Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Final Post

Evening everyone.

Unfortunately, this will be my last post for quite a while. I considered taking down my blog, but a friend suggested letting everyone know what is going on instead.

So, I am going to let you all know what is going on, and then I will bid you goodbye for a while. Hopefully not too long, but I have no clue when I will be back, if at all.

These government austerity cuts that everyone knows about? Well, they are affecting me, and it will only get worse come April when the rest of the planned cuts come into force. The new cuts will also affect me.

Here's why....let's call this an open letter to the government scum who are ruining this country.

I am deaf. Not totally deaf, but deaf enough to not be able to hold social conversations properly. However, I am not deemed deaf enough to be disabled, so I claim Job Seekers Allowance, and apply for many jobs each week. My CV gets brilliant feedback, but when they insist I fill in the 'extra' forms about disabilities, and sexual orientation etc, claiming they don't discriminate, then I never hear back from them. At all. Ever. Even jobs that I applied to under the 'Guaranteed Interview Scheme', which is a scheme that allows disabled people to be treated fairly in job applications, I simply get an email telling me that although I passed their initial phase of selection, so did everyone else, and therefore they had to 'up' their criteria, and I never made the cut. This happens regularly, I'm sure, to everyone. But when an employer seeks me out and asks me to apply, then rejects me, it can only be because they asked me to apply from seeing my CV, in which I don't mention that I am deaf. Its only after they see the 'extra' forms, that I am rejected.

The job centre itself did this to me. They phoned and asked me to apply for a job with them, based on their seeing my CV. When I sent all the forms back, I was sent an email 'explaining' that I had filled in the forms incorrectly and therefore I was not short listed.

Okay, so let's assume that I filled in the forms incorrectly. I spent four years at law school, have been self-employed twice, started my own charity, and am now an author. Writing and filling in forms is kind of what I do, so to be told I have filled in forms incorrectly sticks in my throat as a feeble excuse not to hire a disabled person, who isn't quite disabled.

I'm rambling... so let's get to the point. I cannot survive on job seekers allowance. As it stands now, I cannot afford to heat my home, and therefore have no hot water either. I do not get enough money to be able to buy enough food to last a fortnight, and so go without food a lot of the time so that my son can eat. It isn't a case of budget management. I am perfectly capable of managing a budget, if I had one. But I don't. You can't manage money you don't have, and when your normal bills, ie: water, gas, electricity, internet etc are very expensive, then there is nothing left for anything else.

This lack of food has caused malnutrition. Yes, I know you don't believe me, because we don't have things like this going on in Britain in the 21st century, do we? But it's true. My malnutrition has many health issues, mainly chronic, uncontrollable tiredness. This extreme fatigue has me dropping off to sleep half way through conversations, with the person present being unable to wake me. I am physically unable to stay awake. I can sleep for around 19 hours every single day, and there is nothing I can do about it. I also suffer from recurring pleurisy now as well, and internal infections, as well as joint aches and very bad back pains. I have extremely high cholesterol as well, which affects my legs, making me unable to walk very far without extreme pain. 

And yes, this is because of my lifestyle. Although this lifestyle is NOT a choice. I would not choose to be cold, hungry and in so much pain. 

But here is the kicker. My doctor, due to the cuts, is not allowed to look at all my symptoms and give me an overall diagnosis. He is only allowed to look at and treat one symptom at a time, so he treats the most urgent, which is the pleurisy. I am unable to take a deep breath at any time, and have been seen in the hospital. I have had X-rays and blood tests to see why I cannot breath properly. My X-rays and blood tests came back normal, and the hospital cannot explain why I am unable to take a deep breath, and so decided that I must be depressed. My doctor knows I am not depressed, he has known me for 20 years. So, I can't get a diagnosis, and have to walk for an hour to the job centre every two weeks. The job centre is only a ten minute walk away, but it really does take me an hour to get there.

