Category: Cookery

Disabled man told to apply for work at the same place he used to work.

Dear readers its Thursday again and it’s another cold, windy day. My thoughts are with everyone that are street homeless or are living in cold homes because they can’t afford to heat them. Fuel poverty is real and its only going to get worse.

You can bet that hypothermia related deaths will increase this year because so many more people are living in poverty, and it isn’t just elderly people either. Indeed this morning I topped up a young couples electric key for them because they’d ran out of electric. Life with pre payment machines is no fun at all. I’m talking from experience though because I’ve always had pre payment machines.

Winter with it’s dark mornings and dark evenings really takes it’s toll on many people so please be kind to each other, times are hard.

Like I said this morning started with being freezing cold but then a cold breeze became stronger and stronger so we had to finish early. I need to find some thermal clothes to wear.

Anyway, all the food parcels bar one were taken straight away. This week we were able to give people a packet of doughnuts with their food parcel. Doughnuts might not be nutritious but they do cheer people up, so does a packet of biscuits etc. Never underestimate the value of this type of food.

I bet you’re fed up of me writing that so many people are dressed in clothing not suited to the cold winter weather. This was the case today, so many people were walking in and out of the Jobcentre and council offices looking freezing cold.

Can I please have a magic wand to change this? I’ll be eternally grateful.

Noted today was the amount of young people going into the Jobcentre to make their first claim. Luckily I was able to give them a leaflet and some advice. Having to cope with the whole universal credit system can be so daunting and stressful for young people at the start of their adult life.

We spoke to a lovely man who has several disabilities, a brain condition,a completely knackered knee that he cant use for standing for any period of time and a back condition.

He explained that he was disgusted that he’s forced to attend the Jobcentre on a weekly basis even though he’s disabled and is handing in fit notes. Today his advisor told him that he needed to apply for a job at the very same factory that he was previously working at.

He had to end his employment because of his disabilities, the work is heavy going, on foot all of the time and moving heavy equipment etc around. At first he thought that they were joking but his advisor wasn’t and was deadly serious.

Obviously he was extremely frustrated at this, they’re setting him up to fail because they just don’t care. If they did care they wouldn’t be doing this to him in the first place, and you can bet that they’ll try to punish him if he doesn’t.

This is the side of the DWP that many people don’t see. They don’t understand that the DWP can, and often does behave like an abuser gaslighting its victim until they give up.

Don’t let them do this to you, appeal any decision that they make, you do have the right to do this.

I had a lovely conversation with a man that used to be street homeless in Manchester, hes now housed in a flat and is doing well. He told me that he used to be a solider in the army but once he left they ditched him and didn’t care about him one bit. I’ve heard this story so many times and it’s awful.

Luckily he eventually found support and he now helps other street homeless people. He told me how dangerous Manchester is for street homeless people and how concerned he is about this.

Gordon spoke to a man that had walked miles to the Jobcentre only for his appointment to last for the maximum of five minutes. I’m not wrong when I say that they do this to control people.

Last but not least we were told of the plight of someone having terminal cancer only for their claim for PIP to be rejected. They’ll be appealing this decision, but will they live long enough to see this through? I hope so, but no one in their position should have to go through this.

Sadly like I said earlier, we had to leave early but we spoke to lots of people, and helped many of these. We will be back next week as usual.

Please can I ask you a favour? Can you read, share, tweet and email my blog? I really need to get the word out there that the DWP system is cruel beyond belief.

Also I have a donate button at the side and the top of my blog. For anyone not able to see this my PayPal add is seercharlotte@gmail.com

I live on virtually nothing and every penny helps me to continue blogging and campaigning. Thank you to everyone that have done already.

I’m also in the process of writing a book based upon my blog. If you’re interested in this please email me via my blog.

Failed PIP assessments, homelessness, sanctions. Happy new year from the DWP.

Dear readers, I hope that you were able to celebrate Christmas and the new year, if not you’re not alone I wouldn’t have celebrated Christmas at all this year if it wasn’t for friends and I was in bed early on New Year’s Eve.

