Dear readers, yes its Thursday again and I have just returned home after our weekly demo and advice session outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre, we have been doing this for over four years now and like I’ve mentioned before its getting worse and not better. Ignore the government they lie, almost every person that I’ve spoken to over the years have been set up to fail.
I’ll list today’s conversations and I apologise if the blog is short, lack of sleep and poor health has left me feeling fed up. Also I can’t stress how hard this time of the year is when you are poor and have children. Expensive school uniforms, school shoes. Stationary etc etc . It’s hard, it’s stressful and I feel it as well. My thoughts and solidarity are with you all.
Please note that everyone that we spoke to was offered a food parcel if they needed one and everyone recieved a copy of our leaflets. We try to help everyone and no one walks away without help.
I was greeted by a woman that told me she was struggling with her monthly Universal Credit payments. The money just doesn’t stretch far enough and she’s living in more poverty than she was previously. Not having the guarantee of a payment has quite literally made her ill .
I spoke to a man that had failed his ESA medical. He had appealed this decision, but the DWP upheld their decision so now hes taking his case to tribunal. Trying to keep his head above water is a full time job, one that he says he fails at times.
I spoke to a woman that we have been helping regularly for a while now. She grabbed hold of her food parcels, looked at me and smiled, saying that she might get a payment in a weeks time. Shes waited eight weeks now and it’s a miracle that shes coped for as long as she has done.
I handed a young lad a leaflet and I felt desperately sad for him. He’s at the start of his life and should be looking forward to his future, but he isn’t because the government won’t allow him to.
Today we noticed an increasing number of older women and men, it’s heartbreaking to see them be forced into searching for non existent jobs and having to jump through ever increasing hurdles. For gawds sake, leave them alone. They are worn out, fed up and their bodies and minds need to rest.
A young man thanked me for a leaflet, perhaps the only bit of useful information that he had recieved today.
A man stormed out of the Jobcentre shouting ‘F***k off’ in the direction of the Jobcentre doors. He was visibly angry and frustrated. Poor fella if they just treated people with more understanding and compassion he wouldn’t feel like this in the first place.
We spoke to a woman that is claiming PIP at the moment. She’s very worried about her future move over to Universal Credit and quite rightly so. She knows that she’s going to have to go without the basics for a long while and she’s scared.
I noticed a man dashing into the Jobcentre clutching a piece of paper in his hand. He was staring at it intently, perhaps hoping that his situation would become better today. Sadly it wasn’t.
We spoke to an older man that we say hello to every week. He’s coping but only just. He shouted ‘Into the lions den’. Yes it literally feels like that.
We spoke to a woman and her support worker outside the Jobcentre. English is her second language and even her support worker was confused by the system. She enquired if her rent payments would be included in her first universal credit Payment. We confirmed this and we encouraged her to inform her landlord of her situation. This is so important because if you don’t landlords won’t have a clue what’s happening and an eviction process can be commenced.
We noticed a few more people going into the Jobcentre with their support workers. This is good because they are recieving some help, but they still neeed a leaflet and advice. Universal credit is so complicated, and purposely so and we like to help people.
I spoke to a man that was confused by his transfer over to Universal Credit. he told me that he didnt have a clue what was happening and was struggling.
I spoke to a man that struggles to use computers and technology. He’s dyslexic and can’t cope with it. He also doesn’t have a personal computer, and like he said he wouldn’t know how to use one if he did. So he’s stuck trying to cope with a system that fails to recognise his disability.
Last but not least, we spoke to a man of pensionable age. He told us that he was very confused with the new system and had been shocked to discover that he’s no longer entitled to free dental care etc. Visibly distressed he couldn’t understand why the system is like this.
But here’s the deal, the government purposely created this system purposely to punish the poorest and most vulnerable for their poverty, age, sex and any disability that they might have. Don’t expect any compassion from the government because there is none. We all need to fight for change because if we don’t we could be left to suffer like this for forever.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog we really need to get the word out that people are being forced to suffer like this.
Many thanks to all the readers and supporters of my blog. I couldn’t do this without you and the team for whom I’m eternally grateful.
There’s also a donate button above for anyone wishing to contribute. Thank you! It’s very hard work, especially when you aren’t well etc, but I plod on hoping that one day things will change.