Category: Ken Loach

Homelessness, PIP assessment failures, terrible landlords and questionable work agencies. Another week outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

Dear readers, I can’t believe that it’s Thursday again. Time goes so quickly these days.

This weeks demo was very productive and we helped lots of people but we really do need more helpers. If you’re ever in the area please come and say hello.

It rained as usual today but only for the first hour of the demo. I was actually shocked to see the sun peeping out from behind a cloud.

My apologies if I’ve been quiet this week, I wasn’t feeling 100% but I think that now we might be seeing the end of the rain for a couple of days I should be ok.

Today’s demo went really quickly and we helped so many people with differing issues ranging from giving food parcels to someone who was in need of one to giving directions. It’s going to take people a long time to get used to the new Tameside One building.

I can’t thank Gordon enough for supporting me today, his help is invaluable and is really appreciated.

I shall list my conversations as usual. I won’t divulge a persons identity either so they don’t run the risk of being targeted by the DWP. I’ve seen this happen and the fear of this happening is very real.

I had requests for food parcels before the demo started from people who were in desperate need for food and a conversation. It’s heartbreaking to see peoples life’s spin totally out of their control, and not by their own doing.

I spoke to a young woman today whom I’ve had conversations with in the past on many occasions. My heart goes out to her it really does.

When they say that bad luck comes in three’s she’s had triple this amount and more, it isn’t her oen doing either.

Various events in her life have resulted in her needing more help than can be offered locally thanks to government cuts.

I handed her a food parcel and had a long conversation with her. I really wish that I had a magic wand to help her. She’s such a lovely woman and I hate seeing her like this.

It was then that I had a conversation with a man whom I shall call Bill.

Bill has been working for a job agency grabbing working whenever her can. However the agency that he’s working for is refusing to give him a job reference for another job that he’s looking for nor have they been paying him his full wage. The agency is also refusing to give him wage slips.

Call me cynical but I can smell a rat when I hear stories like this. This job agency are exploiting Bill, making him work long hours for little or no pay and refuse to give him a wage slip because they’re most likely committing fraud in some way.

Bill is also trapped into working for them because he can’t get another job without a reference from this employer.

Stories like this make me furious and I signposted him to Greater Manchester Law Centre for help.

Being trapped on universal credit is bad enough but combine this with an agency that are refusing to give him wage slips and his full wage is really making his life hell.

More needs to be done to outlaw these awful job agencies and to abolish zero hour contracts. People are really suffering as a result of them, and he wasn’t the first person that I spoke to today that found themselves in the same position.

I hope Bill is ok, he was a lovely chap that really deserves much more than to be treated like this.

I had a quick conversation with a woman who is in the process off appealing a PIP decision. She’s doing everything that she can to appeal this decision.

I had a conversation with a young man who had recently lost his temporary accommodation so he’s now moving between various night shelters. Call me old fashioned but I believe that everyone deserves a place to call home. Criminalising homeless people just makes things much worse. The government should be on trial for treating people like this, for taking funding away from necessary services.

Meanwhile it looks like Boris Johnson is going to become our next prime minister. God help us.

I had a conversation with a young man that is newly homeless and has found a job. His problem is that he needed some bus fare to get to his new job, of course the DWP refused to help him even though he claims universal credit and the DWP are claiming that universal credit helps people into work.

What a load of rubbish, if they actually did want this they’d give this man his bus fare and ensure that every single person upon finding work is given a fully contracted job not an unstable zero hour contract job with a dodgy agency that refuses to pay them.

Who cares though? We do, my readers do but the government don’t give a toss.

It was then that I spoke to a lovely young woman. Her story was very similar to Bills.

She’s working for a job agency getting work whenever she can and she’s also looking for a secure job. She has children to care for.

She asked her agency if she could have a reference to send to a future employer. They point blank refused saying that they didn’t have to. Her wages have also been sparodic. Not ideal when shes got children to look after.

Thinking that the DWP would help her she asked them for help but was refused so I signposted her to Greater Manchester Law Centre where they can hopefully help her.

This highlighted how bad many of these agencies are. At the moment they’re running roughshod over very vulnerable people with absolutely no governmental opposition from the Tory Party. Like John Mcdonall and Jeremy Corbyn say, these agencies and zero hour contracts need to be abolished.

