Today was our usual Thursday afternoon outside the Jobcentre. The rain kept off and everyone was still in a fairly good mood. It had been a good weekend at the Manchester demonstrations and our visit from Natalie Bennett had given everyone a good morale boost. And quite rightly so, they deserved it. The team are amazing.
Not long after most of our regular attendees had arrived I received a telephone call. It was from a claimant at Ashton Jobcentre. They were panicking and I could hear them crying. I asked what was wrong and they said that they had received a letter stating that they had to attend a work programme course in a different town too far away to walk and they didn’t have enough bus fare to get there. They didn’t know how to get there.
I asked them if they could meet me outside the Jobcentre which they did because they were still in town.
When they arrived they were clearly very distressed. The first thing I did was give them a hug and some kind words. Doesn’t cost anything but it means the world. Then we set to task.
The first worry was that a job interview coincided with a work programme day. So I went into the Jobcentre with them and I explained the matter to them. They were shocked to see me but were curteous and did everything that I requested. After being told previously that I was banned it was nice to be able to go in and sort this out and communicate with them.
Then we sorted out the bus route etc and maybe someone to go with them. And we had a collection for their bus fares. We won’t let anyone go without even if we have nothing ourselves.
Everything changed then. The claimant sat down and said that they couldn’t do this anymore. They wanted to end their life. It was too hard. How many things are they going to be asked to do they said. Please understand that this train is very vulnerable with health issues. They were found fit by the gods of Atos and we’re now being put into situations that they are finding very difficult to deal with.
Comrades took them to a safe place and provided the compassion that they needed. Made sure that they had enough food etc and a list of things to do. One of them being to be put back on ESA. The stress of the Jobcentre is literally killing them.
This left us all saddened. A comrade who had spoken at the peoples assembly demonstration had attended and was very enlightened by the work that we do. We don’t just stand outside the Jobcentre and shout. We provide support and compassion. Things that society is lacking these days.
We will be following this up and providing proper support and advice.
The work that we do is the type of work that does start the changes that is needed to fight against this government. It’s not dissimilar to the anti poll tax campaigners back in Thatchers day. These little movements turn into big movements and they grow.
Many thanks to the new groups that have started up after being involved in ours. One in Stockport and one in Glossop. There are also others starting up and if I have forgotten you I apologise.
Thanks for your support we really do appreciate it.
We are running low on leaflets so any donations would be more than gratefully received. My Paypal add is firstname.lastname@example.org
Big shout out to The people’s assembly and Manchester trade union council for the amazing work that they have done organising the whole Tory party protest events and demonstrations.
Many thanks to everyone who attended today.
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20 thoughts on “Why should a young person at the start of their life feel like they want to end it? ”
I have quite bad anxiety and depression sometimes, and then recently two weeks ago I’d lost my temp job from a recruitment agency where I’d been an administrator for Lakesmere construction in Winchester, and had signed on at Eastleigh jobcentre on the 28th September a week before receiving my last week’s pay. I’d hoped that I could get a rapid reclaim so I wouldn’t be struggling with money, but since I’d worked for more than a week, I’d had to start a new claim for Jobseekers allowance. I’d assumed since I’d signed on two days after making my claim, that I would receive a payment the following week, just as my money ran out. When my bank account still appeared overdrawn, I’d called the department of work and pension and was put on hold in a queue after selecting their automated switchboard to the right person, they said I’d needed to speak with the jobcentre not the employment benefits and then office gave me a different number to call.
I’d called the jobcentre, who couldn’t find my details at first, but then gave me the direct line to Eastleigh jobcentre. The adviser told me that it’s not unusual for claims to take longer than two weeks to process, and I’d explained that I’d signed on a week ago and didn’t have any money after my job ended, and then asked whether there was any emergency funds I could get as I had done several years ago when this happened to me. The adviser told me that I wouldn’t receive any payment until after my next signing on the 14th October, which would be the 20th, twenty-two days after I’d made my claim, and several weeks after my money ran out. They’d said that they no longer issued emergency funds to claimants but would give me the number of my local council to call about foodbanks.
I called Hampshire council who then transferred my to another department that dealt with housing and benefits, they said they couldn’t help me and transferred me to another department that offered support to the homeless, then the adviser I’d spoken to said he couldn’t help me, but would pass my details onto a colleague who might be able to help and that they would call me back, so I hung up. I feel lucky because I have friends and family who can support me, although obviously relying on others to pay my living costs is a serious burden to them, and which I will have to pay back eventually when it’s possible. If I didn’t have friends and family, and a place to live, would I just left to starve and remain homeless? I’m 33, British, and I have a degree, I don’t understand how this can be allowed to happen to me, and why there seems to be such apathy with government agencies and support services
I’m 33 Ed and have a disability that grossly effects my chances of finding work to almost zero, so without the help I needed and they denied me, it makes it virtually impossible to find work. They said I was fit to find and look and do work when even the doctor didn’t agree. They said look for so many jobs but I’m only allowed to apply for jobs I can do, so without help there is about one job a month that becomes available that I can do and employers just might employ me. But I have to meet their full criteria or get sanctioned. If I carried on with the jobcentre, if I had to go every day to sign on or on workfare it would have cost more in travel fees , on top of a sanction, then they would give me on a sanction and I wouldn’t have got a job just like when I looked for eight years and got 6 months work in total added altogether in those eight years, because I blindly looked for work without even realising why I wasn’t getting any work and the jobcentre never stepped in to offered me any specialized help I might need. In the end, in the present circumstances, it would have cost me more to stay on jobseekers, and now I live off my family without a choice, and for several years I have been living the life of a child and not an adult, whereas really I just want a job, its not just money is it? It the psychological need to do something too. This Government isn’t helping people to find work, they are helping people off benefits and dehumanising them, so they can have an excuse of diminishing their human rights, even their basic human rights, so the rich can do what they like at the expense of the poor.
Google for Unum scandal, Ed, and your answers will appear. Might take you a while to put it together, but it’s all there. An unusable benefits system will encourage people to take up private insurance, and these so-called ‘welfare reforms’ have been run by the American insurance giant Unum since the Conservatives got them in as ‘consultants’ in the early 90s, Private Eye have been documenting this too. Lots of reading for you to do!
Oh yes it’s all part of the plan. I said this years ago but no one believed me. They laughed. I’m being proven right now everyday.
In fact why should any of us be made to feel this way?
Reblogged this on aspiblog and commented:
Please read and share this important story.
Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.
It’s people like you who are literally saving lives 🙂 Thanks very much.
Btw ‘5 Quid for Life’ is a useful organisation for anyone with mental health problems, who has been denied benefit – they offer small cash donations. http://5quidforlife.org.uk/
Brill thank you
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It is designed to make you give up, so they wouldn’t have to pay out any money on them anymore, our caring government says the disabled can’t have any more welfare any more, they say that they will give support. Then what do the tyrants do? They cut the support given to the disabled to find and stay in work. Tell then not to give in as they will explain away their deaths, they must stay strong like me, we must support each other. Its the only way to get through all the abuse they throw at us.
It certainly is! We also need to stop using the word welfare… That’s American. Its social security. They don’t like us using those words because they say exactly what it is. They want us to become another America x
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Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions and commented:
I would love to do something like this, but my mental health is a big problem.
I would love to donate to you, once my ESA comes I will donate.
Thank you for helping so many vulnerable people.
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