Category: Money saving tips

Ill and struggling. Sorry for letting you down.

Dear subscribers, supporters and newbies,

I’ve been ill for over a week now and today my daughter has woke up feeling ill, she’s got the same symptoms as I and we are both fed up, can’t stop coughing.

We’ve tested for Covid using the rapid flow tests and I know that we need to do the other test and send it off. This raises a problem. though…. Both of us feel too ill to go out.

It is what it it I suppose. I’m still waiting for a doctor to phone me back because I can’t get to either the doctors or hospital because I’m skint.

My internet bill was due out today and I can’t afford to pay it, so if I’m quiet that is why.

I’m so annoyed with myself for getting ill again, and I know that you’re probably fed up with my complaining about it.

Before I became ill again I was almost over my Long Covid, but now I feel like my recovery will be delayed once again.

I didn’t choose to be in this situation, none of us do but I am. Once again apologies in advance if I go quiet because my internet has been cut off.

I’m praying that I’m better soon and my daughter is too.

It was also my son’s inquest on Tuesday, it went as expected but I was still heartbroken. GMP Oldham also dropped off his belongings that will be put in his chest that I made for him.

Logging off for now because I feel dreadful. Lots of love to you all.

I really hope that there’s brighter days ahead for us all.

I’ll hopefully be back to normal next week.

Please can you like, share, tweet and email my blog posts? Doing this makes a massive difference and it helps the truth get out there.

Theres a donate button at the top and side if this blog post. Every penny makes a huge difference because this makes me able to continue with my blog and campaign. Having my internet cut off will be awful because I do use it a lot helping people etc etc.

A massive thank you to everyone for being here for me and my campaign

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

DWP agrees to waive hardship payment debts.

Please click on the below link from the Public Law Project.

If you are told to repay back hardship payment debts make sure that you challenge this.

It is your legal right to do so. If needed quote the below article and insist that the DWP use their discretion regarding payment of hardship payment debt.

Insist that these payments are causing distress and suffering, which they do for thousands of people.

This is also essential because the majority of claimants already have monies garnished from their payments for council tax debt and suchlike.

No one should be forced to live in extreme hardship such as this.

I expect that the DWP won’t like this so don’t expect them to suggest it to you.

https://publiclawproject.org.uk/latest/dwp-agrees-to-waive-hardship-payment-debts-after-successful-judicial-review/

Please like, share and tweet my blog. It’s very important to get the truth and the reality of our life’s out there.

I don’t get paid for anything that I do but I do want to continue to be able to continue to write my blog and continue with my campaign.

For anyone that would like to donate there’s a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that and has supported my blog and campaign. This makes such a big difference.

Maximus work capability contract extended for two years.

It has been reported this week by Rightsnet that the work capability assessment contract with Maximus has been extended by two years to 31 July 2023. The continuation of contract will supposedly ‘secure service continuity and stability’ whilst at the same time allowing the transfer of caseloads and services into a unified assessment service trial.

The DWP (Department of Works And Pensions) have also confirmed that they have extended the existing contract with Maximus UK Services Ltd to provide work capability assessments for employment and support allowance (ESA) and universal credit. This will continue for an additional two years to 31 July 2023.

The DWP have had plans to create a unified, integrated assessment service from 1 August 2021.

The DWPs plans to merge the separate PIP (Personal Independence Payments) health assessments and work capability assessments, ESA (Employment and Support Allowance and universal credit, were put on hold last year as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak .

This was confirmed earlier this year in a written statement to Parliament in July 2020, quoting ‘We recognise that it is vital for our claimants to have a safe and stable service. Consequently, my Department intends to explore options to extend the current contracts for up to two years, which will ensure continuity of services when the current contracts end on 31 July 2021.’

In a contract modification notice published last week, the DWP now confirms that it has extended the existing contract to provide work capability assessments – that was awarded to Maximus for the period 29 October 2014 to 31 July 2021 (at a value of £938 million). This now continues until 31 July 2023.

This will add a further £300 million to the Maximus contract value.

The DWP have commented saying that they will -‘Secure assessment service continuity and stability beyond the current contracts end date on 31/07/21’ .This will provide the contractual flexibility needed for any subsequent changes to the ongoing service design necessitated by Covid-19 measures.

