Today’s demo. Refused a food parcel (not by us) and other happenings outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

I’ve said before that I can never predict what will happen outside Ashton Jobcentre whilst we hold our weekly demo, and it would be very wise never to attempt this. We never know what to expect, and this week did not disappoint.

I arrived in Ashton at around 9am after dropping my daughter off at school and I use the hour before the demo to prepare myself the best that I can, to have a chat to my friend and to also chat with any of the people that we meet before the demo. People know where to find me, and you know I quite like that.

I had noticed a group of people already hanging around across the road from the Jobcentre. They were in need of food parcels. But the mood wasn’t good, so I was a bit nervous.

As I arrived at the Jobcentre, one of them walked over and asked if the food parcels were there. They clearly wern’t and I advised that they would have to wait a while longer. They agreed to this.

I was soon joined by our regular food parcel users. They are a fab group of people, hoping that their situation improves. One man is hoping that his pension comes through next week so that he will be able to manage better. He said that he will be only £24 a week better off but that will make a difference.

The food parcels arrived and the queue was quite big. A lovely lady called Angie arrived with three more food parcels, so nearly all of the people waiting collected a food parcel. I did signpost a few to a local homeless organisation for a hot meal and tents.

We spoke to many people today, it was cold so understandably the mood wasn’t brilliant, combined with having to visit the Jobcentre its very understandable that spirits were low.

I must say that everyone that we speak to is important, and we do offer much needed help and advice. But this gentleman’s story really does stand out, even though it is not unusual by any means.

He had been watching us for a while from across the road, this is often the case. It’s not easy asking for help. He said hello and it was obvious to see that he did struggle to walk over. He said that he was desperate, he had had trouble with his ESA claim, he was going to be loosing his carer in the near future also because he can’t afford to pay them £20 a week. He didn’t go into great detail with this, we need to build our trust up with him. But he will be returning next week.

He told us that he was hungry, that he had ate his last pieces of bread out of the freezer. Because he had no food he went to the local Citizens Advice for a foodbank voucher. There should be no problem with this, well thats what I’m sure that most people would think.

He was refused his voucher because he had already had his allotted three around two years ago. He wasn’t specific about the date, he’s stressed and to be honest it’s not important. What is important is that there should never be a three food parcel limit. A person’s situation as to why they haven’t got any money is often very complicated and as we all know true DWP take a log time to resolve any issue. This I feel is done purposely. 

We, however handed him a food parcel and he will be given one every week for as long as is needed. 

Now I’m aware that many, mostly non Trussell Trust food banks do offer more than three food parcels, and often without many questions or judgement. I’m also aware that some Trussell Trust food banks also do this. My issue is simple. There shouldnt be a three parcel limit.

We saw this week in the news the released figures from the Trussell Trust relating to their foodbank usage.

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Disgusting as it is, I can safely say that we can at least double this amount. These figures do not take into account non Trussell Trust foodbanks, pop up soup kitchens and sandwich stands, and food parcel collection points like ours. For example we give out at least 300 food parcels per year.

I caused a bit of controversy this week by stating this, and for also thanking the independent food banks etc for all the hard work that they do. They don’t receive much, if any publicity, and aren’t often endorsed by well known people. They also don’t receive any funding, nor have they had to pay to become a member of the Trussell Trust organisation. They just feed people. They support people, in the way that they know best and often out of their own pockets. Often they are the backbone of the community.

We should not need food banks, and we need to challenge this.

Now I’m not saying that the Trussell Trust food banks don’t do a good job, far from it. But please let’s remember these other groups and also remember that the food bank figures are most likely double the amount that have been released.

A quick book recommendation for anyone able to afford to buy a book. I thoroughly recommend a book called Foodbank Britain. It explains everything very clearly.

Anyway, rant over and I’m sorry for going on a bit.

We also spoke to a lady trying to help her son to appeal his ESA decision. Good advice was given, and he will be ok.

We spoke to many people today like I said, we never really stop. Food parcels going straight away is the norm. It’s truly awful and I will admit that today I was a tad angry.

Massive shoutout to the guys in the BASW union. Some members walked 100 miles this week to protest about austerity. They asked me to speak at their annual conference which I did. Things do need to change and you are all a fab bunch and you will do this I’m sure. A big hi to Maggie!

A massive thanks to everyone that reads, shares and supports my blog. On days like today it really does mean a lot to me, thank you!

Please share if possible, also please donate if you can. This has turned into a full time job for myself now, and to say that it’s not easy is an understatement. Thank you!.