Sadly I fear the new year won’t bring us any good news, and I reckon that they’ll continue to squeeze the life out of us with any new policies that they implement.

As a campaigner I’m feeling burnt out, and the general election result has meant that we’ve got to continue to campaign for many years. I had a conversation today with a fellow campaigner and we agreed that we need more people to help because we’re really feeling the heavy burden on our shoulders. Having health problems really doesn’t help either.

 

Anyway, today we returned after the Christmas break, all the food parcels were taken straight away and we actually started the demo early for a change.

I wish that I could say that things were getting easier but they aren’t,  I haven’t spoken to a single person that isn’t struggling in one way or another. Some of these people are in dire situations but still voted for the Tories, turkeys voting for Christmas again.

Today we were joined by a comrade from Rochdale and a local councillor and as usual Gordon was here to help. I don’t know how I’d manage without his support. I digress though. Everyone that we spoke to were given help, advice and were signposted if needed. We also gave people a shoulder to cry on, which is needed when you’re going through the DWP system.

One thing that I did notice today was the amount of people rushing past, heads down attempting to not be seen by anyone.

Today I noticed that there has been a large increase in people being denied their PIP assessments.  Yes I do realise that this has always happened, I know this and I help people with their appeals, but it’s now got to a point that they’re point blank denying everyone their PIP benefit which is needed so much by those that claim it.

This got me thinking, the government are targeting disabled people extremely aggressively from every angle, everything that they do is monitored, their constantly under an evil spotlight from the DWP.

You might ask why doesn’t the government leave them alone? They never will because they’re an easy target, they know that many won’t fight back because they simply don’t have the energy to do so.

Whilst I’m writing about this I spoke to a man that had recently won his appeal to reinstate his PIP. The tribunal also decided that he should be given some back pay also which was 12 months worth of payments. Whilst being overjoyed at this, he knows that he’ll have to go through this again and again and then some more.

Not long after I spoke to this chap, I spoke to another man that had also failed his PIP assessment. Luckily I was able to help and advise him, to be honest he wouldn’t have known how to do this if we weren’t there to help him.

 

I was then stopped by a young couple that wanted to know what we were doing, I explained and they told me that they’ve been homeless for two days and they didn’t know what to do and where to turn.

I advised them of where to go to for help, and what services there is locally, but life really shouldn’t be like this. Young people shouldn’t have all their hopes and dreams crushed by this heartless, cruel government, in fact no one should.

As we were talking a woman shouted over to us “Universal Credit is a pile of shit”. She wasn’t wrong either.

Not long after this we had a conversation with a man who is homeless and had lost his Universal Credit number, without this he couldn’t log on to the system and therefore he would be sanctioned.

Trying to avert this disaster from happening he tried phoning the Universal Credit line, but that was no good because it was Christmas Day. Feeling frustrated he wrote a letter and was under the assumption that he could post it through the Jobcentres door, then he saw that the Jobcentre doesn’t have a letterbox, I mean if they can’t put a sign up telling people where the Jobcentre is then they’re seemingly incapable of anything else.

The DWP seemingly haven’t got the ability to think logically.

Not to be deterred by this he stuffed his letter between the door closings and by some kind of miracle it was picked up and passed over to the Jobcentre who then phoned him and sorted it out.

You can imagine how relieved he was, he was very lucky this time.

 

I was talking to a friend the other day about people arriving on time for their Jobcentre appointments that were made to wait way over their delegated appointment time.

This happened today to a woman that was made to wait an extra 15 minutes for her appointment. To say that her advisor was less than enthusiastic is an understatement. She handed her advisor her fit note and then asked him if she could hand over the extra medical information that she’s been asked to hand in. The  response was basically this. No I’m not going to take it off you now, hand it in next week., they really don’t care.

Obviously she was extremely frustrated at this and she’s now going to take this further. If  her advisor is reading this, sort it out please, it wasn’t her fault that you were running late.

