Hello readers! I was extremely worried about being able to write the blog in time but I’ve managed it. This makes me very happy. I’ll write this weeks blog in the usual manner, it’s easier that way.
The weather was lovely and warm, so has made life a bit easier for many of us. I’m also thankful for that and long may it last!
The first person that I spoke to was an older woman, she told me that she wasn’t in the best of health but had failed her ESA ‘medical’ examination. Note how I highlight the word medical. These assesments are mostly a farce to force ill and people with disabilities off their rightful benefits and onto either a benefit that they can’t cope with or to take themselves off the system. Indeed, some people force themselves to work again even though they can’t cope. It’s a choice of trying to exist on a DWP system that is extremely cruel and relentless or take up some kind of employment. She chose the latter because, as she told me it’s easier to try and cope in work and suffer healthwise, than cope with ‘that’ system.
I spoke to a lovely man who had been employed by the DWP or the lift maintance company to fix the STAFF lift. Knowing that there is actually a working lift inside was good news, but it’s a pity that the use of this lift has been refused to many. Before anyone states that this isn’t the case, I’ve witnessed this on more than one occasion myself and I recall that I might have blogged about it. If not I apologise. But I have witnessed a refusal and also a refusal to admit that there was a lift that could be used. Please DWP employees, can you ensure that EVERY person requiring the use of a lift is allowed to do so! Thanks so much!
I spoke to a man briefly. He muttered ‘I’m sick of people looking at me as if I’m a piece of dirt. I’m not, I’m a human being’. He is of course, and this happens a lot even to me. Some people are very quick to judge others that are less fortunate than themselves and I’m not niave this has always happened. My motto is ‘But by the grace of god go I’.
I spoke to a woman that had just been informed that she has to attend another group course at the Tameside Enterprise Centre. I wish that I was surprised by this but I wasn’t. That building has long been used to hold these courses, and Avanta had offices inside the building. She told me that this course will be yet another useless one and that she had been forced onto loads of them. Make no mistake, these outsourced companies make a lot of money from running these courses, all paid for by the government.
I spoke to a lady as she was leaving the Jobcentre. She was clutching a piece of paper and looked lost and confused. She told me that she had asked for advice and they just handed over the leaflet with telephone numbers on it. I advised her upon what she should do etc and handed her one of our survivial guides. She was very thankful.
I spoke to an older woman that had just had her signing on appointment date, time and place confirmed by text, and she showed me this. Upon handing in her details at the front desk, she was told that her appointment was now at the Tameside Enterprise Centre which is a ten minute walk away. This would have made her late, and their failure to inform her of this change in time is very neglectful. I really hope that they are sympathetic to her circumstances. I’ll find out next week hopefully.
So lets understand this.. They have failed to communicate with her, she arrived 5 minutes early as are the rules, so making her late. They really should have managed this much better.
I spoke to a man who told me that ‘This system is against us’. He isn’t wrong there is he.
I spoke to another lady, who upon attending her regular appointment was informed that she also had an extra apointment later that day at the Tameside Enterprise Centre. So she is now left to hang around the town centre for a few hours because she can’t afford to get the bus home and back. She doesn’t live local. They honestly like to keep people on their toes don’t they.
I spoke to a woman who had accompanied her son to the Jobcentre for his appointment. She stayed at the edge of the pavement and told me that she couldn’t come any nearer.
She explained that she had past dealings with the Jobcentre and they had caused her to have a breakdown.
She had been caring for her mother who was dying. Her nurses had told her that her mother would most likely pass away that day, and she had to be with her. Quite rightly so. She also had an appointment with the Jobcentre to sign on that day and she tried to change the appointment. She was refused because ‘You still have to do this’. She had no reason to lie to me either.
This in turn caused a downward spiral in her health and wellbeing, which she said took her a long while to recover from but it has left her with a fear of the DWP. Her advisor must have been one of the awful ones, we have a few because a kinder one would have given her allownce for her mothers death. Heartless.
I spoke to a lovely woman, who also reads this blog. Hi!! She wanted to thank me for the advice that I had given her because she has now had her money reinstated with backpay. To say that I’m happy about this is an understatement. when dealing with a complicated case, please go and see your MP. A big shout out to one of our local MPs Jonathon Reynolds and his team for helping. They do an amazing job. Even if you have a rubbish MP go and see them, if you don’t go they won’t know that you are suffering. And all MPs have to acknowledge your visit.
Last but not least, we spoke to a young man who had been dealt a very raw deal in life. He was a care leaver, and upon leaving care went to live with a relative. His relative died so he then became homeless. After a period of being on the streets in Manchester he visited our local Housing Options to see what help they could give him. They refused, saying that he had made himself intentionally homeless. From everything that he told us, and he had no reason to lie, he certainly hadn’t.
We advised him, Citizens Advice told him the same thing also so we signposted him appropriately. I really hope that he has some good luck soon, he’s certainly on my mond as is everyone else.
Today we handed out all of our food parcels, gave lots of help and advice and showed compassion to those needing it. Thats certainly non existent within the DWP.
Thanks to Roy for joining me and to Gordon for coming to say hello. Gordon isn’t well atm and can’t join us for a few weeks yet. Get well soon Gordon! Happy birthday for Saturday Roy!
I can’t stress how much we are needed outside the Jobcentre, even though at times I get dispondant. We hep people, but we do need more support from the Labour Party. Unemployed people and people with disabilities are just as important as working people.
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