I then had a conversation with a woman who has been battling a dodgy landlord for years. She told me about her substandard accommodation, leaking roofs, damp riddled walls etc.

It’s awful that she’s having to go through this. It’s had a detrimental effect on both her physical and mental health.

It’s much like the days of old from before Ken Loach made Cathy Come Home and Shirley Baker took a set of photographs that spurred the organisation Shelter to be formed.

It’s like stepping back in time, in my eyes right back to the mid 19th century onwards.

Whilst there’s a Tory government there’s suffering, the two go hand in hand and now we’ve most likely got Boris as our future prime minister.

Things aren’t going to get better until we vote them out and I can’t wait for that day.

A special mention goes out to members of DPAC that have collected thousands of copies of the Metro newspaper and gave them back to the Metro and the DWP.

The governments propaganda campaign has failed miserably through this campaign

Also the thousands upon thousands of people that have been forced onto universal credit that know the reality of this awful system.

Making work pay, don’t make me laugh. It’s the opposite and they know it.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s really important that we get information like this out there for the world to see.

We will be back next week to help people.

There’s also a donate button at the top and side of this blog for anyone interested in donating. I’m a skint single parent struggling like everyone else is. Every penny does help.

A massive thanks to everyone that does already support my blog. Thank you ❤️.

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The bedroom tax strikes again. Yet more tales from the Jobcentre.

Dear readers, as expected the weather was rotten, raining and windy. The temperature more like what we usually expect in winter. As a result we stayed for a hour and still helped lots of people. Also I was feeling pretty rubbish. My apologies again.

Because the weather was bad, we didn’t expect there to be as much demand for our food parcels. Sometimes people like to stay indoors so not to get wet, but I was wrong. There was a queue for the food parcels and we didn’t have enough to give to everyone, but we muddled through and everyone was ok.

It’s very hard to gauge what to expect, not one week is the same. People are continuing to suffer at the hands of the government and their persecutor of the poor the DWP.

I spotted a woman walking towards us, she was a new face and in need of our help.

As I handed her a food parcel and a copy of our survival guide I asked her if I could help her in any way. She replied saying that she was sick and tired of the bedroom tax,. She has to pay the bedroom tax for two spare bedrooms, and before anyone says that she should just move out, she can’t. As a result of the bedroom tax she has accrued debts with her landlord and just about everyone that she knows.

So she’s now dependent upon food banks and local support networks. She told me of how she likes to help others even though they may not thank her for it, saying ‘We’re all in the same boat so we should look out for each other’

That’s not easy when you have nothing though, and you don’t see any Tory MP offering to help anyone do you.

I helped her to the best of my abilities and I hope that shes ok.

It was then when I started a conversation with a young man, a new face that had come to see us on the advice of his friends. His story is this;

He is newly unemployed and is street homeless,.

He has just made an application for universal credit.

He wants to work but can’t find a job that would cover the expense of staying in supported housing or a hostel. The rent payable per person in these places are very high, therefore most people can only find work when they eventually find permanent accommodation.

Basically at the moment his priority is getting a bed for the night, but he will still have to fulfil his obligations with the DWP.

I signposted him to all relevant local organisations that can help him.

I then handed a leaflet to a young man and I asked him if he needed any help. His answer was that he’ll be struggling for the next two weeks until he hopefully receives his first universal credit payment.

I then spoke to an older man nearing pensionable age. He’s really suffered because of the horrendous DWP system that one minute tells him that he’s entitled to payments, and the next minute tells him that he isn’t entitled to anything.

I asked him how he’s been coping, he told me that he’s survived by doing odd jobs for people every now and then.

He told me that he was concerned about his data being shared by the DWP. This is a relevant worry because they do pass our information on to their ‘pals’.

As we continued with our conversation he told me that he had received a letter saying that he can apply for his pension early. I encouraged him to do this because it’s the only way out of this awful situation.

Things aren’t improving folks, its getting much worse. People aren’t able to afford to buy food etc because of the bedroom tax, the council tax supplement and debts. More and more people are dependent upon food banks and friends for help.

To be in any of the situations above is scary. Most of the people that I’ve spoken to throughout the years had never thought that they’d be in this situation and once there it’s devastated them.

We honestly can’t allow this to continue, far too many people are dying. We all need to challenge the government more in any way that you’re able.

