Lancing business TellJO welcomes Minister for Civil Society following social impact funding

On Thursday 16 November, coinciding with Social Enterprise Day, Minister of Civil Society at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Stuart Andrew MP, visited innovative Lancing-based company TellJO to see how social impact funding of £150,000 has helped them to support over 25,000 people so far.
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TellJO, who work in in partnership with councils, housing associations and utilities companies are on track to have helped 75,000 people by the end of the year.

TellJO uses digital wellbeing checks to tackle the causes of debt and prevent crisis situations including arrears and homelessness. Customers are sent a link to a wellbeing check that asks, ‘Are you okay?’ and on completion they are signposted to relevant services to support their financial, mental or physical health. So far over 15,000 people have completed a wellbeing check and received referrals to services including debt advice, water and energy bill support, counselling and benefits and housing advice.

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Founder and CEO of TellJO, Dominic Maxwell said “It was wonderful to welcome Stuart Andrew to TellJO alongside our partners at Adur and Worthing Councils. The visit enabled us to showcase how we are turning the social investment funding into digital innovation that both supports people who are in difficulty and saves taxpayer cash on crisis measures.”

Attendees with Stuart Andrew MPAttendees with Stuart Andrew MP
Attendees with Stuart Andrew MP

The visit took place at the Shoreham Centre and included a discussion on how TellJO is working with Adur and Worthing Councils to help facilitate their cost-of-living support, which has helped over 500 residents save more than £16,000 on their water bills with Southern Water, through access to hardship funds, bill discounts or an agreed payment scheme for arrears.

A spokesperson for Adur & Worthing Councils said: “We began working with TellJO last year as part of our Proactive initiative to help identify residents in Adur and Worthing who are vulnerable to debt much earlier, and to find ways to tackle the root causes of the problem.

“This holistic approach has enabled us to reach out to more people and offer additional support to those facing issues like homelessness or struggles with their mental health.”

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“The cost of living is continuing to put a strain on people's finances, but by partnering with TellJO we have been able to make people aware of discounts and grants that they may be eligible for, as well as making referrals to debt advice providers before things spiral out of control.”

Dominic Maxwell from TellJO addresses the attendeesDominic Maxwell from TellJO addresses the attendees
Dominic Maxwell from TellJO addresses the attendees

They were also joined by Emma, a Chichester resident who was in Council Tax arrears after a change in circumstances. In a video for TellJO filmed earlier this year, Emma said: “If I hadn’t had the link for TellJO, my home was actually at risk. I don’t really know where I would be right now.”

Seb Elsworth, CEO of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, and Amy Gutcher, Chief Financial Officer at Sumerian Partners, were in attendance to discuss the impact of the Dormant Assets Scheme, which helped to establish the fund that awarded TellJO the £150,000 funding in November 2022.

Find out more about TellJO at telljo.org or on Linkedin.

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