Tag: mentalhealth

DWP advisor, I take tablets and I can work so you can too. Doctors refusing to issue sicknotes after recieving a letter from the DWP. This weeks blog.

Dear readers, today didn’t start too well. I had been unwell all night so ended up being awake for most of it listening to podcasts, but no fear I arrived at our weekly demo as usual. For anyone disputing my dedication to the cause I’d like to dispute their claims. As well as helping people, we raise awareness and I work very hard on this, its near enough a full time job.

Anyway enough about me, let’s talk about the important stuff, the people that are suffering at the hands of a cruel, uncaring government. For those thinking that the government actually does care, you are sadly mistaken. Years of experience tells me that they don’t have a caring bone in their bodies. It’s simply about persecuting the poor in as many ways as is possible.  Below are a few examples.

 

The first man that I spoke to is a victim of agency work and Universal Credit. Universal Credit really doesn’t work for anyone, especially people in temporary employment, it does the opposite. It places them in a state of perpetual poverty, depending on food parcels and the kindness of local organisations and friends. To say that it helps people back into work is a massive lie and of course the government knows this.

I had a conversation with him as I do most weeks, and I find it very worrying seeing him loosing weight. I handed him a food parcel but I will be helping him more also.

 

I spoke to an older man who told me that he had never been unemployed, he had always worked he told me. Sadly he has been made redundant and he can’t find a job. Not many employers will employ older people and no matter how many of these farcical courses that the DWP will put him on won’t change this fact.

As I chatted to him, it came to light that he hadn’t been advised about much, including his job search etc, so I advised him and handed him a survival guide. He thanked me because I had most likely saved him a lot of hassle. The system is extremely complicated and people are expected just to know what to do. Of course that’s impossible and anyone tackling the system will tell you this. I know of a couple of good advisors inside the Jobcentre and it was obvious that he didn’t have one of them.

 

I spoke to another older man who had arrived ten minutes early, only to be turned away and told to return in five minutes. Now it was early and the Jobcentre wasn’t busy, far from it. It’s an exercise in keeping people on their toes and enabling them to feel demoralised, and it’s working isn’t it.

 

A man walked out of the Jobcentre saying that they are ‘horrible in there’. Yep.

 

I spoke to a woman who had been late handing their sicknote in because of their illness. No concessions are made so her payments stopped immediately. She has now handed a new sicknote in and has to wait for her payments to be reinstated. They don’t take illness into account apparently, and there’s no lienance at all. The government are quite happy making an ill person hungry. Luckily we handed a food parcel over to her so she could eat.

 

We spoke to a lovely man who has a long term injury. He had failed his ESA medical and had tried to put in a mandatory reconsideration, which as usual was refused. He didnt have the energy to appeal but after a chat he’s now going to do so. We also advised him to claim PIP.  He hadn’t been told that he could do this.

 

A man walked past and said ‘I like what you are doing’ And another walked past and whispered in my ear that ‘You are doing a good job’. Thank you! We try!

 

I spoke to a disabled, homeless man, he is getting help from other organisations but he wanted to chat. His issues are complex, but he’s hoping to get housed soon once he’s paid his rent arrears off. There’s no escape from debt these days for anyone.

I can’t imagine how awful it must be to be disabled and homeless. He told me of his time on the streets of Manchester, trying to survive. No one should be forced to live like this rent arrears or not. This cruel system forces people to become in debt withy almost everyone.

 

I spoke to a couple living in temporary accomodation locally. They are grateful for it, but it’s still hard for them. The rent for the temporary accomodation is £310 a week. Luckily they don’t have to pay this but it’s a struggle living there because their flat is upstairs and they have to carry their pram up and down the stairs all the time.

 

I spoke to a man who had lost his case at an employment tribunal. I do think that his loosing the case is unfair, but he accessed legal advice too late. Poor fella is upset about this as would I be. Believe me there are some dodgy employers out there, but I am aware also that there are many good ones also.

 

I spoke to a man who had previously been working a 60 hour week but had lost his job. Luckily he had found employment  but his contract is only 15 hours a week, so now he is at the mercy of Universal Credit. He really didn’t know where to start, and he hadn’t been advised about much. We helped him etc. He thanked us.

Why on earth can’t the large companies employ more people on a full time basis? Tax reasons most likely. I remember the good old days of guaranteed, contracted full time work and I wish that we still had that.

 

I spoke to a young man who told me that if it wasn’t for his young daughter he would have taken his own life by now. He told me that he struggles to cope with the system and I totally agree. The system is cruel, relentless and made him feel so bad that he no longer wanted to be here anymore. Thank goodness he is.

 

I referred a woman to see our local MP. The DWP are giving her the run around and she has tried other organisations. It appears that the DWP havent a clue what they are doing sometimes, well a lot of the time. I hope that she seeks advice.

 

We spoke to a man who is educucated to degree level. He is now disabled with a condition that won’t be getting any better and he can’t find any employment anymore.  He’s a broken man, not knowing where to turn, so we helped him. It’s a shame that the government refuses to isn’t it.

 

We spoke to an older man who had been sanctioned for a month for being late. This was his first time being late, and he wasn’t given a chance. Typical. I asked him how he managed and he told me that he had to rely on family members, and thank god he has them he said.

 

I spoke to a woman that is waiting for her Universal Credit claim to be processed. Shes very worried about her council tax so I advised her etc. Everyone that I speak to is worried about something. it shouldnt be this way.

 

We spoke to an older chap who is two years away from recieving his pension. He went to his doctor and asked for a sick note because he needed one for his claim. His GP refused to issue a sicknote upon advice from the DWP.  So now he’s left at the mercy of the DWP

Now I know that most GPs will ignore these requests from the DWP, but some won’t. I find it abhorrent that some do take advice from the DWP rather than their patient. Of course the government allows this but it shouldnt be doing it in the first place. They have a duty of care towards their patent not the DWP. Sort it out, your patients WILL be suffering as a result. Massive respect to the many GPS that ignore these letters.

 

Today was busy, even though it started slow. We were joined by a journalist from a french online newspaper, so it will be interesting to read her write up. She was very nice though, thank you for coming along.

 

It was also lovely to see more people turn up to help today. I realise that everyone has their own commitments, but I want to thank you for the sacrifice that you have all made today to help others.

Massive thanks to my friends for helping me out with my daughter today and last week. She had a fantastic time.

Today we handed out food parcels, survival guides, help, advice, compassion, solidarity and signposting. I found it hard today, but hopefully I’m feeling better next week. Keep strong everyone, one day we might have a better future and I pray for that.

 

I also want to pay my respects to our friend Steve who recently passed away, and who’s funeral I attended on Tuesday. Steve worked for Welfare rights, but also had helped to set up many organisations to help people. He was an amazing chap who taught me much of what I know. We miss you Steve.

 

Thanks for reading.  Please share, RT, email, etc my blog. There’s also a donate button below for anyone wishing to donate. Thank you!

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I want to die, I can’t carry on being treated like this. The DWP is cruel,unfit for use and punishes people for their own poverty.

Dear readers, once again I have to apologise for the lateness of this weeks blog. I’ve had an extremely busy week and today was no different. Thank you for your patience.

Today was Unite Community Unions national day of action, but the publicity surrounding this wasn’t that good so we didn’t have a higher than usual turnout, and anyway we do this every week.

Unite Community have now changed their slogan to stop Universal Credit, which is half a step forward towards what most major campaigners against Universal Credit are asking.

