Mencap Sponsor Workfare Award At Poverty Pimp Love In

mencap-ersaDecent people everywhere will be appalled to learn that the charity Mencap recently sponsored an award at the first ever ERSA Employability Awards.

ERSA are the trade body who were formed in 2005 to lie on behalf of the money grabbing welfare-to-work industry .  They represent the companies such as A4e and G4S who are being paid billions to harass and bully benefit claimants on the Government’s Work Programme.

Despite a disastrous year for this sector, during which almost no-one has found work through the Work Programme,  ERSA seem to have plenty of cash to splash out on a back-slapping awards ceremony.  Even the skiving Employment Minister Mark Hoban managed to drag himself off his tax-payer funded silk cushions to turn up for a free drink.

Mencap sponsored the Large Employer of the Year Award, at a cost of a cool £1000 according to advance publicity for the awards (pdf).  This award to went to B&M Stores, a company who have repeatedly been accused of using workfare and who work closely with poverty pimps Ingeus to recruit staff.

Mencap donors and supporters may be shocked to learn the charity is handing out money to cheer on the welfare-to-work sector, but sadly for those following welfare reform this is no surprise.  Whilst many large disability charities, including Mencap, have distanced themselves from workfare in their shops, they still have their snouts firmly in the welfare reform trough.  Scope, RNIB, Leonard Cheshire Disability and MIND are just some of the charities who, along with Mencap, are paid by the welfare-to-work sector to manage Work Programme sub-contracts.

And as this award ceremony shows, behind the scenes charity bosses are quite happy to stuff their faces with vol au vents and hand out money intended for disabled people to pay for glitzy love-ins with the worst of the corporate sector.

Another familiar face at the awards was Matthew Oakley, who was adding yet another lucrative string to his own personal welfare-to-work racket.  Oakley is a leading member of the right wing think-tank, the Policy Exchange, who recommended many of the current welfare reforms.  Oakley is also paid  £256.80 a day by the tax payer as a member of the Social Security Advisory Committee, the so called independent body of so called experts that scrutinise those welfare reforms.  And last week Oakley was a judge at an awards ceremony handing out prizes to the companieswho are paid to implement the reforms.

Over the last eighteen months, any involvement with forced unpaid labour has become a public relations nightmare for both private companies and charities alike.  These awards suggest the welfare-to-work sector is fighting back.  Companies using workfare may face boycotts and protests, but they might also get a shiny award, sponsored by a national charity to show how lovely they really are.  All those who object to Mencap acting as charitable cover for the crimes of the welfare-to-work sector can contact them on facebook or on twitter @mencap_charity.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

71 responses to “Mencap Sponsor Workfare Award At Poverty Pimp Love In

  1. ::: I’m am just continually disappointed :::

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  3. Charity these days is big business. There’s money to be made by colluding with government. The sharks have taken over from the principled idealists who started these companies. No-one should be surprised at their anti-social actions.

    • “The sharks have taken over from the principled idealists who started these companies. ”

      Yes, and the same can be said about the trade unions.

      • Uly Oneandthirty

        The trade unions were always lead by unprincipled self serving sharks, dont fool yourself otherwise

  4. Charities may back down easily as they also rely on donations from ordinary people, but private sector company’s are a different matter they IMHO need a more aggressive approach, NOT VIOLENCE, I am sure there are people who can work out what I mean.

    • Uly Oneandthirty

      No, i dont know what you mean, but you have piqued my curiosity?

      • If forced onto one of these schemes, show up on the first day, then don’t bother for the second and thereafter. The cunts at the Department of Wankers and Pricks can’t sanction you for not showing up, and they can’t sanction you for quitting after the first week. Simples!

  5. UK going back to Victorian era

    I no longer donate to charities or buy from charity shops the exception bring our local hospice shop as there are lots of volunteers in their shop and also in the hospice and they do not take on people on the workfare programme as they state people who voluntarily volunteer are happier and engage better with everyone. I know coz I volunteer myself

  6. MIND have made it fucking clear they don’t want anything to do with exploiting people and published a response to this effect.

