5th July

‘Fred’ turned up at my door at 6.45 am yesterday morning, drenched after sleeping out all night in the rain, having walked round all day trying to speak to there Housing Department, or anyone who would speak to him, who are all of course naturally still working from home, but ‘Fred’ had not worked that out. He does not have a phone either. He has trouble managing society. He gets housed in a hostel and then cannot bear the noise of the families beside him and spends the days walking around. He makes decisions that get him into difficulties. He needs help, but there are not enough people with enough time to help him. So many people are like this. They do not have a phone, or cannot use computers, or their lives are too haphazard, so they do not manage well with offices that say: ‘You must be here at this time, or you must fill in this online.’ Then they lose their benefits because they have been sanctioned for failure to comply with the rules. So many people live under stress because the people (not computers) they need are not there, the help they need is beyond their reach. If we have money to put into roads and buildings, why cannot we put it into more social workers, more probation officers, more prison officers, more DSS officers, better mental health teams, to mention just a few, and get the Universal Credit (if that system is staying) payments available in a week or two, not five. Then we are starting to lift the stress from those who struggle most and placing the help they need within their reach.

One thought on “5th July

  1. Join me on my band-wagon, Father. I have for years – and in vain – been trying to say to anyone who listens that it is the most vulnerable who are penalised, albeit unintentionally, by the requirement to “do it online”. Their bills are higher (“pay for a paper copy”), “go on-line”. I ask “if no computer what?” “free in public library + helpers” “yes but how to get there, no public transport in this village”. “Oh!” = no answer other than it is cheaper for the provider. In a society where small children are given mobile ‘phone with which to play, too many seem unable to grasp that some adults do not have the wherewithal to afford them. I’ll stop there but I could go on for ages. ElizabethC


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