Restaurant discounts given to people who can afford to eat out. Record number of people using food banks. Is this the new Let them eat cake?

Dear readers, its Thursday again and I hope that you are as well as you can be.

I know that many of my readers are struggling to get by from day to day, I can totally relate to this because I am too. This is one of the reasons why I’ve taken offence to the latest offering from Rishi Sunak.

Yesterday Sunak promised 50% dining vouchers to those that can afford to go out and eat. I don’t know you but I can’t remember the last time that I ate in a restaurant. The highlight of my week is when our food parcel arrives.

I see this as a massive insult towards us, a big two fingers up at our lack of income and lack of decent food. It also shows that once again they don’t have a clue about how WE live, how we survive and how hard we work hard to do so.

Yesterday the daily Covid 19 death rate rose to 126 deaths. Each one of these people that have sadly died were loved by someone albeit a mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle and friend.

The government would like us to forget about their deaths because they’re in a rush to get the economy to be restarted, if it costs lives then they don’t care.

I’ve also noted that more people are trying to justify these deaths, maybe they’ve not experienced Covid 19 themselves, maybe they’ve not had a family member of friend die from it. Regardless it’s awful that this justification is happening. In my eyes one death is a death too many.

I can tell you from my personal experience that Covid 19 is an evil virus and the side effects can continue for long after the Covid virus has left our bodies.

I developed bacterial pneumonia which I understand is a fairly common side effect of Covid 19. I also developed pleurisy which is very painful. I’ve also taken four lots of antibiotics to try and get rid of it.

Friends of mine who are fellow Covid sufferers have had a wide range of awful symptoms including and not exclusively Eye problems, fatigue that I have also, unexplained pains in their bodies, rashes, the list seems endless doesn’t it.

Financially we are all suffering, my finances have been obliterated as have thousands of others. I hate feeling like this, I want to get better, I want to have a bigger income, I want to be able to go on long walks with my dog. I can’t though, my friends are in the same position and it’s awful.

Yesterday I had a phone call from my social housing landlord, they wanted to come and do a gas check which is good but it took me about ten minutes to get them to understand that I’m shielding because I don’t want to become ill again, nor do I want their workers to get ill also.

So many people really do believe that its “just” a flu, even though the flu can also kill you.

How am I managing though?

I’m a single parent and luckily my daughter is 13 now and is very sensible. She’s helped me so much and has put up with my crying when I felt awful, my lack of being able to do much around the house. She’s been a great support to me.

I do realise that I am very lucky to have her, I cant imagine how hard it is to have Covid 19 and have younger children, there’s no way that I could cope with that.

Thousands of parents are having to deal with this though, thousands of people are also carers for loved ones and receive no help both physically and financially.

I have learnt that doctors and other medical people really don’t know what to do with long term Covid 19 sufferers like myself. So many people have symptoms that they’ve never seen before. This results in not getting the help and support that we need and deserve.

The government have treated the Covid 19 pandemic with no care at all. They just DONT care. They view us as surplus to requirements.

What is worrying though is the fact that the government and the DWP expect everyone to be able to find a job during this pandemic. Sadly the new Universal Credit claimants will soon realise how awful this system really is.

Whilst I can’t tell you how long this pandemic will continue for, I can say that we have to sadly find our own support. I’ve found such support in Facebook groups and friends that have had it and are long time sufferers like myself.

So far my last lot of antibiotics have worked but I’m keeping everything crossed that it stays this way. I’m still suffering from fatigue and other symptoms but I’m trying to remain positive. One day I will feel better, I will be able to go on long walks with my dog and I will be able to say that I’ve beaten this awful virus.

I have taken some kind of solace in art, even though I’m not a good artist its helping me to take my mind off my symptoms.

Keep strong everyone, remember there are more of us than there is of them and together we are stronger.

Please read and share this blog, its very important that we continue to get the truth out there.

Also a massive thank you to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog. I don’t get paid for anything that I do, but I continue because I really don’t want the government to get away with treating people like rubbish.

For anyone who would like to donate towards my campaign and blog there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you!

DWP refuses to extend sanction ban. Jobcentres to reopen this week putting thousands at risk of contracting Covid 19.

As we know benefit sanctions were suspended three months at the beginning of the pandemic in March. This was exactly the right thing to do during a pandemic even though I believe that they should be stopped.

Sanctioning is a cruel and heartless way of punishing an individual and their families.

Today in parliament Work and Pensions secretary has refused a call to extend the expiry date beyond June 30th.

So to put it plainly sanctions are returning tomorrow on the 30th of June and Jobcentres are reopening this week. This is despite the fact that Jobcentres haven’t got a how they’re going to open whilst keeping people safe. They don’t even care about keeping their staff safe let alone the public.

Therese Coffey has said that its “important’ for claimants to commit to look for work and to start attending appointments at Jobcentres as they reopen this week.

At the start of the pandemic the government did say that the sanctions ban would be reviewed and extended if required.

Obviously the government and Terese Coffey don’t believe that still being in the middle of a pandemic is good enough reason to extend the sanction ban.

Instead of being sympathetic towards the public and the claimants that are shielding for health reasons. Coffey is quoted as saying ” Well its actually important that as the Jobcentres fully re open this week, that we do reinstate the need for having a claimant commitment”

She went on to say “It’s an essential part of the contract to help people reconsider what vacancies there may be” At a time when thousands of people have lost their jobs and equal number of business have had to shut their doors, I really wonder what these jobs are that shes talking about.

She then said “There will be some people who’ve never had to look for a job for 20-30 years” From my experience of talking to these very people that Coffey is talking about, most people have worked but finding a job in this current climate is near impossible. She then went on to say the usual blurb about giving tailored support to claimants despite not being able to guarantee being able to keep claimants and DWP staff safe.

Unemployment has risen sharply, people are still shielding, schools haven’t fully reopened nor have doctors surgeries etc. We are still in the middle of a pandemic and the DWP clearly don’t care.

Jonathon Reynolds questioned Coffey asking if she would announce an immediate extension which she refused.

Jonathon Reynolds Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary said

“It is incomprehensible that the Government is bringing back conditionality and sanctions tomorrow. At a time when unemployment has risen sharply, vacancies have dropped, people are still shielding and the schools aren’t back, threatening people reducing their financial support if they don’t look for jobs is untenable.

“What’s more, Jobcentre Plus is still lacking guidance on how premises might even open safely. With the unemployment crisis looming, it is alarming that there is no thought being given on how to offer proper support to those seeking work at this time. We need a proper plan from the government to get Britain back to work – sanctions aren’t the answer.”

Even the acting Lib Dem Leader Ed Daley is quoted as saying that it is a terrible decision.

It goes without saying that Terese Coffey and the DWP have swinging bricks instead of hearts. Thousands of claimants are still shielding and will now have to put their own life’s and their loved ones life’s at risk.

Their decision will have serious ramifications for thousands of already vulnerable people.

Covid 19 is still here and its still killing people. When myself and others say that the government and the DWP don’t care it is evident to everyone now.

The questions are

How many people are going to have to miss DWP appointments because their shielding?

How many people are going to be sanctioned as a result of the above?

How many people are going to become ill or worse as a result of this decision?

It’s these people and more that I’m worried about.

We’ve already seen the beginning of people already being sent warnings that they’ll soon have to attend DWP medical appointments. No doubt they’ll start opening their doors soon.Please keep safe folks, easier said than done I know.

If you are shielding and the DWP insist on having you attend the Jobcentre for an appointment then tell them that you’re shielding. If they ignore this then please wear a mask and keep to the social distancing rules.

After years of being disgusted at the government and DWPs behaviour towards the public this has got to be one of the most callous things that they’ve done.

Please share this article, each and every terrible decision that the government and the the DWP have made regarding disabled people and claimants have had terrible ramifications.

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I run this blog and the campaign on next to nothing. For anyone wishing to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

Thank you to everyone that supports both the blog and the campaign.

Social distancing rules loosened again. People are still dying from Covid 19. Do they want us all to become seriously ill or die?

Dear readers its Thursday once again. I hope that you are all ok and as well as you can be.

As you already know I’ve been battling Covid 19 for a while now, it hit me hard just when I thought that I was getting better. It often does this because thats when the secondary illnesses set in.

Once you’ve got over this then the post viral fatigue sets in leaving you incapable of doing much except sleep. The simplest of tasks renders you unable to do anything except sleep.

This is exactly what I’ve been like, sleeping, trying to get things done in the house whilst still getting pains in my chest on and off. The doctor that I saw told me that my lungs are probably scarred and I need to continue to do breathing exercises.

All this said, I haven’t relapsed again and hopefully I wont. I’m trying to do household chores because they need doing and sitting down all the time isn’t good for me either.

I am very wary of pushing myself too much though, easier said than done when your a single parent, but I am very aware that I’ve been very lucky and it could have been much worse.

My life has changed though, I’m now reliant upon food parcels to keep us going. It upsets me to have to say this but its reality and I’m very grateful for the help. It is pretty shit though when you cant go shopping for food etc like you used to.

What I have learnt from this is that life is very fragile and it can be taken away so easily and without warning. That in itself is a very scary thought, especially for someone like me who thought that I was invincible at times. I now know that I’m not and I’m really grateful to be here albeit in much reduced circumstances.

Meanwhile the government believes that its ok to loosen the social distancing rules again, to change the two meter rule and to open up pubs again.

The re opening of the pubs will be good for business but it wont be good for health. I doubt that many people will be thinking that whilst they’re ordering their first pint for a long while that they’ll also be ordering a side order of Covid 19.

To be honest I’m disgusted that the government have seen fit to do this. The mortality rates are rising once again and people are still dying.

I do have a theory about this though, I was discussing this with a friend this morning. The government have been continuing with their herd immunity plans in all but name. They worship at the gods of money and commerce and they want their friends to be profiting from the poor as soon as possible, even when they know that its not safe.

Getting your head around the fact that the government doesn’t care if we become ill or die can be very hard for some because we used to have governments that cared for our well being. Sadly they’re long gone now and wont be returning for a while.

I’m really trying to be positive but there isn’t a lot to be positive about at the moment and once again I urge you to keep safe and still practice social distancing.

The government are now going to pass the blame for the second wave of Covid 19 illnesses and deaths onto the NHS, local governments and ourselves as individuals. This is very worrying because they are to blame for the worsening of this crisis. As individuals we need to keep holding them responsible. We aren’t to blame for this they are and they know it.

On another note it was really good to see that the four women that took the government to court regarding the way that Universal Credit does not recognise that two paydays fell within their assessment periods.

The DWP decided wrongly that they had doubled their salaries in the first month and reduced their benefits by a large amount.

Universal credit does not recognise the fact that some months are longer than others, therefore of course people will get more than one wage every now and then. Sadly the DWP don’t recognise this because they want to reduce a claimants payments as much as possible. Decent common sense doesn’t even enter the equation.

Quite rightly the four incredibly brave women took the DWP to court and it was then that the DWP then waged a two year battle against them, ending in the court of appeal where the DWP lost again.

The DWP like to see people suffer, from my experience they’re quite sadistic in taking revenge upon anyone that decides to complain and appeal against anything.

It would be unwise to think that the government will change anything because of this ruling though, they won’t even commit to giving claimants backdated money on the basis of the court judgement.

The DWP stated that there were “only” 1,500 people affected by this despite the real figures being around 85,000. Expect the judgement to be filed in the same drawer as the ECHR reports are filed.

So what do we do now?

We need to continue to campaign against the evil machine which is Universal Credit.

I will be back outside Ashton under lyne Jobcentre as soon as it re opens.

I will also be continuing to campaign against the governments disgusting handling of the Covid 19 pandemic. I will also continue to share the daily death rates because the government wants us to forget all about it.

Please spare a thought for the disabled man that starved to death because he wasn’t able to access food essentials. 38% of disabled or vulnerable people were unable to get online shopping orders and a further 26% were scared of catching Covid 19 in supermarkets.

I’m afraid to say that this probably wasn’t the only death and it will happen again when the government ends its shielding practice.

Please keep safe, each and every one of you are in my thoughts.

I wish that I could do more but my health has been bad and I’m on a very limited income.

Please read, share tweet and email my blog. We need to continue to get the truth out there.

For anyone that would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going there is a donation button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and doe support the blog and campaign.

Second Covid 19 wave coming? Does being poor affect your Covid 19 recovery?

 

Dear readers its Thursday again. I’m sure that many of you will agree when I say that each and every day appears to merge into each other.

I do have some good news though. I haven’t rebounded again yet so I’m very grateful for that, however my recovery is taking me longer than I thought that it would.

To be honest I really didn’t know what to expect because I really didn’t think that I’d catch covid 19. I was being very careful, wearing a mask etc but I do think that I caught it locally.

I had a bit of a meltdown this week. I received a Fray Bentos pie in a food parcel and I wanted to cook it for tea for my daughter and I. I normally can open them to the point where I can put them in the oven but not this time.

After several attempts and swear words being uttered I gave up in the end. I tried everything even using a very old tin opener, my old faithful that can open anything.

Knowing that I couldn’t go to the shop to buy a replacement really upset me. Covid 19 has changed my life so much.

Physically I am getting better slowly, I managed to take my dog on two very short walks which he and I was very grateful for. It was nice to get out in nature again, my favourite place to be.

Financially its ruined me and here’s a good example of that. Yesterday I ran out of gas and I cant afford to replace it. Any money that I did have has gone to pay bills etc. So now I’m not going to be able to cook anything on my cooker and that really upsets me.

I realise that its not the end of the world but this has broken me. I don’t know why but it has. I am grateful for the fact that Ive been able to pay my other bills though.

Because we have no gas we can’t have a bath etc so this really upsets me as well, not for me but for my teenage daughter. Ah well, these things happen and I shouldn’t complain.

Having Covid 19 is one thing, being poor and having it is another and it certainly doesn’t help our recovery. They say that to recover properly you need a good diet. That’s practically impossible for so many of us.

The reality is that our diet and lifestyles do matter and both do aid our recovery, but it is what it is and I cant lie it stinks.

So basically if you can’t eat healthily and can’t rest it’s going to take you a lot longer to recover and you’re likely to get further complications as a result. 

This past week has seen some really stupid behaviour regarding others. In my area there was one of two massive so called raves (I say so called because no real rave organiser would leave a place in such a state as they left it). These raves had thousands of people attending, none of them wearing face masks, none of them social distancing.

I know that when you’re young you think that you are invincible but even so this was ridiculous. Two actors from Hollyoaks even attended and were forced to admit it after being outed on social media.

Then we had the re opening of non essential shops. In my local area, and I suppose in many the queues were massive. In a town close to me they were queuing to get into Sports Direct. Once again no social distancing was adhered to.

I also saw family bloggers from the UK going clothes shopping whilst not keeping to the social distancing rules and touching items of clothing etc and putting them back.

Whilst this might seem unimportant to many, these family vlogging channels influence so many young people. Their young viewers could well go out and do the same thing.

Then we had the recent protest marches, and while I totally agree with the reasoning behind the BAME marches so many people have put themselves at risk of Covid 19.

So why am I worrying about the above? The plain fact is that many of the above people could catch covid 19 and many could die.

Even a mild case like I had could leave you suffering from the side effects for a long time afterwards.

The NHS is going to struggle to cope with a much larger second wave of Covid 19. The nurses, doctors and HCA put their own life’s at risk whilst caring for others, so yes it does make me angry to see people walk around as if nothing has happened.

Will we get a second wave of Covid 19?

Whilst I cant say for certain but I think that its very likely.

Will the NHS be able to cope with a second wave?

They’ll do their best under very hard circumstances.

I can say with some certainty though that the government will try to put the blame on the NHS and the public. They’ve shifted all of the responsibility on our shoulders and the NHS shoulders. We need to protect and support our NHS.

Johnson is in trouble and he knows it. He wants to pass the blame for any failings onto everyone but himself. His lack of action and clear guidance has caused thousands of deaths. He needs to be reminded of this constantly.

Watch out he’ll be blaming the teaching unions and teachers for the schools not opening. He’ll want to paint them as the bad people even though they want to put our children first unlike him.

I’ll end this blog here, I want to pay my respects to George Floyd, he should never have been killed like this and my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

I wish that my blogs could be happier but it is what it is at the moment but it is what it is.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog. It’s very important to get the truth out there.

For everyone that has or does support this blog I want to thank you so much. It really does mean the world to me.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a button at the top and side of this blog.

Thank you so much and keep safe.

Government eases covid 19 lockdown conditions whilst mortality levels are rising. Complete madness

Dear readers I hope that you are well as you can be and I hope that you’re safe.

I thought that I was getting better but now I’ve developed a chest infection probably as a result of having covid 19 symptoms. I’m sick of struggling through this but I’m also angry, well very angry to be honest.

Why am I angry you might ask. I’m angry because the government is easing the lockdown conditions whilst giving not one ounce of clarity whilst doing so.

I’m also angry because he’s doing this whilst the mortality rates of covid 19 related deaths are rising. Indeed they’ll increase again and most likely will cause a second wave of this awful disease.

Thousands of people could die, many of them will be known to us, our friends and families.

We have a prime minister who appears to be unable to do his job properly, even turning up for work is a massive effort for him and I’m sure that he’s resentful for actually having to work.

When the Prime minister does turn up for work and attempts to give a speech he makes a complete mess of it and no one really knows what to do.

His guidance is abismal, even fellow politicians are left puzzled yet some people have had to return to work with little or no protection from catching covid 19.

The government issued a statement saying that public transport should be monitored to ensure that people adhere to the quarantine conditions. This isn’t happening though and the government doesn’t care.

The government also said that people shouldn’t use public transport but they failed to realise that many low paid workers don’t have cars because they can’t afford the upkeep.

But still the mortality rates are rising and the government doesn’t care.

Covid 19 is deadly, if you are lucky enough to survive from having it you are almost always left with the side effects that last for ages.

I can attest to this myself. I had all the symptoms of covid 19 at home. I self isolated, I thought that I was recovering well.

But I thought wrong. I had accepted that the breathlessness and tiredness would stay with me for a long while but what I didn’t count on was developing a chest infection. So I’m now once again unwell.

But I’m lucky, many people have had far worse side effects of contracting covid 19.

Pneumonia, heart problems, eye problems all sorts of health issues can develop as a result of developing covid 19.

It’s no joke but the government is guilty of not taking it seriously enough. They don’t appear to care as long as they’re OK.

Boris Johnson denied that he was pushing forward with his herd immunity plans, but here we have a prime minister easing lockdown conditions whilst the mortality rates are still rising. Any concerned prime minister certainly wouldn’t be doing this.

You see in his mind commerce comes first before the well being of the people of the UK. They regard working class people with enormous disdain and if we die it doesn’t really matter to them. The less of us the better.

Herd immunity is a very attractive option to them meanwhile in New Zealand they’ve done the exact opposite. Their prime minister actually cares about the people of New Zealand and I wish we had the same over here.

So what do we do now?

Well the best advice that I can give is to continue self isolating, if you have to go out wear a mask and use hand sanitizer etc. You can never be too careful.

Check in with friends and family, keep to the social distancing rules and keep safe.

As for me I’m much the same as I was last week. I’m taking each day as it comes but now with a chest infection I feel awful.

I’m hoping that soon I’ll be back to normal because I hate complaining about myself on here and I apologise for doing so.

I’ve been doing what I can at home but with limited health and funds I’m stuck waiting to get better.

Please keep safe everyone, I’m thinking of you all. We can get through this together supporting each other.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

I run this blog and the campaign on a very low income. There’s a donate button for anyone who would like to donate at the side and top of this blog post.

A massive thank you to everyone who reads, shares and supports this blog. I can’t thank you enough for this. It means the world to me. 1

Covid 19 and me. My experience.

Dear readers, its Thursday once again and I hope that you are all safe and well.

Whilst I haven’t had a test to confirm that I’ve had Covid 19 I did have all the symptoms and this is my experience of it.

The past two weeks or so have been very different for me. I had taken my health for granted albeit for my underlying health conditions and I took every precaution that I could have done to avoid catching Covid 19.

For a few days before it hit me hard I had a headache (not unusual for me) a scratchy throat and a slight cough. I put this down to yet another migraine/ headache and a bit of hay fever, so I carried on as normal.

A few days after the headache (which wouldn’t go) and the scratchy throat came the next wave of symptoms. I developed a temperature, extreme tiredness and breathlessness just getting out of bed was a struggle. I did my best to care for my daughter and to appear as normal as I could but it beat me and my daughter sent me to bed.

I didn’t and wasn’t able to get out of bed for long periods of time, going to the loo was a struggle and I felt like I’d done a 5k run or likewise when I had to go downstairs for something.

I wasn’t hungry, the virus does that to you not only does it take away your sense of smell it also prevents you from feeling hungry. Strange isn’t it.

I can’t remember much about the last two weeks because it all fell into a blur.

The worst thing for me is the breathlessness and tiredness. I’m still very breathless and I’m still getting waves of tiredness. I want to get back to normal, whatever normal is these days but I can’t.

There was two days in the middle of the blur when I thought that I was better, not totally but I was able to stay downstairs with my daughter. It was a false hope though because it came back with full force and I was back in bed not able to do much.

How am I now? To be honest I haven’t got a clue. I’m still breathless and suffering from fatigue and I’ve been told that this can take a while to go. Covid 19 affects your lungs quite badly and my body has to recover. I need to allow my body to repair itself.

