Dear readers, once again I have to apologise for the lateness of this weeks blog. I’ve had an extremely busy week and today was no different. Thank you for your patience.
Today was Unite Community Unions national day of action, but the publicity surrounding this wasn’t that good so we didn’t have a higher than usual turnout, and anyway we do this every week.
Unite Community have now changed their slogan to stop Universal Credit, which is half a step forward towards what most major campaigners against Universal Credit are asking.
We would like a commitment from both the trades unions and the Labour Party to stop, scrap and to form a fair benefit system like the one that we used to have.
I am happy with this move forward but the whole situation is very frustrating, more so for the people that are being discriminated against on a daily basis. Sanctioned people with homes just aren’t big news to some, especially the media but they are to us. So thanks Unite Community.
Today started off fairly slow, and like I have said before I never know what to expect. We were joined today by Jack a local Labour Party Councillor and we really appreciated this act of solidarity. Please come again.
I’ll list todays incidents as usual. It’s easier that way.
The first person that I spoke to was a lady who appeared to leave the Jobcentre in a distressed state. I asked her if she was ok, and would she like to talk. She told me that she wanted some advice from a person on the front desk but was treated in a very discourteous manner, so much so that it upset her greatly. She told me that she was sick of being treated in this manner by the DWP and that she wanted to die. What’s the point in carrying on she said, when I’m worthless in their eyes.
They really shouldn’t treat people like this, but they do because they can and as long as they can nothing will be done about this. I had a long chat with her and I hope that she is ok. I did signpost her to a local organisation that can help her should she wish to access it.
I spoke to a man who’s father had just died. He was struggling to sort everything out and dealing with the DWP was something that he could have done without. We had a nice chat and I handed him our survival guide.
I spoke to a man who struggles to read, so therefore the system is geared against him. He is managing at the moment but really struggles with using computers and his job search. He told me that he had worked for most of his adult life.
I offered him a copy of our survival guide but he told me that he couldn’t read it, so I read it to him. I think that he was surprised that someone would do this for him, let alone a stranger. We had a good chat and he walked away empowered, knowing his legal rights and obligations, and also having been advised what help is out there to assist him with his disability.
We spoke to a man who had lost his job in a local factory recently, so is now awaiting his first Universal Credit payment to arrive. This will of course take some time, and he told us that he was surviving on loans and the kindness of his family.
No one should have to wait as long as it takes to process a claim for Universal Credit, there’s absolutely no need for this long wait. I’m certain that the waiting period has been created to ensure a persons suffering. I mean how dare they ask for help!?
I spoke to an older lady who told me that she was 63. She was quite rightly frustrated that she had to claim Universal Credit. Whilst struggling for breath she told me that she was finding it hard to cope and that no one had told her that she could claim the disability element of Universal Credit before. We had a nice chat and I handed her our survival guide and advised her.
We spoke to a man whom I have mentioned before on my blog. He has had issues with his former employer so I had advised him to contact the law centre. He did just that and he has now been given some extremely good advice and is much more optimistic about his situation. Thank you so much to everyone at Greater Manchester Law Centre!
I spoke to a young man who had no idea that he was going to be transferred over to Universal Credit on the day of his usual signing on appointment. Because of this he had no time to prepare for this.
How hard would it be for his advisor to pre warn him? They know that we are undergoing full roll out, so please give the people that you see some prior warning and advice please.
I spoke to a man who had worked for the same company for 20 years. He became unemployed so he made an application for Universal Credit. He did everything correctly and attended his first appointment as requested, bearing in mind that he had to travel miles to reach the Jobcentre and it cost a small fortune on the bus. His advisor didn’t inform him of any future appointments and he was waiting for a letter to arrive to confirm an appointment.
Guess what…. The letter didn’t arrive, of course he didn’t attend the appointment which was only two days after his initial appointment. Yes two days. His advisor should have notified him of this appointment either at the initial appointment or by telephone or text. As a result he was sanctioned before he had actually received his first payment.
Madness, complete DWP beaurcratic madness, of course aimed to make a vulnerable person fall at the first obstacle. Sort it out DWP. You are destroying people’s life’s. Of course they know this but I thought that I’d remind them.
My question is this… How much more suffering will already vulnerable people have to endure before they get any decent representation? All they want is for an official body to say officially that they care, that your suffering shouldn’t be happening and we will do all that we can to change this Dickensian system.
Too many people are suffering and dying as a result, and every now and then the media are interested but we need constant support. I really hope that my readers can understand where I’m coming from. In my eyes everyone is important, and no one should be suffering like they are. Maybe I’m being unreasonable.
Here’s the leaflet issued by Unite Community. Anyone affected by Universal Credit can also contact me. Your voices are important and should be heard.
Hi folks, please help me to continue with my blog and campaign work. Thank you!
A massive thank you to everyone that came along and helped today, also a big thanks to Roy for collecting the food parcels and for being a big support to me this week. I can’t thank you and Chris enough.
Please share my blog as widely as possible, I ask this as a favour our voices need to become louder.
Also there is a donate button above for anyone wanting to donate. We aren’t funded by anyone and I do this on a purely voluntary basis. Thank you!