.’
Steve Johnson, Chief Executive, Advice UK

‘Thousands of charities exist that give grants to people in financial need, but there is a need to increase awareness of them and create a place for people to search and apply for suitable grants. As Chair of Benevolence Today,  I welcome this initiative as it is a good example of the charity sector working together to achieve improved impact on the lives of those in need. Turn2us is an essential bridge between people struggling with money and the charities that can fund them. Through Turn2us, charities will have the opportunity to let the public, and intermediaries and advisers, know if they have funds available and communicate quickly and efficiently with people that meet their giving criteria.'

Fred Payne, Chief Executive, The Bank Workers Charity - Support for bank staff

Turn2us real life stories

Find out how Turn2us services have helped individuals in financial need, intermediaries and charitable funds.

Browse our real life stories

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