Some 18 months ago I became aware of something that I knew spelt trouble.
In particular, the Reduction in Housing Benefit. Now named the Bedroom Tax. The other one I took interest in was the Localisation of Council Tax.
I researched them long before April and tried to raise awareness by Social Media, emails and letters etc. Sadly, prior to April not that many were interested, apart from those it affected that is.
April came and went and 6 months on, I now find myself giving advice to people, night and day. It ranges from something very simple, to more complicated issues. I have had many a day (and night) where all I have spoke about is Bedroom Tax and/or Council Tax and other related Welfare issues.
There have been times when it feels like I have a mental burn out. I always try to help people where I can. Sometimes I find myself giving people debt counselling etc. and pointing them in the best direction to gain professional help.
There has, on more than one occasion been events which I find deeply disturbing. People are so low with all that’s going on, more than once I have been in the position where people are suicidal. What do you do? You can’t ignore them. Thankfully, having sought advice from MIND and the SAMARITANS these people live to see another day.
When you see that someone needs help, you offer what advice you can. Although it doesn’t happen often, one or two seem to think that you are theirs. They want you to step in and solve all their problems at once!
I am no longer affected by the Bedroom Tax but I will continue to fight for it to be scrapped and help those that are still suffering.
On reflection, the saddest thing of all, is that there are many people out there just like me. All doing exactly the same thing. Some are ‘Admins’ of Groups on Facebook, working tirelessly to help bring a little comfort to others. I tend to just ‘pick things up’ as I bumble along……. All of us, reaching out in any way we know how, just trying to pick up the pieces.
I’m no Counsellor, I’m not ‘trained’ for any of this…….
So many are suffering the effects of Welfare Reform and the Political Elite just haven’t got a clue!!