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The Benefits and Work website has been supporting claimants since 2002.

And for most of that time there has been a forum on the site.

It has gone through various incarnations over the years.

In the beginning there were no moderators and posts sometimes didn’t get answered for many days.

Then there have been times when we had lots of moderators and when we ran separate forums for benefits information and for more general discussion about the politics of welfare benefits.

In recent years there has been a single forum aimed solely at supporting members with PIP and ESA/UC claims and appeals.

But, as benefits have become more complex and the pace of change has increased, we have struggled to find volunteers to act as moderators.

In fact, for a long time now, Gordon has been the only long-term moderator.

He has done an extraordinary job and there are literally thousands of claimants who would not have the award they do without Gordon’s help.

But it’s far too big a job for a single person to manage and Gordon can’t continue to work alone indefinitely.

So, we’re looking for offers of help and for ideas for ways to give the forum a long-term future.

One possibility we are looking at is offering online benefits training to people who are willing to commit to helping on the forum on a regular basis – health permitting at any given time.

Along with the training there would be access to support from a welfare rights worker to deal with queries that moderators aren’t sure how to answer.

It’s a role that might suit you if you’re looking for a way to make a contribution to the welfare of other claimants but you aren’t in a position to go down more traditional volunteering routes.

Or you might already belong to a support group for claimants with a particular health condition, but you’d really like to have the knowledge and expertise to help them with benefits issues because you know it’s an area where there is a real need.

Before we start the work of creating training materials we need to know if there are people out there with an interest in becoming Benefits and Work moderators, given proper support.

So, if you would like to be considered, do drop us an email to info@benefitsandwork.co.uk

And if you have any other ideas for ways to ensure the long-term future of the forum, do comment below the line or email us if you prefer.

Comments  

+1 #6 Chris 2019-05-13 16:17
I could pay more for the service, and with the extra money it is hoped that B&W could continue to run the forum. Quality information and advice is priceless.
+2 #5 Katy P 2019-05-12 15:22
I wonder if it would be an idea to train people in one category of benefits,instea d of having to train in all of the ones on the site.
This could mean you have,lets say, a moderator fully trained in all aspects of Universal Credit (which is a nightmare, at the best of times) or in ESA and PIP seperately.

This I thnk would be less daunting than having to know the ins and outs of all of them.. and would allow new moderators not to be frightened off ,as they may find the task that Gordon does overwhelming.
It would also allow for any question on that particular subject to be passed to the trained moderator,relie ving some of the pressure Gordon is under,whilst also not scaring off potential people, who may have limited time to be on the site each day.
I wonder what other users think of that suggestion?
#4 taylor 2019-05-12 08:51
I too am willing to try pay more money for the excellent service you provide along with all the informative information that you supply. Thank you very much Gordon for what you do. You really do deserve some recognition for your remarkable knowledge and work here. Thanks.
+1 #3 petrocelli 2019-05-11 09:03
Like so many others' am filled with dread+ at the prospect of losing this Forum, which has been my saving grace since I think around 2012 when I accidentally stumbled across Benefits and Work. I do hope that someone somewhere can come to our rescue to help Gordon.

Heartfelt thanks
Petrocelli
+1 #2 inglis 2019-05-10 18:27
I am to ill and to old to physically help you. But might I suggest a better payment option. Currently I pay Which £5.00 per month for online reviews. I would be more than happy to pay the same to B&W this would ensure ongoing subscriptions until canceled. I think this would bring in more revenue and give you more flexability to employ more people. I hope this helps. It would be interesting to hear what others think.
I personally would not like to lose this valuable site. Thank you for all you do for us.
+1 #1 Camly91 2019-05-10 12:31
Wow, thank you so much Gordon! & indeed all of you that have moderated in the past. I'd love to be able to help but I'm afraid i'm not nearly well enough to cope with it. Very scared to see the forum close, but do understand the current situation is untenable. Hope & pray a solution can be found

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