YMCA Attempt Workfare Whitewash – Who Benefits From This New Charity Campaign?

Charities-workfare-sheeps-clothing-small1The YMCA, one of the UK’s leading advocates for workfare and benefit sanctions, have joined a campaign which demands that “no one should go hungry because they lose their job or become homeless because they get ill.”

The Who Benefits campaign was launched this week in an attempt to change the negative stereotypes of those claiming benefits and calling on the Government to do more to  “focus on the real reasons that people are struggling, like low wages, the high cost of living and the housing crisis.”

The campaign is backed by 80 charities and so far seems to be little more than a website listing the corporate logos of the charities involved and a call for people to tell their stories of life on benefits.

Homeless charity YMCA are featured on the list despite their involvement with mandatory work schemes.  YMCA have freely admitted to using forced volunteers on mandatory Government programmes to staff their shops at both a local and national level.  Claimants sent by Jobcentres to undertake this unpaid work could face having benefits stopped completely for up to three years if they refuse.  It seems that this campaign is quite happy to work with an organisation who will leave people to go hungry if they don’t attend their workfare placement in a YMCA charity shop.

Several others charities involved in this campaign, including MIND who co-founded the project, hold Work Programme sub-contracts – meaning they too are actively involved in sanctioning claimant’s benefits.  Disability Rights UK (DRUK) are also on the list, an organisation which has worked hand in glove with the DWP throughout Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms.

The sad truth is that many charities are up to their neck in welfare reform and the welfare-to-work industry that has developed to administer the endless attacks on claimants.  Mencap – who are members of this new campaign – recently even sponsored an award at a welfare-to-work industry shindig.

There is no doubt that the image of the so called third sector has taken a battering over the last couple of years as grassroots campaigns have exposed the cosy relationship between charities, this Government and poverty pimps like A4e, G4S and Working Links.  Yet the inclusion of the YMCA in this project, along with the dogged refusal of the big disability charities to pull out of the sanctions regime completely, does not suggest that a radical change of heart has taken place.

Which begs the question who really benefits from this campaign?  Is it benefit claimants, disabled people and those condemned to poverty or forced work by benefit sanctions.  Or is it charities who hope a cheap website and some weasel words will help restore their reputation whilst behind the scenes it’s business as usual on the welfare reform gravy train.

The new campaign is on twitter @WeAllBenefit whilst the YMCA can be found @YMCA_England

Above pic from Crippen Cartoons

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

66 responses to “YMCA Attempt Workfare Whitewash – Who Benefits From This New Charity Campaign?

  1. Sanctioned Ian Dury and the Sanctioned Blockheads

    Hit me with your sanction stick
    Hit me, hit me
    Je t’adore, ich liebe dich
    It gives DWP ‘decision makers’ such a sexual thrill 🙂
    Hit me, hit me, hit me
    Go on, HIT ME
    Hit me with your sanction stick
    Hit me slowly, hit me quick
    Hit me for 4 weeks, hit me for 13 weeks
    Go on HIT ME
    Hit me for 26 weeks
    Go HIT ME
    Hit me for 3 YEARS
    Go on HIT ME
    Hit me, hit me, hit me… 🙂

  2. I am totally screwed now. Had my esa tripbunial yesterday. Ive been living in diabolical poverty for one year. Esa reduced pittance of 70 quid a week. Today I found out I will now loose that. They scored me 6 points for mobility, not enough to get ESA. They ignored tons of medical evidence. Did not even look at it. They were fixated on a certain thing that the atos nurse had said. which was a lie. I was treated like shit and a criminal. I phoned today about JSA and was told I am too disabled and fu@@ed to be awarded. Omg here I am in the catch 22 no win situation. I feel sick and ill, my total income is zero pence. I was suppose to be having an operation on my ankle, but will put it off as I just can not afford to take this risk. I think homelessness could be ahead of me now. I am shocked and I do not know what to do next??? 70 quid a week feels like a luxury now and I wish I still had it. Sorry this had nothing to do with the post but I am so upset.

