If it wasn’t for your help today I was considering committing suicide. I can’t take anymore. Today’s demo.

Today was extremely busy, mainly because we now have a new influx of people needing help that had previously been signing on at Stalybridge Jobcentre which has recently been shut down. The impact of a Jobcentre shutting down is massive and it can’t be underestimated, especially in rural areas. How on earth can they expect claimants to walk miles to their nearest Jobcentre is beyond me. But i do know that this is a calculated and cruel move by the government to make it extremely hard for a claimant to fulfil their Jobseekers Agreement, therefore resulting on more sanctions etc.

Here is an awful case that shows that combined with bad advice, a lack of compassion and Universal Credit can and does ruin a persons life.

Please note that this is a true, honest account, and nor am I passing on any personal details as requested.

As soon as I arrived I saw a man shuffling out of the Jobcentre, I could see that he was unhappy and needed help. After four years I’ve learnt to recognise the signs.

As soon as I said hello to him, he started to tell me about his problems. He will remain nameless for respect for him and also so that he doesn’t get any repercussions from the DWP.

He told me that he had been sanctioned again, he didn’t know why and his advisor wouldn’t tell him either. He was told to phone up the 0345 number which at the moment costs a person up to 55p a min to phone. He waited for ages to speak to someone and then he ran out of credit, so now he can’t use his phone.

He had always worked since the age of 15, until he had a heart attack five years ago. this left him unable to work so upon advice given he then claimed ESA. This was going ok for a while until he attended an ATOS medical, when they declared him fit for work. He clearly wasn’t. So he appealed this decision, won his appeal and reclaimed his ESA.

The stress of this didn’t do him any good so he became ill and had to be admitted to hospital for a heart related illness. The consultant advised him to stay away from stressful situations. Easier to say than do though, especially when he was called up for another ESA medical.

They declared him fit for work so he then went to the Jobcentre to try and claim Jobseekers Allowance until his appeal was accepted. However his advisor told him that he had to claim Universal Credit. He had no choice and nor could he appeal the ESA decision. We know that this is wrong, but this is what they are doing to people folks.

He then went ahead made his claim and was told that he had to work, he had no choice. So against his consultants decision he found a 16 hour a week job, which was supposedly topped up by Universal Credit.

He ended up far worse off financially because the way that universal credit is worked out it actually makes a person worse off in work and he was effectively working for 33p a hour.

Then his hours were reduced to 10 a week. He knew that he couldn’t survive on this, and he also knew that he would be punished by the Universal Credit system for the decision that was made by his employer. He was told to find more hours to work or there was a possibility that he would be sanctioned.

As a result he became ill because of the stress and couldn’t cope. He has subsequently been sanctioned and has had no money for a few weeks.

Straight away I reassured him that we are here for him, that we can help him. He told me that he was close to committing suicide, and was serious about it, but our kindness has made him rethink this. He didn’t think that anyone would help, because no one cared. I told him that we do care and that we would help him to sort this out.

I gave him a food parcel which he was overjoyed at recieving, I don’t think that he has eaten anything decent for a while. I then telephoned his local MPS office and asked his team if they could see him asap. Because his case is complicated, and there is more to it than I have explained above, seeing his MP is essential. There’s nothing like a letter from an MP to get things moving, because if there is one thing that the DWP hate is an MP becoming involved in a case. I did also inform him of other local organisations, but he said that he wasn’t ready for them yet but maybe he will be after he has spoken to his MPs office.

I know that he will be treated with the upmost respect when he meets them, and they are a great team. Remember folks, go and see your MP if you can. Even if they are Conservative, because they need to hear your problems, even if some won’t deal with it then need to hear them. I’m now confident that his life will improve.

A massive thank you to Andrew Gwynnes office for helping.

I was then stopped by two gentlemen, they both looked undernourished and unwell. They asked for a food parcel each, and they told me that they had been sanctioned. I gave them both a food parcel and advised them to go to a local organisation that can help them further, and help them to reclaim their life’s.

