Dear readers, I write this weeks blog with a heavy heart. I had some terrible news this morning but I’ll be ok and it’s not about me is it.
After what feels like weeks of endless sunshine we have had a bit of rain which was welcomed by most people. The mood outside the Jobcentre was low which is expected. I’ll list todays conversations as usual. Every person that we spoke to was offered help, advice, a copy of our survival guide and a food parcel if needed.
Over four years on and I can’t believe that I am actually still outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre like this. Instead of getting better it’s become worse.
Don’t be fooled by Esther McVey’s lies. Universal Credit isn’t running smoothly, people aren’t being transitioned from legacy benefits onto Universal Credit smoothly and people are not getting adequate support either. DWP staff are struggling to understand the system and some aren’t implementing policies correctly either.
The ultimate result is that people are suffering needlessly. It’s a cruel system created and implemented by a sadistic government that are hell bent on making the poor and disabled suffer as much as possible. I’m surprised that I can say that without swearing. #
I was stopped by a man almost as soon as I arrived. He needed a food parcel, he’s struggling so I had a good chat with him. He told me that he wasn’t well but hunger had driven him from his sick bed.
A woman rushed past with her head held down. She didn’t want to talk and it appeared as if she just wanted to get in the Jobcentre so that it’s over with. Totally understandable.
I spoke to a man that has had his ESA and PIP stopped because he had been declared fit for work. He isn’t fit for work, he’s in constant pain and is going into hospital soon to have another operation. He is appealing this decision and he took a food parcel. A lovely man who, due to no fault of his own became ill.
I said hello to a heavily pregnant woman, she took a copy of our survival guide and rushed into the Jobcentre. She can’t work now, but still the DWP continue harassing heavily pregnant women to find a job.
We spoke to a lady that had been sent out of the Jobcentre for being ten minutes early. She couldn’t believe it, she has only just started the process of claiming Universal Credit and told me that the whole process is ridiculous.
I spoke to a man that was very confused with as to what he should be claiming and his entitlements. For over the past week he told me he had been given conflicting advice from different people. I had a conversation with him, tried to explain things simply and guided him through the process.
We spoke to a lovely woman who has requested that her circumstances remain private. I can tell you that she was very upset, confused and felt unsupported. It never gets easy when you see someone break down in tears. Thankfully she will be supported now, and advice was given. Just talking to someone with compassion helps so much, it’s not hard and more people should do this. Let’s be kind to each other.
I spoke to a woman that is due to be evicted from her home due to debts caused by her wait for Universal Credit. As we were speaking a man that was standing behind me interrupted and said that this had also happened to him. She’s trying to get a delay with the eviction process, but soon she will be homeless. Shes an older woman with health problems. I am worried about her, I have signposted her and will be attending court with her if possible.
Eviction due to Universal Credit rent arrears isn’t unusual sadly. It’s silently happening to a lot of people but it appears to be going under the radar at the moment. Our homeless population is growing massively as a result and I hate this government for their policies regarding this. It needs to stop.
I asked a man that I regularly speak to how he was feeling today and if he was coping ok. He said “Well I’m not dead yet”. That, my friends just about sums it up doesn’t it.
I spoke to an older man that told us joyously that he has at last found a job at a local mill as a spinner, his trade when he was younger. He told me that he had been forced to claim Universal Credit for four months and that those four months were the worst four months of his life. We wished him the best of luck with his new job, and I personally can’t thank the mill for employing him. He will be happy now and that means everything.
I had a long conversation with a man trying to explain what Universal Credit is, how she should make a claim, what the process is, discussed the waiting time and explained about the loans that are offered whilst waiting for a claim to be processed and how they have to be paid back. No one had taken the time to explain this in length to him, in detail etc. It’s a complicated process and it’s not something that can be rushed. People need to know the details, but sadly they don’t do they. Instead everything is rushed with little explanation or care.
I’m sorry the blog is short, but we spoke to many different people today all with varying problems all of which were urgent in their own right. Not one person that we spoke to is having an easy time, all were stressed and most were unhappy and felt lost.
This governments cruelty appears to be never ending. The government are very quick to invent new ways of making the poor and disabled people suffer. In their eyes they don’t matter at all. They matter to me though. I care about each and every person that I speak to and I will continue to oppose the governments cruelty against them.
I will return next week to help more people. Be kind to each other, encourage conversation because this really does matter more than you think.
Please read, share rt, email my blog. I do my best to do this but I do need help to do so. Many don’t realise that I’m a skint single mum that just wants to help others, its as simple as that. I also want to change things, to end the cruelty and to raise awareness. It’s not easy, especially on days like today but I will continue the good fight hoping that one day we will win.
Many thanks to everyone that does and has supported my blog. You really do make a difference, thank you.