    • overburdenddonkey

      yes, £70/wk does seem a lot when one has FA, they are specifically told by the UT, not to take one view over another.
      if it has been 6mths from the original decision by the, dwp DM, after your WCA with atos..or if not your condition has worsened (i think, check up), but i’m sure it is.. get your e and sa, reclaim in NOW, make sure the date of the reclaim is noted and continuous from your old claim, keep med certs up to date, as you must have already been doing, and write to the tribunal services, tell them why you want a, set aside of this tribunals decision, also ask them for a statement of reasons, the reasons why they rejected your claim should be very clear, you have to do this in writing in any case..look up Upper Tribunal, “wrong in law”..

      don’t forget council hb + ct benefits , will have also been stopped, ring them NOW..+ see re-INTERIM, hb + ct payments, on the following link http://edinburghagainstpoverty.org.uk/node/114

      • Jobcentre Victim

        £70 a week is a far off distant to me now… if I had £70 a week in my pocket I would feel like I was living the dream

      • Thanks o donkey
        I’ve taken note of these and will do all what you have said. Will do it all tomorrow when have calmed down. I feel shocked today. Yes my medical certificates are up to date and I am covered. This is fucking outrageous!!! Thanks again.

        • jasmine no you notcovered if they the ones you were covered with bfore the tribunal if you got them after the tribunal then they ok but bfor no has they deemed one ftw listen if moe advise then dwpexamination.org jeff3

    • Jobcentre Victim

      You are not the only one with zero income, Jasmine, been sanctioned for months now and still haven’t received a penny… 🙂

      • Jobcentre Victim

        … 😦

      • Jobcentre Victim
        What a nightmare, i’ve been poverty stricken for a while, but this takes the piss now. I don’t know how you’ve managed, I am not going to manage on zero pence a week, that’s for sure. I now totally understand how many are not making it.

        • Jobcentre Victim

          … it’s a really, really bad feeling having zero income, it’s not like its stop expenses coming in either…. you still have to eat (the most basic of food) , keep the meter topped, treat yourself to a shower once in a while, thank goodness it is relatively warm for this time of year otherwise I would be sat in a fridge… at least I still have a roof over my head, no doubt something that IDS and Co would want taken away from me… it does kind of do your head in… 😦 no that the smarmy fookers in the jobcentre give a hoot… 😦 Good luck with your fight, Jasmine and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

          • Those Smarmy Fookers are members of the PCS Union, carrying out the Tories’ orders to the letter.
            Makes me sick to see them demonstrate about their pensions!

    • Jasmine, ask them at the jobcentre about short term benefit advance (replacement for crisis loan) see link below for details:http://www.cpag.org.uk/sites/default/files/STBA%20Ben%20Ctr%20Chapter%20v1%204%20dwp%20T753698.pdf

    • Get legal advice as soon as possible Jasmine – the CAB is the best starting point. Keep in touch with the DHSS, you will get your money backdated, eventually. Don’t put off your operation and talk to family and friends. I know exactly how you feel. I lost my appeal just under four weeks ago, I’m 61, ill, live alone and would love a full time job but there are none – I really tried and hate being classed as the worse in society. It’s so scary being left with no money for heating, bills and food. Take care and will wish you all the best.

    • Evelyn Abigail Webb

      My friend was turned down for ESA, but told he was too sick to receive JSA when he contacted them, I am unsure exactly how it worked but after JSA contacted the ESA department to explain that he was not entitled to JSA due to ill health he was then awarded ESA including a back payment for the weeks that he received no money, so try again with JSA.
      Sometimes you just have to talk to the right person, at the right time.
      It feels like they are making it as hard as possible so people just give up.
      As impossible as it may seem, don’t give up, keep trying and remember that there are hundreds of other people going through the same thing, or similar, to you and while the fact that there are is disgusting it means there are lots of people you can talk to online for help and advice.
      Good luck.

  3. The YMCA has form indeed – going back to the New Deal.

    My own interpretation is that the Charities are frightened of a campaign to boycott them if they participate in Cameron and IDS’s “Help to Work” scheme.

    I nearly got my head bitten off by somebody with close Charity links when I suggested the need for a Boycott Workfare Charities movement – and told that many were desperate for money etc etc.