The thought of Boris Johnson as the next prime minister is indeed a worrying thought. But if he does become our next prime minister we must constantly challenge him. We’ll certainly be the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Thankfully Esther Mcvey has been ruled out of the equation. Her being prime minister would be absolutely horrific.

We’ll be returning next week and hopefully the weather will be better.

Many thanks to Gordon for helping me today.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog.

A massive thank you to everyone that reads and supports my blog.

I’m a skint single parent struggling like everyone else and I speak from experience as well as having conversations with others.

For anyone wishing to donate there is a paypal link at the top of the blog and at the side. Thank you!!

Surviving on £30 a week with children. Universal Credit strikes again.

Dear readers, my apologies once again for this weeks blog being late. I woke with a migraine and I’m struggling through it. Anyway enough about me, I hope that your ok.

Thankfully it wasn’t raining today which made a pleasant surprise because rain was forecast. The rain clouds are looming so it’ll be here soon.

Today was quiet, most likely because of the school holidays, but regardless we managed to help lots of people which is the main thing.

As usual there was a queue for the food parcels and I had a long chat with the young woman that I mentioned in last weeks blog. She’s surviving and was able to smile this week. She’s also been able to eat some good meals. She’s also staying at a friends home and they’re taking good care of her.

All the food parcels went as soon as they arrived which says a lot about this awful benefits system that isn’t really a benefit for many if anyone. Having to fight for every penny that you’re entitled to is no fun at all.

After talking to the people that took the food parcels, we then had a conversation with a woman that we’ve spoken to before. Her story is this. She’s received a letter telling her that her PIP assessment is next week and at her home. I asked her if she had anyone to be with her whilst the PIP examination was taking place. She told me that she didn’t so I volunteered to do this.

It’s important to get help with these assessments if that’s possible. This woman is really confused about the whole system, indeed she thought that it was an examination that she had to pass as do so many people.

We advised her and I promised her that I would be there for her, hopefully we managed to reassure her.

It was then that we had a long conversation with a confused and anxious man outside the Jobcentre. I walked over, handed him a copy of our survival guide and asked him if we could help.

This is his story. He went to the cash machine to collect his payment and saw that it wasn’t there, his payment was supposed to have been paid today but it wasn’, and this is why he was at the Jobcentre to try to find out why.

Some might say ‘Why didn’t he phone the DWP to resolve this?’ He couldn’t because he doesn’t have any credit on his mobile phone. I really wish that people would realise that many of of us can’t afford to buy phone credit.

I advised him to ask his advisor when he went in for his appointment and he did just that. Upon leaving the Jobcentre he told me that they said that they don’t guarantee that a payment will arrive on a specific day or date because ‘It depends on the month’.

So they accept that not all months have the same amount of weeks etc but they still don’t recognise the fact that a person claiming universal credit and working can receive two wages in one month. They stop their payments because apparently they’ve earnt ‘too much’ and aren’t entitled to their universal credit.

It’s one rule for them and one for us as usual.

Hopefully he will receive his payment tomorrow as promised but I wouldn’t hold my breath would you?

Roy then spoke to a man that’s claiming the sickness element of universal credit. The DWP have told him that he now has to look for work for 20 hours a week despite his disability. Of course he shouldn’t have to do this. But the DWP do exactly what they want and get away with it.

I then walked over to a young woman that was attending the Jobcentre with her children. I asked her how she was and if she needed any help. To say that she’s stressed was an understatement. I’ll name her Jill.

Jill is a single parent with children, she has no close family members to ask for help. So far Jill has been waiting 5 weeks for her first universal credit payment.

Jill and her children are trying to survive on £30 child benefit, loans from the DWP that she’ll have to repay and food parcels from local food banks and organisations.

The DWP have told Jill that she might get a payment next week, and apparently that makes it all ok. Eerrmm no it doesn’t.

Can you imagine how difficult and soul destroying this is for Jill? Having to literally beg for food and help whilst trying to be positive for her children. It’s horrific and certainly shouldn’t be happening.

We then noted an official from the ‘Job Gym” walking into the Jobcentre. The very name of this organisation is ridiculous isn’t it. There isn’t enough work out there for people and no amount of ‘working out’ at this ‘Job Gym’ can fix this.

