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

The poor side of life

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…

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Fury over ten minute inquest into death of ‘real life Daniel Blake’

St Pancras Coroner’s Court does not hear evidence about Lawrence Bond’s work capability assessments

THE sister of a man whose death triggered protests over the government’s “fitness for work” reforms believes a coroner’s inquest has failed to answer key questions.

Lawrence Bond had seen his benefits stopped under controversial work capability assessments, which critics say are forcing people to take on jobs while they are still unwell. The 56-year-old collapsed and died in Kentish Town in January, shortly after a visit to the Jobcentre, but this back story was not considered by coroner Dr Richard Brittain.

Instead an inquest at St Pancras Coroner’s Court on Friday was completed in little more than 10 minutes with “paper-only” evidence and nobody on the witness stand. The case had led comparisons with Ken Loach’s award-winning film I, Daniel Blake, and the movie director was among protesters who joined a vigil outside the Jobcentre in Kentish Town in the days following Mr Bond’s death. Frances Coombes, Mr Bond’s sister, who did not attend the hearing, said yesterday (Wednesday): “What we would still like to know is, how can someone who had so many different things wrong with them, be classed as fit for work? What does that say about the system? Is it fit for purpose?”

She added: “I and my sister started to get seriously worried last year that Lawrence did not seem to be getting any help or understanding from the professionals he came in contact with.” Campaigners at the inquest said representatives from the Department for Work and Pensions and Maximus – the company that assessed Mr Bond – should have been called to give evidence.

read more here: http://camdennewjournal.com/article/fury-over-ten-minute-inquest-into-death-of-real-life-daniel-blake

 

What exactly is the jobcentre for?

It’s been a long time since jobs were advertised in jobcentres and you went there to look for work, but a jobcentre actively intervening to stop people’s own efforts to find a job places it firmly in the category of worse than useless. It’s not just that they’re making people waste time with pointless exercises. People are telling us about ‘work coaches’ making them stop doing things that would be genuinely helpful.

Read more here: What exactly is the jobcentre for?

Gran suffered heart attack at job centre meeting – but was too scared to leave as she feared losing benefits

The incident echoes the hit Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake, where the lead actor suffers a heart attack on the way to a job centre meeting and dies

A gran suffered a heart attack during a job centre employment meeting but said she was too scared to get up and leave – for fear of ­losing her benefits .

The incident echoes the hit Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake, where the lead actor suffers a heart attack on the way to a job centre meeting and dies.

Grandmother Salena Hannah, 50, claims she had the seizure during a Jobseeker’s Allowance appointment, but was ignored by the “callous” interviewer. Salena said she dreaded falling victim to the Tory sanction scheme, introduced in 2012, which can involve a reduction in benefit – often to zero – and range from one week to three years.

Sanctions are enforced if the Department for Work and Pensions decides a person has not met the requirements for receiving JSA. Salena said the incident happened earlier this month.

She explained: “I had been suffering with chest pains for about two weeks and took a couple of sprays of GTN spray, to help with my angina, before I walked in to meet my interviewer. My job is under 16 hours, so I am forced to attend regular meetings, or my benefits might be stopped.”

“I was feeling some really bad pains in my chest and I told her at least two or three times that I was in agony, but she was just so callous, she just kept ignoring me. I said I needed to go to the NHS walk-in centre immediately, but it fell on deaf ears. I was living in fear of being sanctioned and just felt trapped. I didn’t think I could leave or I would be sanctioned.”

Salena claims she was forced to endure a 40-minute JSA interview, while sweating profusely and suffering cheat pains. As soon as she left the interview, she went to a nearby NHS walk-in centre, where medics immediately called an ambulance and took her to hospital. Blood tests revealed she had suffered a heart attack and surgeons inserted two stents into her arteries.

She was allowed home after three days, only to suffer serious chest pains an hour later and return to hospital, where three more stents were inserted. She is now recovering at home but is struggling to breath and is constantly weak.

She said: “I was just dreading getting sanctioned. I just would not be able to afford to live if that happened, so pain or no pain, I had to endure that meeting. It is unbelievable how cruel the sanction scheme can be to people like me. It is almost like they are trained to be unfeeling. Is that what Britain is coming to these days under a Tory Government?”

Mum-of-four Salena, from Salisbury, Wilts, is bringing up her two grandsons aged 14 and 10 on her own.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/gran-suffered-heart-attack-job-10458734

Originally posted on The poor side of life: I’ll start today’s blog by describing the weather, because it certainly just about sums things up. Windy, raining and hostile. Certainly not favourable for holding our weekly demo. But still we soilder on. People need our support, it’s as simple as that.? I arrived at 10am, completely…

via Today’s demo. G4S bully boys and Storm Doris both making an appearance. Food parcels taken in less than 10 minutes.  — sdbast

DWP admits it hasn’t assessed impact of closing 78 local jobcentres despite announcing policy last month

Ministers have denied Google maps was used to draw up a list of potential closures

The Department for Work and Pensions has been accused of taking a “cavalier attitude” to closing 78 local jobcentres across the country after it emerged it had not even conducted an impact assessment of the policy.

Ministers denied that the sites to be closed were chosen using Google Maps after many MPs, including a number of Conservatives, raised concerns about the plans in Parliament at the end of January.

Now Ministers have admitted that the key statutory exercise has not yet been conducted. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the buildings are not being used to their full capacity and that it can conduct impact assessments later.

read more here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/jobcentre-closing-dwp-impact-assessment-louise-haigh-a7575061.html

Coroner orders inquest into ‘fit for work’ man who collapsed after leaving jobcentre

About 100 activists and their allies have taken part in a protest and vigil to mark the death of a disabled man who died minutes after leaving a jobcentre… six months after a government contractor found him “fit for work”.

Lawrence Bond is said to have collapsed on the pavement shortly after leaving Kentish Town jobcentre, following a back-to-work appointment.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/coroner-orders-inquest-into-fit-for-work-man-who-collapsed-after-leaving-jobcentre/?