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Turn2us Connect

Turn2us Connect is a new service designed to help you claim Universal Credit

Connect is a peer to peer, SMS-based, communication platform that connects people missing out on Universal Credit with trained Turn2us volunteers. Volunteer Digital Buddies provide practical information and emotional support to guide users of the service (called Connections) through the Universal Credit application process.

Turn2us Connect has been running since March 2019. During this time we have been developing the App and learning what support and training the volunteers need. We are now at a stage where we are collecting as much impact data as we can to show that this service is meeting the needs of its users.

Connect Frequently Asked Questions

How can I sign up to Connect?

You can only sign up to use Connect via the Turn2us Helpline or your Benefits Calculator results page. If you are entitled to Universal Credit, are below pension age and aren’t eligible for Severe Disability Premium (SDP) you will be given the option to sign up to Connect.

What are Digital Buddies and Benefits Supporters?

Digital Buddies and Benefits Supporters are volunteers, but their roles are a bit different. Digital Buddies support Connections (users of the Connect service). Digital Buddies can give practical information about the application process while providing a much needed listening ear to someone going through a tough time.

In turn, a Benefits Supporter helps the Digital Buddies by answering any complex welfare benefits questions. Digital Buddies do not give advice and so all the information they can give is available publicly and online. If the Digital Buddy can’t find the answer or doesn’t understand they have the Benefits Supporters to help them.

I work for a charity can I sign up other people?

We are currently only signing people up via the Turn2us Helpline and the Benefits Calculator. While you cannot sign people up directly, if you support someone that would benefit from this service you can do a Turn2us Benefits Calculation with them and they will be able to sign up themselves.

When will this service be publicly available?

Currently Connect is only available to people who complete a Turn2us Benefits Calculation on our website or with our Helpline. We are looking for funding to help us develop Connect and increase our capacity to help us roll-out the service on a wider scale. We aim to gradually widen access to Connect and offer support with other benefits over time.

Do connections and volunteers need access to the internet?

Connections do not need access to the internet. They will receive SMS messages from their volunteer Digital Buddy. If the Connection is on a Pay as You Go deal they will be charged their standard network rate. If they have a bundle that includes free SMS messages, they will not be charged extra for sending messages to their Digital Buddy.

Both Digital Buddies and Benefits Supporters need access to the internet. The Turn2us Connect App can be accessed using any browser on a smartphone, tablet or laptop.

Can I get involved as a volunteer?

If this project excites you and you’d like to give your time as a volunteer you can sign up as either a Digital Buddy or a Benefits Supporter. To find out more about these volunteer roles visit the volunteers’ area of the Turn2us website. You will also find the online application form if you’d like to apply.

What can volunteers help with?

Digital Buddies have been helping Connections to understand what Universal Credit is, how to apply for Universal Credit, what to do at a Job Centre interview and explaining how long a Connection should expect to wait before they receive their first Universal Credit payment.

Turn2us is not an advice giving organisation and so volunteers are there to provide information in an easy to read, concise and understandable format. They are also on hand to listen and help build people’s confidence as they guide them through the Universal Credit application

Who can I contact to find out more about Turn2us Connect?

If you’d like to know more about Connect you can contact Turn2us via connect@turn2us.org.uk.

Please visit the volunteers’ area of the website to find out more about being a volunteer Digital Buddy or Benefits Supporter. You will also find the online application form there if you would like to apply.

Digital Buddy

Be a Digital Buddy

Support people looking for financial help from your mobile.

Be a Digital Buddy
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Check benefit entitlement

Check which means-tested benefits you may be entitled to, including tax credits.

Use the Benefits Calculator