We would like a commitment from both the trades unions and the Labour Party to stop, scrap and to form a fair benefit system like the one that we used to have.

I am happy with this move forward but the whole situation is very frustrating, more so for the people that are being discriminated against on a daily basis. Sanctioned people with homes just aren’t big news to some, especially the media but they are to us. So thanks Unite Community.

Today started off fairly slow, and like I have said before I never know what to expect. We were joined today by Jack a local Labour Party Councillor and we really appreciated this act of solidarity. Please come again.

I’ll list todays incidents as usual. It’s easier that way.

The first person that I spoke to was a lady who appeared to leave the Jobcentre in a distressed state. I asked her if she was ok, and would she like to talk. She told me that she wanted some advice from a person on the front desk but was treated in a very discourteous manner, so much so that it upset her greatly. She told me that she was sick of being treated in this manner by the DWP and that she wanted to die. What’s the point in carrying on she said, when I’m worthless in their eyes.

They really shouldn’t treat people like this, but they do because they can and as long as they can nothing will be done about this. I had a long chat with her and I hope that she is ok. I did signpost her to a local organisation that can help her should she wish to access it.

I spoke to a man who’s father had just died. He was struggling to sort everything out and dealing with the DWP was something that he could have done without. We had a nice chat and I handed him our survival guide.

I spoke to a man who struggles to read, so therefore the system is geared against him. He is managing at the moment but really struggles with using computers and his job search. He told me that he had worked for most of his adult life.

I offered him a copy of our survival guide but he told me that he couldn’t read it, so I read it to him. I think that he was surprised that someone would do this for him, let alone a stranger. We had a good chat and he walked away empowered, knowing his legal rights and obligations, and also having been advised what help is out there to assist him with his disability.

We spoke to a man who had lost his job in a local factory recently, so is now awaiting his first Universal Credit payment to arrive. This will of course take some time, and he told us that he was surviving on loans and the kindness of his family.

No one should have to wait as long as it takes to process a claim for Universal Credit, there’s absolutely no need for this long wait. I’m certain that the waiting period has been created to ensure a persons suffering. I mean how dare they ask for help!?

I spoke to an older lady who told me that she was 63. She was quite rightly frustrated that she had to claim Universal Credit. Whilst struggling for breath she told me that she was finding it hard to cope and that no one had told her that she could claim the disability element of Universal Credit before. We had a nice chat and I handed her our survival guide and advised her.

We spoke to a man whom I have mentioned before on my blog. He has had issues with his former employer so I had advised him to contact the law centre. He did just that and he has now been given some extremely good advice and is much more optimistic about his situation. Thank you so much to everyone at  Greater Manchester Law Centre!

I spoke to a young man who had no idea that he was going to be transferred over to Universal Credit on the day of his usual signing on appointment. Because of this he had no time to prepare for this.

How hard would it be for his advisor to pre warn him? They know that we are undergoing full roll out, so please give the people that you see some prior warning and advice please.

I spoke to a man who had worked for the same company for 20 years. He became unemployed so he made an application for Universal Credit. He did everything correctly and attended his first appointment as requested, bearing in mind that he had to travel miles to reach the Jobcentre and it cost a small fortune on the bus. His advisor didn’t inform him of any future appointments and he was waiting for a letter to arrive to confirm an appointment.

Guess what…. The letter didn’t arrive, of course he didn’t attend the appointment which was only two days after his initial appointment. Yes two days. His advisor should have notified him of this appointment either at the initial appointment or by telephone or text. As a result he was sanctioned before he had actually received his first payment.

Madness, complete DWP beaurcratic madness, of course aimed to make a vulnerable person fall at the first obstacle. Sort it out DWP. You are destroying people’s life’s. Of course they know this but I thought that I’d remind them.

My question is this… How much more suffering will already vulnerable people have to endure before they get any decent representation? All they want is for an official body to say officially that they care, that your suffering shouldn’t be happening and we will do all that we can to change this Dickensian system.

Too many people are suffering and dying as a result, and every now and then the media are interested but we need constant support. I really hope that my readers can understand where I’m coming from. In my eyes everyone is important, and no one should be suffering like they are. Maybe I’m being unreasonable.

Here’s the leaflet issued by Unite Community. Anyone affected by Universal Credit can also contact me. Your voices are important and should be heard.

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A massive thank you to everyone that came along and helped today, also a big thanks to Roy for collecting the food parcels and for being a big support to me this week. I can’t thank you and Chris enough.

Please share my blog as widely as possible, I ask this as a favour our voices need to become louder.

Also there is a donate button above for anyone wanting to donate. We aren’t funded by anyone and I do this on a purely voluntary basis. Thank you!

Two weeks away from being employed after volunteering… Told to stop volunteering there and start at a new place.. DWP hypocrisy at it’s best and worst.

Sorry this weeks blog is a bit late, all will be explained. I’ll start with the weather, sunny but chilly. There always seems to be a cold wind emanating from inside Ashton Jobcentre….

We were joined by our friend Kevin from DPAC, who had surprised me with a visit. I was over the moon, and so glad that he came along. There was only three of us there today because Roy wasn’t well. Get well soon Roy!!!

Anyway today was quite busy, some new faces and lots of differing problems, all of which could have been avoided if it wasn’t for the hypocrisy of the DWP and the cruel system that it operates. I’ll list the problems as usual, but everyone will remain anonymous due to the very real fear of DWP reprisals.

The first person that I spoke to was a man who had a chest infection. He told me that he was too scared of not attending his appointment because he didn’t want to be sanctioned again. I informed him that he is allowed to hand a sicknote in but he told me that it wasn’t worth the risk, and he had already had enough bother off the Jobcentre and he wanted a quiet life. So instead he forced himself to his appointment even though he wasn’t well enough to do so. Yes the DWP really do rule with fear.

I spoke to another man who told me that he hadn’t been told that he’s claim is being shifted over to Universal Credit, and had only just found out. I informed him of his legal rights, signposted him to where he can get further information so that he can empower himself. This is essential to prevent any wrongdoings by the DWP. He promised that he would be doing this and he was thankful that I had spoken to him, and he walked away less worried than he had arrived. it’s a mess and the DWP know it. They really need to start informing people correctly about the changes coming to them, and in plenty of time, not when it is nearly upon them like a thunder cloud.

I spoke to a lovely woman who I spoke to last week. I wish that I could say that she was in a better financial and emotional state but she isn’t. She’s afraid that she might loose her home and is also hungry. I gave her a food parcel and really urged her to contact local services that can and will help her. She also has my telephone number and knows that she can phone me at any time.

Some people think that it’s easy to signpost people, and that they should access the services offered straight away but it isn’t. When you’ve had a pretty c***p life, been treated badly and have nothing many people learn to trust only familiar faces. I totally understand this and will help her to build her confidence up so that she is able to do this. But in a decent world she wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place would she.

Then we had another regular heckler approach us, he appeared to be in a bad mood.  He approached Gordon and proceeded to tell us that all the problems that we are having in this country are caused by ‘all the foreigners being let in…. And foreign aid’’. Gordon tried to talk reasonably and kindly to him but he wasn’t having this, so proceeded to shout to us all that were all ‘talking rubbish’. He then walked off, looking dissatisfied that we hadn’t given him the response that he wanted, whatever that might have been.