Today’s demo. Queue for food parcels and endless apathy. Life at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre.

As I arrived on this cold Thursday morning I was greeted immediately by a group of people that had been gathering across the road waiting for the food parcels to arrive. They were slightly anxious, and this is why its important for myself not to be on my own.

As the food parcels arrived they took them straight away. I don’t judge anyone because their need was obvious. As they collected their food parcels other people who depend on our food parcels arrived to collect theirs. We work on a first come first serve basis, its the way that it has to be.

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Because it was cold and miserable the mood sort of reflected that. People using the Jobcentre almost running in and out, most likely afraid of being late, afraid of being sanctioned.

The mood of apathy filled the air though. Most people forced to use the Jobcentre are resigned to the fact that they must not deserve anything at all in life. They even tell us this. Some say that they ‘shouldn’t’ have something for nothing’ even though they aren’t receiving their social security for nothing because they have already paid into the system.

Years of marginalising the poor and targeting them with every obscene cut from this Tory government has certainly taken its toil. It’s evident just about everywhere in my town Ashton Under Lyne, just as it is in many other towns up and down the country.

We, however have a slightly different angle on this though. We were one of the first to trial Universal Credit and as a result Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre is a few years ahead in both the harsh implementation of Universal Credit and the extremely harsh treatment metered out to claimants.

Here’s some of the personal stories that were told to us today. These are by no means unusual.

A lady that should be receiving her government pension, but now unable to do so thanks to the changes implemented by the government.

A  young mum with her baby, struggling on Universal Credit.

A disabled couple failed an ESA examination, but not advised on what to do next.

Several young people making their first claims.

Man still waiting for his Universal Credit payment. Is hoping that he receives it next week.

Homeless man, fallen out with his friends just wanted a chat.

A lady who’s far too ill to be signing on advised by us to make another claim for ESA.

A man who had just filled in his own PIP form, is hoping to receive his money, but in his own words isn’t hopeful because people dying can’t get their ESA.

A man forced to do workfare at B&M four days a week. He’s very frustrated and is living from our weekly food parcels.

Many people just rushing in and out heads down to the ground. Not wanting to engage with anyone.

The list goes on and on. As will our demonstrations. Our new leaflets are proving to be extremely popular and I know that they will help a great many people. I also handed some to some local groups and will be continuing with this tomorrow and next week.

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As for me, I haven’t really stopped. I had to return home early after the demo because I was too tired to hang around like usual. I’ll hopefully feel better later.

Many thanks to everyone that attended out of their own free time. I really do appreciate this. You are amazing.

Many thanks to everyone that supports the campaign and myself personally online. You are all a massive tower of strength. I still cant believe that I’m still having to do this over three years later.

Please share if possible, also please donate if you can. This has turned into a full time job for myself now, and to say that it’s not easy is an understatement. Thank you!.

Todays demo. Cold weather yet again, new leaflets and amazing comradeship. Food parcels gone straight away again.

Today was a busy but quiet demonstration. That might not make much sense to you, but trust me, if you joined us you’d understand perfectly.

In Tameside, the area that I live in, it’s the Easter school holidays and the children have been off school for nearly two weeks already. In light of this, my daughter wanted to come along. She says that she likes the demos, and she’s already a very experienced campaigner in her own right. Today was tough for her because it was cold, so she became a tad frustrated. This was solved with the promise of a nice cheap dinner afterwards at a local cheap cafe.

The mood in the air emanating from inside the Jobcentre wasn’t a good one. There were lots of people going in and out, but all wanted to keep their heads down. It can take quite a while for new people to start to talk to us, and I think that the Jobcentre have been switching their appointments around.

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We have finally, printed a batch of our new leaflets out, and we are also getting another batch printed. These leaflets are fantastic because they contain everything that a person forced to use the Jobcentre needs to job search correctly etc and it’s i a clear step by step version.

Now before anyone comments that they aren’t slick enough, they really can’t be because we had to have enough space to fit everything on and as you can see, there’s not a lot of room for fancy logos. Nor are we computer experts. Our main concern is that we enable people to help themselves through this stressful and arduous process. Once they have been able to master it themselves, they can then pass their skills along to someone else. This, my friends is how people can fight back against the government because they depend on people not being able to empower themselves. Empowering a person is the best weapon that you can hand someone ever!

