Today was one of those days, you know the type when it seems like everything might go wrong. Luckily it didn’t.
I wake very early to get my daughter ready for school, because it isn’t close to my home and to prepare for the day ahead. I like to be prepared, everything at hand etc because it certainly makes a day easier when I do so.
As I was leaving my house to take my daughter to school, I recieved a text message from Gordon he wasn’t well and wasn’t able to attend today. Gordon is a member of the team and he picks up the food parcels in his car on the way to the demo.
I have a bad back and I can’t carry them. Poor gordon has hurt his back so wasnt able to do this this week, nor could he attend the demo. His health comes first and quite rightly so. Roy is also on holiday so I started to panic. How on earth do I sort this out?
Believe it or not I do suffer from anxiety from time to time and I’m not invincible so I informed Pauline of the situation. She came up with the perfect solution.. she would send them round in a taxi. Phew panic over, Pauline I’m so grateful. We shall overcome!!!
I was still anxious about doing the demo on my own. I’m a tough cookie, and I can handle myself but I always advise people to have someone with them because you never know what situation can and often does happen. But I ploughed on.
I arrived at the Jobcentre and a lady was already waiting, as was a lady. I’m already aware of her situation and I have referred her to other organisations but shes not wanting to approach them at the moment, although I do feel that I am a step closer to her doing so today.
We had a brief chat, gave her a food parcel and handed her a food parcel.
I was then approached by a man whom I have spoken to many times before. He told me that his money had been stopped and he now has to make a new claim. So he is without money and is obviously getting no support from the Jobcentre.
I gave him a food parcel and asked him to attend a local organisation with extreme urgency. Let’s get him the help that he needs straight away before his situation worsens. He said that he would go, and I hope that he did.
I had a conversation with a homeless chap who wasn’t’ in a good place in himself this morning. I helped him, then told him that he must attend the local organisation that he already knows about. He feels that hes let everyone down, I told him that he hadn’t and that he must look after himself. He did listen, and we chatted for a while. I’m not sure if he has attended the local organisation, but I hope that he is ok because I don’t like seeing him like that hes a lovely man.
I then spoke to a lady who has been hit very hard by the benefit cap. Her, her husband and their four children are really struggling so I gave them a food parcel and a leaflet with local help that is accessible for them. I hope that they approach the relevant organisations.
I spoke to a lady who has a mental health illness and has been told that she has to now sign on daily. She told me that she had failed her ESA medical and hadn’t appealed. I told her that she must appeal and how to do this. Shes got enough to deal with at the moment and the DWP certainly will not help her become well again and they had informed her that she had to sign on daily from now on.
I spoke to a 63 year old man who had also failed his ESA medical. He also hadn’t appealed but he is doing now. Anyone who is able to can see that he isn’t well enough to work. He walks with a stick and he doesn’t have any strength.
I had a long chat with him and he promised me that he is now going to appeal the ESA decision. I really hope that he does. He wasn’t aware that he could do, and thought that it was a waste of time.
Regular readers will of course be aware that it isn’t a waste of time because he will most likely win his appeal.
I then spoke to a 64 year old lady who was clutching hold of her large empty shopping trolley that she was carrying. She told me that she had failed her ESA medical and also had been told that it wasn’t worth her time appealing. I told her that it is always worth appealing.
She then went on to tell me that her advisor had told her that she had to sign on daily. Yes daily. She’s 64 and disabled.
What sort of job are they expecting her to find? Her advisor told her that there is a job for everyone.
Well I disagree with that. No there isn’t.
She will receive her pension in February. I informed her of her right to appeal, of why she should appeal and that she should do this as soon as possible.
For those stating that I am incorrect and this 64 lady is incorrect, she has had advice from CAB she is by law entitled to her pension in February. She isn’t stupid, nor am I and I am not in the habit of reporting incorrect information. So once again she will receive her pension in February as the law now states. Thank you.
Let’s look at this realistically, no one would employ her and why should she have to find work. Shes disabled and should, if the law hadn’t been changed, be claiming her pension already. I then spoke to a man who had travelled from Denton. He was having problems with his housing benefit, so I signposted him to where he can get help. He told me that if he wont the lottery he would treat us. I said to him that he must treat himself!
Luckily I was then joined by a couple of members of the team.
Over a hour had passed and it felt like it had been hours and hours. I was delighted to see them. Thank you for coming to support me and the people inside the Jobcentre.
I’m sure the Jobcentre staff were smirking away at me being alone. But I made a commitment and I shall continue to honour it, even if it means that I am alone doing this, but I’m hoping that I won’t be next week. It’s a good job I’m a tough cookie because it can be very hard doing this.
As for myself, I have to collet my daughter from school and visit another secondary school tonight. Shes going to be going to ‘big school’ as we call it here, so have a few visits lined up. This isn’t easy, as a parent I’m literally deciding her future for her and that comes with great responsibility. I hope that I make the correct decision for her.
Get well messages to Gordon! Hope that you are feeling better soon!
Busy weekend this weekend. I’m speaking at a fringe event on Saturday in Manchester at an event created by the Mary Quaile club. Ahead of the Tory Party Conference. They are long time supporters of the campaign and it’s an honour to speak at one of their events.
I was also booked to speak at a TUC event also, but I’m unable to do so because it is at the same time and in a different place.
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