Dear readers, the weather today was awful, drenching rain stopping and starting. Because of this we finished early but we did manage to help and advise lots of people.
Hopefully the weather will be better next week, maybe I need to save up to buy a really big umbrella or something. Who knows, but we will be returning next week.
Everyone that we spoke to were given a copy of our survival guide, signposted if needed and given a food parcel if needed.
No one leaves us without help and we’re really proud of this.
Today was quiet mainly because of the weather and it’s the school holidays. Decent advisors tend to work around school holidays, awful advisors don’t give a stuff. I’m sure that you’ve experienced this, I know that I have.
As I arrived there was a queue for the food parcels, sad but true. All these people are just about surviving but look out for each other. You’ll find it hard to find a nicer bunch of people.
They’re currently helping a young homeless woman that I’ve been very concerned about this past week. I gave her all signposting details etc but it can take people a while to approach them. In the meantime we help with the basics as do her friends.
We spoke briefly to two young women who were both making new universal credit applications. I really hope that things go well for them, but the five week wait and repayment loans will cripple them financially leaving them in debt with the DWP fir a long time. I really wish that it wasn’t like this.
We spoke to an older woman who’s part of the Back To 60 campaign, she missed out on her pension and is now struggling on a very small income from a private pension. It’s not easy for her because she receives £10 more than is allowed to to receive help with prescription costs etc etc.
I told her to watch out for the judicial review thats coming up next week campaigned for by the Back To 60 campaign. She’s struggling but still has a smile on her face, personally I don’t know how she’s managing that.
It was then that I spoke to a young woman with her two children. Getting to the Jobcentre is a struggle for her because she suffers from anxiety and very nearly had to get off the bus.
I asked her if she was ok and she told me that she had looked at her universal credit online account this morning only to see that the DWP had sent her a message saying that they’d closed her claim down.
In a state of panic she telephoned the DWP only to be told that it was ‘just a glitch’ and that message shouldn’t have been sent. So now she was attending the Jobcentre for her appointment and to try and find out if she’s still going to receive her payments.
For the DWP to say that this is ‘just a glitch’ is inexcusable. Yes computers make mistakes but they shouldn’t be treating this matter flippantly, in fact it’s highly neglectful of them.
Mistakes like this shouldn’t be happening, they can send a person into a spiral of anxiety and panic, I’m certain that there will be claimants that have taken their own life’s because of ‘glitches’ like this.
There’s no excuse for the DWP to be as irresponsible as this. We know that the universal credit computer system is rubbish at best, and instead of paying thousands of pounds to put ads in The Metro newspaper and investing in some television programmes that portray universal credit as a wonderful thing, they should be spending money on fixing their continuous mistakes.
Universal credit isn’t some kind of utopian dream, it’s a downright cruel system with no empathy at all. It punishes people for not working, for not working enough hours, for working too many hours and for being disabled and sick.
The problem also lies within society as a whole. There are many people that still believe that everyone claiming any type of benefit is a scrounger. I heard this today whilst I was in a charity shop.
Many people also believe that anyone claiming a benefit should be ‘sent away’ and that they shouldn’t be having children at all.
We all need to work a bit harder at opposing opinions like these, wether it be in conversation or on a Facebook post or Twitter timeline. We already do lots but I can do more.
Like I said earlier, it was quiet and we had to leave early but we did hand out lots of leaflets and had some really good conversations. Upon starting a conversation people sometimes think that they’re ok and don’t need help, but as the conversation continues they realise that they do need help but were either too proud to ask or didn’t realise that they could appeal against a DWP decision.
I would say come and join us on Thursday mornings, but I realise that many people are too scared of the DWP to do so, or for whatever reason they just can’t attend.
Please can I ask my readers to share my blog, we need to counteract the government’s propaganda mission regarding universal credit. For those that already do a massive THANK YOU.
Needless to say we will be returning next week.
Please read, share, tweet, email my blog, like I said earlier this is vital.
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