99% of my health and financial problems would disappear virtually overnight if I could get a job. And I would give my right arm to get a job, regardless of what the government says about the unemployed being shirkers etc. They are wrong. I'm not living a wonderful life. My curtains remain shut to try to keep the cold out, not because I am in bed while everyone else works. (This government is so full of shit it makes me so angry).

When April comes and the bedroom tax is in force, it will affect me. I have one spare bedroom because my daughters grew up and left home. I would happily downgrade, but there is nowhere to downgrade to. So I will be stuck with another bill that I cannot pay, which will ultimately see me being evicted. But, whatever, this is going to happen to many many people in the coming months.

It's happening to me, now. My internet is about to be turned off, along with my phone, because I have no money and can't pay. That's okay, the internet isn't an essential item, is it?
Oh wait! It IS an essential item, because come April, we are all going to be forced to search for jobs for up to 8 hours a day, on the governments job seekers website to boot. How they expect me to do 8 hours a day online searches when I don't have the internet I have no idea.
Oh wait, I can use the library? Nope, they closed that down before Christmas because of cuts, and they charged for use of the internet anyway.
I can use an internet cafe? Sure, I could do this, if I had £1 to spare for every hour I spent online in an internet cafe. Thats £8 a day, which is £40 a week. I will only be getting £45 a week from April, so scrap that for an idea, I really do need to eat at least twice a week if I intend staying alive.
I can use the computers in the job centre? Sure can, but my job centre only has three computers for public use, and you have to book them in advance.
Wow! Looks like the government has found a way to sanction everyone off their benefits, because if we don't do one of the above, then we lose our wonderful and apparently generous allowance, because they deem us not trying hard enough.

Fuck you, you government scum. I am trying so hard to get a job, but at this rate, by the time I find one, I will be in no fit state, health-wise, to attend. You want to help us get a job? Try letting us EAT, and keep HEALTHY, so that we are ABLE to work. 

Enough of my ranting. The above is a rather short version of what is going on in my life right now, and why I am being forced offline. As an indie author, this will be disastrous for me, which is why I am explaining myself to you about why I will disappear offline in the next few days. I'm hoping I will be missed, but I suspect that everyone reading this will be caught up in their own drama caused by this feckless, useless excuse of a government.

P.S. If there are any genuine employers out there reading this, I am available for work, capable of working and willing to work. I also have e-books for sale, which you can see over there =======>
Please buy one, you may be saving a life, or at least allowing me to eat. (dramatic music please).

See you all on the flipside, and take care of yourselves.


UPDATE:

I am astonished and overwhelmed by the support given over this blog post. It is something that I never expected. It gives me hope, and strength, and I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart. The blog post itself has had over 3300 hits in the last 24 hours, with everyone sharing the post across the country and the world. A group of dedicated people are sharing and emailing this post to prominent people in power and various organisations, and have vowed to continue doing so until someone takes note, stands up and does something, so please continue sharing this post.

As for me, I am busy right now filling in applications forms for jobs, some of which were signposted to me as a result of this blog post. I have read every single comment here, and email, and facebook message, and wish I could reply to each and every one of you individually, but there are so many and so I will reply here, generally. I was approached, and offered help, from a group of dedicated people who run a hardship fund. As this scummy government have kicked every ounce of hope and opportunity out of all of us 'plebs and scroungers', then I gratefully accepted the help offered. BT allowing me a little extra time before the cut-off. So until Wednesday next week I will be around and about.

As for other help offered by all the wonderful and compassionate people who are reading this blog post, I am aware of the offers of monetary donations. I was going to refuse them, and told my friend that it doesn't feel right to be taking money from people who also probably can't afford it. My friend told me that I should accept the donations, and use it to help others. Like a kind of 'everyone put a pound in the pot, and share it equally with those who need it' type of thing. This sounded like good advice, but then I thought, hang on! Isn't that the governments job? Working people put money in the pot, and the government are supposed to look after those who are in need. Well, all I can say is that the government couldn't organise a piss-up in a brewery, and should all be sacked, without a golden handshake or a wonderful pension. No, let's not make this overly political. Did you see that... I was trying to thank you all, and I end up starting on a big rant.  My apologies.