I did find the whole experience to be scary though. Four nights ago I was lying in bed wondering if the last breath that I took would be my last. I know that this sounds dramatic but not being able to breathe with ease does this to you. I had to put on a brave face and when my daughter asked if I was ok I told her that I was. I don’t think that she believed me though.

How am I now? Well I’m functioning and thats about it. I’m trying to catch up with my social media which has been a blessing for me. Without it I would have felt so alone and even more scared.

A friend took me to collect my medication yesterday. I couldn’t have a home delivery because Boots the Chemist wanted to charge me a fiver I think, and I don’t have that sort of money to spare.

Financially its floored me. I have no money at all because Ive had to buy things online and rely upon friends which is more expensive than trying to find a bargain like I usually do.

It’s left me feeling very humble and I’m now relying upon food parcels to keep us going. My daughter is missing eating fruit but I told her that I’ll be able to buy her some in the near future hopefully.

I hate feeling like this but it is what it is. Friends have helped me and I’m forever grateful to them for being there for me.

I am angry though, I’m angry at the government for not taking Covid 19 seriously enough. I’m angry with them today when I heard that they want to relax the quarantine even though the mortality figures grew again yesterday.

They want everything to open again so that they’re friends can profit from it.

Thousands will die as a result of this.

I’m also angry that disabled people have been abandoned amongst the Covid 19 chaos. Many of them are usually housebound anyway and even more are told that they have to stay indoors but aren’t given any support to do this.

Whilst other benefit payments went up by twenty quid a week ESA and PIP didn’t. They desperately need an increase in money to get through this.

Those with money say that it’s easy to stay at home during the quarantine, that its easy to shop online for food. It isn’t though is it. You have to spend over a certain amount to get food delivered and many cant afford to do this.

This then results in them having to go out to the shops and putting their health at risk.

Personally I still think that the government is covertly still going along with their herd immunity plans. They’ll never admit this but to many of us this is blatantly obvious. Thousands of people have died, we have the highest mortality rates in Europe yet people are praising Johnson for doing a good job.

He’s done a good job of allowing people to die hasn’t he, maybe this is what they’re celebrating.

For anyone saying that Covid 19 is a conspiracy theory, that its not serious and the mortality figures are made up you won’t be saying this if you catch it. You’ll definitely have a shock if you do.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone that’s suffering from Covid 19, for everyone thats died as a result of catching Covid 19 and to their families having to cope with the loss of a loved one.

Love to you all in these challenging times xx.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share does help to get the word out there and I’m really grateful for everyone that have done so already.

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A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog.

Quarantined and Covid 19 symptoms. Week two.

Dear readers after over a week in bed ill with Covid 19 symptoms I’m now hopefully on the mend. It’s a very strange virus one day you feel a lot better the next you feel rotten. I feel rotten today because I hoovered my living room.

Being quarantined and unwell really does make you analyse your life and friendships. You realise that material things don’t matter and its a very humbling experience having to rely upon friends.

It’s not easy asking for help and I’m very lucky that I have friends locally that can if they’re well go to the shop for me. If you don’t have friends and or access to the internet or phone then you’re stuck trying to cope on your own.

It isn’t an idyllic situation though. It’s pretty rotten when you don’t have any money and have to do a lot of your shopping online. It’s more expensive because you can’t go bargain hunting and buy reduced food etc.

Earlier this week I got myself into a panic because my gas ran out. I envisioned myself having to go to the shop for credit even though I’m infectious and even though I would have worn a mask etc I’d still be infectious. Luckily a friend helped me and both myself and my daughter both disinfected my gas card but I’m still worrying that I’ve spread it.

It’s scary when you see that you have no money but need the basics to keep going, no one wants to have to live like this.

The government has totally ignored and neglected disabled people. They aren’t going to get the extra twenty pounds a week because apparently they ‘get enough’. My answer to this is do they hell. This is an extremely worrying time for them, many have quarantined themselves for twelve weeks, many are stuck in their houses all the time.

The government claims that they’ve distributed enough PPE to hospitals etc when they clearly haven’t. NHS doctors, nurses and workers have died from covid 19 as a result. Elderly people have died in nursing homes because they also haven’t got the correct PPE. Believe me the government once again has blood on their hands.

I read yesterday that Boris Johnson is supposedly close to having a nervous breakdown. I don’t believe him, he’s a known liar and he’s shirked his duties as our prime minister. You’d think that most people would be angry at this but many aren’t. They reckon that he’s doing a good job even though at the time of writing this we have one of the highest numbers of death due to Covid 19.

So what is it like for people without money and jobs to be quarantined? I can tell you that it’s bloody rotten. Thousands of people have had to apply for Universal Credit and they’ve found out that its an awfully cruel system and you don’t have enough money to live off.

I’m lucky because I got a mild dose, I suspect that thousands of people have now struggling to cope and recover from a serious case of Covid 19. Thousands have died and we must never forget them.

How will we move on once this is over? I really don’t know. I don’t think for one minute that Covid 19 will disappear overnight and I’m extremely worried that the government will allow children to go back to school and allow people to go back to work far too early.

We are living through unprecedented times and all we can do at the moment is to take each day as it comes.

Please can I thank everyone that reads my blog, supports my blog, has sent me get well wishes and messages. They really do mean the world to me.

I’m hoping to be back in good health soon so I can continue to help people. At the moment I feel useless and a massive letdown to so many. I have been helping people locally online etc etc but I don’t feel like its enough and I’d like to apologise for that.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Thank you so much to everyone that has done and is doing this. Also a massive thank you to everyone that supports my blog, this means the world to me. Thank you.

There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog. Thank you xxx.

Isolation,Easter and Covid 19.

Dear readers I really hope that you are all ok and are well. It feels like everything has changed in the uk and not for the better either.

Thousands of people are ill with the Covid 19 (Coronavirus) virus and thousands have died also. We are also in lockdown only allowed out for essential trips such as food shopping, appointments with doctors etc and our permitted exercise.

Sadly so many people have been ignoring the lockdown and the restrictions and I expect the number of fatalities due to Covid 19 will peak in approximately two weeks.

What does lockdown mean to those of us that are abiding to the rules and have to abide to the rules because of health conditions?

People are now more isolated than they were before. A trip to the food bank or supermarket looking for bargains might have been the only time that they spoke to other people. Now they have to stay indoors and manage the best that they can.

Thousands of people are now realising how awful the Universal Credit system is and are wondering how they’re going to survive on it, the payments are too low and the five week wait is awful.

The truth is that we have been saying this for years but we were ignored by many, not all of the people now claiming Universal Credit. Whilst I’m not ignoring the fact that many have stood alongside us in solidarity, some didn’t and we were called scroungers by some of those now dependant on the benefits system.

We’ve been trying to survive on next to nothing for years, my disabled friends have been persecuted by the government for years.

Thousands of people have died as a result of the government’s draconian benefit system, the very same system that can and does take away the lifeline that keeps you alive.

At the touch of a button everything can be taken away from a person and yes whilst many cared, a far larger amount of people didn’t. Maybe they will now they’re having to experience life dependant on the torturous Universal Credit system.

What can we do to help?

We can help and advise people on what they should do, and we can signpost them to relevant organisations, supporting people in this capacity is so important.

I did go to our usual spot this Thursday to see how everyone was. To say they’re coping isn’t entirely accurate because its hard to cope when your support lines have been broken. I’m very limited as to what I can do to help because I’m also living on next to nothing. It’s awful but I’m plodding on as I say.

As I write this its Easter Sunday and whilst people are celebrating with Easter eggs and Sunday dinners thousands of people won’t be celebrating, they’ll be thinking about how they’re going to manage for the upcoming days. Believe me there’s nothing worse than being hungry at a time when others are celebrating.

The Covid 19 virus has changed the way that people work, live and survive beyond recognition. It’s highlighted how fragile many links in society were, how precarious paid employment is and how we can loose everything in such a short amount of time.

Covid 19 has also highlighted how precious life is, that we can’t take it for granted and it’s also showed us unlimited amounts of pain and grief when loved ones succumb to it and die.

The government doesn’t really care though, they see each and every one of us as expendable, if we die tough. They’re still using their herd immunity policy in all but name. We all need to highlight their cruelty and show them that everyone is valuable, every life is important. If we don’t they’ll carry on regardless because they don’t care.

Whilst our country has changed beyond recognition we must get through this a day at a time, our future is uncertain and living with this uncertainty is extremely stressful.

My thoughts and sympathies go to everyone that have died from Covid 19 and related illnesses, to their loved ones that are grieving and can’t give them the funeral that they would have wanted to. To loose someone so suddenly and unexpectedly must be extremely painful.

Please keep strong, you are important despite what the government says. Lets take each day as it comes together. We can do this.

Love to you all xxxx

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

For anyone wishing to donate to keep both my blog and the campaign going there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support the blog and campaign.

I will be returning next Thursday to help people.

The truth about Covid 19 self employment and disability.

Dear readers, I hope that you are all safe and as well as you can be. Many of us are trying to self isolate which is hard when you don’t have enough money to do an online shop and even if you can afford to do this there’s no open delivery slots.
Nearly a million people have applied for universal credit in the past fortnight as a result of people loosing their jobs or having to give up their self employment as a because of the Covid 19 pandemic.
However thousands of people have had trouble obtaining the correct ID needed to apply for Universal Credit. As a result they were told to telephone the hotline and make an appointment with a Universal Credit advisor.
Thousands of people tried to follow their advice but were unable to contact an advisor because the telephone lines were too busy and thousands have given up trying to apply.
DWP Officials have said that they’re working “flat out” to help people get support, however what they say and do are often two different stories.
The reality is that new claimants are not feeling supported and have been left with little or no help.
The government have refused to scrap the five week wait for universal credit telling new claimants that they have to apply for a loan from the DWP to help them. It sounds good however these loans have to be paid back often dragging people into more hardship.
There was a warning on Wednesday that 20% of small businesses could fold in the next month due to the collapse in consumer demand, despite unprecedented government intervention to support jobs.
Yet the truth is that there is no support for self employed people having had to give up their self employment or put it on hold.
The governments response that they might be able to get a payment in June is inadequate and it hasn’t given them any security at all.
Having no income until June will have a devastating effect upon them, most will be hungry, many will be at risk of loosing their homes.
Being quarantined at home is awful for those of us unable to buy food and living in
fuel poverty. Every day is a struggle and more help needs to be given unconditionally.
Loans given by the government that have to be paid back to the DWP are unjust and cruel, most have paid into the system so that they could get help if they needed it. That’s how it used to work, it isn’t called social security for no reason. It used to provide security for those in need. Instead people are being made to pay back money that was rightfully theirs in the first place.
And its even worse for disabled people.
Many disabled people have been given very little information on the risks that they face or how they should mitigate those.
They can’t practice social distancing when you have care workers coming in and out of their houses.
Those living independently on direct payments haven’t been allocated any personal protective equipment or the funding to purchase it so are forced to go without, putting themselves and their carers at risk.
Most have no funding to offer sick pay, this results in a lack of income for their PAs
Which also puts themselves and their carers in an awful situation.
Within the new Coronavirus bill lies legislation that keeps disabled people living safely at home has now been removed.
The government has made changes to the Care Act 2014 which remove the legal duty on local authorities to provide care, except where not providing it would breach people’s human rights.
This could wipe out most of adult social care – with no guarantee it will ever be replaced.
Whilst people are saying that the Covid 19 outbreak has brought people together this isn’t happening for many disabled people. They’re being abandoned by the government with no care at all.
We all need to be talking about this and holding the government to account for their actions towards disabled people and the self employed.

Yesterday I took a walk around Ashton and spoke to some of the people that I’ve helped and are still helping.
Most are struggling, all of them are worried about catching Covid 19. I did what I could do to help, but I feel completely useless at the moment.
Little trips to the shops is our only option whilst trying to keep to the social distancing rules which are still being ignored by so many.
I understand that its hard to judge the distance correctly and supermarkets and shops have been really good at ensuring that people keep to the social distancing rules.
Please keep to the rules folks, whilst some people think that they’re invincible many of us aren’t. And don’t get me started on the conspiracy theorists posts. They can cause so much damage.
Above all else keep safe, feel free to email me if you want someone to talk to, because I am thinking of you all.

Please like, share, tweet and email my blog.

There’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that supports and has supported my blog and campaign.

The Ugly Truth About UNIVERSAL CREDIT.

Dear readers its Thursday and most of us are on lockdown.

I did take a walk down to Ashton but I was unable to hand much out food wise because I have no spare cash, none at all but I did the best that I could do given the circumstances.

I realise that most of you are probably stressed and/ or worried about catching Covid 19 and are trying to keep away from people as much as possible, but its nearly impossible because we can’t afford to do one big shop for the week etc because universal credit prevents this.

Universal Credit is being touted at the moment as being the best thing ever, that it’ll help all self employed and previously employed people and that it will be of great benefit to them.

Claim universal credit and you’ll be ok!! But it’ll take at least five weeks to process and if you take a loan from us you have to pay it back.

The truth is that as of yesterday half a million people were attempting to apply for universal credit and many of them didn’t have the correct ID. They were then told to phone up the DWP using the universal credit hotline to make an appointment.

The truth is that the system couldn’t cope, too many people were calling and many have given up because they cant get through to speak to a DWP advisor who could hep them to proceed with their claim.

Universal credit is responsible for thousands of children and their parents being hungry and going without meals, adequate clothing.

It’s also responsible for many people becoming homeless. Many disabled people have given up with the system because its so stressful.

We must never, ever forget this cruelty bestowed to us by a cruel and uncaring government.

Another alternative was given to disabled people via Martin Lewis. He advised disabled people to apply for ESA not realising that its notoriously difficult to claim and most people are rejected upon applying so they have to appeal and then take it to a tribunal.

Thousands of people will now see and hopefully understand how complicated and heartless the DWP regime is.

Self employed people have been informed that they won’t get any help until the end of May. This will be far too late for most people.
Many will be close to loosing their homes.
Many will be hungry and the government doesn’t care one bit.

You see myself and other campaigners have been protesting and campaigning against this cruel, heartless system since its conception.

Many of us have been called scroungers, lazy, work shy and we must all get a job.

I suspect that some of these people will now be trying to struggle through the system as I type this, maybe they’ll realise how cruel the system is now.

Myself and other campaigners have lost count of how many people have died as a result of this sadistic, inhumane system. We’ve cried countless tears and mourned many losses.

We also worry about our children and young people because their struggle will be even harder than ours.

I’ve recorded so many awful situations in this blog, most of them heartbreaking, and now on top of this will be the deaths of people from Covid 19 struggling to cope at home after being told that they’re not a priority for help.

I really don’t recognise this country anymore, it used to be much better than this even during the hard times but I thank everyone thats campaigning for a better future.

Please can I ask you to take all of the Covid 19 Coronavirus information seriously. I know that it’s definitely not easy.

One day I hope that things will be better for us all.

Keep strong and I will continue to update my blog on a regular basis.

Please read, like, share, tweet and email my blog.

I campaign and blog with no budget at all and I’m not funded by anyone. If you would like to donate towards keeping the campaign and the blog going please click on the menu button at the top and there’s a donate button there.

A huge thank you to everyone that does support the campaign and blog. Thank you so much.

Prepaid energy top up and Coronavirus. How do you top up your prepaid energy meters? IMPORTANT.

Dear readers I’ve been chasing down all the major energy companies on Twitter and asking them what their emergency provisions are for people unable to go to a shop to top up an energy card or key.

It’s a very important issue because so many of us, myself included are stuck on prepaid meters. If we don’t top up we get cut off and then what are we supposed to do?

Are we expected to just put up with being cut off from everything or is there help out there?

So to find out I started tweeting the major energy companies straight away. It was extremely eye opening to see that so many people didn’t even think about this being a problem. On the other hand many people were concerned and have shared my tweets.

So far these are the responses, the response from British Gas has to be the worst. The best response so far has to be from Bulb Energy. EDF came second in both response time and gave a decent answer to my question.

Listed below are all the responses that I’ve had so far. If I get anymore responses I shall add them to this blog post.

EDF

Hi Charlotte, thanks for getting in touch. The current advice from Public Health England for people who are self-isolating is to ask friends, family members or delivery services to carry out tasks such as getting groceries, medications or other shopping. These tasks would include the topping up of non-smart prepay energy meters. In circumstances where this is not possible, we have existing measures in place to make sure ]supply will continue in the short term. We are able to preload keys and cards with credit that can be collected by a customer or someone that is helping them from a local shop or alternatively can be delivered in the post. Any credit provided will be collected back at a suitable rate agreed with the customer. We also operate a friendly non disconnection policy on most meters, this means that if a customer runs out of credit after certain hours the electricity will not go off until 9am the next day. The operates between the hours of Monday to Friday 6pm to 9am, Saturday from 6pm, anytime on a Sunday, until 9am Monday, anytime on a bank holiday, until 9am the next day. Many thanks

BRITISH GAS

Hi Charlotte, customers may have enough emergency credit to last while they’re self-isolating at home. If they think they will run out, they should contact us to discuss their circumstances. We will work with them to find a solution. Thanks, Charlie

BULB

Hi Charlotte – This is a valid concern, we’ve advised prepay members to top up extra. If that’s not possible due to self-isolation or other potential issues we have a supply of keys/cards preloaded with credit. This is a new situation for us so our policy may evolve with time – M

Hi Lou – The preloaded key/card system comes with credit and is intended to help those who can’t have others top up for them. We’re following latest government policy and advice to ensure our own actions are up to date with developments – M

CENTRICA

Hi, you may have enough credit to last you while your self-isolating at home. If you think you’ll run out of credit, contact us to discuss your circumstances and we’ll work with you to find a solution. Thanks, Leanne

Hi Charlotte, we’ll continue to ensure customers get the help and support they need. If you think you’ll run out of credit, contact us to discuss your circumstances and we’ll work with you to find a solution.

E-ON

SCOTTISH POWER.

All DWP face to face interviews cancelled as of this morning.

Well at least it appears that the DWP have at last seen sense and have cancelled face to face appointments this morning.

If you are unsure or the DWP hasn’t messaged you yet please contact them to confirm this. It’s always good to double check.

If you have still been asked to attend your appointment please let me know.

Now let’s see if sanctions are lifted.

I’ll keep you updated as further news comes to light.

Sanctioned for six weeks because they didn’t have a mobile phone.

Dear readers I cant believe it we’ve got sunshine even though its freezing cold. My thoughts go out to everyone that is street homeless or can’t afford to heat their homes. I’ve been there, I know exactly what it feels like.

This week was busy and we had lots of conversations with people coming in and out of the Jobcentre. No one wants to be there in the first place and so many people struggle to make their appointments for various reasons. Just because someone looks ok doesn’t mean that they are and I hate the fact that so many people forget or brush aside hidden disabilities.

As usual our food parcels went almost straight away and we signposted everyone that we spoke to. Some just wanted a chat, we are often the only friendly face that they see from week to week.

The main reasons for people needing our food parcels are usually universal credit and sanctions. Universal Credit is cruel beyond belief, most people don’t have enough money to live off for the month, it’s even worse if you owe the DWP money from their loans but money is also taken out for other debts.

It’s very hard to claim any type of social security benefit and not be in debt. Because we have so little money we are good at budgeting for our necessities.

Before I had even reached the Jobcentre this week I had spoken to a man that needed a food parcel because he’s also helping another couple of people with food and shelter. He’s left with hardly any food for himself, but he’s an amazingly kind heart. The poorest are often the most generous often to the detriment of their own health.

For anyone thats reading this and are struggling, I hear you. I know exactly how it feels and how much damage it does to your mental and physical health. Keep on being strong, one day it will get better, we can help each other.

I directed a man that needed advice concerning employment law to the Law Centre. So many people have awful employers, kudos to the good employers out there you are appreciated.

We had a long conversation with an older chap that we’ve spoke to before outside the Jobcentre and he told us how he was getting on.

Sadly he’s having a tough time of it again because he doesn’t know how to use a computer. He’s trying to get some help to fill out his universal credit application form again.

He had tried to explain this to the DWP when he had tried to apply for universal credit previously. Their answer was to send him to the library, the library couldn’t help him because they didn’t have enough staff so he returned to the Jobcentre.

Understandably he returned to the Jobcentre and was very frustrated with their lack of understanding of his situation. Their answer was to make him leave the Jobcentre because he was arguing with a DWP employee.

For gods sake, if they had actually helped him in the first place he wouldn’t have done this. Empathy isn’t a quality that the DWP has, but I don’t need to tell you that because you already know this.

It was then that I spoke to a man that has been sanctioned for not attending an appointment. He had explained to his advisor that he no longer had a mobile phone because he had lost it and asked if they could send him a letter as an alternative to a text message.

The DWP ignored this and sent him a text notifying him of his next appointment. Of course he missed his appointment so now he’s having to cope living off hardship payments, most of which has to go towards paying his family member for food etc whilst he lives with them.

This system is so unfair and unjust, they knew that he wouldn’t see the text but sent it anyway. I remember the good old days when they used to give you your next appointment time face to face, and they used to write it on an appointment card.

Back then the DWP wasn’t a place of hatred and discrimination.

Whilst I write about discrimination, we then spoke to a man that had apparently been cured of all his disabilities and had been declared fit to work by the gods of the DWP.

Obviously he was both angry and frustrated and we did our best to help him and signpost him to where he can get help.

