Rue’s story: Jobseeker’s Allowance and a bureaucratic black hole

Jobseeker’s Allowance is supposed to help people on low incomes survive gaps in their employment as they seek new work. One construction worker explains how a glitch in the benefits system left him unable to work, unable to claim JSA and unable to attend his own mother’s funeral… Rue was born on the Portuguese island … Continue reading Rue’s story: Jobseeker’s Allowance and a bureaucratic black hole

P’s story: Battling the Department for Work and Pensions

A cancer survivor shares his experience of the benefits system and reveals how the Department for Work and Pensions’ medical assessors have repeatedly judged him fit for work – contradicting evidence from his GP and hospital doctors, and contravening a ruling by an independent tribunal… I was introduced to “P” by Nathan at Brixton Advice … Continue reading P’s story: Battling the Department for Work and Pensions

Toni’s story: Chaos and cruelty at the Department for Work and Pensions

A few weeks ago, I met Toni. She contacted me after reading one of my posts on the Brixton Advice Centre blog because she’s angry about the way people claiming disability benefits are perceived and treated, and wanted to share some of her own experiences of the system. Toni has a complex medical history that … Continue reading Toni’s story: Chaos and cruelty at the Department for Work and Pensions

The emergence of foodbanks in Lambeth: Elizabeth Maytom interview

Elizabeth Maytom opened the foodbank in South Lambeth in 2011. An active member of the congregation at St Luke’s, she’d started researching child poverty in South London earlier that year, hoping to set up a project with the church to help. Initially she was sceptical of foodbanks. “I just didn’t believe they were really needed,” … Continue reading The emergence of foodbanks in Lambeth: Elizabeth Maytom interview

M’s story: No recourse to public funds – when the state decides your immigration status is “irregular”

I started working with the South London Refugee Association – based in Streatham Hill – just before Christmas. I met with Celia Sands, SLRA’s Director, to find out more about the work they do in Lambeth (although they cover a much broader area), and she invited me along to the Christmas lunch they were holding … Continue reading M’s story: No recourse to public funds – when the state decides your immigration status is “irregular”