Here’s the link to the PDF. All that I ask, is that you accredit us for the hard work that we have put into this.
https://lookaside.fbsbx.com/file/survival%20guides.pdf?token=AWxO43w5Nm9T5Yakso6AC2EPKWF2pprTF-9msQrQDF7E-tuFTl_HVkvvuPkokiqnS5_cuh5oLrZeKn6LvbuWJitqGyGEnetdKQnsfjwF4J_NZv8E27b4NPS6PZ1VlayzTCoD8yEeueMxbxg3MldDMzuij6XcMD96FYz-ZPyv8-IP5Wdj0joM5WZkwy0y5PJfUX8


Hopefully this link will work, if not here’s a photo of the leaflet and I will add it in my next blog which will be published straight after this one.

Not to worry. I will be posting straight afterwards.

We handed lots of these leaflets out, and also put one into each and every food parcel that we handed out.

The food parcels went almost straight away, a sad indictment of how awful this Tory government is. They simply hate the poor and will never do anything to help them. This is something that I write about regularly in The Morning Star Newspaper.

Here’s a link to my articles. Please note, I do not get paid for this. Many thanks to them for giving me a voice, its a fab newspaper and if you haven’t read it please do, its worth a read.

https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/tb472df-charlotte-hughes

Today, we were also joined by a follower of my blog and of myself on twitter. He had travelled a long way from London via Liverpool to join us. What an amazing thing to do! Hes a great fella and it was lovely meeting him at last. He also provided a food parcel which was amazing.

Next week, I hope  will be better, although i don’t think that there are any good days as Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre are they. It’s certainly earnt it’s bad reputation.

BIG SHOUTOUT to all the team that come along, week in, week out whatever the weather. They also deserve a medal for putting up with me! You all know who you are! Pauline this includes you!

Many thanks to my followers on this blog, my Twitter and Facebook account. You all keep me sane, even on my darkest days and you are all amazing. Thank you! I know that I don’t say this enough but I really mean it.

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Please share this blog, talk about it, or if you can donate. This has become a full time job for me and every penny helps! Thank you!
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Todays demo. Food parcels gone within 30 mins, cold weather returns and a local Workprogramme organisation behaving badly… again.

Before the demo started I went for a cuppa at the local cheap cafe to both warm up and to have a chat with any antendees before we start. I was right to do so as a chap that we speak to regularly saw me there and had a chat in the warm.

More or less as soon as I arrived, so did the food parcels and other members of the group. There was already a queue of people waiting for them which is always sad to see. They all went within half an hour, all to people that genuinely need them.

We don’t judge people, nor ask too many questions that aren’t benefit related. And it’s best that way. We gain the trust of most people and that can only be a good thing.

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We were stopped by quite a few people, but it was a bit quieter than usual, probably because of the school holidays. But still too many people are forced to enter the Jobcentre, and it’s noted that far too many older people that should be claiming their pensions are having to do so.

 

Today’s mood was rather low, the cold weather didnt help. Too many people were telling us about their, or a relatives experiences of being sanctioned. We do get a lot at Ashton Jobcentre and the whole sanctioning system, is in my eyes inhumane.

 

A man that I had advised last year stopped to talk to us. Last year he had been sanctioned because he didn’t receive a letter from the DWP . This does happen a lot and I have wrote about this before in an earlier blog.

He appealed against that as advised, and after a long period managed to win his appeal. If it wasm’t for this young mans strength of character and determination I don’t think that he would have seen the process through. He had to jump over all sorts of hurdles, and it shouldnt be like this.

Anyway, this young man is now subject to attending a workprogramme scheme. These workprogramme schemes are set up by private organisations, paid very well by the Government, to supposedly help people back into work. They are also supposed to teach computer skills, and to do CV building.

Well, after experiencing the workprogramme myself, and for any readers that have had to endure this, it couldnt be further than the truth. Please scroll down to a previous blog to read about my experience of the awful workprogramme.

Anyway, this young man has been placed at a workprogramme facility in Oldham, which is a town away from Ashton, and he lives outside of Ashton so he has to get two busses there and two back. They are supposed to pay the bus fare for attendees, but they wont pay for an any bus daysaver.

For anyone living in Tameside you will realise that its very hard to find the ability to travel using just the one bus company. There are two main bus companies and they all run different routes, which makes things extremely difficult. So as a result he has to walk half of the way and then get the one bus that he is “allowed” to get.

To add to this indignity, the workprogramme provider refuses to repay the money spent on bus fares with simple pound coins and notes. For example, it costs him £8 in bus fare, he has to prove that hes bought tickets, and they then give him his money back in 10ps, 20ps, the odd 50p and pennies. I find this disgusting.

