Tag: Food

On universal credit owes council tax and the bailiffs keep banging on my door. This weeks blog.

Dear readers it appears that winter is most definitely on the way. Today was very cold and wet a deadly combination for street homeless people and people that can’t afford to heat their home.

Sadly I also know what it feels like when the electric goes and you can’t top it up. Solidarity with all those in the same position, its not one bit enjoyable. Anyway I digress.

Today there was a lot of people waiting for the food parcels to arrive. Each and every one of these food parcels were needed and some of those collecting them hadn’t ate properly for a while.

It’s easy to fall between the cracks of society and not deemed important enough to help. Many don’t like to ask for help because they don’t feel that they’re deserving of it. Some are barred from local organisations for various different reasons. This makes life very hard for them. Others have had their allowed three foodbank vouchers and have been refused anymore. Can you imagine being in their position?

My first conversation was with a man that I’ve been talking to every week. He usually brings his dog when he collects his food parcel, his dog is lovely and he takes really good care of him. He told me that he’s hoping that his latest job application is successful and I gave him my best wishes. He deserves so much better than this.

After I handed out the food parcels a young woman asked me of she could speak to me privately. She told me that her health isn’t good at the moment and being homeless doesn’t help, telling me that later today she will be going to the walk in centre to hopefully get some medication. I gave her some money for a phone charger because her phone is her lifeline not only to the DWP but to her children and friends.

I really hope that she’s ok because she’s really not well at all.

Today we had various conversations about lots of different things, one matter kept popping up and that was council tax payments and visits from bailiffs.

I gave the best advice that I could but its awful when the person that you’re speaking to is crying because they’re scared. I was speaking to a lovely woman that told me she was absolutely terrified of the bailiffs banging on her door and windows.

It’s very easy for someone to fall into council tax arrears and a universal credit application was to blame in this case. Because of the long wait for her universal credit payment to be processed she fell into arrears with just about everything.

After her latest bailiff visit she went into the council offices to see if she could arrange a payment plan with her. Their answer was a flat no. No they wouldn’t help, no they wouldn’t stop the bailiffs from coming. Even though she was offering a reasonable repayment plan they denied her any assistance. They did however tell her to go to citizens advice and ‘they might’ be able to contact the council tax department.

This has not helped her one bit,she’s living in fear and she’s scared. I gave her some sound advice and told her that she can contact me if she needs to.

Although I am very aware of what the council can and can’t do in situations like this their refusal to help speaks volumes doesn’t it. So many people live in fear of bailiffs coming to their homes and sometimes barging in.

This shouldn’t be happening. The current council tax scheme is a punishing system. It .demands that people pay an unreasonable amount of money when they can’t afford it.

Council also costs more to implement than what local councils gain from it. It’s not working and this system needs to stop asap.

No one should be living in fear in their own homes, scared when the bailiffs come banging on doors and windows or barging their way into their home.

I’m also very aware of the laws surrounding council tax so please no comments saying that I don’t know how the system works. I know only too well how it works and I’ve been campaigning against it for years now.

I had a conversation with a lovely young man, he asked me what we were doing and I replied. He told me that he really didn’t know anything about politics but he’d like to learn more. We had a good chat and hopefully he will be more aware in the future.

This did raise my concern about the lack of public education regarding politics. It’s not taught as much in school as it should be and many people, like this young man aren’t as aware as they should be.

We need to educate those that aren’t aware by conversation but I believe that children should be given some political education whilst at school.

I then had a second conversation regarding council tax, and not long after another. I offered some advice and signposted to the best of my ability.

We then had a long conversation with a woman who’s homeless. She was worried because she needs to change her care of address but didn’t want to be thrown onto universal credit as a result.

To say shes scared and worried is an understatement. The words universal credit often cause people to panic. John was extremely helpful and helped this lovely woman whilst I was helping someone else. We did everything in our power to help her but thank you John.

I can’t thank the team enough today, the weather was awful but that didn’t prevent us from helping lots of people. We will be back again next week, please come and join us!

