The difference we make Prevention and early action Benefits Aware Visit our Benefits Aware website Between 2016 and 2019, funded by Barrow Cadbury, we led the Benefits Aware project. This was an expert-led collaboration aimed at building a community of claimants and advisers who are informed and ready to cope with the ongoing changes being brought about by the Government’s Welfare Reform programme. We worked in partnership with other organisations and used a website and social media to reach people. @benefitsaware Benefits Aware Facebook Welfare Reform has already meant significant changes to many people’s benefits claim, with more to come. Many claimants have not perhaps fully understood what was happening and found it difficult to cope with the changes – meaning in some cases decisions have been made about their benefits without the Department of Work and Pensions having the full information about their situation; or their benefits stopped because they didn’t understand what was needed from them to keep their claim active. We offered a paid-for monthly briefing, complemented by training and webinars to front line staff working for social landlords, local voluntary and community organisations, and the local authority to keep them up to date with changes - and to get their local knowledge about issues or problems happening ‘on the ground’ to share with everyone. We commissioned an external evaluation of the project and a piece of research in partnership with the organisations in the Benefits Aware collobaration to draw together the data and on the ground experience of the impact of welfare reform in Birmingham.