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

Piotrek’s Story: Loss, addiction and life on the streets in Lambeth

When his wife died suddenly 18 months ago, Piotrek’s life collapsed. He lost everything and ended up sleeping rough outside a post office on Clapham High Street for nearly a year. I met him at Ace of Clubs, a day centre in south London that helps homeless and vulnerable people, and where I’ve been spending time for the last … Continue reading Piotrek’s Story: Loss, addiction and life on the streets in Lambeth

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

Austerity, homelessness and the loss of empathy: An interview with Ace of Clubs’ Sarah Miles

Sarah Miles has been Centre Manager at Ace of Clubs day centre in Clapham for the last six years, but has worked there for more than 16. The centre provides lunch, showers, clean clothes, advice, education and much else besides to homeless and vulnerable people in south London. I’ve been spending time there over the … Continue reading Austerity, homelessness and the loss of empathy: An interview with Ace of Clubs’ Sarah Miles

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