Anyway, after many hours of doubt, and thought, I have decided that donations will be accepted. Someone has to help us all, and the government certainly aren't. I will only use what I need to keep me warm and alive, and the rest will be donated, if there is enough, between food banks, shelter and the wonderful group that helped me. I will keep everyone fully informed on donation amounts and where they have gone etc, as I am not a politician and have nothing to hide, and neither do I steal to line my own pockets, or twist statistics in order to help along a lie. (that's probably why I am poor haha - and I am doing the ranting thing again aren't I? Sorry). Please only donate if you can genuinely afford it. There will be many people in the country who will be grateful and thankful for your help. If you wish to donate, then my paypal address is

gailbriggs2@gmail.com

Together we can turn what is a dire situation for me, into a positive situation for a lot of people.

Thank you all so much for your support. It has restored my faith in human nature.

UPDATE #2

Phew, this post is getting long isn't it? I just wanted to update everyone regarding donations. Some donations have been sent by compassionate and concerned members of the public who have been especially moved by the words posted here.

Total donations received: £270.77
The balance of the 'People Supporting People' fund is currently £155.77

This is a fantastic development, and I thank you all so much.

This money will remain exactly where it is in the hope that it will grow, with further donations, until it can be re-housed with charitable organisations that help the needy in this country. Each time a donation is given, I will update the figure above.

I hope the developments continue and take us all to great heights. Together we can make a difference, and this blog post is living proof of that. I published the original post feeling despondent, frustrated, and angry. The response here has turned that around in a way you cannot imagine and I feel hope and strength that we can do this. Together. We have the means, and we have the skills; there is no reason why we can't continue what has started here.

Please continue sharing the blog post around the world, and if you have been moved in any way and can afford even a small amount, then please donate to this cause. The only people safe from this government are the bankers, the politicians and their friends. This is a FACT that we are all well aware of. Let's show them that WE are the important people in this country, the people of Britain, not them, and that without us, they are nothing. Hey, that's fighting talk that is isn't it? Did you see that? It's your fault you scummy government, you backed me into a corner and instead of dying like you decided I was supposed to, I came out fighting instead. More and more people are going to do the same, and rightly so. So please donate if you can, and let's help these needy people stand up and join us.

Keep your spirits up good people of Britain. Behind the scenes everywhere there are people like me, who were helped and supported, and who then stood up and joined the fight to help people like you, and your support is absolutely vital. 

Thank you all for helping me back. Hopefully I can return that favour very soon.

UPDATE #3

Just another quick update (well, I hope it's quick, as I am known to waffle on a bit). On Monday 18 February, I emailed my MP, Lucy Powell, asking her for support, as advised by a message here from Jane (who has a decent MP). Well, it is now Friday 22 February, and I have heard nothing back from my MP. Not a thing. I am pretty sure she is a busy person and I bear her no ill will for rudely ignoring my email. But it is her job and her duty, as my MP, to at least read and respond to any correspondence. I have given her a full business week to reply; how long does it take to check an email anyway. It can be done in two minutes while she has a break from her busy schedule and sits in her nice warm office sipping expensive coffee, courtesy of the tax payers. Maybe my email got lost among the probable many thousands she receives every day from people like me who have been severely let down by people like her. I hope she realises that ignoring me won't make me, or the situation, go away. I will continue to email her every Monday morning until she does reply. Any of you please feel free to let her know that she is failing to do her job by not replying, or even acknowledging my mail. Her email address is:  contact@lucypowell.org.uk - have at her! If we can fill her inbox, then she is going to have to sit up and take note, and then do something.