By the way I despise these organisations that work on behalf of the DWP, and I find the names of these organisations to often be ridiculous. There isn’t enough decent work out there, not work that can sustain a family. The only work available is usually zero hour contract work for agencies.

I then spoke to a young man that had been sanctioned for not attending an DWP appointment because he was in prison on the day of the appointment. He then had to make a new claim, but the DWP told him that his sanction had been carried over to this new claim and he wouldn’t be able to access any money for a while.

Luckily he managed to overturn the sanction, so now he has to wait at least 5 weeks for his universal credit claim to be processed.

The whole 5 week wait for a universal credit claim to be processed is ridiculous, and it could be made much shorter if the government wanted to.

The government doesn’t want to help working class people though, they just want to continue to punish them for being alive and breathing. There’s an endless pot of money available to further their campaign of hatred towards the working class isn’t there. It’s despicable and cruel. We’ll never, ever forget this nor will our children.

This all happened within two hours outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre this morning, can you imagine how awful it is for everyone attending every Jobcentre throughout the country?

Many thanks to Gordon and Roy for helping today, they’re amazing people.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, also subscribe to my blog so that you’ll receive notifications every time that I update the blog.

Many thanks to everyone that supports my blog. Thank you so, so much.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny does count. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help people and to campaign against this terrible system and government. I also help people outside of this blog and the demo, and every penny does count. Thank you xx.

Surviving on £30 a week with children. Universal Credit strikes again.

Dear readers, my apologies once again for this weeks blog being late. I woke with a migraine and I’m struggling through it. Anyway enough about me, I hope that your ok.

Thankfully it wasn’t raining today which made a pleasant surprise because rain was forecast. The rain clouds are looming so it’ll be here soon.

Today was quiet, most likely because of the school holidays, but regardless we managed to help lots of people which is the main thing.

As usual there was a queue for the food parcels and I had a long chat with the young woman that I mentioned in last weeks blog. She’s surviving and was able to smile this week. She’s also been able to eat some good meals. She’s also staying at a friends home and they’re taking good care of her.

All the food parcels went as soon as they arrived which says a lot about this awful benefits system that isn’t really a benefit for many if anyone. Having to fight for every penny that you’re entitled to is no fun at all.

After talking to the people that took the food parcels, we then had a conversation with a woman that we’ve spoken to before. Her story is this. She’s received a letter telling her that her PIP assessment is next week and at her home. I asked her if she had anyone to be with her whilst the PIP examination was taking place. She told me that she didn’t so I volunteered to do this.

It’s important to get help with these assessments if that’s possible. This woman is really confused about the whole system, indeed she thought that it was an examination that she had to pass as do so many people.

We advised her and I promised her that I would be there for her, hopefully we managed to reassure her.

It was then that we had a long conversation with a confused and anxious man outside the Jobcentre. I walked over, handed him a copy of our survival guide and asked him if we could help.

This is his story. He went to the cash machine to collect his payment and saw that it wasn’t there, his payment was supposed to have been paid today but it wasn’, and this is why he was at the Jobcentre to try to find out why.

Some might say ‘Why didn’t he phone the DWP to resolve this?’ He couldn’t because he doesn’t have any credit on his mobile phone. I really wish that people would realise that many of of us can’t afford to buy phone credit.

I advised him to ask his advisor when he went in for his appointment and he did just that. Upon leaving the Jobcentre he told me that they said that they don’t guarantee that a payment will arrive on a specific day or date because ‘It depends on the month’.

So they accept that not all months have the same amount of weeks etc but they still don’t recognise the fact that a person claiming universal credit and working can receive two wages in one month. They stop their payments because apparently they’ve earnt ‘too much’ and aren’t entitled to their universal credit.

It’s one rule for them and one for us as usual.

Hopefully he will receive his payment tomorrow as promised but I wouldn’t hold my breath would you?

Roy then spoke to a man that’s claiming the sickness element of universal credit. The DWP have told him that he now has to look for work for 20 hours a week despite his disability. Of course he shouldn’t have to do this. But the DWP do exactly what they want and get away with it.

I then walked over to a young woman that was attending the Jobcentre with her children. I asked her how she was and if she needed any help. To say that she’s stressed was an understatement. I’ll name her Jill.

