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Mandatory Work activity Log. (AKA Workfare)

June 9, 2012

I’m starting this to keep a track on how I’m feeling, what I’m being made to do, and the Behaviour of pinnacle people.

Now Please do not get me wrong, I DO not mind doing voluntary work, I do a lot on my own back anyway. What annoys me is the fact I am forced to drop everything, from studies to other voluntary work I’m doing just to do MWA. This will take 30 a week in work time that’s not counting the 3 hours(Total on bus per day) travel time plus the 6 miles I’ll be walking daily 3 miles to and from, that takes me about 30mins 1h total both ways (its all UP hill)
So in a week that working out over all that’s;
Bus traversing time 3×5=15
Walking to the bus for 5 days is 1 hour so that’s 5 hours
To travel time in total 15+5=20h
then add the working hours and travel time together its 30+20=50h
so we’re looking at it being 50h weeks including all travelling time for the next 4-8 weeks (or longer if Job centre decree such).
in that time I have somehow got to squeeze in looking for REAL employment, while trying to juggle paying bills and debts on-time (a lot of time gets used waiting for the bad hold music to end and talk to someone). plus trying to look after pets, keep myself and my partner well while not having any money to buy food or cloths, plus the running of a spiritual group, while still trying to find where I can still fit my real volunteer work. So I figured I had best keep a log as best I can because I can’t always pay the phone bill on time.

So in the mean time, I shall try not to starve to death, miss a bus that doesn’t always show up, or faint from feeling ill once I start this so called placement, which given how it goes about, how its all set up and the threats you get from point of Identification is nothing short of legalised and government funded slave labour.
JSA Rates:

Depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to the following amounts:

Your status Maximum weekly amount
Under 25 £56.25
Over 25 £71.00
Couples, civil partnerships £111.45

List of things that need to be paid out of that:
Utility bills
Debts
Food
cloths.

My first contact on the 25th may has already used “veiled” threats and that was as soon as I picked up the phone right after I said Hello. Literally as soon as they’ve hello and inquired who their talking to, having made sure its who they want the next statement is “Failure to take part in MWA will result in sanctions and loss of benefits.” Then once they’ve found you a placement you get a letter AND a text message. Both are insulting and again contain threats.

8 June 2012, we Get a letter each, My parter has not been phoned in his case this is first contact that has been made to him. In this stupid and insulting letter it tells you when your placement will start, with no one contacting you to arrange a date, they just give you one. you are told in it how long your MWA is expected to last. (They claim its 4 weeks in our case, but I’ve been warned by others that if they decree it at job centre it can last months or until you find paying work. first find the time!)  And at time table for your next 4 weeks. The letter is 12 pages long. Page 2 tells you what MWA is, and page 3 is a google map print off of where your placement is (Thankfully I know the town I’m going to very well). page 4 is the start of the “welcome pack mandatory work activity” which tells you all about your placement, what’s expected of you (in an unclear and patronising way. Prisoners in jail are treated better!), and of course the rules, which are also written in a disrespectful, patronising way, As you continue to read though the self contradicting document, you find in it the once again Threat of Failure to comply with them results in sanctions. (so 2 threats already)

7th June 2012, Pinnacle send out a text message. which likely due to lack of signal on my mobile phone arrived on the 9th (please note I’ve removed my placement address As I do not feel they are to blame for MWA scams.) It reads;
“This is a text to confirm your induction at a placement on the MWA. This will take place on Tuesday 12th June 2012 at 2.45pm. You will be meeting our associate at the RSPCA Charity shop” {insert shop address} “Failure to attend may affect your benefits.”
So I’ve had 3 contacts from them, my parter legally would only of had 1. and all contain the same slightly differently worded threat. I Haven’t even Met anyone face to face yet!

(Well I hope they don’t expect me to sign anything. Because in DWP’s OWN rules (DWP provider Guidance chapter 5 Annex 1 page 9) They can not force me to sign and the use of threats to make me do so is both unlawful and illegal.
and I quote the section. “If you do not give consent, this will not affect your entitlement to participate in the programme, or any job offer or employment obtained. You can write to [Provider] at any time to withdraw your consent and this will not affect your placement on the programme or any employment or offer of employment made.”)

Then I have the bloody Job centre on my case ALL the time. Today 9/6/2012 a “doubt has arisen” form showed up in the post once again. despite the fact I go in person to potential employment to apply for the work advertised, yet always I get these stupid forms from JCP.
job centre is probably contacting these places and putting them off! just by saying “hello it’s the job centre, we’re phoning to enquire about such n such” and the employers are aether lieing because their now put off or Can’t remember who I am out of number of people, OR Can’t remember who I am out of number of people and now put off because of JCP!

