The Vile Hypocrisy of Workfare Exploiters the YMCA

ymca-no-paySo-called charity the YMCA have issued a disgusting statement today in which they acknowledge that benefit sanctions can lead to debt, along with worsened physical or mental health and yet they still claim to support this vicious regime.  This vile attempt to justify their own role in stopping young people’s benefits comes on the day that the DWP admitted a huge increase in the number of benefit claims sanctioned in the last year.

Perhaps most contemptuously of all, they attempt to use the young people who makes use of their services to justify this grotesque hypocrisy.  According to the YMCA: “there is support in principle amongst YMCAs and the vulnerable young people we work with for some form of sanctions.”

They honestly expect people to believe that young people are just crying out to have their benefits stopped and be driven to homelessness, begging or even attempting suicide.  And like Jesus’ little fucking helpers the YMCA are only too happy to comply by forcing people to work unpaid in their charity shops or face benefits being stopped.

The YMCA want to have their cake and eat it, pretending to care about the people they impoverish in gushing press releases on their website whilst quietly forcing people to work without pay behind the scenes.  Don’t let them get away with it, tell them what you think on twitter @YMCA_England  and facebook at:

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

102 responses to “The Vile Hypocrisy of Workfare Exploiters the YMCA

  1. A bit off topic, but has anyone visited
    To me, it seems a bit too “official”…

    • I agree, there’s something suspicious just from the look of the page. it has hints of government all over it, it’s even set out like a lot of government department websites!

      • Yes it does look dodgy to me is this a new govt stragedy that and the not so subtle torygraph reporting of ILF court decision by relating it to ” wheelchair faker who got benefits to find champagne lifestyle ” ‘ story ‘

    • “You can also keep track of your activities with our online jobsearch diary – which can be printed or emailed to your Personal Advisor as evidence for your benefit claim – and of your employment, training and company contacts in our easy-to-use database.”

      yes it looks a bit ‘official’ to me too…..

      • something survived...

        Yay! So you apply for, or are forced to apply for, a sex industry job, and then everyone can probably access this file, forever. Great.

  2. Is it possible that Workfare has perhaps been mis-sold to these providers, that they entered into the government contracts genuinely believing that they were making a positive contribution to society, and that this statement from one of the DWP’s trumpeted providers is a sign that the cracks are beginning to show, and that the truth is too big to sugarcoat?

    • No they did it to make a shit load of money from govt contracts ..after all they didn’t do it to help people as they don’t GAF

    • I don’t believe that there is mis-selling. The YMCA have a long history of involvement in government funded programmes for the unemployed.

      In their statement they mention young people, but the YMCA have been happy to rake in cash for the exploitation of people of any age for years. I don’t know if their training arm, Y Training Services is still in existence, but this used to be a big money spinner for them, nationally. From YTS, through ET to New Deal in all its forms and now, the Work Programme, YMCA will be at the forefront of the queue for cash.

      Providers know exactly what they are required to do when they tender for these government contracts. Every arse on a seat brings them some cash, whether it’s a sanctioned arse or not.

    • Steve mate, are you fucking tripping or what? These people know exactly what they’re about. And they know exactly what will happen to those, i.e. the vulnerable, if they don’t dance to the provider’s tune. They’re in it to make money – lots of it. Do you imagine even in your wildest fucking dreams they’re in it for philanthropic reasons? Jesus H Fucking Christ!

    • overburdenddonkey

      in a word no!

      • something survived...