This was just an average morning outside the Jobcentre, so many people are suffering and we can’t see an end to it. We can never, ever forget the cruelty inflicted upon us by this Tory government.

We must continue to fight against their cruelty in whatever way that you can.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, the more people that read it the better. It’s an absolute scandals that we are being treated like this, the cruelty is off the scale.

A huge thanks to everyone that supports the campaign and my blog. I really do run both on an extremely low budget, if I had a budget to start with. For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of the blog. Every penny helps me to continue with this important work.

A massive thank you to everyone that does support my blog and campaign. Thank you so much xxx.

I’m also looking for a printer so that I can print copies of our survival guide myself. My small home printer isn’t suitable because we go through so many leaflets etc. If anyone sees one that’s suitable please can you let me know. Thanks.

You’ve got to wait a month for another food parcel. Universal Credit is literally starving people.

Dear readers, it’s freezing cold out there and the wind chill certainly isn’t helping. Today I woke up to snow but it quickly melted and at the moment the sun is shining. We’ve had endless rain so it’s so good to see it.

As usual we handed out all the food parcels and we gave everyone help and advice to everyone that required it. We gave everyone a copy of our survival guide as well.

It was a strange morning, quiet at first, most likely because of the snow. Needless to say we still spoke to lots of people. Some needed help, others needed someone to talk to. You wouldn’t believe how many people don’t see anyone to speak to from week to week.

The first conversation that I had was with a woman struggling with her housing benefit and the council. She was patiently waiting for her son to arrive to give her support.

Asking for help sometimes takes a whole lot of courage and having to put your pride to one side can hurt like hell. The realisation that you need help can be very depressing. Most of the people that we speak to feel this pain. Please keep this in mind when you’re trying to persuade someone to accept help.

I had a conversation with a man that I’ve spoken to on quite a few occasions. He’s struggling with homelessness and is finding it hard to accept that he needs to accept help from the bed every night scheme.

Life is very complicated for many, and I hope that he does access this help. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s a roof, shelter and a warmer place to stay. Let’s hope that he changes his mind.

I had a chat with a man who was in need of a food parcel. He’s waiting for his universal credit claim to be processed.

Earlier this week he asked his local food bank if he could have another food parcel, they refused saying that he’d had his quota and has to wait another month to get another one.

I handed him a food parcel and a copy of our survival guide which has all the links for most of the local organisations that will offer him help.

Thanking me he said that he’s been forced to live off plain pasta with salt and pepper on it to give it some taste. Feeling very relieved that he now had some food he couldn’t thank us enough.

It beggers believe that people that are desperate for food are refused extra food parcels. Many food banks do let people take extra parcels but its important to remember that many don’t either.

Let’s not forget the medical implications for people trying to survive like this. Their bodies will be trying to survive on zero vitamins and very few nutrients.

How on earth can people be expected to live like this? They have to fulfil the requirements that the DWP pile on them with little or no energy.

I’ve asked if food banks could hand out vitamin tablets with their food parcels and I was told no, no they don’t.

It’s very worrying that with mortality rates increasing every year and I doubt that anyone that I’ve spoken to over the years will live as long as the generation before them. It’s very reminiscent of victorian times in more ways than one.

We had a conversation with a man that was being messed about by the DWP.

The DWP had forgotten to send out an important email for him and as a result he hadn’t been issued a payment. Having no credit on his phone meant that he couldn’t phone them either.

This resulted in a series of conversations with the DWP and lots of messing around all of which should have been prevented.

I just hope that he’s OK and that it’s now sorted out for him.

I asked a man how things were going for him and he said ‘crap’. Yep that just about sums things up doesn’t it.

We spoke to a woman that has been waiting for her universal credit claim to be processed. She’s been waiting five weeks now and she’s struggling.

I offered her some advice and I’m hoping that she gets her payment ASAP.

We spoke to a woman that was told by her advisor that £900 had been paid into her bank account only she certainly hasn’t received the money yet. Let’s hope that it’s with the bank and is being processed, otherwise that’s a whole new battle that she’ll have to fight.

We asked a man how he was and if everything was OK with his claim. He told us that its shit, it’s all shit but he has no choice but to go through this week in week out.

It’s very clear that universal credit isn’t fit for purpose. Most people aren’t given enough money to survive on. Combine this with a rise in council tax, the bedroom tax and repayments of DWP and its a hellish nightmare.

Many people, in fact most people become depressed not only because of the stress that the DWP piles on top of them, but also because of the lack of nutrients in their diets.

Once again I’m positive that this is going to have serious ramifications later on in life. I worry so much about everyone trying to survive this cruel and inhumane system.

We aren’t just a number to be thrown on the floor like yesterday’s paper. We are people with dreams, hopes, ambition and everything else that comes along with that.

Be kind to each other, help each other and be thoughtful of others. Everyone’s path in life might be different but that doesn’t make them a lesser person than you or I.

We will be returning again next week as usual.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

If you can please donate. I run this campaign on a very low budget and the blog also. Every penny makes a difference.

Thank you to everyone that does and has supported the campaign and blog. It means the world to me.

Food parcels and rain.

Dear readers, today was an absolute disaster.

I noticed upon waking that it was raining, but then again its always raining in Manchester (well Ashton Under Lyne) but what’s a few miles matter. It was raining as usual.

I stupidly thought that the rain might have died down by the time that I had walked to Ashton, but it hadn’t not one bit and I was soaking wet through.

As a result of this terrible weather I had to cancel todays demo. If we had a shelter to stand under I think that we would have given it a go for about a hour, but the rain was coming from all directions.

I did meet people who were waiting for food parcels, they told me that everyone was trying to find shelter from the rain. The most popular places being a local church that does hot meals today and the library.

However I did have chance to have a chat with everyone waiting, this weather is awful for them. They go from place to place all day trying to keep warm.

Despite this you’ll never meet a kinder group of people. If they had a last penny to give they would do. As it is today I helped one chap out with his electric before Gordon arrived with the food parcels.

As I type this I can see the clouds clearing, not that this matters much. It’s still cold and people are still struggling.

My thoughts go out to everyone trying to keep dry and warm this winter. So many people are constantly cold, and not all of them are street homeless. It’s no wonder that mortality rates are rising rapidly.

My thoughts also go out to everyone struggling with flooding. I couldn’t imagine how awful it must be to loose everything like they have. Some of them are asking Boris Johnson to care and to visit them. He doesn’t and he won’t because he doesn’t give a stuff.

Kudos to Jeremy Corbyn for visiting these people today, hes the only one that would have changed things for the better. We’ve lost any chance of that now.

All I can say to my readers is Keep going, don’t let the DWP or the government and its hostile environment win. In order to keep going we need to support each other, help each other and be kind to each other.

Remember kindness is something the government will never understand. They don’t know the meaning of the word, except when they’re letting their pals off from paying their taxes.

We must keep reminding the government and the DWP of how bad their policies are and how they’re responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. I hope that one day we will be able to hold each and every one of them responsible for their actions.

Never fear, we will be returning next week, the DWP can’t get rid of us this easily. Please come and say hi if you’re in the area.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog. Believe it or not there’s still quite a few people that are in complete denial that this is happening.

If you can please donate to my blog. I run this campaign on an extremely low budget, often relying upon friends for help. I don’t receive any funding either.

A huge thank you to everyone that has supported the campaign so far. I can’t thank you enough.

PIP appeal failures, redundancies, homelessness and universal credit. This weeks blog.

Dear readers, I’m so sorry that I didn’t blog last week, my daughter had a baby last week and I had to be with her. Both mum and baby are doing well now thankfully, it got a tad scary at one point.

Anyway its that time of year when it’s continuously cold and depressing, its hard to see an end to it. Winter is also a very expensive time of year as well, heating, warm meals, clothing etc all costs money and it’s very hard to keep up with this.

Please keep in mind those who can’t afford to heat their homes and cook their meals. None of us can take this for granted remember most of us are one payslip away from this ourselves.

Today I had some really interesting conversations with the people that were waiting for their food parcels to arrive. Even though most of them are hungry, cold and have just started to access local services that will help them, their concerns were for other people.

Most of them told me that they were trying to help others that are in a worse position than themselves, they know the score, they realise that asking for help can be a very hard thing to do.

We spoke about the people that I knew in common who are no longer with us, they died as a result of the government’s cruel policies. It’s heartbreaking to realise that so many people have died.

As I handed out the food parcels I was asked if I had any milk. I replied that I didn’t and I only had a pound to my name. I did give this to a man who was in greater need of milk than myself. He was so happy that he could have a hot cuppa at home, believe me this makes such a difference to a persons life.

Today we spoke to many people, all of which were struggling in one way or another. I felt so frustrated that we had ran out of food parcels and couldn’t offer anyone else one. No one will go without next week.

We spoke to an older man that had been made redundant two weeks ago. He’s started the process of claiming universal credit, but he’s confident that he will find another job. He’s an engineer and I really do hope that he finds a new job.

We had a short conversation with a man that had told us previously that he had a job interview. Sadly he didn’t get the job and his hope for a better future has been diminished for now. Knock backs like this are awful and can really set a person back.

We had a conversation with a man that has previously told us that he’s having a hard time with the universal credit system. We asked him how it was going and he replied saying “Terrible especially now that the Tory party are in power again”

He isn’t wrong though, we’ve got at least another five years of this cruelty and we’ve lost any chance of stopping the governments cruelty.

We had a lovely conversation with a man that we’ve been talking to for years. He can’t read or write so is finding job searching very difficult as you can imagine. This week he had some good news though. He has a job interview and he’s looking forward to it.

I really hope that he does get this job not only. For his wellbeing but for his confidence also. Good luck to everyone out there that have job interviews in the coming week and month.

We had several conversations with other people all of who are finding life hard at the moment and their struggles are always on my mind. When I don’t see someone that I regularly see then I worry like I’m sure that you would, but I also hope that they’ve reached the end of their struggles and have happier times ahead.

We are doing something right though, a local organisation asked us for some leaflets to hand to their clients. Our survival guides have been a massive success and I’m so thankful for them.

We will be returning again next week to help more people. Please can I ask you to read, share, tweet, email my blog? The more people that read it the better because believe it or not there are people that don’t believe that this cruelty is happening.

If you can please donate it helps me so much to continue with this campaign and to continue to blog. For anyone wishing to do so there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog.

A massive thank you to everyone that has supported my campaign and the blog. Solidarity, one day we will have a better world to live in.

Disabled man told to apply for work at the same place he used to work.

Dear readers its Thursday again and it’s another cold, windy day. My thoughts are with everyone that are street homeless or are living in cold homes because they can’t afford to heat them. Fuel poverty is real and its only going to get worse.

You can bet that hypothermia related deaths will increase this year because so many more people are living in poverty, and it isn’t just elderly people either. Indeed this morning I topped up a young couples electric key for them because they’d ran out of electric. Life with pre payment machines is no fun at all. I’m talking from experience though because I’ve always had pre payment machines.

Winter with it’s dark mornings and dark evenings really takes it’s toll on many people so please be kind to each other, times are hard.

Like I said this morning started with being freezing cold but then a cold breeze became stronger and stronger so we had to finish early. I need to find some thermal clothes to wear.

Anyway, all the food parcels bar one were taken straight away. This week we were able to give people a packet of doughnuts with their food parcel. Doughnuts might not be nutritious but they do cheer people up, so does a packet of biscuits etc. Never underestimate the value of this type of food.

I bet you’re fed up of me writing that so many people are dressed in clothing not suited to the cold winter weather. This was the case today, so many people were walking in and out of the Jobcentre and council offices looking freezing cold.

Can I please have a magic wand to change this? I’ll be eternally grateful.

Noted today was the amount of young people going into the Jobcentre to make their first claim. Luckily I was able to give them a leaflet and some advice. Having to cope with the whole universal credit system can be so daunting and stressful for young people at the start of their adult life.

We spoke to a lovely man who has several disabilities, a brain condition,a completely knackered knee that he cant use for standing for any period of time and a back condition.

He explained that he was disgusted that he’s forced to attend the Jobcentre on a weekly basis even though he’s disabled and is handing in fit notes. Today his advisor told him that he needed to apply for a job at the very same factory that he was previously working at.

He had to end his employment because of his disabilities, the work is heavy going, on foot all of the time and moving heavy equipment etc around. At first he thought that they were joking but his advisor wasn’t and was deadly serious.

Obviously he was extremely frustrated at this, they’re setting him up to fail because they just don’t care. If they did care they wouldn’t be doing this to him in the first place, and you can bet that they’ll try to punish him if he doesn’t.

This is the side of the DWP that many people don’t see. They don’t understand that the DWP can, and often does behave like an abuser gaslighting its victim until they give up.

Don’t let them do this to you, appeal any decision that they make, you do have the right to do this.

I had a lovely conversation with a man that used to be street homeless in Manchester, hes now housed in a flat and is doing well. He told me that he used to be a solider in the army but once he left they ditched him and didn’t care about him one bit. I’ve heard this story so many times and it’s awful.

Luckily he eventually found support and he now helps other street homeless people. He told me how dangerous Manchester is for street homeless people and how concerned he is about this.

Gordon spoke to a man that had walked miles to the Jobcentre only for his appointment to last for the maximum of five minutes. I’m not wrong when I say that they do this to control people.

Last but not least we were told of the plight of someone having terminal cancer only for their claim for PIP to be rejected. They’ll be appealing this decision, but will they live long enough to see this through? I hope so, but no one in their position should have to go through this.

Sadly like I said earlier, we had to leave early but we spoke to lots of people, and helped many of these. We will be back next week as usual.

Please can I ask you a favour? Can you read, share, tweet and email my blog? I really need to get the word out there that the DWP system is cruel beyond belief.

Also I have a donate button at the side and the top of my blog. For anyone not able to see this my PayPal add is seercharlotte@gmail.com

I live on virtually nothing and every penny helps me to continue blogging and campaigning. Thank you to everyone that have done already.

I’m also in the process of writing a book based upon my blog. If you’re interested in this please email me via my blog.

Failed PIP assessments, homelessness, sanctions. Happy new year from the DWP.

Dear readers, I hope that you were able to celebrate Christmas and the new year, if not you’re not alone I wouldn’t have celebrated Christmas at all this year if it wasn’t for friends and I was in bed early on New Year’s Eve.

Sadly I fear the new year won’t bring us any good news, and I reckon that they’ll continue to squeeze the life out of us with any new policies that they implement.

As a campaigner I’m feeling burnt out, and the general election result has meant that we’ve got to continue to campaign for many years. I had a conversation today with a fellow campaigner and we agreed that we need more people to help because we’re really feeling the heavy burden on our shoulders. Having health problems really doesn’t help either.

 

Anyway, today we returned after the Christmas break, all the food parcels were taken straight away and we actually started the demo early for a change.

I wish that I could say that things were getting easier but they aren’t,  I haven’t spoken to a single person that isn’t struggling in one way or another. Some of these people are in dire situations but still voted for the Tories, turkeys voting for Christmas again.

Today we were joined by a comrade from Rochdale and a local councillor and as usual Gordon was here to help. I don’t know how I’d manage without his support. I digress though. Everyone that we spoke to were given help, advice and were signposted if needed. We also gave people a shoulder to cry on, which is needed when you’re going through the DWP system.

One thing that I did notice today was the amount of people rushing past, heads down attempting to not be seen by anyone.

Today I noticed that there has been a large increase in people being denied their PIP assessments.  Yes I do realise that this has always happened, I know this and I help people with their appeals, but it’s now got to a point that they’re point blank denying everyone their PIP benefit which is needed so much by those that claim it.

This got me thinking, the government are targeting disabled people extremely aggressively from every angle, everything that they do is monitored, their constantly under an evil spotlight from the DWP.

You might ask why doesn’t the government leave them alone? They never will because they’re an easy target, they know that many won’t fight back because they simply don’t have the energy to do so.

Whilst I’m writing about this I spoke to a man that had recently won his appeal to reinstate his PIP. The tribunal also decided that he should be given some back pay also which was 12 months worth of payments. Whilst being overjoyed at this, he knows that he’ll have to go through this again and again and then some more.

Not long after I spoke to this chap, I spoke to another man that had also failed his PIP assessment. Luckily I was able to help and advise him, to be honest he wouldn’t have known how to do this if we weren’t there to help him.

 

I was then stopped by a young couple that wanted to know what we were doing, I explained and they told me that they’ve been homeless for two days and they didn’t know what to do and where to turn.

I advised them of where to go to for help, and what services there is locally, but life really shouldn’t be like this. Young people shouldn’t have all their hopes and dreams crushed by this heartless, cruel government, in fact no one should.

As we were talking a woman shouted over to us “Universal Credit is a pile of shit”. She wasn’t wrong either.

Not long after this we had a conversation with a man who is homeless and had lost his Universal Credit number, without this he couldn’t log on to the system and therefore he would be sanctioned.

Trying to avert this disaster from happening he tried phoning the Universal Credit line, but that was no good because it was Christmas Day. Feeling frustrated he wrote a letter and was under the assumption that he could post it through the Jobcentres door, then he saw that the Jobcentre doesn’t have a letterbox, I mean if they can’t put a sign up telling people where the Jobcentre is then they’re seemingly incapable of anything else.

The DWP seemingly haven’t got the ability to think logically.

Not to be deterred by this he stuffed his letter between the door closings and by some kind of miracle it was picked up and passed over to the Jobcentre who then phoned him and sorted it out.

You can imagine how relieved he was, he was very lucky this time.

 

I was talking to a friend the other day about people arriving on time for their Jobcentre appointments that were made to wait way over their delegated appointment time.

This happened today to a woman that was made to wait an extra 15 minutes for her appointment. To say that her advisor was less than enthusiastic is an understatement. She handed her advisor her fit note and then asked him if she could hand over the extra medical information that she’s been asked to hand in. The  response was basically this. No I’m not going to take it off you now, hand it in next week., they really don’t care.

Obviously she was extremely frustrated at this and she’s now going to take this further. If  her advisor is reading this, sort it out please, it wasn’t her fault that you were running late.

 

This week was a hodge lodge of differing problems, all of which shouldn’t have happened in the first place. If you think that this is awful it’s going to get a whole lot worse. We can thank the people that voted for the Tories for this.

 

 

 

We’ll be back next week doing the same thing.

Please read, tweet, share, email my blog.

 

Also if you can please donate, I’m struggling at the moment and every penny helps. Thank you.

Suspended payments for 6 months because they were seen carrying a food parcel.

Dear readers it’s Thursday and blog day. Please may I start by thanking you all for your support for my blog and my campaign.

I’m still here writing and it’s all thanks to you all.

Today was freezing cold and the crowd was gathered awaiting out food parcels.

This week we had a very kind donation of four extra food parcels from a friend.

It’s a good job that we had these extra food parcels because they were all taken.

I’m going to list today’s conversations. Please note that everyone was given appropriate help, advice, signposting etc. I even went to Wilkinsons to buy some dog food for a dog who’s owner needed a food parcel.

Many people either forget that people struggling have pets and they need to eat. Others reckon that we shouldn’t have any pets, we aren’t deserving of anything.

A much loved pet can be a lifeline for their owner and no one should be criticised for owning one.

The first conversation that I had was with a man who told me that his payments have been suspended for six months. He is claiming the ESA element of Universal credit.

I asked why and he told me that he had been reported to the DWP because he was seen carrying one of our food parcels.

I advised him to appeal this decision and he told me that he’d been advised that he can’t.

Luckily I have contacts that will be able to help him, but regardless of that he shouldn’t be expected to go without any payments for 6 months.

It’s absolutely ridiculous and is so punishing. It’s hellish and shouldn’t be happening at all.

I spoke to a young man that had to walk miles from his home to get to the Jobcentre. He told me that if he’s lucky a bus driver will let him get on a bus for nothing, if they won’t he walks.

I signposted him and bought him some dog food for his dog.

I had a conversation with a woman regarding self employment and universal credit.

Gordon spoke to two people that were making new universal credit claims and needed documentation to do so.

I spoke to a man that’s in the process of being evicted from his home. We advised him to the best of our abilities and I signposted him as well.

I overheard a man shouting ‘B####d sanctions.

I then had a long conversation with a young 18yr old woman that was crying when she was leaving the Jobcentre.

Her advisor had told her that she’s not trying hard enough to find a job, her efforts are rubbish etc. You get the idea.

The truth is that she is trying her hardest to do everything properly but it is a struggle.

No one has shown her how to find a job, how to apply for one and no one has given her any decent career advice.

Her advisor hasn’t told her about further education nor have they told her about apprenticeships etc. They refuse to help whilst criticising her to the point of tears.

Luckili we were there and I sat down with her and gave her some advice, but equally as important compassion.

For heavens sake she’s only 18 years of age, she needs guidance and hasn’t got a good family network to support her.

I gave her a copy of our survival guide and asked her to phone me if she needed my help or even just a cuppa and a conversation.

The advisor that upset her to the point of tears should be ashamed of themselves, but they won’t be. An 18yr old claimant is an easy target for them isn’t it.

I spoke to a chap that had just failed his universal credit esa element medical assessment. He is appealing this but as usual the DWP have zero compassion.

He’s been told that he has to agree to look for work whilst his appeal is being processed. If he doesn’t agree to this they’ll stop his claim.

The DWP don’t recognise that having a disability can and does prevent a person from working. Persecuting them for this won’t cure their disability it’ll make things much worse for them. Many die, some take their own life.

