Category: Free

I’ll be dead by the time they stop my sickness money. The stark reality of universal credit.

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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Refused a food parcel because they’ve had 3 this year.

Dear readers it’s Thursday and it’s blog day. Unfortunately we had to end the demo early because the rain was torrential, however now that I’m home the rain has stopped and the suns shining for a minute. Sod’s law isn’t it.

Whilst I was waiting for Roy and Gordon to drop off the food parcels I was stopped by a man standing behind the bench that I was sitting on. He looked awful, in the midst of addiction and the pain on his face was startling.

He asked me if I’d like to buy an x box game which I declined but told him that he could have a food parcel in a minute. I’m not here to judge him or to question where he got the x box games from, however I am there to at least give him some food and to signpost him which I did.

The sad reality is that incidents like this are common up and down the country. Being street homeless is no fun and it’s made worse if you have an addiction.

The governments answer to this was to restrict funding to rehab places and organisations that they’ve been forced to shut, which in turn puts a lot of pressure upon any remaining services.

Because of this, this chap and many like him fall between the cracks when they’re the ones in most need of support and help. I really hope that he approached the local organisations that I signposted him to.

A similar incident happened the other day whilst I was walking my dog on a field close to my home. A man was sitting in the bushes under a tree, out of the way. He stopped me because he saw my dog and we had a lovely conversation about dogs. I asked him about his situation but he was vague about it, but he did tell me that he was street homeless.

I signposted him to local organisations, which to be fair they most likely already know of him, but because he’s in the midst of addiction he could well be falling in between the cracks or he might have refused help etc.

Once again it’s not for me to judge, but I did signpost him and I gave him some food from my home. I really hope that he’s gone to a local organisation that will help him.

Back to today. Because it was raining we were only able to do a hour but we helped quite a few people within that hour. We also signposted everyone that we spoke to and handed them a food parcel if they needed one.

I had a conversation with a man that I shall call Bill. Bill is currently claiming ESA, although he seemed confused as to what benefit he was claiming. Bills story is this, he’s lost his wallet with his money and bank cards in, he’s also lost his ID and hasn’t got any money at all.

Bill told me that he’s due his payment on Monday and by then he should have his bank card etc and will be able to access his money. In the meantime he’s got no electric and no food.

Bill approached a food bank local to him and asked them if he could have a food parcel. He was refused because he’d already had three. He then panicked and luckily he was told about us.

This made me think. How many people are refused a food parcel after having three? I do know that many food banks use their discretion and give more than three, but this ruling is absolutely terrible. Considering that a claim for universal credit often takes more than five weeks, and appeals regarding ESA and PIP decisions take much longer, saying that three food parcels is enough is obscene.

I do know that many food banks do hand out more than three food parcels, and thank you. You’re saving life’s, helping people to survive an horrific situation.

I then spoke to a young woman, she didn’t need a food parcel but she told me that universal credit is the worst thing thats ever been invented.

She told me how difficult it is for her to manage on universal credit, saying that she tries to budget but she doesn’t have any money to budget with. She’s stressed out, trying to manage on a system that’s totally inadequate for both her and her young sons needs.

We briefly spoke to two young men and we asked them if they’d like a leaflet and a food parcel. They said yes to both and I asked them how they were coping. Their reply was “It’s shit”. Yes it is isn’t it.

We briefly spoke to a woman that needed one of our leaflets for her daughter. She didn’t say why, but hopefully her daughter will get the help that she needs.

I then spoke to a woman that is struggling on universal credit. She has three children and worries about how shes going to feed them. I handed her a leaflet and told her that we are here for her whenever she needs any help.

It was then that the rain got much worse and we had to leave, dashing for shelter to a local coffee shop.

I don’t need to tell you that life shouldn’t be like this. No one should be homeless and living on the streets regardless of addiction or not. Parents shouldn’t have to worry about how they’re going to feed their children and there shouldn’t be a need for food banks.

Please readers, use your vote in the local elections and vote against your local Tory candidate. The less of them that have any power the better. It’s the only way to try and put an end to this cruelty.

I’m so sorry that the blog is short and we left early. The weather was awful and I’m still not 100% over that rotten virus. But we helped lots of people and thats the main thing isn’t it.