  7. commercial charities…market forces prevail…to bolster portfolio, and the life of bryan,….and the life riley, for some!
    they foster the axiom of unrealistic expectations, get one to agree, like shady sale’s personnel, are so skilled at doing, and force the victim, to meet their new found “obligations”, under the pain of sanctions and other tactics, ie not pleasing the smiley advisor, if you don’t…..the victim gets to hold onto their distress and “manage” it…or the victim is blamed for being distressed…rather than find the root causes of the distress…which is caused by being dumped on by them, so victim is forced to manage and meet, the unrealistic expectations of others…they try to make the impossible sound like an everyday possibility and it is only the victims, negativity/or resistance, that is the problem here, trust us, if you don’t you will suffer…and we’ll make sure of it!
    these people are the 1st to say every individual is unique…and in the next breath..totally deny, the implications of what they have just said..they in 2 places at once.. these charities have no interest in getting to the bottom of mental pain…why is this?

  8. The Royal Mencap Society makes use of unemployed volunteers (before they’ve entered the Work Programme), without reimbursing travel and other expenses. Nice organisation. Unless it’s just a local manager on the fiddle:

    • According to the link you gave:
      As a Mencap volunteer you can expect:
      • an induction
      • safe working environment
      • liability and personal accident insurance
      travel expenses
      • training and a support network to help you in your role
      • regular information to keep you up to date with news and events
      • to meet new people and gain new skills.

  9. So sad. So fucking sad. My lovely (and lifelong lefty, campaigning against all social injustice) friend’s mum set up Mencap (Judy Fryd) and would NEVER have agreed with this. She must be turning in her grave. I’ve emailed my friend this blog entry…

    • That is sad!! 😦 shame that the original ideology of the charity is being steamrolled by the money-hungry thieving bastards we have at the top. I’m sure the donors and workers on the frontline are (hopefull) still true to the proper values.

      • Yes, she was even on a stamp :
        and campaigned for full educational rights for learning disabled children and got an Act passed. All that hard work and sound ideology and it comes now to this. Greedy corporate wankers (yes, I’m very angry!!). What a dishonour to Judy Fryd.

        • Eric Greenwood

          Charities are profit based, How much is lost to so called “admin” costs, How much are the directors on? I beleive they are only doing this to make sure that Ersa members will think of them about forcing people into volunteering

  10. Landless Peasant

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” WTF?

  11. Charities have been whinging lately in our local press about the adverse effect the rise of stores such as Cash 4 Clothes (and their clones) are having on their finances. Well, tough! I now take my old togs to these shops partly because I need the cash, and partly because I’m no longer prepared to assist institutions which are collaborating with the Con-Dems in exploiting the jobless through the so-called Work Programme. ( Although I would continue to donate old clothes to charities such as Oxfam who refuse to take part in workfare – if there were any in my area.)

  12. Knowing their history, I hoped for better from Mencap – corruption is all around us…

  13. Mark Hoban is a fat faced idiot. Sanction him for 3 years but then he’s plenty of fat on him to survive.

  14. These welfare pimp charities much like government appear to adopt the selfish short termism approach. This government came and will go and their reputation and future will be in tatters. Good riddance!

  15. Rosemarie Harris

    Is there no end to these money grabing compaines who are supposed to be helping people who need help. Remember don’t give or buy anything to these companies,can’t call them charity’s any more.
    Do we have their address’s especailly if freepost!
    I don’t do twitter etc.

  16. Not surprised at all by Mencap having worked for them !

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  18. More middle class fuckwits herding their inferiors into the pen they deem appropriate

  19. I’m saddened but not surprised by this at all. Especially by the involvement of MIND… I used to work with them in a paid capacity until they sacked me for a mental health problem… Caused by the stress of the job they employed me to do with no support…as I say, saddened but not shocked..

