A Visit To Urban Futures Shows The Nasty Side Of Charity Workfare


Boycott Workfare and Haringey Solidarity Group today occupied the premises of Urban Futures in protest at ther involvement in the government’s Community Work Placement scheme – better known as workfare.

Hidden away on an industrial estate in Wood Green London, Urban Futures run a training centre where unemployed people are sent by Jobcentres to be processed and referred to workfare with local so-called charities.  Today protesters visited the company with the aim of speaking to the inmates forced to attend under threat of benefit sanctions.  On entering the offices, one person politely explained the reason the action was taking place whilst others began to hand out leaflets.

The mood quickly turned ugly.  Urban Futures staff, presumably furious at having their authority undermined, began tearing up the campaigners leaflets whilst others started grabbing and illegally seizing personal property.  Protesters were repeatedly pushed and manhandled whilst one management looking type laughed at how he enjoyed profiting from harassing and bullying unemployed people.  Others made snide remarks about protesters getting a job, showing their true attitude to the people they pretend they are supporting.

Very soon around a dozen police turned up and seemed slightly bemused at the over the top reaction from Urban Future’s pumped up employees.  At this point campaigners decided to leave, with property such as phone and bags eventually reluctantly returned.

Even outside some of the staff at Urban Futures seemed determined to throw their weight around.  When campaigners stopped to talk to some claimants having a fag, the company’s employees immediately ordered their inmates not talk to them and tried to usher them inside.  One jumped up prick then informed us that these people were taking part in work related activity and were therefore not allowed to talk to anyone.  Really.

People sent to Urban Futures are forced to work for six months or face desperate poverty as their benefits are sanctioned as part of George Osborne’s misnamed ‘Help to Work’ scheme.  Nobody looked like they were being helped today, except for Urban Futures who are helping themselves to a huge chunk of tax payer’s money.  Instead the environment resembled an open prison, with people shoved into rooms to hang about waiting before they are finally shipped out as forced labour for local charity shops like the one run by North London Hospice who face a protest of their own this Saturday.

Urban Futures have a half-arsed social media presence on facebook and twitter @urbanfuturesuk

There’s still time to get involved in the Week Of Action Against Workfare, keep an eye on Boycott Workfare’s website for the latest news.

This blog has no sources of funding so here’s a quick reminder that you can help ensure it continues by making a donation.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

137 responses to “A Visit To Urban Futures Shows The Nasty Side Of Charity Workfare

  1. Makes you wonder what kind of bastard would work for a bunch of creeps like that?

    • One who values having a job and has a family to feed perhaps. You seem to forget that CWP came in this year – many of these organisations have been around for a long time – probably doing things you’d approve of. Suddenly the company and all it’s staff are scum? Make sure you close the playground gate once you leave.

  2. sounds like a success then.

  3. Just reading about the attitude of staff at Urban Futures towards benefit claimants makes me fume. Thinking they are entitled to make money off the backs of people who are in an unfortunate situation! Describing them as doing ‘meaningful activity’, something which has strong overtones of the philosophy behind concentration camps! Coming out with personal insults towards peaceful protesters! Urban Futures are scum and I feel very sorry for anyone sent to do CWP with them.

    Btw Urban Futures has a Facebook page, so get yourself on there and let them know what you think https://www.facebook.com/pages/Urban-Futures/143688142335383

    • thankyou i certanly will.

    • I sent them a nice tweet telling them how disgusting their attitude is and how they seem to have some very nasty staff.

      Whole different type of animal that would agree to work for those monkey’s.

    • If you took a step back and thought about it, you’d realise that like at most companies, only the top handful of staff make the money. The rest of the staff are just staff who do as they are told to ensure they still have a job. I’d suggest that the ‘attitude’ had more to do with their livelihoods being threatened than benefit claimants. Thing is, the staff probably don’t even think of them as benefit claimants, just customers, like they do the non-workfare clients. I did my CSCS training there and in my class were a few people on CWP – they seemed happy enough to me! My training was free btw and now I’ve got a job on a building site.