They never give up do they, spouting their racist, ill informed lies. I had a day of it myself on twitter yesterday (Wednesday) when local elected Tories decided that they’d have a go at me and what seemed to be half the FLA tweeting me. This shows that we have a lot of work to be done in this area doesn’t it.

I spoke to a young man who is a carer for his grandmother. He just wanted someone to talk to, have a chat because seeing his grandmother become ill has upset him a lot. We had a good chat and I signposted him to local and national groups that he can join for support.

I spoke to a man who I regularly speak to, he has very limited vision and is registered blind. His partner is dyslexic and also struggles reading. Despite more than a few letters of support to the DWP and their advisor at the Jobcentre they are still being sent written letters for appointments etc, and are asked to respond to them. How hard is it for the DWP to recognise that they can’t SEE the writing, and can’t READ them correctly either. All appointments etc have to be made via a telephone call, but this rarely happens.

Honestly they set disabled people up to fail constantly and it’s a good job that people like myself and their friends can read the letters for them. Just STOP discriminating against them please DWP and treat them like the decent human beings that they are. It’s not hard is it.

I spoke to a woman who has been volunteering at a placement for a while now. Her placement were so impressed with her work that they have offered her employment, but she has to wait a fortnight to start her job. In the meanwhile she has to continue volunteering.

She was over the moon about this, because it hasn’t been easy for her and she told her advisor. Her advisor then told her that she had to finish her placement there, even though she is starting work in a fortnight and start somewhere else.

This means that she will loose her job offer, and she’s depending on this job, like she said to me ‘It’s a massive achievement and I thought that my life would change for the better’

What exactly is the DWP playing at? She’s found a job yet they are actively preventing her from starting her job. Complete madness, their slogan ‘Making work pay’ is total hypocrisy, it’s madness.  Honestly you couldn’t make it up.

I signposted her straight away and told her of what she can do to prevent this happening.

I spoke to a man in passing and he told me that the Jobcentre is ‘Bloody pathetic and that they should change their name’. Yep.

I spoke to a person who will remain totally anonymous. They suffer from several disabilities and illnesses and to say that their struggle to survive every day is an understatement.

They had failed their ESA medical because they were too ill to attend it. No one had told them that they could remake an appointment or appeal against this decision. Letters from the DWP now scare them, so much so that they can now  cause a panic attack, their ESA element has now been stopped and they are living on the bare minimum, just buying food and not paying bills.

They started to cry, and told me that they didn’t know what to do. This system is cruel, heartless especially to the disabled, and this makes me both upset and angry.

I did what was the DWP should have done in the first place, which is basically their job in the ‘good old days’. I told them that they can appeal, that they should appeal and informed them of all the local help available etc. I’m very confident that after a good long chat today that they are feeling a bit better and will start the process of appealing.

I asked a young man how things were going and his response was ‘They are f****g idiots’ pointing to the Jobcentre. Obviously something wasn’t right but he wouldn’t elaborate and to be honest I can’t blame him. He probably wanted to get away as fast as possible.

I spoke to an older couple who are both trying to navigate the system. They have read our survival guide and now keep a good filing system and a good, written record. The man looked at me and said ‘I really thought that they would find me a job, I was wrong’ They both deserve so much better treatment than this, everyone does.

I spoke to a woman who has been trying to get a HC1 form from the front desk for what she said ‘ages now’. They had previously refused to give her a form. Today, like magic she was given her form at last. She told us that it was because we were standing there, and it wasn’t the awful G4S guard this time.

Polite reminder to G4S… You are SECURITY GUARDS, employed to do that only, and you are not employed to take personal details or hand forms out to people. STOP IT you are actually breaking the law.

I spoke to a person who has now been waiting 9 weeks for their ‘Limited Capability Assesment’ as part of their Universal Credit claim. Despite having a recent ESA assement, being transferred to Universal Credit has made this assessment null and void. So now a disabled person has been waiting for 9 weeks to have an assessment by the same company that did the original ESA assessment.

Nine weeks living on a bare minimum income, which doesn’t provide for their disability needs. Nine weeks. I hate Universal Credit, it’s abhorrent that disabled, vulnerable people are treated in this manner. It’s almost as if they are trying to starve people into submission or death, and in many cases this has worked.

I advised them etc, but this system makes me feel sick. Theresa May you should be ashamed (but you aren’t). The system is serving you very well isn’t it. Remember that this won’t last forever.

After the demo, I went for a cuppa with Kevin who had travelled miles to be with us, then I collected my daughter from school. Sats are now finished yippee!!!!

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It’s easier to shoplift than to deal with the DWP. No one will help me because I fall between the gaps of society. This weeks blog.

Well readers, it’s Thursday again and for a change it wasn’t raining. It was sunny though and that was welcome. We could have done with some of that seemingly tropical weather that we had last week.

 

This week was busy, and we helped many different people all with differing problems. Most of the people that we spoke to were stressed, but thankful that we were there to help, indeed as you will read further down the blog a woman thanked us for this.

As what has become the norm, I’ll list the problems and comments made today. Whilst you are reading you need to question what sort of government treats the poorest and most vulnerable like this? I hope that one day they will be held accountable for this.

 

The first person that I spoke to was a lady whom I had spoken to before. Her problems are very complex, as they often are. None of them can, and will be sorted out overnight. She is trying though but at the moment is in a no win situation.

She’s been affected by the benefit cap and is struggling to keep her home and feed her family. For anyone reading this that claim that she should budget better, let me tell you how difficult it is to budget with NOTHING. Today she was extremely stressed and agitated and asked me for a food parcel, she said that she desperately needed one and I believed her. In her arms were a few packets of baby wipes and assorted bits of food. She told me that she had shoplifted them because she wasn’t sure if we would have a food parcel for her. I told her that we would never let her down.

We had a long conversation about how hard it was for her at the moment. She’s really struggling and will be attending court soon over her rent arrears. She also has to pay top up rent because of the benefit cap. To put it bluntly she’s going through hell and can’t see a way out at the moment.

She told me about how she’s struggling with her job searching online because her internet has been cut off and shes juggling her life around her children. She told me that it’s easier to shoplift than to deal with the DWP, and that she feels degraded and unloved. “Who cares about me? They don’t (pointing at the Jobcentre), and everyone is pressuring me.” I reassured her that we do care, that we will never judge her and her life will eventually get better.

I also signposted her to local organisations etc. To be honest her appearance shocked me, she used to be happy, a smiley person and liked to help others. Today she’s the total opposite and that upset me.

 

I asked an older man how things were going for him at the Jobcentre. He told me that it was rubbish but he had to do it. He isn’t wrong.

 

I spoke to a man who is recovering from an addiction. He’s doing extremely well and is at the moment sofa surfing. He told me that this is far safer than being in a local hostel or b&b because he doesn’t want to be around others with addiction problems because he doesn’t want to relapse. This is extremely understandable.

He told me that the Jobcentre have put him on several courses with the promise  of getting his specialised driving licence and doorperson license. He recalled the good days before his problems started, that he used to earn a good living being a door person (bouncer), stating that he wished that life was like that again.

He stated that he feels frustrated because he falls between the cracks of society. He’s a single, healthy male so isn’t a priority for housing, and he isn’t seen as being vulnerable. Because he’s sofa surfing he isn’t eligible for the new scheme launched by Andy Burnham, which I think states that one of the requirements is that they are long term street homeless.

I had a chat, referred him to local organisations and said that we are here for him every Thursday if ever he needs a chat etc.