    • w2w defector…it would seem odd to many, that a charity would have such an embedded continuous, contact, ethos….but this would seem to be part of it…”don’t bother us, you’re on your own, help yourself”?
      this sounds familiar? “don’t be ashamed to contact us, for help”..coupled to the dignity need of human beings….

  20. Ironic that MIND sacked you for a mental health problem.

  21. Now those evicted thanks to the bedroom tax won’t even be on the streets -

    • Kittycat58
      Astonishing article and frightening. Make millions of people poor, then homeless, then prison them, then kill them in prison this is their plan must be.

      • I found it disturbing too,I read a post on facebook earlier by a guy who was sent two threatening letters from his local council as he was behind with the bedroom tax by a piddling £21!
        Maybe the proposal to make homelessness illegal is a warped way of ensuring that the plebs put & pay up or risk prison!
        I’m fortunate not be affected by the bedroom tax, but I feel for those who are & find this lastest twist the most sinister yet

  22. This is kept quiet, didn’t know this even existed, only just found out about it on facebook –

    • Landless Peasant

      I’ve been getting the Fuel Poverty Discount for about 4 years now, it was something Gordon brown introduced, but as far as I know the Tories are phasing it out and scrapping it. Not sure if this is the same thing or not(?). I’ve been telling everyone else I know about the discount for quite a while but no one else seems to have been successful. It was supposed to be paid if you spend more than 10% of your income on combined fuel bills, and you are in receipt of Benefits and have either a longterm illness or you have children under a certain age (I think). It wasn’t even well publicized at the time. I read a snippet about it on BBC website then contacted my supplier. I also get quarterly discounts because I pay by prepayment meters, though again I haven’t heard of anyone else getting them! I guess you don’t get it unless you ask.

  23. Why didn’t someone boycott the awards night to highlight the fact that mencap were forcing the unemployed under duress and penalty of sanction to work in their shops for free, let the toffs and celebrities who attend know just what is really going on, that is if they don’t know already.
    PS what have you got against vol au vents you keep giving them a bad press.

    • fawkes..don’t be cruel…i’m salivating at the thought of vol au vents…the pastry, the fillings…down in one, yum….but, there is always a but…they send my bg’s through the roof…oh, go on just one!

  24. If dwp have spent about £248 million less last year than estimated on the work programme and all the money they save on sanctions etc where the hell does all this money go this is money set for helping people on benefits how much more are they squirriling away and then lyeing about how much money the welfare budget is

    • Landless Peasant

      They are diverting huge sums of taxpayers money into the hands of private companies and their shareholders, whilst simultaneously demonizing the poor to fool the public. It’s a total scam.

  25. See my comment and discussion on mencaps facebook page here. Would appreciate any support.

    • aaron booth…what a lily liveried standard format COP OUT! mencap’s role is to support you and no one else…now they actively promote govt policy…leaving the isolated individual to plead and prove need with mencap, and the government and or it’s agents…your choice to decide is now gone, for fear of sanctions et al…

    • ps aaron you join mencap, in the 1st place, and then can be some how referred back to mencap?

  26. If all monies being squandered on “WorkFair” programmes was being used, to enhance the chances of claimants into work,then there would be no problem,but the bulk of the cash goes directly to the thieves at the top of the resipient organizations,and this ConDem government is directly to blame,they should be got rid of at the earliest opportunity.

  27. Obi Wan Kenobi

    The Work Programme is failing the taxpayer, the unemployed and the disabled.

    By failing to use the specialist services aimed at unemployed people who find it hardest to find a job, the Work Programme is putting the public purse at risk.

    The fundamental flaw is laid bare in the £248m that the committee says the Treasury is clawing back for underspend on the WP in 2012-13 – money that was allocated and that contractors haven’t earned.

  28. P.S “Work Fair” meaning money merry-go-round,and gravy-train…

  29. darn it I work for b & m & that was via my work program.

  30. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Work Programme staff struggle to help unemployed when ‘jobs aren’t there’.

