Today’s demo. Food parcels taken immediately, anger, frustration and a visit from a French film maker. 

To say that today’s demo was busy is an understatement. It was both hectic and stressful. We also got a fair bit of verbal abuse from passers by.  Today was one of those days. 
As soon as I arrived I met the lovely man who is making a film about the awful DWP system in the UK. We had a quick discussion about what he was wanting to do. He also explained to me that the French government might be thinking of implementing a similar system. Awful. He’s against this. 
Gordon was taking the food parcels out of his car boot. As soon as he took them out they were all taken. We had none left at 10.05…. This says a lot to me. A stark reminder that far too many people are suffering. 

As soon as they had been taken a man arrived asking for a food parcel. They had all gone so I gave Gordon some money and he took him to the shop next door. Thank you Gordon. 

Then two more people arrived asking for food parcels. We had none and I was panicking slightly when I saw a member of the team, Pat arrive. She buys food from the cheap shop next door when she is able to come. Thank goodness for her because these people were able to have food. 

The need was greater than ever today.  The government and this cruel system have taken the very soul out of the people from my local town. No wonder it’s run down. Lack of funding from the government and lack of money for the basics ensures that the community suffers greatly and it breaks my heart. 
As we were talking to each other, a man stood across the way started shouting abuse at us for no reason at all. I understand his anger, he might have thought that we worked for the DWP or something. However he didn’t give us a chance to explain. I hope that he’s OK and that he’s getting the support that he needs. No one should be driven to feel that amount of anger. 
We spoke to a lovely man who has £4.50 to last him for two weeks. He took a food parcel from us last week and he was given another this week. 

He’s a lovely, polite man who had worked all his life. Seeing him in this state is awful though. His confidence has gone, he can’t wash his clothes and is struggling to keep going. He told us that we are his lifeline at the moment. We regard him as a friend. 
We spoke to a lady who had attempted to go in the Jobcentre and support her friend for her first interview with her advisor. She was wrongfully told that she wasnt allowed to do this, so we informed her friend of her right to do so. 

It might appear petty, but the breaking of these rules by the DWP sets the standard of how the claimant will be treated by that advisor. If they are aware that a person is not aware of their legal rights regarding Job searches etc then they will run roughshod over them. My advice to anyone having to make a claim is to research your legal rights and stand firm. 
Too many WASPI ladies were having to use the Jobcentre today. This always upsets me. The government has basically conned them out of their right to a decent retirement and pension. 
We had a person in a car drive past shouting “Get a job”…. As if we haven’t heard that before. Funny how they don’t get out of their cars and say it, they shout it and dive away at speed. 
I spoke to a lovely chap that I had helped in the past. He was looking much better and he wanted to say thank you. It was lovely seeing him. 
A lovely man started talking to us about the awful treatment that he had received from Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre and the DWP.  He was very vocal about it, good on him. He is in between jobs and only wanted to ask one question. He was refused that. This is how petty the Jobcentre is. 

He also went on to tell the film maker how awful it is inside the building and how the security guards are, as he described ‘like the Gestapo’. He’s not wrong there. 

He told us that his partner lives in London and her payment had been stopped for no apparent reason. She hasn’t received a letter which is usual. She’s got children, so the children might not be able to eat this week. It’s beyond disgusting. 

We gave him a leaflet which has a number for the Greater Manchester Law Centre. He is phoning them to get the details of local organisations in London that can help her. They are very pro-active there, and so is this man. 
We spoke to a man who sadly is in the belief that he will get his Esa for life. I hope that he does, but the chances of that aren’t high. 
Almost everyone that had to use the Jobcentre were rushing, looking at the ground on misery. This is what the system does to you. It stresses you out and wears you down. It literally never ends. 
Today was stressful, lots of different issues were brought to light. It’s hard work, and anyone that has attended our demos will attest to that. 
Before the demo started I bought a tent for a homeless chap that I buy a coffee for every day. His tent had been destroyed by someone and the local organisations had none. I hope that he is safe tonight. 
As for myself, I haven’t stopped and I apologise for the extra blogs. 

Please spare a thought for each and every person forced to endure this cruel system. And while Ian Duncan Smith still states that the film I, Daniel Blake is a work of fiction, I can say that it is not. The reality is even worse than the film. One day I will tell him so. 

Please share my blog, talk about it, tell your friends. Thank you
There’s also a donate button below. This has become a full time job for myself and every penny counts. Thank you so much.

http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=K47PHPHS5XYRC” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>.

Also a MASSIVE thank you to all the team for being amazing and really going out of your way to help people. You are all fantastic. 

Thank you oncw again. 

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Why should a young person at the start of their life feel like they want to end it? 

Today was our usual Thursday afternoon outside the Jobcentre. The rain kept off and everyone was still in a fairly good mood. It had been a good weekend at the Manchester demonstrations and our visit from Natalie Bennett had given everyone a good morale boost. And quite rightly so, they deserved it. The team are amazing. 

Not long after most of our regular attendees had arrived I received a telephone call. It was from a claimant at Ashton Jobcentre. They were panicking and I could hear them crying. I asked what was wrong and they said that they had received a letter stating that they had to attend a work programme course in a different town too far away to walk and they didn’t have enough bus fare to get there. They didn’t know how to get there. 

I asked them if they could meet me outside the Jobcentre which they did because they were still in town. 

When they arrived they were clearly very distressed. The first thing I did was give them a hug and some kind words. Doesn’t cost anything but it means the world. Then we set to task. 

The first worry was that a job interview coincided with a work programme day. So I went into the Jobcentre with them and I explained the matter to them. They were shocked to see me but were curteous and did everything that I requested. After being told previously that I was banned it was nice to be able to go in and sort this out and communicate with them. 