I spoke to a person who had had their ESA stopped because they had asked to change their appointment, they agreed to do so and they then stopped their ESA. This is clearly wrong, so I telephoned my local MPS office and they is now getting the advice and help that they need. I also gave them a food parcel.,

Many thanks to Angela Rayner’s team for their help. Because this is also a complicated case it was appropriate that they get help from our MP.

I spoke to a man who had been sanctioned, he wasn’t very clear on why, but he was clear about the fact that he isn’t getting the help that he needs. Because he is getting some support from one organisation, another organisation is refusing to work with him because they don’t want to cross paths. But here is the problem, he cannot access a food parcel from them now. So I gave him a food parcel, some advice and signposted him to a local organisation that will work with him, and he will gain some confidence. Sometimes bureaucracy is our biggest battle.

I then spoke to a man who’s wife had recently died. He had never signed on before and had always worked. I had a good chat with him, reassured him, gave advice and signposted him to a local organisation where I know he will enjoy.

We then spoke to a young person who was 10 minutes late for their appointment due to their bus being late. They were aware of the possibility of being sanctioned, so we advised them, had a good chat and hopefully they will stay in touch.

We also spoke to many more people, most confused or angry, some both. We offer help, advice and foodparcels but we never ever just put a sticking plaster so to speak over their problems. We need to help them constructively and empower them. I then campaign, and do a lot fo work to challlenge this system and those in charge of it. Because it is just as important to do this.

We will be back next week and thank you to everyone for your kind messages and tweets of support. You all, and the team who are nothing short of amazing, keep me going.

Please share, tweet, talk about my blog and our campaign as much as possible. This is very important, because unless we tell the world about this no one will know how awful this system is.

The team holding Ray Woolfords book Foodbank Britain. And my first meeting with Elvis, the newest member of the team, my friends hearing assistance dog.

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Sanctioned for applying for more than one job with an agency. Sanctioned because child was ill.

I have just returned from our weekly Thursday demo and to say that it was busy was an understatement. We are helping more people than ever before due to the closure of Stalybridge Jobcentre. I know that I keep mentioning this, but this is the reality of the situation. When a Jobcentre is shut down it puts extreme pressure on the next town that does have a Jobcentre, and of course the Jobcentre itself. It is abhorrent that people are forced to often walk, some everyday to a Jobcentre that is miles away this doesn’t encourage anyone to get a job, it just demoralises them even more and often makes them ill.

This week I have decided to list a few of the situations that the people that are forced to use Ashton Under Lyne Jobcenre are going through. I say a few, because there are too many to write on this blog, and some people were in such a rush that they couldn’t stop to speak to us. Also some people are too scared to do so.

 

The first woman that I spoke to had attended her ESA medical last week. I couldn’t attend with her because I had commitments and she struggles to trust people. But armed with lots of information she went along. Upon seeing her assessor, she was questioned about issues that have nothing to do with her illness. She was set up to fail, but if she does get a letter saying that she has failed then she will be getting lots of support to appeal. This broke my heart, and I wish that I could be everywhere but I can’t.

 

 

I then spoke to a 62 year old woman who has been forced to volunteer for The British Heart Foundation as part of the workfare programme. Shes under no illusion that the system is cruel, and this is not helping her to find work. In her own words she said that no one would employ her at her age, her 29yr old daughter is struggling in a zero hour contract job and finding that job was hard, it would be impossible for her. Her daughter wants to further her education, but is under immense pressure to leave college and to obtain more hours at work even though gaining the qualification that she is working to get would eventually give her a better paid job. It’s a catch 22 situation for many people.

 

 

I then spoke to a  young man who was sanctioned because his child was ill and he had to stay at home with them. He did inform the Jobcentre, but they saw this as not a good enough reason to miss his signing on appointment. He is appealing this decision.