  4. Pingback: A Visit To Urban Futures Shows The Nasty Side O...

  5. Most of the staff who work at these kind of places are ex call-centre (cold calling) staff; hence, the obnoxious attitude and behaviour.

    • And the government thinks such people are appropriate to work with people who may have medical, social and/or educational issues…. what could possibly go wrong there (cough, cough)?

      • That’s the type of situation that breeds the tragedies that we see on the news A4. Care homes and the like where employee’s are entrusted to work with vulnerable people. You get these call centre pricks taking jobs like that and ill treating the folks they’re supposed to be caring for.

        Failing that they get a ‘job?’ with Urban Futures or their ilk.

        • ……………If the world resembled a human body they would stick the enema pipe in URBAN FUTURES………….so much shit in one place.

          Scum would be a compliment to these parasites of human misery.

    • …………DWP’S own doctors statement, Mr Reynolds is incapable of all work.
      ATOS HEALTHCARE EMMA BRODRICK, Mr Reynolds should be able to start work in three months………………

      • Statement from DWP, “It is possible to be found incapable of all work under a DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE examination, but be found capable of work under an ESA examination”……………………………..

    • just like they did with new deal. that was bad news for any one who was forced to sign on to that program,

  6. Good work, keep it up.
    Funny how none of the protests seem to get covered in mainstreem news/press.

  7. Rosemarie Harris

    When animals are cornered this is what happens ,they are not feeling good about themselves they know they are wrong >
    Keep up the work, put posters up near the place.leaflets put through the door.
    Don’t try to talk to people who are there already they know but they have to do it or go without money.

  8. Reading into the news, or daily fodder from the state run news agency, the BBC, is never easy, but one can assume that Osborne’s spin on our glowing economy is soon to show what he is, a liar…………..

    The UK is falling apart at the seams, high street shops are closing at an unprecedented rate and all services are in disarray. Speak to anyone outside the golden mile and the response will be the same, misery, pure misery.
    ……………..and what is the solution to inept management of our finances?, thats right, demonise the working classes.

    Last nights documentary on channel five really backfired on it’s producers by showing the true plight of our kids in the face of adversity, zero job prospects in a seaside town and the social evils of sanction regimes.
    Once again, the puppet production team tried to rearrange the values to portray a life of luxury that only went on to show dire cycle of despondency for our young.

    “Shame on you bastards in power and shame on the channel five scumsuckers”

    This is not a life but misery in its lowest form, Osborne’s legacy to his inability to see beyond the blurred visions of ETON’S playing fields……….

    Carney, the highly paid new stooge in the Bank of England, will be scratching his arse with a pencil. On one side they are manipulating him to increase interest rates but the falling footsie and grim details of European woes are telling him otherwise. Hopefully common sense will prevail but the investors will be pushing him to ignore the new home owners as they try to manipulate cash bonuses.
    Watching Eric Pickles on Question Time reminded me of an overweight snorting boar pig, what a truly evil bastard this cretin really is……….
    He would not look out of place in an SS uniform with the totenkopf deaths head skulls on his lapels as he lurched from side to side, grunting after being posed a question on the intended privatisation of the NHS.
    The porker refused to answer, citing the tory mantra, “i just want the best care for everybody”………………….
    Buffoons in high places, ask Boris about it?

    • “falling footsie” – it’s a ‘buying opportunity, GEOFF 🙂 That’s how the ‘insiders’ make their £money£ 🙂

      • No reward for loyalty in the markets, GEOFF. The only reward is for treachery! The markets don’t give a soggy sausage about you!

  9. if you got them angry then your getting somewhere.

  10. overburdenddonkey

    i salute their effective protest, and shame on those who support workfare…wages are paid partly to provide work energy, benefits are not designed to provide work energy..WRA is work without wages…we need commonsense to prevail…the job seeking economy must be stooped NOW…we need a job’s creation economy…there are obviously not enough jobs for the working classes, who have no access to the inherited capital required to invest in opportunity…poverty is soaring 6.8m in work poverty, the rich are given vast subsidies from our taxes, aka wealthfare…productivity is 35% lower than what it was 35yrs ago, because of sell outs, sell offs. destruction of trade union power and venture capital shifts to any country in the world to exploit and suck dry markets…..
    a well funded people’s job’s creation bank should be set up…check out what the country of iceland has done?