It’s sickening that people are being treated in this manner, it’s not getting any better it’s becoming much worse.

I honestly don’t know how we’re going to survive another five years of this.

Please read, share, tweet, blog, email my blog. It’s so important that we get the truth out there.

We will be returning to Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre next week from 10am to 12 noon. Please come and say hello.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a PayPal button at the top and side of my blog.

Thank you!

I’ve got £3 to last me for a week. Universal Credit strikes again

Wow I can’t believe that it’s Thursday again. It’s definitely a lot cooler out there so wrap up if your going out.

The cooler weather also highlights the inability for thousands of people to choose between heating and eating. Of course the government don’t want to rectify this, I’m convinced that they’re trying to kill us off.

Today was a mix of differing problems and as usual I will not be naming anyone. I hope that you understand why.

The first thing that I did today was to hand out the food parcels. We had six and within five minutes there was only one left.

The remaining food parcel was taken by a woman struggling to get by. She was claiming Universal Credit and unbeknownst to her the DWP had shut her claim down without telling her.

The DWP claim that she hadn’t signed her claimant commitment but she was adamant that she had done. This resulted in zero consultation with her and now she’s having to appeal this.

The DWP however have told her that she has to make a new claim for universal credit which means that she’s going to have to wait at least five weeks for her first payment.

She also has children and is understandably concerned about how she’s going to feed them.

Don’t expect any sympathy from the DWP though. They’ve got a cast iron weight instead of a heart.

It never get better hearing people’s DWP stories. But thank goodness we were there to help her. She’s going to appeal the DWPs decision.

I then had a conversation with a chap that I usually speak to every week. He told me that he had waited for over a hour for the bus to get to Ashton.

I can confirm that this is the norm in Tameside at the moment. Lots of our bus routes have been taken off and the ones that remain cost a lot more.

I’ve spoken to elderly and disabled people who have been housebound as a result of this. The bus used to stop right outside their houses and they can’t manage the walk to the nearest bus stop. It’s too far for them to walk etc.

If anyone from the Tameside area is reading this please join in with the Better Bus campaign.

I then spotted a woman leaving the Jobcentre. I offered her a leaflet and immediately she told me that she hates universal credit. I asked her why and she went into her pocket and got out some coins amounting to approximately £3. She said “This is all that I have until the end of next week. How on earth am I going to manage on this amount of money. ‘

Of course I advised her and signposted her to local organisations etc where she can get a food parcel from because we had ran out of them.

This is the reality of life whilst claiming Universal credit and its the same for thousands of people.

Far too many people have become accepting of this though. Many are resigned to their fate, they know that they’re going to be hungry and they think that no one cares about them.

Lots of us do care though, this shouldn’t be happening but we all to our best to help people.

We signposted quite a few people to CAB for advice and once again people having trouble with their council tax payments was mentioned. The poorest shouldn’t be made to bear the brunt of this.

We then spoke to a person that had recently been declared fit for work. They’ve got numerous disabilities and illnesses but don’t expect the DWP to care. They’re going to appeal this decision but in the meantime he was told by his DWP advisor that he’s no longer allowed to hand fit notes in.

Apparently the DWP know better than a doctor and a specialist doctor. They want everyone to look for none existent jobs despite the fact that many aren’t able to work.

As regular readers will know this is far from unusual but it never gets easier does it.

I advised a woman who’s son is being moved over from DLA to PIP.

We had a lovely conversation with a man who’s being sent on what feels like constant courses ran by and on behalf of the DWP. The latest course that they’ve been told to attend or be sanctioned is supposed to motivate people.

It’s a bit hard motivating people who are hungry and who’ve got the threat of being sanctioned hanging over their head. But hey every person that attends these courses are worth a fortune to the DWP. Not only does the DWP receive funding for these courses they also pay the providers quite a lot of money per person attending.

Wonderful isn’t it… Not. We can never forget that we’re just a number to them and we can and are exploited by the DWP at their whim.

We then had a conversation with a man that’s been having problems with his employer.

His employer is totally abusing the fact that there’s so many people looking for work. He pays people less than their long term staff. When people complain they tell them that they can walk, it doesn’t matter because they can fill the position straight away.

There’s far too many awful employers like this and it’s about time that something was done about this isn’t it.

Today we helped lots of people, provided support and gave out food parcels. We’ve been doing this for around six years now and it’s getting worse.

Please read and share my blog. Tweet it as well, email it to your local Tory MP.

I’d like to thank Gordon for all of his help today. I’d also like to thank you all for supporting the campaign and my blog.

This has become a full time job and every penny helps me to continue with both the campaign and the blog.

We’ll be returning next week and I’ll be blogging as usual.

On universal credit owes council tax and the bailiffs keep banging on my door. This weeks blog.

Dear readers it appears that winter is most definitely on the way. Today was very cold and wet a deadly combination for street homeless people and people that can’t afford to heat their home.

Sadly I also know what it feels like when the electric goes and you can’t top it up. Solidarity with all those in the same position, its not one bit enjoyable. Anyway I digress.

Today there was a lot of people waiting for the food parcels to arrive. Each and every one of these food parcels were needed and some of those collecting them hadn’t ate properly for a while.

It’s easy to fall between the cracks of society and not deemed important enough to help. Many don’t like to ask for help because they don’t feel that they’re deserving of it. Some are barred from local organisations for various different reasons. This makes life very hard for them. Others have had their allowed three foodbank vouchers and have been refused anymore. Can you imagine being in their position?

My first conversation was with a man that I’ve been talking to every week. He usually brings his dog when he collects his food parcel, his dog is lovely and he takes really good care of him. He told me that he’s hoping that his latest job application is successful and I gave him my best wishes. He deserves so much better than this.

After I handed out the food parcels a young woman asked me of she could speak to me privately. She told me that her health isn’t good at the moment and being homeless doesn’t help, telling me that later today she will be going to the walk in centre to hopefully get some medication. I gave her some money for a phone charger because her phone is her lifeline not only to the DWP but to her children and friends.

I really hope that she’s ok because she’s really not well at all.

Today we had various conversations about lots of different things, one matter kept popping up and that was council tax payments and visits from bailiffs.

I gave the best advice that I could but its awful when the person that you’re speaking to is crying because they’re scared. I was speaking to a lovely woman that told me she was absolutely terrified of the bailiffs banging on her door and windows.

It’s very easy for someone to fall into council tax arrears and a universal credit application was to blame in this case. Because of the long wait for her universal credit payment to be processed she fell into arrears with just about everything.

After her latest bailiff visit she went into the council offices to see if she could arrange a payment plan with her. Their answer was a flat no. No they wouldn’t help, no they wouldn’t stop the bailiffs from coming. Even though she was offering a reasonable repayment plan they denied her any assistance. They did however tell her to go to citizens advice and ‘they might’ be able to contact the council tax department.

This has not helped her one bit,she’s living in fear and she’s scared. I gave her some sound advice and told her that she can contact me if she needs to.

Although I am very aware of what the council can and can’t do in situations like this their refusal to help speaks volumes doesn’t it. So many people live in fear of bailiffs coming to their homes and sometimes barging in.

This shouldn’t be happening. The current council tax scheme is a punishing system. It .demands that people pay an unreasonable amount of money when they can’t afford it.

Council also costs more to implement than what local councils gain from it. It’s not working and this system needs to stop asap.

No one should be living in fear in their own homes, scared when the bailiffs come banging on doors and windows or barging their way into their home.

I’m also very aware of the laws surrounding council tax so please no comments saying that I don’t know how the system works. I know only too well how it works and I’ve been campaigning against it for years now.

I had a conversation with a lovely young man, he asked me what we were doing and I replied. He told me that he really didn’t know anything about politics but he’d like to learn more. We had a good chat and hopefully he will be more aware in the future.

This did raise my concern about the lack of public education regarding politics. It’s not taught as much in school as it should be and many people, like this young man aren’t as aware as they should be.

We need to educate those that aren’t aware by conversation but I believe that children should be given some political education whilst at school.

I then had a second conversation regarding council tax, and not long after another. I offered some advice and signposted to the best of my ability.

We then had a long conversation with a woman who’s homeless. She was worried because she needs to change her care of address but didn’t want to be thrown onto universal credit as a result.

To say shes scared and worried is an understatement. The words universal credit often cause people to panic. John was extremely helpful and helped this lovely woman whilst I was helping someone else. We did everything in our power to help her but thank you John.

I can’t thank the team enough today, the weather was awful but that didn’t prevent us from helping lots of people. We will be back again next week, please come and join us!

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Thank you to everyone that has done already.

Thank you to those that do support my blog, your help enables the campaign and the blog to continue.

There’s a paypal button at the top and side of this blog post if anyone would like to donate. Thank you so much.

Five year aniversary of blogging and the suffering continues.

Dear readers it’s been five years almost to the day since I started writing this blog although I’ve been campaigning for much longer.

A friend encouraged me to write it but I honestly didn’t think that anyone would read it. I was proved wrong though, it took off straight away.

Back then we were chosen to be a trial area for universal credit along with Oldham and Wigan.

Hardly anyone else was documenting the day to day cruelty that universal credit and the benefit reforms.Most likely because it wasn’t happening everywhere and lots of people weren’t aware of this

We were ignored and called liars and suchlike.

Myself and other groups continued to fight against it even though every door was being slammed in our faces. No one wanted to know.

Through perseverance and determination we continued, we weren’t letting this go. People were and are dying as a result and that was and is unacceptable.

DPAC have been consistently supportive and they’re amazing. The work that they have done and are doing is outstanding. I can’t thank them enough.

When I started this blog almost everyone that I spoke to outside Ashton Jobcentre was or had been sanctioned.

Pregnant women were being sanctioned for three years, suicides of people that we had spoken to were a constant worry. I’ve lost count of the people that we have lost.

It breaks my heart and I’ve always got them in my thoughts. Thanks to Black Triangle for their work collecting this info and publishing it.

At the the time the DWP were a law unto themselves, they still are. I’m certain that they were given orders to sanction as many people as possible (remember Sandra’s stars anyone?).

I’m certain that they still have these targets but they’re not so open and brazen at displaying them. People are still being sanctioned and it’s abbhorant that this is continuing to happen. Being sanctioned can and does kill people.

The suffering continues and every week I’m told yet more awful stories from claimants about their experiences whilst on universal credit and other benefits.

Today a man told me that he’d been barred from the Jobcentre for loosing his temper when he was told that he’d been sanctioned.

When he was allowed back into the Jobcentre he had a G4S guard to escort him to his appointment and to take him out again.

The stress of this took its toll on him and he started to pull his hair out. He can’t believe how horrible this system is. Thanks to the DWP he’s mentally scarred for life.

The system hasn’t got better the DWP and government have become more devious, constantly putting unrealistic demands upon people that they know won’t be able to keep up with it.

We’ve handed hundreds of food parcels out because people were and are literally starving. I’ve watched a family open the tins of food and eat it because they were so hungry.

It’s hard to tell you what the worst thing that I’ve seen is. Everything about this system is awful. It persecutes children, women, men, women who should be receiving their pensions but were conned out of them. The DWP won’t leave anyone alone.

The fight continues though. The Labour Party have at last commited to stopping, scrapping universal credit. They’re going to replace it with a caring system and I know that they’re going to do this. The Labour Party have been working very hard on creating the new system for quite a while now.

But the changes won’t happen overnight and until they’ve been elected nothing will change its going to become a whole lot worse.

Every week we speak to disabled people who have been found fit for work. They aren’t fit for work though and we help them to start the appeal process.

We’ve handed out thousands of copies of of our survival guides. They’ve proved to be invaluable and have helped a lot of people. Thanks to Roy for your help with this.

The blog doesn’t end after I’ve published the blog on Thursdays though. It’s become a full time job. Myself or members of the team don’t get paid by anyone either. We do it because we care.

The fight continues week after week. We’ve had abuse from G4S, I’ve been spat on called a scrounger and worse.

The DWP have unsuccessfully tried to move us from outside the Jobcentre. We aren’t going anywhere, we aren’t stopping until the suffering ends.

Whilst the suffering continues we will continue. I made this commitment all those years ago.

I want to thank you all for reading and supporting the blog for these last five years. Its been a massive comfort to know that you all support this blog and the campaign.

I’ll end the blog here this week. I know that it’s a bit different than my usual blog style but I really wanted to thank everyone that’s helped along the way whether it’s on foot at the demos or online. Both are equally as important.

To everyone that does come and help though thank you so, so much. We’ve had a lot of physical support from Stockport Against Austerity and I can’t thank them enough as well as Gordon, Roy, Carol and everyone else who I’ve met along the way.

My local Labour Party and my MP Angela Rayner have also been hugely supportive even though I’ve been a pain sometimes.

Can I ask you to continue to read, share, tweet and email my blog. Thank you to those that already do.

There’s also a donate button at the top and side of this blog. Every penny donated ensures that the campaign and blog can continue. A massive thanks to those that have.

I’ll be back next week with my usual blog. Thank you for the five years of support and thanks to Mike for persuading me to start this blog.

Don’t worry I’ll be writing next weeks blog in my usual style.

I’m so hungry I could faint.

Dear readers I hope that you are OK and surviving. It appears that surviving is all that we can do these days.

Even though it’s been busy in parliament our work never stops. Parliament is parogued but we aren’t. Let’s hope that there’s an end to all that madness soon.

We can guarantee that it’s going to be the poor and disabled that bear the brunt of any Brexit related decisions. The wealthy really don’t care because it won’t affect them, this really annoys me. I know that it’s to be expected though.

As usual the food parcels went as soon as they arrive. This is a terrible reflection of the government’s war against the poor. It really shouldn’t be like this after all there was no real reason for it.

The tory government would rather give their friends millions of pounds only to blame us for their mess. The price that we have paid is a very heavy one. Thousands upon thousands of people have either died or are suffering, many have become ill as a result.

I can suppose that you would have seen the fancy DWP adverts everywhere and especially in the Metro newspaper, saying that ‘work pays’ and ‘universal credit helps you into work. Despite being a down right lie I’ve spoken to many people who can prove this isn’t the case.

This morning I spoke to Ron. Ron has completed quite a few of the useless DWP courses. They didn’t help him to find work they delayed him in his quest to find a job.

Despite this Ron found a job, a well paid one. He could start within days but his new employer advised him that he would need to bring his own safety gear including proper strong work boots.

Not having any spare money he approached the DWP and asked if they could help him out with the cost of this. The DWP unsurprisingly said no, they wouldn’t do it.

Ron understandably worried then phoned up the DWP and he was told that they could help him and he should tell his advisor that they could.

Ron then spoke to his advisor who once again told him that they wouldn’t help him.

In the meantime Ron wasn’t able to start work, he lost the job but was told that he had to attend yet another pointless DWP course.

Ron’s experience isn’t uncommon though. This happens to lots of people. The DWP are actually preventing people from starting work.

Meanwhile people like Ron are forced into constantly attending the pointless courses and threatened with a sanction if they don’t attend.

The companies and organisations that provide these courses are paid very handsomely to do so as are the DWP.

Sadly we are all a commodity to be bought and sold at the governments whim.

I then spoke to Tom. Tom has been constantly appealing against ESA and PIP decisions. He has appealed these decisions and every time he’s won.

Tom has been waiting 18 months for the latest appeal and tribunal. He’s understandably angry telling me that he’s extremely frustrated but he won’t give up fighting against their decisions. Tom is an amazing man.

I then had a conversation with Debbie. Debbie hadn’t eaten for a while and she didn’t look well, telling me that she felt faint because she hasn’t eaten for a few days. She hasn’t been receiving her payments because her circumstances have changed and she’s street homeless.

I gave her something to eat, she was thankful but that’s only short term help. Because we had ran out of food parcels I advised her to go into the council offices and ask them for a food bank voucher.

It’s not acceptable for anyone to be suffering like this, I helped her out but tomorrow I won’t be there. I did advise that she visits a few local organisations for some more support. I really hope that she does this.

I spoke to two people that needed to open bank accounts to receive their universal credit payments. They’d previously used a friends bank account to do so. I advised them about what ID they would need and I wished them luck.

We spoke briefly to a man that had just found a job within a month of applying for universal credit. The experience has scarred him, telling me that he didn’t know how people survive on this system. He never wants to experience it again either.

The DWP also owe him money but I doubt if he’ll ever get it. Meanwhile he’s too tired of the whole system to chase it.

Today was quite a busy day but I had to leave 30 minutes early for the electrician to finish fitting my new boiler. I’ve waited about a year for a new one. It’s ridiculous isn’t it.

We had lots of conversations with people, thanks to Gordon for helping and thanks to Gary for the leaflets.

We will be back next week. Try not to forget us whilst the whole Brexit debacle continues. People are still suffering and its these people who will suffer greatly as a result of any decision made by the government.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Send a copy of it to your mp.

A massive thanks to everyone that does and has supported my blog.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a PayPal button at the top and side of ti’s blog.

Sanctioned whilst working. Apparently for not ‘committing enough’ to finding work.

Dear readers it’s Thursday again, I hope that you’re all ok and surviving this rotten system. I know that it’s hard but keep going because you are valued and are important.

Guess what folks, it was raining today and it was cold, it looks like autumn has arrived a tad early. This time last year we were experiencing a heatwave.

As usual I’ll list some of the conversations that I had today. It’s awful that we are being treated in this manner and I pray that one day it will stop. We deserve much better than this.

Today I read an article about a disabled man that had slit his throat because he was scared of claiming universal credit. You can bet that Amber Rudd won’t mention that upon questioning.

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/man-terrified-move-universal-credit-3206672

Back to today. We handed all the food parcels out as usual I just wish that there wasn’t a need for them. I know that I keep saying that but it really bothers me.

I met Jim as he was walking towards the Jobcentre after climbing the horridly steep steps. He looked frustrated but nevertheless he went inside for his appointment. I spoke to him as he left the building, he looked quite distressed and I asked him if he would like a leaflet. Jim told me that he hadn’t received his payment as usual because he had three addresses. Of course Jim doesn’t have three addresses but this was their reasoning for stopping his payments.

It honestly isn’t rocket science is it. Most people don’t have three addresses so this must be an error on the DWPs part. He will be appealing this decision, in the meantime Jim has no money.

I had a brief conversation with a young woman that appeared to be having an argument with someone on the telephone about a bank account so when she walked towards me I asked her if she was ok. She wasn’t ok, her bank account had been shut down and she needed to find another bank account that she can use. Luckily she managed to find one but this is one of the perils of everything being online. It can’t always be taken for granted that a person has a bank account even though most have. There is a distinct lack of understanding about this and as a result some people will be prevented from claiming because they don’t want to open an account.

I spotted Bill as he was walking towards the Jobcentre clutching a piece of paper. I asked him if he would like a copy of our leaflet and he said yes and that he was having a hell of a time with the DWP at the moment.

Bills situation is this, he’s working and has made a claim for universal credit. The DWP haven’t given him a date for when he might expect his first payment and so far to date he owes £600 in rent arrears. I did tell him that he can get a loan off the DWP whilst he waits but he didn’t want that saying that he’ll have to pay this back. Bill makes a very good point. Most universal credit claimants never actually receive the full amount which drags them deeper into poverty.

Both myself and Gordon then spoke to a woman as she was walking towards the Jobcentre. I handed her a leaflet and as I did so she told us that she is working but has been sanctioned apparently because she isn’t ‘committed enough’ to finding work. This is absolutely ludicrous, she’s more than committed because she’s already working. She then went on to tell me that upon asking what dates she wasn’t committed enough for, they still wouldn’t tell her. She is now appealing this decision, it’s appalling that shes being treated in this manner. If that wasn’t bad enough she’s got children to care for on next to no income. Never believe the DWP when they say that universal credit helps people to find work, it does the complete opposite.

I then spoke to Ron. Ron is having a horrible time at the moment, his monthly payment was stolen and he doesn’t have enough money to survive on. He told me that he was going to ask about applying for a loan.

We had lots of conversations today ranging from sanctions, housing problems, not knowing their national insurance number etc etc. I’m just glad that we were there to help them.

Please read and share my blog also tweet, rt and email it. This is just a small snapshot of what happens up and down the country everyday.

We will be back next week as usual.

Thank you to everyone that supports my blog and the work that we do. It does mean a lot and I couldn’t do it without you.

For anyone wishing to donate there is a button at the top and side of this blog. Thank you very much.

Man 65 and living on meagre savings. Too scared to claim universal credit.

Dear readers, we were extremely busy today and I left my phone at home. Typical of me these days but at least I’m lucky enough to have a mobile phone in the first place. So apologies to anyone that was trying to contact me.

We had good weather for a change which we really welcomed both it makes a nice change. We’ve been lucky so far with the weather.

The food parcels went almost immediately, a sad incitement of how the government treats the poorest and most vulnerable. They’re actually proud of the fact that we have foodbanks when in reality it’s shameful.

Most of the people that we spoke to today were having problems with their ESA or universal credit claim. I found it extremely concerning that most of the people that I spoke to didn’t know what benefit they were receiving. The systems far too complicated and most of them didn’t know how to use a computer. This almost always inevitably results in them getting a sanction and of course the DWP don’t give a stuff.

As usual I’ll list some of the conversations that we had with people. All of them were extremely vulnerable and shouldn’t have to be going through this.