 

 

I spoke to a person who is extremely worried about their forthcoming transfer onto Universal Credit. At the moment they claim ESA and PIP, and it’s understandable that they are very concerned. We have made arrangements to meet and have a chat about this.

 

I spoke to a woman who was understandably annoyed. She’s currently unwell and her daughter had tried to hand in her sicknote on her behalf. The person on the front desk told her daughter that she couldn’t do this, and that her mother had to do it.

So she arrived at the Jobcentre, unwell with her sicknote to hand in. A different person on the front desk told her that her daughter COULD have done this. PLEASE do your jobs properly on the front desk folks. Why on earth was her daughter told that she couldn’t hand the sick note in? Appalling.

 

I was told by a person that G4S are still taking claimants (hate that word sorry) personal details at the front desk. Now under the data protection laws they aren’t allowed to do this, they also know that they aren’t allowed to do it but this doesn’t stop them. I’ve complained about this on numerous occasions to no avail.

STOP IT. If any G4S security guard fancies becoming a DWP employee then apply for a job with them. They work for G4S as security guards, but spend most of their time intimidating people, and if the DWP system was kinder like it used to be then they wouldn’t be needed.

 

We spoke to a woman who was thankful of our survival guide. She stated that ‘They try to get you in any way’.

 

We spoke to a younger man. Upon recieving one of our survival guides he pointed at the Jobcentre and said ‘Somat needs to be done about them’. I didn’t disagree with him.

Last but not least, I had a conversation with a lovely lady. She summed up her experience with the DWP perfectly, and this is how most people feel. I’ll let you think about this, and also ask, could you live like this? And why is it ok that a person is made to feel like this? Most of my readers will agree that it isn’t ok.

“They (the DWP) treat you like dirt, and I always feel like I’ve done something wrong.  Because I’m older I was put on a course specifically for older people to find work. Whilst doing this course we were told that we had to arrive with a smiling, happy face. How on earth can anyone be happy when they never leave you alone? They told us that we wern’t allowed to frown because that won’t help us to find work. I was ill at the time, but I was too scared to hand a sick note in because I was scared of what they would do to me, but I still had to smile. I’m not a criminal, I’ve always worked but they don’t care”

Just as she was leaving she stopped me and Roy and said that we had helped her more than anyone inside the Jobcentre had, and that she was thankful that we were there.

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I want to change this system, I’ve been trying for over four years now as have others. The cruelty that is inflicted upon the poorest and most vulnerable appears to be never ending and relentless. It’s almost as if the government gets a strange kick out of doing it.

Some weeks are harder than others, this was a one of those.

Thank you to everyone that came along today. We handed out help, advice, solidarity, compassion, food parcels and are a friend to those that feel lost.

We also signpost everyone if appropriate. We ever let anyone walk away unhelped.

 

Also a massive thank you to everyone that reads, shares, tweets and emails my blog. I really do appreciate it. Also thank you to everyone that supports my blog. As a single parent on the breadline (often below it) myself, I really do appreciate it. Your kind words do mean the world and they keep me going.

Thank you.

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Five weeks without money and I’m hungry. Workfare raises its ugly head again.

Hi readers, you might have noticed a big change in the layout of my blog. It was much needed and a lovely techy angel came to my rescue. The content has stayed the same but its now got so much more in it for you to look at.

I hope that you like it.

I’m writing this weeks blog on my mobile so please excuse any typos. They will be accidental because the keyboard is extremely small.

Anyway today we had a bit of sun albeit a little cold. This was most welcome indeed. We were also joined by a new member of the team who was extremely helpful. I can’t thank the team enough because it is hard work.

I shall list todays conversations in order.

 

The first person that I spoke to had been waiting for their first universal credit payment to be made. They had waited 5 weeks. They didn’t take an advance payment because they didn’t want to have to pay it back. This is understandable.

They lifted their top up and said ‘look at all the weight I’ve lost.’

They told me that he was extremely hungry and has been going without gas and electricity as a result. They explained that they had an appointment with a much nicer adviser who was going to speed up their first payment.

He left the Jobcentre in a much better mood. The first payment had been arranged to be in their bank account later today and at last they can be warm and buy food. This shows that it can be done. I really wish them well.

 

I spoke to a person who had previously been attending a stand guide work programme scheme. They had previously been volunteering for a local organisation and was enjoying it there and had some real prospects.

They had finished their level one in IT studies and wanted to progress to level two.

They told me that they were told that they now had to undergo a work experience scheme at a local hospital.

They didn’t want to do this but were threatened with a benefit sanction if they didn’t. So here’s what they have to do.

They have to work for a total of 24 hours a week. This is called ‘work experience’ and still do their job search and they won’t be paid.

There’s a 2 week induction period, 4 weeks training and an 8 week placement. Of course there’s the usual promise of a job at the end of this, but there often isn’t and it’s unpaid. After all the work that they will have to do there had better be a job at the end of it. They should be paid for this of course. It’s exploitative to make a person do the above without payment.

 

I spoke to a person who had been transferred over to universal credit without their knowledge. They had changed address thus triggering the change. This happens in full roll out areas.

 

I spoke to a woman who had recently experienced the death of their partner. After never having to claim benefits she is now thrust into an unknown world as if she hasn’t got enough to deal with already. We advised her and signposted her.

 

I spoke to a person who needs to apply for a mandatory reconsideration for their esa. I advised, signposted etc. Our leaflets are extremely helpful for this. We had a good chat also.

 

I spoke to a young man who told me that they aren’t given enough to survive on. After paying rent, council tax and universal credit repayments they are left with next to nothing. We advised, gave a food parcel and did everything that we could. It’s criminal that people are being made to suffer like this.

 

I had a chat with a person claiming esa and pip. We just chatted and I supported them. They left knowing about local organisations that they can access if they so wish.

 

We spoke to an older man who had previously never been unemployed. He looked bemused so we talked him through the process and advised. We also handed him a leaflet. I’d like to think that we helped him.

 

We spoke to a person who’s esa had been stopped. They are getting support with this and we had a chat and handed them a food parcel.

 

We saw a lot of people going in and out of the Jobcentre within 5 minutes. When asked they were told that they were 10 minutes early. This is standard practice.

 

We spoke to a man who thought that he had found a permanent job only to arrive at work today and was turned away. I referred him to the law centre. I also advised him etc. Poor fella he really had thought that he would have a permanent job.

 

I spoke to a woman who thanked us for our previous advice and that she was now feeling much better. It was lovely to see her smile.

 

We spoke to an older man who is 8 months away from receiving his pension. He can’t stand the system any longer and doesnt understand it either. He told us that he had signed off and will live on his few savings until then. Whatever happened to the government respecting our older generation!? That went out of the window a long time ago.

And last but not least I spoke to a man whom I usually speak to every week. He just wanted to say hello and needed some reassurance. So I do just that. He’s a lovely fella.

 

This all happened with two hours. We handed out lots of leaflets, gave lots of advice and handed out our usual food parcels and extras that were dropped off by a friend.

I can’t thank everyone enough for coming along today and for suppo9the blog. It’s been a tough week for me personally and I really do appreciate it.

Please if you can vote today, it’s the only way to end this government. By voting in the local elections we can weaken their power base.

Please read, share, email, tweet my blog etc. And thank you so much.

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They make me feel like a criminal and I’m not. Welcome to Universal Credit.