Jill is a single parent with children, she has no close family members to ask for help. So far Jill has been waiting 5 weeks for her first universal credit payment.

Jill and her children are trying to survive on £30 child benefit, loans from the DWP that she’ll have to repay and food parcels from local food banks and organisations.

The DWP have told Jill that she might get a payment next week, and apparently that makes it all ok. Eerrmm no it doesn’t.

Can you imagine how difficult and soul destroying this is for Jill? Having to literally beg for food and help whilst trying to be positive for her children. It’s horrific and certainly shouldn’t be happening.

We then noted an official from the ‘Job Gym” walking into the Jobcentre. The very name of this organisation is ridiculous isn’t it. There isn’t enough work out there for people and no amount of ‘working out’ at this ‘Job Gym’ can fix this.

By the way I despise these organisations that work on behalf of the DWP, and I find the names of these organisations to often be ridiculous. There isn’t enough decent work out there, not work that can sustain a family. The only work available is usually zero hour contract work for agencies.

I then spoke to a young man that had been sanctioned for not attending an DWP appointment because he was in prison on the day of the appointment. He then had to make a new claim, but the DWP told him that his sanction had been carried over to this new claim and he wouldn’t be able to access any money for a while.

Luckily he managed to overturn the sanction, so now he has to wait at least 5 weeks for his universal credit claim to be processed.

The whole 5 week wait for a universal credit claim to be processed is ridiculous, and it could be made much shorter if the government wanted to.

The government doesn’t want to help working class people though, they just want to continue to punish them for being alive and breathing. There’s an endless pot of money available to further their campaign of hatred towards the working class isn’t there. It’s despicable and cruel. We’ll never, ever forget this nor will our children.

This all happened within two hours outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre this morning, can you imagine how awful it is for everyone attending every Jobcentre throughout the country?

Many thanks to Gordon and Roy for helping today, they’re amazing people.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog, also subscribe to my blog so that you’ll receive notifications every time that I update the blog.

Many thanks to everyone that supports my blog. Thank you so, so much.

For anyone wanting to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Every penny does count. I’m a skint single parent just trying my best to help people and to campaign against this terrible system and government. I also help people outside of this blog and the demo, and every penny does count. Thank you xx.

Your universal credit account has been closed.. No it hasn’t it’s a computer glitch.

Dear readers, the weather today was awful, drenching rain stopping and starting. Because of this we finished early but we did manage to help and advise lots of people.

Hopefully the weather will be better next week, maybe I need to save up to buy a really big umbrella or something. Who knows, but we will be returning next week.

Everyone that we spoke to were given a copy of our survival guide, signposted if needed and given a food parcel if needed.

No one leaves us without help and we’re really proud of this.

Today was quiet mainly because of the weather and it’s the school holidays. Decent advisors tend to work around school holidays, awful advisors don’t give a stuff. I’m sure that you’ve experienced this, I know that I have.

As I arrived there was a queue for the food parcels, sad but true. All these people are just about surviving but look out for each other. You’ll find it hard to find a nicer bunch of people.

They’re currently helping a young homeless woman that I’ve been very concerned about this past week. I gave her all signposting details etc but it can take people a while to approach them. In the meantime we help with the basics as do her friends.

We spoke briefly to two young women who were both making new universal credit applications. I really hope that things go well for them, but the five week wait and repayment loans will cripple them financially leaving them in debt with the DWP fir a long time. I really wish that it wasn’t like this.

We spoke to an older woman who’s part of the Back To 60 campaign, she missed out on her pension and is now struggling on a very small income from a private pension. It’s not easy for her because she receives £10 more than is allowed to to receive help with prescription costs etc etc.

I told her to watch out for the judicial review thats coming up next week campaigned for by the Back To 60 campaign. She’s struggling but still has a smile on her face, personally I don’t know how she’s managing that.

It was then that I spoke to a young woman with her two children. Getting to the Jobcentre is a struggle for her because she suffers from anxiety and very nearly had to get off the bus.

I asked her if she was ok and she told me that she had looked at her universal credit online account this morning only to see that the DWP had sent her a message saying that they’d closed her claim down.

In a state of panic she telephoned the DWP only to be told that it was ‘just a glitch’ and that message shouldn’t have been sent. So now she was attending the Jobcentre for her appointment and to try and find out if she’s still going to receive her payments.