  4. As a 560 year old man who was ill with bipolar I was thrown out by my ex, with no job no money and no home I tried the YMCA. They gave me shelter, a box room the size of a bathroom and spent the following 6 months ridiculing me and harassing me for apparently not being ill but being a skivver. The staff were some of the most foul I have evr come across

    • sorry typo should be 50 – im not that much of a disnosaur although i feel it sometimes

    • The “C” in YMCA , stands for “Christian”. Their treatment of you seems that they are not living up to one of the basic tenets of their charity.

  5. overburdenddonkey

    they obviously try to keep their flock in cheque, so that they can continue to fleece the innocents…and carry on being in 2 places at once, shame on the lot of them…but they would rather people perform circus tricks, so that they can be fed….instead of simply curing hunger with food, cold with shelter, and minds with truth, love, and compassion…keep care in grassroots, communities, true care costs nothing, is our true nature, and is priceless,…for the people by the people…end sanctions and conditionality NOW…

  6. It was reported yesterday that 50% of interest expressed in the governments plans to privatise probation comes from charities. Thats a lot more free labour, and also means jumping into bed with social rapists like Serco and G4S. The same groups with global human rights abuses. Bollocks to morals when theres money to be made.

  7. start conditionality training tomorrow another private firm (kerr ching) looking at barriers going back to work, eighty od people going for every job in hull that could be the problem but no some knobhead will tell me otherwise,,,

    • Notes for Advisers – (Psychology for Beginners) –

      “Passive/Aggressive Syndrome” = a ‘barrier’ to and a potential factor in failing to find ‘more and better’ work. A.n.other psychological ‘diagnoses’ made by Expert Psychological Profilers (EPPs) – previously ‘JCP Advisers’ – can be dredged up from behind the photocopier, if it’s a slow day.

      Diagnosing a ‘difficulty’, or ‘barrier’ can encourage otherwise resistant customers to improve – via (enforced) alterations to their JSAg and by(obviously) increasing conditions. Otherwise, refer to a more-senior EPP/Adviser/possible removal of benefits if achievable/appropriate.

      ‘Barrier-type behaviours’ (Eg ‘Passive/Aggressive’) include:- requesting clarification of/asking for further information from, an Adviser – “quietly”.
      Not showing real love or expressing appropriate admiration for Our Great YOUSEE (USM) is another. (Other ‘perceived’ flaws are available – little – or even no – formal training is required; formal processes do not apply). When raising these doubts, a casual approach is best. Making a personal remark ‘out of left field’ & almost ‘as an aside’ can help to ‘model’ the behaviour being mentioned (transference) – as if the customer is not familiar with the specific psychological term being used, they may think you are paying them a compliment. Smile, but remember to include a few (thinly) veiled threats and disorientation will occur. This type of manipulative and disturbing behaviour can be a way in to the hard-to-have ‘further help’ talk.

      *’Having difficulties’/”barriers’ should not – repeat not – be mistaken for symptoms/behaviours induced by threats to remove income/attempts to belittle/disparage (customers), & a short, sharp shock (as described above), will usually increase motivation, or at least reduce their infernal questions.

  8. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/09/middle-class-people-child-benifit-fraudsters

    Just love the quote
    “Working class people CLAIM benefits, whilst middle class people RECEIVE benefits”.

  9. Where is this denier crap coming from denying and distorting benefit related deaths. Am getting it on twitter of late. Any ideas ?

    • The tories are hoping if they deny the under 25’s housing benefit it will free up one bedroom flats to force those with more bedrooms into, freeing up homes for those that want to buy – there is always method in their cruelty and madness.

      • yeah, guy, it’s the bigger family homes that people want to buy… not the poky little one bedroom flats…. “Though this be madness, yet there is method in’t.” 🙂

  10. No one should go hungry because the YMCA pass their details to the DWP…but it happens. This is a charity prepared to cause a lot of misery in return for taxpayers’ cash. It amazes me how an organization can have charitable status yet merrily run forced unpaid labour programmes!

  11. Can you go to the police station and say you want the person who sanctioned you done for attempted MURDER. Because that is what it is. Everyone should do this.

    • comfortably numb

      Waiting for King Richard to come back from the crusades, he’ll put paid to prince john of number 10 and sir guy of number 11.
      Until then unfortunately it’s not about robin hood, its more about robin tescos. Everyones got a right to eat.