 

 

I spoke to another young man. He told me that his advisor had informed him that he was being sanctioned because he hadn’t attended an appointment. The reason being that he didn’t receive a letter informing him of this appointment. This is not a new phenomenon, far from it we’ve seen this happen for four years now. I don’t believe that these letters are actually sent out in the first place. If you have time, scroll down the blog and refer to the post titled ‘The case of the missing letters’ it makes interesting reading. He is appealing this decision, and help and advice was given to him to do so.

 

 

Upon standing outside the Jobcentre, we noted a very elderly lady leaving the Jobcentre and crossing the road. She didn’t wish to speak to anyone, but I would have to question the very fact as to why she felt that she had to visit the Jobcentre in the first place.

 

 

A bit of good news, I spoke to a lady whom I had previously helped and advised. She told me that she had taken my advice and was now much happier and is in the process of claiming all the money that she is entitled to. This poor lady went through an awful time and I was so pleased to hear this. She gave me a big hug and said thank you. That made my day.

 

 

 

I spoke to a young man who had been sanctioned for applying for more than one job with the same agency. Yes folks, they can also sanction a person for applying for too many jobs. He was devestated because he had done exactly what he was supposed to do which is look for work. We gave him some good advice and he will be appealing this decision. This does prove that you can never do enough to make the DWP system happy, the advisor is supposed to use their discretion, and they obviously did, they chose to sanction him for looking for work.

 

 

I spoke to a lady who had previously failed her ESA medical and didn’t appeal that decision. I hadn’t met her yet and she had fallen for the rethoric that even if you are sick or disabled you have to work. She has been forced to attend the Jobcentre everyday and to achieve this she has to walk a long distance. She complained about feeling tired, and she said that she didn’t feel well. I signposted her to a local organisation that can sit down with her and talk her through the whole complicated process at a speed that suits her. It’s hard to do this whilst stood on the street.

 

 

 

I also spoke to a man who had just been sanctioned for missing an appointment in March. He had already spent his sanction (I may as well use this term, because they are treating innocent people like criminals). This hasn’t stopped the DWP from sanctioning him again for the same reason. He is appealing this decision, because this is very clearly wrong. However this doesn’t help him now does it. We did give him help, advice and signposted him.

 

 

This all happened in the space of two hours folks, can you imagine how many people are leaving the Jobcentre after their appointment In a state of dispair? Many give up, take themselves off the cruel system because the stress is too much for them. Many become ill or take their own life’s. This does happen to people that use this Jobcentre and most likely most Jobcentre’s. It’s a cruel system and is designed to be so.

 

What I can say is that they made no mistakes when designing Universal Credit. Everything has been designed purposely to make the poor suffer.

People cannot just walk into a Jobcentre to get help as Liz Truss stated this week. If you haven’t got an appointment you arent allowed any help, and they certainly won’t make any telephone calls for you even if you have an appointment.

The government has created a system that can never be beaten, no one can win against this system, the design makes it impossible to do so. They want the poor to pay for their own poverty, the very fact that Theresa May this week declined to answer Jeremy Corbyns question about the cost of the 55p per min helpline cost. They have no qulams about making it impossible to get help, advice and compassion.  I’m certain that they think that we live in some kind of utopian dream, where everything that we need is easily available and easy to access. We know that this isnt true though.

 

The battle continues for us though, it’s never ending. I’ve committed four years so far to this campaign, and if I have to commit another for years to it I will do. The poorest of this country are being targeted injustice after injustice, and rather than just putting a sticking plaster over it I feel that it is necessary to challenge the system. After all, plasters fall off and the damage is still there isn’t it.

 

 

Many, many thanks to everyone that came along and supported the demo. You are all my rocks, you keep me going even through times when I am upset and angry at the system. You are all amazing.

 

 

It’s been a very busy week, if you would like to see the links to the various newspaper reports and media appearances then please comment below. I don’t want to bore you if you dont want to see them.

 

We don’t get paid for this, we do it, I do it because people need help and I’m certain that one day we shall overcome this evil regime.