Lots of thanks to Roy and Gordon for coming today and bringing the food parcels. Thanks also to all of my blog readers and supporters.

homeless teen Ryan

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Man threatened with eviction by landlord because his rent is a week late due to ESA payment delay.

Dear readers, its Thursday again and blog day. Today’s demo was very productive and many conversations were had and help given even though there was just two of us there today.

We really would like it if more people could join us but I also realise that many can’t for a wide range of reasons. It’s very hard to get the publics support for campaigns like mine because poverty isn’t pretty, poverty is depressing and harsh. It also reminds people that they could too be in the same position at any given moment. It’s a tough one I know but campaigners countrywide would love more support either face to face or online.

I’m still battling a virus and we still haven’t got a date for my dads funeral and I’m still grieving, so please be patient with me I am doing my best in limited circumstances.

Anyway enough about me onto todays demo and conversations. Please note that we gave help, advice and signposting to everyone that needed it, survival guides were handed out and lots of people were helped.

We do this all on a purely voluntary level and we aren’t funded by anyone. We just can’t abide injustice and the causes of poverty and discrimination, too many people are suffering, too many people are dying.

How many more deaths will it take before the public rise up against the causes? My guess is never, the it’s alright Jack attitude runs through our society preventing many from rising up against anything. This was highlighted today by a conversation that I had with a lovely chap this morning. His attitude towards universal credit was that it’s awful but it’s ok and we should just put up with it because everyone is in the same boat so to speak. We need to change this way of thinking and asap.

This morning there was a large queue for food parcels, indeed I had already had phone calls requesting one. As soon as we arrived with the food parcels they left with the people needing them. I’ve found that a lot of people in my area survive on food parcels being given at different places and free or reduced price meals given at various places.

Life shouldn’t be like this should it, surviving on food parcels and scraps of food. But it is, and the fault lies solely at the feet of the Tory Party. I will never, ever forgive them for this, I’ve never forgiven Thatcher either but that’s another story.

After the food parcels were handed out we had conversations with everyone that received one and checked to see if there’s any progress in their situation or if they need any more help and advice. We never let anyone leave without this.

I spoke to an older man that had been promised that he would receive his first universal credit payment in April, he had waited until this week to see if he actually got his payment and surprise surprise he didn’t.

He phoned up the relevant department and asked them where his payment was. The DWPs reply was cold and uncaring. No apology was made and he was told that he shouldn’t have been told this and he’ll just have to wait like everyone else.

His comment to me was “What am I supposed to do now? How am I supposed to survive now? They just don’t care do they”. Damn right they don’t.

I spoke to a man that was struggling trying to find access to the internet and was forced to just use the Jobcentres computers. I advised him to use the library’s free internet and computers, and also the free WiFi as Ikea etc. He was happy to know this and thanked me.

I briefly spoke to a woman that has very limited eyesight due to cataracts. she told me that she’s struggling with the new building because of the lack of signage etc. Lets hope that this is rectified soon.

We then spoke to a man whom I shall call Bob. This is his story, it might sound familiar to you.

Bob was due his ESA payment on the 16th of April but due to a doctors mistake Bob didn’t receive his payment. Bob enquired as to why he didn’t receive his payment and he was told to hand in another sick note, which he did.

Because of the above Bob was a week late paying his rent, his landlord is already threatening to ‘throw him out’ of his home even though legally he can’t do this. This obviously upset Bob because he had been street homeless for many years and he doesn’t want to have to go through that again. We advised him to the best of our abilities and signposted him.

Bob went on to tell us that his brother had previously won his ESA appeal, even though he had lung cancer and shouldn’t have been made to undergo one of these fake medical assessments. I call them fake because they more or less fail everyone and most people have to appeal this decision.

Bob went on to tell us that his brother recently died in February. He wasn’t even allowed to spend his last days peacefully because he had the DWP asking him to go for medical assessments.

Shame on each and every one of these highly paid so called medical professionals that fail obviously ill and disabled people. One day justice will come knocking at your doors and we’ll be waiting.

I then spoke to a man that said that because everyone’s being treated badly it’s ok because we’re all in the same boat so to speak. My answer was that it’s not ok, it’ll never be ok and it should never be accepted.