        Trouble is now if you actually VOLUNTEER, the knobcentre can throw you out at any time, and stop your benefit if they throw you out of your volunteering or not. So from a company’s point of view, or charity’s, they may not like the insecurity of having their best volunteers forcibly removed at no notice. A lot of charity shops can’t open when there aren’t enough volunteers to staff them. So they lose money from sales, and still have to pay rent, tax and rates even for the days they’ve had to stay shut.
        Maybe some are pushed to take the Faustian type deal, giving up good staff who want to be there but could be kicked out by DWP any day, in exchange for a guaranteed stream of unwilling and interchangeable, replaceable, workfare slaves (who are exempt from all health and safety stuff), of variable quality (from good to lousy/crap), who could be dodgy.
        As they have to sack paid staff and senior volunteers, they’ll maybe end up having shops entirely staffed by workfare, with the new ‘senior’ training person also being a slave on workfare to ‘train’ the newer workfare units! (formerly known as human beings,, obsolete/archaic term, regarded as offensive/improper by the workfare/benefits industry)

        • overburdenddonkey

          that charities get an income from the govt, to staff charity shops, is obscene…”we have more money to help people, we can change things from within”, help people do what? feel more anxious and fcuked up than ever, great, the cure to being messed up by workfare is more workfare, till one gets used to it, and learns to like it, people who try to change things from within, end up changed from within, the romans suffered from habitation and is well documented, cait reilly noticed this problem too….
          “i need volunteers, you, you and you!!

          • I’m not tripping mate, just suggesting a different viewpoint. Of course they can see a source of income from this, but is it really so extraordinary to believe that they feel this will empower them to help people on some level?

            These people rely on donations for a lot of their income, I’ve been writing to the Salvation Army regularly trying to put the argument across to drop workfare. I can not accept that both of these Christian charities have just abandoned their values for their 30 pieces of silver. They must justify their actions to those who would donate – even if greedy corporate moguls have taken over these charities – they can’t afford to have their names publicly dragged through the mud.

            So for them to make a public statement denouncing government policy is an unusual occurrence – it suggests to me that even an organisation who is usually ready and willing to grasp the government purse in these circumstances is not only taking a step back to assess the situation – they are making a stance against what is happening.

            To condemn them for abusing workfare is one thing, to then abuse them further for questioning it I believe is wrong. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t… you have to give them room to U-turn if you truly want this injustice to end

            • Charities like the YMCA and their satellite companies that are neck deep in the Work Programme will never remove themselves due to matters of integrity.

              They might drop involvement in the WP if they see that it will cost them more money to be involved than they will make. The only evaluation is this “can we make money out of involvement?” – it has always been the same with the YMCA and the other charities involved in exploitation of the unemployed, the sick and the disabled.

              When charities like the YMCA leave one programme, they will already have been tendering for another. This is how it has always been with large charities schlurping up the gravy from the train.

              It won’t change, unless all the organisations who are eligible to tender, don’t tender and state explicitly that they are withdrawing from the process because exploitation of the sick, disabled and unemployed is an anathema to them and all their charity stands for.

              For well over thirty years, large charities have been using government funded schemes for the unemployed, to bolster their cash flow. They aren’t going to drop an income stream following a teensy, simpering, two faced anxiety concerning sanctions impeding the development of young people.

              Back in the late 80s and early 90s, Y Training (and all other participating organisations) had authority to “dock” the daily YTS allowance of any individual who was not getting with the programme to the satisfaction of the staff, no questions asked. Sanctions have history that has not been challenged by the YMCA before, and it isn’t being challenged now, despite their weak whining.

              If the sanctions regime directly affected the income stream from these government programmes, then you’d not see their charitable arses for dust.

            • These charities have been saying one thing to the donating public and quite another to government officials and still taking on forced workfare.

            • These ‘charities’ can fuck right off!!

  3. Maybe they think that Jesus will show up and make a shit load of sardine sandwiches for all the starving ..

  4. When did jobless become ‘workless’ and social security become ‘ welfare ‘ ?

  5. overburdenddonkey

    they want us to the unemployed/sick and disabled spend every waking and dreaming moment thinking about how to get work and sustain it, that we should/could fix our damaged and weakened physiologies/psychologies, the above causes, via will power, and ignore the cold, poor housing, and nutrition..even though in reality we only re-join the back of the UE.Q anyway, and rarely do people find sustained, sustainable and quality work from that position…coz, there are no jobs, only a very limited natural jobs churn few…sanctions do much harm and no good, whipping unemployed/underemployed/sick and disabled human beings from this position, insisting that we fix the problems created by capitalism, is insane.
    all power (energy) must be 1st front loaded…
    our current economic capitalist/corporate business framework is broken beyond repair, trying to fix it, marches us further and further from this reality and therefore humanity.
    the WP has no basis in reality, it has never worked ever, the only time it has appeared to work is when there has been near to full employment..the WP is based on fantasy and blind faith, and applied with an almost religious fervour…shame on those who profit from the suffering of others….