This will enable any associated policy changes made during the extension period.

It will also allow the DWP to implement pre-Covid flexibilities and to remove volume and service from the Supplier into a Departmental Transformation Area/to deliver devolution of specific areas of the service (related to specific welfare benefits) if this is required’

‘For more information, see Health and Disability Assessment Services – contract extension from gov.ukSource Rightsnet

I’m sure that we all agree that these ‘medical assesments’ are cruel and unnecessary for disabled and ill claimants. A doctors and/ or evidence from a medical consultant should be more than adequate to prove to the DWP that they are disabled and/or ill. Any government that genuinely cares for disabled and ill people would of course accept this.

This Tory government have proven time and time again that they don’t care. Instead of compassion they issue a relentless barrage of cruel tests and examinations that cause physical and mental distress to thousands of people everyday.

We have a prime minister that happily spends millions of tax payers money on decorating number 10 and suchlike whilst giving huge contracts to their friends regardless of if they can’t do the job they’ve been contracted to do.

It’s easy for the government to target the most vulnerable because they believe that they won’t fight back. However as we have seen from groups such as DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts) and campaigners like myself they can and do fight back in the quest to change things. They do and have made a difference.

Its exhausting though, constantly fighting against the government machine who’s policies reflect the fact that they want to get rid of us. However they forget that there are more of us than they are of them and we will continue to fight to make changes that we need.

Photo by kira schwarz on Pexels.com

Today is my son’s inquest and as you can expect I’m upset, the pain sometimes can be overwhelming. I have to be strong for my girls and my grandchildren.

Long gone are the flowers that I used to place on the little shrine that I’ve created at home. Flowers are expensive as is everything else these days.

I hate living like this and I hate the fact that my son is no longer with us. He had plans to do lots of things including sorting my oldest daughters gardens out and to do mine that I can’t use because its a mess. Little unimportant things like this always remind me of my son and the wonderful young man that he was.

I will be ok though, it will get better but I’ll always grieve for his loss but I will learn to live with it better. No one ever gets over loosing a child.

I’ll be back next week with another blog post.

Please if you can share, tweet, like and email my blog. This does make a massive difference and it gets the truth out there which is extremely important to do.

I don’t get paid for any of the writing that I do and it’s a struggle to say the least. I want to continue blogging and campaigning because its very important to help people.

For anyone that would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Thank you!

A huge thank you also to everyone that subscribes, shares and has and does help my blog and campaign to continue. It means the world to me.

My son died.. How am I?

As many of you will already know my son died earlier this year. His death was very unexpected and it was due to no fault of his own. To say that it’s been a struggle is an understatement, after all we aren’t supposed to outlive our children.

My son had plans to go travelling and to work near family in Estonia and Latvia, something that he was looking forward to. Josephs death has changed us all in one way or another.

The sudden death team over at Greater Manchester Police have been amazing, they’ve literally held my hand through it all, from daily phone calls to see if I was ok and other phone calls about Joseph and the horrible stuff that every person has to go through when a loved one dies suddenly.

The loss of Joseph hit me hard again when last week I received a phone call from the coroners office. She phoned to tell me that I would be getting a full copy of his postmortem and notification that they’ve been able to bring his inquest back to the 2nd September rather than October.

Good news I suppose but not the news that any parent wants.

I really didn’t know what to expect when I received my first copy of his postmortem via email, but I did know that reading it would be extremely hard for me. My little boy (even though he was almost 6ft tall) has gone. I had proof in the black and white print I was reading on my laptop.

I suppose that it’s easier to hold onto him before the postmortem results even though we’d already given him a lovely funeral and memorial thanks to everyone that helped me with this. It’s a totally different ball game when you’re faced with it in black and white.

So back to the Postmortem… The coroner couldn’t find a cause of death and this will be the report given at the inquest. I had been warned that this would probably happen. Privately she said that even though theres no obvious cause of death it could have been one extra painkiller that took him away.

I do know however that he fell asleep happily listening to his music after talking to his sister and myself and he wouldn’t have felt any discomfort etc.