    DWP is undertaking a small scale study into the use of prepaid cards as a method of payment
    for claimants with complex needs.
    The prepaid card being used in the study can be used to make purchases in shops and online,
    in any retailer that accepts MasterCard payment. As such, the card can be used to purchase
    energy ‘top-ups’ in shops where MasterCard payments are accepted. Participants in the study
    can also make secure automated payments for essential bills such as rent and utilities via the
    Cash will be available to card holders via ATM withdrawals. Card holders will not be charged
    additional fees to withdraw cash from ATMs that are part of the LINK network. Participants in
    the test will therefore have access to cash for public transport and any other costs that require
    up-front cash payments.
    Participants in the study will also benefit from wider support such as budget planning, and
    support with banking – including setting up direct debits and ensuring bills are paid.
    If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number
    Yours sincerely,

    DWP Strategy FoI Team

    • If a claimant has complex needs, how can mandating them to use a prepaid card that can only be used at specific retailers, help them whatsoever?
      ……………..another act of demonisation from the department that seeks to hide mortality rates from the EU COMMISSION WATCHDOGS.

      • overburdenddonkey

        happy world mental health day, ukip just got their 1st seat @ sleazemonster….

        • Landless Peasant

          If they ever win a general election I’m leaving the country.

          • Good. Get a one way ticket for the Windrush*2 and close the border behind you.

          • who do you want ?? fucking labor!”! or greens vote greens you will end up with another five years of fucking parasitical torie toff cunts

            • Not necessarily, we might, nay in all likelihood likely end up with at least five years of the Green Party! Just look at our success in the European Elections! Vote Green for a brighter, sustainable, fairer future!

            • Landless Peasant

              UKIP are more Tory than the Tories. They are a Fascist organization. I would sooner spoil my ballot than vote for those cunts.

  12. Landless Peasant

    Fuck’s sake. Signed on Tuesday, should have received JSA today (Friday) but it didn’t arrive. Spent most of afternoon in Jobcentre, now waiting to see if it arrives either later today or tomorrow, due to their balls-up. Haven’t eaten since yesterday (Thursday). Bollocks.

    • I hope they make an FPI payment to you rather than a BACS one. I have had this happen to me a few times now- nearly all of the late payments have been made via BACS, which still takes 2 to 3 working days to go into my account. I think they once did an FPI payment, which meant the money was in my account the same day. They used to have provision for jobseekers to go to a post office to pick up the money if for some reason they couldn’t pay it into a bank account- I wonder what happened to that alternative?

      In any case, it is completely unacceptable for them to make someone in your position wait. If they don’t make your payment via an instant transfer, you could put in a formal complaint as you shouldn’t end up going hungry because of their disorganisation.

      • Landless Peasant

        Thanks. Just checked and it has now been paid & money’s in my bank, thank god. But, as I was sat in the Jobcentre for one hour and my back’s seized up, am in agony & just taken some painkillers, don’t have the strength now to carry shopping!

  13. lp i dont leave until i see they have sent the payment through ok.

    or was it oops they forgot to enter your ni number.

  14. overburdenddonkey

    https://archive.today/R1mgl Inverness NHS campaigners plan city centre protest as part of a european wide TTIP protest tomorrow…

  15. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    Someone my mum knows their wife went for a job a proper paid job cleaning schools.. she didnt get it because she hadnt got cleaning experience in schools.. BUT they asked her would she consider “volunteering” to do that job in the school for free.. this is the way the world is going

  16. robertwalsh1975

    Reblogged this on Robert Walsh.