We spoke to a man that was given a 166 day sanction because he had attended a work trial organised by the DWP at the same time as his signing on appointment. He had informed his advisor etc, claimed bus fares etc to attend this work trial but he was still sanctioned for apparently not telling his advisor when he did.

You really couldn’t make up this could you. It’s downright persecution of the poorest because many feel that they cant fight back.

We signposted him to our local MPs office who will be able to help him with this.

We spoke to a man that told us that he had just signed off because he’d found himself a full time job, a rarity these days. We congratulated him and his smile said it all.

As he was leaving he said that he’d never sign up for that (universal credit) again. Can you blame him, I don’t. Many people choose to take themselves off the system because they can’t cope with it. Many of these people are street homeless struggling to survive.

There is a direct connection to street homelessness and universal credit and this needs to be reported more widely.

I briefly spoke to an older woman whom I shall name Joan as she was walking into the Jobcentre. She told me that she hates it in the Jobcentre because they always make her feel like shes done something wrong.

Joan has been sanctioned because she was in hospital and missed her signing on appointment. She has never been told the length of her sanction and wasn’t told that she can appeal this also.

We advised her, and signposted her to our local MPs office who will treat her with dignity and respect and hopefully overturn the sanction for her.

My heart goes out to each and every person that has been sanctioned, failed ridiculous so called medical assessment, has an awful landlord, cant manage on universal credit, can’t feed themselves or their children. It’s a long list isn’t it and I could go on for forever but you get the idea.

This state sanctioned abuse of the poor and disabled needs to stop and soon. Far too many people are dying, too many people are suffering.

I just wish that more people would realise that this could happen to them at any given time. Society needs to be more compassionate towards each other. It’s not a crime to be poor, but it is a crime to abuse those that are poor.

This all happened in less than two hours, and it was a quiet morning. Can you imagine how awful it is across the country? It’s much worse than the public and some politicians realise.

Please read, share, email and tweet my blog. It’s so important to get the word out there.

Many thanks to Roy for helping me this morning. I really appreciate this, I just wish that more people would join us.

I’m struggling at the moment, financially and physically. I know that this will pass, but each and every share of this blog helps thank you. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to raise awareness and to correct the wrongs of the DWP.

You’re not working enough hours, you need to tell your employer to give you more hours. You’ve got a week to do this. The DWP really hate so called under employed people. Thank

Dear readers it’s Thursday again and luckily this week the weather was good. Yippee I thought, then I saw the already formed queue for the food parcels. I was also met by a German television film crew that had arranged to film us today.

You might ask why would a German television crew want to film us. The answer is this, they really can’t believe how the government is treating the poorest and most vulnerable, especially as the UK was previously known to them for being kind to people, and we had a good social security system. I can imagine that viewers will be shocked to see the truth.

As soon as the food parcels arrived they were taken by those needing one. They keep people going, help to prevent people from literally starving. I’ve no doubt that our advice, help, signposting and food parcels have saved life’s. Never underestimate the difference that you can make to a persons life by just being a friend.

I’ll list some of the conversations that I had with people today. As usual I wont use real names etc because of the very real repercussions from the DWP. This is a fear based upon facts. People are often targeted by the DWP for talking to people like ourselves.

I spoke to Ben. Ben is a young man and his situation is quite complex. Recently Ben had spent six days in prison and hadn’t realised that because of this and not being able to conduct a job search whilst in prison that his payments would be stopped.

As a result he’s now left with no money and has had to start again with his claim.

Most of the people that I speak to haven’t a clue what their legal rights are regarding the DWP. They also don’t know what they’re entitled to claim either and no DWP representative is in a rush to help with this either. Don’t fall for the lies spun by Amber Rudd, not one truthful word is uttered from her mean mouth.

Lets also not forget that government officials have sat on a report for eighteen months that said that universal credit was detrimental to claimants wellbeing. It also showed that people are worse off when claiming universal credit.

You might ask why they sat on this report for eighteen months and the answer is simple. The government wanted to continue with the roll out of universal credit regardless, knowingly ignoring the risk to the wellbeing of thousands and eventually millions of people. If the report had been disclosed then the rollout would have probably been halted. Simple really.

