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  • Uncategorized – Dr. Frances Ryan
    Hardworking Britain will feature a personal story behind the cuts This week we launched things off with Rachel Watt s story over the past five years her social care package has been slashed by two thirds leaving her to become malnourished and have to sleep fully clothed in her wheelchair Read the column here If you re affected by the cuts and would like to be featured in the column anonymously if needed please get in touch see contact page Disabled workers can t afford justice to deal with workplace harassment January 9 2016 francesryan18 Leave a comment The abuse started for Helen Adams not her real name a senior administrator at a major UK charity after her boss watched her get out her of wheelchair The 40 year old has multiple sclerosis and struggles with mobility but on a very good day she says she was able to walk in the office I went to lunch and a manager who d seen me walking earlier yelled at me across the busy room to get out of my wheelchair because I wasn t really disabled Adams recalls I was so shocked and upset that I didn t know what to say I said nothing The rest of the day people were looking me up and down and tutting at me Over the next few months the harassment spread throughout the office People started pressing all of the lift buttons when they saw me coming then they would close the doors so the lift would go all over the place while I waited there she says All the while I could hear people on the floor above and below me shouting Lazy cow The stress led Adams to go on sick leave and start twice weekly counselling A few months later her manager told her she needed to learn to ignore the abuse Instead she went for legal advice What Adams didn t know was that in July 2013 just as her workplace abuse began the coalition government had brought in fees to have a claim heard at an employment tribunal the first time fees have been charged since the tribunal system was established in 1964 The solicitor told me I had a clear case but because of the new fees I d need to pay for it myself I couldn t afford that and my therapy Adams says I knew I had no comeback In Wednesday s Guardian I reported on the new research highlighting what happens when a government starts charging for justice Read the full piece here The new fit for work tests are not fit for purpose and at a rising cost January 8 2016 January 12 2016 francesryan18 Leave a comment Only a week into the new year pity Iain Duncan Smith and his bid to reform Britain s so called sick note culture This morning the National Audit Office announced that spending on contracts for disability benefit assessments is expected to double in 2016 17

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/category/uncategorized/ (2016-02-16)
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  • clothes banks – Dr. Frances Ryan
    through the latest donations collected from her local area Wilson in her forties has been co running the Durham Socialist Clothes bank for three months now She s a full time carer for her disabled husband and is characteristic of what is emerging as a makeshift frontline service up and down the country volunteers often on benefits or low wages themselves filling in the gaps now being left by the state Wilson tells me she formed the idea for the bank with a friend last year after seeing a woman crying in a local shoe shop This mother was saying to her young son it s your sister s turn I m sorry son It spurred us on to do something to help to help people on benefits or who ve been sanctioned or are homeless she says With help from regional union funding Wilson and friends began running the clothes bank out of their local community centre in October 2014 By mid December they were handing out around a hundred and fifty bags of clothing with toys on top for Christmas and seeing over a hundred people through the door in a day We thought we d be starting with two tables Wilson says But it s just ballooned Demand is so high that they are now looking for a permanent storage facility for the donations Wilson currently uses her house and garage Two more separate north east clothes banks one in Teeside and one in Stanley are due to open in the coming month she tells me Clothes banks are perhaps the latest stage of what the safety net has become under austerity A few years ago not many of us would have believed that food banks at last count having fed a million people would be entrenched