The hardest thing to deal with physically was going to his flat and sorting things out. I did this with my oldest daughter and we were very distressed because once again it was a reality check.

We could see exactly what his last movements were. He washed his pots, got changed and went to bed. Everything was left as it was. In a corner we spotted Josephs Easter chocolates for all of us that we no longer would be getting.

Back home I made a wooden chest for Josephs clothes and belongings and I locked them all away safely. I’m hoping that he approves.

Joseph had many struggles during his short life, the most notable ones being his primary and secondary schools refusing to recognise that he was autistic and he had to learn differently to others. I know that many parents of children with additional needs are still fighting this battle.

The sad reality is that years after my son left school, thousands of parents are still forced to fight to have their children educational needs met… From autism, dyslexia and many other additional needs that they might have.

Parents shouldn’t be forced to have to fight for a decent education but still they have to.

Joseph didn’t give up though and despite the odds he did extremely well for himself and I was very proud of him. He was a very special person that is missed by so many.

Never give up fighting for your children, they deserve to be treated well and have their needs met. I did my best but absolutely no one would listen to me.

I’m sorry that this weeks blog is different than usual. I’ll be back to normal next week. Thanks for reading and sharing my blog posts it means the world to me.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Please read, share and tweet my blog. A huge thank you to everyone that does and has supported my blog and campaign, I couldn’t do it without you.

I don’t receive any funding for the work that I do and I’m finding it much harder since my son died.

If you would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. Thank you.

Organisations report a massive increase of domestic abuse during pandemic.

Charities such as Women’s Aid highlighted their concerns about the increasing risk of domestic violence due to isolation when the first lockdown was announced in March 2020

 Refuge, a charity that helps people suffering from domestic abuse recorded an average of 13,162 calls and messages to its National Domestic Abuse helpline every month between April 2020 and February 2021.

This figure is a 60% increase on the average number of monthly contacts at the start of 2020, they report..

Between January and March 2020just before the first lockdown in the UK, the charity recorded an average of 8,176 calls and messages per month.

Between April 2020 and February 2021, it logged a total of more than 131,000 such contacts.

Refuge also reported that 72% of these were from women who said they were experiencing violence and abuse, and nearly a fifth said their abuser had threatened to kill them.

They also say that many calls were from women who were being terrorised in their own homes, and who were afraid to seek treatment for their injuries in case they overburdened hospital staff.

Many women were also making plans to flee their homes, while others had no home to go to, leaving them at a high risk of becoming homeless.

Lisa King Refuges director of communications and external relations, said “home is not a safe place” for women and children experiencing domestic abuse.

She also went onto say “Lockdown measures, where women have been isolated and confined with their perpetrators, have compounded their exposure to violence and abuse.”

Refuge report that the largest number of calls and contacts had come from women in their 30s.

Many 16- to 25-year-old women as well as their concerned family members, friends and neighbours, reached out via the helpline’s Live Chat facility to report worries of domestic abuse taking place. The live chat facility enables people to communicate with helpline advisors online and, crucially, in anonymity.

It was reported that in 2020, Refuge made almost 4,500 referrals to refuges across the country, enabling women to flee abusive partners.

When the first lockdown was lifted last year, refuge also reported there was an increase in women seeking emergency accommodation. Refuge have shared their concerns that this could be repeated during the latest lockdown easing.

Respect, a charity that runs an advice line for male victims of domestic abuse, have also reported a 70% increase in calls, emails and webchats in 2020 compared to 2019. And during the latest lockdown, appeals for help continued to increase.

The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the period from March to June 2020 there was a 7% rise in domestic abuse offences recorded by the police in England and Wales.

Police figures report that in the four weeks to the middle of January, covering the first two weeks of the last lockdown, there was a 4% fall in recorded incidents of domestic abuse. 

But the National Police Chiefs’ Council said not all such incidents would result in a crime being recorded and hidden abuse was not captured in this data. 

Charities have always stressed that many victims do not report to the police so the figures are likely to be much higher than reported.

The Home Office said the government had given more than £27m to domestic abuse organisations to help them deal with the effects of the pandemic.

A spokesperson added: “Our landmark Domestic Abuse Bill will bolster the response to domestic abuse on every level, strengthening protections for victims whilst also ensuring perpetrators feel the full force of the law.”