 

This week was a hodge lodge of differing problems, all of which shouldn’t have happened in the first place. If you think that this is awful it’s going to get a whole lot worse. We can thank the people that voted for the Tories for this.

 

 

 

We’ll be back next week doing the same thing.

Please read, tweet, share, email my blog.

 

Also if you can please donate, I’m struggling at the moment and every penny helps. Thank you.

Not a merry Christmas for the victims of the cruel DWP regime.

Dear readers the blogs late. I apologise for this once again.

As many of us have dreaded Christmas has arrived again, this is a stark reminder of how poor we are, what we don’t have whilst we watch those that can afford to buy lots of things that they don’t need on TV and YouTube.

Many of you will be spending your first Christmas without a loved one, being alone for the first time is a scary thing.

I hear you, I’m with you. Hang on in there it will get easier.

For everyone dependant upon food banks for food over the Christmas period. I’m with you, I’m doing the same. It’s hard to piece a meal together from the contents of a food parcel, I hear you, I’m doing the same.

Hang on in there, I’m here for you, we’re here for each other.

Yesterday was our annual Christmas Demo and it was a huge success despite Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre and the building manager of the Tameside One building being rather disgruntled at our being there. We had to agree to take our banners down but we marched around the market grounds with them, making more people aware of our campaign and our advice service.

We also laid a wreath in memory of everyone that has died as a result of the government’s cruel austerity measures and their inhumane DWP regime. We do this every year, it’s important to remember everyone that has died, hoping that one day we will get justice for each and every person and their families.

A huge thank you to everyone that came to support us yesterday.

0ust last week we lost our only chance for at least five years of ending this cruelty.

Working class voters were tricked into lending their votes to the Tory party, believing the lies that Brexit will ‘be done’ straight away.

Brexit won’t happen overnight like they thought though, more fool them.

The Tory party has already broken some of their promises made in their election campaign. They’ve got absolutely no intention of keeping them either.

As a result things are going to get a whole lot worse than they are now.

Unemployment will rise, homelessness will increase, the DWP regime will become a whole lot worse, communities will become even more divided.

I could go on for forever but remember this.

If you voted for the Tories then you voted for more poverty, a decrease in your wages etc. Own it.

If you have children and they find out that you effectively voted to ruin their futures they’re going to be extremely angry.

Good luck with that.

We’ve handed out possibly hundreds of food parcels out this year, I personally have bought shopping for people, sourced prams, baby clothes and household basics for others.

As I was handing a food parcel to a young woman yesterday she turned round and shouted to the public “This woman has helped me when no one else would. She got a pram for my baby, she fed us, she’s helped me so much. I can’t thank her enough for this, I don’t know what would have happened to me if she hadn’t done this”

This nearly brought tears to my eyes. She’s wonderful, a survivor currently battling her awful social housing landlord.

Yesterday all of our special Christmas food parcels were taken as soon as they arrived.

We put two pasting tables outside the Jobcentre and filled them with free coffee and tea, biscuits, mince pies, cakes and leaflets.

A

s usual Ashton Jobcentre staff didn’t like us doing this, maybe they took offence to the Christmas music that we were playing. After all the DWP doesn’t believe in Christmas.

It’s hard to say what has been the most heartbreaking story that I’ve heard, they are all equally heartbreaking. Please read through my blog you’ll definitely agree with me.

I’d like to say Merry Christmas to all my readers and supporters. Your support has kept me and the campaign going this year.

For anyone struggling to celebrate Christmas please take solace that it will soon be over, the reminders of opulence will soon be gone and life will continue as normal.

For everyone suffering under the torturous DWP regime remember that you’re not alone. We care, lots of people care. Keep strong and don’t let the b######s grind you down.

We shall return after Christmas stronger than ever ready to continue our fight against the government and the DWP.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that has already.

Please donate if you can. I live on an extremely low income and am having to collect food parcels myself.

Thank you so much to everyone that has already this year.

Forced to attend DWP course dispite having multiple disabilities.

