Thirteen has put more than £5million back into its customer’s pockets and helped over 750 people into jobs or training in the last year and continues to offer services during the coronavirus pandemic.

The financial support team helps customers with a range of financial issues and last year, helped almost 7,000 customers gain over £2.8million in Universal Credit claims, £2.2million in benefits and other income and over £177,000 in grants.

Thirteen’s employability team offers one-to-one support for customers, helping with their CVs, developing skills and building confidence, and has access to exclusive job vacancies, which led to over 750 people moving into work or training.

Between April 2019 and March 2020, through its support services the housing organisation also:

  • Prevented 113 people from becoming homeless through its Key Step, Young Person’s and Lifestyle programmes across Teesside
  • Prevented almost 1,100 people in Middlesbrough from becoming homeless
  • Advised and helped 743 vulnerable customers with a range of issues including domestic abuse, anti-social behaviour, hoarding and mental health concerns
  • Helped almost 100 young families in supported housing schemes in Teesside and County Durham
  • Worked with 96 refugees through a resettlement scheme in Redcar
  • Supported 79 women in two refuges for victims of domestic abuse in County Durham and Newcastle, and more than 800 other domestic abuse victims through outreach work and other intensive support

Working safely from home, support service teams are still helping customers despite the current challenging situation and have helped hundreds of people in the last few weeks alone.

The financial support and Universal Credit teams are working with up to 500 customers every week to support them.

The employability team has helped dozens of people into work in areas where there has been an immediate need or shortage including hospital cleaning staff, supermarkets and warehouses and are offering online training courses with customers gaining a recognised qualification.

Thirteen also continues to work with families and young people in its supported housing schemes. It is also investigating cases of anti-social behaviour and is encouraging customers to keep reporting incidents that impact their quality of life.

Chris Joynes, director of customer support services at Thirteen, said: “Thirteen is about so much more than just putting a roof over people’s heads and during the lockdown we’re working safely to keep helping our customers.

“We support a wide range of people who are facing challenges in their lives for a variety of reasons. This support is particularly important at the moment when many people are furloughed, have lost work altogether, or face other issues.

“We want to make sure that everyone has the best quality of life possible, and across our support services there are dedicated teams making sure this happens.”