As I was sat waiting for Gordon to arrive I had a conversation with a chap who was extremely confused. He had a stroke not long ago and as a result his short term memory isn’t good.

I engaged him in conversation and he asked if he could have a food parcel. I said yes of course he could and I asked him why did he need a food parcel. To say he’s confused is an understatement. He doesn’t know what benefit he was getting, he only knew that his payments had been stopped. After asking him some more questions it sounded like he had been claiming ESA and hadn’t attended one of the DWPs farcical medical examinations.

This is how the DWP and government treats the most vulnerable people in society, they don’t give a shit if they live or die. If they can’t make any money out of you they’ll bin you like yesterdays newspaper, which will most likely be a copy of the Metro newspaper their favourite propaganda tool.

Luckily I was there to help him and I advised him of what to do but I shouldn’t have to be there to help people should I. I’m meeting him next week to help him further. He also took a food parcel home with him.

It was then that I spoke to another disabled chap. Here is a brief outline of his situation, I’ll name him Bob.

Bob is claiming the disability related element of universal credit. Bob was due to go into hospital for a hip operation and he informed the DWP of this. Thinking that everything was ok he went ahead with the operation.

A few months later he received a letter in the post from the DWP. It informed him that he was going to have to undergo a telephone compliance interview. Bob didn’t have a clue why he was sent this letter but it worried him.

The day of the compliance interview arrived and the DWP asked him why he’d missed an appointment given to him whilst he was in hospital. They threatened him with a sanction but luckily he’d kept all the paperwork to prove that he was in hospital.

It gets worse for Bob.

Not long after the compliance interview Bobs mobile phone was stolen. He informed the DWP that he couldn’t receive calls etc on his mobile phone because it’d been stolen.

Any reasonable organisation would have taken note of this and would act accordingly but not the DWP. They sanctioned him for three months because he couldn’t answer phone calls etc because his phone had been stolen. You couldn’t make this up could you.

Bobs only just started to receive his payments again, he told me that he was scarred for life, that he’d never felt as low as he did for the three months he was sanctioned.

Bob could and should have appealed their decision but he didn’t know that he could do this, saying that he just accepted it and tried to struggle. He will be appealing any wrongful decision made by the DWP in the future.

It was then that I spoke to a lady I shall name Diane. Diane very proudly told me that she’d worked all of her adult life until she became ill and had to stop working and started to claim ESA.

Diane was then told that she needed to have an operation in the very near future so she informed the DWP. The DWP responded by stopping her ESA because she failed to attend a farcical DWP medical on the day of her operation.

Remember that Diane did inform the DWP that she was unable to attend the appointment but they stopped her ESA regardless. Luckily Diane knew that she could appeal this decision and she did. She appealed and then attended a tribunal and won.

Not content with this the DWP sent her another appointment for a farcical DWP medical examination. She attended and she failed. Diane appealed and went to her tribunal and won again.

Diane told me that the DWP treat her like scum, she knows that they hate her and she’s lost any confidence that she once had. No one should be treated in this manner but it happens to thousands of people everyday. As we were talking we spotted two of our local Tory councillors entering the Tameside One building. Diane recognised them and said that it’s their fault and their parties fault that she was being treated like this.

Diane’s correct of course but they don’t give a stuff, they deny anything like this is happening.

Meet Brian. Brian’s an older chap who was handing his latest fit note in. He told me that he’d recently finished a CPC course and had a letter stating that he had a job offer if he can show them his CPC qualification.

Guess what, the DWP are refusing to help him and he’s extremely frustrated about this. What Brian said next was quite poignant. “They do this because they have to justify their jobs, they have to justify their existence. Without people like me going into the Jobcentre they’d be out of a job themselves”

I noticed a man that I shall call Jack climbing the stairs to the Jobcentre and I asked him if he wanted one of our leaflets. He took one but he was angry, angry at the world, angry at himself because he feels like a failure. He told me that he’d been working for a local company and his employer was taking £50 a week off him supposedly for his tax payments.

Jacks payslips tell a different story though and basically he’s being ripped off. I asked him to contact GM Law centre because they’re interested in employment cases like these.

No wonder Jacks angry I’d be furious as well.

Last but not least we spotted an older chap walking towards us. I asked him if he needed a leaflet and he said that he didn’t know so I asked him why.

His problem is this, he’s 65 and living off his very meagre savings. I asked him why he hadn’t made an application for benefits and he told me that he was too scared. He knows how awful the system is and he doesn’t think that he’d be able to cope with it.

If this isn’t bad enough he’s recovering from cancer and has a big hernia that causes him a lot of pain. He lifted his top up and showed me the strapping round his lower waist that covers his hernia. “They’d declare me fit for work with this and the cancer, I’d rather struggle like this than have to go through that”.

The amount of people that make the same decision up and down the country is enormous. It’s a reliable bet that there’s thousands of people that take themselves off they system and try to live another way. Many of these people become homeless and find it hard to escape their circumstances. To them it’s less stressful than living on the street.

Other conversations that I had included questions about deposits for flats, not being able to eat whilst claiming universal credit and universal credit wants me to fail and how do I appeal DWP decisions etc.

The problems that occur whilst claiming universal credit appear to be never ending, once you get over one hurdle another appears and you have to climb another one.

Not one of the people that I speak to are ‘scroungers’ or ‘waste of spaces’. They’re lovely genuine people that are struggling due to no fault of their own. It angers me greatly when I see Tory mps and councillors laughing at us whenever anyone asks them questions on this subject. They think that it’ll go away if they ignore it and pretend that it isn’t happening. Most of them deny the very existence of our suffering and aren’t scared of saying so.

The only way that we can stop their cruelty is to use your vote and vote them out because if we don’t I honestly don’t know how much more of this cruelty we can endure.

Needless to say we will be returning next week. Please come and join us if you’re in the area it would be wonderful to see you.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s very important that we tell people that this is happening.

Thank you to everyone that supports my blog, I really can’t thank you enough for all the support my readers have given me over this past fortnight.

For anyone wishing to do the same there’s a PayPal button at the top and side of my blog.

I don’t know how long I’m sanctioned for. More tales from Ashton-under-Lyne Jobcentre.

Dear readers I’m sorry about the lack of a weekly blog last week. I’ve had a stressful time of late and everything caught up with me.

Today is the Unite Union Day of Action against universal credit and I hope that there’s lots of demos outside Jobcentres today.

We however did our regular demo between 10-12. We helped lots of people with varying problems from universal credit, sanctions, housing were discussed amongst other things. The truth is that people are suffering more than they have ever suffered before, universal credit lowers a persons income to an unmanageable meagre amount of money. Usually leaving people to exist rather than to live.

Just to be clear if you’re working and claiming universal credit you will be worse off financially and you’ll be told that you’re underemployed and made to look for more work.

I heard a Tory minister say this morning that more people are in employment than ever before. This is a downright lie. Most people that I speak to are forced to do zero hour contract agency work. If they’re lucky they might get a hour a weeks work.

Lets not forget that sanctions, workfare etc also alter the figures. Tories are notorious liars, never believe anything they say ever.

Here’s some examples of our conversations today.

Bill is an older chap, he’d been told that we would be outside the Jobcentre with food parcels and advice.

Bill really didn’t have a clue what to do, he’s very confused by the system. One thing that he does know is that he’s sanctioned and for a long time but he doesn’t know how long.

Bill struggles with any type of technology because he’s never had to use computers etc in the past. The DWP also struggle to understand that not everyone can use a computer or access one every day. To be fair anyone with a bit of common sense realises this.

Because Bill has been sanctioned he’s now unable to pay the top up for his rent anymore. He’s scared that he will loose his home and everything that he loves.

Bill wasn’t told that he was in rent arrears until a month into his sanction and his landlord will pursue eviction because he won’t be able to keep up with his rent top ups. It’s not the first time that he’s struggled with his rent.

How can Bill move forward with this in a positive way? He’s probably going to be living in poverty for the rest of his life.

I advised him to approach local organisations for help with this, we gave him a food parcel and I had a long chat with him.

Yes universal credit really does destroy life’s don’t believe the government propaganda.

It was then that we saw a young man whom I shall name Tom.

Tom was claiming the ESA element of universal credit until the DWP decided that he was fir for work when he isn’t.

Tom was very close to giving up with the whole system and we spoke to him about this and luckily we managed to change his mind.

We advised him that he needs to appeal this decision and he shouldn’t let them win. Fighting back against any DWP decision is the best revenge that you can have. I realise that it’s easier to say this thank it is to do it. The whole appeal and tribunal process is extremely stressful.

Gordon helped an older lady to get to the outside lift because the lift in the library wasn’t working. She’s scared of heights and can’t use a glass lift unless she’s with someone. She couldn’t use the steps either.

I spoke to a couple of people about compliance interviews via the telephone, both were worried and quite rightly so. Decisions made after the interview can totally change your life and not in a good way.

We asked a young man who was leaving the Jobcentre if he was ok, he replied that its shit. We also asked another man if he was ok and he said f@@k the lot of them.

Today was quite busy, lots of women and children having to go into the Jobcentre for appointments. I doubt that they’ll ever forget this experience because I remember queuing up at the Labour exchange with my dad when Thatcher made him unemployed.

We will be returning next week and we will be helping more people. We do it because we care. No one should be made to suffer like this.

Thank you to everyone that supports and reads my blog. Please read and share my blog, tweet it and email it. Thank you so much xxxx..

They keep trying to trip us up at every step.

Dear readers it’s Thursday yet again and time to update the blog. I hope that you’re all ok and coping with what feels like a constant onslaught of cruelty from the Tory government.

It appears that Boris Johnson will most likely be our next prime minister so god help us all. We can guarantee that things will become worse under his rule.

If you’d have asked me years ago if I envisaged this country being in such a mess I would have replied no. Even if we get a new Labour prime minister it’s going to take years to sort out the Tory party mess. I’ll not even start on Brexit…

The weather was good today and even though there was just two of us for ages the mood was good, maybe the weather helped or discussing our plans for the Peterloo march to Manchester this year. When I get a link for this I’ll post it on my blog.

As usual our food parcels went straight away. They’re essential and really help people in a time of great need.

I honestly thought like packing it all in last week, the amount of criticism that I receive sometimes can be all consuming and it’s hard to take my mind off it. I do these demos to help people and to protest against the inhumane treatment given to the poorest and most vulnerable in society. It’s a point of principle for me. I was always taught to treat people as I like to be treated, only the Tory party must be reading another guide book, the clearly don’t give a stuff and are willing to drag this country into down as far as it will go. For them it doesn’t matter because they can walk away from the mess they make.

David Cameron, Ian Duncan Smith, Esther Mcvey and Amber Rudd one day we will get justice. Karma or whatever you call it can be a t**t sometimes can’t it.

We offer help, advice, signposting, copies of our survival guide and friendship. If you need help you’ll get it without having to fill out forms and wait ages in a queue. And like I mentioned earlier food parcels but they normally leave as quickly as they arrive.

I really hate the fact that there is a need for them and I will always do everything in my power to protest about this. My health isn’t brilliant sometimes but it’s better than a lot of the people that I speak to and who read this blog.

We are having lots of success with our survival guide, people are reading it and following the instructions which is why we made it. We are seeing people whom we have spoken to in the past and handed a leaflet to going into the Jobcentre with a file of some sorts, all their paperwork and they record any calls from and to the DWP. They record our calls so if you can do this it’s really helpful. If you have a smartphone you can download a free app from either the play store or the App Store over on Iphones.

For those that say that we’re useless, do nothing and are troublemakers the proof is in the pudding. We actually do quite a lot like other groups do throughout the country. We should all be welcomed and not scorned.

The universal credit system isn’t fit for purpose as you know. I can give you an example from todays conversations.

Both myself and Gordon had a conversation with a man that had received two DWP appointments via text message for the same day. One appointment was this morning and the other was this afternoon.

Because he wasn’t sure which was the real appointment he arrived for the morning appointment only to be told that it was this afternoon. So he then had to hang around Ashton-under-Lyne town centre until it was time for his appointment.

If this gentleman had been in poor health or disabled he might not have been able to do this. It’s a system that’s failing everyone except the government. They won’t admit this though.

Let’s see if Amber Rudd actually gets round to cutting the at least five week wait for a first universal credit payment. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, they’re in no rush to do so because it saves them money. The cost for us however is high. Our health both physical and mental suffers greatly and it’s near impossible to climb out of poverty once entrapped in it.

For anyone doubting this, take it from me I know because like the people that I speak to I’m in the same position.

We spoke to a nice chap whom I’m going to name Tom. Tom is an older man trying his best to navigate this awful system. He didn’t have a good word to say about universal credit. He did however tell me how he felt about it.

‘It’s a system that keeps wanting to trip us up at every step. There’s no let up is there? I honestly can’t see an end to it and it makes me so annoyed.” He went on to say that he hated having to live like this, chasing jobs that aren’t real, trying to keep a computer system happy. ‘It’s just not fair is it”.

Damn right it isn’t fair.

We spoke to quite a few people that were making a new application for universal credit. We handed them a copy of our survival guide and we hope that this has made things a bit easier for them. My heart goes out to them.

Schools are now breaking up for the summer holidays and not having a penny to spend on food or trips out will affect even more children this summer. Having to say no all the time to a child’s request is also devastating for the parents. We hide it well, but every time we have to say no a little piece of us dies a little. This is how it affects me. I hate feeling like this as much as you do.

Without a doubt both children and their parents will be going hungry this summer. Some schools and voluntary organisations will be opening to feed children at lunch times. If you know of anywhere near where you live that is doing this please comment on my blog so that my readers can see it. Thanks.

I had a long conversation with a man whom like myself lives with hydrocephalus only a different kind. He suffers from black-outs and has to spend prolonged time in hospital whilst they treat him.

I asked this chap how he was getting along with the system and he told me that he’s making an application for universal credit and is hoping that the DWP take notice of his fit notes (sick notes). I gave him some info and a copy of our survival guide.

He’s going to find it near impossible to find a job that will take note of his disability and employ him. It’s ridiculous even to suggest it. I really hope that he’s ok.

We had quite a few complaints about the new building, mostly about the lack of adequate signage, directions to lifts and the awful steps. I’m definitely going to address this with my local council and I hope that these problems will be sorted out.

Honestly it’s not rocket science to put signs up is it. People shouldn’t be left to guess where they should go. It’ll even put people off from attending appointments or requesting help.

Another complaint was that there isn’t any LED sign etc to tell people with hearing problems that their number has been called in the council part of the building. This needs rectifying asap.

This week was challenging, but very productive. I encouraged a woman to appeal her PIP decision and I’ve put support in place for her to do this.

I also had a conversation with a security guard employee whom I think actually employs people over at the college side of the building. I told him about the two wages in one month scenario and he is definitely interested in changing paydays so that any employees don’t suffer from this. Yes the DWP are still doing this.

We will be returning next week to help more people. We love doing this because it gives people hope as many of you will know. A massive thank you to everyone else that are also taking action like we are. You’re all amazing.

Get well messages for Roy, he’s not well at the moment and we’re missing him so much. Get well soon!!!

Thank you to Gordon for being an absolute superstar and my Twitter follower for coming and saying hello. You know who you are!! You made me smile so much!!

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog to other, even your local Tory MP or councillor. They need to know what the reality of this situation is even though they’ll either choose to deny it or will ignore it.

There’s also a donation button at the side and top of my blog for anyone wanting to donate. I am actively looking for a job and if anyone knows of a job suitable for me please let me know. Thank you so, so much.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog. You all give me the strength to carry on as do my wonderful friends. I really couldn’t do this without you all.

PIP assessment two weeks ago a compliance letter today. The harassment continues.

Dear readers, it’s Thursday again. I hope that you’re all ok and doing your best to survive the cruel DWP system.

Today was a busy day and we helped lots of people. The food parcels went straight away as usual, it’s awful that it is this is happening in the first place. The governments persecution of poor and disabled people is never ending isn’t it and there’s an endless pot of money available for it as well.

I’ll try to be as brief as possible and as usual I won’t divulge the identity of anyone that I spoke to today out of respect.

We spoke to lots of people with varied problems and concerns, not one of them told us that they liked the system and nor is it helping them either. Most of the people that I spoke to also expressed their concerns about how much more worse off they are now. Basically it’s extremely hard to manage and it’s even worse when it’s winter and they have to find extra money to heat their homes.

Most of the people that we spoke to had or have had confusion and problems with the system and this has resulted in them suffering financially which then also affected their heath and mental wellbeing. I truly believe that there are thousands of people now suffering with PTSD as a result of the pernicious DWP system, many people want to run and hide.

This brings me to a conversation that I had with a woman that has luckily now found a job. As I offered her a leaflet she expressed her concerns about the system and how vulnerable people are expected to cope. She herself found the computer application daunting and even she struggled with it and stressed that it would be near impossible for many people.

Later in the conversation she told me that she is a volunteer for The Samaritans and that she speaks to far more people that are worried about Universal Credit and PIP ESA assessments, in fact most of the people that she speaks to are concerned about this.

The reality is that more and more of us are questioning our own mortality and that of others, years ago it wouldn’t have really crossed our minds because we knew that we’d be ok and would get through any problems that we had.

The introduction of the new DWP system and the introduction of so called medical assessments has completely taken any hope away that they ever had and I’m not sure if we’ll ever be able to get over this.

We’re still having problems with the huge stairs to the Jobcentre, there isn’t enough signage to say that there’s a lift inside that people can use. I hope that this is rectified soon because disabled people are having to use the stairs leaving them exhausted.

Some of the conversations that we have with people can be very disheartening and concerning. I handed Liz a leaflet and I asked her if she was ok. She told me that she’d just had a tough time in the Jobcentre and I asked her why. Her situation is this;

Liz cares for her daughter who is disabled. Her daughter has to go into hospital for a sixteen hour operation, the date of the operation clashes with her next signing on appointment.

Liz asked if she could change the date of the appointment because she had to be at the hospital with her daughter.

Liz told me that she was treated awfully by her job coach and at first they denied this request so she had to plead her case, telling me that she was spoken to like rubbish and it was inferred that the Jobcentre appointment was more important.

Eventually her job coach agreed to changing the appointment date to wait for it…. The next day. No consideration was given for the fact that she’s going to be both physically and mentally exhausted.

It’s overwhelmingly obvious that the DWP don’t give a stuff, but we hope that the operation is a success. Their nothing but a bunch of heartless cowards.

Sanctions are still happening folks, I spoke to a young man that was midway through a long sanction. He had been ill with depression and he had given up on life. He hadn’t been told that he could appeal so I advised him that he could do so. He’s got another 18 weeks of his sanction left. Horrible isn’t it.

I had a conversation with a woman that I had recently taken to a PIP assessment. I thought that she had come to tell me about the decision about the assessment but no, it was further persecution from the DWP.

This morning she had received a letter stating that she has to attend a telephone compliance interview, failure to do this would ensure that her payments would be stopped straight away.

Whilst this is not unusual, I want to highlight this. The persecution of disabled people never ends and despite empty promises from Amber Rudd etc nothing really is changing. It’s hard enough being disabled combined with the worry that the DWP are going to stop your payments at any time is far too much for many to cope with.

Both myself and Gordon spoke to the family of an 87 year old woman’s family that are having problems trying to get a new bin for their mother. Basically what happened is this.

The family had arranged for the local council to have her bin collected from inside her garden and they bring it back to save her the job of collecting her bin. She’s unable to do this and this arrangement had worked well for ages.

This week however her bin wasn’t returned and it was promptly stolen so they went to the council offices to request a replacement. They were told that they wouldn’t be replacing the bin ad they’d have to pay for a new one.

I suggested that they contact their local MP who hopefully can rectify this.

Last but not least I spoke to a young man who us completely baffled by the system and had problems with both his DWP claim and his council tax. I advised him and signposted him and I really hope that he does get a resolution to this.

I can’t stress how important it is that we continue our work because it has proved to be essential. We often speak to people when they’re in a state of crisis and often shock and we will be returning next week to do the same.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Many thanks to my readers that already do this.

Please support my blog, I’m a skint single parent trying my best to help people. There’s a donation button at the top and side of this blog. Many thanks to my readers that have already done this. Thank you so much xxx.

It’s almost as if universal credit was created to destroy working class communities…

Every week for around five years I’ve stood outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre helping claimants, signposting them, providing food, support, providing survival guides, taking people to ESA and PIP medicals and tribunals.

The situation for claimants is certainly not getting any better, in fact its become much worse.

Nearly every person that I’ve spoken to throughout the years have had problems with the computer based universal system. Sometimes it crashes, won’t let them into their own account and it certainly isn’t accessible for all claimants.

Over the years I have spoken to people that are forced to use a computer, usually at the Jobcentre even though they can’t read or write or haven’t a clue how to use a computer. Just because someone is young certainly doesn’t mean that they’re able to use a computer but the DWP refuse to recognise that.

Today I spoke to an older lady, a WASPI lady that should have been receiving her pension but was instead conned out of it by the government and thrown on the scrap heap and forced to claim universal credit.

Because she doesn’t know how to use a computer it’ll be very hard for her to fulfil the requirements made upon claimants when claiming universal credit.

Today was her first appointment and she was inside the Jobcentre for around 3/4 of a hour. She came out flustered, confused and had gained a headache. She isn’t respected at all by the system and she asked me how on earth could she learn how to use a computer competently.

The DWP didn’t offer her any advice but I noted yesterday that the library downstairs is offering free computer courses so I signposted her there.