I spoke to an older man that is shocked that people are needing food parcels in 2019, stating that there shouldn’t be the need for them. He went on to say that he’s claiming universal credit and isn’t finding the process welcoming at all, saying that they (DWP staff) like to let you know that they’re in charge.

I asked a woman leaving the Jobcentre how it was going for her. Her reply was ‘It’s shit”.

I spoke to a man that spoke poor English. He had worked as a translator in Afghanistan and has lived in this country for a while. He didn’t understand that because his circumstances had changed he was now being made to apply for universal credit. He’s now been waiting seven weeks for a payment. He’s feeling upset, depressed and confused.

I spoke to Simon. Simon has been waiting for seven weeks for his first universal credit payment. He’s a fully qualified plumber and is looking for work as a plumber.

Simon told me that the only jobs available at the moment are jobs with agency’s that don’t pay a decent wage, have no reliable hours and he has to pay the agency £17 a week for them to send him any payments owed.

The DWPs answer was this… They sent him to B&Q to work for nothing for 16 hours a week. I’d love to know how much B&Q actually make out of working with the DWP. They’ve been doing it for years now. Everyone deserves a decent days pay for a days work.

I then spoke to Rob. Rob told me that he’s been sanctioned for not attending an appointment in February that he didn’t know about. He had checked his online account and any post arriving at his home. Rob wonders if his online account had been hacked or something. Theres a high possibility that the DWP didn’t even issue an appointment in the first place. Before anyone says it, yes I know that this happens all the time, I’ve been helping people regarding so called missing appointments for years. Please see earlier blogs.

I spoke to a woman with various illnesses and conditions. She uses a crutch to get around and really can’t cope with the DWP at the moment. Her situation is this.

Jenny moved into her partners home five months ago. Jenny informed the DWP eleven times via her online journal and face to face appointments that she had moved in with her partner. The DWP have now decided to stop her payments making her reliant upon her partner. To make matters worse the DWP are accusing her of committing benefit fraud when she had clearly told them.

I helped and advised her the best that I could. Now because of the inability of the DWP to do anything right she’s being punished. It’s easier to bully a disabled woman than to admit that they’re wrong isn’t it.

I spoke to a lovely chap thats trying to start his own business up making wooden jewellery. He’s happy at the moment but he won’t be after a year when he’s expected to meet the minimum income floor.

We then spoke to a chap thats already working part time doing a manual job. He likes his job however they’ve only offered him part time hours.

Today at his signing on appointment he was told that it’s his fault that he isn’t working more hours and he’s got a week to convince his employer to give him more hours. If he doesn’t then they’ll start asking him more to find more work.

It’s absolutely ridiculous to expect and employee to do this. If there were more hours at work he would be working them. This is what the DWP call being ‘Under employed’. The DWP are never happy with anyone even those working. It’s absolutely disgusting that people are being treated in this way, its sickening.

On days like this the words ‘By gods grace go I’ Meaning that I’m lucky at the moment, I’m not being harassed by the DWP at the moment but my time will come very soon and I’m dreading it.

Everyone that I spoke to today either was given a food parcel, given advice, signposting etc etc. No one left without receiving any help. We work hard to help people, because both we and I believe that EVERYONE is important, everyone deserves a decent quality of life, to be able to eat and keep warm should never be seen as a luxury. Everyone deserves a place to call home and to be safe. Sadly for thousands this isn’t the case.

As you might know the local elections are coming up very soon. Please use your vote and vote the Tories out. Use your vote wisely because the only way to stop this is to vote them out.

Please read, share, email and tweet my blog. For those that already do this thank you!

For everyone that supports the campaign and blog thank you very much. I’m a skint single parent just trying to do my best to change things and to help people.

I apologise for any quietness lately, due to my father dying I’ve been a bit distracted. I’ll be back to normal soon enough.

My sons five in Jun, they’re going to move me over to Universal Credit. I’m scared.

Dear readers, once again I have to apologise for the blog being published late. My father died late last week and I’m still trying to get my head round it. Anyway, like I have said before it’s not about me is it.

