- It always feels strange having to stand outside the Jobcentre during the period between Christmas and new year. People assume that the unemployed and those unlucky enough to be on Universal Credit get a break from their monotonous job searches at Christmas time. The truth is that they don’t, it’s buisness as usual although it was a bit quieter today.
I was slow in getting ready this morning. I’ve been battling with a stubborn infection that isn’t going, and I didn’t sleep much last night. But it didn’t put me off. My daughter often jokes that she would have to drag me out in a wheelchair. You see, its important that we give the people that need help all the help that they need.
As myself and my daughter reached the town centre, we bumped into a homeless man that I haven’t seen before. Maybe he’s travelled from another town, perhaps Manchester. My daughter reached under her dolls pram and gave the man a selection box that she had unbeknown to myself, placed underneath. She told him that he deserves more than that, but its all she had. I didn’t prompt this, she’s a very clever young lady and has a good awareness of social issues. Understandably I’m very proud of her.
We then walked to the Jobcentre.
It was freezing. The frost lay thickly on the ground, and I thought that I may have been on my own. I was wrong though. We had a fairly good turnout.
We handed out food parcels, help and advice. Most people going into the Jobcentre were dressed in unsuitable clothes and were visibly stressed. I think it’s hard to understand this unless you have either experienced it or know others going through the system. Sometimes, as many of you will know, there’s not alot that I can physically do except give support and solidarity. It can and does make the world of difference.
Our regular recipients of food parcels arrived, it’s always good to see them. I know then that they are still battling on and haven’t given up.
We handed one of our regular attendees a food parcel, an extra one with other essentials that she needs, and we are sorting her out with a mobile phone with credit on so she can contact us if and when needed. This is important because she is going through the appeal process and comrades are helping her with this. She isn’t on her own, and we’ve ween her grow into a more confident person even though her future is uncertain.
After the demo we went for a cheap cuppa in a local cafe. We all needed to warm up.
I need to say a massive thank you to the team and to Pauline. I know it’s winter and the Christmas period, but the government cares little for this event though they will be enjoying their holidays. Job seekers don’t have the pleasure of any break at all. Hunger doesn’t have a holiday, neither does poverty. And homelessness us increasing on such a scale that it’s hard to keep up.
My thoughts are going to the homeless man whom we met earlier, and the thousands like him. It’s an awful world out there for them.