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Mobile phone - Text messages using a mobile phone

Turn2us’ new app success

The national anti-poverty charity Turn2us launched their Connect app earlier this year, an SMS based app that has helped people claim welfare benefits they are entitled to. Users have seen an immediate improvement to their financial and emotional wellbeing.

Every year, at least £17.6bn of means-tested benefits are left unclaimed. This high figure is partially caused by an overly complex and hostile welfare system, perceived stigma of claiming benefits and problems around digital inclusion. Turn2us, with Reason Digital, built the app to overcome these barriers by connecting people missing out on welfare benefits with trained volunteers who could walk them through the process.

The charity estimates that where the claim is successful, on average, users of the Turn2us Connect App will secure a household uplift of £2,600 a year. Since its launch in March 2019, beneficiaries of the app have reported seeing their financial situation improve, their anxiety levels reduce and their life satisfaction rates grow.

An additional benefit of the Turn2us Connect App is that it provides a new volunteering opportunity for people who feel that they do not have the time or capacity for volunteering in more traditional activities. Connect enables people to fit in volunteering in their day-to-day lives, all they require is access to a phone, tablet or laptop.

Gilly Clyde-Smith, Head of Digital and Project Lead for Connect at Turn2us, said: “Every year billions of benefits go unclaimed, while the very people missing out on them are struggling with their rents, bills and life essentials. We know that the barriers to claiming include a lack of information, problems getting online, confidence and stigma around benefits. Connect tackles those barriers head on. The beauty of Connect is that help is available via text message, and you don’t have to worry about installing anything or even having an internet connection to get help.”

Source: Turn2us