Hi readers, I need to apologise. I’m extremely late in publishing the blog this week because I have only just returned home. We went for a cuppa after the demo to warm up and I then had a meeting. After that I had to collect my daughter from school etc. Thank you for your patience.

Today was freezing cold, the warm weather that we had last week has long gone. I do worry how this is affecting everyone who is either street homeless or unable to buy gas and electric. I suppose that we shouldn’t have got too confident with the very short warm spell.

It was extremely busy today, it never stopped. Nearly every person that I speak to is vulnerable in one way or another, many are disabled but constantly punished by this punitive system. The full Universal Credit roll out is having a very negative effect on people, especially disabled people whom are now forced to claim the disability element of Universal Credit.

The first person that I spoke to had recently been taken off ESA. The reason being that he didn’t attend an appointment because he didn’t receive it. For anyone that says that this does’t happen I can assure you that it does, and it happens a lot. However there is no excuse for the DWP not to ensure that every claimant receives their letter on time or at all, there really is NO viable excuse. Of course they deny that this happens but you only have to spend some time outside your local Jobcentre and ask people if it’s happened to them.

I spoke to a man who likes to come and have a chat with me. He’s a lovely man and we could well be the only people that he sees in the week that aren’t of an official capacity. He told me that he wasn’t well and had just been to see his doctor who has told him that he has a chest infection. I gave him my coffee to take his tablet.

He told me that he is now ready to seek further help and is excited about doing this. This is wonderful news, and for anyone thinking that it’s easy to get people to engage it isn’t. Life is difficult, situations are difficult and it’s hard to trust folk. I’m positive that the next time that I see him he will be much healthier.

I spoke to a person who is sofa surfing, they also like to come and have a chat with us. They are recieving help from other local organisations but they like to come and chat. We like that because it’s so important to do so. Sofa surfing is very common indeed but it shouldnt be so.

I am not an expert on homelessness, I leave that to the experts and other local organisations however I have been homeless in the past and do have a certain level of understanding and can relate to people in that position. Hearing a kind word really does make a massive difference.

We spoke to some people who are living in temporary accomodation. They are also liaising with other local organisations but like to come and have a chat. I really enjoy speaking to them also. They are now navigating the benefit system but luckily they have a nice advisor atm. I know who this advisor is but can’t name them. Thank you for being kind.

I spoke to a person who had travelled quite a distance to attend an appointment that had been given to them on the telephone. They arrived was told abruptly that there wasn’t an appointment and that they had to leave.

There really is no excuse for this, we all know that the DWP’s computer system is rubbish at best but please, confirm that the appointment is still happening. People often travel a long way and are nervous about attending. Sort it out DWP.

I spoke to a person who has been unemployed for two weeks and are making their first Universal Credit claim. They told me that ‘It’s bloody ridiculous, how do they expect us to wait at least five weeks? They told me that I can get a loan but I have to pay it back so I won’t be doing that, it will make things even worse. How do they get away with this?’

He is of course correct.

I spotted quite a few people wearing uniforms having to use the Jobcentre. Don’t forget that even if you are working once you are transferred over to Universal Credit you have to sign on and comply to strict rules especially if you work part time. They tell you that you are ‘under employed’ so therefore have to find more work, ignoring of course childcare obligations etc. The DWP needs to stop doing this as well. It doesn’t encourage anyone, it just makes matters even worse.

I spoke to a person who was also having to claim Universal Credit for the first time. They told me that they are finding it hard because they struggle to read. We advised them and referred them to where they can get further help.

I spoke to a young person who told me that they are struggling because they have aspergers. They are claiming the disability element of Universal Credit and are really  struggling to cope with the system. They have been warned that if they don’t make more effort then they will be sanctioned.

For gods sake, they are trying. They are doing their best. I referred them to a local organisation, but they told me that they might find this difficult. Like I said, not everyone is able to access everything, nothing is straightforward. I handed them a leaflet, advised them and also told them where they can get free help and information online. They told me that they can and will do this. I also offered to accompany them to appointment to ensure that they are treated correctly, so I shall see if they take me up on my offer.

I briefly spoke to a person who was at first walking past us. I went to hand them a leaflet and they told me that they are on Universal Credit and are having to live on £96 a month. Yes a month. Please don’t tell me that this doesn’t happen because it does happen. Universal Credit is cruel, and relentless in it’s persecution of the poor. They took a leaflet and advice on where to get further help. They had nothing good to say about the system and I can’t blame him. Nor have I.

Lastly I spoke to a person whom was reluctant to speak at first. There are a lot of misconceptions about what we actually do outside the Jobcentre, and also people are nervous of speaking to anyone. It really does make people feel like that.

I handed him a leaflet and they asked us what we were doing so I told them. They took the leaflet and thanked me, looked me in the eyes and said ‘They are treating me like a criminal in there. I’m not a criminal and I hate it’

The DWP system does make people feel like this, because everyone is treated as being guilty for their own poverty. It’s intrinsic to the system, it’s designed to do so.

People shouldn’t be treated like this, the government are criminals for treating people like this and I hate it.

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This week has been an extremely busy week. We filmed with Sky News a while ago, and I wrote a short article alongside this. Ever since it has gone a bit crazy but in a good way. It has reminded me of how many good people there are in this country, people who care. THANK YOU.

https://news.sky.com/story/line-18-universal-credit-claimants-say-it-is-like-like-hell-on-earth-11339306

Have a read, theres also links to the video on the article. When I receive an update on the young man in the video I will let you know.

 

For anyone that still is under the misconception that the contents of my blog are untrue, or that its easy for people having to use the Jobcentre, or that there are plenty of suitable jobs out there come and join us. Come and see what it’s really like. Life is certainly not easy for most people.

A massive thanks to the usual crew who turned up today and to everyone that came to any hello, I’m sorry that I didn’t have time to speak properly.

Also a massive shout out to my friends over at Disabled People Against Cuts, and fellow blogger Kate Belgrave. Kate I owe you a cuppa.

We handed out all of our food parcels, handed a lot of leaflets out and I’d like to think that we have made a difference in their lifes.

I also would like to think that we are helping to highlight and change this system, it’s hard work but we need to do this. Please use your vote in the upcoming local elections, this is very important. You are important.

 

Please read, share, tweet, reblog, email and talk about my blog and the contents of my blog. Send a copy to your MP, even if they are Tory.

 

We will return again next week, come and say hello we really do appreciate it. I just hope that the weather improves!!.

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If I die I’ll die alone and who would care? This weeks blog.

Yes it’s Thursday yet again so this morning we have been doing our weekly demo, help and advice session outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre. We were very busy and there were only three of us there, we would love to see more though. The weather was lovely and sunny, and that makes a change. I expect that they’ve kept the heating on inside the Jobcentre, they like to keep it very hot, most likely to make the claimants suffering even worse.

We spoke to lots of people and I really wish that we didn’t have to do this but we do. If we didn’t then many won’t get the help that they need. If I could I would be outside every day helping people. But I’ve put in over four years commitment so no one can say that I’m not dedicated.

I’ll list todays conversations. I wish that people wern’t treated like this, but they are and at many Jobcentres up and down the country. The DWP get away with this because they are employed by the government and are directed by them. Nothing will change until they leave government, and we need to put more pressure on The Labour Party to take a tougher stance against Universal Credit and the DWP regime. It’s not good enough to say that they can’t change anything because if they are elected into government they can. It would take a lot of work but stopping this regime is very important.