  17. No to Oppression and Slavery No to Neo Liberalism

  18. overburdenddonkey

    “There is no joy in it becoming abundantly clear that Labour, even if they did have a clear and coherent progressive message, are in no fit state to govern Britain, to ‘protect Scotland’, to stand up to the Tories, to defend the vulnerable, or to to do any of the things that so called ‘Left No’ voters based their one dimensional ahistoric hopes on. The folk memory of Labour has been dying for years. Surely failure in the year ahead will extinguish it and a radical politics can be rediscovered for the English left?” http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/10/10/from-clacton-with-hate/

  19. Dont know why these puppets are so defensive of this scummy organisation their probably earning min wage or just above on short contracts! OK its a wage compared with the free labour their bullying but still. Maybe seeing you lot is like putting a mirror up in front of them that reflects their conscience and they dont know how to handle it.

    • Southendman

      They probably believe all of the crap about working their way up,I think it’s call de-motion, so they conform and bully their way there.


    Not all these havens are in sunny climes; indeed not all are technically offshore. Mr Obama likes to cite Ugland House, a building in the Cayman Islands that is officially home to 18,000 companies, as the epitome of a rigged system. But Ugland House is not a patch on Delaware (population 917,092), which is home to 945,000 companies, many of which are dodgy shells. Miami is a massive offshore banking centre, offering depositors from emerging markets the sort of protection from prying eyes that their home countries can no longer get away with. The City of London, which pioneered offshore currency trading in the 1950s, still specialises in helping non-residents get around the rules. British shell companies and limited-liability partnerships regularly crop up in criminal cases. London is no better than the Cayman Islands when it comes to controls against money laundering. Other European Union countries are global hubs for a different sort of tax avoidance: companies divert profits to brass-plate subsidiaries in low-tax Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands

  21. Eric Greenwood (4727)

    An interesting email from randstad # seems like they are in need of more people Have to wonder why.. if agencies are having to do this to get people on their books, then what effect has the free workers/a4e/places has on these agencies.. would be interesting to see how many other agencies are finding it hard to get people, especially with the mass spamming on universal jobsmatch site

    Do you know anyone looking for a new job?
    We want to hear from you! Just 2 minutes of work for £200 or more*
    We’d like to celebrate the launch of our brand new website design, packed full of the very best job opportunities, by offering you the opportunity to enjoy £200 or more for recommending a friend.

    Recommend a friend to Randstad and we’ll help them take their next fulfilling career step AND send you a £200 voucher or more once we’ve placed them.* That’s 2 minutes of work for £200*

  22. overburdenddonkey

    “What is happening with the NHS? Pre referendum the media indicated that the NHS in England was in good shape. Post referendum the veil has been drawn back and NHS England appears to be teetering on the brink of financial disaster.”

  23. The Deficit is One of Political Accountibility and Political Quality
    and also in Terms of the Obnoxious Gulf between Rich and Poor

    Caring Government and Society Now and Forever

  24. There is No Charity in Oppression and Victimisation of the Poor

    No Real Charity would Support That

    A Real Charity would Help the Poor in the British Land

    • Molanna angustata

      A species of insect not previously recorded in Scotland has been found at an RSPB reserve in the Highlands.

      Molanna angustata (YELLOW BAKED NO VOTER) is a type of caddisfly that inhabits Wales and England up to the Lake District and Yorkshire.

      RSPB Scotland trainee ecologist, Genevieve Dalley, discovered and identified two males caught in a moth trap at Insh Marshes near Kingussie.

      The flies’ larvae live in water and create protective cases.

      These tubes are made from tiny particles of sand and stuck together with silk.

  25. Anti English Racism will do Nothing to Bridge the Gulf between Rich and Poor Not Least in England and Wales who would still be Saddled with the Tories.

    Better an Independent United Britain where the Poor are Cared For
    and where Welfare for People is more Important than Warfare which
    kills People such as the Invasion of Iraq in 2003

    Fenriss | October 11, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Reply http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/german-journalist-who-lived-highlands-4418742

    Nasty Salmond and his Nasty little gang of Jacobites

    • A left-leaning newspaper based in Scotland carrying a news story accusing the Scots of being racist. Well, it makes a change from left-leaning newspapers in England carrying news stories accusing the English of being racist I suppose…

      Westminster isn’t England, remember that.