The Domestic Abuse Act

In February 2021, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, told the Home Affairs Committee that the “tail” of the pandemic’s impact on domestic abuse would extend “well beyond” the easing of lockdown, and that survivors depended on these services.

The Commissioner welcomed the Government’s emergency funding throughout the pandemic but said this was nowhere near “the kind of sustainable foundation” needed.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which came into force on 29 April 2021,  aims to make changes to better protect victims of domestic violence.

.Organisations such as refuge and Women’s Aid have also welcomed the Act, but they stress that it’s effectiveness relies upon the correct implementation and adequate funding to ensure that it succeeds and meets the needs of people suffering from domestic violence.

On 11 April 2020, the Home Secretary announced £2 million to immediately bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support. By July 2020, £1.2m of this funding had been allocated to service providers.

A further funding announcement followed On the2 May 2020 the government announced that it had pledged £76 million emergency funding to support vulnerable people.. £25 million of this was allocated to domestic abuse services including £10 million to fund safe accommodation for victims of domestic violence.

The Government also launched a public awareness campaign aiming to reassure survivors of domestic abuse that police and specialist services remained open.

On 18 November 2020, midway through the second English lockdown, the Ministry of Justice provided £10.1 million to boost funding for victims of rape and domestic violence with a further £683,000 from the Home Office for domestic abuse organisations.

In January 2021, shortly after England entered its third lockdown, the Government announced that it had partnered with pharmacies across the country to launch the ‘Ask for ANI’ ‘Ask for ANI  (Action Needed Immediately) to help survivors.

Pharmacies participating are supposed to display material to let survivors know that trained staff are available to offer a safe and private space, with the option to call the police or other support services if needed.

Whilst the government has given extra funding to domestic violence organisations and charities it still doesn’t cover the amount of funding that has been taken away from these organisations throughout the years since the Tory Party were first elected.

The safety of everyone that is a victim of domestic violence, including children and men should be a priority for any elected government. For that to happen we need to continue to campaign with and on behalf of these organisations to try to get the government to accept that they’re failing victims of violence and abuse.

Personally I believe that the funding given should be increased and extended to exceed the full funding that they were previously given. If not the government will continue to fail those most in need of help and support.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Please like, share and email my blog posts. Every single share and like does make an enormous difference and it enables others to see that this is actually happening.

I don’t receive any funding for my blog and campaign. I’m worried about my ability to continue to do this.

If you would like to make a donation theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my campaign and blog. I literally couldn’t do this without you x.

Cancel The £20 Universal Credit Uplift Cut.

I’ve spoken to many people and helped hundreds of people over the years since Universal Credit was first implemented in my local town, which incidentally was one of the three ‘trial’ areas for Universal Credit introducing it to an unbeknown community.

Out of all the people that I’ve spoken to throughout the years, not one of them has told me that their payments provided them with a large enough income for them to survive, indeed the opposite applies.

Everyone that I’ve helped or spoken to were and still are living in poverty, unable to provide the very basics for themselves and their families.

Then the pandemic hit us, killing thousands and resulting in survivors battling with Long Covid. The government decided that they’d throw a lifeline to Universal Credit claimants which was an extra £20 a week uplift to help them through the pandemic.

The uplift was and is providing Universal Credit claimants the means to actually survive, to buy some food or to pay a bill that they were an unable to do before.

Whilst £20 isn’t a lot to some people, indeed it isn’t a lot of money at all, it has enabled people to survive.

This lifeline will be taken away in October if the government don’t respond to calls from campaigners, politicians, and even some Tory party politicians.

Universal Credit was created under the guise of making claiming a benefit easier, to help more financially and to make it easier to find work whilst claiming Universal Credit.

It wasn’t long before myself and others saw the reality of claiming Universal Credit, the poverty that it forces upon people and the punishing regime that they are forced to comply to.

The truth is the system was designed to be unfair and designed to be cruel. I have no doubt that it was introduced to force people to comply otherwise loose everything. I’ve been documenting this for years, I’ve seen the terror in a persons eyes when they’ve just been told that they’ve been sanctioned and didn’t know why.

