Hi readers, you might have noticed a big change in the layout of my blog. It was much needed and a lovely techy angel came to my rescue. The content has stayed the same but its now got so much more in it for you to look at.
I hope that you like it.
I’m writing this weeks blog on my mobile so please excuse any typos. They will be accidental because the keyboard is extremely small.
Anyway today we had a bit of sun albeit a little cold. This was most welcome indeed. We were also joined by a new member of the team who was extremely helpful. I can’t thank the team enough because it is hard work.
I shall list todays conversations in order.
The first person that I spoke to had been waiting for their first universal credit payment to be made. They had waited 5 weeks. They didn’t take an advance payment because they didn’t want to have to pay it back. This is understandable.
They lifted their top up and said ‘look at all the weight I’ve lost.’
They told me that he was extremely hungry and has been going without gas and electricity as a result. They explained that they had an appointment with a much nicer adviser who was going to speed up their first payment.
He left the Jobcentre in a much better mood. The first payment had been arranged to be in their bank account later today and at last they can be warm and buy food. This shows that it can be done. I really wish them well.
I spoke to a person who had previously been attending a stand guide work programme scheme. They had previously been volunteering for a local organisation and was enjoying it there and had some real prospects.
They had finished their level one in IT studies and wanted to progress to level two.
They told me that they were told that they now had to undergo a work experience scheme at a local hospital.
They didn’t want to do this but were threatened with a benefit sanction if they didn’t. So here’s what they have to do.
They have to work for a total of 24 hours a week. This is called ‘work experience’ and still do their job search and they won’t be paid.
There’s a 2 week induction period, 4 weeks training and an 8 week placement. Of course there’s the usual promise of a job at the end of this, but there often isn’t and it’s unpaid. After all the work that they will have to do there had better be a job at the end of it. They should be paid for this of course. It’s exploitative to make a person do the above without payment.
I spoke to a person who had been transferred over to universal credit without their knowledge. They had changed address thus triggering the change. This happens in full roll out areas.
I spoke to a woman who had recently experienced the death of their partner. After never having to claim benefits she is now thrust into an unknown world as if she hasn’t got enough to deal with already. We advised her and signposted her.
I spoke to a person who needs to apply for a mandatory reconsideration for their esa. I advised, signposted etc. Our leaflets are extremely helpful for this. We had a good chat also.
I spoke to a young man who told me that they aren’t given enough to survive on. After paying rent, council tax and universal credit repayments they are left with next to nothing. We advised, gave a food parcel and did everything that we could. It’s criminal that people are being made to suffer like this.
I had a chat with a person claiming esa and pip. We just chatted and I supported them. They left knowing about local organisations that they can access if they so wish.
We spoke to an older man who had previously never been unemployed. He looked bemused so we talked him through the process and advised. We also handed him a leaflet. I’d like to think that we helped him.
We spoke to a person who’s esa had been stopped. They are getting support with this and we had a chat and handed them a food parcel.
We saw a lot of people going in and out of the Jobcentre within 5 minutes. When asked they were told that they were 10 minutes early. This is standard practice.
We spoke to a man who thought that he had found a permanent job only to arrive at work today and was turned away. I referred him to the law centre. I also advised him etc. Poor fella he really had thought that he would have a permanent job.
I spoke to a woman who thanked us for our previous advice and that she was now feeling much better. It was lovely to see her smile.
We spoke to an older man who is 8 months away from receiving his pension. He can’t stand the system any longer and doesnt understand it either. He told us that he had signed off and will live on his few savings until then. Whatever happened to the government respecting our older generation!? That went out of the window a long time ago.
And last but not least I spoke to a man whom I usually speak to every week. He just wanted to say hello and needed some reassurance. So I do just that. He’s a lovely fella.
This all happened with two hours. We handed out lots of leaflets, gave lots of advice and handed out our usual food parcels and extras that were dropped off by a friend.
I can’t thank everyone enough for coming along today and for suppo9the blog. It’s been a tough week for me personally and I really do appreciate it.
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