  6. We all know the devil has the best tunes, He has the best charities now as well it seems.

  7. Reblogged this on uberslan's Blog and commented:
    -> In-to slav’-ry….

  8. interesting conversation with Nick Stephenson (?CEO of unemployednet)

    27 Fans
    Unemployed Net speaks on behalf of itself as a social enterprise earning wads of cash from government funds like the Workfare Providers who make the same crass claim to represent the unemployed.

    The most obvious thing here is the FAILURE of the organisation to attract the actual attention of the unemployed against such as the `Unemployed Movement` who actually has a healthy membership and is read by well over 13,000 unique visitors a month and we are building on this daily.

    If you’re a news reporter be honest and join us as one and get the news from the horse’s mouth on what it means to be unemployed from a Movement that even the likes of the “unemployednet” even joined; its failure to comprehend the depth of feeling and hatred of the present system was sussed straight away.

    Nick Stephenson
    2 Fans
    Not true. We do not speak for the government or workfare providers, we have never taken a penny from either, and the idea of ‘wads of cash’ – well, if only! A quick read of our site shows that our only message is one of commitment to the rights of unemployed people.
    Unfortunately this comment shows that there is too much factionalism in this area rather than welcoming of voices raised in the same cause. We may use different language (and the anonymous user above uses some choice, if inaccurate, words), but we are fighting the same corner.
    Unemployed Net works with many unemployed people and other good organisations, including Respect for the unemployed and benefit claimants, who see that we are better off united than divided. We also need to bring the message to different places and new people if it is to be heard, and that includes The Huffington Post.
    unemploymentmovNick Stephenson 2 PEOPLE IN THE CONVERSATION Read Conversation →

    Botany Bay
    0 Fans
    I would rather know, first, who Mr Stephenson is and how his organisation can make such bold claims to speak on behalf of unemployed people. Despite taking a close interest in the subject, I have never heard of it.

    Nick Stephenson
    2 Fans
    UnemployedNet speaks on behalf of unemployed people as best we can because this is needed. Everyone who writes for us is or has been unemployed, and I have worked with unemployed people for the last 15 years, gathering knowledge of the issues faced and trying to represent these faithfully. We have had some success, including eight blogs being featured in The Guardian’s Society pages, but for a better idea of the kind of work we try to do I recommend you go to and look at the blogs, resources, news stories and other information.

  9. something survived...

    Wankfare, Workfarce, Workfart, Wankstain, Un-fare, Workscare, Jerksnare,
    BerkLair, WorkBlair, BlairScare, ShirkCare, Yuckfair

    • @ something I take it you are not a fan of the work pogrom ..what’s puzzles me is why they went ahead with it all considering all the reports they had which showed it had little or no effect on employment .but that’s IDS for you ignore all evidence to the contrary and plough ahead regardless of the disaster and grief which occurs

  10. Nothing changes does it ? In daily telegraph on the report on the court victory by campaigners over independent living fund decision ‘ related news items ‘ it had article about fake wheelchair claimant getting benefits to find champagne lifestyle’
    Classic eh? Ergo all disabled people are fakers..not surprising from torygraphn who has campaigned against NHS for years

  11. as the schemes have been ruled mostly ilgal could the ymca now be sued.

  12. Pingback: The Vile Hypocrisy of Workfare Exploiters the Y...

  13. 10,000 suicides.

    Off Topic but topical.
    April 2013 to September 2013, 350,000 people have had to use Foodbanks.
    October 2012 to June 2013, 400,000 Jobseekers have been sanctioned and lost their benefit.
    These two sets of figures are not related, allegedly.

