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

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

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

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