Enough of the above though, I have some good news. The donations came in and we managed to raise £170. I gave the group that helped me £65. I tried to give them £100, but they would not accept it, and insisted I keep the £100 for myself. I wasn't going to touch it at all, but my benefits came five days late, so I took £50 and used it to buy gas and some food. I was supposed to sign on last Tuesday 12th, but jarred my back and was unable to walk the hour needed to get to the job centre. I phoned them and they wanted to do the 'send forms by snail mail so everything will be late' thing. I am surprised they insist on snail mail these days, especially since from April they want everything to be done online. But I guess it's their way of giving out little punishments wherever and whenever they can. Consequently, I was backed into a corner, and had no choice but to use some of the money. I felt terribly guilty doing so, but I am extremely grateful it was there. I am also pleased that the group that helped me can now, thanks to you all, help some others.

I am eating now, and feel so much stronger, healthier and optimistic. I am not sleeping nearly as much, and that is fantastic. The kindness and help I have received from complete strangers is overwhelming, and I will never be able to thank them enough, or you all for reading this and getting the word out. Obviously my internet is still on, and BT were extremely understanding and extended my payment date on no less than two occasions. The bill has now been paid, and so I can continue with my job searches and my writing, which is also good news, as the collaborative novel I am writing with author friends is almost finished.

It will be called Isabella: Captured Souls and is a novel with a difference. Look out for it, as it's going to be amazing.

Thank you all for your continued support and messages. Every single one has been read and received with grateful thanks. My emotions over the last week have tipped from one extreme to the other, knowing that there are people out there who care, and who can relate. So, thank you all.

Wed 22nd March - New update and drama can be found HERE

Thursday 1st August - Latest Update is HERE 

Final update is HERE 


58 comments:

  1. Gail, I am putting you in touch with someone who may be able to help you -http://evenbreak.co.uk

    Hang in. We're there for you.

    Sz xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Gail,

    So sorry to read your story. I wish it was an isolated story and that you were an exception. But we know that isn't the case. I can't promise anything, but I would like to help if I can. Please email me on janeh@evenbreak.co.uk.

    Jane

    ReplyDelete
  3. Gail, this is shocking!
    I hope you get this sorted soon. I am going to share this as I think it shows how people in the UK are forced to live today, and how many others will be forced into situations like yourself, very soon.
    Hang in there - I hope you get the support and are a voice that speaks for many others.
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is an excellent job going which is home based - I know the person personally and she was very moved by your story.

    http://sarosresearch.com/PM2013.php

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jeez, Gail. I wish I could do something for you. Your post almost made me cry, I can *feel* your despair.

    Although I live in Lanzarote, which might sound paradisical to most people, I have had no "proper" job with a work contract for 1 1/2 years, my unemployment money ran out about a year ago, I have fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis but, like you, I am not disabled enough to claim any help from the government. I can´t work 8 hours a day like normal people because of my illness, but as you know, Spain is bankrupt anyway, and their cuts are even worse than the UK´s. I´m surviving on any website jobs (I´m a web designer and photographer) that I can get, but it is not regular work, and the money is just trickling in from here and there.

    The way I live is not to worry about the future because there´s nothing much I can do about it and I don´t know what it will bring anyway, and live one day at a time, crossing bridges as they present themselves. I am *always* trying to stay positive, and then, usually, positive things do happen!

    Anyway, I am just saying all this to show you that you are not alone and that we (a lot of us) are all struggling in our own way, and I am sooooo with you, Gail. You do sound like a strong person, and even though it might not help much, I am sending you a massive bunch of positive vibes from me and my cats, over here in the Canary Islands. *bighugs*

    P.S.: I am German, but lived in London from 1984 to 2004 - Thatcher seems like a beautiful dream compared to what the government is like now - then sold my flat in Forest Gate and bought a little apartment in Puerto del Carmen...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gail, what a dreadfully sad story. I'm sorry that I can't help personally but hope that you get the assistance you deserve, never mind require, and soon.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Gail, this is being shared throughout Social Networks by myself and a small army of people.