  26. overburdenddonkey

    “UKIP is an antibody produced by the political establishment and their paymasters, to counter public disillusion with a dreadful and worsening unequal society. UKIP’s task is to divert public anger away from their exploiters towards specific groups of the poor. It does so very effectively. UKIP’s success yesterday will lead to a race among the mainstream parties to scapegoat vulnerable social groups – immigrants, benefit claimants, unemployed – and to compete in external xenophobia. The next government of the United Kingdom will be right wing to a degree which would have seemed unthinkable for the majority of my life.”

    • UKIP along with the tories are planning on bringing in thousands of wealthy immigrants just to skew the voting system more in their direction, when they all vote for what Mayor Johnson says are socially progressive parties.

  27. overburdenddonkey

    http://bambuser.com/v/4990623 scotgreen party conference today…

  28. 55 is still more than 45 Alba gu bràth

    • overburdenddonkey

      the a margin was 6%…yes you voted no so that you could continue to be crushed by the UK establishment, very smart…and @ the same time you condemn the dwp that is run by WM of all parties…

  29. You bunch of workshy cunts. You should stop drinking those cans of Stella and get a fucking job.

  30. obd – Depressed as I am about the referendum result, I have a feeling this is true:
    “We are the 45%” believed in the green light, the orgiastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning– So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

    (Apologies to)
    ― F. Scott Fitzgerald


      Austerity brings many things, but hidden from public consumption is the rise in Victorian health problems.
      Rickets and Scarlet fever, and now Tuberculosis…………………….

      Most people who are exposed to TB never develop symptoms, since the bacteria can live in an inactive form in the body, but if the immune system weakens, such as in malnourished people, people with HIV or the elderly, TB bacteria can become active.

      Our elderly and malnourished poor are at high risk due to the imposition of demonic welfare cuts, the symbolic political gesture to greet a few flights only from ebola breeding nations, is nothing but a cynical joke………….

      Experts, that is, people asked to say exactly what the government wants, are thick on the ground, and thick in the head it seems………..

      “How many times just recently have we been told that ebola in the UK would be minimal?”


      The serious threat of industrial action (Which i commend), will leave our defence’s wide open, the government dare not admit this, they have been instructed to play the issue down.

      Our government “ROLE ACTED” an ebola outbreak scenario the other day to reassure we are perfectly safe, bollocks!

      Tell that to the people where i live who struggle to see a doctor in a fortnight or who are left in ambulances to be later treated on a bed hastily pushed into a stock cupboard because the corridor is full…………..

      These bastards, the coalition value one thing above all else, clinging on to power by any means possible, money is their ultimate goal.

      Kick them into oblivion, if the tuberculosis doesn’t get you first…………….

  31. Dear Urban Futures,

    I don’t drink Stella but intend to spend next weekend drinking real ale, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with you bastards.

  32. OBD doesn’t drink Stella, he spends most of his unearned Jobseekers Allowance getting blootered on Buckfast and he’s still saving up for a Nicola Sturgeon blow up doll. Tiocfaidh ár lá. No Surrender.

  33. overburdenddonkey

    i used to go to buckfast abbey with my children, very likely before you were born, in my goodwood green ford zephyr 6 …on my way to plymouth to get the ferry to st malo for camping in britanny…
    https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=2983 🙂

  34. 2000 max at the George Square wake

  35. Shamed politician Tommy Sheridan faces questions over charity cheques sent to his home

    • “The shamed politician, jailed in 2011 after being found guilty of lying under oath about visiting swingers’ clubs” Deny it all you like Tommy but you were convicted in a court of Law by a Jury of your peers.

    • “Hope over Fear did not have a bank account” – ffs, you can have a bank account up in running in no time! This has got SCAM written all over it. “Tommy Sheridan was unavailable for comment” – who would have thunk… 😉

    • overburdenddonkey

      it is very odd that you are so obsessed with sheridan….he is NOT the yes indyscot people’s movement…many didn’t go to the sq because of his involvement, he is not universally popular within the yes movement…and many went despite his involvement….but nevertheless, no one has accused him of lying throughout the substances of his public appearances during the yes campaign….and if he had, they would have been down on him like a ton of bricks…so all people like you have a la ukip style, is to try to assassinate people’s character, credibility, to snipe from irrelevant spaces and from the sidelines… according to the police 6000 were there @ any one time during the 3hrs of the official event….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHWJ7fkQXqM
      those who live in glass houses should not throw stones…

  36. I don’t think cycles should be on roads. They don’t pay road tax and get in my way when Im driving thru the town at 60MPH to pub. I have to drive as its a quarter mile away. I’m very fat, (not my fault). I’m a member of the Tory party and I enjoy farting. I think that unemployed people should be sent to the workhouse and not get unemployment benefit. I also love Brooks Newmark.

