Tag Archives: Birmingham

The Government Benefit Reforms are driving people to suicide

2 Jul

Well, many stood up and stated it would happen. Changes to the benefits system have continued to be introduced and slowly the cracks have began to appear!

20120702-054032.jpg Photo credit google images

Was the DWP ready for the consequences when some affected claimants didn’t know how to deal with them changes? Seemingly not!

I was sadden to read the story of how a man had set himself on fire outside a Birmingham benefits office (Job Centre Plus).The man who was reported to have mental health problems was reportedly deemed fit for work despite being seen as vulnerable, therefore sparking a change to his benefits. It’s said that he was unable to deal with such changes (which is also rumoured to have caused a late payment) therefore making him extremely upset leading to him dousing himself in flammable liquid and setting himself ablaze.

The man was taken to hospital with burns to his legs.

This shows the sheer frustration the benefits system can cause to those who have mental health problems, disabilities and medical conditions. The cuts are affecting some of britain’s most vulnerable people and although I believe there are those that claim sickness benefits such as DLA when they shouldn’t I believe the Government are going the completely wrong way about fixing the issue.

This man was just one of many claimants forced to cope with huge overhauls within the system because he suffers from an “invisible” condition therefore giving them the green light to hit him with the back to work stick. It’s quite apparent from his actions that this isn’t a person mentally able to deal with the pressures the workplace may provide. Yes… People make mistakes, but medical assessments should be the best and when someone is very unstable for whatever reason it’s hoped that such professionals are able to pick these things up! After all this is not the first incident and won’t by any means be the last! Earlier this year there was reports of an attempted suicide in a Liverpool benefits office! Yes, these changes are really hitting the wrong people and this could lead to the government actually having blood on their hands.

In the past the Government has claimed that 600 million has been overpaid through the DLA’s current system. They claim that they are not trying to reduce the benefit or the number of people claiming it, but instead trying to reduce the growth rate in the number of claimants. Though since such reports were made we continuously hear about claimants losing out, societies most vulnerable people being encouraged back into the workplace before they are ready.

I recently received Little man’s DLA form. It seems that his current claim will run out come September requiring us to reapply. The letter makes it all seem so bloody easy (you know the type, don’t worry reapply and the benefit will continue as it always has done). Except I know that the system is under pressure to make them cuts and they are looking to save money any how they can. Little man needs his DLA as as much (if not more) than he did back in 2008 when he was first awarded it. The thought of having to fill out the huge form and endure the whole sodding process again, fills me with dread.

If you have been affected or fear you will be affected by cuts to sickness benefits (especially that of DLA) I’d love to hear your thoughts?

Christmas Inspiration at the BBC Good Food Show-Winter

7 Dec

18

Days till Christmas

I maybe a mum of three but when it comes to the kitchen side of things, I really could do with some inspiration. I’m not stating that I cannot cook, I’m just saying that I usually stick to what I know and I’m not all that big on experimenting.

So when Sainsbury’s invited me to the Good food show winter event at the NEC Birmingham, it was too big a learning experience to pass up.

Myself and a friend travelled up to Birmingham from London early on a cold Sunday morning, sadly we missed the lunch laid on by Sainsbury’s due to car trouble, but all the same, there was still plenty to see and do once there.

I’d never been to any of the BBC Food shows so was quite excited about the whole thing. On arrival at the NEC I meet up with Thomas who works for Sainsbury’s he showed us to the press area to get our press badges, we then headed off to check out this wonderful event.

There were literally hundreds of stands with a whole host of yummy treats on display, from cheese, to ice cream the aroma that filled the air was so inviting. With loads of things to try me and my friend headed for the sweet stands where we tried some beautiful mint nougat and wonderful cupcakes.

The Sainsbury’s village was dead impressive, there was so much going on including some really good live cooking demonstrations. Sainsbury’s were promoting their Taste the Difference range which was really centred around Christmas. I love Sainsburys and know for sure it will be the place where I stock up on Christmas munch this year, as we have the massive super store just down the road from my house. There really was a lot of Christmas cooking inspiration, and some treats that will be added to my shopping trolley this year for sure.

Just check out some of the images below and you’ll know where I’m coming from.

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Sainsburys were also the main sponsor of the Masterchef live event in the super the theatre and had so kindly supplied us with tickets to watch the cook off between Mat Follas and Tim Anderson. I do like a bit of Masterchef and it was 10x better watching it live. John Torode and Greg Wallace were as fantastic as usual and provided the audience with lots of laughs.

Sainsbury’s were a fantastic host, not only did they supply me with a lush goody bag that contain lots of lovely treats, the best being a lovely bottle of ready mixed alcoholic Manhattan cocktail in a pretty pink bottle (that I highly recommend you put on your shopping list this christmas) but they also supplied me with lots of Christmas inspiration.

I had an awesome time at the BBC Good food show winter, I went home with a head full of ideas and have already brought some of my taste the difference treats for our Christmas feast. 

Sunday was a great day to attend the event, it was the last day so there were loads of bargains to be had from blocks of chocolate to beautiful fresh Italian pastries. 

You could even bag yourself a new top of the range toaster or kettle at a rock bottom price.

I also found there were loads of stands selling Gluten free produce, great for families of children on the autism spectrum who are on a gluten and wheat free diet.

So… A big thank you to Thomas and Sainsbury’s for a truly fantastic day.

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