 

Please share my blog, talk about it, lets make this blog reach more people than it does already. We need to keep highlighting the injustices that this government are showering the most vulnerable in society with.

 

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Revealed: DWP’s full list of 87 Jobcentres to be axed across Britain over the next 7 months – and the dates they’re due to shut down – Mirror Online

http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/revealed-full-list-87-jobcentres-11291094

Sanctioned pregnant lady, disabled man told to travel miles to travel to his ESA assement. Today’s demo. 

I couldn’t believe that Thursday had arrived so quickly. I had spent all week covering the Conservative Party Conference and to say that I was tired is an understatement, but people still need help. 
I was met at the cafe by a lady that we had helped a while ago. Her life is back on track now and she is doing well. She likes to come and have a chat with me, and I like it to. I regard her as a friend and we sat and put the world to rights. 
I arrived at the Jobcentre and set everything up. Thank goodness I wasn’t on my own this week, last week was awful. People soon arrived, arriving at the Jobcentre for appointments many needing food parcels. 

The weather is getting cold now, although it wasn’t raining. My thoughts go out to everyone living on the streets. 

We spoke to a young couple who even though they are working they are struggling. Because they don’t work full time they are on Universal credit and they don’t have a penny to spare. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Universal Credit is hell on earth. 

We spoke to a lady who was rushing out of the Jobcentre. I asked her what was wrong, was she ok? She told me that she was pregnant and they had sanctioned her. She couldn’t stop though because she was in a rush to collect a bank statement. I gave her a leaflet and told her that we would be here next week if she wanted to talk, and for her to read the advice on the leaflet. 

We spoke to a lady who had just been informed that she had been sanctioned for not answering a telephone call from the DWP. She had already told them that her mobile phone was broken, but they ignored this fact and sanctioned her anyway. She will be appealing. 

For those thinking that the DWP are lovely, are nice and they have sympathy you are very mistaken. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Apart from the odd nice advisor who never stays employed their long, its generally a soulless, heartless organisation where not a care is given to any claimant. 

I spoke to an older, disabled gentleman who has to use a motorised scooter to get around. He had recieved a text to inform him that he had missed his ESA medical assessment in Huddersfield. Huddersfield is miles away, a train ride away and he would have massive problems being able to make this journey. I’m not sure if he had recieved a letter from the assessment centre informing him of this, but I told him that even though it is scary he must open the brown letters that come through his letterboxes. Many people are scared of opening them, the whole system makes you scared because they hold your future in their hands. 

We gave him some good advice and helped him. 

We spoke to a young couple with a young baby and a toddler. Both the children were ill, and they had a sickness bug. Even so they had to attend their appointment even if that meant that one of them had to keep running out of the building with a child that had been sick. Why can’t they just leave people alone. The mother of the children is also disabled, and in my opinion she shouldn’t have to attend a Jobcentre appointment. 

I overheard a young man talking to a colleague saying that it is scary, that they have no power at all and the Jobcentre and a computer controls their life. This is the reality. A person’s life really isn’t their own is it. 

I spoke to a homeless man who I like to talk to. He’s a lovely man and is looking much better this week. I really hope that he stays this way. 

Thankfully I was joined by my colleagues this week, and some extra colleagues who come along when they are able to. This cheered me up no end. There was a good atmosphere outside the Jobcentre this week which was fantastic. 

Remember, the DWP have no sympathy for anyone. A person might find a sympathetic advisor but the next week they can, and often are replaced with an unsympathetic one who will do their best to overturn the good work already done by their colleague. 

It’s a system that is controlled by targets and figures, every person entering that Jobcentre has a value to them. If they can’t see a person having a value then they will be tossed to one side. Their life will be made very hard. 

