Hawa’s Story: Disabled by war, judged fit to work by the Department for Work and Pensions

Badly injured in an explosion in Mogadishu, Hawa fled war to build a life in the UK. I was introduced to her by Sue Noel at Brixton Advice Centre, who has been advocating for her in her fight with the Department for Work and Pensions. She talked to me about what had brought her to … Continue reading Hawa’s Story: Disabled by war, judged fit to work by the Department for Work and Pensions

How Government cuts are pushing people into food poverty, debt and mental illness

Sue Noel has been helping struggling Lambeth residents at Brixton Advice Centre (BAC) since 2009. Unlike some of BAC’s specialists, she advises on all the issues the centre covers – from benefits and debt to housing, disrepair and homelessness. It means she has a unique overview of why people come to BAC – and how … Continue reading How Government cuts are pushing people into food poverty, debt and mental illness

A day in the death of Lambeth County Court: How austerity is eroding access to justice

In September 2017 Lambeth County Court will close its doors forever. It is one of 86 courts and tribunals across England and Wales – 10 in London alone – that the Ministry of Justice is shutting as part of the Government’s programme of austerity. I wanted to understand what Lambeth was losing, so I spent … Continue reading A day in the death of Lambeth County Court: How austerity is eroding access to justice

Homelessness and the housing crisis in Lambeth

People in Lambeth, and in boroughs across the capital, are being made homeless through a combination of changes to the benefits system, delays caused by staff shortages and a housing loophole which means that people judged to have made themselves “intentionally homeless” are no longer the responsibility of the overstretched local authority…. There are currently … Continue reading Homelessness and the housing crisis in Lambeth

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