The weather today was surprisingly good, the sun was shining and it was reasonably warm. We didn’t get hassled by any officials either an added bonus.

As usual the food parcels went straight away, one of the men that took one told me that I was the only person that he’s spoken to all week. Poverty is extremely isolating.

We gave everyone that we spoke to a copy of our survival guide, we  signposted people, advised people and spoke to almost everyone that passed us to go into the Jobcentre.

 

The first Person that I spoke to was a man that we see regularly because he needs a food parcel and general help from us. He told us of his experience in the Jobcentre this week.

Whist he was in the Jobcentre looking for work on one of the screens that they provide. According to him a security guard stood behind him and told him to leave the building because he’s a protester.

If his account is correct, the G4S security guard should not have done this. He isn’t a protester, he receives food parcels and advice from us. He will be making a complaint to both G4S and the DWP.

I spoke to a vulnerable disabled man, he told by a DWP advisor that he couldn’t claim both universal credit and PIP, so he hadn’t had any money for quite a while. He’s now in rent arrears etc. Luckily now he’s successfully applied for universal credit and PIP after being advised to do so by another advisor. Honestly you couldn’t make this up could you.

How on earth are claimants supposed to navigate the system when their advisors often don’t know what they’re doing? They aren’t are they, they want us to go away, disappear or die, it’d suit them because the employment levels will be lower.

The DWP regard every claimant as a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder eg, workfare positions with various companies and organisations or sent on rubbish courses that do nothing to improve a persons life.

The DWP and the organisations and companies profit highly from this whilst claimants are left with hardly anything and many are reliant upon food parcels and the kindness of friends. Atrocious isn’t it.

I spoke to a man that needed a food parcel. He told me that he had some problems whilst telephone the ESA department. The first time that he telephone them he waited for 45 minutes to get an answer only to be told that the computers were down and they couldn’t help.

The second time that he telephoned them he waited another 45 minutes until he got an answer. Whilst I appreciate that people often wait a lot longer than that but it’s totally off putting for the person telephoning. Maybe that’s part of the plan, make them wait a long time to put them off making a claim etc. Who knows but I know what I think, you’re probably thinking the same thing.

I then spoke to an older man that looked annoyed. He took a leaflet and I asked him if he was ok. His reply was that he was sick of being treated like crap. His story is this.

Having worked for all of his adult life, his last job was as a hob carrier and he had worked for the same company for 25 years. Unfortunately he contracted TB, and a few weeks later he had a bad fall and broke his arm badly. He now finds himself at the mercy of universal credit and he’s trying to understand the system but is confused at the same time.

Because he’s now claiming universal credit the DWP are keen on sending him to different courses, the latest one being a fork lift carrier course to teach him how to drive one etc. Although he’s looking forward to this he still has to run around trying to get proof of how much the bus fare will be to get to Oldham where the course is being held. It’s ridiculous.

Due to the wait for universal credit he’s now in arrears with his mortgage and is scared that he’s going to loose his house. He told me that he’s scared, that he might be loosing everything that he’s worked for. A sad reality for many in his position.

I spoke to a woman that was attending the Jobcentre with her two children. Her youngest son has just been diagnosed with Autism. The DWP have told her that as soon as her son is five in June they’ll be moving her onto universal credit. She told me how scared she is, that she’s worried about her children, will she be able to feed them adequately etc. Having children and claiming universal credit is scary.

I advised her and told her what she could claim for her son etc and she took a leaflet.

No one should be scared like this woman, but most of the people that I speak to are scared because their futures are unpredictable, they don’t know what sort of hell is around the corner waiting for them.

We spoke to a woman thats recovering from breast cancer and other illnesses as a result of the cancer and the treatment.

Her story is this, she suffers from extreme tiredness, she missed two phone calls from the DWP because she was asleep. She doesn’t choose to fall asleep, she tried to stay awake but she couldn’t do it.

As soon as she was able to she contacted the DWP and asked them if she would receive a payment this week. She was told that she will but she’ll have to repay the DWP back.

Unbelievable isn’t it. A woman who’s been extremely ill isn’t given any support or sympathy. Basically she’s been left to her own devices and she didn’t know what to do.

No one should be treated like this. A caring government would let her rest and make a good recovery, instead she’s neglected and shunned. Disgusting.

