Benefits


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An honest look at #FoodBanks 14

As you might have gathered, I am annoyed by the recent bad press related to the Trussell Trust and food banks after The Daily Fail wrote that article. So annoyed I visited my local food bank and not only donated some items, but spent some time talking to the staff at Gloucester food bank. The Fail is way off, these people are lovely, and kind, and well, brilliant. The first thing I want to say is that Gloucester food bank gets no government level help – it is a charity that relies on kind donations and volunteered time. It is a smallish building, but well used. Shelves were stacked with items that families in need would love. It was organised by type of product, and dates. Bulkier items had whole shelves to themselves, and smaller bits were in labelled cardboard boxes used like draws. I met lovely volunteers who I saw […]


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Accidentally Homeless 9

After reading Rachel’s blog post entitled Homelessness on the rise I really felt I should write my experiences. As a young adult I wasn’t in a good place, often I had no income, rent to pay, and no food in the cupboards. I would often go “scrumping” and take fruit from trees I could climb or knock fruit down from. Sometimes I would take the out of date stock from behind Sainsburys and Safeways. I was very skint and was threatened with eviction many times. So skint I accepted a job at £40 per week for 38 hours work. Unbelievably this was not where or when I became homeless. Instead of renting flats I had to rent rooms, be a lodger in the homes of others. Only eating my “free food allowance” at work some days, no breakfast or lunch. It’s not ideal, but it could be much worse hey? […]


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Work Vs Benefits 2

What to do? I’ve been off since October due to mental health. I still think returning to retail is wrong for me. I could work, but I’ve a great number of phobias and issues that limit the work I can do. How can you do shift work when afraid of the dark? I can’t even go into my garden after dark unless accompanied. Can’t work at the hospital due to my extreme medical phobias. Anything door to door is a non starter, fear of dogs and agoraphobia. It’s fun being different. :-/ I’m no longer getting paid by my employer as it’s been so long. But the idea of letting the benefit agency and ATOS scrutinise my mental health frightens me nearly as much as working with strangers. I’ve only ever done shop work, so office jobs don’t even respond to my applications. Or I get told irrelevant experience, wrong […]