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/clothes-banks/ (2016-02-16)
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  • food banks – Dr. Frances Ryan
    the hunger that comes with not being able to afford lunch or the wait for a good day when their mum has 25p spare for a snack I wondered again this week when the teaching union NASUWT s warned that there are children in this country living in Victorian conditions turning to charity for regular meals and going without a winter coat Britain s economic recovery can be felt in the lives of hardworking taxpayers David Cameron claimed at a rally on Easter Monday Children are coming to school in dirty or fraying clothes eight in 10 teachers surveyed report Other children are vanishing halfway through the term evicted and without a home near their school to go back to I imagine it is difficult for them to feel the coalition s economic recovery if only their parents had worked harder For The Guardian I wrote about education unequal life chances and the lasting damage government s choices have on society Austerity is literally starving the poorest out of their futures Mind the gap how charities are mopping up after the government s failure to care February 18 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment Twelve bags mainly men s and baby s clothes All washed and clean Dawn Wilson lists pleased as she checks through the latest donations collected from her local area Wilson in her forties has been co running the Durham Socialist Clothes bank for three months now She s a full time carer for her disabled husband and is characteristic of what is emerging as a makeshift frontline service up and down the country volunteers often on benefits or low wages themselves filling in the gaps now being left by the state Wilson tells me she formed the idea for the bank with a friend last year after seeing a woman crying in a local shoe shop This mother was saying to her young son it s your sister s turn I m sorry son It spurred us on to do something to help to help people on benefits or who ve been sanctioned or are homeless she says With help from regional union funding Wilson and friends began running the clothes bank out of their local community centre in October 2014 By mid December they were handing out around a hundred and fifty bags of clothing with toys on top for Christmas and seeing over a hundred people through the door in a day We thought we d be starting with two tables Wilson says But it s just ballooned Demand is so high that they are now looking for a permanent storage facility for the donations Wilson currently uses her house and garage Two more separate north east clothes banks one in Teeside and one in Stanley are due to open in the coming month she tells me Clothes banks are perhaps the latest stage of what the safety net has become under austerity A few years ago not many of us would have believed that

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/food-banks/ (2016-02-16)
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  • francesryan18 – Page 2 – Dr. Frances Ryan
    is more striking than the photographs of the direct action DDA activists undertook black and white images of disabled people handcuffed to buses hanging their bodies proudly visibly affected by various disabilities in the road This was a matter of not only political but personal empowerment Read the full coverage in The Guardian here A disabled woman s struggle is any woman s struggle November 1 2015 November 1 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment The most pressing issues faced by disabled women are the ones faced by most women except that when you re disabled it adds another layer of discrimination says Eleanor Lisney co founder of the disabled women s network Sisters of Frida Lisney helped organise what was the first ever session on disabled feminism at last weekend s Feminism in London conference It may seem trivial but to Lisney 56 it is a small significant victory in a larger battle for disabled women s recognition As one of the speakers on a panel where each woman has a disability and looking out at a room of largely disabled women I found it hard to ignore how oddly unusual the experience was This is important because feminists can t continue to ignore disabled women whether that s our contributions or barriers in society Lisney says Too often we don t feel included This exclusion feels like it s not only a matter of failing to listen to disabled women s voices but about whether what we say will even be thought to count as feminism Concerns that are currently at the forefront of disabled activism whether that s carers allowance or social care cuts are too often seen as if they have little relevance to women s equality but are actually key feminist concerns control over our bodies genuine choice and socio economic independence For The Guardian I wrote about my weekend at Feminism in London and why a disabled woman s struggle is any woman s struggle Evicting a wheelchair user to make way for luxury flats this is social housing 2015 September 16 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment The story of Mostafa Aliverdipour a 50 year old wheelchair user raising his family on an estate in north London could tell politicians plenty about what has become of the principle of social housing in our capital Looking out on rows of boarded up walls and metal grilles Aliverdipour and his four children two grown up sons and two young daughters are living out of the shell of what once was Sweets Way a leafy suburban estate of 142 properties that provided homes for military families and later social tenants on the edge of north London for the past 40 plus years Since February 141 families have been evicted from the estate each one shipped out to temporary accommodation of poorer quality and higher rent often out of the borough Aliverdipour who damaged his spine while working in an old people s home three years ago and his

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/author/francesryan18/page/2/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Hardworking Britain – Dr. Frances Ryan
    as art therapy in their front room going for walks five times a day and shopping for his elderly neighbours But when his mother died of cancer Luke found his housing benefit cut the bedroom tax meant that from 2013 his late mother s bedroom was classed as spare A year later another piece of support was pulled from him Luke had been receiving incapacity benefit for over 20 years but after a work capability assessment WCA in late 2014 he was declared fit for work What came next for Luke is a now familiar spiral pushed off sickness benefits and unable to cope with the requirements of the jobcentre he had his jobseeker s allowance taken away His housing benefit and council tax support were also cut His debts started to mount and he began to struggle to feed himself Three months later on 29 May 2015 when Luke failed to respond to his family s calls police officers broke into his house and found him dead on his bedroom floor An inquest returned an open verdict For this week s Hardworking Britain I spoke to Luke s sister Natalie Jeffers Read the full column here News Hardworking Britain January 16 2016 January 16 2016 francesryan18 1 Comment I m excited to say I m starting a new weekly austerity for The Guardian Every Thursday Hardworking Britain will feature a personal story behind the cuts This week we launched things off with Rachel Watt s story over the past five years her social care package has been slashed by two thirds leaving her to become malnourished and have to sleep fully clothed in her wheelchair Read the column here If you re affected by the cuts and would like to be featured in the column anonymously if needed please

