It seems that every day now, the press has headlined stories about the heartless shambles that is Universal Credit. Even the right-wing Tory supporting papers are finding it difficult to report positive news about Universal Credit. Just this week, the Daily Mirror carried this story about a 9 year old girl begging for work after her mother died and her father lost his job:
Attending DWP appointments and assessments when you have physical or mental health issues, or both, can cause a great deal of stress. And, at a time when Universal Credit is being rolled out across Liverpool – with the application process being notoriously difficult – and with funding for support groups being slashed, there are few organisations that are able to support appointment/assessment attendees. Within the last few weeks, for example, the Advocacy Hub/Advocacy Works has had to close.
Last month we put a call for volunteers for Kindred Minds’ Buddy Scheme here. The scheme is now up and running, and has a small base of volunteers (we can always use more, of course!).
Although our volunteers can’t offer advice – we’re not medical or legal professionals – the scheme offers a chaperone service to the appointments for moral and emotional support. We can’t support home visits, unfortunately, but what we can do is attend appointment at DWP offices and assessment centres. Feedback the scheme has had so far has been very positive.
For more information about volunteering, see here
If you have an appointment or assessment and would like to use the service, then please email Kindred Minds at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 07379-892793 (Monday to Friday 9.00 – 5.00) to request a chaperone or for any other enquiries.