For the DWP to say that this is ‘just a glitch’ is inexcusable. Yes computers make mistakes but they shouldn’t be treating this matter flippantly, in fact it’s highly neglectful of them.

Mistakes like this shouldn’t be happening, they can send a person into a spiral of anxiety and panic, I’m certain that there will be claimants that have taken their own life’s because of ‘glitches’ like this.

There’s no excuse for the DWP to be as irresponsible as this. We know that the universal credit computer system is rubbish at best, and instead of paying thousands of pounds to put ads in The Metro newspaper and investing in some television programmes that portray universal credit as a wonderful thing, they should be spending money on fixing their continuous mistakes.

Universal credit isn’t some kind of utopian dream, it’s a downright cruel system with no empathy at all. It punishes people for not working, for not working enough hours, for working too many hours and for being disabled and sick.

The problem also lies within society as a whole. There are many people that still believe that everyone claiming any type of benefit is a scrounger. I heard this today whilst I was in a charity shop.

Many people also believe that anyone claiming a benefit should be ‘sent away’ and that they shouldn’t be having children at all.

We all need to work a bit harder at opposing opinions like these, wether it be in conversation or on a Facebook post or Twitter timeline. We already do lots but I can do more.

Like I said earlier, it was quiet and we had to leave early but we did hand out lots of leaflets and had some really good conversations. Upon starting a conversation people sometimes think that they’re ok and don’t need help, but as the conversation continues they realise that they do need help but were either too proud to ask or didn’t realise that they could appeal against a DWP decision.

I would say come and join us on Thursday mornings, but I realise that many people are too scared of the DWP to do so, or for whatever reason they just can’t attend.

Please can I ask my readers to share my blog, we need to counteract the government’s propaganda mission regarding universal credit. For those that already do a massive THANK YOU.

Needless to say we will be returning next week.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog, like I said earlier this is vital.

There’s a donation button at the top and side of this blog. I really appreciate any donation, I’m a skint single parent struggling to get by myself and it makes a massive difference. Thank you!!

A massive thank you to everyone who have already supported my blog.

Aged 65 and hounded to find work. Universal Credit cares nothing about age or ability to work.

Dear readers, it’s Thursday again and here’s my latest blog update. Thankfully the weather was good today, indeed very warm for a change. We spoke to lots of people and helped lots also.

We do vital work, helping people when they’re upset, stressed and dealt with unfairly by the DWP. Claiming universal credit is a difficult and arduous process, hard for many, impossible for some as they don’t know how to or don’t have a computer.

For those saying that they should go to a library thats easier said than done. Many libraries have shut and some libraries reduced to a small mobile library that visits occasionally and don’t have computer or internet access.

For those that say that they can do their job searching on a phone, a lot of people don’t have smart phones, many have pawned them for money for food or bills and many don’t know how to use them. Life isn’t as simple as some make it out to be. Most of you already realise this of course.

Universal credit is a complicated system that’s designed to make people fail. It doesn’t benefit those that are working and claiming universal credit either. If you are seen to earn ‘too much’ then they’ll automatically end your claim. This happens all the time to people that have received two wages in one month because of the number of days in the month or if you’ve managed to get some overtime.

This week is the start of Amber Rudds universal credit publicity campaign in the Metro newspaper. The facts that she’s stating in these ads are untrue and based upon old data. They’ll be running this advertisement campaign for nine weeks, so there’s plenty of time to bin these newspapers when you see them.

This is why it’s very important to share my blog and other blogs like mine. We need to get the truth out there to the public. Whilst we can’t afford to pay 250 thousand to do this like the Tory party have, we do have social media and word of mouth. We are much more effective than they are using these methods because the Tories haven’t got a clue how to relate to real life people.

Everyone that we spoke to today were signposted for help, given advice immediately and given a food parcel if needed. The food parcels went as soon as we arrived with them, there’s a huge need for them because many people are surviving by visiting various foodbanks during the week and accessing any free cooked food facilities.

It shouldn’t be like this, but it is and we will be there to help them as long as there is a need.

I spoke to a man as I was handing him a food parcel, he told me that he’s been told that he’s missed two PIP appointments even though he didn’t receive any letters regarding this. He collects his post from the local post office so he definitely hasn’t received them.

As a result he’s now having to survive by using foodbanks and our food parcels.

