Thankfully today wasn’t as cold as last week, although it was damp. The rain clouds were hovering above us and to me it felt like a sign of impending doom. Dramatic I know, but the political state of the planet is pretty dire.
Almost as soon as I arrived I was greeted by Roy, a tireless campaigner. I’ve mentioned him in the last blog I believe. We had a general chat, well more like a moan from myself.
The food parcels arrived and were much needed. It is hard for people to accept that they need the help, it’s degrading and demoralising. That’s exactly why we don’t judge. No one should be hungry and I make no apologies for repeating myself when I say that.
The mood from the public wasn’t good. People sanctioned for not receiving letters, yes that is still happening. Scroll down to read a previous blog about that.
We spoke to a young woman and her mother. Shes not had any money since November and the DWP are, once again giving her the run around. Luckily her mum had been buying her food, but she’s sold most of her possessions. It made me wonder just how many people are having to do this and are doing this via local selling sites on Facebook and Gumtree. It’s awful. Yes I’m aware that this has been happening for a long time now but her words triggered that thought.
A pregnant lady and her boyfriend had moved from Liverpool and had no money at all. I had seen them walking around Ashton earlier that morning and I was glad to be able to speak to them. They had no money, were waiting for their payments to be sorted so we gave them a food parcel. They had had trouble getting hold of a food bank voucher. The complexities of this task can be mammoth. The DWP were less than kind to them. We communicated to them that we won’t question them, they can have a parcel every Thursday.
We spoke to a few regulars, one of which is being forced to undergo unpaid work via Workfare at B&M. I loathe Workfare because a decent days work deserves a decent days pay, and also they would rather make a paid member of staff redundant to ensure that a non paid employee takes their place. It’s a win win situation for the employer and a loose, loose one for the poor person forced to do it.
I spoke to a lovely young lady that starts work soon, I’m very happy for her.
We had a new member of the team arrive today. She’s a student and had seen me speak at the Peoples Assembly showing of I, Daniel Blake in Manchester last week. I was so happy to see her. She a lovely young lady and a total credit to her family.
There’s so much that I could write about, but I fear that I would bore you. But I would like to stress to you how much we need your support. In winter morale is low and we all need a boost.
I had a laugh today, we celebrated the 2nd anniversary of my boots, the last time I bought any type of footwear. They are still going although not as well as they were. It’s nice to have a laugh!!
I was also reminded that my battle with the DWP started in 2013. Yesterday when I was tidying a cupboard out I found the paperwork. I won that battle and got half an apology. But that was thanks to my then MP, who sorted it out straight away. It’s always very important to complain to your MP. The DWP hate this, more than they hate not sanctioned people. If anyone is interested I shall write a further blog about this.
Many thanks to our supporters for dropping off two bags of food donations for our food parcels. They will be distributed in next week’s food parcels.
Greetings and coffee from our supporters in Glossop. They brought some excellent food parcels and all were handed out. They are members of Unite the community, of which I’m a member also.
No child should have to endure the wrath of the Jobcentre.
Some of the food parcels. Full of appropriate food and a few treats.
A big get well soon to our friend Pauline. Please rest and get well. Also get well wishes to my other friends that are ill and to those that are grieving. My thoughts are with you xxx.
Please donate if you can. This is a full time job for myself and the campaigning continues when I get home. I do as much as I am able, depending on income and childcare. I’m a single parent and as any single parent will tell you it’s very hard. I don’t list exactly what I do, but I’m very busy. Any ardent campaigner will tell you the same thing. Thank you!