    Which area of the UK are you in?

    Can you email me: rob@MmmTweetable.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gail, you put you case forward very eloquently, I am in a similar situation. I will Do as Rob is doing and spread this as far as I can.
      Julie

      Delete
  8. I'm so glad you wrote this Gail. More people need to share their stories of how the coalition, at every turn, are literally destroying people's lives with their disgusting, ideological, ill-thought through policies. You've already coped with so much, you seem so strong. I'm hoping so much that things pick up for you.

    It's not much but after reading the reviews of your Stealth Series books on Amazon I've just bought them as they sound like my kind of book to a T, and I'll share the knowledge and try and get other people to try them out too. Stay strong, we'll get the bastards soon enough.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Gail such a sad but very well written post.
    We are all aware of the cutbacks taking place and think we can understand the effects on peoples lives they are having, but from reading your plight I have to admit to having my eyes opened wider than i thought possible.
    I'm so deeply touched and wish there was a magic wand that could put everything right, sadly for us brits who pay our taxes I fear things will only continue on a downhill slide.
    Stay strong and dont give up.
    This needs to be shared and shared again and again by everybody in the hope that somebody in power may actually give a damn about the effects they are having on peoples lives.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would like to buy your ebooks. Is there a way people can do this without giving most of the money to Amazon? Do you have Paypal or something?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yes a very sad story. My words won't sustain you but I hope you resolve this soon. I have read so many stories like yours lately that I find it hard to imagine how Cameron and his cronies sleep at night. They are truly a shabby bunch of bastards.....

    ReplyDelete
  12. I wish I was rich enough to do something practical to help you right now. I wish I could find you a job and some security. I dearly wish I could chomp off the noses of the decision makers, but sadly they're too far up their own arses.

    All I can do is tell you that I'm reading this from a very similar boat, and I'm sending you all the hopes and good wishes that I can. Hang in there. They can take everything but your spirit.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wish I could do something to help. Your story is heart-breaking and it makes me so angry that the government can allow this to happen to people.

    I really hope things work out for you soon.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I know it's not much but I've bought your books. I wish there was more I could do to help. This government is determined to grind people into the ground. We all know that yes, there are some who just don't want to work, but there are many other's (now becoming the majority) like yourself, who get caught up in government's blinkered viewpoint. They tar everyone that's unemployed with the same brush. You have a lot of supporters Gail, but that won't put food on your table. I really hope you find the help you obviously need.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Gail. I have shared your story on my Facebook page.
    Michael Green

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have done so too, and a couple of friends of mine have shared it on as well. Hopefully, this will cause enough outcry so that this shitty government will DO something about people having to live like this, and hopefully soon...

      Delete
  16. Hi Gail,
    Thank you for writing this. I am so saddened to hear your story, which I know is not unique. this is your first post I have come across but I am astruck by the quality of your writing. I don't know if you've considered this (but apologies if you have) how about home-based copy writing for a charity? A lot of them are closing offices but keeping staff on as remote workers, so perhaps this is something you could do? Or a fundraiser based in your area? Red Cross, Macmillan, Oxfam, charityjob.co.uk and thirdsectorjobs.co.uk might be good places to start. I wish I could suggest something more concrete.....
    Good luck, and I truly hope you get the break you deserve soon. Phoenix x

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Gail
    Just seen this on twitter - may be of some use to you??
    "‏@eversojuliet
    Would anyone like to be a journalist? There are FOUR paid writing jobs at @thelistmagazine on site now... http://www.list.co.uk/jobs"

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really feel for you, I really do, I have had no gas/electric in my flat for just 8months now as I was in arrears with British Gas, they when I wasn't home broke in and fitted key meters, being on JSA now as I was thrown off ESA last year I in a million years cannot afford to put £15.00 in each meter each week before any emergency or usage, I suffer from chronic anxiety/panick and was diagnosed with manic depression many years ago, the last year of my 42 years on this planet have and still are just, well, ................ I hope for you that things change, I like you hate these BASTARDS, Bees