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/hardworking-britain/ (2016-02-16)
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  • library cuts – Dr. Frances Ryan
    might call the local face of national cuts squeezed by a central government gutting council budgets in 2013 Lincolnshire council set out a plan to pull 2 5m from the county s library services shrinking the number of libraries from 47 to 15 For my latest Hardworking Britain column I looked at the gutting of local services Read it in full here About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of society are we living in How the battle to save Lincolnshire s libraries became a full time job Luke Loy had a life until his benefits started falling away News Hardworking Britain Disabled workers can t afford justice to deal with workplace harassment Categories Categories Select

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/library-cuts/ (2016-02-16)
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  • local government – Dr. Frances Ryan
    might call the local face of national cuts squeezed by a central government gutting council budgets in 2013 Lincolnshire council set out a plan to pull 2 5m from the county s library services shrinking the number of libraries from 47 to 15 For my latest Hardworking Britain column I looked at the gutting of local services Read it in full here About Frances Frances Ryan is a freelance journalist She writes The Guardian s austerity column Hardworking Britain She appears on television and radio shows from BBC s Sunday Politics to Radio 4 s Woman s Hour and speaks at political events around the country She has a doctorate in politics covering inequality in opportunity in education She detests speaking in the third person Follow me on Twitter My Tweets Subscribe Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts Recent Posts Now Britain needs clothes banks too What sort of society are we living in How the battle to save Lincolnshire s libraries became a full time job Luke Loy had a life until his benefits started falling away News Hardworking Britain Disabled workers can t afford justice to deal with workplace harassment Categories Categories Select

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/local-government/ (2016-02-16)
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  • benefit deaths – Dr. Frances Ryan
    workers hired to call people and break it to them that they ve been rejected for benefits One section of the guidance that is to be reported to managers to alert them of a suicidal intention instructs jobcentre staff to find out what the person plans when it is planned for and whether the customer has the means to hand I don t know at what point social security and a risk of suicide became inevitable partners Or when government supporting people as the DWP described the guidance this week began to mean not helping people build their lives but checking that they do not want to die Death has become a part of Britain s benefits system That is not hyperbole but the reality that the stress caused by austerity has led us to Shredding the safety net a mix of sanctions defective fit for work tests and outright cuts to multiple services has meant that benefit claimants are dying through suicide starvation and even being crushed by a refuse lorry when a 17 week benefit sanction forced a man to scavenge in a bin for food For The Guardian I wrote about the newly released benefit mortality statistics Read the full column here People on benefits are dying It s time for some transparency June 23 2015 June 23 2015 francesryan18 Leave a comment If the government would care for an insight into what its safety net has become it could do worse than looking at the case of Nick Gaskin Gaskin who has primary progressive multiple sclerosis MS cannot walk feed himself or talk but last month received a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions DWP informing him he should attend an interview about the possibility of getting a job People who have such severe disabilities they are unable to work are by definition of being put in the support group of employment and support allowance ESA not required to attend mandatory meetings As Gaskin can only communicate through blinking it was his wife Tracy who called the jobcentre in Loughborough to explain this The DWP now says it will apologise over the misunderstanding But not before Tracy was told that if her husband did not attend the interview his benefits would be stopped It is that easy now Dig through reports by academics charities or people claiming benefits themselves and each week appears to mark another step in the reduction of entitlement to punitive whim This month alone we have learned that jobcentres allegedly have targets for the number of people s benefits they should stop and that the unemployed face having their jobseeker s allowance cut if they do not exhibit a positive outlook The DWP enjoys setting rules It is less keen at playing by them Currently Iain Duncan Smith is embroiled in a row over burying figures that show how many people have died within six weeks of their benefits being stopped The Information Commissioner s Office ICO has said that

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/benefit-deaths/ (2016-02-16)
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