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. Thank you to everyone that has done already.

Thank you to those that do support my blog, your help enables the campaign and the blog to continue.

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I’m so hungry I could faint.

Dear readers I hope that you are OK and surviving. It appears that surviving is all that we can do these days.

Even though it’s been busy in parliament our work never stops. Parliament is parogued but we aren’t. Let’s hope that there’s an end to all that madness soon.

We can guarantee that it’s going to be the poor and disabled that bear the brunt of any Brexit related decisions. The wealthy really don’t care because it won’t affect them, this really annoys me. I know that it’s to be expected though.

As usual the food parcels went as soon as they arrive. This is a terrible reflection of the government’s war against the poor. It really shouldn’t be like this after all there was no real reason for it.

The tory government would rather give their friends millions of pounds only to blame us for their mess. The price that we have paid is a very heavy one. Thousands upon thousands of people have either died or are suffering, many have become ill as a result.

I can suppose that you would have seen the fancy DWP adverts everywhere and especially in the Metro newspaper, saying that ‘work pays’ and ‘universal credit helps you into work. Despite being a down right lie I’ve spoken to many people who can prove this isn’t the case.

This morning I spoke to Ron. Ron has completed quite a few of the useless DWP courses. They didn’t help him to find work they delayed him in his quest to find a job.

Despite this Ron found a job, a well paid one. He could start within days but his new employer advised him that he would need to bring his own safety gear including proper strong work boots.

Not having any spare money he approached the DWP and asked if they could help him out with the cost of this. The DWP unsurprisingly said no, they wouldn’t do it.

Ron understandably worried then phoned up the DWP and he was told that they could help him and he should tell his advisor that they could.

Ron then spoke to his advisor who once again told him that they wouldn’t help him.

In the meantime Ron wasn’t able to start work, he lost the job but was told that he had to attend yet another pointless DWP course.

Ron’s experience isn’t uncommon though. This happens to lots of people. The DWP are actually preventing people from starting work.

Meanwhile people like Ron are forced into constantly attending the pointless courses and threatened with a sanction if they don’t attend.

The companies and organisations that provide these courses are paid very handsomely to do so as are the DWP.

Sadly we are all a commodity to be bought and sold at the governments whim.

I then spoke to Tom. Tom has been constantly appealing against ESA and PIP decisions. He has appealed these decisions and every time he’s won.

Tom has been waiting 18 months for the latest appeal and tribunal. He’s understandably angry telling me that he’s extremely frustrated but he won’t give up fighting against their decisions. Tom is an amazing man.

I then had a conversation with Debbie. Debbie hadn’t eaten for a while and she didn’t look well, telling me that she felt faint because she hasn’t eaten for a few days. She hasn’t been receiving her payments because her circumstances have changed and she’s street homeless.

I gave her something to eat, she was thankful but that’s only short term help. Because we had ran out of food parcels I advised her to go into the council offices and ask them for a food bank voucher.

It’s not acceptable for anyone to be suffering like this, I helped her out but tomorrow I won’t be there. I did advise that she visits a few local organisations for some more support. I really hope that she does this.

I spoke to two people that needed to open bank accounts to receive their universal credit payments. They’d previously used a friends bank account to do so. I advised them about what ID they would need and I wished them luck.

We spoke briefly to a man that had just found a job within a month of applying for universal credit. The experience has scarred him, telling me that he didn’t know how people survive on this system. He never wants to experience it again either.

The DWP also owe him money but I doubt if he’ll ever get it. Meanwhile he’s too tired of the whole system to chase it.

Today was quite a busy day but I had to leave 30 minutes early for the electrician to finish fitting my new boiler. I’ve waited about a year for a new one. It’s ridiculous isn’t it.

We had lots of conversations with people, thanks to Gordon for helping and thanks to Gary for the leaflets.

We will be back next week. Try not to forget us whilst the whole Brexit debacle continues. People are still suffering and its these people who will suffer greatly as a result of any decision made by the government.