    ReplyDelete
  19. If you manage to see this, I recommend you ask your doctor about Fortifresh drinks. I've been in your position and I managed to get them simply on the basis of being seriously underweight. They contain 350 calories each and you can get at least 28 at a time on prescription. They also contain a good balance of nutrients. Needless to say, this can make all the difference.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Gail,

    I don't have an e-reader... otherwise I'd buy one of your books. But is there somewhere people could donate some money to you? I would happily donate enough for you to spend on a few meals or a small grocery trip or something.

    Best of luck to you. A friend of mine on FB shared your story. You are an excellent writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can download an e-reader for your PC, and I had now got Gail's book on my phone. (Gail, IT'S FABULOUS. I'm telling everyone to buy it.)

      I hope that some of the offers of help on here come to something for you.
      Much love.

      Delete
    2. You can download an e reader in the Amazon cloud and read the books on your laptop. I know that's difficult to take to bed, but reading is what we do on the net and reading stories on the cloud are enjoyable.

      I see Lisa has told you about one for your phone as well. Good reading.

      Delete
  21. Remember - no matter how bad they may make humanity seem there are more people out there who do care. Hopefully some of the comments and offers of help above will help - I hope so. Take care. There is a lot of love out there for you - and we are fighting these cuts all the way. All the best to you and your son - I know how you feel - hang on in there.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sorry - my name is Patricia - I only pressed the anonymous sending button as couldn't publish on others. Take care...and all the best again...

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award. Follow this link and follow the rules to nominate your favourites. http//wheeliemum42.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. You don't need to be hungry in Western Europe if you know how to get food for free. Look up skipping food.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm so sorry you are going through this. You're not the only one. Not that that makes the slightest bit of difference. I wish I could help you financially but we're in the same boat here.
    We are standing by you regardless.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I really do feel for you. As one of the long term sick disabled 'scroungers' who according to ATOS have had a miracle cure and am now fit for work I am scared what the future holds. I cannot work, hell I can barely do my housework or cook a meal my GP instantly gave me a sick note. All benefits ended for me 8th Feb awaiting outcome of re-decision and then no doubt an appeal. Trying to move to a 1 bed as I cant afford the bedroom Tax. I have a 2 bed disabled adapted bungalow currently, this means when either of my children (boy & girl) come home from University they will not have a room. As it is when both home one has to sleep on the sofa. I wish I could offer words of encouragement but the future as it stands has me worried sick.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Shared across the pond, hoping that this will spread world wide and wishing it will make a difference!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Iam so sorry Gail to here of your troubles, Iknow first hand what it is like.
    i also have had to starve my self over the last 13 months, just to beable to keep a car on the road, I have multipal disabilities, including mental health, I can hardly walk i use a stick to steady my self, IT TAKES ME also an Hour not to get to job centre thats way to far id never make it, But to the shop wich is a 5 min walk there and back for a normal fit person.I unfortuanatly not get better as i also have bone degenarate desease, as well as spondilosis, ostyo and rhumitoid my main nerve that runs through the pelvis is being crushed and with more wear and tare i could be paralized, i have bad feet damaged nerves i am suffuring with huge corns as my balanse is crap.

    I have Carpel Tunnal syndrom in both my hands most times i have very little or no feeling at all, Iam agraphobic this makes matters worse for me again.
    i have been attacked somany times that i am petrified of people i dont know, my only socil life is if one of my children manage to come and see me which is getting more difficult for them as neither of them drive.