With Universal Credit came cruelty like I’ve never seen before. Claimants being gaslighted by so called work coaches, being spoken to as if they’re the worst thing in the world and that nothing that they do is ever good enough.

I’ve seen people loose their homes and families because they can no longer afford the rent or provide for their children. I’ve helped hundreds of people throughout the years dependant upon food parcels to survive, all of which is documented in this blog.

I cannot see any justification in removing the £20 uplift, we are still living during a pandemic, still becoming ill with Covid 19 and people are still dying from it. The £20 uplift is literally the choice between living or dying. Only a sadistic government would do so.

To put it bluntly Universal Credit doesn’t provide enough to live on, it’s highly prejudiced against claimants and it certainly doesn’t help anyone to find employment. What is needed is a system that actually helps people instead of making them much worse off.

We can only pray for the government to give in to demands to cancel the cut and to continue giving the uplift or making it permanent.

Please like, share and tweet my blog. I don’t receive any funding and I want to be able to continue to blog.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog and campaign. I couldn’t do it without you.

DWP BACKS DOWN OVER HIGH-PRESSURE PRE-TRIBUNAL TACTICS


The DWP has recently backed down on their high pressure pre-tribunal tactics the day before they faced a judicial review initiated by a disabled woman. Her case concerned the way the tactics that the DWP has been using putting extreme pressure upon PIP claimants via telephone into accepting a lower PIP payment offer rather than attending a tribunal to hopefully receive higher PIP payments.

The claimant known as ‘K’ had been approached by the DWP who made a low offer and told the claimant, known as ‘K’ that they had just one hour to make up their mind. During this conversation the DWP also warned K that tribunals ‘are not very nice to go to’ and if K took it to tribunal they could lose her whole award.

The DWP are well known for their bullying tactics, particularly towards disabled and vulnerable people. K explained that they felt extremely pressured to make a quick decision and wasn’t given the time to make a decision or to seek advice upon this from others.

Needless to say the DWP should not be putting pressure upon people like this, using fear as a tactic to manipulate disabled people into accepting a lesser payment that they are entitled to.

Unsurprisingly the DWP refused to accept it was doing anything wrong for a year until the day before the hearing, when it suddenly agreed to make a number of changes.

These changes being;

Advising staff its essential  that they inform claimants that even if they accept a revised offer they still have the right to appeal against it.

Telling DWP staff that they must ensure that benefit claimants do not feel ‘pressured’ into making a decision.

Introducing mandatory training to all staff involved in ‘lapsing’ appeals by the end of October to ensure they understand the updated guidance.

The DWP unsurprisingly, refused to agree to end the practice of making pre-tribunal offers to claimants .

We shall see if the DWP continue to use their intimidatory tactics, or if they agree to the actions agreed upon in the court case.

As you all know the DWP like nothing better than to target the most vulnerable and disabled people, knowing that they might find it hard to appeal decisions made towards them by the DWP, and personally I do think that some DWP workers do get a kick out of doing this.

It’s never ok to treat people like this. No one should have to fight for the very means to survive especially in times like these when everyone is struggling even more because of the pandemic.

Can you imagine how awful it is to receive a letter from the DWP that you are no longer entitled to the very monies that have kept you going? Your very means of survival taken away at the push of a button and an uncaring letter sent to you?

This is the reality of life for thousands of people every day, it sends people into mental and physical distress. It’s a never ending circle of abuse metered upon them by the DWP initiated by the government.

No one should ever be forced to go through this cruelty and we must continue to fight to end this. You can do this by sharing my blog posts and other campaign groups posts. Write to your MP to share your disgust, share posts on Twitter and Facebook. Join a campaign group, share your worries and concerns.

Your voice matters so let’s make sure that you are heard!

Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

This week is a very difficult week for me. As you know my son recently died and it is our joint birthday this weekend on the 1st of August.

The pain of loosing a child, even though they were an adult is unlike any other pain that I have ever felt before. A part pf me wants to run away for the day, hide and speak to no one. Another part of me says sensibly that I can’t do that because his sisters will probably want to do something.

To put it bluntly I’m a mess but I’ll be ok, that’s what I keep telling myself. It feels like two minutes ago when Joseph entered this world at 7.40am .