Then we sorted out the bus route etc and maybe someone to go with them. And we had a collection for their bus fares. We won’t let anyone go without even if we have nothing ourselves. 

Everything changed then. The claimant sat down and said that they couldn’t do this anymore. They wanted to end their life. It was too hard. How many things are they going to be asked to do they said. Please understand that this train is very vulnerable with health issues. They were found fit by the gods of Atos and we’re now being put into situations that they are finding very difficult to deal with. 

Comrades took them to a safe place and provided the compassion that they needed. Made sure that they had enough food etc and a list of things to do. One of them being to be put back on ESA. The stress of the Jobcentre is literally killing them. 

This left us all saddened. A comrade who had spoken at the peoples assembly demonstration had attended and was very enlightened by the work that we do. We don’t just stand outside the Jobcentre and shout. We provide support and compassion. Things that society is lacking these days. 

We will be following this up and providing proper support and advice. 

The work that we do is the type of work that does start the changes that is needed to fight against this government. It’s not dissimilar to the anti poll tax campaigners back in Thatchers day. These little movements turn into big movements and they grow. 

Many thanks to the new groups that have started up after being involved in ours. One in Stockport and one in Glossop. There are also others starting up and if I have forgotten you I apologise. 

Thanks for your support we really do appreciate it. 

We are running low on leaflets so any donations would be more than gratefully received. My Paypal add is seercharlotte@gmail.com

Big shout out to The people’s assembly and Manchester trade union council for the amazing work that they have done organising the whole Tory party protest events and demonstrations. 

Many thanks to everyone who attended today. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Disgusted. Please read. Learning difficulties? No problem.. The DWP will stick you on the work programme. 

Today I was waiting for the bus home with my daughter when I bumped into an old school friend. I hadn’t seen her for a long while so we had a lot of catching up. She has learning difficulties and she struggled through school not passing any exams as there wasn’t the support in schools then as there is now. 

When she left school the social security department as it was called then were very sympathetic. They encouraged her to be on the sick as they called it because her options for work were limited. They also encouraged her to take up voluntary work to improve her social skills and to give her a focus. As a result she was volunteering for a local organisation off her own back and did so for 24 years. She loved it and thought she would never have to leave. Then the Tories got elected.

She was told at a Jobcentre interview that she had to start claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance. They also told her that she had to leave the place where she had volunteered for so long and volunteer at a place of their approval. She was very upset, but did it because they had told her to. Before anyone states that she shouldn’t have done this  I must add that she didn’t feel that she could. In her eyes what they say goes and she hasn’t got a lot of self confidence.

She started on the work programme and was given the usual countless tasks that everyone is given. She struggled through it but managed and lasted the full two years without a sanction. Her love of routine and checking her actions constantly helped her. She said it drained her but because a job wasn’t found they were sending her to a work programme in manchester. She has to sign on there every week instead of the local Jobcentre and has to borrow money off family to get there. Her family have no money either. She can’t comprehend why they won’t send her to the local Jobcentre, and I did try to explain but it was too complicated for her to understand. What they say goes she says, it’s not right but it’s how she sees things.

Whilst attending the work programme so far she says that she has applied for 424 jobs and only 2 prospective employers got back to her. She finds this difficult to understand. She said why don’t people have manners?  I agree with her on this issue, even an automated reply would do. I tried to explain. 

She’s now stuck in a so called voluntary position at a local charity and I’m disgusted that this charity are using workfare, using free labour and gaining financially at the cost of vulnerable people is never good in my eyes. She has to attend everyday but she cares for her mother one day a week. The Jobcentre have told her to stop doing this, the workfare placement must come first. In this lovely ladies eyes and my eyes also her mum does come first. She’s very old now and needs her shopping taken care off etc. I did try to explain about carers allowance but she didn’t understand, she is so confused but she did say to me that she stuck up for herself in the Jobcentre and said no. I really do hope that she doesn’t get sanctioned for this. 

In my eyes this lady should not be in this position at all. Yes she can do work that isn’t challenging but she’s got a lot of difficulties and just tries to do her best and to live independently. The DWP have knowingly taken advantage of a very vulnerable lady and made her already difficult life even harder. She told me that she never used to drink because it’s bad, but she has started to. The reason  why? Because she is so stressed she’s finding life very difficult. 

There must be thousands of people like this lady being victimised by the DWP. She should be able to live her life in peace, but the DWP and the Tory government have put a stop to this. Please spare a thought for everyone in this position. Please don’t judge anyone because they may appear a little different than yourself. Everyone has a heart, everyone has feelings. Of course we know this but the Tories ignore this. Why? Because they sold their souls to to the gods of capitalism, tyranny and bankers many years ago. 

Please if you can donate to keep my blog going if you can. I’m on a very very limited income and do struggle myself. My Paypal add is seercharlotte@gmail.com

Punished for being in temporary accommodation 

Imagine this. Your whole life has been a nightmare and you grew up knowing nothing but abuse. You manage to struggle through this but still manage to have a career and a good job. The person that has abused you as a child still continues so you escape. You travel miles away from home to an unknown place and are after a struggle offered a place in supported accommodation and you  feel safe for the first time ever but you’ve had to give everything up. You have to go to the Jobcentre to make a claim because the women’s refuge tell you too. Your also advised that you can’t work because the service charges and the rent are too high. You tell this to your work coach but they say tough we are going to sanction you. As a result this woman became penniless and owed the refuge hundreds of pounds. 

This is a clearly wrong. This in itself feels like persecution. Luckily this lady is strong and is fighting this. She is a hero in my eyes. It shows how vulnerable people are disregarded by the dwp and this government. Their needs aren’t catered for. This issue needs addressing now. If she wasn’t a strong person this could have thrown her back into the hands of her abuser. 

When will this stop? I for one will never stop fighting this evil system. Please come and join us.