New front end for government services

A new joined up front end has been launched to bring together sources of government and other financial support for people in need.  Just not by the government.

Turn2us says that it is

a new charity launching a groundbreaking online service to help the millions of people in need in the UK.

For the first time, people can access information on all benefits and grants available to them from both statutory and voluntary organisations, at no cost, through turn2us.

In many cases, applications for support can be made directly from the website and we’ll keep people informed by email or sending a text to their mobile phone.

The site includes a benefit calculator, which is clearly a white label version of the Entitledto service that has been around for a number of years now.  The rest of the site provides links to various voluntary organisations.  There isn’t any obvious integration between the two halves, but it’s a brave attempt to recognise that when people have a need for financial support, fragmentation of potential supply is not helpful and the source of the support is less important than getting it.

It’s a bit disappointing to see so clearly well intentioned a site falling victim to boiler plate wording in their terms and conditions.  It requires users to consent to losing European data protection standards and it purports to prohibit deep linking – and you have to read two and a half thousand words of legalese to discover that or anything else.   Given the nature of the site and its intended audience both content and style seem deeply inappropriate – but all too typical of putting defensiveness ahead of customers and their needs.