Joseph was autistic, dyslexic and he also had a few other conditions, but he was an extremely brave, high functioning individual. He loved living on his own in his flat, and he was the local odd job man, always helping others.

Joseph did also have to fight the DWP every time his PIP and ESA was up for renewal. He attended tribunals and was helped by local organisations and myself. I know that he found this extremely hard to cope with but he did and I’m so proud of him.

This blog post is written in remembrance of Joseph, and all the good that he did in this world. He would have been very happy about this decision.

Please read, share, tweet, email and talk about this blog post and the issues surrounding it. This makes a lot of difference and it helps lots.

Please support my blog and campaign and blog. I don’t receive and funding for what I do and I am still helping families locally with food etc. I really couldn’t continue without your support.

For anyone that would like to donate towards my campaign and blog theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

A huge thank you to everyone that has previously supported my campaign and blog.

Personally I’m trying to make my front garden into a memorial garden for my son and any advice etc is more than welcome!

Many thanks to Benefits and Work for being the inspiration for this post.

School Uniform a cost too high report finds.

A new report recently conducted by Covid Realities at The University of York has revealed that parents and carers are struggling to cope with the costs of school uniforms. The report finds that parents are having to take out crisis loans and other loans in order to pay for their children’s uniform. Other parents are forced to make decisions like having to make the choice to go without healthy food in order to pay for their children’s school uniforms. 

In the report it gives examples of how a families father  was placed on furlough from his job  at the beginning of the pandemic which dramatically cut the family’s income enough so that they qualified for universal credit. Reporting that trying to make ends meet became “a constant battle day by day,”.

The report also states that this family  had previously relied on second-hand uniform fairs at their son’s school to buy items for £1 each, but with those fairs were cancelled in lockdown so they were  forced to ask family for “a couple of pounds each” so she could buy uniforms. 

“He wasn’t going to get uniform otherwise, The kids’ clothing is essential. But when it comes to school uniform, it’s such a high cost for so little time.

“You get a whole list of what they need for PE, which they’re doing once a week. And they’ll grow out of those clothes in three months.”

The report published by Covid Realities quotes that the practice of schools requiring badged uniform from approved suppliers has drastically increased school uniform costs for families. Uniform costs had been driven higher for those in poverty, especially when charity shops  were closed during lockdown. 

This isn’t the only increase in living costs during the pandemic though, families have faced soaring electricity and gas bills due to families isolating at home. The report reveals that a  family of five were forced to go two weeks without heating in the middle of winter just to ensure they could still afford hot water for washing.

At the time of the report an extension was given for the £20 uplift payments for Universal Credit payments saying that facing the cut was “a hell of a big worry, stating “I didn’t know how much more I could take.“We were already not covering the essentials. Taking that £20 away, it was going to be just another thing that we needed in order to live but couldn’t have.

“They’re just delaying the inevitable,” she said of the extension until September. “You’re going to cut it right before winter, when there are extra costs? Leading up to Christmas? The financial problems are going to last a lot longer than the pandemic.”

Now facing the cut their fears are likely to become a reality. 

The researchers at Covid Realities and The University Of York are asking that the Government increases monies for families with children plus national guidance on school uniform cost to lessen the financial impact on struggling parents. 

A bill which could address this is currently being debated in Parliament.

“Uniform costs often cluster at the start of an academic year, and so for families on a low-income it can be a source of acute anxiety and worry,” said Dr Geoff Page, a research fellow on the Nuffield Foundation-funded Covid Realities programme. “Uniform can be hard to accommodate in precariously balanced budgets, where almost every penny is meticulously accounted for. 

“Our participants described a sense of the unmanageable – of living with unmanageable expenses, with school uniform representing another turn of the financial screw.

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

As the schools break up for the summer holidays, the financial worry of having to pay for children’s school uniform, as well as for food and wellbeing increases. I  also feel this stress and to be honest I don’t know how I’m going to manage it.

Many families are as the report states having to make the decision wether to feed their children a decent meal or pay for a piece of their expensive uniform.

The pandemic and the way that the government has handled it has had a detrimental effect upon families and children, causing them to live on a much lower income but still forced to provide the same things. 

