HMRC project that’s helped 10,000 kicks off its second year

21 Apr 2017 |Written by Chris Andersson

The last couple of weeks have not only seen the first days of Spring (and Easter around the corner), they’ve also seen the renewal of many successful Good Things Foundation projects, including our partnership with HMRC on the Work IT Out programme.

This piece of work - funding Online Centres Network members to help people better access HMRC online services - is one we’re particularly proud of, and we’re excited to be heading into the second year of delivery.

Helping families out of poverty
Although, helping people understand their tax affairs, apply for child tax credits or find out about their benefit entitlements didn’t sound to many like the most glamorous work, what we’ve really been proud to see and hear from the Online Centres delivering the project during year one, are the very real human outcomes.

There have been single parents finding routes out of poverty, thanks to better understanding their entitlements, and families whose children have life-threatening health conditions who have found the support they need to make life just a little more manageable.

10,000 people supported
With the Work IT Out project supporting more than 10,000 people in 2016/17, these stories are the tip of the iceberg and we were proud to celebrate this at an event in Sheffield on Tuesday 14 March.

Hosted by Good Things Foundation we welcomed both staff from the Online Centres delivering the programme and representatives from HMRC - Richard Garth and Kelly Foley.

Kelly said: “It was great to attend the celebration event, meet some of the people involved in the project and to hear some of the amazing stories that are behind the numbers. We are very pleased to see this project reaching so many people, particularly our vulnerable customers, supporting them to access the HMRC Personal Tax Account, using the many different products and services available. We are really looking forward to seeing the project develop further in its second year.”

One of the great benefits of these events, at which we bring together our own staff, those from centres delivering in communities across the country, and our partners who invest in this great work, is giving everyone the chance to hear about the successes and challenges of delivering projects at the grassroots.

Working in socially excluded communities
Mala Muthu from Skills Enterprise, an Online Centre in London borough of Newham and Hazel Thompson from Citizens Advice Darlington were on hand to share valuable insight from their experiences of delivering the programme over the last year.

Mala said: “We take a holistic approach to work we do, so we help the people in our community with everything from employment support and a food bank to training, ESOL classes and more, so this was a perfect fit for us.

“Newham has some of the highest rates of children in poverty and working families receiving tax credits of anywhere in the country, so we do anything we can to help relieve the burden on the people we work with. The Work IT Out programme has been a much-needed addition to the services we’re able to provide.”

As Work IT Out kicks off its second year of delivery, we’re looking forward to seeing more of the fantastic work that Mala and centres like Skills Enterprise do all the across the country every day.