    Source: BBC News Website.

  14. Worked once for the YMCA in a paid position, they were some of the most unpleasant individuals I’ve met in my life. Spent most of their working days bitching about each other & the some of the comments made about the residents are unprintable. I refused to join in with their silly mind games & ended up being sidelined & eventually left after about 3 months.
    And these cunts called themselves christians!

    • overburdenddonkey

      this blog post is his response to it….

      • Yes I can see that but its confusing on one hand they claim they are concerned about sanctions but then go on to suggest that Annie Oakley review his recommendations so its s pretty mixed response and yes the very idea that young people are in favour of sanctions is plain stupid..

      • I was followinginks on sanctions and when I saw the YMCA one I didn’t realise it was to do with this blog to be honest..and the unemployment net one I can’t figure out as on KBE hand they are stating sanctions are awful..but then go on to say that the targets may not be real but could be put into a table to look like league tables..which is bollocks as we know drunken smith went to a few jcp branches to congratulate them on hitting their sanctions targets …

        • Axtually sanctions are the stupidest thing ever as it criminalises unemployed why ? Also by depriving ppl of any income means they are not able
          To feed themselves rendering them incapable of doing anything apart from finding work as if by starvation a company is suddenly going to hand you a job !!
          Its completely stupid ..just idiotic

          • Do they think that on the first day of being accepted
            For a job the company is going to pay you a wage so you can feed yourself? Or as result of starvation you will suddenly acquire skills you never had ?

            Its truely insane.

          • Sanctions are effectively a ‘fine’, Bob (with no time to pay). Same as work-for-your-dole is effectively Community Payback (expect a much longer ‘stretch’ that can be handed down by the courts). It is effectively extra-judicial punishments being handed down by bureaucrats with no judicial oversight and no legal recourse. Surely must be illegal!

  15. million sanctions have been issued to young people since October 2012, it is of critical importance that the current review being led by Matthew Oakley examines closely how these are being managed by Jobcentre Plus and its impact on individuals.

    In undertaking his review, we encourage Matthew Oakley to seek the views and participation of the vulnerable young people affected by these policies, to help inform his recommendations.”

    For those who have been affected or are worried about sanctions, YMCA England has produced a toolkit for young people.

     That part doesn’t look good at all why on earth would they want to discuss this with the likes of Mathew Oakley for gods sake as if that twat gives a shit about the effects that sanctions have on people ??
    Very puzzling indeed. ..

  16. Fuck you Ian Cuntin Smith you fucking baldy bastard fucking wank. The day you die will bring parties that will make Thatcher’s death look like a fucking wet fart. Baldy evil nazi tory fucking bastard.

  17. This is interesting I see Annie Oakley’s mate Lucy worked for Accenture who just happen to get govt contracts how lucky is that then ?

  18. This from the BBC-fucking-C article is simply mind-boggling:

    While at the latest count more than 40% of those who received a sanction were under 24, opposition to them among young people is not universal.

    “I think they can be positive,” 20-year-old Joe told YMCA researchers looking into attitudes to welfare. “As long as they are still able to feed themselves.”

    How the fuck can a sanction every be a positive experience, like being plunged into destitution and being reduced to scraping through bins in some spiritually uplifting experience. Jesus H. Christ on a fucking bike!

  19. YMCA,might as well just get it over with and change the initials of their so called “charity” to SCUM,no one in their right minds believes their PR BS.

  20. -> In-to slav’-ry… ♫

  21. We shall never again play our world wide hit single ‘YMCA’ until the cunts at the ymca stop being cunts that take advantage of the vulnerable people. Peace.

  22. overburdenddonkey

    if voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it…mark twain..

  23. Landless Peasant

    My father was presented with a YMCA Bible (which I still have) in 1937, prior to him joining the Army, and which he subsequently carried in his breast pocket throughout the entirety of World War II, the bloody and brutal war that he and millions of others fought so that future generations of Englishmen would never be slaves…erm…what went wrong with that? Oh the irony.