It’s not always possible to find school uniforms in charity shops or at school swap or donation sites. Each and every child needing school uniform are different sizes which is virtually impossible to replicate in donations and charity shops. 

As the report states there needs for it to continue to be debated and acted upon in parliament, otherwise our children and their parents will continue to be let down and made to feel like they’re not good parents. 

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

A huge thank you to everyone that reads and supports my blog and campaign. I have plans to continue to hand food parcels and help for people in the community and outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. 

I don’t receive any payment for this blog and anything that I do.

If anyone would like to donate theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post. 

Its Not Good Enough

I’ve been campaigning against the cruel system which is Universal Credit since it’s conception. I have with friends held weekly demonstrations against the cruelty of said system and have been told countless accounts of how Universal Credit has affected people, how it has caused many people to end their life’s, split families up and has Rendered people ill, depressed, stressed, hungry and feeling that they can never satisfy the demands of the system which was created in order to ‘help’ people.

The truth is that Universal Credit doesn’t help many, it leaves people in a much worse financially than they were before. It wears people down until they can’t cope any more.

It doesn’t discriminate though, it treats everyone in the same manner, making some people feel like a criminal for asking for help because they need it and deserve to be helped.

if you look through this blog you will read many stories of how this system has treated people, how its worn people down and has for some been a massive contributor into people taking their own life.

We’ve handed out hundreds of food parcels, literally fed people that haven’t eaten for days. Indeed, I wrote in an earlier blog post I documented that I gave a woman and her children some tinned food and goodies, and how they walked across the road and ate the food out of the tins because they were hungry and hadn’t eaten a real meal for a long time.

I’ve spoken to people that had been discriminated against by the DWP because of the way they looked. If you scroll down my blog posts you will read that a man was discriminated against because he wasn’t wearing a suit and tie and proper shoes for his appointment at the Jobcentre.

This was blatant discrimination because they knew how poor he was, how he’d had no money for over a month and only possessed one pair of canvas shoes and a thin summer jacket.

The demands that the DWP make to people can be completely ridiculous like this, if he had’t spoken to us he would never have found out that he didn’t have to do this.

I also helped a woman with a young baby who was told by her advisor that she couldn’t come to the Jobcentre with her baby. This is completely unfair and also untrue. Children are allowed to attend appointments but the DWP like to make the rules up as they please.

I’ve spoken and helped people that were very close to taking their own life because they couldn’t cope with the DWP bullying anymore. I’ve also helped people that became homeless when Universal Credit was first introduced into my town and two other local authorities. I’ll also never forget being told by a police officer that a man that I had helped but was later let down by the system, that he had taken his own life because he couldn’t see any future for himself.

I really could talk forever about this, please scroll through my blogs and my media posts to see more. It’s cruelty certainly ignited a fire inside of me to make me determined to fight these and other injustices throughout the DWP and other systems.

Universal Credit was introduced under the guise of supposedly making it easier to claim and that people would be better off financially. It wasn’t long before it was shown to do anything but this. It can virtually destroy people.

Years ago I made a promise, prompted by my friend Michael to document everything that I see, hear and experience in this blog. I really didn’t expect it to be read by anyone at all but it was because it wasn’t being spoken about back then.

Although I can’t be there today to take part in the day of action because I developed Potts Syndrome which comes and goes, but today it’s here after having Covid and Long Covid I am there in spirit. Covid nearly broke me but it didn’t and I’m very grateful to have survived it.

I stand in solidarity with everyone that’s campaigning against Universal Credit whilst also demanding that the government introduces the £20 uplift to disabled people as well. Disabled people have been hit the hardest by the pandemic, many haven’t been able to leave their homes because of quarantine restrictions and also the lack of carers being able to help at home. It’s absolutely shocking that the government treats them in this way.

The DWP systems aren’t good enough. They don’t help people, instead they punish people because of their own existence. I fear that this will continue to worsen because they hate poor and disabled people, and they don’t care if we suffer either.

I also experienced the death of my son which was totally unexpected and through no fault of his own. He went to bed and didn’t wake up. Joseph was disabled and he had to fight for every penny that he got from the DWP. I’ve lost count of the amount of appeals that he had to make to get his rightful payments.