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Your entitled to universal credit hang on no your not yes you are.

Dear readers this weeks blog is extremely late because WordPress has apparently got some problems and it wouldn’t upload my blog. I then followed their instructions which resulted in it being deleted. Never mind here’s my second attempt at uploading it.

Thursday was a mixed bag really lots of differing problems mostly because of the DWPs incompetence.

As I arrived there was a queue for the food parcels both at the drop off point and outside the Jobcentre. I had conversations with all of the people needing the food parcels and the common theme was that they’re fed up with the DWP messing them around. They also hate not being able to feed themselves off the meagre amount of money that they receive. It’s near impossible. Universal credit pushes people into poverty and there’s no escape from it.

My first conversation was with a woman who has four children and is struggling to feed both her children and herself. She told me that she regularly has to go without meals in order to feed her children and her health is now suffering, telling me that she’s always having to visit the doctors for aliments that she didn’t suffer from when she was working and better off financially.

Loosing her job and having to claim universal credit is the worst thing that has ever happened to her and her children she said. She’s also worrying about buying uniforms for her children saying that she can’t afford to buy them any new uniform but proudly told me that at at least she’s managed to buy them new shoes.

Can you imagine how humiliating this is for both her and her children? No doubt that thousands of others will be in the same situation and they too will be suffering in silence. Luckily I could signpost her for help but this is only short term help.

It was then that I had an interesting conversation with a woman struggling with making a claim for universal credit. Telling me that she’s tried three times and each time they gave me a different answer. Once they even gave her a payment date then denied her application.she doesn’t haven’t got a clue what will happen with my latest application. She asked if anyone working there (the DWP) have a clue what they’re doing? I answered saying that it depends on who you talk to, its much like playing a game of roulette.

Luckily I could signpost her and advise her and hopefully she will be successful this time. The stress of her situation is immense because she hasn’t got a clue where her next meal is coming from.

It was then that I had a conversation with an older lady that told me that she’s a registered carer. She’s finding it very hard to live off the meagre amount of money that she gets for doing this. As I handed her a copy of our survival guide she told me that the DWP have now decided to give her two payments a month instead of one a month which is messing up her rent payments. She’s tried to get her landlord to understand but they refuse they just want their rent.

Luckily I was able to advise and signpost her but it’s intolerable that someone who is saving the government thousands of pounds a week is being treated this way. Carer’s are invaluable and should be treated as such.

I then had a short conversation with a woman that wasn’t happy with being made to attend the Jobcentre twice a week. Not only is this extremely stressful for her but it’s also costing her a fortune in bus fares because she lives quite a distance away. Basically it’s costing het at least two meals a week.

This is exactly how they control us, they never allow anyone to have a rest or to think independently. They want everyone to be under their beck and call at all times even when ill.

Universal credit is cruel beyond belief, its been created to be like this. Both myself and many others want to see an end to this cruel system and a fairer one created.

We were joined by colleagues from Stockport Against Austerity but unfortunately we had to end the demo early because it started to rain very heavily. As we took shelter elsewhere we were still available to advise people and indeed we helped a woman to understand why her first universal credit payment would take so long.

I’m very glad to have helped so many people over the years and we will be back next week to do it again.

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A huge thank you to everyone that has and is supporting my blog. It means the world to me.

Sanctioned whilst working. Apparently for not ‘committing enough’ to finding work.

Dear readers it’s Thursday again, I hope that you’re all ok and surviving this rotten system. I know that it’s hard but keep going because you are valued and are important.

Guess what folks, it was raining today and it was cold, it looks like autumn has arrived a tad early. This time last year we were experiencing a heatwave.

As usual I’ll list some of the conversations that I had today. It’s awful that we are being treated in this manner and I pray that one day it will stop. We deserve much better than this.

Today I read an article about a disabled man that had slit his throat because he was scared of claiming universal credit. You can bet that Amber Rudd won’t mention that upon questioning.