I had a quick chat with a woman who was carrying her seven week old baby. Call me old fashioned but I don’t believe that anyone with such a young baby should be hounded by the DWP. Children benefit hugely from being with their parents, and if the government allowed this then they’d save millions of pounds. But it’s not about saving money is it, it’s about making people suffer, and that includes children.

I had a conversation with a young woman who is claiming universal credit and is working. She told me that because she had done some overtime the previous month, the universal credit system and automatically stopped her claim because it decided that she had earnt ‘too much’.

This has left her not knowing how she will survive, pay her rent and other bills. Despite Amber Rudds claims no one benefits from claiming universal credit especially working people.

Sadly this woman will never be able to satisfy the universal credit system, nor will anyone that I’ve spoken to today and over the years. It’s an abusive, gaslighting system that wears a person down until they’ve had enough.

It wasn’t long after that I had a conversation with a very vulnerable man and his carer. I’ve seen him having to go into the Jobcentre every week. A government with an ounce of compassion wouldn’t make him or anyone like him sign on. He should be able to enjoy his life instead of worrying all the time.

I then had a conversation with an older man.He quite rightly pointed out that nobody would employ him at his age, and he doesn’t like being harassed by the DWP to find work. He told me that she’s worked since leaving school and has never seen a system like it.

His situation doesn’t end there though, because he’s claiming universal credit he still has to pay the bedroom tax and the council tax supplement. To say that he’s struggling is an understatement, he doesn’t know how much more that he can take.

Roy briefly spoke to a young woman. Her situation is this, her private landlord is selling the house that she’s renting and she’s being forced to move home. When she moves home this will trigger a change of circumstances and she’ll be moved onto universal credit. To say that she’s scared of this happening is an understatement.

Luckily Roy provided some reassuring words and advice. I really hope that she’ll be ok.

I then spoke to an older lady, she told me that she was 65 and had worked for 50 years. She missed out on getting her pension and she’s not entitled to it until March.

During this conversation she told me that she didn’t receive any notification that this would happen to her and she certainly didn’t receive any letters telling her this. She’s doing her best to survive and is a member of the Back To 60 campaign, an important campaign which is overshadowed by the WASPI campaign. Please folks support them both.

Being harassed at 65 years of age by the DWP to find work is not only insulting it’s downright wrong. No one will employ her, it’s hard enough being a young person and finding work how on earth can they expect her to magic up employment that will satisfy the DWP. It’s scandalous and needs to be reported more often.

It was then that we all had a conversation with a chap who’s just returned from living in a different area of the country. He was already claiming universal credit and thought that it would be simple for the DWP to transfer his claim to his present address.

Sadly the DWP don’t believe in doing anything simply though, the system is rigged to make people suffer. He described how he’s now living a ‘nightmare’ and he’s sick of waiting for his commitment appointment with a DWP worker.

Universal credit shouldn’t be complicated after all it was advertised as being simple and easy to use. The reality is that its the most complicated system that many have seen and at times impossible to deal with. Don’t believe the DWP lies and spin.

It was then that I spoke to a young man thats going through a complete nightmare. His situation is this.

He was born in a different country because his mother had gone on holiday and had her baby unexpectedly there. His mother is a British citizen and was born in the Uk as were her parents, grandparents etc etc.

The home office contacted him and told him that he’s no longer a British Citizen, even though his parents are British, and nor is his young child. They informed him that he has to hand their passports in. To say that he’s scared is an understatement, this is his country, his parents country. He works in the UK, paid tax and insurance but now he’s been told that he’s not welcome because he happened to be born unexpectedly in a different country.

Sadly this isn’t uncommon, cases like this happen a lot but are often unreported. No one should have to go through this, but the government doesn’t care.

Luckily we were there to help him and to signpost him. The Windrush scandal isn’t over, they were just warming up. I’m certain that hundreds of people have been forced to leave the UK and to move to a country where they have no connections etc.

It’s scandalous that this is happening in the first place.

I’ll leave this blog with a statement from UN rapporteur Philip Alston, taken from his report that was released this week.

“It might seem to some observers that the department of work and pensions has been tasked with designing a digital and sanitised version of the early 19th century workhouse, made infamous by Charles Dickens”

“Thomas Hobbes observed long ago, such an approach condemns the least well-off to lives that are solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short. As the British social contract evaporates, Hobbes prediction risks becoming the new reality.”