Dear readers and supporters once again I have to apologise for publishing this blog late. I’ve been out campaigning for my local Labour Party.

Anyway today was pretty dire, it was raining, in fact it still hasn’t stopped.

It was also cold, deadly weather for street homeless people and anyone that can’t afford to heat their homes.

Once their clothes become wet, they can’t dry them so they become very cold and hypothermia can set in. This can be deadly so please spare a

thought for people in this situation.

As usual all the food parcels were gone as soon as I handed them out. Most of them were needed by people having problems paying their council tax and extra top up rent. If they can’t pay the council will take the money directly from their universal credit payments. Their social housing landlord will also threaten to evict them even though the person that I spoke to owed less than £100.

New Charter housing certainly don’t give a toss about their tenants but that’s another story.

We spoke to lots of people today but sadly we had to end the demo early because we were drenched and cold.

I had a conversation with a man that has several disabilities which prevents him from applying for many of the jobs on offer.

Dispite this his job coach has told him that it would be in his best interests to attend a so called wellbeing course.

Wellbeing is the latest buzzword being used by the DWP. They like to pretend that these rubbish courses will help people, especially disabled people.

They don’t however tell the person being forced onto these courses that they (the DWP) gain financially from sending people on these courses as do the course providers.

We are seen as a pound sign, a number of which they can profit from.

What they forget is that most people have enough commonsense to realise that no one can ever be cured by attending a course. They’re another reason to harass a person more, to sanction them if the course provider advises them to.

The whole system is crooked, people are being harassed so much by the DWP that they can’t see a future for themselves and they take their own life. Meanwhile the DWP will still send letters out to the families of the deceased.

It’s Orwellian in nature, they control a person’s life to the extent that they can cut off their very means of survival with the click of a button on a computer.

I spoke to three people that are having problems with their housing benefit claims. Our local housing benefit department at Tameside Council aren’t the best.

Please can they start talking to people as if they’re human beings, with respect and not disdain? It’s not too much to ask is it.

I spoke to a single parent that had been asked to attend their first back to work interview because their child is now two years old.

They were understandably nervous and had no idea of their rights regarding job searching etc. Thankfully we were able to help them and we handed them a copy of our survival guide.

Call me old fashioned but I’m a firm believer that a parent or carer should be able to stay at home with their child until their child reaches school age or older. Obviously parents that want to work should do so but the option should be there.

Children need their parents, it’s vital for their development.

Children also need to be able to eat good, healthy food and live in a warm house. These very basic things are denied by this cruel government.

I write this on the eve of the general election, the most important General election in many years. Let’s hope that we get a good result. If we don’t many of us won’t survive another 5 years of this cruelty. I can’t stress this enough.

We will be back next week for our annual Christmas Demo. I will be making a wreath unless I can get a volunteer to help me. I’m also needing to buy non alcoholic mince pies and other Christmas foods to hand out to the public.

We will also be handing out extra Christmas food parcels so if you need one please contact me so that I can save one for you. If you don’t it’s a first come first served basis.

Also please come and join us it’s at the same time 10-12 outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. Please come and say hello and maybe sing an appropriate Christmas Carol or two.

Suspended payments for 6 months because they were seen carrying a food parcel.

Dear readers it’s Thursday and blog day. Please may I start by thanking you all for your support for my blog and my campaign.

I’m still here writing and it’s all thanks to you all.

Today was freezing cold and the crowd was gathered awaiting out food parcels.

This week we had a very kind donation of four extra food parcels from a friend.

It’s a good job that we had these extra food parcels because they were all taken.

I’m going to list today’s conversations. Please note that everyone was given appropriate help, advice, signposting etc. I even went to Wilkinsons to buy some dog food for a dog who’s owner needed a food parcel.

Many people either forget that people struggling have pets and they need to eat. Others reckon that we shouldn’t have any pets, we aren’t deserving of anything.

A much loved pet can be a lifeline for their owner and no one should be criticised for owning one.

The first conversation that I had was with a man who told me that his payments have been suspended for six months. He is claiming the ESA element of Universal credit.