To start with there are plenty of workprogramme organisations in Ashton. There is simply no need to make him travel all that way. I’m sure thats been dine purposely just to make things difficult for him.

To hand him his money like that is appalling. It’s degrading and its their way of engraving into his psyche that he is unworthy and how dare he ask for his bus fare costs to be reimbursed.

Another issue is that to attend, he has to have the money upfront for the bus fares. If he doesn’t attend he will get sanctioned. All workprogramme facilities refer people for sanctions, the DWP simply tick the box at the other end. It’s a no win situation.

These workprogramme organisations get paid thousands by the government simply to do nothing. One thing that they are good at though, is to degrade and humiliate the people using them. It’s scandalous, and I’m certain that there is a high level of fraud occurring within these organisations.

 

We spoke to a lady that works at a local Asda store. She was enquiring about joining a union, so we advised her on how to do this. She said that people are scared of joking a union whilst working as Asda. They won’t join because the bosses don’t like it. She said that she will be joining one though. Good on her.

 

Sorry for the lack of new photos, I didnt have the time to take many sadly.

Today was hard, not only because of the weather, but because of the low spirits of the people coming in and out of the Jobcentre.

Doing this for around three and a half years sometimes takes its toll on me. But carry  on I will!

Many thanks to everyone that attended today. It was fab seeing you all, you really are fantastic.

Many thanks to everyone that reads this blog, and who supports us and myself personally. It does mean ALOT. Thank you!

Thanks to Pauline and the group We Shall Overcome for the food parcels.

Although many of us are members of unite Community, we are still an independent  group, which we like because we are open to all and we are free to do our own thing.  We do like this!

Please share, like, or donate if possible. Writing this blog, campaigning and everything that is entailed with that has certainly taken over my life to a great extent. It really is appreciated thank you!

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Today’s demo. A national day of action against sanctions with Unite Community Union.

At last the weather was a lot warmer and more bearable, at last I didn’t have to wear my thick winter coat today. This is also a welcome change for the people that have to use the Jobcentre. I’m sure that they will be appreciating this.

I arrived with a comrade John, and we began to set up for todays special event. Like always I never knew how many people would turn up to support us, if indeed any. But I was pleasantly surprised. I think that around 15 people came to show their support which was fantastic.


As soon as we arrived, so did the food parcels. Five arrived from Pauline and four didn’t even touch the ground, literally. Within half an hour they had all gone and I took a man to the shop next door for some much needed food.


The troops then arrived from Glossop. They are amazing. On a map it might not appear to be too far away, but in reality it is quite a long drive. They had brought some big bags of food with them, I think there was around 4 and we handed them out straight away.

I really appreciate the Glossop Gang doing this, as they were going on to hold their own day of action after they had visited us. Thank you!

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Like I’ve said before, we never know what to expect, and the need for food parcels this week was unprecedented.
I spoke to quite a few people that had been sanctioned, or have been told that their sanction will be implemented the following week. It’s awful. These aren’t just single people, they are people with families, pregnant ladies and women that should be enjoying their retirement but are unable to due to the changes in the state pension for women. It’s appalling.

We spoke to a lady whom seemed rather confused. She said she is claiming Universal Credit, and said that it is wonderful. People, according to her, shouldn’t get something for nothing. However she has never been sanctioned yet, and she thought that it was ok for the DWP to treat people like rubbish.

Her only complaint, it seems was that the frontline staff in the Jobcentre are “Horrible”. She couldn’t see that they are part of the system created to humiliate and degrade her. She walked off, but we did tell her that we would be there to help her when she encounters any problems.

Despite all this and more, the solidarity today was amazing. We could feel it, and to know that lots of other groups of people would be protesting outside other Jobcentres and DWP related buildings up and down the country today was amazing. However, I would love it if more people did weekly demos. A big shout out to those that already do.

 

Many thanks to everyone that supports my blog and the demos. It really does mean a lot. You do make a massive difference. We will hopefully have copies of our survival guide available soon. When they are available I will share on here for anyone to use. I ask only one thing though, that you attribute our hard work. Thank you.

I feel very proud that as a group we have been able to continue our campaign for so long. I do feel that this is do to the comradeship and the determination of us to make a difference.

Thank you once again for supporting both myself and the campaign.  You are ALL amazing.

Want to support this blog? Please share as widely as possible. I run my blog on a shoestring and it can be a struggle. This campaign has become a full time job for myself. You can donate using the button below.