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/man-terrified-move-universal-credit-3206672

Back to today. We handed all the food parcels out as usual I just wish that there wasn’t a need for them. I know that I keep saying that but it really bothers me.

I met Jim as he was walking towards the Jobcentre after climbing the horridly steep steps. He looked frustrated but nevertheless he went inside for his appointment. I spoke to him as he left the building, he looked quite distressed and I asked him if he would like a leaflet. Jim told me that he hadn’t received his payment as usual because he had three addresses. Of course Jim doesn’t have three addresses but this was their reasoning for stopping his payments.

It honestly isn’t rocket science is it. Most people don’t have three addresses so this must be an error on the DWPs part. He will be appealing this decision, in the meantime Jim has no money.

I had a brief conversation with a young woman that appeared to be having an argument with someone on the telephone about a bank account so when she walked towards me I asked her if she was ok. She wasn’t ok, her bank account had been shut down and she needed to find another bank account that she can use. Luckily she managed to find one but this is one of the perils of everything being online. It can’t always be taken for granted that a person has a bank account even though most have. There is a distinct lack of understanding about this and as a result some people will be prevented from claiming because they don’t want to open an account.

I spotted Bill as he was walking towards the Jobcentre clutching a piece of paper. I asked him if he would like a copy of our leaflet and he said yes and that he was having a hell of a time with the DWP at the moment.

Bills situation is this, he’s working and has made a claim for universal credit. The DWP haven’t given him a date for when he might expect his first payment and so far to date he owes £600 in rent arrears. I did tell him that he can get a loan off the DWP whilst he waits but he didn’t want that saying that he’ll have to pay this back. Bill makes a very good point. Most universal credit claimants never actually receive the full amount which drags them deeper into poverty.

Both myself and Gordon then spoke to a woman as she was walking towards the Jobcentre. I handed her a leaflet and as I did so she told us that she is working but has been sanctioned apparently because she isn’t ‘committed enough’ to finding work. This is absolutely ludicrous, she’s more than committed because she’s already working. She then went on to tell me that upon asking what dates she wasn’t committed enough for, they still wouldn’t tell her. She is now appealing this decision, it’s appalling that shes being treated in this manner. If that wasn’t bad enough she’s got children to care for on next to no income. Never believe the DWP when they say that universal credit helps people to find work, it does the complete opposite.

I then spoke to Ron. Ron is having a horrible time at the moment, his monthly payment was stolen and he doesn’t have enough money to survive on. He told me that he was going to ask about applying for a loan.

We had lots of conversations today ranging from sanctions, housing problems, not knowing their national insurance number etc etc. I’m just glad that we were there to help them.

Please read and share my blog also tweet, rt and email it. This is just a small snapshot of what happens up and down the country everyday.

We will be back next week as usual.

Thank you to everyone that supports my blog and the work that we do. It does mean a lot and I couldn’t do it without you.

For anyone wishing to donate there is a button at the top and side of this blog. Thank you very much.

Man 65 and living on meagre savings. Too scared to claim universal credit.

Dear readers, we were extremely busy today and I left my phone at home. Typical of me these days but at least I’m lucky enough to have a mobile phone in the first place. So apologies to anyone that was trying to contact me.

We had good weather for a change which we really welcomed both it makes a nice change. We’ve been lucky so far with the weather.

The food parcels went almost immediately, a sad incitement of how the government treats the poorest and most vulnerable. They’re actually proud of the fact that we have foodbanks when in reality it’s shameful.

Most of the people that we spoke to today were having problems with their ESA or universal credit claim. I found it extremely concerning that most of the people that I spoke to didn’t know what benefit they were receiving. The systems far too complicated and most of them didn’t know how to use a computer. This almost always inevitably results in them getting a sanction and of course the DWP don’t give a stuff.

As usual I’ll list some of the conversations that we had with people. All of them were extremely vulnerable and shouldn’t have to be going through this.

As I was sat waiting for Gordon to arrive I had a conversation with a chap who was extremely confused. He had a stroke not long ago and as a result his short term memory isn’t good.