I asked why and he told me that he had been reported to the DWP because he was seen carrying one of our food parcels.

I advised him to appeal this decision and he told me that he’d been advised that he can’t.

Luckily I have contacts that will be able to help him, but regardless of that he shouldn’t be expected to go without any payments for 6 months.

It’s absolutely ridiculous and is so punishing. It’s hellish and shouldn’t be happening at all.

I spoke to a young man that had to walk miles from his home to get to the Jobcentre. He told me that if he’s lucky a bus driver will let him get on a bus for nothing, if they won’t he walks.

I signposted him and bought him some dog food for his dog.

I had a conversation with a woman regarding self employment and universal credit.

Gordon spoke to two people that were making new universal credit claims and needed documentation to do so.

I spoke to a man that’s in the process of being evicted from his home. We advised him to the best of our abilities and I signposted him as well.

I overheard a man shouting ‘B####d sanctions.

I then had a long conversation with a young 18yr old woman that was crying when she was leaving the Jobcentre.

Her advisor had told her that she’s not trying hard enough to find a job, her efforts are rubbish etc. You get the idea.

The truth is that she is trying her hardest to do everything properly but it is a struggle.

No one has shown her how to find a job, how to apply for one and no one has given her any decent career advice.

Her advisor hasn’t told her about further education nor have they told her about apprenticeships etc. They refuse to help whilst criticising her to the point of tears.

Luckili we were there and I sat down with her and gave her some advice, but equally as important compassion.

For heavens sake she’s only 18 years of age, she needs guidance and hasn’t got a good family network to support her.

I gave her a copy of our survival guide and asked her to phone me if she needed my help or even just a cuppa and a conversation.

The advisor that upset her to the point of tears should be ashamed of themselves, but they won’t be. An 18yr old claimant is an easy target for them isn’t it.

I spoke to a chap that had just failed his universal credit esa element medical assessment. He is appealing this but as usual the DWP have zero compassion.

He’s been told that he has to agree to look for work whilst his appeal is being processed. If he doesn’t agree to this they’ll stop his claim.

The DWP don’t recognise that having a disability can and does prevent a person from working. Persecuting them for this won’t cure their disability it’ll make things much worse for them. Many die, some take their own life.

It’s sickening that people are being treated in this manner, it’s not getting any better it’s becoming much worse.

I honestly don’t know how we’re going to survive another five years of this.

Please read, share, tweet, blog, email my blog. It’s so important that we get the truth out there.

We will be returning to Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre next week from 10am to 12 noon. Please come and say hello.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a PayPal button at the top and side of my blog.

Thank you!

They stopped my benefits because I was seen carrying a food parcel.

Dear readers I’m back and winter has definitely arrived. This morning was a tough one, it’s never easy seeing people leaving the Jobcentre in tears. The DWP might like to portray themselves as being saint-like, compassionate people but the reality is that they’re the complete opposite.

The weather was awful this morning, raining and cold, a terrible combination for anyone that is street homeless or living in a home that they can’t afford to heat. Most of the people that I speak to dread winter for this reason. What sort of society do we live in that makes people go hungry and to be cold. It’s sickening.

We handed all of the food parcels out and they were gone as soon as they arrived. I really hate the fact that theres a need for them in the first place.

As I was waiting for the food parcels to arrive I had a conversation with a woman who usually collects a food parcel from us. She’s had a really hard time with the DWP and it’s not getting easier.

I asked her how she was and she told me that her boyfriend has had his benefits stopped. I asked her why and she told me that someone had reported him because he was carrying a food parcel.

Her boyfriend is disabled and he does collect a food parcel from us, but how on earth is he supposed to take it home? He doesn’t have a car, he has no choice but to carry it even though it hurts him to do so.

The government and some members of the public expect disabled people to stay indoors at all times, if they go out they must be fit for work and if they’re claiming disability benefits then they must be stopped.

Society has become very cruel towards the most vulnerable. It really shouldn’t be like this.

