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