Had throat cancer? Can’t speak? We expect you to look for work.

Dear readers and supporters I hope that you are all well and surving the best that you can. I know that lots of you are suffering, but remember I’m here for you to talk to as we are all there for each other.

Yesterday was a rather busy morning but once again I had to finish early again. We ran out of leaflets, I’ll hopefully have this rectified for next week.

We spoke to lots of people and helped lots also. We were also thanked by members of the public both for the help that we had given them previously or for advice that we gave them yesterday.

The most common sentences that we heard yesterday were ‘They never told me that I could do that’ ‘Thank you’ It’s crap and a pile of shite’.

As usual we handed out our food parcels and gave everyone that we spoke to help, advice and signposting if needed. Of course the DWP should be doing this but they aren’t so we have to do it.

We do all this because we can’t stand injustice, we also hate the fact that so many of you are suffering and if we can alleviate this a little its the right thing to do.

As I arrived outside the Jobcentre I spotted a woman walking in and out of the Jobcentre and council offices which are next door.

I approached her and asked her if everything was OK and could I help her.

Her story is this. She’s a single parent and works part time because it’s the only work that she can find that fits around her children. She is claiming universal credit and is struggling to survive.

Whilst she was waiting for her universal credit to be processed she accumulated rent arrears that she’s offered to pay off by paying a bit extra rent every month. Her landlord refused and has started the process of evicting her and her children.

When I say that she’s doing everything to rectify her situation I mean it, she’s really trying but to no avail.

As a direct result of universal credit she’s going to loose her home, and you can bet that our local housing options will tell her that she’s made herself intentionally homeless.

No person in this situation wants to make themselves homeless but universal credit ensures that almost everyone finds themselves in rent arrears.

Does the government care? Not one bit. But many people in the same position as her voted for the Tory party in the general election. Shame on them

I had a conversation with a 65yr old man who was told to attend Ashton Jobcentre to see an advisor. Upon seeing his advisor he was then told that he had to travel to Hyde Jobcentre for another appointment.

He asked them if he could see someone at Ashton Jobcentre instead but they refused. So he had to travel to Hyde which isn’t exactly near Ashton.

This happened twice yesterday, also with a younger man that had been told that he had to attend Hyde Jobcentre at 2pm making him late to pick up his kids from school. He asked if he could have an earlier appointment but they refused saying that he had to attend.

The DWP were responsible for him being late collecting his kids from school. The DWP doesn’t regard children and childcare as being important, nor do they care a bit about a child’s safety.

It wasn’t much later when I had a conversation with an older woman who asked for a leaflet. She told me about her experience with the DWP when they phoned her up recently.

The whole experience was awful for her, she told me that they were literally shouting to her and they made her cry. She’s disabled and already suffered from anxiety. This experience made her ill with worry.

I then was stopped by a woman that gestured towards me, she wanted to ask what we were doing. She couldn’t speak because she has had throat cancer and lost her ability to speak.

Luckily I lip read myself quite a lot so it could understand what she was saying. Her story is this.

Because she can’t speak she can’t make phone calls, she also finds the whole process of being forced to look for work very stressful. She had been told that not being able to talk shouldn’t stop her from applying for work.

Her advisor had also told her that she had done something wrong but she denies this.and is trying to fight it.

Even though she found it hard to explain what she had done wrong it was very obvious that she shouldn’t be forced to go through this rigmarole. But she is. The DWP don’t give a toss about anyone or anything.

It’s blatantly obvious that no one should be suffering like these people are. It’s such a cruel, horrible system that is determined to make everyone suffer regardless of age, sex and disability. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

Needless to say we will be back next week to help people.

Thank you so much for all your support, when I say that it means the world to me it really does.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog. The more people that reads it the better. Unbelievably there are still people out there that are denying that this is happening.

For anyone wanting to donate theres a PayPal button at the top and side of my blog. Thank you so much xx.

7 thoughts on “Had throat cancer? Can’t speak? We expect you to look for work.”

  1. Charlotte is literally the only person who reports regularly on this brutality, and has done for nearly five years now.

    I worked for more than 20 years as a Welfare Rights and Social Policy Advisor. I also have friends who work for the DWP, formerly DSS, before that DHSS.

    No-one is suggesting that all people’s experiences of claiming state benefits are bad. But it is a fact that over the last ten years in particular, since the huge raft of legislative and administrative changes implemented by first the coalition and now the Conservative government, many, many thousands of people are experiencing callous and punitive treatment through both the contracted-out services and through the DWP which uses them.

    Perhaps too you missed the UN Report on Human Rights, the first ever in this country, which criticised heavily the deterioration in our fellow citizens’ health and security as a result of those recent changes. It is a profoundly concerning read.

    I’m sure you will agree that the facts as reported by Charlotte, by Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur for the UN, by my friends who work and have worked for the DWP, by myself and colleagues in welfare rights, in medicine and in social policy, and last but not least of all, the experiences of those people forced to rely for survival on an increasingly cruel state, should be heard.

    We have quite enough state mouthpieces, including the BBC and the vast majority of the right-leaning and far-right press and media in this country, already toeing the official line on these matters. Who will speak for those suffering under this increasingly barbaric system?

    I am grateful for Charlotte’s input. I am sure history will support us in our valuing of her work, in her careful documentation of barely-heard voices when we emerge from this barbarous period through which we’re currently living.


  2. Reblogged this on Fear and Loathing in Great Britain and commented:
    “The whole experience was awful for her, she told me that they were literally shouting to her and they made her cry. She’s disabled and already suffered from anxiety. This experience made her ill with worry.”


  3. Charlotte this is awful. We see disregard for sickness in the workplace too. A cleaner with a broken toe was laughed at and told you’ll be fine everyone works with a broken toe. She submitted her sick note and said she wouldn’t be working. A PERFECT Astaff was told go get eye drops from the chemist for what was obviously conjunctivitis which is catching. I’m still working with possible nerve damage in my neck and shoulders. Doc wanted to put me off on the spot.
    In our Town Hall a Union member is disabled, she has several serious problems. Her last abscence was hospitalisation for literally bleeding out uncontrollably. She was told she cant have any more time off for a year!
    I’m a Union Officer and like you see so much. Nobody should be treated so badly whatever their circumstances.
    In solidarity. Kat R.

    Liked by 1 person

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