What’s the point in trying to stop them from sanctioning me? They do it anyway. A man defeated by the system.

I’m going to start this weeks blog by thanking all of my readers, supporters, followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook. Also I want to than all my activist friends for their support.

Today was absolutely freezing cold. Not only did I have to contend with walking the mile to school on what was effectively sheet ice, the wind chill was awful. I really don’t know how anyone that is street homeless survives in this weather. I only stood for nearly a couple of hours and I was chilled to the bone. The national and local severe weather emergency provision is unsatisfactory also. All different authorities use differing thermometers and rulings. Once the weather on their individual thermometers reaches above zero then there isn’t any provision.

They don’t keep in mind that their thermometers can be wrong, and people can and do still die on the streets in above zero temperatures. Today with the cold, and wind chill it’s much colder than they think. Ultimately it’s all about saving money though and denying responsibility. A national system needs to be introduced, where every local authority uses the same temperature measure, ideally the Met Office and take things like wind chill, feels like temperature and rain into account.

Anyway I have digressed from the demo, but it’s a subject that I’m passionate about. I speak to many street homeless folk and I can’t imagine the hell that they go through on a daily basis.

 

Anyway like I’ve said it was cold, so much so that we had to leave 20 minutes early. There was only three of us, and a couple of friends came to say hello, thank you! I’m always wary that I don’t want anyone to become ill. But I apologise anyway.

 

The first person that I spoke to today was a lady who told me that she was grieving. There had been a death in her family and she was trying to cope as well as keep up with the DWP regime. She had handed a sick note in, but unfortunately it had ran out so back on the treadmill she goes. I handed her a leaflet which she was thankful for.

 

I spoke to a lady who was new to the DWP system due to a relationship breakdown. She has two children, one still very young, but her advisor has given her an unreasonable job search time in her claimant commitment. I advised her and she will be taking this further. I gave her a survival guide which she was grateful for.

 

We spoke to an older man who’s son is claiming Universal Credit . His told us that his son is 50 years old and has a degree. He is looking for work and is doing his best. He told us that the DWP staff are ‘buggers’ who don’t help anyone but themselves. It must be awful seeing his son in this position and worrying about him also.

 

We spoke to a man who had won two tribunals to reinstate his JSA payments, but the DWP are still refusing to pay him. The DWP have given him all sorts of rubbish excuse that don’t amount to any substance at all, and they are ignoring the tribunals order to pay him his money. He will be appealing this though, he’s very knowledgeable and will hopefully be visiting the Law Centre in Manchester for further help.

 

I spoke to a few people that were walking out of the Jobcentre clutching colourful, glossy brochures. They informed me that they contain information about a health and wellbeing course at a local college. I will endeavour to get further details of these courses.

 

We spoke to an older man who looked very despondent. We asked him what the problem was and he told us that he was sick of that place (the Jobcentre). We handed him a leaflet and told him that it would help him, and hopefully prevent him from being sanctioned. He looked at the leaflet, looked at us and said “What’s the point? They do it anyway.” That, readers are the words of a defeated man. His pride has gone, and the system has ground him down as much as it can. This is what the system does to people, it takes a person’s spirit from them, I’ve seen it countless times and it sickens me.

 

I spoke to a lady who I speak to on a weekly basis. She’s so lovely and always has a smile for us despite having a hard time. She has had the flu, works for 12 hours a week and relies on the top up element of Universal Credit. Because she claims the top up element she still has to do a weekly job search which she keeps to stringently. Today her advisor told her that she hadn’t looked for work enough. Luckily for her she proved that she had done so. She was so close to wrongly having her top up wrongly sanctioned, and thanks to our advice she had the evidence. This is how easy it is to be sanctioned and it angers me.

 

We handed out 6 food parcels, all full to the top, handed out extra bread, handed out copies of our survival guides, gave comapssion, understanding and sympathy. All of those qualities the DWP are devoid of. I’m very sad to say that we had to leave early, 20 minutes early but we were really cold. I’m still cold. But we will return next week as usual and will be there for the full two hours.

Steve if you are reading this get well soon!

Thanks to my rocks Gordon and Roy for coming today. I’m very aware that it wasn’t easy for you so a massive thank you.