    • deal with the cyclists or fucking get on a bus or walk to the fucking pub you lazy Tory. when i was working I had to walk 2 miles to work as the bus did not go the full route but did i fucking moan about it? no i didnt, perhaps you should start walking to burn off some of that fat that you keep adding to when your getting pissed.

  37. overburdenddonkey

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyJmDcQf-qU see this young woman if you think it’s all over you’ll need to reckon with her 1st…

  38. “Others made snide remarks about protesters getting a job, showing their true attitude to the people they pretend they are supporting.”

    That sounds like the Shaw Trust.


    This is what we’re going to get when Dla lifetime/indefinite awards are “assessed”.

  39. Look how long the Tories fought to keep the details of this sleazy junket secret http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/12/conservatives-tycoons-fundraising-black-and-white-ball And who was dining with scrounger supreme Smith? The directors of doorstep loan sharks CLC Finance who charge a mere 769.9% APR. I hope the staff seasoned the food.

  40. Do all of these bloggers stick together and back one another up or is it the mad censors controlling everything.

  41. Not for you it seems Censorship!

  42. Fenprick really ruins this blog with his total pish. I wish he would just fuck off.

  43. The Obliviousness of Many Results in the Suffering of Many

    It is Clear as Crystal the Oblivious Attitude of too Many out There which is why the Country is in the Trance it is

  44. The National Situation is Depressing The ” Thinking Positive ” about it
    is Bloody Well Delusional

  45. It seems to me that the real problem is not with Urban Future, A4E etc but the government who create these schemes. Therefore should you and other organisations like this be canvassing the government (DWP) and your local Jobcentres? When the soldiers went out to Iraq it was the government who was critisised, not those on the front line doing the unplesant job of killing people. Am I missing something here? Seems to me you’re picking fights with the wrong organisations.

  46. Workfare is wrong….. PERIOD!.. no matter who takes it on and where it surfaces, we have been debating this for ages here and protesting against it to this very day and will continue to do so until it has a stake driven through it’s evil heart of deceit and is never seen or heard of again. It belongs in oblivion.. pretty much like this Tory party come the next election. This coalition never had the best interests of this country and the REAL people foremost in their hearts and minds… in reality they are just common thieves for all their wealth.. a smash and grab to make as much as they can before they are kicked out the exit door then they can go and live their lives of rich decadence in their many homes and rub shoulder with their kind. We know money cannot buy class.. you either have it or you do not, be you rich or poor… none of the main parties can offer the average man or woman in the street a single thing. The price of another five years of a Tory majority or a Tory led coalition will be the complete disintegration of the Welfare State and the National Health Service, excessive taxes and beyond. The answer cannot be found to prove this from here on the surface but deep in the very sanctum of those who support the Tories and have money saved and are attempting all manner of things to try and protect it from the same things we ourselves face too but on a different level. It’s no longer about a pocket of injustice regarding workfare in a specific part of the UK no matter how important it is to protest against these things..no we need to look at the big picture for the answer and how the rich are trying to protect their money.. look at this, in here you may be able to protect your own modest nest if you even have one.. many don’t.. check this…

  47. Pingback: Being treated well when you’re on workfare is a bonus. Don’t expect it. | Kate Belgrave

  48. Pingback: Being treated well on workfare is a bonus. Nobody everybody gets that bonus. | Kate Belgrave

  49. Pingback: Used and abused: inside a failed UK workfare scheme. Will Universal Credit claimants be pushed into schemes like this to make up labour shortfalls after Brexit? | Kate Belgrave

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