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Thank you!

Sanctioned for being a minute late. Threat of sanction for being two minutes late. Today’s demo. 

Today we had been hoping for warmer weather. Although the rain had stopped and the sun was lurking behind the clouds it was still freezing cold. I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive.

On the way to the demo I was stopped by a lovely couple that we have been helping. They didn’t need any help today, but they just wanted to say hello. That was really lovely of them to do this.

As I arrived at the Jobcentre, I noticed that several people had been waiting for us to arrive. They were waiting for their food parcels. Sadly we never received any food parcels this week, so a member of the team went to the shop next door and bought some basics. We should hopefully have some food parcels next week to hand out.

A man stopped me and told me that he had just been told that he was going to be sanctioned for being a minute late. Yes you heard right, a minute.

As usual the DWP showed their typical lack of compassion. We gave advice on what they needed to do next.

It’s unbelievable isn’t it. Mind you, a while ago a woman was sanctioned for being five minutes early. Yes early. So you see folks, you can never get it right and the system is set out to fail you. But of course, we already know this don’t we.

A disabled lady and her daughter then walked out of the Jobcentre. They were not happy. She had taken advantage of the legal right to have representation whilst attending her appointments. It seems that the Jobcentre advisor took offence to this.

The younger of the two ladies was disabled, as was the older, her mother whom accompanied her with a walking frame. The younger lady had failed her ESA (Employment Support Allowance) medical. Of course her advisor didn’t inform her of her legal right to appeal, how to do this and what the process entails. Nope. They told her that she had to make a new claim for JSA (Jobseekers Allowance) instead and to do it quickly. They made her an appointment for the next day.

Her advisor also told her that it would be better if she wasn’t accompanied (we know exactly why this was suggested), and that she would have to attend an appointment upstairs. There is no lift and she cannot walk up the stairs. You can imagine their reaction can’t you.

We advised her on appropriate action, of how to lodge a mandatory reconsideration, what to do, and we also advised her on what to say to the Jobcentre staff on arrival for her appointment tomorrow.

She is to attend with her mother as planned, and she is to insist that her mother will accompany her. She will also state the equalities act, and to note that they have to, by law, take into account her disability. They seemed determined and I’m sure that they will do this.

A man then walked, or I should say shuffled out of the Jobcentre. His face was pointing at the floor and he was clearly upset.

I stopped him and enquired as to what was wrong? Why was he so upset?

He told me that he is disabled and had been homeless. He has just been placed in temporary accommodation at the local Travel Lodge. He wants to build his life up again.

He became disabled when he fell from a wall and broke his back. He is in constant pain. He showed me his prescription. My heart went out to him.

It’s unbelievable isn’t it. Mind you, a while ago a woman was sanctioned for being five minutes early. Yes early. So you see folks, you can never get it right and the system is set out to fail you. But of course, we already know this don’t we.

The younger of the two ladies was disabled, as was the older, her mother whom accompanied her with a walking frame. The younger lady had failed her ESA (Employment Support Allowance) medical. Of course her advisor didn’t inform her of her legal right to appeal, how to do this and what the process entails. Nope. They told her that she had to make a new claim for JSA (Jobseekers Allowance) instead and to do it quickly. They made her an appointment for the next day.
Her advisor also told her that it would be better if she wasn’t accompanied (we know exactly why this was suggested), and that she would have to attend an appointment upstairs. There is no lift and she cannot walk up the stairs. You can imagine their reaction can’t you.

We advised her on appropriate action, of how to lodge a mandatory reconsideration, what to do, and we also advised her on what to say to the Jobcentre staff on arrival for her appointment tomorrow.
She is to attend with her mother as planned, and she is to insist that her mother will accompany her. She will also state the equalities act, and to note that they have to, by law, take into account her disability. They seemed determined and I’m sure that they will do this..

Now you don’t want me to tell you how awful this is, because you already know how awful it is. But these stories aren’t uncommon, and you aren’t on your own.
Sadly its become the norm to be suffering in some way now.

We have finally finished our survivors guide now and we are doing a print run with the last of our money. This will be money well spent.

This week has been an extremely busy week. Myself and two other women have been helping a lady that I met at the Jobcentre. She had become very ill, and certainly was not getting the care that she needed. The good news is that she is now in hospital, and hopefully we will find her appropriate accommodation. Seeing someone become that ill is always upsetting.

To be honest it never stops, along with the writing (unpaid) meetings and issues that I have to deal with sometimes I don’t know if I am coming or going sometimes!

