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Merry Christmas from everyone at Turn2us

A message from the Director of Operations, Alison Taylor

Photo of Alison Taylor

On behalf of the charity I would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and warmest wishes for the New Year.

Turn2us resources

The past year has been a busy one for the charity. We have found many more people seeking our support than ever before. On a daily basis we see that transitions in life, such as becoming ill,  losing your job, bereavement or relationship breakdown, are common triggers to people needing help.

With £330m available from charitable grant funds and over £16bn a year in welfare benefits and tax credits going unclaimed, it is clear that many of those struggling are missing out on the help they need.

This is where Turn2us comes in: to assist people to unlock that help. Over 3.7 million people have used our services in the last year – many of those finding out what support is available to them and their families to keep a roof over their heads and to pay for essentials such as food, fuel, clothing and essential travel.

Turn2us direct grant giving

Our own direct grant giving continues to remain central to our work. Over the last year we have provided over £3m in direct grants to more than 3,000 people.

This year we have been working to make it easier for people in hardship to access our help and for our team of caseworkers to provide support. We have made a number of back office improvements; simplified our grants; provided the option for people to apply online for assistance; and started working more with other organisations to provide support. We want as much of our money as possible to go to those in need and not on support costs.

Compassion and care

What we haven’t changed is the caring and compassionate way our loyal and wonderful volunteers and caseworkers operate. You do a brilliant job and we really appreciate the enormous amount of support you provide for the charity.

As a charity we are also looking at what else we can do, working with like-minded organisations, to help people improve their situation. We have started working on new initiatives in Edinburgh and the North East to help people in financial hardship. We are planning additional services to help provide more rounded support for the people we help to help them getting back into work, to provide counselling and relationship support. We are also developing new volunteering roles, such as providing a befriending service.

Next year we will be setting up a new charitable fund to help people in hardship at key transitions in their lives to promote financial stability, wellbeing and independence.

We will continue to strive as a charity to help more people in better ways – and this need has never been greater.

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs​)
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this. You will not be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS coronavirus advice on the NHS website

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time-employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £120 per week, you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.