Dear readers I cant believe it we’ve got sunshine even though its freezing cold. My thoughts go out to everyone that is street homeless or can’t afford to heat their homes. I’ve been there, I know exactly what it feels like.
This week was busy and we had lots of conversations with people coming in and out of the Jobcentre. No one wants to be there in the first place and so many people struggle to make their appointments for various reasons. Just because someone looks ok doesn’t mean that they are and I hate the fact that so many people forget or brush aside hidden disabilities.
As usual our food parcels went almost straight away and we signposted everyone that we spoke to. Some just wanted a chat, we are often the only friendly face that they see from week to week.
The main reasons for people needing our food parcels are usually universal credit and sanctions. Universal Credit is cruel beyond belief, most people don’t have enough money to live off for the month, it’s even worse if you owe the DWP money from their loans but money is also taken out for other debts.
It’s very hard to claim any type of social security benefit and not be in debt. Because we have so little money we are good at budgeting for our necessities.
Before I had even reached the Jobcentre this week I had spoken to a man that needed a food parcel because he’s also helping another couple of people with food and shelter. He’s left with hardly any food for himself, but he’s an amazingly kind heart. The poorest are often the most generous often to the detriment of their own health.
For anyone thats reading this and are struggling, I hear you. I know exactly how it feels and how much damage it does to your mental and physical health. Keep on being strong, one day it will get better, we can help each other.
I directed a man that needed advice concerning employment law to the Law Centre. So many people have awful employers, kudos to the good employers out there you are appreciated.
We had a long conversation with an older chap that we’ve spoke to before outside the Jobcentre and he told us how he was getting on.
Sadly he’s having a tough time of it again because he doesn’t know how to use a computer. He’s trying to get some help to fill out his universal credit application form again.
He had tried to explain this to the DWP when he had tried to apply for universal credit previously. Their answer was to send him to the library, the library couldn’t help him because they didn’t have enough staff so he returned to the Jobcentre.
Understandably he returned to the Jobcentre and was very frustrated with their lack of understanding of his situation. Their answer was to make him leave the Jobcentre because he was arguing with a DWP employee.
For gods sake, if they had actually helped him in the first place he wouldn’t have done this. Empathy isn’t a quality that the DWP has, but I don’t need to tell you that because you already know this.
It was then that I spoke to a man that has been sanctioned for not attending an appointment. He had explained to his advisor that he no longer had a mobile phone because he had lost it and asked if they could send him a letter as an alternative to a text message.
The DWP ignored this and sent him a text notifying him of his next appointment. Of course he missed his appointment so now he’s having to cope living off hardship payments, most of which has to go towards paying his family member for food etc whilst he lives with them.
This system is so unfair and unjust, they knew that he wouldn’t see the text but sent it anyway. I remember the good old days when they used to give you your next appointment time face to face, and they used to write it on an appointment card.
Back then the DWP wasn’t a place of hatred and discrimination.
Whilst I write about discrimination, we then spoke to a man that had apparently been cured of all his disabilities and had been declared fit to work by the gods of the DWP.
Obviously he was both angry and frustrated and we did our best to help him and signpost him to where he can get help.
This was just an average morning outside the Jobcentre, so many people are suffering and we can’t see an end to it. We can never, ever forget the cruelty inflicted upon us by this Tory government.
We must continue to fight against their cruelty in whatever way that you can.
Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, the more people that read it the better. It’s an absolute scandals that we are being treated like this, the cruelty is off the scale.
A huge thanks to everyone that supports the campaign and my blog. I really do run both on an extremely low budget, if I had a budget to start with. For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of the blog. Every penny helps me to continue with this important work.
A massive thank you to everyone that does support my blog and campaign. Thank you so much xxx.
I’m also looking for a printer so that I can print copies of our survival guide myself. My small home printer isn’t suitable because we go through so many leaflets etc. If anyone sees one that’s suitable please can you let me know. Thanks.