The DWP are quick to shirk away from any caring responsibilities towards claimants, occasionally you might get a nice job coach and that’s if you’re lucky. Instead the burden lies with local services with no links to the DWP.

Yesterday I had a conversation with a member of the library staff, I asked her how she found the new library and what was it like having to share the building with the DWP. Her answer was that it was ‘very interesting’ and they weren’t particularly enjoying it but that they have to put up with it.

I also asked her if it had increased their workload and if anything had changed. Her reply was that they’re doing their best to keep up with demand but there’s so many people requesting help that it’s hard for them to keep up. The demand for their computer courses is high and we felt like the DWP could do more to help.

Also noted was that the library has become much busier, some come into the library and stay for hours, to keep warm or cool and that it was a good job that there is a security guard to help out when needed.

Having to share the building with the DWP has certainly increased their workload ad not always in a good way. I admire librarians I really do, they work so hard and they also love their work. Thank you.

Today I spoke to at least three people with disabilities that were being forced to migrate onto universal credit because of changes in their circumstances. They’re all finding it extremely hard but most people just accept that they’ll have no money for at least five weeks.

Many people are just accepting that this is the way it is and they’ll have to go hungry, sell their possessions etc in a bid to survive. Many people become ill as a result of universal credit and the whole process, indeed many people have been diagnosed with PTSD as a result.

One thing is certain, the DWP and the government are the only winners here.

I also spoke to people wanting to improve their situation but are denied this. They have to do whatever the DWP says or else. They’d rather we all worked for nothing on a workfare scheme rather than get a paid job because the DWP and the company involved both benefit financially from this.

Meanwhile the claimant that would rather be looking for work or studying is used for free labour and end up in more poverty as a result. It’s sickening.

The right wing media plays a big part in influencing a persons opinion of benefit claimants. It tells them that they’re lazy, work-shy, scroungers that want something for nothing. I’ve even had someone tell me that they want all unemployed people to be shipped off to another country.

It’s ironic that many of the people making these comments are now having to claim universal credit isn’t it. But I doubt that it’s changed their opinion of others.

Today we handed out all of our food parcels and I hate that there’s the need for them. That need wont be going for many years yet. We spoke to lots of people and offered help and advice, signposting and a copy of our survival guide. Very aptly named because it is the survival of the fittest.

I really wish that I didn’t have to be there doing this but it’s much needed just as much as it was five years ago. We do our best and thats all we can do.

We will be returning next week outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre from 10-12. Please come and join us because we really need your support.

A huge thank you to Gordon for coming along today, he’s an absolute superstar.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog.

Please support my blog if you can I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to make the world a better place. I’m being moved over to universal credit next week and to be honest I’m dreading it.

A huge thank you to all my readers and to everyone that has supported my blog. You all keep me going.

Sanctioned woman with four children. How will this encourage her to find work Amber Rudd?

Dear readers, a miracle occurred today! It wasn’t raining! This was fantastic because we’re a tad fed up with the constant rain.

It was quiet busy today and we handed out almost all of our survival guides and distributed our food parcels to people needing them. It’s an absolute travesty that they’re needed in the first place, but it’s only going to get worse, and I hate saying that.

Yesterday evening I spoke at a local NEU meeting about universal credit, poverty, children and young people. It was an excellent meeting I just hope that I didn’t depress them too much.

The sad reality is that for the poorest life in the UK is extremely hard, gruelling and punishing and it’s no surprise that the mortality levels keep on rising.

The effects of living in poverty will become all apparent in the future when the children and young people reach adulthood. Poverty really does take a toll both physically and mentally even if you don’t realise at the time and often surface later on in life.

Today I spoke to lots of people, most of them were disabled and struggling to cope. I saw tears, frustration, anger and people that are very close to giving up. What right does the government have to treat vulnerable people in this way? It won’t be stopping anytime soon either.

As usual I won’t be revealing a persons real name. Everyone that I spoke to received help, advice, food, signposting and solidarity. It’s extremely vital that we are able to continue our important work.

The first person that I spoke to had arrived at the Jobcentre with his bicycle and he wasn’t allowed to take his bike inside with him whilst he attended his appointment so we offered to look after it for him. He’s a lovely chap just trying his best to cope in a very difficult world.

It was then that I spotted a woman leaving the Jobcentre with her partner. She was visibly upset so I walked over and asked her if I could help her. This is her situation.

Janet is a mother of four children, she suffers from memory loss which she says it getting much worse. She forgot to attend a meeting at the Jobcentre because of her memory loss but when she saw that she should have attended a meeting she dashed down to the Jobcentre with her partner.

Janet was then met with the words ‘We’re going to sanction you because you didn’t attend a meeting’. She tried to tell them that she’s not well and suffers from memory loss and she said that they weren’t interested, she was going to be sanctioned and she was told to leave.

Janet should be receiving lots more support than she is at present. She hadn’t been advised about anything regarding her disabilities and nor did they care. I then advised her about what to do, I also advised her partner about what he can do to help her regarding this situation. I also signposted them to their local MP for help, I really hope that they’ve telephoned their office.

We also gave them a food parcel and stood with her whilst she was crying wondering how on earth she would manage to look after her children, because she’s not going to be able to buy them any food etc. She feels like a failure to them and everyone.

I hope that my words of support helped her and showed her that we do care and she is loved.

Sanctions appear to have gone under the radar until this week, indeed I’ve been campaigning against them for years as have others. I tell people that sanctions kill people, some have called me an extremist for saying this but it’s far from extreme isn’t it.

We need to continue to put pressure on the government, and remind them that they need to stop withdrawing the means of survival from vulnerable claimants. They shouldn’t be the ones to decide if a person lives or dies.

It was then that I spotter ‘Irene’ walking towards the Jobcentre with her friend.

Irene has been waiting since May for a decision about her claim for universal credit. She’s trying to survive on her sons pension. Her son died a few years ago.

Most of this pension money is spent on paying her rent, and she’s left with about £15 a month to live on.

So far Irene has been sent to three different Jobcentres by the DWP and not one of them have helped her so far, meanwhile her friend is buying her food etc.

For various reasons Irene isn’t able to use a computer, both herself and her friend had already told the DWP this and it was noted, but it didn’t stop a DWP telephone advisor from telling her to “GET A GRIP AND USE A COMPUTER”.

Of course this upset Irene and she just didn’t know what to do.

I advised her to telephone her local MPs office and ask them for their help. She really needs their support because MPs are really good at this, well our local MPs are and I appreciate that we’re lucky.

Irene was so thankful for the help, she’s so fed up with being messed around by the system. Lets hope that she gets some good news soon.

We then spoke to a man that has been waiting since May for a decision from a DWP decision maker. He told us that the DWP owed him money and this is probably why they’re taking their time in responding.

He’s probably correct. The DWP are extremely quick at taking money away from people but extremely slow at repaying money back that they owe.

Remember Amber Rudd telling everyone that universal credit is wonderful for everyone that has been in prison? Tell this to Dave, he can’t get a job because of his criminal record and can’t afford to become self employed either.

Amber Rudd you’re a liar and you know it don’t you.

It was then that we had a conversation with Gill and her partner. Gill is disabled and has fibromyalgia and other health problems.

Gill and her partner were forced to make a claim for universal credit which took ten weeks to be processed. Yes ten weeks, she’s disabled for heavens sake.

Gill recently failed a DWP medical assessment and is in the process of appealing.

Gill and her partner are now in debt with everyone and is forced to attend the Jobcentre for ‘meetings’. Are they going to magically cure her? I doubt it but they will make her even more unwell.

Quite understandably they’re extremely frustrated and depressed. This government really hates people with disabilities.

I had a short conversation with a woman about her council tax and how much of a struggle it is to pay it. I can totally relate to this.

Just before we left Gordon asked a young man if he needed any help. He told us that he was ok but they (the DWP) really hate him in there (the Jobcentre).

To be fair the DWP don’t like any of us do they.

We will be returning next week as usual, but we really need more support and we would love more people to join us. There’s only two of us now and I was going to organise our yearly anniversary demo, but there’s not much point if no ones going to be there.

I really hate to have to ask and I apologise for doing so.

Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about my blog.

Help a stranger, become a friend and understand that this could well happen to you. Most of my readers do realise this.

I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help others. I’m also going to be moved onto universal credit in the near future.

A massive thanks to all my readers and to everyone for supporting my blog. It means the world to me and the people that we help.

Sanctioned woman with four children. How will this encourage her to find work Amber Rudd?

Dear readers, a miracle occurred today! It wasn’t raining! This was fantastic because we’re a tad fed up with the constant rain.

It was quiet busy today and we handed out almost all of our survival guides and distributed our food parcels to people needing them. It’s an absolute travesty that they’re needed in the first place, but it’s only going to get worse, and I hate saying that.

Yesterday evening I spoke at a local NEU meeting about universal credit, poverty, children and young people. It was an excellent meeting I just hope that I didn’t depress them too much.

The sad reality is that for the poorest life in the UK is extremely hard, gruelling and punishing and it’s no surprise that the mortality levels keep on rising.

The effects of living in poverty will become all apparent in the future when the children and young people reach adulthood. Poverty really does take a toll both physically and mentally even if you don’t realise at the time and often surface later on in life.

Today I spoke to lots of people, most of them were disabled and struggling to cope. I saw tears, frustration, anger and people that are very close to giving up. What right does the government have to treat vulnerable people in this way? It won’t be stopping anytime soon either.

As usual I won’t be revealing a persons real name. Everyone that I spoke to received help, advice, food, signposting and solidarity. It’s extremely vital that we are able to continue our important work.

The first person that I spoke to had arrived at the Jobcentre with his bicycle and he wasn’t allowed to take his bike inside with him whilst he attended his appointment so we offered to look after it for him. He’s a lovely chap just trying his best to cope in a very difficult world.

It was then that I spotted a woman leaving the Jobcentre with her partner. She was visibly upset so I walked over and asked her if I could help her. This is her situation.

Janet is a mother of four children, she suffers from memory loss which she says it getting much worse. She forgot to attend a meeting at the Jobcentre because of her memory loss but when she saw that she should have attended a meeting she dashed down to the Jobcentre with her partner.

Janet was then met with the words ‘We’re going to sanction you because you didn’t attend a meeting’. She tried to tell them that she’s not well and suffers from memory loss and she said that they weren’t interested, she was going to be sanctioned and she was told to leave.

Janet should be receiving lots more support than she is at present. She hadn’t been advised about anything regarding her disabilities and nor did they care. I then advised her about what to do, I also advised her partner about what he can do to help her regarding this situation. I also signposted them to their local MP for help, I really hope that they’ve telephoned their office.

We also gave them a food parcel and stood with her whilst she was crying wondering how on earth she would manage to look after her children, because she’s not going to be able to buy them any food etc. She feels like a failure to them and everyone.

I hope that my words of support helped her and showed her that we do care and she is loved.

Sanctions appear to have gone under the radar until this week, indeed I’ve been campaigning against them for years as have others. I tell people that sanctions kill people, some have called me an extremist for saying this but it’s far from extreme isn’t it.

We need to continue to put pressure on the government, and remind them that they need to stop withdrawing the means of survival from vulnerable claimants. They shouldn’t be the ones to decide if a person lives or dies.

It was then that I spotter ‘Irene’ walking towards the Jobcentre with her friend.

Irene has been waiting since May for a decision about her claim for universal credit. She’s trying to survive on her sons pension. Her son died a few years ago.

Most of this pension money is spent on paying her rent, and she’s left with about £15 a month to live on.

So far Irene has been sent to three different Jobcentres by the DWP and not one of them have helped her so far, meanwhile her friend is buying her food etc.

For various reasons Irene isn’t able to use a computer, both herself and her friend had already told the DWP this and it was noted, but it didn’t stop a DWP telephone advisor from telling her to “GET A GRIP AND USE A COMPUTER”.

Of course this upset Irene and she just didn’t know what to do.

I advised her to telephone her local MPs office and ask them for their help. She really needs their support because MPs are really good at this, well our local MPs are and I appreciate that we’re lucky.

Irene was so thankful for the help, she’s so fed up with being messed around by the system. Lets hope that she gets some good news soon.

We then spoke to a man that has been waiting since May for a decision from a DWP decision maker. He told us that the DWP owed him money and this is probably why they’re taking their time in responding.

He’s probably correct. The DWP are extremely quick at taking money away from people but extremely slow at repaying money back that they owe.

Remember Amber Rudd telling everyone that universal credit is wonderful for everyone that has been in prison? Tell this to Dave, he can’t get a job because of his criminal record and can’t afford to become self employed either.

Amber Rudd you’re a liar and you know it don’t you.

It was then that we had a conversation with Gill and her partner. Gill is disabled and has fibromyalgia and other health problems.

Gill and her partner were forced to make a claim for universal credit which took ten weeks to be processed. Yes ten weeks, she’s disabled for heavens sake.

Gill recently failed a DWP medical assessment and is in the process of appealing.

Gill and her partner are now in debt with everyone and is forced to attend the Jobcentre for ‘meetings’. Are they going to magically cure her? I doubt it but they will make her even more unwell.

Quite understandably they’re extremely frustrated and depressed. This government really hates people with disabilities.

I had a short conversation with a woman about her council tax and how much of a struggle it is to pay it. I can totally relate to this.

Just before we left Gordon asked a young man if he needed any help. He told us that he was ok but they (the DWP) really hate him in there (the Jobcentre).

To be fair the DWP don’t like any of us do they.

We will be returning next week as usual, but we really need more support and we would love more people to join us. There’s only two of us now and I was going to organise our yearly anniversary demo, but there’s not much point if no ones going to be there.

I really hate to have to ask and I apologise for doing so.

Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about my blog.

Help a stranger, become a friend and understand that this could well happen to you. Most of my readers do realise this.

I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help others. I’m also going to be moved onto universal credit in the near future.

A massive thanks to all my readers and to everyone for supporting my blog. It means the world to me and the people that we help.

Homelessness, PIP assessment failures, terrible landlords and questionable work agencies. Another week outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

Dear readers, I can’t believe that it’s Thursday again. Time goes so quickly these days.

This weeks demo was very productive and we helped lots of people but we really do need more helpers. If you’re ever in the area please come and say hello.

It rained as usual today but only for the first hour of the demo. I was actually shocked to see the sun peeping out from behind a cloud.

My apologies if I’ve been quiet this week, I wasn’t feeling 100% but I think that now we might be seeing the end of the rain for a couple of days I should be ok.

Today’s demo went really quickly and we helped so many people with differing issues ranging from giving food parcels to someone who was in need of one to giving directions. It’s going to take people a long time to get used to the new Tameside One building.

I can’t thank Gordon enough for supporting me today, his help is invaluable and is really appreciated.

I shall list my conversations as usual. I won’t divulge a persons identity either so they don’t run the risk of being targeted by the DWP. I’ve seen this happen and the fear of this happening is very real.

I had requests for food parcels before the demo started from people who were in desperate need for food and a conversation. It’s heartbreaking to see peoples life’s spin totally out of their control, and not by their own doing.

I spoke to a young woman today whom I’ve had conversations with in the past on many occasions. My heart goes out to her it really does.

When they say that bad luck comes in three’s she’s had triple this amount and more, it isn’t her oen doing either.

Various events in her life have resulted in her needing more help than can be offered locally thanks to government cuts.

I handed her a food parcel and had a long conversation with her. I really wish that I had a magic wand to help her. She’s such a lovely woman and I hate seeing her like this.

It was then that I had a conversation with a man whom I shall call Bill.

Bill has been working for a job agency grabbing working whenever her can. However the agency that he’s working for is refusing to give him a job reference for another job that he’s looking for nor have they been paying him his full wage. The agency is also refusing to give him wage slips.

Call me cynical but I can smell a rat when I hear stories like this. This job agency are exploiting Bill, making him work long hours for little or no pay and refuse to give him a wage slip because they’re most likely committing fraud in some way.

Bill is also trapped into working for them because he can’t get another job without a reference from this employer.

Stories like this make me furious and I signposted him to Greater Manchester Law Centre for help.

Being trapped on universal credit is bad enough but combine this with an agency that are refusing to give him wage slips and his full wage is really making his life hell.

More needs to be done to outlaw these awful job agencies and to abolish zero hour contracts. People are really suffering as a result of them, and he wasn’t the first person that I spoke to today that found themselves in the same position.

I hope Bill is ok, he was a lovely chap that really deserves much more than to be treated like this.

I had a quick conversation with a woman who is in the process off appealing a PIP decision. She’s doing everything that she can to appeal this decision.

I had a conversation with a young man who had recently lost his temporary accommodation so he’s now moving between various night shelters. Call me old fashioned but I believe that everyone deserves a place to call home. Criminalising homeless people just makes things much worse. The government should be on trial for treating people like this, for taking funding away from necessary services.

Meanwhile it looks like Boris Johnson is going to become our next prime minister. God help us.

I had a conversation with a young man that is newly homeless and has found a job. His problem is that he needed some bus fare to get to his new job, of course the DWP refused to help him even though he claims universal credit and the DWP are claiming that universal credit helps people into work.

What a load of rubbish, if they actually did want this they’d give this man his bus fare and ensure that every single person upon finding work is given a fully contracted job not an unstable zero hour contract job with a dodgy agency that refuses to pay them.

Who cares though? We do, my readers do but the government don’t give a toss.

It was then that I spoke to a lovely young woman. Her story was very similar to Bills.

She’s working for a job agency getting work whenever she can and she’s also looking for a secure job. She has children to care for.

She asked her agency if she could have a reference to send to a future employer. They point blank refused saying that they didn’t have to. Her wages have also been sparodic. Not ideal when shes got children to look after.

Thinking that the DWP would help her she asked them for help but was refused so I signposted her to Greater Manchester Law Centre where they can hopefully help her.

This highlighted how bad many of these agencies are. At the moment they’re running roughshod over very vulnerable people with absolutely no governmental opposition from the Tory Party. Like John Mcdonall and Jeremy Corbyn say, these agencies and zero hour contracts need to be abolished.

I then had a conversation with a woman who has been battling a dodgy landlord for years. She told me about her substandard accommodation, leaking roofs, damp riddled walls etc.

It’s awful that she’s having to go through this. It’s had a detrimental effect on both her physical and mental health.

It’s much like the days of old from before Ken Loach made Cathy Come Home and Shirley Baker took a set of photographs that spurred the organisation Shelter to be formed.

It’s like stepping back in time, in my eyes right back to the mid 19th century onwards.

Whilst there’s a Tory government there’s suffering, the two go hand in hand and now we’ve most likely got Boris as our future prime minister.

Things aren’t going to get better until we vote them out and I can’t wait for that day.

A special mention goes out to members of DPAC that have collected thousands of copies of the Metro newspaper and gave them back to the Metro and the DWP.

The governments propaganda campaign has failed miserably through this campaign

Also the thousands upon thousands of people that have been forced onto universal credit that know the reality of this awful system.

Making work pay, don’t make me laugh. It’s the opposite and they know it.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s really important that we get information like this out there for the world to see.

We will be back next week to help people.

There’s also a donate button at the top and side of this blog for anyone interested in donating. I’m a skint single parent struggling like everyone else is. Every penny does help.

A massive thanks to everyone that does already support my blog. Thank you ❤️.

The bedroom tax strikes again. Yet more tales from the Jobcentre.

Dear readers, as expected the weather was rotten, raining and windy. The temperature more like what we usually expect in winter. As a result we stayed for a hour and still helped lots of people. Also I was feeling pretty rubbish. My apologies again.

Because the weather was bad, we didn’t expect there to be as much demand for our food parcels. Sometimes people like to stay indoors so not to get wet, but I was wrong. There was a queue for the food parcels and we didn’t have enough to give to everyone, but we muddled through and everyone was ok.

It’s very hard to gauge what to expect, not one week is the same. People are continuing to suffer at the hands of the government and their persecutor of the poor the DWP.

I spotted a woman walking towards us, she was a new face and in need of our help.

As I handed her a food parcel and a copy of our survival guide I asked her if I could help her in any way. She replied saying that she was sick and tired of the bedroom tax,. She has to pay the bedroom tax for two spare bedrooms, and before anyone says that she should just move out, she can’t. As a result of the bedroom tax she has accrued debts with her landlord and just about everyone that she knows.

So she’s now dependent upon food banks and local support networks. She told me of how she likes to help others even though they may not thank her for it, saying ‘We’re all in the same boat so we should look out for each other’

That’s not easy when you have nothing though, and you don’t see any Tory MP offering to help anyone do you.

I helped her to the best of my abilities and I hope that shes ok.

It was then when I started a conversation with a young man, a new face that had come to see us on the advice of his friends. His story is this;

He is newly unemployed and is street homeless,.

He has just made an application for universal credit.

He wants to work but can’t find a job that would cover the expense of staying in supported housing or a hostel. The rent payable per person in these places are very high, therefore most people can only find work when they eventually find permanent accommodation.

Basically at the moment his priority is getting a bed for the night, but he will still have to fulfil his obligations with the DWP.

I signposted him to all relevant local organisations that can help him.

I then handed a leaflet to a young man and I asked him if he needed any help. His answer was that he’ll be struggling for the next two weeks until he hopefully receives his first universal credit payment.

I then spoke to an older man nearing pensionable age. He’s really suffered because of the horrendous DWP system that one minute tells him that he’s entitled to payments, and the next minute tells him that he isn’t entitled to anything.