  12. the urban poacher

    You know how its everyone elses fault but never the governments? How far can you go when your blaming some other group for your failures?


    Even the badgers won’t play ball!!!!

  13. We should be culling the fucking tories. Lock them all up in the nuthouse where they all belong.

  14. Is there evidence that people signing on in rich areas will get treated more harshly than those in poor areas. I’m in a poor area and my stress levels are at the highest when I enter the Gestapo headquarters to sign on. When i leave successfully it’s a feeling of elation. I feel like Steve McQueen would have felt like if he made it over that fence.

    Anyway going back to my question. I feel if your in a rich area you are doomed.

    • comfortably numb

      Im from Liverpool, the city the tories decided to opperate a policy of ‘managed decline’ on. Its announced this week that the whole city will be bankrupt within 3years. Theres fuck all for anyone, even the staff at the job centre are from london or australia. So dont really know what its like in a rich area.

  15. I just hope the people working in the poorer job centres will be kinder than the rich ones but then again who knows as they are all Nazi bastards.

  16. Sorry but not meaning to sound callous about the people signing on in rich areas. When your desperate sometimes you don’t think. That is the problem for the tories coming soon. Many desperate people.

  17. YMCA …eh ? Just like those other holy warriors over at The Salvation Army bunker : pretending to be against poverty, but in reality pursuing policies of prey away the JSA and any other benefits you might be entitled to.

  18. after serving my country, and being in business for most if not all of my working life, now i have chronic liver disease, bleeding vessels in the stomach and throat, hep c, suspected lymphoma and a slipped disc in my back, our “caring” government has decided in their infinite wisdom that i can live on £20.50 a wee for 18 months, nothing else, just 20 quid………thanks guys………………

  19. Pingback: YMCA Attempt Workfare Whitewash – Who Ben...

  20. Pingback: YMCA Attempt Workfare Whitewash - Who Benefits ...

  21. Did anyone see the programme “free speech” on BBC3 what a disgusting specimen of a woman that Katie Hopkins is, apart from looking like a man in drag she has the rhetoric of a sewer rat.

  22. jobcentre plus are using jobseekers directions at will to dictate their aims. there seems to be a push again for this “volunteering” when its anything but.

    i have been sent for a stress management course for weeks under one of these directions,despite the fact that its related to a lifelong condition thats never going to disappear.

    its concerning that front line staff in jobcentres can take these actions with no training as to health conditions’,more so under the endless threats if i (and everyone else) don’t comply being sent on these directions,even though its inappropriate.

    its an abusers paradise.something that so called charities like mind and the shaw trust feast upon.

  23. correct they all still at greeds running them all charitys they are not bbut just slave markets getting monies for your bodies jeff3

  24. Rise up rise up
    As if you have a choice
    Even if they fear to hear your voice
    We should all remind them that we have a choice
    We can and will replace them
    Rise up rise rise up
    Together we can beat them
    We simply have to rise together.
    Rise up rise up
    Nothing to lose and nothing to fear
    I’d we don’t then they will still be here
    Rise up rise rise up…………

  25. I have been fairly lucky, each time i was sent on workfare i ended up in shops selling fresh food………..

    Whilst the other staff, (the paid ones), were having their break , i would be spitting, masturbating, fitting bogies, sleep from the corner of my eye and pieces of earwax into the pastries on display.
    Twice i was nearly caught sneaking pies into the toilet, adding my secret ingredients and then sneaking them back.

    The customers were aware that workfare was being used in the shop, indeed, the manager used to take leaflets, advertising the fact off the windows regularly.

    It was my secret gift to the patrons who benefited from my situation.

    Look twice in future, “is it a piece of earwax or carrot?”

    • It’s easy to see why you’re unemployed you fucking retard!

      • … well, we all used to shit, piss, spit and jerk off into the gregg’s pasty mix 🙂 … so put that in your pipe and smoke it, lucozade… 🙂

      • lol What are you talking about, Lucozade? You mention of another forum (old TT’s) that you have have unemployed for years! What gives YOU the right to look down on the unemployed? – just asking 🙂

  26. Pingback: Video from today’s #workfare protest at the YMCA… | Kate Belgrave

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