  24. The Smiths (Reformed)

    Burn down the jobcentre, hang the fucking adviser
    Because the sanctions that they constantly issue
    Keep fucking up my life
    Hang the fucking adviser
    Because the sanctions they constantly issue….

    • Workfare, there’s a place you will go.
      I said, workfare, when you’re short of some dough.
      On workfare, and I’m sure you will find
      Ways that your benefits have been sanctioned.

      It’s glum in the, Workfare army.
      It’s glum in the, Workfare army.
      You’ll do as your told, your blood will run cold,
      When sanctioned for picking your nose.

    • Don’t start me talking
      I could talk all night
      My mind goes sleepwalking
      While I’m putting the world to right
      Called careers information
      Have you got yourself an occupation?

      Workfare army is here to stay
      Workfare army are on their way
      And I would rather be anywhere else
      But here today

      If you’re out of luck or out of work
      We could send you to mandatory work activity

      Workfare army is here to stay
      Workfare army are on their way
      And I would rather be anywhere else
      But here today

    • Mozza's Biggest Fan

      We love you Morrissey 🙂

      • We love you Mozza!! :-)

        Yeah, Mozza is back on form with Panic (2013) – the sanction smashing mix 🙂

        Hang the the advisers, Hang the the advisers, Hang the the advisers
        Hang the the advisers, Hang the the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers, Hang the advisers
        Hang the advisers… 🙂

    • IDS will NEVER be sacked, it can only be assumed that either he’s got some deeply embarassing intel on Camoron & Gideon or the thick twat is being used by the pair of them as a “human shield” to deflect the flak that they quite rightly should also be recieving over the mess at the DWP


        The reason why Cameron won’t sack him is because IDS was one of the backbench ‘bastards’ during the time of John Major’s inept ‘government’. There is no doubt that if he was sacked the little shit wouldn’t just be a good boy and accept it but would cause no end of trouble for Cameron and probably get his fellow twats on the Tory backbenches to call for a leadership contest.

  25. Hopefully more stories of ‘neglect’ by the YMCA will emerge. Thousands of people, young and old, disabled and unemployed use their ‘services’ There maybe the odd good one but generally their services are appalling to say the least. I know of one where the management team of 3 blokes spent all their time developing computer systems rather than manage the establishment. They were rarely available for consultation or help. They fobbed work off onto the admin worker or to any of their mates.

    Another took no responsibility for their residents, failing to undertake proper maintenance, running a secret bar for themselves which included having lines of coke for breakfast, chasing all of the women in the establishment, harassing them for ‘favours’, at one a bloke broke his back on their premises. One staff member was heard to say ‘he deserved that’ as ambulance men were placing the guy on the stretcher. Whilst in hospital the guys room was ransacked and his posssessions stolen. The YMCA staff and Board denied all responsibility and denied they were compliant in any way.

    These events are real – this is the true face of the YMCA – a corrupt organisation tthat only wants to further it own position at the expense of those they claim to serve – they have and show NO DUTY OF CARE as are in the articles of association as a charity.

  26. I think IDS is gonna walk and leave the flak to his successor Esther Mc Vile, they usually elect the token woman to either do the dirty work or take the flak.

  27. Pingback: The Vile Hypocrisy of Workfare Exploiters the Y...

    • Just watching daily politics and Jackie Smith ex labour sec. of state still thinks that Universal Credit is worth pursuing especially as there was cross party consensus on it’s implementation. They’re all tories.

  28. Sanctions

    “I think they can be positive,” 20-year-old Joe told YMCA researchers looking into attitudes to welfare. “As long as they are still able to feed themselves.”

  29. but failed to add “When does my 3 months free grub at the YMCA canteen start?”

  30. Minister tried to shift blame to top aide for welfare fiasco.

    Iain Duncan Smith tried to shift the blame for a £140 million waste of taxpayers’ money on to his senior civil servant by attempting to influence an MPs’ report, The Times understands.