    my son works shifts and my daughter has to small children and it takes two hours and two busess for her to get here, if she wants to see me on a weekend she has to go on a saterday as there are no busess to where i live from saterday 6pm, I would still gladly send you a pound or two to help if i was able but under my own sercomstances iit is an impossabilaty, the money i have had to borow over the last 13 months will take the next 20 years to pay back at a pound a week and it still woulent be payed in full, by the way iam 52years, Iam a qualified HairDresser and seamstress, and am capable of earning a stagerinf 100 pounds plus a day if i was able to do it but i cant. enough about me. I am sending love hope and hugs, wish i could help i other ways but cant, Im so sorry, My next things to go will be my internet, my phone on incoming only so as to save money once that happens i dont know whats going to happen all i know is i cant starve my self any longer, i am now living on home made vegetable stews with no meat cant aford it, and bread pudding that i make again my self. the day i get my money, i will buy my self a £1.00 bar of chocolate and a small swansea pie. that is the only day i have anything like this, unless any of my children call they always bring a bar of chocolate for me good kids they are, and i swear that if it wasent for those couple of bars of chocolate id have died by now.i eat a couple of bits every day, and thas how iv managed. take care hope thing get better for you soon xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. Is your hearing good enough to be able to communicate at an interview? If so, then I'd suggest 'misunderstanding' the forms and omit to mention the deafness on the basis that you're not officially disabled. This might at least get you to the next hurdle and give you the opportunity to present your case. I've heard recruiters filter applications on the slightest thing. I was chatting to a cleaner the other day, who told me that he knew some employers who were insisting on a degree for cleaning posts in order to cut down the number of applications to process.
    BTW I've bought one of your books - if it's my sort of thing, I'll get the rest.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Keep u chin up. I am also in a very similar position. I have skipped so much meals (I am now down to 5.7 stones) just so that my kids have enuf 2 eat + the house is warm. I hate this government 4 tarring every1 with the same brush. I am not a scrounger!! Just a mum trying 2 get a job + give her kids the best. I hope something turns up soon 4 u. Sending my love

    ReplyDelete
  31. Appalled. Completely, utterly appalled. Spreading the word.

    ReplyDelete
  32. ... but should add, also inspired by your update and the responses you've received; strength and courage to you: keep shouting.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Gail... you say you're not a politician... maybe it's time to change that! Why not start in the local council and be the voice of the under-represented?

    ReplyDelete
  34. As a social worker you're in the same shocking position as most of my clients, being pushed over the edge by the governments decisions. I have managed to secure grants for people in working with through www.turn2us.org.uk and although they're not much, they can make a big difference. I hope that this helps and I can only hope that the government realise the extent of what they're doing before its too late.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Here's the government's Crisis Loans page: https://www.gov.uk/crisis-loans

    Call me optimistic, but maybe if enough people in this sort of situation (because you're far from alone here) put in applications, they'll begin to get the message?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Sorry, trying that again in an attempt to make the link work: https://www.gov.uk/crisis-loans

    ReplyDelete
  37. I'm going to share this at my blog, Same Difference, with the hope that it will reach more people.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Gail, you are so brave, so so brave to narrate this terrible and awful existence - one which is no fault of your own. I understand the rejections, the constant job search and the work and effort you are putting in to help yourself. This government are destroying the hope you had for yourself. I will show this to my family tomorrow and promise to make a donation to you, paypal account noted. God bless you with love, warmth and lots of hugs sent your way now, x

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hi Gail I totally understand where you are at the moment, as I, like hundreds of thousands of us, am in the same situation. The final straw for me will be the bedroom tax. But I have high hopes that it will be defeated in the courts and they will have to repeal it. Meanwhile please try the Professional Classes Aid Council; they assist people from professional backgrounds by giving occasional grants and regular weekly benefit top-ups. Only condition is that you or your parents have (or had) a profession of some sort and you're now in financial need. Best wishes, Suzie.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Love the update & fighting talk, Gail! With you all the way: keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
  41. We need to make the people in power see what harm they are doing. Believe it or not posts like these do work, even from small groups. I get regular updates from Change.org telling me of what CAN be achieved. I wish I could offer more than a little moral support, Gail, but being on DLA I have little to offer :(
    Al

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hi

    A great post. Don't leave the blogsphere. You are great, just the way you are.