I engaged him in conversation and he asked if he could have a food parcel. I said yes of course he could and I asked him why did he need a food parcel. To say he’s confused is an understatement. He doesn’t know what benefit he was getting, he only knew that his payments had been stopped. After asking him some more questions it sounded like he had been claiming ESA and hadn’t attended one of the DWPs farcical medical examinations.

This is how the DWP and government treats the most vulnerable people in society, they don’t give a shit if they live or die. If they can’t make any money out of you they’ll bin you like yesterdays newspaper, which will most likely be a copy of the Metro newspaper their favourite propaganda tool.

Luckily I was there to help him and I advised him of what to do but I shouldn’t have to be there to help people should I. I’m meeting him next week to help him further. He also took a food parcel home with him.

It was then that I spoke to another disabled chap. Here is a brief outline of his situation, I’ll name him Bob.

Bob is claiming the disability related element of universal credit. Bob was due to go into hospital for a hip operation and he informed the DWP of this. Thinking that everything was ok he went ahead with the operation.

A few months later he received a letter in the post from the DWP. It informed him that he was going to have to undergo a telephone compliance interview. Bob didn’t have a clue why he was sent this letter but it worried him.

The day of the compliance interview arrived and the DWP asked him why he’d missed an appointment given to him whilst he was in hospital. They threatened him with a sanction but luckily he’d kept all the paperwork to prove that he was in hospital.

It gets worse for Bob.

Not long after the compliance interview Bobs mobile phone was stolen. He informed the DWP that he couldn’t receive calls etc on his mobile phone because it’d been stolen.

Any reasonable organisation would have taken note of this and would act accordingly but not the DWP. They sanctioned him for three months because he couldn’t answer phone calls etc because his phone had been stolen. You couldn’t make this up could you.

Bobs only just started to receive his payments again, he told me that he was scarred for life, that he’d never felt as low as he did for the three months he was sanctioned.

Bob could and should have appealed their decision but he didn’t know that he could do this, saying that he just accepted it and tried to struggle. He will be appealing any wrongful decision made by the DWP in the future.

It was then that I spoke to a lady I shall name Diane. Diane very proudly told me that she’d worked all of her adult life until she became ill and had to stop working and started to claim ESA.

Diane was then told that she needed to have an operation in the very near future so she informed the DWP. The DWP responded by stopping her ESA because she failed to attend a farcical DWP medical on the day of her operation.

Remember that Diane did inform the DWP that she was unable to attend the appointment but they stopped her ESA regardless. Luckily Diane knew that she could appeal this decision and she did. She appealed and then attended a tribunal and won.

Not content with this the DWP sent her another appointment for a farcical DWP medical examination. She attended and she failed. Diane appealed and went to her tribunal and won again.

Diane told me that the DWP treat her like scum, she knows that they hate her and she’s lost any confidence that she once had. No one should be treated in this manner but it happens to thousands of people everyday. As we were talking we spotted two of our local Tory councillors entering the Tameside One building. Diane recognised them and said that it’s their fault and their parties fault that she was being treated like this.

Diane’s correct of course but they don’t give a stuff, they deny anything like this is happening.

Meet Brian. Brian’s an older chap who was handing his latest fit note in. He told me that he’d recently finished a CPC course and had a letter stating that he had a job offer if he can show them his CPC qualification.

Guess what, the DWP are refusing to help him and he’s extremely frustrated about this. What Brian said next was quite poignant. “They do this because they have to justify their jobs, they have to justify their existence. Without people like me going into the Jobcentre they’d be out of a job themselves”

I noticed a man that I shall call Jack climbing the stairs to the Jobcentre and I asked him if he wanted one of our leaflets. He took one but he was angry, angry at the world, angry at himself because he feels like a failure. He told me that he’d been working for a local company and his employer was taking £50 a week off him supposedly for his tax payments.

Jacks payslips tell a different story though and basically he’s being ripped off. I asked him to contact GM Law centre because they’re interested in employment cases like these.

No wonder Jacks angry I’d be furious as well.

