4UP is an online community that was set up by its founding CEO, Eric Knight, in January 2012 to support disabled people with a number of campaigns and appeals against the tide of welfare reforms created by “Austerity Britain”.
Following on from a solid two years of research and writing, 4UP initially started life as a Facebook group which was set up by Eric and his small team of volunteers – all of whom had experience of dealing with benefit applications, appeals and the problems that can arise thereof.
Since its birth as an organisation just over two and a half years ago, 4UP has quickly caught the imagination of people – most of which are either disabled, unemployed or both. These are people who have not only been able to turn to 4UP for practical legal support, but who have also been able to effectively interact with others for advice.
Due to an increasing demand since its birth as an organisation, 4UP’s team has now grown to almost 20 volunteers who assist people with JSA, sanctions, DLA, ESA, Incapacity Benefit, Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit amongst other disability welfare issues.
Furthermore, 4UP have branched out through their own official online forum in order to include non-Facebook users and to allow them to receive the advice which they deserve and to make the most of the appeals which they are entitled to.
By supporting unemployed individuals who are caught up in the harrowing situation of the so called “welfare reforms”, 4UP are providing a safe haven where disabled people find practical help and a very friendly online community where many have been brought back from the brink of suicide.
It is clear to see that 4UP have been instrumental in not only helping to improve the lives of disabled people through their professional expertise, but they have also played a pivotal role in saving lives too.
In the last year alone, 4UP’s online community has grown by a staggering 350%, signalling the ever-growing demand for help needed for the disabled community in a time which has made life difficult for them.
However, with the growth of 4UP as an organisation comes a growth of presence – a presence which prevents the disabled community from being overlooked, and which invites them to look at the human rights which they are entitled to.
All of the above factors have contributed towards 4UP being shortlisted for the Community Organisation for Disability award at the National Diversity Awards 2014.
4UP provide a service which is readily available and which can be accessed through requesting to join their Facebook group or by registering to their forum at http://www.4up.org.uk/forums/.