I can never, and will never condone the behaviour of the DWP. Nor will I ever sing their praises like its a celebration when they manage to treat one person nicely because this is what they should be doing to everyone all of the time. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, a person is not responsible for their own poverty. The system is and we need to change it. 
A massive thank you to everyone for coming along to support the demo today. You all cheered me up, even though we are all suffering with various aches and pains helping people makes everything worthwhile. 

Please share my blog, tell your friends also. Thank you! 

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Claimants 3 times more likely to be sanctioned under UC than JSA.

MANY THANKS TO BENEFITS AND WORK FOR THIS
 Created: 03 October 2017The sanctions rate for universal credit (UC) claimants is three times higher than it is for jobseekers allowance (JSA) claimants, according to the latest report by sanctions expert Dr David Webster of the University of Glasgow.
According to a review of benefits sanctions statistics published last month by Dr Webster, the sanctions rate for JSA claimants is 2.5% per month. But for UC the rate rockets to 7.4% per month.
The rate for employment and support allowance (ESA) sanctions is much lower, at 0.32% per month.
However, the length of ESA sanctions is very concerning.
25% of ESA sanctions lasted for more than 3 months. And a shocking 16% of sick and disabled ESA claimants were sanctioned for more than 6 months, a rate that is far higher than for UC according to Dr Webster.
The harshness of the current sanctions regime is underlined by the fact that, between the years 1913 and 1986, the longest a claimant could have their unemployment benefit suspended for was 6 weeks and most sanctions were much shorter.
You can download Dr Webster’s full 22 September 2017 report from the CPAG website.

Stressed. 64 year old lady told to sign on every day. A rotten morning. 

Today was one of those days, you know the type when it seems like everything might go wrong. Luckily it didn’t.
 I wake very early to get my daughter ready for school, because it isn’t close to my home and to prepare for the day ahead. I like to be prepared, everything at hand etc because it certainly makes a day easier when I do so. 
As I was leaving my house to take my daughter to school, I recieved a text message from Gordon he wasn’t well and wasn’t  able to attend today. Gordon is a member  of the team and he picks up the food parcels in his car on the way to the demo. 

I have a bad back and I can’t carry them. Poor  gordon has hurt his back so wasnt able to do this this week, nor could he attend the demo. His health comes first and quite rightly so. Roy is also on holiday so I started to panic. How on earth do I sort this out? 
Believe it or not I do suffer from anxiety from time to time and I’m not invincible so I informed Pauline of the situation. She came up with the perfect solution.. she would send them round in a taxi. Phew panic over, Pauline I’m so grateful. We shall overcome!!! 
 I was still anxious about doing the demo on my own. I’m a tough cookie, and I can handle myself but I always advise people to have someone with them because you never know what situation can and often does happen. But I ploughed on.

 

I arrived at the Jobcentre and a lady was already waiting, as was a lady. I’m already aware of her situation and I have referred her to other organisations but shes not wanting to approach them at the moment, although I do feel that I am a step closer to her doing so today. 

We had a brief chat, gave her a food parcel and handed her a food parcel. 
I was then approached by a man whom I have spoken to many times before. He told me that his money had been stopped and he now has to make a new claim. So he is without money and is obviously getting no support from the Jobcentre.

 I gave him a food parcel and asked him to attend a local organisation with extreme urgency. Let’s get him the help that he needs straight away before his situation worsens. He said that he would go, and I hope that he did. 
I had a conversation with a homeless chap who wasn’t’ in a good place in himself this morning. I helped him, then told him that he must attend the local organisation that he already knows about. He feels that hes let everyone down, I told him that he hadn’t and that he must look after himself. He did listen, and we chatted for a while. I’m not sure if he has attended the local organisation, but I hope that he is ok because I don’t like seeing him like that hes a lovely man. 
I then spoke to a lady who has been hit very hard by the benefit cap. Her, her husband and their four children are really struggling so I gave them a food parcel and a leaflet with local help that is accessible for them. I hope that they approach the relevant organisations. 

