Hi folks my apologies I’m having to write this week’s blog on my phone so if it’s not up to scratch then I apologise in advance. This week was our annual Christmas demo, we do this every year and have every done for three years now. We didn’t do this on the first year of our demos, I don’t know why, but we should have done. I do regret that now. I planned the demo loosely around the theme ‘A Universal Credit’, normally we wear costumes but this year we didn’t I simply didn’t have time although a friend made placards for us to wear which is always much better than carrying them with does become hard work after a while. There’s a lot to be said for sandwich boards at times like these. Because my daughter had finished school for the Christmas holidays the day before I was able to accept a lift to the demo offered to me by a friend. This made such a difference to my day and thank you Jean. I also had bought some mince pies, Roy brought the Chrissy sent you hot water flask. This proved very popular and we quickly ran out of water. Thank you to Ray for donating it and to Roy for bringing it.
To say it was hectic and busy is an understatement, from the moment I arrived I didn’t stop, the demand for the food parcels was extremely high today. We had around 12 of our usual food parcels and more were later brought by supporters from local Labour Party groups. This was a surprise and in the end we handed out at least 20 food parcels. We could have handed out more but we had ran out, but I didn’t leave anyone in the lurch. I referred everyone needing and taking a food parcel to a local organisation that can support them further. We also handed out lots of hand knitted scarfs knitted by a friend to people. About 30 people arrived to support the demo today and that was amazing it really was I couldnt believe it. Many thanks to my friends over at DPAC for helping me to publicise the demo. A supporter also brought some toys that were wrapped up for any children to have as Christmas presents. This was a lovely idea and they were welcomed. I spoke to a young man who is having an awful time whilst claiming Universal Credit. He told me that he won’t be getting his first payment until the 29th of January and even then he won’t receive his full amount because he had to take a loan from them. I talk to people all the time who are going through this situation, it’s awful that it’s becoming commonplace. I had a long chat with him, advised him, signposted him and gave him a food parcel because he had no food and also some presents for his children. He was so happy I just wish that he wasn’t in that situation. I spoke to a chap who really wanted to thank me for keeping him going he said. He has also been accessing other help, but he told me the kind words and advice have meant a lot and they gave him something to fight for. He also proudly told me that he had been dry for 6 days now and he was now in a better place. I am so happy I really am. One step at a time is all that anyone can do, and it’s taken time and patience but it can be done. I spoke to a lady and her boyfriend who were once again struggling with Universal Credit. I can’t go into details here but their situation isn’t good so I gave them a couple of food parcels and referred them again to a local organisation for further support. Out of nowhere it seems an older chap came out of nowhere, gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek, said thank you to me for helping him and walked away. That made me tearful. What a nice thing to do. I spoke to a pensioner who was in need of a food parcel. I did refer him to local organisations but his need shouldn’t be happening in the first place should it. This government have no respect for anyone. They obviously weren’t taught any manners, one being to respect your elders. There was so many people that I helped today and spoke to and it sickened me that this is a need at all. Things are getting worse that’s a certainty, and when Universal Credit is fully rolled out everywhere it is going to be catastrophic. This is why we need to campaign for a stop, scrap and to reform a system that is actually fair and isn’t discrimitory. We made some speeches, sang some very appropriate carols and hung a wreath outside the Jobcentre. The wreath is laid in memory of every single person that has passed away as a result of the governments cruel regime. We do this every year. Normally the Jobcentre throw out wreaths away but this year they actually took it inside and hung it up. Thank you. There is a new manager though. A really big thank you to everyone that came along I’m still in shock when I say that it means a lot it really does. Also to the bigot that chose to be abusive towards myself and others I hope that you develop a conscience or a kinder heart. And by the way your words mean nothing to me they are just a reflection of yourself. We will be outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre again next week 10-12. I hope to see you there. And for the team you are all amazing and I really do think the world of you all. For my readers and supporters of my blog thank you so much. For anyone reading this and hating Christmas because it’s a reminder of everything that you don’t have….. I’m with you and thinking of you. Be kind to each other.
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