Dear readers, once again I’m sorry for the delay. It’s been a tough month for me so far and I hope that it gets better.
Today’s weather was awful, raining and cold, I even had to go into the market and buy myself a knitted hat. You can bet that many people claiming universal credit are freezing today. Let’s hope that we get some warmer weather soon.
I was met at the food parcel pick up point by two of the people that we help regularly with food parcels. They like to help us with carrying the food parcels which is really kind of them and I also love to see them.
As I approached the Job Centre there was a queue of people waiting for a food parcel, so they were all gone as soon as they arrived.
We are the 5th richest country in the world yet we have thousands and thousands of people are reliant upon food parcels to survive. The money certainly doesn’t trickle down to the poorest does it. It stays it the top.
I had a chat with the regulars all of whom are managing to maintain their accommodation and keep their tenancies and have done for quite a while now. They’re doing so well and I’m extremely proud of them. This is no mean feat believe me, but they’re trying so hard despite the DWP not providing them with enough money to survive on.
They told me that a local organisation is shut for a few weeks for renovation. This has given them some concerns because these organisations keep them going. Anyway, I did my best to cheer them up. Life’s hard when you’re skint.
I spoke to a woman who was rushing to get out of the rain, as I handed her a leaflet she expressed her concerns about her future move onto universal credit. She hasn’t got a clue how she’ll survive. I just hope that our leaflet and words of encouragement help her.
I spoke to a chap thats struggling to cope with life in general. He’s homeless and had to leave a local hostel because someone stole some of his belongings. He’s now got a flat but others are taking advantage of him and his good nature. Luckily his friend has taken him under his wing and will now be doing his best to help him.
It’s a sad reality that many leave hostels etc because they don’t feel safe, preferring life on the street. Without adequate funding etc it’s hard for these organisations to address this.
I spoke to a man that told me that he’s only received one universal credit payment in three months.
He told me that his universal credit payments were being paid into his friends bank account but his friend had died. He then informed the DWP that his friend had died and he informed the DWP that he had a new bank account to put his payments into. Unfortunately the DWP seem to have lost this information so he hasn’t been receiving his payments. I really hope that they sort this out for him asap.
We then spoke to a man suffering from mouth cancer. He hasn’t got a clue what benefit he’s claiming, what he’s entitled to. He was totally confused and shouldn’t have to be going through this in the first place.
We told him to get all of his paperwork together and to got to Citizens Advice for a full benefit check.
How on earth are vulnerable people supposed to survive on a system that actively works against the persons trying to survive on it.
A man as ill as he is shouldn’t have to battle a system such as this, he’s already battling cancer for gods sake. I’m certain that the government want us dead or to disappear. They see us as being worthless of having no value at all, therefore they regard our life’s as such.
I then spoke to a man that had worked all of his life. He told me that this new system baffles and confuses him. He told me that he didn’t have a clue of what benefit he was claiming.
Luckily I was able to help and advise him. My thought was that if we weren’t there what would he have done? It’s both a scary and depressing thought isn’t it.
We then spoke to a woman that walked out of work. She had worked as a support worker and was being forced to work 60 hours a week. She told me that her working conditions were so bad that she had no choice but to leave.
Support workers should be valued not abused. I really hate hearing stories like this, yet there are those that will make as much money as possible from the support worker and their client as possible.
She told me that the DWP keep sending her on ‘stupid courses’ that in her words won’t help her to find a job. She went on to say that she knows how to find a job and these courses are distracting her from doing this.
I spoke briefly to an older man as he was leaving the Jobcentre. I handed him a leaflet and asked him if he was ok. He told me that he was ill, and would most likely be dead before they (the DWP) stop his sickness benefits.
Why on earth should a man so ill be forced to attend Jobcentre appointments? Apparently we’re supposed to live in a ‘civilised’ society. There’s nothing civilised about forcing extremely ill person to attend DWP appointments.
I then spoke to a man claiming universal credit thats been forced to live on £175 a month due loan repayments, council tax and other expenses. Do the maths, thats certainly not enough to survive on is it, yet the Tories reckon that everyone’s better off on universal credit.
I then spoke to two women leaving the Jobcentre. They each took a leaflet and expressed their concerns about being moved onto universal credit in the near future.
I did my best to advise them both and they thanked me.
It worries me that so many people are suffering because of universal credit. I should say most people on universal credit are suffering. Many are hungry, stressed and struggling to get by. Working and not working they’re all in the same boat, struggling to make ends meet, struggling to eat, keep their accommodation and even their children.
More and more children are living in poverty, more than we have known in modern times. It’s no wonder that the amount of children being taken into the care of the local authority because their parents can’t afford to feed their children or maintain a home, indeed keeping a tenancy is too much for many parents.
It has been reported in the news this week that the mothers of newborn babies are abandoning their newborn babies in hospital because they can’t afford to look after them.
This is all happening in a country that used to be looked up to by others as one that looked after the poorest. It certainly isn’t now.
Unfortunately the weather was awful again today so we had to finish early. Hopefully we will have better weather next week.
Thanks to Gordon for helping today you’re a star.
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