I spoke to a woman that noted that she’s always waiting ages for an answer when phoning the DWP. Quite rightly she said that not everyone has a mobile phone and the DWP should understand this. They don’t and they have no intention of being understanding, its not in their remit is it.

I spoke to a woman that needed a form printing for the DWP. The DWP refused to print it for her telling her to go elsewhere. Typical treatment by the DWP.

We spoke to a woman who had waited for 13 weeks for her universal credit claim to be processed. She had been working for a local travel company that had gone bust, ceased trading. She was owed £1000 by her ex employer and the DWP wanted her to get the monies owed straight away. That might be easy to say but her previous employer is refusing to pay her so she’s taking them to the small claims court to try and recover the monies owed to her.

Thankfully she’s now receiving her universal credit payments but it’s left her stressed and in debt.

I spoke to an older man that told me in his opinion the people that designed universal credit should be forced to claim it for a long period of time. They should suffer like he is he said.

This all happened in the space of two hours folks, this will also be happening up and down the country as I type this. Please be a friend to someone it could be the difference between life and death.

Many thanks to Roy and Gordon for all of their help today.

Many thanks to all my readers and supporters of this campaign both online and in person.

Please read, share and talk about my blog because whilst Brexit is still the main topic of conversation people are still suffering and dying.

There is also a donation button at the side and top of this blog. I’m a skint single parent just trying to do my best to help people. Every penny counts thank you!!!

 

 

Universal credit is diabolical, it takes away any hope for the future.

Dear readers, due to personal circumstances this weeks blog might be short, it might not so I’ll see where it takes me.

This week I wasn’t met by any so called official telling me to move on, I was getting very annoyed about this because they were taking me away from helping people. I told them this and each one of them shrugged there shoulders and more or less said ‘well’.

It wasn’t easy resolving this but many thanks to my MP Angela Rayner and the Labour Party for supporting me, all my blog readers and fellow activists. It was completely ridiculous that they wanted to move us.

I am aware however that they’ll now be most likely looking for an excuse to move us. The security camera is constantly watching us whilst we are standing outside the Jobcentre.

The Jobcentre however aren’t celebrating with us, they’ve now shut the blinds on all of the windows so that we can’t see in. Aren’t they a lovely bunch… Not.

The weather was absolutely freezing, the wind was so cold and we ended up finishing earlier than normal. I apologise for this but it was really cold, much colder than usual. Come on spring I’m ready for some nicer weather now.

 

Today’s food parcels went straight away as usual. Everyone that needed to be helped was helped, everyone needing signposting was signposted we never leave anyone we always help everyone that approaches us.

We will hopefully be able to stay the whole two hours next week.

 

Today’s mood outside the Jobcentre echoed the weather. No one that we spoke wanted to be there, all of them were frustrated with the Jobcentre and the DWP. Universal credit has totally destroyed many of the people in my town Ashton Under Lyne. A combination of general austerity measures, massive reductions in the councils funding and universal credit has taken the soul out of the town. One day I’m certain that we will get it back.

We spoke to an older gentleman, he had attempted to make the long walk up the stairs because he didn’t know that there was a lift inside the building situated in the library. There really needs to be more signs, or at least some signs putting up outside the building telling people where everything is.

His story is this. He’s a disabled man and he doesn’t understand how this system works. No one has really taken the time to describe it to him and he’s feeling lost and frustrated.

He told us that his ESA payments were being messed with. He wasn’t receiving his payments and he didn’t know why. He’d tried to phone the DWP up twice, had waited on the phone for two hours to speak to an advisor but was cut off both times after two hours.

So an older, disabled man couldn’t get any answers. It’s ridiculous that the government will tell the public that they can always speak to an advisor, the truth is often very different. He ended up giving up and making the five mile journey to the Jobcentre to hopefully sort it out.

This poor man was struggling, he shouldn’t have had to go through this but he’s forced to.  Have I mentioned that I really hate the government and the DWP?

 

We spoke to a woman who was completely baffled by the universal credit system. Because she works and had received two wages in one month she didn’t receive her universal credit payment. It’s not her fault that the universal credit system doesn’t recognise that sometimes people do get two wages because of month changes.

