Today’s demo was very eventful. Sometimes they are, we never know just what to expect. But I try to be prepared.
Thankfully it wasn’t as cold as previous weeks, so the teams mood was a bit more cheery. As soon as I arrived, the queue for the food parcels started to form. It didn’t go round the block, but it was noticeable so I dealt with it quickly.
These days we can’t keep up with demand. And I feel that we could stand outside the Jobcentre all day and continually hand them out. Because we don’t demand a voucher or limit them they are popular. As long as someone has the need we provide. But we also make sure to give help, advice and leaflets to everyone receiving one.
Unfortunately they had all gone by 11am, and a couple turned up asking for one. I referred them elsewhere and also gave them a Farmfoods voucher for £5.
We had been lucky enough to have been donated some to hand out, so I ensured that they were given to people that were in need. They can then have the opportunity to buy some milk, cheese and anything else that’s fresh and they haven’t had the chance to buy lately. Food parcels don’t normal.y contain these, but a nice cuppa makes the world of difference doesn’t it.
Whilst we were chatting to various people that were telling us about their experiences of the Jobcentre, a man strolled over. Can of lager in his hand stating very loudly that everything was the Polish communities fault. Just how exactly he came to this decision is beyond me.
He did everything to try and incite an argument. Luckily we are all a bit long in the tooth now to rise to it. We offered him help, which he refused. He continued to stand there stating very loudly just what his opinions were. The worst thing that we could have done was to argue with him. I’m sure that when he looks back on this he will regret it. You see, we are helping people and you shouldnt really blame the people whom are trying to help the victims of this cruel regime. We are as against it as he obviously was. A more apt place for him to visit would be Downing Street.
Anyway, he ignored my comrades remark when he stated that although he hated the Polish community so much, he was enjoying a can of their lager. The irony was impressive. I wish him well, and I hope that he get the help that he needs.
We gave advice about ESA applications and appeals, heard too many stories of how the benefit cap is affecting single parents in rented accommodation with children. Having to find the extra money to lay the rent is impossible. It’s a catch 22 situation. If you don’t pay the top up you will get evicted. If you get evicted the local authority will say that you’ve made yourself intentionally homeless, of course not taking into account that the rent was simply unaffordable due to no fault of your own. Many children and parents are on the verge of becoming homeless, most go hungry as a result.
It also has a knock on effect with the persons extended family. The lady concerned was having to continually as for financial help off her grandmother, who is receiving a stare pension. She is going without to enable her granddaughter to feed her children. She clearly loves her granddaughter, but the strain was obvious. She’s doing everything that she can but she still feels like she’s failing.
Where is the justice in this? Everyone deserves a home, a safe place to live free from harm, cold and hunger.
The truth is that those that do have homes, the people that we speak to are suffering just as much as someone who is homeless. They might have shelter which is fantastic, but they can’t afford to heat it, provide electricity and to make it a proper home.
I’m sure that thousands go to bed early like me to keep warm. Instead of the heart of the home being either a kitchen or lounge, it is the bedroom where you have to go to keep warm. This is reality folks and it’s only going to get worse this year. Massive changes are coming which I will worth about in the next blog.
We handed out most of the 10 Farmfood vouchers out, saving a few for next week for some folk that we see every week. They are very vulnerable and they need extra care.
We spoke to for too many people that had either been sanctioned or have been sanctioned. This has been an issue for three years now. Unemployment levels haven’t dropped, more people are sanctioned and forced onto Workfare programmes. The figures are fudged and they know it.
We didn’t have a cuppa this week, we were too busy and we’re concerned with helping people. I alone, must have handed out around 50 leaflets. My comrades also handed out a fair few.
I can’t express how proud I am of the people who attend the demos, week in, week out. It’s extremely hard work, and it does take its toll. We just get on with it, no arguing, we know what has to be done and we help each other.
There is so much more that I could talk about, but I am exhausted, and I fear that you will tire from reading my words. I set off on the school run at 8.20 this morning and eventually returned home at around 5.45. Public transport had let me down badly again. First Buses really need to get their act together.
Yep I’m tired and hungry, but at least I have a home and I’m extremely grateful for that.my grandmother used to alway say that we should count our blessings and yes we should.
I dropped my phone on the way home from the school run. My fault, juggling too many things at once and I wasn’t paying attention. I can’t get a contract, it wasn’t insured and I can’t afford to replace. It was my mini office. So please don’t worry if I don’t get back to you straight away. I’m using my daughters tablet and it’s not as easy to carry around. I will get back to you though at the earliest opportunity. I’m not asking for sympathy, it’s just a fact and it’s slowing me down.
Many thanks to everyone that supports us, shares my posts and my blog. It really does mean alot. Many thanksto Pauline and We Shall Overcome for the food parcels, to Street Treats for the gloves, and for anonymous donater for the Farmlands voucher.
My Internet might go off, but will be sorted as soon as able, so once again don’t worry if I don’t get back to you straight away I will do. I’m not stating this for pity, far from it, I’m just informing readers.
Remember folks, that today could have been ruined by one person who wasn’t feeling verbally with themselves. We didn’t take it personally, they were in need. We stood together in unity and we all agreed that we wished him well and that we hopes that he gets the help that he needs. Addiction can take a person into a very dark place, and make them become someone that they really aren’t normally. I won’t tolerate racism and he was told this, but he failed to listen.
Whilst I don’t condone his remarks at all, there is no excuse for them, it’s a sad indictment of how the government regards people and it is big reflection of how the current media bias towards the extreme right wing has influenced people. And unless it’s challenged it will only get worse. But that’s another blog piece.
Beware Marstons bailiffs I have even more ammo to use now. Many thanks to Roy.
Please donate, every penny counts and it does get put to good use. Once again please can I express my thanks to everyone that has done, in whatever way that you can. Sharing this blog is an amazing thing to do because the government does hate it, and so do most local Tories. Thank you!
6 thoughts on “Today’s demo. Verbal abuse and kindness. ”
I have so much respect for what you are doing. You are helping so many people, and I admire your strength & determination. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a Jobcentre (and I’ve no doubt it’s a much worse experience now!) but I remember just how horrible it was. I have multiple health problems & none of them were taken into consideration so I was thrown off JSA a few times. No one should be “punished” with loss of benefits. It’s beyond cruel. There’s much more I could say, which I will probably put in a blog post sometime!
I’m sorry to hear about your phone. I’ve donated some money, so hopefully that can go towards a new one, or anything else you need 🙂 Take care lovely. Love, spoons and solidarity xxx
Thank you so much your words are so kind and heartrending. No one should have to endure this but they do. One day we shall overcome xxxxx And thank you xx
Charlotte, Solidarity and much love to you from Cornwall. x
Thank you xx
You are doing great work. Thursday will be my first day of doing what you do but down south. Going to local food bank to get parcels.