I can’t thank Roy and Gordon enough for supporting me today and helping so many people today. We are all doing this on a voluntary basis, because we can see the need and need to address it.

We shall return next week as usual.

Please read, share, tweet, email my blog. For anyone wishing to donate towards keeping my blog going and the campaign there’s a button at the top of this blog and at the side.

You didn’t use the correct words so we didn’t process your request. Universal credit is torturous don’t believe the DWPs propaganda.

Dear readers I hope that you’re all well. This week we had sunshine which was extremely welcome and a nice change from the rain that we appear to have had since the move to the new building.

Today was quite a busy day, lots of people needing help, lots of conversations were had and lots of people were helped.

We handed out lots of leaflets and food parcels to those in need of them we’ve been doing this for around five years, ever since the introduction of universal credit in Tameside. Ashton Under Lyne was chosen to be a trial area so we’ve had a pretty shit time of it.

I was greeted at the Jobcentre by a man that has finally received his first universal credit payment. After paying back his debt for the loans that he had to take out when waiting for his universal credit to be processed he’s left with £231 to live on for the month. His monthly repayments are £86.67, how on earth is anyone supposed to survive on this? The answer is that they can’t. People often apply for loans from loan sharks etc to get them through the month and end up having to use most of their monthly allowance to pay them back.

This isn’t a fair system, nor is it a caring system. It’s designed to punish those that are in need the most. Don’t believe the propaganda from the DWP, the truth is far worse than some people realise.

We need a fair system, one that doesn’t punish a person for being poor. We need a system that enables people to thrive, to care for people.

I had a conversation with a chap that we’ve been talking to every week. He’s a lovely man and always has a smile on his face despite his circumstances.

He told me that he was being hounded via text message by the DWP. They were sending him text messages everyday telling him to phone them up regarding his universal credit claim. When he received a text message from them last week he phoned them and dealt with the matter.

The DWP not content with this have decided to send him text messages everyday asking him to phone them up. Of course this worried him so he telephoned them every time he received a message and every time he was otolaryngologists that they’d sent him the messages by mistake.

Can you imagine how this could send someone over the edge? It can and it does. The DWP need to stop harassing people but of course they won’t because I believe that some of them get a kick out of it.

I spoke to a man wanting to appeal his ESA medical assessment decision. Luckily he’s getting help from Welfare Rights, but no one should ever have to attend these awful assessments.

I then had a conversation with a man that was struggling with paying his council tax. He told me that they (the council) don’t care that he’s struggling they just want his money. Council tax and the council tax supplement is cruel to many, it’s unaffordable to most of the people that I speak to. I really hate this tax along with the bedroom tax. They push people into even more poverty, the bedroom tax is responsible for making thousands of people homeless.

We spoke to a man that was struggling to get his national insurance number from the Jobcentre. He had found some agency work but needed his national insurance number but the Jobcentre said no. Luckily I was able to phone our MPs office (Angela Rayner) on his behalf and they helped him with this, so thank you so much.

Of course this shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but the DWP aren’t renowned for their helpfulness are they.

I then spoke to a woman that was struggling with her claim. She had been advised to telephone the DWP to correct things. She did this and was informed that everything would be ok because she had phoned them. Of course the DWP lied. She asked her advisor why her complaint hadn’t been listened to because she had ‘used the wrong words’.

This is absolutely ridiculous, how on earth was she supposed to know what words to use. It’s obscene that they used this as an excuse not to help her.

We had at least five conversations with people that were focused on how awful the government is, how ‘shit’ the DWP system is, how awful a particular local conservative councillor is.

This is a complete turnaround from even a few months ago. Locally people are frustrated and angry with the government. To be honest judging from todays conversations it wont be long before they reach breaking point, after all there’s only so much abuse that a person can take until they reach breaking point.

We need a Labour government and soon. This has to change, and will change one day. I have to have hope in that to keep me going.

Please read, share rt email my blog if you can.

Many thanks to everyone that reads and supports my blog. Thank you so, so much it means the world. We will be back next week to do the same.

I’m a skint single parent trying to make our world a better place. For anyone wishing to donate there’s a donation button at the side and top of this blog.