Pay It Forward Charity Discount Fund Launches


The team at North East social enterprise Society Matters cic has decided to take positive action to support the community and voluntary sector to access its critical social welfare training by asking for donations into a Charity Discount Scheme that has been launched today.

Jayne Graham MBE, Executive Director of Society Matters cic, who has led the development of the scheme explains:

“Local charities and voluntary organisations play such an important role supporting people who are facing life challenges that, let’s be honest, would be difficult for most of us to really comprehend. Before Covid-19 those problems existed, but now demand on the community and voluntary sector is even greater than ever. The Pay It Forward Charity Discount Fund is our call to the people who would love to help but aren’t sure how to do it.”

By contributing to the Pay It Forward Charity Discount Fund, donors will be directly supporting charities and local voluntary groups to build their social welfare knowledge in areas such as Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments (PIP), so they have the confidence to help the people who approach them for support to navigate these really complex benefits. 100% of hundreds of participants on Society Matters’ courses so far have said that the training will improve their ability to support their clients effectively, so the team is determined to make sure the community and voluntary sector get the best chance possible to make their mark, by having the knowledge they need to help people in the best way possible.

Jayne went on to say “Knowledge and understanding of benefits across the whole of the social welfare support system is crucially important, but at the moment it is severely limited, and at worst it’s really out of date. Our social welfare training, that has been developed in partnership with our parent charity and social welfare experts Citizens Advice Gateshead, puts this right.”

In an attempt to help the local community and voluntary sector in their local area in Gateshead the social enterprise recently decided to donate 12 free places to community and voluntary sector organisations in Gateshead for their Get to Grips with Personal Independence Payments (PIP) course which is delivered in a virtual classroom environment. The places were taken up immediately, demonstrating the huge demand.

Trading Manager Lee Booth explained about their recent campaign “We couldn’t really believe it – the 12 free places were snapped up in a matter of hours and we now have a waiting list of another dozen people or more who need to attend so they can properly support people in their communities. That’s spurred us into action to set up this fund!”

Society Matters works nationally delivering social welfare training to people and organisations in the social welfare system. This includes social housing organisations, employability services, national charities such as CentrePoint, and other organisations you might not expect that want to understand more about the impact of welfare benefits on their customers, such as utility giant Northumbrian Water who recently had staff participating in a Get to Grips with Universal Credit course that’s been shifted online since lockdown.

If you would like to know more about the Pay it Forward Charity Discount Fund and how you can get involved click here.

To make your mark with a donation, please click on the Donate button below, or get in touch to arrange for us to send you an invoice. Every pound counts.