I asked him how he’s been coping, he told me that he’s survived by doing odd jobs for people every now and then.

He told me that he was concerned about his data being shared by the DWP. This is a relevant worry because they do pass our information on to their ‘pals’.

As we continued with our conversation he told me that he had received a letter saying that he can apply for his pension early. I encouraged him to do this because it’s the only way out of this awful situation.

Things aren’t improving folks, its getting much worse. People aren’t able to afford to buy food etc because of the bedroom tax, the council tax supplement and debts. More and more people are dependent upon food banks and friends for help.

To be in any of the situations above is scary. Most of the people that I’ve spoken to throughout the years had never thought that they’d be in this situation and once there it’s devastated them.

We honestly can’t allow this to continue, far too many people are dying. We all need to challenge the government more in any way that you’re able.

The thought of Boris Johnson as the next prime minister is indeed a worrying thought. But if he does become our next prime minister we must constantly challenge him. We’ll certainly be the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Thankfully Esther Mcvey has been ruled out of the equation. Her being prime minister would be absolutely horrific.

We’ll be returning next week and hopefully the weather will be better.

Many thanks to Gordon for helping me today.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

A massive thank you to everyone that reads and supports my blog.

I’m a skint single parent struggling like everyone else and I speak from experience as well as having conversations with others.

For anyone wishing to donate there is a paypal link at the top of the blog and at the side. Thank you!!

Surviving on £30 a week with children. Universal Credit strikes again.

Dear readers, my apologies once again for this weeks blog being late. I woke with a migraine and I’m struggling through it. Anyway enough about me, I hope that your ok.

Thankfully it wasn’t raining today which made a pleasant surprise because rain was forecast. The rain clouds are looming so it’ll be here soon.

Today was quiet, most likely because of the school holidays, but regardless we managed to help lots of people which is the main thing.

As usual there was a queue for the food parcels and I had a long chat with the young woman that I mentioned in last weeks blog. She’s surviving and was able to smile this week. She’s also been able to eat some good meals. She’s also staying at a friends home and they’re taking good care of her.

All the food parcels went as soon as they arrived which says a lot about this awful benefits system that isn’t really a benefit for many if anyone. Having to fight for every penny that you’re entitled to is no fun at all.

After talking to the people that took the food parcels, we then had a conversation with a woman that we’ve spoken to before. Her story is this. She’s received a letter telling her that her PIP assessment is next week and at her home. I asked her if she had anyone to be with her whilst the PIP examination was taking place. She told me that she didn’t so I volunteered to do this.

It’s important to get help with these assessments if that’s possible. This woman is really confused about the whole system, indeed she thought that it was an examination that she had to pass as do so many people.

We advised her and I promised her that I would be there for her, hopefully we managed to reassure her.

It was then that we had a long conversation with a confused and anxious man outside the Jobcentre. I walked over, handed him a copy of our survival guide and asked him if we could help.

This is his story. He went to the cash machine to collect his payment and saw that it wasn’t there, his payment was supposed to have been paid today but it wasn’, and this is why he was at the Jobcentre to try to find out why.

Some might say ‘Why didn’t he phone the DWP to resolve this?’ He couldn’t because he doesn’t have any credit on his mobile phone. I really wish that people would realise that many of of us can’t afford to buy phone credit.

I advised him to ask his advisor when he went in for his appointment and he did just that. Upon leaving the Jobcentre he told me that they said that they don’t guarantee that a payment will arrive on a specific day or date because ‘It depends on the month’.

So they accept that not all months have the same amount of weeks etc but they still don’t recognise the fact that a person claiming universal credit and working can receive two wages in one month. They stop their payments because apparently they’ve earnt ‘too much’ and aren’t entitled to their universal credit.

It’s one rule for them and one for us as usual.

Hopefully he will receive his payment tomorrow as promised but I wouldn’t hold my breath would you?

Roy then spoke to a man that’s claiming the sickness element of universal credit. The DWP have told him that he now has to look for work for 20 hours a week despite his disability. Of course he shouldn’t have to do this. But the DWP do exactly what they want and get away with it.

I then walked over to a young woman that was attending the Jobcentre with her children. I asked her how she was and if she needed any help. To say that she’s stressed was an understatement. I’ll name her Jill.

Jill is a single parent with children, she has no close family members to ask for help. So far Jill has been waiting 5 weeks for her first universal credit payment.

Jill and her children are trying to survive on £30 child benefit, loans from the DWP that she’ll have to repay and food parcels from local food banks and organisations.

The DWP have told Jill that she might get a payment next week, and apparently that makes it all ok. Eerrmm no it doesn’t.

Can you imagine how difficult and soul destroying this is for Jill? Having to literally beg for food and help whilst trying to be positive for her children. It’s horrific and certainly shouldn’t be happening.

We then noted an official from the ‘Job Gym” walking into the Jobcentre. The very name of this organisation is ridiculous isn’t it. There isn’t enough work out there for people and no amount of ‘working out’ at this ‘Job Gym’ can fix this.

By the way I despise these organisations that work on behalf of the DWP, and I find the names of these organisations to often be ridiculous. There isn’t enough decent work out there, not work that can sustain a family. The only work available is usually zero hour contract work for agencies.

I then spoke to a young man that had been sanctioned for not attending an DWP appointment because he was in prison on the day of the appointment. He then had to make a new claim, but the DWP told him that his sanction had been carried over to this new claim and he wouldn’t be able to access any money for a while.

Luckily he managed to overturn the sanction, so now he has to wait at least 5 weeks for his universal credit claim to be processed.

The whole 5 week wait for a universal credit claim to be processed is ridiculous, and it could be made much shorter if the government wanted to.

The government doesn’t want to help working class people though, they just want to continue to punish them for being alive and breathing. There’s an endless pot of money available to further their campaign of hatred towards the working class isn’t there. It’s despicable and cruel. We’ll never, ever forget this nor will our children.

This all happened within two hours outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre this morning, can you imagine how awful it is for everyone attending every Jobcentre throughout the country?

Many thanks to Gordon and Roy for helping today, they’re amazing people.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, also subscribe to my blog so that you’ll receive notifications every time that I update the blog.

Many thanks to everyone that supports my blog. Thank you so, so much.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny does count. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help people and to campaign against this terrible system and government. I also help people outside of this blog and the demo, and every penny does count. Thank you xx.

Surviving on £30 a week with children. Universal Credit strikes again.

Dear readers, my apologies once again for this weeks blog being late. I woke with a migraine and I’m struggling through it. Anyway enough about me, I hope that your ok.

Thankfully it wasn’t raining today which made a pleasant surprise because rain was forecast. The rain clouds are looming so it’ll be here soon.

Today was quiet, most likely because of the school holidays, but regardless we managed to help lots of people which is the main thing.

As usual there was a queue for the food parcels and I had a long chat with the young woman that I mentioned in last weeks blog. She’s surviving and was able to smile this week. She’s also been able to eat some good meals. She’s also staying at a friends home and they’re taking good care of her.

All the food parcels went as soon as they arrived which says a lot about this awful benefits system that isn’t really a benefit for many if anyone. Having to fight for every penny that you’re entitled to is no fun at all.

After talking to the people that took the food parcels, we then had a conversation with a woman that we’ve spoken to before. Her story is this. She’s received a letter telling her that her PIP assessment is next week and at her home. I asked her if she had anyone to be with her whilst the PIP examination was taking place. She told me that she didn’t so I volunteered to do this.

It’s important to get help with these assessments if that’s possible. This woman is really confused about the whole system, indeed she thought that it was an examination that she had to pass as do so many people.

We advised her and I promised her that I would be there for her, hopefully we managed to reassure her.

It was then that we had a long conversation with a confused and anxious man outside the Jobcentre. I walked over, handed him a copy of our survival guide and asked him if we could help.

This is his story. He went to the cash machine to collect his payment and saw that it wasn’t there, his payment was supposed to have been paid today but it wasn’, and this is why he was at the Jobcentre to try to find out why.

Some might say ‘Why didn’t he phone the DWP to resolve this?’ He couldn’t because he doesn’t have any credit on his mobile phone. I really wish that people would realise that many of of us can’t afford to buy phone credit.

I advised him to ask his advisor when he went in for his appointment and he did just that. Upon leaving the Jobcentre he told me that they said that they don’t guarantee that a payment will arrive on a specific day or date because ‘It depends on the month’.

So they accept that not all months have the same amount of weeks etc but they still don’t recognise the fact that a person claiming universal credit and working can receive two wages in one month. They stop their payments because apparently they’ve earnt ‘too much’ and aren’t entitled to their universal credit.

It’s one rule for them and one for us as usual.

Hopefully he will receive his payment tomorrow as promised but I wouldn’t hold my breath would you?

Roy then spoke to a man that’s claiming the sickness element of universal credit. The DWP have told him that he now has to look for work for 20 hours a week despite his disability. Of course he shouldn’t have to do this. But the DWP do exactly what they want and get away with it.

I then walked over to a young woman that was attending the Jobcentre with her children. I asked her how she was and if she needed any help. To say that she’s stressed was an understatement. I’ll name her Jill.

Jill is a single parent with children, she has no close family members to ask for help. So far Jill has been waiting 5 weeks for her first universal credit payment.

Jill and her children are trying to survive on £30 child benefit, loans from the DWP that she’ll have to repay and food parcels from local food banks and organisations.

The DWP have told Jill that she might get a payment next week, and apparently that makes it all ok. Eerrmm no it doesn’t.

Can you imagine how difficult and soul destroying this is for Jill? Having to literally beg for food and help whilst trying to be positive for her children. It’s horrific and certainly shouldn’t be happening.

We then noted an official from the ‘Job Gym” walking into the Jobcentre. The very name of this organisation is ridiculous isn’t it. There isn’t enough work out there for people and no amount of ‘working out’ at this ‘Job Gym’ can fix this.

By the way I despise these organisations that work on behalf of the DWP, and I find the names of these organisations to often be ridiculous. There isn’t enough decent work out there, not work that can sustain a family. The only work available is usually zero hour contract work for agencies.

I then spoke to a young man that had been sanctioned for not attending an DWP appointment because he was in prison on the day of the appointment. He then had to make a new claim, but the DWP told him that his sanction had been carried over to this new claim and he wouldn’t be able to access any money for a while.

Luckily he managed to overturn the sanction, so now he has to wait at least 5 weeks for his universal credit claim to be processed.

The whole 5 week wait for a universal credit claim to be processed is ridiculous, and it could be made much shorter if the government wanted to.

The government doesn’t want to help working class people though, they just want to continue to punish them for being alive and breathing. There’s an endless pot of money available to further their campaign of hatred towards the working class isn’t there. It’s despicable and cruel. We’ll never, ever forget this nor will our children.

This all happened within two hours outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre this morning, can you imagine how awful it is for everyone attending every Jobcentre throughout the country?

Many thanks to Gordon and Roy for helping today, they’re amazing people.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, also subscribe to my blog so that you’ll receive notifications every time that I update the blog.

Many thanks to everyone that supports my blog. Thank you so, so much.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny does count. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help people and to campaign against this terrible system and government. I also help people outside of this blog and the demo, and every penny does count. Thank you xx.

Aged 65 and hounded to find work. Universal Credit cares nothing about age or ability to work.

Dear readers, it’s Thursday again and here’s my latest blog update. Thankfully the weather was good today, indeed very warm for a change. We spoke to lots of people and helped lots also.

We do vital work, helping people when they’re upset, stressed and dealt with unfairly by the DWP. Claiming universal credit is a difficult and arduous process, hard for many, impossible for some as they don’t know how to or don’t have a computer.

For those saying that they should go to a library thats easier said than done. Many libraries have shut and some libraries reduced to a small mobile library that visits occasionally and don’t have computer or internet access.

For those that say that they can do their job searching on a phone, a lot of people don’t have smart phones, many have pawned them for money for food or bills and many don’t know how to use them. Life isn’t as simple as some make it out to be. Most of you already realise this of course.

Universal credit is a complicated system that’s designed to make people fail. It doesn’t benefit those that are working and claiming universal credit either. If you are seen to earn ‘too much’ then they’ll automatically end your claim. This happens all the time to people that have received two wages in one month because of the number of days in the month or if you’ve managed to get some overtime.

This week is the start of Amber Rudds universal credit publicity campaign in the Metro newspaper. The facts that she’s stating in these ads are untrue and based upon old data. They’ll be running this advertisement campaign for nine weeks, so there’s plenty of time to bin these newspapers when you see them.

This is why it’s very important to share my blog and other blogs like mine. We need to get the truth out there to the public. Whilst we can’t afford to pay 250 thousand to do this like the Tory party have, we do have social media and word of mouth. We are much more effective than they are using these methods because the Tories haven’t got a clue how to relate to real life people.

Everyone that we spoke to today were signposted for help, given advice immediately and given a food parcel if needed. The food parcels went as soon as we arrived with them, there’s a huge need for them because many people are surviving by visiting various foodbanks during the week and accessing any free cooked food facilities.

It shouldn’t be like this, but it is and we will be there to help them as long as there is a need.

I spoke to a man as I was handing him a food parcel, he told me that he’s been told that he’s missed two PIP appointments even though he didn’t receive any letters regarding this. He collects his post from the local post office so he definitely hasn’t received them.

As a result he’s now having to survive by using foodbanks and our food parcels.

I had a quick chat with a woman who was carrying her seven week old baby. Call me old fashioned but I don’t believe that anyone with such a young baby should be hounded by the DWP. Children benefit hugely from being with their parents, and if the government allowed this then they’d save millions of pounds. But it’s not about saving money is it, it’s about making people suffer, and that includes children.

I had a conversation with a young woman who is claiming universal credit and is working. She told me that because she had done some overtime the previous month, the universal credit system and automatically stopped her claim because it decided that she had earnt ‘too much’.

This has left her not knowing how she will survive, pay her rent and other bills. Despite Amber Rudds claims no one benefits from claiming universal credit especially working people.

Sadly this woman will never be able to satisfy the universal credit system, nor will anyone that I’ve spoken to today and over the years. It’s an abusive, gaslighting system that wears a person down until they’ve had enough.

It wasn’t long after that I had a conversation with a very vulnerable man and his carer. I’ve seen him having to go into the Jobcentre every week. A government with an ounce of compassion wouldn’t make him or anyone like him sign on. He should be able to enjoy his life instead of worrying all the time.

I then had a conversation with an older man.He quite rightly pointed out that nobody would employ him at his age, and he doesn’t like being harassed by the DWP to find work. He told me that she’s worked since leaving school and has never seen a system like it.

His situation doesn’t end there though, because he’s claiming universal credit he still has to pay the bedroom tax and the council tax supplement. To say that he’s struggling is an understatement, he doesn’t know how much more that he can take.

Roy briefly spoke to a young woman. Her situation is this, her private landlord is selling the house that she’s renting and she’s being forced to move home. When she moves home this will trigger a change of circumstances and she’ll be moved onto universal credit. To say that she’s scared of this happening is an understatement.

Luckily Roy provided some reassuring words and advice. I really hope that she’ll be ok.

I then spoke to an older lady, she told me that she was 65 and had worked for 50 years. She missed out on getting her pension and she’s not entitled to it until March.

During this conversation she told me that she didn’t receive any notification that this would happen to her and she certainly didn’t receive any letters telling her this. She’s doing her best to survive and is a member of the Back To 60 campaign, an important campaign which is overshadowed by the WASPI campaign. Please folks support them both.

Being harassed at 65 years of age by the DWP to find work is not only insulting it’s downright wrong. No one will employ her, it’s hard enough being a young person and finding work how on earth can they expect her to magic up employment that will satisfy the DWP. It’s scandalous and needs to be reported more often.

It was then that we all had a conversation with a chap who’s just returned from living in a different area of the country. He was already claiming universal credit and thought that it would be simple for the DWP to transfer his claim to his present address.

Sadly the DWP don’t believe in doing anything simply though, the system is rigged to make people suffer. He described how he’s now living a ‘nightmare’ and he’s sick of waiting for his commitment appointment with a DWP worker.

Universal credit shouldn’t be complicated after all it was advertised as being simple and easy to use. The reality is that its the most complicated system that many have seen and at times impossible to deal with. Don’t believe the DWP lies and spin.

It was then that I spoke to a young man thats going through a complete nightmare. His situation is this.

He was born in a different country because his mother had gone on holiday and had her baby unexpectedly there. His mother is a British citizen and was born in the Uk as were her parents, grandparents etc etc.

The home office contacted him and told him that he’s no longer a British Citizen, even though his parents are British, and nor is his young child. They informed him that he has to hand their passports in. To say that he’s scared is an understatement, this is his country, his parents country. He works in the UK, paid tax and insurance but now he’s been told that he’s not welcome because he happened to be born unexpectedly in a different country.

Sadly this isn’t uncommon, cases like this happen a lot but are often unreported. No one should have to go through this, but the government doesn’t care.

Luckily we were there to help him and to signpost him. The Windrush scandal isn’t over, they were just warming up. I’m certain that hundreds of people have been forced to leave the UK and to move to a country where they have no connections etc.

It’s scandalous that this is happening in the first place.

I’ll leave this blog with a statement from UN rapporteur Philip Alston, taken from his report that was released this week.

“It might seem to some observers that the department of work and pensions has been tasked with designing a digital and sanitised version of the early 19th century workhouse, made infamous by Charles Dickens”

“Thomas Hobbes observed long ago, such an approach condemns the least well-off to lives that are solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. As the British social contract evaporates, Hobbes prediction risks becoming the new reality.”

I can’t thank Roy and Gordon enough for supporting me today and helping so many people today. We are all doing this on a voluntary basis, because we can see the need and need to address it.

We shall return next week as usual.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog. For anyone wishing to donate towards keeping my blog going and the campaign there’s a button at the top of this blog and at the side.

You didn’t use the correct words so we didn’t process your request. Universal credit is torturous don’t believe the DWPs propaganda.

Dear readers I hope that you’re all well. This week we had sunshine which was extremely welcome and a nice change from the rain that we appear to have had since the move to the new building.

Today was quite a busy day, lots of people needing help, lots of conversations were had and lots of people were helped.

We handed out lots of leaflets and food parcels to those in need of them we’ve been doing this for around five years, ever since the introduction of universal credit in Tameside. Ashton Under Lyne was chosen to be a trial area so we’ve had a pretty shit time of it.

I was greeted at the Jobcentre by a man that has finally received his first universal credit payment. After paying back his debt for the loans that he had to take out when waiting for his universal credit to be processed he’s left with £231 to live on for the month. His monthly repayments are £86.67, how on earth is anyone supposed to survive on this? The answer is that they can’t. People often apply for loans from loan sharks etc to get them through the month and end up having to use most of their monthly allowance to pay them back.

This isn’t a fair system, nor is it a caring system. It’s designed to punish those that are in need the most. Don’t believe the propaganda from the DWP, the truth is far worse than some people realise.

We need a fair system, one that doesn’t punish a person for being poor. We need a system that enables people to thrive, to care for people.

I had a conversation with a chap that we’ve been talking to every week. He’s a lovely man and always has a smile on his face despite his circumstances.

He told me that he was being hounded via text message by the DWP. They were sending him text messages everyday telling him to phone them up regarding his universal credit claim. When he received a text message from them last week he phoned them and dealt with the matter.

The DWP not content with this have decided to send him text messages everyday asking him to phone them up. Of course this worried him so he telephoned them every time he received a message and every time he was otolaryngologists that they’d sent him the messages by mistake.

Can you imagine how this could send someone over the edge? It can and it does. The DWP need to stop harassing people but of course they won’t because I believe that some of them get a kick out of it.

I spoke to a man wanting to appeal his ESA medical assessment decision. Luckily he’s getting help from Welfare Rights, but no one should ever have to attend these awful assessments.

I then had a conversation with a man that was struggling with paying his council tax. He told me that they (the council) don’t care that he’s struggling they just want his money. Council tax and the council tax supplement is cruel to many, it’s unaffordable to most of the people that I speak to. I really hate this tax along with the bedroom tax. They push people into even more poverty, the bedroom tax is responsible for making thousands of people homeless.

We spoke to a man that was struggling to get his national insurance number from the Jobcentre. He had found some agency work but needed his national insurance number but the Jobcentre said no. Luckily I was able to phone our MPs office (Angela Rayner) on his behalf and they helped him with this, so thank you so much.

Of course this shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but the DWP aren’t renowned for their helpfulness are they.

I then spoke to a woman that was struggling with her claim. She had been advised to telephone the DWP to correct things. She did this and was informed that everything would be ok because she had phoned them. Of course the DWP lied. She asked her advisor why her complaint hadn’t been listened to because she had ‘used the wrong words’.

This is absolutely ridiculous, how on earth was she supposed to know what words to use. It’s obscene that they used this as an excuse not to help her.

We had at least five conversations with people that were focused on how awful the government is, how ‘shit’ the DWP system is, how awful a particular local conservative councillor is.

This is a complete turnaround from even a few months ago. Locally people are frustrated and angry with the government. To be honest judging from todays conversations it wont be long before they reach breaking point, after all there’s only so much abuse that a person can take until they reach breaking point.

We need a Labour government and soon. This has to change, and will change one day. I have to have hope in that to keep me going.

Please read, share rt email my blog if you can.

Many thanks to everyone that reads and supports my blog. Thank you so, so much it means the world. We will be back next week to do the same.