I spoke to a lady who has a mental health illness and has been told that she has to now sign on daily. She told me that she had failed her ESA medical and hadn’t appealed. I told her that she must appeal and how to do this. Shes got enough to deal with at the moment and the DWP certainly will not help her become well again and they had informed her that she had to sign on daily from now on. 

 I spoke to a 63 year old man who had also failed his ESA medical. He also hadn’t appealed but he is doing now. Anyone who is able to can see that he isn’t well enough to work. He walks with a stick and he doesn’t have any strength. 

I had a long chat with him and he promised me that he is now going to appeal the ESA decision. I really hope that he does. He wasn’t aware that he could do, and thought that it was a waste of time. 

Regular readers will of course be aware that it isn’t a waste of time because he will most likely win his appeal. 

I then spoke to a 64 year old lady who was clutching hold of her large empty shopping trolley that she was carrying. She told me that she had failed her ESA medical and also had been told that it wasn’t worth her time appealing. I told her that it is always worth appealing. 

She then went on to tell me that her advisor had told her that she had to sign on daily. Yes daily. She’s 64 and disabled. 

What sort of job are they expecting her to find? Her advisor told her that there is a job for everyone. 

Well I disagree with that. No there isn’t.

 She will receive her pension in February. I informed her of her right to appeal, of why she should appeal and that she should do this as soon as possible. 

For those stating that I am incorrect and this 64 lady is incorrect, she has had advice from CAB  she is by law entitled to her pension in February. She isn’t stupid, nor am I and I am not in the habit of reporting incorrect information. So once again she will receive her pension in February as the law now states. Thank you. 

Let’s look at this realistically, no one would employ her and why should she have to find work. Shes disabled and should, if the law hadn’t been changed, be claiming her pension already. I then spoke to a man who had travelled from Denton. He was having problems with his housing benefit, so I signposted him to where he can get help. He told me that if he wont the lottery he would treat us. I said to him that he must treat himself!
 Luckily I was then joined by a couple of members of the team. 

Over a hour had passed and it felt like it had been hours and hours. I was delighted to see them. Thank you for coming to support me and the people inside the Jobcentre.

 I’m sure the Jobcentre staff were smirking away at me being alone. But I made a commitment and I shall continue to honour it, even if it means that I am alone doing this, but I’m hoping that I won’t be next week. It’s a good job I’m a tough cookie because it can be very hard doing this. 

As for myself, I have to collet my daughter from school and visit another secondary school tonight. Shes going to be going to ‘big school’ as we call it here, so have a few visits lined up. This isn’t easy, as a parent I’m literally deciding her future for her and that comes with great responsibility. I hope that I make the correct decision for her.
Get well messages to Gordon! Hope that you are feeling better soon! 
 Busy weekend this weekend. I’m speaking at a fringe event on Saturday in Manchester at an event created by the Mary Quaile club. Ahead of the Tory Party Conference. They are long time supporters of the campaign and it’s an honour to speak at one of their events. 
https://maryquaileclub.wordpress.com/

I was also booked to speak at a TUC event also, but I’m unable to do so because it is at the same time and in a different place. 

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Today’s demo. Good news and rain.

Thursday seemed very quick to arrive this week, it felt like I had only just let the Jobcentre the week before. I packed up my bag and prepared for today’s demo. 

After dropping my daughter off at school, I had a cuppa with a friend at the cheap cafe and was then greeted by a lady whom we had helped previously. She was ok, didn’t need any help but just wanted a chat and some company. I bought her a cuppa and we had a chat about how she is and how her life is. I then went to the Jobcentre as it had quickly reached 10am. 
As I arrived it appeared to be quiet, some days are like that and I’m sure that the Jobcentre like to switch claimants signing on days so that they don’t speak to us. No worries though, because we always get round this and our leaflets do reach lots of people. I’m nothing but persistent in the quest for fairness and justice for everyone having to use the Jobcentre, infact any Jobcentre in the country. The system stinks, isn’t fit for purpose and they know this. Those currently in power have a sadistic streak I’m sure. 


