Help Me Investigate Welfare is a website to help those who want to investigate questions relating to the welfare system.
The site is based on Help Me Investigate.com, a site which was launched in July 2009 with funding from Channel 4′s 4iP fund and Screen West Midlands.
In 2011 the the code for the original site was released under an open source licence and a new site was launched with the intention of:
- helping people connect to wider networks of investigation that exist across the web,
- providing resources and support for users
- and providing help in bringing stories to a wider audience
Investigations undertaken by users of Help Me Investigate include the uncovering of a £2.2 million overspend on Birmingham City Council’s website; false claims by publishers of a free newspaper; the worst places for parking fines; the real average cost of weddings; legal issues surrounding recording council meetings; police claims of sabotage against Climate Camp protesters; how much higher education costs the taxpayer; who is responsible for an advertising screen; does scrapping speed cameras save money? And varying availability of hormonal contraceptive on the NHS.
The site was conceived by Paul Bradshaw, a visiting professor in online journalism at City University London and course leader of the MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University.
In 2010 Help Me Investigate was shortlisted and highly commended for Multimedia Publisher of the Year in the NUJ’s Regional Media Awards, and won ‘Best Investigation’ in the Talk About Local/Guardian Local awards.
There is also a site blog, which provides regular tips and updates.
If you want to get involved in any of the Help Me Investigate sites, please leave a comment or contact us privately on firstname.lastname@example.org