The knock on effects this is having on me:

I haven’t had money to get out to my Doctors as since a “civil enforcement officer” showed up for a disputed council tax payment, where I was taken to court with out notification and the payment they’ve been asking for is in a date while I was switching from single parent (I was a legal guardian to my younger brother when our parents died) benefits to JSA so there was a while of no income while DWP. Job centre got their asses into gear, in all that time they never told the local council and wouldn’t give me anything to give to them, because I wasn’t fully on the system yet. So there’s a large disputed mess as a result.
I’ve been left a nervous wreck, I’ve been crying, tiny little things that go wrong just seem to the straw that brakes the donkeys back now. I’ve even been going into the dark realms of thinking about killing myself just to escape. Thankfully their fleeting and I chase the idea off at the moment. I’ve started biting my nails again, I haven’t done that since I was 11, I’m very worried about where the next penny is coming from I don’t have enough money to buy food so I’m already getting brake outs on my skin. White marks are popping in my nails, I’m feeling Dizzy, and tired all the time. and the past 5 days I’ve had a headache that I can not seem to shift even with pain killers and difficulty focusing. top this off with digestive issues, at first I thought I may have got a stomach bug, but 8 weeks on I’m not so sure, Crippling stomach craps followed by watery stool’s when going to the loo. usually accompanied with feeling as if I’m going to be sick and dizzy spells to near fainting due to the inability to breath thanks to the pain. Hence Why I need to see a doctor but thanks to money I can not travel to them, and most of the time I can’t phone them because the phone is down due to unpaid bill.
And add to that now I’m getting threats from people I’ve never met, plus the job centre sending me letters of “doubt has arisen” forms. I Really am not sure how much more I can take, Before it becomes to much for me to deal with any-more.

Here are some links / vids.

http://www.youtube.com/user/StigoftheSkipp

http://youtu.be/LmB8Sue4xVo

http://youtu.be/D_NM0UlWXKs

http://youtu.be/3hcZ7Zcl8cY <- This one is my problem, I am literally trapped.

http://www.poverty.ac.uk/sites/default/files/trouble_ahead.pdf

http://www.trusselltrust.org/

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. susan strickland permalink
    June 10, 2012 5:21 pm

    Awful! So frustrating and depressing for you – can’t really think of anything positive to say except I hope things go better for you and that this stupid and evil system is stopped …

    • February 21, 2013 9:38 pm

      Thank you. I just hope that by blogging all of this, I’m another voice shouting out the truth so they can’t keep hiding it in the closet or under the rung. I speak out because I know many many others no longer have the bite or willpower to do so. So while I still have it in me I will tell my story, and if I ever get out of this trap, I will continue to speak out for those still stuck in the system.

  2. June 15, 2012 2:33 pm

    “I’ve been left a nervous wreck, I’ve been crying, tiny little things that go wrong just seem to the straw that brakes the donkeys back now. I’ve even been going into the dark realms of thinking about killing myself just to escape”.

    I can really related to that, feeling ill, dizzy, headaches, sickness and so on. Stress and anxiety. Scared of what will happen next, accounting for every penny. I hate this society for the way it demonises, stigmatises, bullies and punishes people on benefits. People are pushed to the limits and to the edge. I know about the “dark realms” of suicide. Solidarity!

    • February 21, 2013 9:39 pm

      AS they keep telling us, We are all in this together. they are in for a rude awaking when we do all finally stand together. Its already worked in Bulgaria!

  3. danielle permalink
    December 3, 2012 10:55 am

    sounds like me at the min trying t get hold of them is not working,

    • February 21, 2013 9:41 pm

      We just have to keep reminding ourselves of the good there is around us. How they will win if we do end out lives. We have to remember that we are not alone, that each and every one of us stuck in this poverty trap are all here together and if we stand up in Solidarity the Gov won’t know what hit them.

      • February 21, 2013 9:42 pm

        That’s not to say I condone Riots, because I don’t that again is something they want to happen.

  4. March 29, 2014 11:55 pm

    With havin so much content do you ever run into any
    issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?

    My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced
    but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet
    without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help protect against content from being ripped off?
    I’d genuinely appreciate it.

    • September 26, 2014 11:49 am

      stick on it the date you posted it with the copy write symbol and stick your name to it as well. you may also want to think about making it copy write so big Corp can’t steal it from you. (its happened to me, so it could happen to anyone.)

Trackbacks

  1. Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » National day of action against charities involved in workfare
  2. Birmingham Trades Council » National day of action against charities involved in workfare
  3. National day of action against charities involved in workfare « Benefit Claimants Fightback
  4. Boycott Workfare » Blog Archive » From today: workfare for sick and disabled people
  5. Birmingham Trades Council » From today: workfare for sick and disabled people

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