Dear readers, once again I have to apologise for the blog being published late. My father died late last week and I’m still trying to get my head round it. Anyway, like I have said before it’s not about me is it.
The weather today was surprisingly good, the sun was shining and it was reasonably warm. We didn’t get hassled by any officials either an added bonus.
As usual the food parcels went straight away, one of the men that took one told me that I was the only person that he’s spoken to all week. Poverty is extremely isolating.
We gave everyone that we spoke to a copy of our survival guide, we signposted people, advised people and spoke to almost everyone that passed us to go into the Jobcentre.
The first Person that I spoke to was a man that we see regularly because he needs a food parcel and general help from us. He told us of his experience in the Jobcentre this week.
Whist he was in the Jobcentre looking for work on one of the screens that they provide. According to him a security guard stood behind him and told him to leave the building because he’s a protester.
If his account is correct, the G4S security guard should not have done this. He isn’t a protester, he receives food parcels and advice from us. He will be making a complaint to both G4S and the DWP.
I spoke to a vulnerable disabled man, he told by a DWP advisor that he couldn’t claim both universal credit and PIP, so he hadn’t had any money for quite a while. He’s now in rent arrears etc. Luckily now he’s successfully applied for universal credit and PIP after being advised to do so by another advisor. Honestly you couldn’t make this up could you.
How on earth are claimants supposed to navigate the system when their advisors often don’t know what they’re doing? They aren’t are they, they want us to go away, disappear or die, it’d suit them because the employment levels will be lower.
The DWP regard every claimant as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder eg, workfare positions with various companies and organisations or sent on rubbish courses that do nothing to improve a persons life.
The DWP and the organisations and companies profit highly from this whilst claimants are left with hardly anything and many are reliant upon food parcels and the kindness of friends. Atrocious isn’t it.
I spoke to a man that needed a food parcel. He told me that he had some problems whilst telephone the ESA department. The first time that he telephone them he waited for 45 minutes to get an answer only to be told that the computers were down and they couldn’t help.
The second time that he telephoned them he waited another 45 minutes until he got an answer. Whilst I appreciate that people often wait a lot longer than that but it’s totally off putting for the person telephoning. Maybe that’s part of the plan, make them wait a long time to put them off making a claim etc. Who knows but I know what I think, you’re probably thinking the same thing.
I then spoke to an older man that looked annoyed. He took a leaflet and I asked him if he was ok. His reply was that he was sick of being treated like crap. His story is this.
Having worked for all of his adult life, his last job was as a hob carrier and he had worked for the same company for 25 years. Unfortunately he contracted TB, and a few weeks later he had a bad fall and broke his arm badly. He now finds himself at the mercy of universal credit and he’s trying to understand the system but is confused at the same time.
Because he’s now claiming universal credit the DWP are keen on sending him to different courses, the latest one being a fork lift carrier course to teach him how to drive one etc. Although he’s looking forward to this he still has to run around trying to get proof of how much the bus fare will be to get to Oldham where the course is being held. It’s ridiculous.
Due to the wait for universal credit he’s now in arrears with his mortgage and is scared that he’s going to loose his house. He told me that he’s scared, that he might be loosing everything that he’s worked for. A sad reality for many in his position.
I spoke to a woman that was attending the Jobcentre with her two children. Her youngest son has just been diagnosed with Autism. The DWP have told her that as soon as her son is five in June they’ll be moving her onto universal credit. She told me how scared she is, that she’s worried about her children, will she be able to feed them adequately etc. Having children and claiming universal credit is scary.
I advised her and told her what she could claim for her son etc and she took a leaflet.
No one should be scared like this woman, but most of the people that I speak to are scared because their futures are unpredictable, they don’t know what sort of hell is around the corner waiting for them.
We spoke to a woman thats recovering from breast cancer and other illnesses as a result of the cancer and the treatment.
Her story is this, she suffers from extreme tiredness, she missed two phone calls from the DWP because she was asleep. She doesn’t choose to fall asleep, she tried to stay awake but she couldn’t do it.
As soon as she was able to she contacted the DWP and asked them if she would receive a payment this week. She was told that she will but she’ll have to repay the DWP back.
Unbelievable isn’t it. A woman who’s been extremely ill isn’t given any support or sympathy. Basically she’s been left to her own devices and she didn’t know what to do.
No one should be treated like this. A caring government would let her rest and make a good recovery, instead she’s neglected and shunned. Disgusting.
I spoke to a woman that noted that she’s always waiting ages for an answer when phoning the DWP. Quite rightly she said that not everyone has a mobile phone and the DWP should understand this. They don’t and they have no intention of being understanding, its not in their remit is it.
I spoke to a woman that needed a form printing for the DWP. The DWP refused to print it for her telling her to go elsewhere. Typical treatment by the DWP.
We spoke to a woman who had waited for 13 weeks for her universal credit claim to be processed. She had been working for a local travel company that had gone bust, ceased trading. She was owed £1000 by her ex employer and the DWP wanted her to get the monies owed straight away. That might be easy to say but her previous employer is refusing to pay her so she’s taking them to the small claims court to try and recover the monies owed to her.
Thankfully she’s now receiving her universal credit payments but it’s left her stressed and in debt.
I spoke to an older man that told me in his opinion the people that designed universal credit should be forced to claim it for a long period of time. They should suffer like he is he said.
This all happened in the space of two hours folks, this will also be happening up and down the country as I type this. Please be a friend to someone it could be the difference between life and death.
Many thanks to Roy and Gordon for all of their help today.
Many thanks to all my readers and supporters of this campaign both online and in person.
Please read, share and talk about my blog because whilst Brexit is still the main topic of conversation people are still suffering and dying.
There is also a donation button at the side and top of this blog. I’m a skint single parent just trying to do my best to help people. Every penny counts thank you!!!