Gordon arrived with the food parcels which we handed out to those who are in need. We also signposted people if appropriate, and also we can’t force them to go to other organisations for help, but we do our best and that’s all that we can do isn’t it. 
Roy arrived and we had a quick chat, then Nigel arrived and a lady who occasionally joins us. This was brilliant! Seeing Nigel was a surprise because I haven’t seen him for a long time now. Anyway I distributed leaflets out amongst team members who all proceeded to hand them to claimants walking in and out of the Jobcentre. 

Out of nowhere it seemed, the rain started to fall and it became slightly colder. Awful weather for anyone who is street homeless at the moment. Once a person becomes wet and can’t dry out life becomes even worse. Please spare a thought for them and maybe had them a cheap plastic poncho if you can. Keeping dry has to be a priority. 
We were then stopped by a man coming out of the Jobcentre. We had previously advised him to appeal his ESA decision, and told him how to do this and where to go. We also provided support for him outside the Jobcentre. The good news is that he had won his appeal and he wanted to let us know. I was so happy, his life will be so much easier for a while now, and this is also why we help people. 

We handed leaflets out to lots of claimants, and a lady stopped us and said that she had made a point of coming to speak to us. She wanted to thank us for helping her appeal against her disabled son’s failed ESA medical. She took this all the way to tribunal upon our advice, and after being in the tribunal court for less than ten minutes she was informed that she had won her case and the previous decision was overturned immediately. This is a good example of why everyone should appeal decisions even if it appears very daunting. It is worth it, but remember get help with this if you can. 

More leaflets were handed out, and Roy went to buy us all a cuppa. It doesn’t seem much but a warm drink can lift our morale no end, and of course warm us up! 

A lady then stopped me. When I had seen her previously she was very upset. All of her benefits had been stopped and she didn’t know what to do and where to turn. Gordon gave her a leaflet and spoke to her giving her the advice that she needed. She also had taken a food parcel because she was desperate for food. Luckily she took our advice and her benefits were reinstated. Her face was a picture, she was so happy despite being very nervous about entering the Jobcentre. I got a hug, Gordon got a hug and Roy would have too if he wasn’t off buying us all a cuppa. We all started to smile, laugh and celebrate this victory. 

So folks, we don’t just stand outside the Jobcentre doing nothing. We help people when they are feeling at their lowest. We become their friend if they haven’t got a friend and if we can’t help, or they require more help than we can give we signpost to other local organisations. We do this because we care, because we know how vindictively evil this system is and how hard it is to survive it. I still can’t believe that we are still doing this four years down the line. I’ve only missed two demos, one due to my daughter being ill, and one due to being snowed in. I’m dedicated. Big thank you to Gordon who has just had his one year anniversary of joining us! He’s a very dedicated man as are the other memebers of the team. 

There was also the feeling of apprehension coming from people using the Jobcentre, a man who had cycled miles to Ashton Jobcentre because Stalybridge has been shut down. He told me that the staff inside the Jobcentre are totally unsympathetic except for one advisor, whom shall remain anonymous because if their manager finds out I’m sure they will be sent for a disciplinary just for being kind and spending time with a claimant. 
Other people had had to walk a long way, been given wrong appointment times, been told to come back an hour later and basically had been messed around by their advisor. Sadly this is all par of the course, because doing this is part of being in the system. 

Many thanks to my friends, comrades and supporters for having the patience wit me this week and giving me a shoulder to cry on. I really do appreciate everything that you do and I love you all. Sounds corny, but it’s true. I couldn’t do this without you all. 
Many thanks also to everyone who has read, shared and discussed my blog this week. I update my blog every week, sometimes more than once. 
It’s important to keep a record of everything that the DWP inflicts upon people. One day, hopefully someone will be made to pay for the suffering and deaths that have happened as a result of this cruelty. 

Please share my blog, talk about it etc. Also please donate if you can, every penny helps! Thank you to all the support that I have recieved already. 

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