 

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40 thoughts on “What’s the point in trying to stop them from sanctioning me? They do it anyway. A man defeated by the system.”

  1. Charlotte as ever you do a great job. I’m so lucky to have work. Even though I’m signed off sick at the moment I still don’t have DWP Breathing down my neck. Which brings me to. .the glossy brochures about the health course you mentioned. That’s not the new Health and Work programme is it? It’s run by Shaw Trust here and it’s like the old Work Programme. For sick and disabled people out of work 24 months? It won’t be good! Ipswich Unemployed Action have covered it a bit. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, so sorry that you are sick I hope that you get better soon. TBH I’m to sure but I saw that it was linked to the local college. That means nothing though because they could be working with them, so it might or it might not be as of yet I’m in the dark but I shall endeavour to find out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. People don’t realise the psychological pressure that claimants are put under by the DWP. In addition to the financial stress, family problems, housing etc. It’s enough to make anyone feel like giving up. I’ve seen this myself, the long-term unemployed, on and off endless useless courses, The Work Programme, Mandatory work Activity, you name it. They end up walking around totally exhausted mentally by this cruel and vindictive system. It doesn’t help anyone to try and jobsearch like this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, the psychological factor should not be underestimated, It’s very stressful, soul-destroying & really gets you down, but that’s what it is designed to do, to break your spirit, de-humanize you & force you to comply. It’s all about forcing square pegs to fit into round holes.

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  3. The new Work & Health Programme is being introduced now, they gave me some leaflet & brochure too. In my area it is being run by Reed employment agency, who obviously are not health specialists, & only want to fill the crap vacancies they have – min. wage, zero hours; fast paced production line, awkward shifts, miles away from where people live. It’s voluntary at the moment tho’ but becomes mandatory in April IF you are referred to it, & that’s down to the jcp adviser if they deem it relevant or beneficial to particular claimants who have beeen out of work for 2 yrs & those with a health issue that may be a barrrier to employment.

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    1. P.S.

      To further confuse matters each Provider seems to be running the scheme under a variety of different subtitles. Reed are calling it “Better Working Futures”, but it is the Work & Health Programme. The only good news (if there is any) is that the Tories, in their infinite wisdom, have not properly funded it and it’s only been allocated a fraction of the funding that was given to the original Work Programme, which means they cannot possibly refer people en masse, so even if you fall into the target category of Claimants it’s still pot luck as to whether you’ll get referred or not, basically just a lottery, and I hope it won’t be me!

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  4. Thanks for blogging about these important matters, for taking action outside the jobcentre and for giving people hope and info leaflets. I’ve been in relationship with jobcentres for almost a decade now and have experienced sanctions and DWP-induced stress. I have had some terrible advisors – quite nazi in approach – as well as a minority of individuals who do show compassion and understanding, even if the DWP as an organisation does not. I am very fortunate to be with an advisor now who doesn’t insist that I do a jobsearch or keep a log on that awful website. Neither of these things are compulsory, or even helpful. It really is up to the jobcentre managers how they tell their staff to operate, and also give the advisors some discretion in responding to the individual needs and preferences of claimants. So if you are having a bad time at your jobcentre, then that is a jobcentre run by a bad, non-compassionate manager who is happy to do the government’s dirty work without a second thought to the harm it causes people, sometimes to the point of suicide and early death.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Something else to remember about these private companies. ..applicable to us females especially. I can’t praise the NHS enough. I’m signed off sick at the moment and the care I’m receiving is fantastic. However I have real misgivings about some of our screening programmes and the way we are chivvied into them. Sadly doctors receive incentives payments to persuade as many of us to participate. Serco have the contract for the Cervical screening programme. This means they have access to our private medical records. I personally don’t want these crooks knowing anything about me……

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    1. Thank you! This is indeed true and we advise this also. Sadly we often only see the person after they have had their appointment or when they are well into their claim. We’ve recently have had a local Jobcentre shut down and all the new folk from there are arriving at our Jobcentre. As you know they also like to mess around with a persons signing on days just for the fun of it. Good info there thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If the globalists/would-be-rulers of the universe have their way, serfdom awaits those allowed to live. From Dickenson to Robin Hood with public hangings for stealing bread for the family today, an era of abundance and scientific advancement.

