Sanctioned for being a minute late, threat of sanction for being two minutes late. todays 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.
He had no food, so we sorted that out. A member of the team took him to buy some food from the shop next door, and another member phoned our local MPs office up to get him an appointment straight away. Thankfully the MP for our area is Angela Rayner and it was arranged for him to see CAB and also a member of her team.
He became much happier and thankfully we have a fantastic MP. I regularly send people to her for help, because if anyone has any problems with the DWP ta word from an MP can and does work wonders.
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!
Some photos that I have taken on a borrowed camera. It’s a very good one, and one day if I strike lucky I shall have a camera like this to take photos on.
Next week is the Unite National Day Against Sanctions. As usual we will be outside Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre handing out advice and food parcels. We do this EVERY week, not just on national days of action.
It would be wonderful if you could join us. 10-12 Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre 101 Old Street Ashton Under Lyne. We are a friendly bunch of people.
I hate having to do this, but please can anyone donate? We aren’t sponsored by anyone and we have spent our last funds on printing leaflets. We would be very thankful and it wouldn’t be wasted. I too am on a very low income, and am living from day to day. Don’t believe Donald Trump and the likes…. We certainly are not paid! Thank you!