    Rita Pal

    ReplyDelete
  43. Do you have pains in your shins when you walk quickly? As though you have cramp? This and the breathing issue make me wonder if you have a folate deficiency. Your doctor should check your red cell folate, serum B12 and serum ferritin. Also, if your MCH is high even if your MCV, this is a sign of anaemia. Get a print out of your full blood count and check for yourself. Also, vitamin C is good for respiration and back pain.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Gail,
    What a heart-breaking story. I hope you are able to hold things together until your fortunes improve. I have shared your story on my facebook page. I will send you positive thoughts. Be strong!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dear Gail, I emailed a link to your post to my MP, who has read it and says he will take it up with Esther McVey, the Disability Minister. However, he said if you haven't already, you must contact your MP to seek support. Since my MP isn't your MP (unless it's a very strange coincidence!) he can't do much but if your own MP is a good MP then you should receive support of some kind.

    I have also tweeted this and had a lot of retweets, as I think your story tells us a great deal about this Government's policies. One point I made to my MP is that the Government should stop focusing on the 'supply side' of the Labour market, hounding people who can't get jobs, and start focusing on the 'demand side', doing whatever they can to make sure employers don't discriminate against people with impairments or long term conditions.

    I wish you all the very best, Gail, and I hope you don't have to go offline as you write so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jane. A couple of people have already sent the link to this post to my MP, Lucy Powell. As of yet, she had not replied or made contact.
      I will do as you suggest, and contact her myself on Monday.

      Delete
  46. I know, as a country, we're pretty much in the sh*t, but it's definitely not acceptable that good people such as yourself are being run into the ground. I do hope things improve. Love and support from me! How's the food situation looking if you're not accepting donations for yourself?

    ReplyDelete
  47. The support that this government (and the previous one for that matter) is so good for those who are out of work that my wife (who is disabled) and I have just had our house repossessed. The council were so fantastic about it that they told us bluntly that there was no chance we would go on there housing register (despite the community OT had made recommendationd that we needed a suitable bungalow). Trying to find somewhere to privately rent is complicated by the fact we are on housing benefit and that there are very few houses available for those on housing benefit and with LHA varying so wildly from one area to another.

    This 8 hours per day of job searching is nothing but ridiculous, especially on the job centre website as within an hour you will be looing at the jobs that were searched on the previous day... The libraries that are open will be over run by unemployed trying to get access to computers that they have and I can easily foresee the direct.gov website falling down on a very regular basis due to its work load.

    I hope that thigs pick up for you soon...

    ReplyDelete
  48. I have just passed it to my doctor too, we all have to pull for the team now :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. Thank you for the 3rd update, I am pleased things are beginning to get sorted for you.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I'm glad you felt able to dip into the fund: my contribution may not have been much, but that's what it was for, for you. That said, I admire what you're doing with the 'People for People Fund' idea: if only more people would think like that, the world would be a much better place.

    Two suggestions, if I may: might be worth putting dates on your updates (or even posting them as new posts), with links at the top of the page; and another (perhaps better?) contact route for your MP might be via They Work for You: They Work for You: Lucy Powell MP.

    Please keep those updates coming.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I'm glad to hear that you have had new opportunities come your way in regard to the job market and I wish you much success. There is one bit of advice, unasked for of course, that I would like to give to you. The WWW is public to all and you never know who is going to read it. All the comments you made against your government could come back to haunt you. The world is NOT a perfect place and people all around the world are experiencing issues such as yours - you're definitely not alone in your situation. I would not want to see you put under a microscope by your Government because of the words you chose to make public. And trust me I am not the person you call "vile" just someone who sat in the background and watched what transpired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But it *needs* to be public! How else would people know about Gail's plight? Gail might be the first person to start the revolution that the UK needs so badly, and any revolutionary has to take risks...

      Delete