I hate having to do this, but we are running very low on funds and have spent our last funds on a leaflet run. The leaflets are specifically for people using Ashton Jobcentre and have been composed by a couple of our members. They aren’t Unite Community leaflets as we are also an independent group consisting of people that may not necessarily be a member of Unite Community.

These leaflets will prove to be invaluable as they are a very simple step by step guide to surviving the DWP system.

I also am on an extremely low income and live from day to day. Please donate if you can, share or tell folk that are suffering that we care about them!

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Demo day yet again. Food parcels disappear very quickly. Extremely busy. 

This week has been a rather strange week for me. The days have passed extremely quickly for some unknown reason. Thursday arrived very quickly. 

We were hoping for better weather, but as usual it was freezing cold. There always seems to be a breeze coming round the corner and from within the Jobcentre. Maybe it’s emanating from the hate that the DWP have of us helping people outside. They’ve certainly made that very clear over the years. 

The food parcels arrived on time and there was already a queue forming. This is getting very regular now. I posted on Facebook that they had arrived and then they had left straight away. 

Had a chat with some of the folk that we see regularly. It’s important that we keep up to date with how they are. No one looked happy today, but thats very understandable. 

It was non stop. A constant stream of advice, signposting and handing out leaflets. Anyone that stands with us can attest for how busy it gets. 

We helped with bus fare for a couple that had to go to an urgent appointment in a different town. How on earth can officials ask people to attend meetings when they have no means of getting there? Not many seem to have any comprehension of this. 

There were many complaints of how awful the system is, but how glad that they are that we are outside helping. We’ve been speaking to one chap every week for three years now. 

We’ve completed our draft of our survival guide leaflet, which we are hoping to get printed asap. This will prove to be invaluable as it’s a step by step guide which is exactly what people need. Thanks to Roy one of our members for helping with this, I think I’ve driven him mad! 

Spoke to a lady that is escaping domestic violence. She’s really going through it, but is accessing the help that she needs to get through this. She knows where to find me if she needs me. 

Spoke to a family very briefly who have not long arrived in this country. Lovely people and they had good representation. I wish them all the best with their new life’s, and the best of luck! 

Some bad news, a lady that we have been helping for a long time has been taken ill and many thanks to a comrade for visiting her today. I will be spending the day with her tomorrow to try and persuade her to get the help that she needs. This has really upset both myself and the team. We will be keeping a close eye on her. 

As for me, well I’m trying to keep my head above water. I’m sure all readers will totally understand this. 

Just because I and others campaign doesn’t mean that we are well off. We aren’t and I have more bad weeks than good weeks. For example I’m on the emergency electric, and once that goes well it’s gone. So it might take a while to get back to you.

Big sigh of relief this week in reaction to the government doing a u turn on the self employed tax decision. Now I’m worried about where they will decided to take the money from. 

Massive shout out to the anti fracking campaigners at Preston New Road near Blackpool. After Lancashire County council ruling that they weren’t allowing fracking in their area, the government simply overruled it and went ahead. As a result they are campaigning hard and putting everything at risk to do this. I stand in awe. 

Big shoutout to the amazing Pauline that gives us the food parcels as part of the we shall overcome campaign. We really appreciate it and we really need them. We often go out and buy extra and like I’ve mentioned before, we fund other things if they occur. 

The saddest sight of today was a gentleman that happened to be walking past us as we stood outside the Jobcentre. He was dressed in raggedy ill fitting clothes. Hair unkempt, with two walking sticks, an arm sling tossed onto his back because he was struggling to hold his other walking stick and a bag. He looked like he had stepped straight out of a Charles Dickens book. He didn’t want to talk, he shuffled off to his destination. 

He just summed up how badly the Tory Government are treating the poorest and most vulnerable in this country. They’ll stop at nothing to punish these people, just because they can and they see them as an easy target.

I’m sure that this is not an unusual sight for my readers, however it doesn’t make it unworthy to write about either. 

I will be spending tomorrow visiting and helping  a lady whom we have been helping that is very ill. Maybe Saturday also. Who knows. All I know along with comrades is that she needs lots of help. 

Please donate if you possibly can. It’s not easy campaigning and we are making a difference. We feed, empower and enable people to survive the awful DWP system. We have save life’s, and this is not an understatement. We are a person’s first port of call when they are feeling awful, stressed and sometimes suicidal. We are hands on, and deal with issues as and when they happen. I’m also struggling also, but you all know that.  Many thanks to those that have already. Thank you!

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