I’m a skint single parent trying to make our world a better place. For anyone wishing to donate there’s a donation button at the side and top of this blog.

I’ll be dead by the time they stop my sickness money. The stark reality of universal credit.

Dear readers, once again I’m sorry for the delay. It’s been a tough month for me so far and I hope that it gets better.

Today’s weather was awful, raining and cold, I even had to go into the market and buy myself a knitted hat. You can bet that many people claiming universal credit are freezing today. Let’s hope that we get some warmer weather soon.

I was met at the food parcel pick up point by two of the people that we help regularly with food parcels. They like to help us with carrying the food parcels which is really kind of them and I also love to see them.

As I approached the Job Centre there was a queue of people waiting for a food parcel, so they were all gone as soon as they arrived.

We are the 5th richest country in the world yet we have thousands and thousands of people are reliant upon food parcels to survive. The money certainly doesn’t trickle down to the poorest does it. It stays it the top.

I had a chat with the regulars all of whom are managing to maintain their accommodation and keep their tenancies and have done for quite a while now. They’re doing so well and I’m extremely proud of them. This is no mean feat believe me, but they’re trying so hard despite the DWP not providing them with enough money to survive on.

They told me that a local organisation is shut for a few weeks for renovation. This has given them some concerns because these organisations keep them going. Anyway, I did my best to cheer them up. Life’s hard when you’re skint.

I spoke to a woman who was rushing to get out of the rain, as I handed her a leaflet she expressed her concerns about her future move onto universal credit. She hasn’t got a clue how she’ll survive. I just hope that our leaflet and words of encouragement help her.

I spoke to a chap thats struggling to cope with life in general. He’s homeless and had to leave a local hostel because someone stole some of his belongings. He’s now got a flat but others are taking advantage of him and his good nature. Luckily his friend has taken him under his wing and will now be doing his best to help him.

It’s a sad reality that many leave hostels etc because they don’t feel safe, preferring life on the street. Without adequate funding etc it’s hard for these organisations to address this.

I spoke to a man that told me that he’s only received one universal credit payment in three months.

He told me that his universal credit payments were being paid into his friends bank account but his friend had died. He then informed the DWP that his friend had died and he informed the DWP that he had a new bank account to put his payments into. Unfortunately the DWP seem to have lost this information so he hasn’t been receiving his payments. I really hope that they sort this out for him asap.

We then spoke to a man suffering from mouth cancer. He hasn’t got a clue what benefit he’s claiming, what he’s entitled to. He was totally confused and shouldn’t have to be going through this in the first place.

We told him to get all of his paperwork together and to got to Citizens Advice for a full benefit check.

How on earth are vulnerable people supposed to survive on a system that actively works against the persons trying to survive on it.

A man as ill as he is shouldn’t have to battle a system such as this, he’s already battling cancer for gods sake. I’m certain that the government want us dead or to disappear. They see us as being worthless of having no value at all, therefore they regard our life’s as such.

I then spoke to a man that had worked all of his life. He told me that this new system baffles and confuses him. He told me that he didn’t have a clue of what benefit he was claiming.

Luckily I was able to help and advise him. My thought was that if we weren’t there what would he have done? It’s both a scary and depressing thought isn’t it.

We then spoke to a woman that walked out of work. She had worked as a support worker and was being forced to work 60 hours a week. She told me that her working conditions were so bad that she had no choice but to leave.

Support workers should be valued not abused. I really hate hearing stories like this, yet there are those that will make as much money as possible from the support worker and their client as possible.

She told me that the DWP keep sending her on ‘stupid courses’ that in her words won’t help her to find a job. She went on to say that she knows how to find a job and these courses are distracting her from doing this.

I spoke briefly to an older man as he was leaving the Jobcentre. I handed him a leaflet and asked him if he was ok. He told me that he was ill, and would most likely be dead before they (the DWP) stop his sickness benefits.

Why on earth should a man so ill be forced to attend Jobcentre appointments? Apparently we’re supposed to live in a ‘civilised’ society. There’s nothing civilised about forcing extremely ill person to attend DWP appointments.

I then spoke to a man claiming universal credit thats been forced to live on £175 a month due loan repayments, council tax and other expenses. Do the maths, thats certainly not enough to survive on is it, yet the Tories reckon that everyone’s better off on universal credit.

I then spoke to two women leaving the Jobcentre. They each took a leaflet and expressed their concerns about being moved onto universal credit in the near future.

I did my best to advise them both and they thanked me.

It worries me that so many people are suffering because of universal credit. I should say most people on universal credit are suffering. Many are hungry, stressed and struggling to get by. Working and not working they’re all in the same boat, struggling to make ends meet, struggling to eat, keep their accommodation and even their children.

More and more children are living in poverty, more than we have known in modern times. It’s no wonder that the amount of children being taken into the care of the local authority because their parents can’t afford to feed their children or maintain a home, indeed keeping a tenancy is too much for many parents.

It has been reported in the news this week that the mothers of newborn babies are abandoning their newborn babies in hospital because they can’t afford to look after them.

This is all happening in a country that used to be looked up to by others as one that looked after the poorest. It certainly isn’t now.

Unfortunately the weather was awful again today so we had to finish early. Hopefully we will have better weather next week.

Thanks to Gordon for helping today you’re a star.

Please read, share and tweet my blog.

Please support my blog, it means so much to me. Thank you to my readers that already do this.

There’s a PayPal button at the top and side of this blog post for anyone who would like to donate. I’m just a skint single parent trying to do my best to change this whole rotten system.

Refused a food parcel because they’ve had 3 this year.

Dear readers it’s Thursday and it’s blog day. Unfortunately we had to end the demo early because the rain was torrential, however now that I’m home the rain has stopped and the suns shining for a minute. Sod’s law isn’t it.

Whilst I was waiting for Roy and Gordon to drop off the food parcels I was stopped by a man standing behind the bench that I was sitting on. He looked awful, in the midst of addiction and the pain on his face was startling.

He asked me if I’d like to buy an x box game which I declined but told him that he could have a food parcel in a minute. I’m not here to judge him or to question where he got the x box games from, however I am there to at least give him some food and to signpost him which I did.

The sad reality is that incidents like this are common up and down the country. Being street homeless is no fun and it’s made worse if you have an addiction.

The governments answer to this was to restrict funding to rehab places and organisations that they’ve been forced to shut, which in turn puts a lot of pressure upon any remaining services.

Because of this, this chap and many like him fall between the cracks when they’re the ones in most need of support and help. I really hope that he approached the local organisations that I signposted him to.

A similar incident happened the other day whilst I was walking my dog on a field close to my home. A man was sitting in the bushes under a tree, out of the way. He stopped me because he saw my dog and we had a lovely conversation about dogs. I asked him about his situation but he was vague about it, but he did tell me that he was street homeless.

I signposted him to local organisations, which to be fair they most likely already know of him, but because he’s in the midst of addiction he could well be falling in between the cracks or he might have refused help etc.

Once again it’s not for me to judge, but I did signpost him and I gave him some food from my home. I really hope that he’s gone to a local organisation that will help him.

Back to today. Because it was raining we were only able to do a hour but we helped quite a few people within that hour. We also signposted everyone that we spoke to and handed them a food parcel if they needed one.

I had a conversation with a man that I shall call Bill. Bill is currently claiming ESA, although he seemed confused as to what benefit he was claiming. Bills story is this, he’s lost his wallet with his money and bank cards in, he’s also lost his ID and hasn’t got any money at all.

Bill told me that he’s due his payment on Monday and by then he should have his bank card etc and will be able to access his money. In the meantime he’s got no electric and no food.

Bill approached a food bank local to him and asked them if he could have a food parcel. He was refused because he’d already had three. He then panicked and luckily he was told about us.

This made me think. How many people are refused a food parcel after having three? I do know that many food banks use their discretion and give more than three, but this ruling is absolutely terrible. Considering that a claim for universal credit often takes more than five weeks, and appeals regarding ESA and PIP decisions take much longer, saying that three food parcels is enough is obscene.

I do know that many food banks do hand out more than three food parcels, and thank you. You’re saving life’s, helping people to survive an horrific situation.

I then spoke to a young woman, she didn’t need a food parcel but she told me that universal credit is the worst thing thats ever been invented.

She told me how difficult it is for her to manage on universal credit, saying that she tries to budget but she doesn’t have any money to budget with. She’s stressed out, trying to manage on a system that’s totally inadequate for both her and her young sons needs.

We briefly spoke to two young men and we asked them if they’d like a leaflet and a food parcel. They said yes to both and I asked them how they were coping. Their reply was “It’s shit”. Yes it is isn’t it.

We briefly spoke to a woman that needed one of our leaflets for her daughter. She didn’t say why, but hopefully her daughter will get the help that she needs.

I then spoke to a woman that is struggling on universal credit. She has three children and worries about how shes going to feed them. I handed her a leaflet and told her that we are here for her whenever she needs any help.

It was then that the rain got much worse and we had to leave, dashing for shelter to a local coffee shop.

I don’t need to tell you that life shouldn’t be like this. No one should be homeless and living on the streets regardless of addiction or not. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to feed their children and there shouldn’t be a need for food banks.

Please readers, use your vote in the local elections and vote against your local Tory candidate. The less of them that have any power the better. It’s the only way to try and put an end to this cruelty.

I’m so sorry that the blog is short and we left early. The weather was awful and I’m still not 100% over that rotten virus. But we helped lots of people and thats the main thing isn’t it.

Lots of thanks to Roy and Gordon for coming today and bringing the food parcels. Thanks also to all of my blog readers and supporters.

homeless teen Ryan

Please read, share , tweet and email my blog, thank you.

There’s a PayPal donation button. At the top and side of this blog for anyone wishing to donate. I’m a skint single parent who’s also struggling to keep my head above water so to speak. Thank you.

Man threatened with eviction by landlord because his rent is a week late due to ESA payment delay.

Dear readers, its Thursday again and blog day. Today’s demo was very productive and many conversations were had and help given even though there was just two of us there today.

We really would like it if more people could join us but I also realise that many can’t for a wide range of reasons. It’s very hard to get the publics support for campaigns like mine because poverty isn’t pretty, poverty is depressing and harsh. It also reminds people that they could too be in the same position at any given moment. It’s a tough one I know but campaigners countrywide would love more support either face to face or online.

I’m still battling a virus and we still haven’t got a date for my dads funeral and I’m still grieving, so please be patient with me I am doing my best in limited circumstances.

Anyway enough about me onto todays demo and conversations. Please note that we gave help, advice and signposting to everyone that needed it, survival guides were handed out and lots of people were helped.

We do this all on a purely voluntary level and we aren’t funded by anyone. We just can’t abide injustice and the causes of poverty and discrimination, too many people are suffering, too many people are dying.

How many more deaths will it take before the public rise up against the causes? My guess is never, the it’s alright Jack attitude runs through our society preventing many from rising up against anything. This was highlighted today by a conversation that I had with a lovely chap this morning. His attitude towards universal credit was that it’s awful but it’s ok and we should just put up with it because everyone is in the same boat so to speak. We need to change this way of thinking and asap.

This morning there was a large queue for food parcels, indeed I had already had phone calls requesting one. As soon as we arrived with the food parcels they left with the people needing them. I’ve found that a lot of people in my area survive on food parcels being given at different places and free or reduced price meals given at various places.

Life shouldn’t be like this should it, surviving on food parcels and scraps of food. But it is, and the fault lies solely at the feet of the Tory Party. I will never, ever forgive them for this, I’ve never forgiven Thatcher either but that’s another story.

After the food parcels were handed out we had conversations with everyone that received one and checked to see if there’s any progress in their situation or if they need any more help and advice. We never let anyone leave without this.

I spoke to an older man that had been promised that he would receive his first universal credit payment in April, he had waited until this week to see if he actually got his payment and surprise surprise he didn’t.

He phoned up the relevant department and asked them where his payment was. The DWPs reply was cold and uncaring. No apology was made and he was told that he shouldn’t have been told this and he’ll just have to wait like everyone else.

His comment to me was “What am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to survive now? They just don’t care do they”. Damn right they don’t.

I spoke to a man that was struggling trying to find access to the internet and was forced to just use the Jobcentres computers. I advised him to use the library’s free internet and computers, and also the free WiFi as Ikea etc. He was happy to know this and thanked me.

I briefly spoke to a woman that has very limited eyesight due to cataracts. she told me that she’s struggling with the new building because of the lack of signage etc. Lets hope that this is rectified soon.

We then spoke to a man whom I shall call Bob. This is his story, it might sound familiar to you.

Bob was due his ESA payment on the 16th of April but due to a doctors mistake Bob didn’t receive his payment. Bob enquired as to why he didn’t receive his payment and he was told to hand in another sick note, which he did.

Because of the above Bob was a week late paying his rent, his landlord is already threatening to ‘throw him out’ of his home even though legally he can’t do this. This obviously upset Bob because he had been street homeless for many years and he doesn’t want to have to go through that again. We advised him to the best of our abilities and signposted him.

Bob went on to tell us that his brother had previously won his ESA appeal, even though he had lung cancer and shouldn’t have been made to undergo one of these fake medical assessments. I call them fake because they more or less fail everyone and most people have to appeal this decision.

Bob went on to tell us that his brother recently died in February. He wasn’t even allowed to spend his last days peacefully because he had the DWP asking him to go for medical assessments.

Shame on each and every one of these highly paid so called medical professionals that fail obviously ill and disabled people. One day justice will come knocking at your doors and we’ll be waiting.

I then spoke to a man that said that because everyone’s being treated badly it’s ok because we’re all in the same boat so to speak. My answer was that it’s not ok, it’ll never be ok and it should never be accepted.

We spoke to a man that was given a 166 day sanction because he had attended a work trial organised by the DWP at the same time as his signing on appointment. He had informed his advisor etc, claimed bus fares etc to attend this work trial but he was still sanctioned for apparently not telling his advisor when he did.

You really couldn’t make up this could you. It’s downright persecution of the poorest because many feel that they cant fight back.

We signposted him to our local MPs office who will be able to help him with this.

We spoke to a man that told us that he had just signed off because he’d found himself a full time job, a rarity these days. We congratulated him and his smile said it all.

As he was leaving he said that he’d never sign up for that (universal credit) again. Can you blame him, I don’t. Many people choose to take themselves off the system because they can’t cope with it. Many of these people are street homeless struggling to survive.

There is a direct connection to street homelessness and universal credit and this needs to be reported more widely.

I briefly spoke to an older woman whom I shall name Joan as she was walking into the Jobcentre. She told me that she hates it in the Jobcentre because they always make her feel like shes done something wrong.

Joan has been sanctioned because she was in hospital and missed her signing on appointment. She has never been told the length of her sanction and wasn’t told that she can appeal this also.

We advised her, and signposted her to our local MPs office who will treat her with dignity and respect and hopefully overturn the sanction for her.

My heart goes out to each and every person that has been sanctioned, failed ridiculous so called medical assessment, has an awful landlord, cant manage on universal credit, can’t feed themselves or their children. It’s a long list isn’t it and I could go on for forever but you get the idea.

This state sanctioned abuse of the poor and disabled needs to stop and soon. Far too many people are dying, too many people are suffering.

I just wish that more people would realise that this could happen to them at any given time. Society needs to be more compassionate towards each other. It’s not a crime to be poor, but it is a crime to abuse those that are poor.

This all happened in less than two hours, and it was a quiet morning. Can you imagine how awful it is across the country? It’s much worse than the public and some politicians realise.

Please read, share, email and tweet my blog. It’s so important to get the word out there.

Many thanks to Roy for helping me this morning. I really appreciate this, I just wish that more people would join us.

I’m struggling at the moment, financially and physically. I know that this will pass, but each and every share of this blog helps thank you. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to raise awareness and to correct the wrongs of the DWP.

You’re not working enough hours, you need to tell your employer to give you more hours. You’ve got a week to do this. The DWP really hate so called under employed people. Thank

Dear readers it’s Thursday again and luckily this week the weather was good. Yippee I thought, then I saw the already formed queue for the food parcels. I was also met by a German television film crew that had arranged to film us today.

You might ask why would a German television crew want to film us. The answer is this, they really can’t believe how the government is treating the poorest and most vulnerable, especially as the UK was previously known to them for being kind to people, and we had a good social security system. I can imagine that viewers will be shocked to see the truth.

As soon as the food parcels arrived they were taken by those needing one. They keep people going, help to prevent people from literally starving. I’ve no doubt that our advice, help, signposting and food parcels have saved life’s. Never underestimate the difference that you can make to a persons life by just being a friend.

I’ll list some of the conversations that I had with people today. As usual I wont use real names etc because of the very real repercussions from the DWP. This is a fear based upon facts. People are often targeted by the DWP for talking to people like ourselves.

I spoke to Ben. Ben is a young man and his situation is quite complex. Recently Ben had spent six days in prison and hadn’t realised that because of this and not being able to conduct a job search whilst in prison that his payments would be stopped.

As a result he’s now left with no money and has had to start again with his claim.

Most of the people that I speak to haven’t a clue what their legal rights are regarding the DWP. They also don’t know what they’re entitled to claim either and no DWP representative is in a rush to help with this either. Don’t fall for the lies spun by Amber Rudd, not one truthful word is uttered from her mean mouth.

Lets also not forget that government officials have sat on a report for eighteen months that said that universal credit was detrimental to claimants wellbeing. It also showed that people are worse off when claiming universal credit.

You might ask why they sat on this report for eighteen months and the answer is simple. The government wanted to continue with the roll out of universal credit regardless, knowingly ignoring the risk to the wellbeing of thousands and eventually millions of people. If the report had been disclosed then the rollout would have probably been halted. Simple really.

I spoke to an older man that is shocked that people are needing food parcels in 2019, stating that there shouldn’t be the need for them. He went on to say that he’s claiming universal credit and isn’t finding the process welcoming at all, saying that they (DWP staff) like to let you know that they’re in charge.

I asked a woman leaving the Jobcentre how it was going for her. Her reply was ‘It’s shit”.

I spoke to a man that spoke poor English. He had worked as a translator in Afghanistan and has lived in this country for a while. He didn’t understand that because his circumstances had changed he was now being made to apply for universal credit. He’s now been waiting seven weeks for a payment. He’s feeling upset, depressed and confused.

I spoke to Simon. Simon has been waiting for seven weeks for his first universal credit payment. He’s a fully qualified plumber and is looking for work as a plumber.

Simon told me that the only jobs available at the moment are jobs with agency’s that don’t pay a decent wage, have no reliable hours and he has to pay the agency £17 a week for them to send him any payments owed.

The DWPs answer was this… They sent him to B&Q to work for nothing for 16 hours a week. I’d love to know how much B&Q actually make out of working with the DWP. They’ve been doing it for years now. Everyone deserves a decent days pay for a days work.

I then spoke to Rob. Rob told me that he’s been sanctioned for not attending an appointment in February that he didn’t know about. He had checked his online account and any post arriving at his home. Rob wonders if his online account had been hacked or something. Theres a high possibility that the DWP didn’t even issue an appointment in the first place. Before anyone says it, yes I know that this happens all the time, I’ve been helping people regarding so called missing appointments for years. Please see earlier blogs.

I spoke to a woman with various illnesses and conditions. She uses a crutch to get around and really can’t cope with the DWP at the moment. Her situation is this.

Jenny moved into her partners home five months ago. Jenny informed the DWP eleven times via her online journal and face to face appointments that she had moved in with her partner. The DWP have now decided to stop her payments making her reliant upon her partner. To make matters worse the DWP are accusing her of committing benefit fraud when she had clearly told them.

I helped and advised her the best that I could. Now because of the inability of the DWP to do anything right she’s being punished. It’s easier to bully a disabled woman than to admit that they’re wrong isn’t it.

I spoke to a lovely chap thats trying to start his own business up making wooden jewellery. He’s happy at the moment but he won’t be after a year when he’s expected to meet the minimum income floor.

We then spoke to a chap thats already working part time doing a manual job. He likes his job however they’ve only offered him part time hours.

Today at his signing on appointment he was told that it’s his fault that he isn’t working more hours and he’s got a week to convince his employer to give him more hours. If he doesn’t then they’ll start asking him more to find more work.

It’s absolutely ridiculous to expect and employee to do this. If there were more hours at work he would be working them. This is what the DWP call being ‘Under employed’. The DWP are never happy with anyone even those working. It’s absolutely disgusting that people are being treated in this way, its sickening.

On days like this the words ‘By gods grace go I’ Meaning that I’m lucky at the moment, I’m not being harassed by the DWP at the moment but my time will come very soon and I’m dreading it.

Everyone that I spoke to today either was given a food parcel, given advice, signposting etc etc. No one left without receiving any help. We work hard to help people, because both we and I believe that EVERYONE is important, everyone deserves a decent quality of life, to be able to eat and keep warm should never be seen as a luxury. Everyone deserves a place to call home and to be safe. Sadly for thousands this isn’t the case.

As you might know the local elections are coming up very soon. Please use your vote and vote the Tories out. Use your vote wisely because the only way to stop this is to vote them out.

Please read, share, email and tweet my blog. For those that already do this thank you!

For everyone that supports the campaign and blog thank you very much. I’m a skint single parent just trying to do my best to change things and to help people.

I apologise for any quietness lately, due to my father dying I’ve been a bit distracted. I’ll be back to normal soon enough.