Aug 11, 2015
The words of a lady who was referred to us by one of our friend organisations. Here's a summary of the Client's condition:
- panic attack
- recovering alcoholic ( dry for past 15 yrs )
She is terrified of leaving her house and will only do so if she can be accompanied by someone she knows and trusts. Due to non-attendance at medical appointments in March this year, caused by this debilitating mental condition, she was removed from ESA. She was told that attendance was a MUST, regardless of her medical circumstances and her benefit income was "...stopped. It has had a big impact on my health making me even more anxious and causing me to panic to the point I could hardly breathe."
When she did manage to get a trusted relative to accompany her to her local Job Centre to report her work record for her JSA claim (which she had to raise in place of the ESA claim that was closed down) "the security guy refused my daughter in law to accompany me to the 2nd floor where I had to sign on and show my work sheet."
She closed down her JSA claim as a result of this obstructive treatment by the contract guarding company's operative (not even a regular or trained member, himself, of the Job Centre staff) and has reclaimed ESA, which is right and proper for her ongoing medical status. Her GP has signed her unfit for work until October, but she still awaits the mandatory Work Capability Assessment. The ongoing delay and lack of any income are what prompted the quote at the head of this post.
What worried us more than anything was the next sentence of her email to our friends: "I have no income at all no food gas electric I'm in £2,000 pound rent arrears and on a suspended warrant for possession of my home I feel suicidal."
We have provided this lady with £200 to help her get through the delay while her WCA appointment is made for her. This will buy her food for her cupboards and freezer and top up her gas and electricity meters. We SO wish we could do something about her rent arrears, but we are a small charity with a limited Fund, and there are always more people out there who desperately need help. What we do to help can never be enough, but we do what we can with what we have. It's why your donations are so desperately important to us and so gratefully received. For every Client we reach, or who is referred, when we help them we remain painfully aware that there are some ten thousand other pairs of hands reaching out in supplication somewhere out there in the mists of anonymity, their owners praying desperately for someone to give them a helping hand.
The money that you give to us makes a world of difference to someone like this lady and the situation into which they've been thrown. Every single penny that we receive is destined for use by a future Client. None of the members of The Biscuit Fund takes a salary or expenses. If you can, no matter how much or little you feel you can part with, do please use the Donate button. The difference you can make to a fellow Briton's life is nothing short of amazing.
It is thanks entirely to previous donations to our Fund that, today, this Client has gone from having a single tin of fruit in her cupboard, which our friends told us about, to being able to do (or, more likely, have done for her by a relative) a full grocery shop for fresh, nourishing food. She'll be able to cook that food now that she has gas and electricity, as well as wash in hot water. That should be standard practice for all in today's 21st century Britain, yet it is a lifestyle that more and more people are seeing slipping away from them.
It is very possible that, in this case, we may have prevented a tragic loss of a life - a suicide that was becoming increasingly likely thanks to the rigidity of the "one size fits all" system.
In writing up the cases of the Clients who we meet and assist, we do our very best not to be political. In some cases though, like this one, making it clear why we helped the Client leaves us no room to "write around" the failings in "The System" because that System is the indisputable core cause of the problems suffered by the individual.