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  7. I’ve just got back from signing on, which was a stressful exerience, couldnt wait to get out of there. The Adviser/dole clerk was one i hadnt seen before, a stickler who obviously toohis job too seriously, he ointroduced himself as a “Work Coach” & started banging on about how wonderful Univesal Credit is, then mentioned the Work & Health prgmme & said I’m on the list of suitable claimants. I found out that when/if you’re sent on it It’s for 15 mo-thsn (months – damned phone!). Theyre really starting to push this scheme now.

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  8. https://hwcollege.penninecare.nhs.uk/ this is the “Health College” mentioned in the blog post, I’ve been to few sessions and didn’t find much use, hving a panic attack there didn’t help. I was sent there by my over-zealous Ingeus “mentor”. Keep up the good work! p.s. are you guys going to protest Inspire2indipendence http://www.enteri2i.com/metadot/index.pl?id=2186;isa=Category;op=show and Ingeus https://www.ingeus.com/uk (ingeus’s offices are just opposite the health and wellbeing college)

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  9. Hi Charlotte
    Glad you posted on 26th Feb as you hadn’t posted since 2nd Feb otherwise. I was being to get worried about you.

    Great blog by the way. I’ve been following it for about 3 and a half years now, and have told friends & family about it and the work you do helping the unemployed, etc navigate an insane, but what I now believe to be a deliberate system.

    Initially, when I first came across stuff like yours, usually by accident, my shocked thoughts were, “This can’t be true… this is England!”
    But the proof is in the pudding. Any, and all, organisations will make mistakes and create cock-ups; especially one as large as the DWP. That’s human nature. However, any genuinely concerned and/or caring organisation would also bend over backwards to correct such mistakes and review/change policies to minimise them happening in the future. Even uncaring organisations will do so, if for no other reason than to prevent their reputation being damaged.
    But not only is the DWP unconcerned/uncaring about the needless damage it inflicts on it’s so-called ‘customers’ it doesn’t even care about it’s own reputation. It has been allowed to become a rogue dept, encouraged even to ride roughshod over it’s ‘clients’, because it has the backing of the mainstream media and then some!
    That’s why, in my opinion, blogs like yours are so important. I shall be making a payment towards your stirling work as soon as my Carers Allowance and Income Support top-up are paid into my account next week.
    It’ll only be small, but as my ex-employers say,”Every little helps”

    Take care XXX

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    1. Hi Sandra so lovely to hear from you. I’m sorry that I didn’t respond yesterday I had a migraine and am still recovering. I have posted every week but sometimes the blog posts are getting mixed up for some strange reason. It’s awful out there isn’t it xx

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    2. Hi Sandra,

      Like you say, cock-ups are human nature, but with the DWP It’s inherent bureaucracy of an absurd system designed by a psychopath (IDS). Him & his minions at the so-called Centre for Social Justice have deliberately designed a system that is like an experiment with us as lab rats.

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  10. Hi Charlotte (again!)
    Glad to hear you’re still around and kicking…. thank goodness for that; migraines not withstanding.
    Here’s the details of the latest blog I’ve subscribed to. It’s about a lefty at business school who’s charting his journey through claiming Universal Credit. He’s going through hair-tearing hell. I thought you might be interested in it, assuming you don’t already know about his blog. Right up your street I’d have though.

    https://leftyinabusinessschool.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/claiming-universal-credit/

    Hi Trev,
    I couldn’t agree more with you. The trouble is that most people simply refuse to believe me when I try to talk them about how awful, illegal even, the DWP has become. Can’t say that I blame them as that was my reaction to begin with. I do believe that the poncy medical expression for that, “That can’t be true; this is England,” mentality is ‘Cognitive Dissonance.’ That CD has a lot to answer for and, in my opinion, the real battle to be fought against.

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  11. Charlotte, my hat is off to you for the fantastic work you are doing to support the victims of DWP’s carniage and oppression. This world needs more people like you right now, people who are driven not just to write in support of DWP victims but who actually get out there and make a difference to peoples lives.

    Thank you.

    Like

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