Last but not least we spotted an older chap walking towards us. I asked him if he needed a leaflet and he said that he didn’t know so I asked him why.

His problem is this, he’s 65 and living off his very meagre savings. I asked him why he hadn’t made an application for benefits and he told me that he was too scared. He knows how awful the system is and he doesn’t think that he’d be able to cope with it.

If this isn’t bad enough he’s recovering from cancer and has a big hernia that causes him a lot of pain. He lifted his top up and showed me the strapping round his lower waist that covers his hernia. “They’d declare me fit for work with this and the cancer, I’d rather struggle like this than have to go through that”.

The amount of people that make the same decision up and down the country is enormous. It’s a reliable bet that there’s thousands of people that take themselves off they system and try to live another way. Many of these people become homeless and find it hard to escape their circumstances. To them it’s less stressful than living on the street.

Other conversations that I had included questions about deposits for flats, not being able to eat whilst claiming universal credit and universal credit wants me to fail and how do I appeal DWP decisions etc.

The problems that occur whilst claiming universal credit appear to be never ending, once you get over one hurdle another appears and you have to climb another one.

Not one of the people that I speak to are ‘scroungers’ or ‘waste of spaces’. They’re lovely genuine people that are struggling due to no fault of their own. It angers me greatly when I see Tory mps and councillors laughing at us whenever anyone asks them questions on this subject. They think that it’ll go away if they ignore it and pretend that it isn’t happening. Most of them deny the very existence of our suffering and aren’t scared of saying so.

The only way that we can stop their cruelty is to use your vote and vote them out because if we don’t I honestly don’t know how much more of this cruelty we can endure.

Needless to say we will be returning next week. Please come and join us if you’re in the area it would be wonderful to see you.

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog. It’s very important that we tell people that this is happening.

Thank you to everyone that supports my blog, I really can’t thank you enough for all the support my readers have given me over this past fortnight.

For anyone wishing to do the same there’s a PayPal button at the top and side of my blog.

I don’t know how long I’m sanctioned for. More tales from Ashton-under-Lyne Jobcentre.

Dear readers I’m sorry about the lack of a weekly blog last week. I’ve had a stressful time of late and everything caught up with me.

Today is the Unite Union Day of Action against universal credit and I hope that there’s lots of demos outside Jobcentres today.

We however did our regular demo between 10-12. We helped lots of people with varying problems from universal credit, sanctions, housing were discussed amongst other things. The truth is that people are suffering more than they have ever suffered before, universal credit lowers a persons income to an unmanageable meagre amount of money. Usually leaving people to exist rather than to live.

Just to be clear if you’re working and claiming universal credit you will be worse off financially and you’ll be told that you’re underemployed and made to look for more work.

I heard a Tory minister say this morning that more people are in employment than ever before. This is a downright lie. Most people that I speak to are forced to do zero hour contract agency work. If they’re lucky they might get a hour a weeks work.

Lets not forget that sanctions, workfare etc also alter the figures. Tories are notorious liars, never believe anything they say ever.

Here’s some examples of our conversations today.

Bill is an older chap, he’d been told that we would be outside the Jobcentre with food parcels and advice.

Bill really didn’t have a clue what to do, he’s very confused by the system. One thing that he does know is that he’s sanctioned and for a long time but he doesn’t know how long.

Bill struggles with any type of technology because he’s never had to use computers etc in the past. The DWP also struggle to understand that not everyone can use a computer or access one every day. To be fair anyone with a bit of common sense realises this.

Because Bill has been sanctioned he’s now unable to pay the top up for his rent anymore. He’s scared that he will loose his home and everything that he loves.

Bill wasn’t told that he was in rent arrears until a month into his sanction and his landlord will pursue eviction because he won’t be able to keep up with his rent top ups. It’s not the first time that he’s struggled with his rent.

How can Bill move forward with this in a positive way? He’s probably going to be living in poverty for the rest of his life.

I advised him to approach local organisations for help with this, we gave him a food parcel and I had a long chat with him.