  31. obi wan kenobi

    “OUR CLIENTS don’t like to be put in the scroungers and skivers work bracket”. These so called work providers think they are solicitors or something with their own clientele, not some jumped up pen pusher who has been given a none job because they have a useless university degree.

    I think they are running scared because there jobs (should) be on the line for what use they are, given the economic climate and could be next in the dole queue, so are now protesting on our behalf of how the scrounger rhetoric does the unemployed no favours incase they get the same treatment. Good enough for them I say, they are at one with the job centre advisors and have talked down to the unemployed for long enough.

    • seriously guy, what chance has anyone got of getting a proper job with a psychology degree… seriously?

      • … another thing about these so-called “work programme” “advisers” is that the vast majority of them are in their twenties, usually fresh out of uni with a useless degree, most probably still live at home with their parents, have no work experience save for maybe a few months is a call centre or part-time pub job to fund their uni “studies”. These smarmy cunts have absolutely no life experience whatsoever yet they have the audacity to preach to fully-grown adults with a 30-year solid work history and a wealth of life experience behind them. And to top it all these cunts have the “power” to raise “doubts” which can plunge their clientèle into destitution. This crap has to stop – NOW!!

      • … and another thing about these “advisers” is that they are basically illiterate… the most useless cunts imaginable.

    • … psychology is the most useless degree subject there is and it is the one 9/10 of these useless “work programme” “advisers” hold… the other 1/10 hold something equally useless such as sport science or media studies. The conundrums are UNEMPLOYABLE in the real world… and the know it. They must be shitting their pants at the thought of the “work programme” gravy train – their one and only chance to earn a decent dollar to fund their smoking, drinking, and on-line porn addictions – of hitting the buffer!

  32. I’m with you all the way on this topic Eco Warr.

    • fawkes..yes it does smack of ownership…and stock control….people warehousing, glorified shelf stackers…when new or cheaper methods of control are found, they will be sacked and replaced…their services will also be privatized, of this there is no doubt….and things will be even worse, this how the system is designed!
      the only thing to do is to fight, to end sanctions..improve benefits, end bed tax, etc etc…this will not end poverty but will at least stop things from getting even worse…

    government lost a case on ESA today on providing medical evidence mentally ill autism

    • & including finding that Work Capability Assessments do discriminate against people with mental ill health problems.

      DWP planning to appeal the decision … It’s Groundhog Day (again)!

    • paul
      at least a step in the direction of right…if not atm, a steak through the heart of the seriously flawed and barbaric…wca…too sick to mount a many people are, with physical and the mental STRAIN, of doing so…and those with mhp’s as well, the whole process is draining….illness seen to exist on paper only..need one more piece of paper etc…get to the place of wca or tribunal, drained with the effort of getting there…not as bright, fresh, and alert, as on otherwise might be if one, is rested as well as one can be, then the stress of knowing that failure will make things even worse! then fail to say or do one more thing that would? make the difference…especially, the exceptional circumstances rules, that are often failed to be used! not a pleasant experience to go through even if one is NOT sick…gp’s already state that these bodies, already have all of the ness info to make their decision at the outset…and have even ticked box…NOT FIT FOR WORK…..thus further undermining the NHS….

  34. something survived...

    yeah: catch 22. Turn up knackered and stressed, you look sicker but can’t concentrate or notice, can’t fight back well. Turn up alert, they call you compos mentis enough to work. On a bad day you’re too sick to go there, so lose your benefit for not going. On a good day you can drag yourself in but could always take a turn for the worse, and the fact you are there gets your benefits stopped. If they say you look healthy they don’t get that is one moment in time and doesn’t represent the rest of the time, and hides how you are the rest of the time and/or other ways in which you’re ill now.
    So they stop your benefit for being too healthy or at least fit enough to turn up, though if you didn’t turn up they’d stop your benefits.

  35. Pingback: Week Of Action Against Workfare Begins: Take on the High Street Workfare Exploiters | the void

  36. Pingback: YMCA Attempt Workfare Whitewash – Who Benefits From This New Charity Campaign? | the void

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