 

Today I noticed a lot of heavily pregnant women entering and leaving the Jobcentre. I often wonder if they see different types of people in blocks, because I also noted a lot of older near retirement age people having to go into the Jobcentre today. More than normal.

 

I spoke to a young man I’ll call him M. I can’ give his full name incase of recriminations from the Jobcentre for talking to us. This has happened before so this is why everyone’s details are confidential. The DWP hold grudges and aren’t afraid to do so either.

He told me that he had been previously sanctioned for not attending an appointment even though he didn’t receive the appointment. (Yes I do know that this happens a lot, I’ve wrote about it on numerous occasions). He told me that he wasn’t told that he could appeal this sanction which is no surprise. But he couldn’t understand why he was told that he had to continue complying with his Jobsearching etc. It dodn’t make sense to him that he still had to comply even though he wasn’t getting any money.

He had been told that he had to Jobsearch for 38 hours a week, which is wrong. The limit is 35 hours which in itself is ludicrous,and like he said “Where are all these jobs, there arent any jobs and certainly not enough to look for 38 hours a week”.

He told me that he is still sanctioned, is hungry and he wasn’t sure about how much longer he could cope. ‘If I die, I’ll die alone because I’ve got nothing” he told me. This is how the DWP makes people feel. I won’t sugar coat it this is reality and the government disgusts me beyond words.

We had a long chat, I gave him lots of advice etc and he left us feeling happier than he did. If we hadn’t been there it could have been a whole lot worse.

Yes people are either driven to suicide or they die from malnutrition related illnesses or hypothermia. Thousands have done so and thousands will do so.

 

I spoke to an older man who has just been transferred over to Universal Credit. He has at least another seven week wait for his first payment. That’s seven weeks without money unless he gets a loan. He told me that it’s shit, life is shit and they treat you like shit. His words. He’s quite correct though.

 

I spoke to a man whom English is his second language. My heart went out to him because the DWP system is so much more complicated for him and it’s hard enough to begin with. The DWP also like to mess claimants that don’t understand around more. I’ve found that over the years that this happens.

 

I spoke to a woman that missed her ESA assement because she was ill. She wasn’t told that she could appeal etc. They’ve now put her on Universal credit but I pointed her in the right direction for help and advice.

 

We spoke to a man who had never been unemployed until now. He was an older chap and he looked bemused at the fact that the Jobcentre staff refuse to help people now. They just handed him a piece of paper with telephone numbers on it. Lovely eh.

 

I spoke to a 60 year old lady. She should be retired but the government changed the retirement age for women. The DWP have made her attend a course which takes up most of her time to look for work. Not content with humiliating her enough, they have now told her that she has to attend a second course so that she can find work quicker. Shes 60 years old, yes 60 years old. No one will employ her. Why can’t they just leave people of her age alone. This makes me angry. She deserves respect not humiliation.

 

I spoke to a man who is awaiting his first Universal Credit payment. He has another three weeks at least to wait and he told me of how his stomach has shrank because he can’t eat adequately. I’ll let that sink in. He’s hungry and the government don’t give a stuff.

 

We spoke to a woman who is waiting for her first Universal Credit payment to go through. She had applied for an advance loan but the bank took all her money out due to bank charges. We advised her that she must go to her bank and ask for a refund of those charges due to her circumstances. They can do this, I’ve done it myself.

 

We spoke to a younger man who is claiming ESA. He was clearly distressed and worried, he told us that it’s because he never knows how he is going to be treated and he’s correct in thinking that. He shouldn’t have to go through this and the DWP are making him very ill with worrying.

 

A man walked into the Jobcentre stating that they treat him like shit, a common theme today and everyday.

 

We spoke to a man who was sanctioned for being a minute late for his appointment…. He had been attending his ESA assessment. Yes this happens. He told us that it’s not fair that his voice isn’t heard. I told him that I would make sure that he is heard.

 

We spoke to a man who had missed an appointment because his letter had arrived after the appointment date. Of course the DWP told him that this was his fault not theirs. They will never shoulder any responsibility for anything that happens. The best that you will see is a shrug of the shoulders.

 

This all happened within two hours, yes two hours and I’m so grateful for Gordon and Roy for coming along. It’s very hard work and it can be heartbreaking. But we try our best to help people and to make the world a better place.

Please read, share, email, tweet, show your local Tory MP my blog. Attend their surgeries with any problems that you might have. We need to remind them that we are here and we aren’t going away.

Also I’ll leave a donation button at the bottom. I’m a single parent on a very limited income and every penny helps the campaign and the blog.

Thank you to everyone that has and does support my blog. I do struggle but I remind myself that there are plenty far worse off than myself.

Thank you.

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I feel intimidated,humiliated and degraded. They watch everything that I do. Welcome to Universal Credit whilst employed.

For over four years we’ve been doing this now, helping people, signposting them, providing solidarity, compassion, survival guides and food parcels. You’d think that things would be getting better, that I would no longer need to write this blog, to hold the demos but the need has never been greater than it is now.

I’m often told by people that they wished that they could do something like we do, and I tell them how to do it. It’s tough going but not impossible, far from it. We do need more support, more demos. Don’t forget folks that I’m a single parent on a very low income just trying to do my best and it’s tough, but no way near as hard as the daily reality of life is for most of the people that I speak to.

Today was freezing, yes freezing and I wish that this never ending winter would go away, it’s not doing anyone any good.

 

I arrived with my trusty shopping trolley this morning. I was expecting a delivery of leaflets because we hand out a lot of them and they’ve proved invaluable to the people that have taken the information on board and used them.

The first thing that I do upon arriving is to take my notepad and some leaflets out of my bag and organise myself. As I was doing so I noticed a young man rushing out of the Jobcentre clutching a bundle of letters, his head was down and it looked like he was in a rush. Sadly because of this I couldn’t speak to him, I hope that he is ok.

 

I spoke to a middle aged man who needed a food parcel, he told me that he depends on these. He’s waiting for his Universal Credit claim to be processed and to say that he’s upset about it taking so long is an understimation. The tears were welling up in his eyes as he was talking to me. He has already waited three weeks, and he’s going to have to wait at least another four weeks. It’s cruel, and the government knows exactly what it’s doing. They are starving people into submission and it’s working.

 

I spoke to a woman who also needed a food parcel. She’s struggling to feed herself, her parter and two children. We had a chat and I signposted her. Yes children are going hungry on a regular basis, this needs to stop.

 

I asked a woman how her appointment went and how her work coach was treating her. She said that it’s terrible, awful and she wished that she didn’t have to enter that (the Jobcentre) building. She took a leaflet and rushed off wanting to get away from the place. I can’t blame her.

 

I spoke to a man who is also waiting for his Universal Credit claim to be processed. He told me that he has lost a lot of weight because he can’t afford to eat properly. He took a food parcel and I signposted him.

 

I very briefly spoke to a woman that didn’t understand that even though she’s working and claiming Universal Credit, that she’s actually claiming the same benefit as people who aren’t working and claiming Universal Credit. I explained that it’s the same benefit but the only difference is that she’s working.

 

I spoke to a man who had been unfairly dismissed from his job. From what he said he has a good case to take to an employment tribunal so I referred him to my friends over at the Law Centre in Manchester and hopefully he will be able to get a positive result.

 

I spoke to a man that we spoke to last week. He’s found employment and a very good job at that. He’s over the moon as were we. I’m so happy for him but he is still at the mercy of the DWP until he starts work. If he is reading this good luck!!

