87% of people who “Made the Call” say the service has had a positive impact on their lives

Date published: 17 June 2019

87% of people surveyed who had used the Department for Communities Make the Call Wraparound Service said it has had a positive impact on their lives.

The aim of the service is to ensure that every individual and household across Northern Ireland is receiving all the social security benefits to which they and their families are entitled. This includes services, supports and other Government schemes that people may be missing out on; such as the Blue Badge scheme, help with school meals, transport or uniform grants and hospital travel costs.

The Social Return On Investment Report 2018, commissioned by the Department for Communities, has found that receipt of these additional benefits, supports and services has had a positive and significant effect.

  • 95% of people surveyed who had used the service felt under less financial strain, had more money in their weekly budget and were more able to pay bills
  • 79% of people surveyed said they suffered less stress, anxiety and social isolation
  • 40% of those surveyed said they were able to increase their home heating
  • 40% of those surveyed said they were able to make home improvements
  • 79% of those surveyed said they were able to park closer to their destination, able to go out more often and access places they couldn’t previously

Glynis Jones, Head of the Department’s ‘Make the Call’ Team said: "Through our work we know that people don’t always realise what benefits, supports and services they are entitled to and how much these additional entitlements could impact on their lives. We are actively reaching thousands of people each year and my team works collaboratively through effective partnerships with other Departments, Councils, Primary Care Providers and the voluntary and community sector to connect people with the Services and Organisations that can make a real difference."

 More advice on checking all your potential entitlements is available by ringing the ‘Make the Call’ Advice Line number on 0800 232 1271, or online at www.nidirect.gov.uk/makethecall

Notes to editors: 

1. The Department for Communities “Make the Call” Wraparound Service is a key building block in the draft Programme for Government (and in the current context, the NICS Outcomes Delivery Plan) Outcome 8 “We care for others and we help those in need”. Since 2005, £174.1million in additional benefits has been generated for 46,144 people across Northern Ireland.

2. In 2018 “Make the Call” commissioned independent research to establish what effect receipt of Social Security Benefits and other passported benefits and services; such as the Blue Badge Scheme and help with health care costs, had on the everyday lives of customers. This was based on a number of criteria including:

  • Financial impacts
  • Improved mobility
  • Positive impacts on mental health
  • Positive physical impacts

3. Follow us on twitter @CommunitiesNI or on facebook.com/JobsBenefitsNI

4. For media enquiries please contact the Department for Communities Press Office on 028 9082 3502 or email press.office@communities-ni.gov.uk. For out of hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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