  31. Well, believe this McVey, you have been promoted for one reason only, to become a scapegoat for IDS’s future failures – count on it!

    • overburdenddonkey

      closer to the exit door! she aims to move the sick and disabled “closer to the workplace” wot a flat above a charity shop!

  32. very funny overburdenddonkey, but probably true.

  33. Mc Vey said something like “the clues in the title” regarding JSA and the massive increase in sanctions which she was miserably trying to justify.

    Since when did government ministers start addressing the electorate like they were crap? Claimants of today are workers of tomorrow and whatever their current position they are the electorate.

    I find her (and many others of current government) attitude stinks. They treat high court judges with contempt mind you so is it any wonder. Clueless pillocks!

    • overburdenddonkey

      j d
      they admit through their vile contempt of us, that mass unemployment is here to stay, and a permanent feature of life, in britain today, and set to get even worse…

  34. When claimants are put on work programs are they taken off the unemployment register?

  35. sorry, programme

  36. I’ve just found this comments page although I’m a reasonably regular reader of the blog. to introduce myself – I am Nick Stephenson from UnemployedNet, and I would like to reply to the comments above on me and the organisation I work for.
    Firstly, as I have said many times before, the site has nothing to do with the government or any work programme provider. To the person who said it looks like a government site, I suggest you look at which is now the main government website – it isn’t even slightly similar.
    The ‘management consultancy’ mentioned above is a general tax code, so doesn’t say much about what I actually do when I’m not working on UnemployedNet, but my bio on the Huffington Post gives this information to those who are interested.
    I have developed many programmes to support unemployed people, but I have never worked on a forced or mandatory programme, and I have never been responsible for a single sanction being handed out. The projects all focused on trying to build confidence, provide lots of one-to-one support time, and empower unemployed people themselves to set the terms of their support, including having lots of feedback where genuine changes were made to make projects how they wanted them.
    To those who have questions on what UnemployedNet is and what it is trying to do, the site includes an ‘About us’ and ‘Charter’ section which tells you all you need to know. Most of the questions above can be answered by reading these. We are only interested in supporting unemployed people, and we want to work with others to make sure unemployed people get a better deal.
    The comments you reproduced from a troll on the Huffington Post don’t say anything of any value, just that some people would rather believe in conspiracy theories than real evidence.
    There is plenty of evidence of our standpoint: the advantage of the internet is that anyone can see everything I have written over the last two years, on both my UnemployedNet blog and news section and Huffington Post blog. If you read anything there you will only see material that supports the unemployed and criticises the attacks of this government and the media on them. If I was something to do with the government or an A4E-type they would have sacked me within a week!
    I have been long-term unemployed in the past, and I have also worked with unemployed people, and I believe I am well placed to contribute to the debate. I don’t claim to represent all unemployed people, I only say that we want to do our best to represent as many views as we can.
    Recently this included writing a joint response with the Facebook group Respect for the unemployed and benefit claimants to the government’s sanctions consultation – you can read it here
    This recognises the anger of many of the responses we received via Facebook and email, and calls for an immediate suspension of all sanctions pending an enquiry into their massive expansion.
    These are the kind of things which UnemployedNet is trying to do which few others on our side are doing, and consultations like this can make a difference in government policy which can make a difference in unemployed people’s experiences on the frontline.
    Incidentally, Johnny Void’s blog is reproduced regularly on Respect for the unemployed and benefit claimants and I link to it on UnemployedNet. I think it makes a fantastic contribution to the debate and I hope that those who read UnemployedNet recognise our contribution too.
    To my mind the big question is this: why, when we need as many people as possible to fight the good fight for unemployed people, are those of us who are on the same side arguing amongst ourselves? I would much rather work in wider partnerships to get real achievements than have all of us operating in small cells where we are easy for the government to ignore.

  37. Anyone that works for the ymca is a douche bag and deserves bad treatment .upper staff deserve worse.

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