 

We spoke to a woman who had rushed to the Jobcentre for her appointment. She actually lives local to myself so it’s quite a walk. She couldn’t afford the bus fare.

She told us that she works in a school and her partner works for an agency, so his work is by no means reliable and as a result she has to claim Universal Credit. She was very clear in describing how the DWP are treating her. “I work in a school and my partner works for an agency. I feel depressed and intimidated. Because I’m working they are checking my activity all the time and that includes my banking activity, they even ask my how we spend our money and they question us upon that. They question me about everything it’s so degrading. I’m doing my best, I’m working and my partner works, why won’t they leave me alone?”

She went on to say that she feels sick with worry and that she was thankful that we were there to talk to her, we made all the difference and we really helped. Kind words and solidarity make all the difference, never underestimate the value of this.

 

I spoke to a lovely lady That I hadn’t seen for a while. Shes also waiting for her Universal Credit claim to be processed so needed a food parcel. She gave me a hug and thanked me for all the help that I had given her.

 

I spoke to a lady who had an appointment with her advisor, she had her appointment card to prove it. The reception staff told her that she didn’t have an appointment because it didn’t show on their computer…. Someone please remind them that their computer system is rubbish and was down in previous weeks. Do they not communicate with each other? The answer to that is no they don’t.

 

I spoke to a man that needs to make an application for PIP on behalf of his partner, he wants me to help them both so I will do. I gave him the telephone number to start the process, the freeephone number that they neglected to give him earlier. Thanks Steve for helping me with that. He’s also been sanctioned again, and he couldn’t afford to make any more paid for telephone calls. I’ve sorted his credit out however the process to appeal against the sanction starts. He’s been doing so well lately, and had built his life back up. I won’t allow the DWP to bring it crashing down again.

 

Last but not least, a woman driving her car looked amazed at the sight of us stood outside the Jobcentre helping people. It’s not amazing to be helping people, its the right thing to do isn’t it.

 

A massive thank you to everyone that came along today, I really do appreciate your solidarity. It was freezing cold and I hope that you all get warm again.

 

This all happened in a couple of hours outside the Jobcentre, we help a lot of people. I’d really like it if my readers could like, share, tweet, email and even print off my blog and send it to your local MP.

 

Please donate to keep this blog and the campaign going. Every penny does count. People ask me to do much more than this but I can’t. I’m limited financially so every penny does help. Thank you.

For everyone that has done already thank you.

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Hi folks, please help me to continue with my blog and campaign work. Thank you!

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The government controls us with fear and oppression. We are controlled by it everyday. Please read.

Today and everyday thousands of people will receive a dreaded brown envelope in the post from the Department Of Work And Pensions.. most will feel scared, intimidated and feeling at a loss of how to carry on. No one can underestimate the fear and dread upon seeing that envelope arrive.

As I write this I have learnt that a friend of mine has been denied his PIP payments even though the DWP informed him that he didn’t have to attend another medical assessment for three years. As usual they recalled him within months and he’s panicking. He might loose his home. You see, the loss of an essential benefit payment has massive ramifications and he can’t claim the appeal rate until his appeal has been lodged but first he has to ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This is another step that the government uses to delay appeals and to make people give up altogether. Many do.

I spoke to a gentleman who is a carer. He told me that the person whom he cares for has received a letter asking him to attend another ESA assessment. and he’s been in bits ever since. He can’t understand why he is being constantly asked to attend assessments because his disability is never going to get better.
He’s been trying to learn about his legal rights and has been trying to get in touch with a local organisation that can help him. He is 64 in October and had always worked until he became disabled.
As a result many people in the same or similar position will commit suicide because they can’t cope with the DWP regime. Most of these suicides won’t be recorded as such due to a lack of evidence, therefore their suffering continues unchallenged officially, whilst the government continues to wipe their hands of such matters.

Yes people are dying as a direct result of this governments actions and I hate the government for this.

 

Every day thousands of people will be made homeless, or have the threat of being made homeless. They can’t afford to pay bedroom tax for the homes that they live in. When housed in their accommodation their local councils deemed them suitable and a decent size legally for them.
When the Bedroom Tax was introduced the rules changed, and what was previously thought to have been a home for life or a great many of years suddenly made their accommodation temporary based on their ability to pay this new bill.
They can’t move because they owe rent, most social housing organisations won’t allow a house move until there are no rent arrears, and there is also a distinct lack of smaller accommodation. It’s a loose loose situation for them
Meanwhile, their ‘social housing’ landlords can evict them and then charge the next tenant more rent and let the property on a short term basis.
Security of housing no longer exists. Whilst landlords often benefit from this.

The onset of the Bedroom Tax coincided with the introduction of the Council Tax Supplement, meaning that many people claiming benefits have to also pay an amount towards their annual Council Tax bill.
This financial year the poorest will have to pay more council tax than ever before, many councils have increased the amount to be paid due to the lack of funding from the government for local social care provision.
Whilst they don’t begrudge the idea of having to pay an amount towards this, they can’t afford to pay it and as a result many people are incarnated as a result. Upon being released from prison they still have to pay their council tax bill. Many will be made homeless as a result.
People who are making new Benefit claims are being summoned to court quickly by their local authorities in a matter of weeks. A charge of £50 is  often levied for presenting the summons.

I call these courts Kangaroo courts, believe me I’ve attended them. A local authority hires the courtroom for the day and it’s there that council employees speak to people demanding an unrealistic payment scheme. Many people don’t realise that they can actually ask to see a magistrate who will hear your case fairly. Do this.
The whole council tax system is discriminatory and unfair, and it scares people. The government should, by duty towards the most vulnerable, fund every local authority adequately in the first place.
This and the Bedroom Tax are the new Poll Tax, yet not many objected to it being implemented.

 

This week thousands of people will be hoping for warmer weather to arrive, not because they want to enjoy it but because they will no longer be cold.
Winter is cruel to everyone in fuel poverty and street homeless.
And while the energy companies make massive profits, the poorest and most vulnerable suffer.
Our energy companies have to be regulated and renationalised as a matter of urgency to prevent this endless suffering.

Everyday many people will be forced to become carers for parents, relatives and friends only to be persecuted by the government and the Department Of Work And Pensions for doing so, yet they save the government money and do an excellent job. They should be praised, not punished.

Many women are forced to live with abusive partners because of cuts to refuges and other essential services.
Funding to the police has also been cut time and time again, so responding to incidences relating to domestic is often slow.
One woman dies every 3 days as a result of domestic violence, many more woman are injured, and as a result of the governments cuts this figure will undoubtably rise.

As I write this many people will have been forced to shoplift for food, clothes and toiletries because they don’t have the means to pay. I know this happens, I speak to people all the time who have been forced to do this. I also know people that have been forced to beg just to collect money to buy food whilst they are waiting for their claims to be processed.
A claim for Universal Credit takes at least six weeks to process, leaving individuals and families to go without food and other essentials.
The government argue that they can take a loan out whilst waiting for their claim to process, but for many this isn’t an option.
The DWP loans are repayable at an amount of up to 40% of their total Universal Credit payments each month, leaving them in perpetual poverty.

I wish that I could say that the above examples are unusual, that they don’t exist. Working or not working we are all affected by them, or know someone that is, they’ve become an accepted part of everyday life, but we shouldn’t accept this as the norm. Being cruel and callous isn’t the norm, far from it but yet these policies are.

