Dear readers, due to personal circumstances this weeks blog might be short, it might not so I’ll see where it takes me.
This week I wasn’t met by any so called official telling me to move on, I was getting very annoyed about this because they were taking me away from helping people. I told them this and each one of them shrugged there shoulders and more or less said ‘well’.
It wasn’t easy resolving this but many thanks to my MP Angela Rayner and the Labour Party for supporting me, all my blog readers and fellow activists. It was completely ridiculous that they wanted to move us.
I am aware however that they’ll now be most likely looking for an excuse to move us. The security camera is constantly watching us whilst we are standing outside the Jobcentre.
The Jobcentre however aren’t celebrating with us, they’ve now shut the blinds on all of the windows so that we can’t see in. Aren’t they a lovely bunch… Not.
The weather was absolutely freezing, the wind was so cold and we ended up finishing earlier than normal. I apologise for this but it was really cold, much colder than usual. Come on spring I’m ready for some nicer weather now.
Today’s food parcels went straight away as usual. Everyone that needed to be helped was helped, everyone needing signposting was signposted we never leave anyone we always help everyone that approaches us.
We will hopefully be able to stay the whole two hours next week.
Today’s mood outside the Jobcentre echoed the weather. No one that we spoke wanted to be there, all of them were frustrated with the Jobcentre and the DWP. Universal credit has totally destroyed many of the people in my town Ashton Under Lyne. A combination of general austerity measures, massive reductions in the councils funding and universal credit has taken the soul out of the town. One day I’m certain that we will get it back.
We spoke to an older gentleman, he had attempted to make the long walk up the stairs because he didn’t know that there was a lift inside the building situated in the library. There really needs to be more signs, or at least some signs putting up outside the building telling people where everything is.
His story is this. He’s a disabled man and he doesn’t understand how this system works. No one has really taken the time to describe it to him and he’s feeling lost and frustrated.
He told us that his ESA payments were being messed with. He wasn’t receiving his payments and he didn’t know why. He’d tried to phone the DWP up twice, had waited on the phone for two hours to speak to an advisor but was cut off both times after two hours.
So an older, disabled man couldn’t get any answers. It’s ridiculous that the government will tell the public that they can always speak to an advisor, the truth is often very different. He ended up giving up and making the five mile journey to the Jobcentre to hopefully sort it out.
This poor man was struggling, he shouldn’t have had to go through this but he’s forced to. Have I mentioned that I really hate the government and the DWP?
We spoke to a woman who was completely baffled by the universal credit system. Because she works and had received two wages in one month she didn’t receive her universal credit payment. It’s not her fault that the universal credit system doesn’t recognise that sometimes people do get two wages because of month changes.
I then saw a real fear in her eyes as she turned round, looked at me and said that because of this she might loose her house, become homeless and she didn’t know what to do. I gave her some advice and signposted her for help.
The truth is that thousands of people are being evicted because they’ve not been able to pay their rent because of the universal credit system. It’s not their fault they’re dealing with a cruel and inhumane system, a system that was created not to care.
It costs local governments far more to place families in emergency accommodation when they become homeless than it does to keep them in their homes. We really need to stop the hell thats universal credit and start to treat people with dignity and respect.
We then spoke to a woman who was also claiming universal credit. Her problem is this.
She was dismissed from her job as a dinner lady, she went on to claim universal credit but hadn’t realised that her old employer was still paying her. Yes I know that some will say that she should have known this but she really didn’t.
Because of this she’s now got to pay back her wages and she can’t make a new claim for universal credit until next month. What a mess, of course the government will except her to live on nothing. She’s also a carer for a family member but was refused carers allowance because her income was too high. I advised her of what to do and signposted her to relevant organisations.
We spoke to an older woman who was fed up of being sent on these ‘crap courses’ as she put it. She told us that these courses are absolute rubbish and haven’t helped her one bit.
Remember the DWP and the course provider make a lot of money from sending people on these courses. Unemployed and disabled people are seen as a financial commodity not a person.
We then spoke to a man that has been going through hell with the DWP. He’s an older man and also doesn’t understand the new DWP system. His story is this.
He’s one of the thousands of people that have failed their PIP medical assessment. He used to claim DLA. He appealed this decision and failed. He took it to the tribunal level and he failed.
As a result he’s now trying to make another claim but he is really confused, ‘It’s so confusing, I haven’t a clue what to do’ he said. He’s battling against a system that doesn’t care, that hates him and would prefer it if he disappeared somewhere.
Many of us do care though, we are trying to change things and despite what some people will say, we are making a difference. Solidarity to all fellow campaigners and to everyone suffering under this inhumane system.
This all happened in less than two hours. The DWP tried to get rid of us and for a while they really thought that they had won but they didn’t and we be back next week between 10-12 regardless of what the weathers like.
I can’t thank Kev and Daira from DPAC for joining us today, we really needed your support thank you so, so much.
Please read, share email and talk about my blog. Become a friend to someone that’s struggling with this awful system.
Thanks to Gordon and Roy for coming out today in the cold. Thank you SO MUCH.
If anyone would like to donate there’s a donate button at the bottom of the blog, at the top and at the side thank you so much. I’m a skint single parent trying my best to help people and fight this horrific system.