Yes universal credit really does destroy life’s don’t believe the government propaganda.

It was then that we saw a young man whom I shall name Tom.

Tom was claiming the ESA element of universal credit until the DWP decided that he was fir for work when he isn’t.

Tom was very close to giving up with the whole system and we spoke to him about this and luckily we managed to change his mind.

We advised him that he needs to appeal this decision and he shouldn’t let them win. Fighting back against any DWP decision is the best revenge that you can have. I realise that it’s easier to say this thank it is to do it. The whole appeal and tribunal process is extremely stressful.

Gordon helped an older lady to get to the outside lift because the lift in the library wasn’t working. She’s scared of heights and can’t use a glass lift unless she’s with someone. She couldn’t use the steps either.

I spoke to a couple of people about compliance interviews via the telephone, both were worried and quite rightly so. Decisions made after the interview can totally change your life and not in a good way.

We asked a young man who was leaving the Jobcentre if he was ok, he replied that its shit. We also asked another man if he was ok and he said f@@k the lot of them.

Today was quite busy, lots of women and children having to go into the Jobcentre for appointments. I doubt that they’ll ever forget this experience because I remember queuing up at the Labour exchange with my dad when Thatcher made him unemployed.

We will be returning next week and we will be helping more people. We do it because we care. No one should be made to suffer like this.

Thank you to everyone that supports and reads my blog. Please read and share my blog, tweet it and email it. Thank you so much xxxx..

They keep trying to trip us up at every step.

Dear readers it’s Thursday yet again and time to update the blog. I hope that you’re all ok and coping with what feels like a constant onslaught of cruelty from the Tory government.

It appears that Boris Johnson will most likely be our next prime minister so god help us all. We can guarantee that things will become worse under his rule.

If you’d have asked me years ago if I envisaged this country being in such a mess I would have replied no. Even if we get a new Labour prime minister it’s going to take years to sort out the Tory party mess. I’ll not even start on Brexit…

The weather was good today and even though there was just two of us for ages the mood was good, maybe the weather helped or discussing our plans for the Peterloo march to Manchester this year. When I get a link for this I’ll post it on my blog.

As usual our food parcels went straight away. They’re essential and really help people in a time of great need.

I honestly thought like packing it all in last week, the amount of criticism that I receive sometimes can be all consuming and it’s hard to take my mind off it. I do these demos to help people and to protest against the inhumane treatment given to the poorest and most vulnerable in society. It’s a point of principle for me. I was always taught to treat people as I like to be treated, only the Tory party must be reading another guide book, the clearly don’t give a stuff and are willing to drag this country into down as far as it will go. For them it doesn’t matter because they can walk away from the mess they make.

David Cameron, Ian Duncan Smith, Esther Mcvey and Amber Rudd one day we will get justice. Karma or whatever you call it can be a t**t sometimes can’t it.

We offer help, advice, signposting, copies of our survival guide and friendship. If you need help you’ll get it without having to fill out forms and wait ages in a queue. And like I mentioned earlier food parcels but they normally leave as quickly as they arrive.

I really hate the fact that there is a need for them and I will always do everything in my power to protest about this. My health isn’t brilliant sometimes but it’s better than a lot of the people that I speak to and who read this blog.

We are having lots of success with our survival guide, people are reading it and following the instructions which is why we made it. We are seeing people whom we have spoken to in the past and handed a leaflet to going into the Jobcentre with a file of some sorts, all their paperwork and they record any calls from and to the DWP. They record our calls so if you can do this it’s really helpful. If you have a smartphone you can download a free app from either the play store or the App Store over on Iphones.

For those that say that we’re useless, do nothing and are troublemakers the proof is in the pudding. We actually do quite a lot like other groups do throughout the country. We should all be welcomed and not scorned.

The universal credit system isn’t fit for purpose as you know. I can give you an example from todays conversations.

Both myself and Gordon had a conversation with a man that had received two DWP appointments via text message for the same day. One appointment was this morning and the other was this afternoon.