 

The government is using an age old method of controlling it’s population. Fear. Fear is a tool that is very easy for governments to use should they wish to. Instead of beating a person or group of people or an individual into submission they take away their very necessities to sustain life, deliberatly making it laboriously hard to appeal any decision made by them. They just don’t care. A society living in fear is easier to control and manipulate so they  use to subjugate the wider population and what form that fear takes is irrelevant.
We must continue to challenge the government upon each and every one of these issues, it has never been as important to do so.

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Well done to the creator of this piece of artwork. I spotted it yesterday whilst walking around Ashton Under Lyne. Treat folk with contempt that they don’t deserve and this is the consequence.

Please join us on Thursday for our usual demo 10-12 outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

Please like, share, read, email my blog. I’m going to try to get a few extra blog pieces out every week and I hope that my readers are agreeable to this.

Please donate if you can, I’ll leave a donate button underneath. I’m a single parent just trying my best to fight against this unjust system and this callous government.

 

Donation

Hi folks, please help me to continue with my blog and campaign work. Thank you!

£5.00

Three strokes, blood clots, fluid on the brain… Declared fit for work, being given the run-around by the DWP. Welcome to DWP hell.

Hi readers, for once the blog is relatively on time so I don’t need to apologise this week. Its the school holidays so there’s no need  for me to hang around waiting to collect my daughter.

Huzzah! We had sunshine albeit still cold, which was far more welcoming than the awful rain that keeps coming our way. We were still low on numbers this week which was a massive shame. Its hard work but the appearance of comrades from Shaw cheered me up. If you are local to Ashton Under Lyne please come and say hello!

A bit of good news, our latest run of leaflets should be with me next week, I’m running extremely low on these and today was a close call.

We also handed out six food parcels to everyone that needed one plus four extra from our Shaw comrades.

 

As usual I will go through in list form of the problems that we encountered today and the people that I spoke to. Please note that I do refer people to local services if possible, if not their local MP etc. We are lucky in the respect that we have three very good MPS but I realise that this isn’t the case in many areas. We never leave anybody after speaking to them with no support or not knowing where to get that support.

 

The first thing that I noted was the increase of women and very young children having to use the Jobcentre today. It’s currently the Easter school holidays here in the UK, so that explains the increase. What an awful place to have to bring children to, especially as they have no facilities for them, and the management won’t allow the public to use their toilets. Nor will they allow food, drinks and the use of mobile phones.

 

I spoke to a man who has COPD and had been sanctioned.  He had no idea that he was able to claim ESA, he was obviously struggling. I advised him of what steps to take. He should have been given this advice. He was hungry so I gave him a food parcel and he called me an angel which was lovely, but life shouldn’t be like this should it.

 

I spoke to a man who has been lodging with a friend for a long while. He was paying his friend rent, but his friend hadn’t been paying it so they both will be made homeless in the near future. I’m very worried about him because he has several health issues and I’m not sure that he could physically survive life on the streets. I signposted him to local organisations and told him to contact them as a matter of urgency. He told me that he would do, so I’m hoping that he does do this.

 

I spoke to a man who was clearly struggling. He told me that he hadn’t eaten for days and that he had been sanctioned, although he hadn’t been told the reason for this. He entered the Jobcentre to attend an appointment to discuss this but was told at the front desk that his name wasn’t on the list so he wasn’t coming in.

How devastating is this, its literally soul destroying. He knew that he had an appointment yet was denied entry by the front desk, and I can add that he wasn’t inside the building for more than five minutes. There’s no way that they had checked properly in that time period. Now he is worried about having another sanction on top of this one because he hasn’t attended. Dear gods it’s cruelty at its worst.

I referred him to local organisations for help and gave him a food parcel. This man is now literally going through hell, and all because no one checked his appointment time correctly.

 

I spoke to a young man who spoke English as a second language. He told me that he’s going to lessons to improve his language skills, but his advisor has told him to attend a local work programme organisation to learn computer skills.

Sounds good doesn’t it….. Only it isn’t. I’ve had personal experience with Standguide and to put it bluntly they are awful I wished him the best of luck and advised him of what to do.

 

I spoke to a young man who had recently been made redundant from his job. He has a masters degree and his area of employment is specialised. He told me of his experience of having to use the Jobcentre and how he has been treated. His experience is not unusual by any means, but for someone who hasn’t had to use a Jobcentre for many years it was a shock to him.

He told me that “They make you loose all pride and they hold you to ransom. Everything that they do is nonsensical. I do everything that they ask me to and yet they ask me to do the same tasks time and time again. It’s wrong that they have shifted all the blame on the claimants, it’s not our fault that the system doesn’t work properly. The inefficiency of the system is inept.” He went on to tell me that he also remembers the days when the Jobcentre actually cared and helped people to find work.

Everything that he said is correct, and I wish this lovely man all the best in his quest for work.

 

I spoke to yet another older lady who has noted that her advisor is messing her about with appointment times. Most likely to keep her on her toes and to remind her of who’s the boss.

 

I overheard a young woman on the phone who was having a conversation with someone at the side of the Jobcentre. Her friend was worried about asking for help with their situation in case the  Jobcentre found out. Sickening that anyone should feel like this because I remember the days when they actually helped people with this.

 

I spoke to a man who was using crutches because he told me that he has a bad hip. He told me that he’s on Universal Credit and because his money is paid monthly and he has to pay more rent etc he isn’t coping. He hadn’t ate etc so I gave him a food parcel etc and signposted him. The DWP just don’t care how vulnerable, ill or disabled a person is. it’s a travesty that they are allowed to act in this manner, but the government employs them so it’s to be expected.

 

I spoke to an older lady who was upset about the ESA changes, for heavens sake she should be enjoying her retirement but has been prevented from doing so by the government.

 

I noticed a lot of older men having to use the Jobcentre today. They should be allowed to slow down and not forced to comply with countless pointless DWP tasks.

 

I spoke to a man who was struggling to walk even though he was aided by a walking stick that he was depending heavily on. He told me that he had to give up work due to illness. He has blood clots, has had three strokes so far, has cysts in his brain and also suffers from fluid on the brain. He also has mobility issues.

He attended his ESA medical and they declared him fit for work. He really isn’t fit for work, far from it and takes a lot of medication on a daily basis to just keep going. He’s going through the process of appealing this decision and is getting the help of one of our local MPS Andrew Gwynne. I really do hope that he wins his appeal and gets all the money that he’s owed.

To say that the government is cruel is a vast understatement, they are beyond cruel. The very presence of a brown envelope through the letterbox sends people into a state of panic and despair. No one knows if it will be their turn tomorrow and it’s a worry that many people can’t cope with, and I’m not sure how long we can cope with being persecuted like this.

 

This all happened in the space of two hours, yes two hours. Can you imagine how many more problems we would have encountered if we had stayed all day? Please spare a thought for everyone who has to go through this day in, day out. Be kind to folk, spare time for them because sometimes a friendly face makes all the difference to someone.

 

 

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Thank you to everyone who came along today, it really is appreciated.

Please share, email, write about and talk about my blog. Send a copy to your local MP, if they are a Conservative MP even better. For everyone that does this already a massive thank you. Thank you so much to everyone that does support my blog. I’m a single parent on an extremely limited income and I juggle a full time campaign along with my writing all by myself.

I’ll leave a donation button for anyone who might like to donate. Thank you!

Donation

Hi folks, please help me to continue with my blog and campaign work. Thank you!

£5.00