When I first learnt that my son had died I didn’t know how I would continue, grief can take you to some very dark places. Despite this I think that I’m learning how to cope with it, knowing that it’s ok to have an off day or to feel sad sometimes. My daughters and everyone that reads my blog and supports both the campaign and blog have really helped me. It’s ok to cry and there shouldn’t be any shame surrounding this.

My son shared the same birthday as me which is coming up very soon, so I know that’s going to be a tough day for us all.

I want to do more though. I don’t think that I’m doing enough to raise awareness and to help people. Despite this I do know that I do need to keep this blog going because despite everything I still need to get the truth out there. If anyone would like to donate towards the upkeep of this blog and my campaign theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Let’s get the truth out there!

Government refuses to extend Universal Credit uplift.

This week Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey announced that the government has no plans to continue the £20 Universal Credit uplift, confirming that payments will be ending in late September.

Coffey also announced that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will be contacting claimants so they are aware that their payments will change in late September whilst at the same time and they will be directed to budgeting advice.

The £20 a week uplift was increased for six months in March after charities and organisations had warned the government that it and would damage the mental health and physical health of those living in poverty.

The government’s answer to this is to announce that they’ve doubled the amount of work coaches and organisations that they work with, meanwhile totally ignoring the fact that the well being of thousands of people depends upon the £20 uplift.

Their plans obviously don’t include how to feed themselves and their families when their vital £20 is taken away from them. it might not be a lot of money to some, but it has enabled people to buy some food, get some glass and electric and to top up a mobile phone or internet if they have access to these.

Having a good internet connection is requested by the DWP and failure to have this can, and has ended with claimants being sanctioned.

The announcement to end the uplift payments was made after ignoring the advice of six former Conservative work and pension secretaries whom have requested that the Chancellor to make the £20 uplift permanent. They warned that if they failed to extend the uplift it would cause immense damage to living standards, health and the opportunity to improve their lives.

Indeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson whilst talking to the Commons Liaison Committee had requested to reconsider any plans to end the uplift and also said that higher skilled jobs are the best way forward.

Therese Coffey then announced that a collective decision was made to “shift the focus strongly into getting people into work” as the economy opens up. She also announced that this will ‘help’ when the country reaches step four of the Covid 19 road map and ‘more opportunities’ will be created for claimants.

Conservative MP Nigel Mills is quoted as saying “It sounds like this is a ‘dates not data’ decision, that we’ve just chosen to end this at the end of September and not going to review that based on any data at all.“’We’ll just kind of assume it will all be OK’ – that seems to be a pretty fair summary of what you’re saying: ‘We haven’t got any data yet that you don’t need this uplift, but we’re going to take it away regardless because that’s what we planned in the Budget’.”

Needless to say this is a terrible decision made by the government, fronted by Therese Coffey Work and Pensions Secretary. This decision has been made whilst ignoring the evidence given to her by charities, organisations and felt conservative Mp’s.

Not only will the refusal to extend the £20 uplift cause immense suffering and stress, they still fail to recognise that disabled people are struggling to get by and haven’t been included in any £20 uplift plans.

Along with the governments blatant discrimination against disabled people, the government is also still ploughing ahead to end lockdown and mask wearing whilst covid 19 cases and deaths are increasing.

Many disabled people have been housebound unable to go out for fear of infection and in many cases a lack of help. I’m very concerned that demands will be made of them to travel to assessments and DWP appointments when its obviously not safe to do so.

The government have blood on their hands for more than one reason.

Personally I’m going to continue to wear a mask and social distance for many reasons, one being that I’m still battling with Long Covid and other health conditions. Catching covid again, even though I’m fully vaccinated isn’t something that I want to go through again.

I’m also extremely worried about my children and grandchildren catching this new variant of Covid 19 also.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

How am I? Today is another migraine day for me, yippee. I hope that it passes asap.

I really hope that you are all ok. Lots of love to you all.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Every share etc makes a massive difference in the truth getting out there.

A huge thanks to everyone that has and does support my blog, it means the world to me.

If anyone would like to donate to keep my blog and campaign going theres a donate button at the top and side of this blog post.

Thank you and keep safe.