I then saw a real fear in her eyes as she turned round, looked at me and said that because of this she might loose her house, become homeless and she didn’t know what to do. I gave her some advice and signposted her for help.

The truth is that thousands of people are being evicted because they’ve not been able to pay their rent because of the universal credit system. It’s not their fault they’re dealing with a cruel and inhumane system, a system that was created not to care.

It costs local governments far more to place families in emergency accommodation when they become homeless than it does to keep them in their homes. We really need to stop the hell thats universal credit and start to treat people with dignity and respect.

 

We then spoke to a woman who was also claiming universal credit.  Her problem is this.

She was dismissed from her job as a dinner lady, she went on to claim universal credit but hadn’t realised that her old employer was still paying her. Yes I know that some will say that she should have known this but she really didn’t.

Because of this she’s now got to pay back her wages and she can’t make a new claim for universal credit until next month. What a mess, of course the government will except her to live on nothing.  She’s also a carer for a family member but was refused carers allowance because her income was too high. I advised her of what to do and signposted her to relevant organisations.

 

We spoke to an older woman who was fed up of being sent on these ‘crap courses’ as she put it. She told us that these courses are absolute rubbish and haven’t helped her one bit.

Remember the DWP and the course provider make a lot of money from sending people on these courses. Unemployed and disabled people are seen as a financial commodity not a person.

 

We then spoke to a man that has been going through hell with the DWP. He’s an older man and also doesn’t understand the new DWP system. His story is this.

He’s one of the thousands of people that have failed their PIP medical assessment. He used to claim DLA. He appealed this decision and failed. He took it to the tribunal level and he failed.

As a result he’s now trying to make another claim but he is really confused, ‘It’s so confusing, I haven’t a clue what to do’ he said. He’s battling against a system that doesn’t care, that hates him and would prefer it if he disappeared somewhere.

Many of us do care though, we are trying to change things and despite what some people will say, we are making a difference. Solidarity to all fellow campaigners and to everyone suffering under this inhumane system.

This all happened in less than two hours. The DWP tried to get rid of us and for a while they really thought that they had won but they didn’t and we be back next week between 10-12 regardless of what the weathers like.

 

I can’t thank Kev and Daira from DPAC for joining us today, we really needed your support thank you so, so much.

 

Please read, share email and talk about my blog. Become a friend to someone that’s struggling with this awful system.

Thanks to Gordon and Roy for coming out today in the cold. Thank you SO MUCH.

 

If anyone would like to donate there’s a donate button at the bottom of the blog, at the top and at the side thank you so much. I’m a skint single parent trying my best to help people and fight this horrific system.

 

 

£220 a month to live on with children to feed. Universal credit literally starves people into submission.

Dear readers. Today was another interesting morning outside the new Jobcentre.

As soon as I arrived I was immediately met by yet another person from the council. That’s three different people in three weeks, they must be desperate to get rid of us.

To put it bluntly we’ve been doing these protests for over five years now. Not one council official or employee has ever approached us with offers of ‘help’ or suggestions of how we should do things. No concern was ever shown for the claimants that we’re helping except concern and help from local councillors and two MPS that have helped us.

Now I’m being met by differing officials all of whom are offering me the same thing. A room inside the council building on a Thursday at the same time as the demos. Although one of these people actually suggested a different day.

Whilst I’m interested in some of the suggestions that they’ve made they can’t and won’t whitewash us away because the DWP now share the same building as the council. They should have thought about this when the plans were being drawn up.

The employees that have been sent out to talk to us appear to have no idea that we are a high profile campaign and have a very large support base, and anyway I’m used to having to be able to stand my ground.

In simple terms I won’t be bought off.

Ok back to today. Once again because an official decided that they wanted to speak to me again I was taken away from being able to help people. I’m not sure that this is their intention, but wether it is or not I’m getting rather annoyed with it. At least members of the team were able to hand the food parcels out. Next week I refuse to be distracted by anyone.

All the food parcels were handed out within 20 minutes and everyone that needed help was signposted and/or helped.

As well as helping people we’re also there to protest against the inhumanity of universal credit. Quite simply it isn’t fit for purpose and people are dying as a result.