And guess what.. Now he’s even more dependent upon food parcels because he has no income at all. This is the price that so many people living with an illness and or disability pay everyday.

As we were chatting she handed me an envelope, in it contained a Christmas card for me. I honestly nearly started to cry. Even though she and her partner are going through really tough times at the moment she took the time to buy me a Christmas card. I’m going to treasure it forever.

Gordon then spoke to a chap that has been sanctioned for thirteen weeks.

He’s not sure of the exact reason for his sanction, but what he does know is that he’s hungry and is in danger of loosing his home.

As Gordon handed him a leaflet and gave him some advice it was clear to see the desperation in his eyes. I don’t suppose that he ever thought that this would happen to him.

It wasn’t long until we spotted a woman leaving the Jobcentre in tears. I handed her a leaflet and she told me that she wanted to ‘get away from here now’ because she was so upset.

Whilst she was leaving she shouted towards the Jobcentre saying ‘They’re nothing but a load of w#####s in there’. While I don’t know the exact reason for her anger I can totally sympathise with her feelings.

No one should be made to feel like this, but the DWP don’t care. They just send a G4S security guard to ‘escort’ you out.

I then had a conversation with a chap that I’ve spoken to before. Last week he was really angry with himself because he thought that he was to blame for his situation. He isn’t and he now realises this.

Sadly he had arrived too late for a food parcel but I signposted him. I also gave him some money to help him put his electricity back on.

I’m so glad that I was able to help him but I know that it’s not enough and I do feel guilty for that.

It wasn’t long until another woman walked out of the Jobcentre crying. I handed her a copy of our survival guide but she was obviously in a rush to get away.

So two people crying and the DWP say that they care? Do they heck, they only care about themselves.

I had a conversation with a chap that’s working and was previously claiming Universal credit. His universal credit has been stopped because the DWP told him that he has earnt too much. Now he’ll have to reapply next month when his wages are lower. Its complete madness.

Whilst he reapplies he will still have to wait the standard waiting time. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

I noted that the DWP are still trying to flog their utopian self employment scheme to people.

If people sign up to become self employed they aren’t eligible for the minimum income floor for the first twelve months.

You might say that this is wonderful but heres the catch. As I’ve reported before after twelve months they have to reach the minimum income floor. If they don’t they won’t receive a penny from the DWP.

Guess what… The DWP don’t tell them this. Please readers, if you’re tempted to do this please do a lot of research first.

We then had a conversation with a woman that had to come outside to drink a carton of Ribena. As you will most likely already know, drinking and eating is forbidden in most Jobcentres.

It’s absolutely ridiculous, and it just adds to the punishing culture of the DWP. There are many reasons why people need to have a drink available at all times. But hey, the DWP obviously know more about this than us (NOT)

Today was awful really, we try to help people to the best of our abilities even though we know that it’s not enough.

The DWP is a monster that we have to conquer, and I’m confident that we will do this one day.

For anyone suffering because of the DWP and the government’s terrible austerity measures remember this. You are important, you are loved by so many of us. Keep going because you are important xxxxx.

A huge thank you my readers for enabling me to continue with my blog on this platform. I was so scared that I would loose my blog. The DWP would love that wouldn’t they.

Please read, share and tweet my blog. This makes a massive difference, people still need to know the reality of what’s happening to people under the DWPs cruel, heartless watch.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of my blog. Thank you so much.

This week’s blog might be my last.

Dear readers I’m sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news.

My yearly payment for my blog is due next week and I can’t afford to pay for it.

I upgraded because I had used up most of the free space that they offer. The free plans don’t allow me to do a lot on my blog eg posting PayPal links etc etc.

I upgraded because I had to.

Now I’m afraid that I’ll loose everything, all of my hard work throughout the years because I can’t pay.

I haven’t got a clue about how to set up a website or design one either. I’m not good at things like that.

If you can help me please get in touch.

My bill is £90 which is a lot I know.

I’m sorry for posting this but I don’t want this weeks blog to be the last one.

Thank you

Charlotte