Staff and volunteers from charities in the North East of England are to be trained to use Turn2us online tools to support people struggling financially over the next three years, supported by funding from Comic Relief.
New research by Turn2us released as part of its #BenefitsAware Campaign has found that over a third (36%) of low income households in the North East of England are not claiming the welfare benefits and tax credits they could be entitled to.
Over two-thirds (67%) of those in the region who aren’t receiving this support said they had been deterred from checking or claiming potential benefits entitlements because they did not think they would be eligible. As a result, over four-fifths (83%) have not checked what welfare benefits they could be entitled to within the last year.
Turn2us runs a UK wide workshops programme to teach people how to use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator, Grants Search tool and other online help with their service users. They are free for staff and volunteers working for charities supporting people in financial hardship to attend.
These volunteers and staff help to reach wide numbers of people in need. Around 4 million people accessed the tools on the Turn2us website last year.
Overwhelmingly positive feedback
Last month, an incredible 98% rated the workshops as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Alison Maynard, a trainer in the West Midlands said: “The feedback from workshop attendees is overwhelmingly positive, and it’s fantastic to see light bulbs come on all around a group of participants as they realise the practical applications of the Turn2us tools.”
Turn2us would like to work with local charities and volunteer organisations in the North East of England that supports people struggling financially.
The first workshop in the North East of England takes place on 15 June in Durham. Places are filling up fast so please sign up to secure your place. If you are not based near Durham, please see the map to find a location near you.
If you work in the North East and might be interested in finding out more about this project or know of any organisations in that area who might want additional support to help those in financial need, then please contact Penny Jerrum, Turn2us Head of Engagement.
Find out more about our #BenefitsAware Campaign. You can also join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #BenefitsAware.