We spoke to many people and had some very interesting conversations with people. Here’s a run down of the conversations that we had today.

We spoke to a woman who told us about her experience of the DWP. Her story is this.

Last year she had an advisor that wasn’t being nice to her (sadly that’s not unusual), so she asked if she could change her advisor and requested to be treated with some dignity. Her request was denied and her advisor sent for two security guards to escort her from the building.

Yep a simple request denied and a vulnerable person treated as though they’re a criminal. Don’t fall for the rubbish that comes out of Amber Rudds mouth. Jobcentres are generally hostile environments.

I spoke to a man who is now relying on food banks and our food parcels to survive. He’s worked all of his adult life until now because his health isn’t good.

I like to chat with him because we’re most likely the only people that he sees and has a good chat with. When I looked at him I could see that he’s so fed up of the system because he’s just about surviving.

I then had a chat with a lovely woman and her friend. She told me that she’s always worked until now because she’s been ill and is now unable to work. She started to claim universal credit in September and every month she has to chase up the rent element of her universal credit. Every month the DWP underpays her.

As well as having to chase up payments she’s also stuck in the cycle of repaying back the loan that she was forced to take when she applied for universal credit and on top of this she has to pay back an overpayment from her previous tax credit claim.

She’s broke, is fed up and told me that both herself and her younger children are having to survive on £220 a month and that’s before she’s bought her gas and electric for the week.

Could you survive on this? Would it make you feel eager to find a job even though you might be unable to. I know that having to survive on such a low amount of money certainly doesn’t incentivise you into finding work. Instead it makes you hungry, driven by hunger and finding food takes over every other single thought in your head.

This is why so many give up, why many people die early and why some disabilities become worse.

As I type this around 3.7 million children are living in absolute poverty in the uk. That’s 3.7 million children that are hungry, that need the basics of life. much like this woman and her children. Why the government is being allowed to get away with this is beyond me, but hey the news will be taken over by Brexit.

Most of the people that I speak to couldn’t care less about Brexit because they’re hungry. That’s the most important thing for them. The reality is that not many of these children and their parents will ever be taken out of the circle of poverty that they’re now stuck in.

I asked the lady how was she surviving. She told me that it’s the kindness of friends that’s keeping her going. A sad reality for many.

I spoke to a woman needing some advice for their friend who’s now having to go through the whole ESA and PIP application system. It’s a nightmare and made as such to stop people from making a claim.

I spoke to a woman who had always worked until she became ill and had to have half of her bowel removed. If that wasn’t bad enough shes also broke her arm.

I asked her what would she like to do with her life in the future. She told me that she’d like to return to work but doubts if she would be able to for a long time.

I asked her if the DWP are treating her well and she told me that they weren’t because they don’t treat anyone well, saying that the whole system is awful and needs to be replaced. Of course she’s correct.

She’s also repaying her DWP loan back and a previous tax credit debt. I advised her and signposted her for help with these matters.

I spoke to a young man who’s being continually sent on the pointless DWP courses that they like to send people on. So far he’s been sent to a few of these courses.

It’s pointless he told me. They send me miles away and they’re supposed to reimbursement for my transport costs. I’ve asked for my fares to be paid this week and the company that I was sent to have refused to repay him.

This poor chap survives on £55 a week, out of this he has to get gas, electric, food pay the council tax supplement etc. He told me that he won’t be able to buy as much food as he would like to.

£55 a week is the cost of a breakfast and a few drinks to some Tory politicians. It’s absolutely disgraceful that we are supposed to survive on such low amounts of money.

This all happened within two hours outside one Jobcentre. People are suffering like never before but Brexit is taking over the news.

How long are we expected to survive like this? I’m certain that they want to kill us off slowly, because that’s exactly what it feels like.

We will be back next week, please come and join us we really need your support at the moment. If you can’t join us then please support us online. Thank you!!

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Help your neighbour and be a friend to others. So many people are suffering in silence, too proud to ask for help.

I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do or for the blog. I can’t stand injustice, unfairness and suffering and this is why I do what I do. I’m a skint single parent just trying to make a difference.

For anyone wishing to donate there’s buttons at the top and side of this blog.