Because he wasn’t sure which was the real appointment he arrived for the morning appointment only to be told that it was this afternoon. So he then had to hang around Ashton-under-Lyne town centre until it was time for his appointment.

If this gentleman had been in poor health or disabled he might not have been able to do this. It’s a system that’s failing everyone except the government. They won’t admit this though.

Let’s see if Amber Rudd actually gets round to cutting the at least five week wait for a first universal credit payment. I wouldn’t hold my breath though, they’re in no rush to do so because it saves them money. The cost for us however is high. Our health both physical and mental suffers greatly and it’s near impossible to climb out of poverty once entrapped in it.

For anyone doubting this, take it from me I know because like the people that I speak to I’m in the same position.

We spoke to a nice chap whom I’m going to name Tom. Tom is an older man trying his best to navigate this awful system. He didn’t have a good word to say about universal credit. He did however tell me how he felt about it.

‘It’s a system that keeps wanting to trip us up at every step. There’s no let up is there? I honestly can’t see an end to it and it makes me so annoyed.” He went on to say that he hated having to live like this, chasing jobs that aren’t real, trying to keep a computer system happy. ‘It’s just not fair is it”.

Damn right it isn’t fair.

We spoke to quite a few people that were making a new application for universal credit. We handed them a copy of our survival guide and we hope that this has made things a bit easier for them. My heart goes out to them.

Schools are now breaking up for the summer holidays and not having a penny to spend on food or trips out will affect even more children this summer. Having to say no all the time to a child’s request is also devastating for the parents. We hide it well, but every time we have to say no a little piece of us dies a little. This is how it affects me. I hate feeling like this as much as you do.

Without a doubt both children and their parents will be going hungry this summer. Some schools and voluntary organisations will be opening to feed children at lunch times. If you know of anywhere near where you live that is doing this please comment on my blog so that my readers can see it. Thanks.

I had a long conversation with a man whom like myself lives with hydrocephalus only a different kind. He suffers from black-outs and has to spend prolonged time in hospital whilst they treat him.

I asked this chap how he was getting along with the system and he told me that he’s making an application for universal credit and is hoping that the DWP take notice of his fit notes (sick notes). I gave him some info and a copy of our survival guide.

He’s going to find it near impossible to find a job that will take note of his disability and employ him. It’s ridiculous even to suggest it. I really hope that he’s ok.

We had quite a few complaints about the new building, mostly about the lack of adequate signage, directions to lifts and the awful steps. I’m definitely going to address this with my local council and I hope that these problems will be sorted out.

Honestly it’s not rocket science to put signs up is it. People shouldn’t be left to guess where they should go. It’ll even put people off from attending appointments or requesting help.

Another complaint was that there isn’t any LED sign etc to tell people with hearing problems that their number has been called in the council part of the building. This needs rectifying asap.

This week was challenging, but very productive. I encouraged a woman to appeal her PIP decision and I’ve put support in place for her to do this.

I also had a conversation with a security guard employee whom I think actually employs people over at the college side of the building. I told him about the two wages in one month scenario and he is definitely interested in changing paydays so that any employees don’t suffer from this. Yes the DWP are still doing this.

We will be returning next week to help more people. We love doing this because it gives people hope as many of you will know. A massive thank you to everyone else that are also taking action like we are. You’re all amazing.

Get well messages for Roy, he’s not well at the moment and we’re missing him so much. Get well soon!!!

Thank you to Gordon for being an absolute superstar and my Twitter follower for coming and saying hello. You know who you are!! You made me smile so much!!

Please read, share, tweet and email my blog to other, even your local Tory MP or councillor. They need to know what the reality of this situation is even though they’ll either choose to deny it or will ignore it.

There’s also a donation button at the side and top of my blog for anyone wanting to donate. I am actively looking for a job and if anyone knows of a job suitable for me please let me know. Thank you so, so much.

A huge thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog. You all give me the strength to carry on as do my wonderful friends. I really couldn’t do this without you all.