Tag Archives: thamesreach

Streatham Jobcentre Besieged By Protesters Demanding No Forced Treatment

no-forced-treatmentAround 100 people marched on Streatham Jobcentre today in a fantastic start to the fight against forced psychological treatments for unemployed, sick and disabled claimants.

Protesters gathered in Streatham Memorial Gardens with many carrying banners showing the growing anger at the collaboration of mental health workers and charities with the DWP’s workfare and benefit sanctions regime.  At just after 2pm the protest took to the streets, taking over the busy road before fnally arriving outside the Jobcentre which now also contains much of Lambeth’s mental health services.

The ever present G4S security guards blocked campaigners from entering the Jobcentre, with one member of staff informing the amused crowd that there were no jobs available today.  What bungling Jobcentre workers didn’t realise is that several people were already inside the building where they proceeded to disrupt the opening party of the so-called Living Well Network Hub and hung a banner out of the window to large cheers from the crowd.

The message from those present was clear.  The threatened forced psychological treatments pledged in the Tory Manifesto will be fought every step of the way – and any charities or healthcare professionals who collaborate with this unethical practice will also be held to account.  The re-locating of vast swathes of local mental health services in the Jobcentre building was also the target of anger – a move carried out without any public consultation and which suggests a chilling future for mental health service delivery in Lambeth.

According to The Guardian, the DWP are now denying that Streatham will be one of the pilot areas for the upcoming scheme which will eventually see therapists stationed in 350 Jobcentres.  Apparently the department made a mistake when they said this would be the case.  South London and Maudsley NHS Trust are also spinning fast, claiming there are no plans for ‘formal’ links between the new Living Well Network Hub and the Jobcentre.

A press release by homelessness charity Thamesreach, who are part of the network of agencies running the project, reveals a very different story however.  According to them the Hub brings together voluntary sector providers, GPs, psychiatrists, nurses, occupational therapists and social workers with Streatham Jobcentre Plus staff.  The intention, according to the charity, is “specialist mental health services operating alongside Jobcentre Plus Staff” with the  “common goal of improving health and well-being and helping people to get back to, or stay in, work.”  And that is why the project was recently visited by not just Iain Duncan Smith, but the former DWP Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper.  They must think we are fucking idiots if they expect us to believe this is all just some big coincidence.

The protest was called by the Mental Health Resistance Network, whilst campaigners were also present from Kilburn Unemployed Workers, Boycott Workfare and Disabled People Against Cuts.  Those speaking at the protest warned this was just the beginning.  Forced treatment, of any kind, for anybody, will be ferociously resisted.  And therapists, charities and mental health workers should get the fuck out of Jobcentres and refuse to participate in DWP attempts to rebrand unemployment as a psychological defect.

Boycott Workfare will be back on the streets tomorrow for the day of action against workfare exploiters B&M Stores, check their website for details.

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Shameless: Charity Bosses To Gather In Luxury Hotel For £715 Homelessness Conference

£715 will pay for a room for a charity chief executive in a top hotel for just one night.  Please give generously.

Sponsor a room. Just £715 will pay for for a charity chief executive to stay in a top hotel for two nights. Please give generously. You fucking mug.

Charity Chief Executives and so-called housing experts are gearing up for this year’s homelessness industry conference which is due to be held at a four star hotel with ticket prices as high as £715!

Next month’s Under One Roof conference is organised by charity umbrella body Homeless Link and provides a chance for homelessness experts to talk about homeless people without any actual homeless people being present.  This year’s swanky bash is being held at the Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire where according to Homeless Link  “Delegates staying overnight are also entitled to complimentary use of the leisure club facilities, which include a heated indoor swimming pool, fully equipped gym, sauna, spa, steam room and solarium.”

Were somebody who is homeless wishing to access this event they would be forced to pay the non-member rate of £320 just for one day, and they don’t even get to stay in the hotel for that.  For the entire two days, plus accommodation, then the bill rises to over £700 – around ten times  the weekly Jobseeker’s Allowance payment many homeless people survive on.  Homelessless charities who run hostels evict residents for running up smaller service charge arrears than that every day of the week.

When not swanning around by the pool, or enjoying the promised slap up meal, delegates to this year’s conference will attend workshops held by ‘industry experts’.  Experts like Jeremy ‘send ’em back’ Swain of charity Thamesreach who will lead a discussion on whether it is ‘counter-productive’ to carry on working with destitute migrants.

Other hot topics will include, predictably, fundraising, crowdsourcing, and “how to pool resources to enable you to bid for contracts that would otherwise be out of reach”.  Those four star hotel bills won’t pay themselves you know.

It will not be front line homelessness workers attending this event of course, but middle managers, ‘professionals’ and charity bosses – the kind of people who could afford to pay for their own fucking hotel.  Instead well meaning charity donors, homeless hostel residents and of course tax payers, will fund this lavish and drink-soaked skive.  And drink-soaked it will be, after the arduous day of workshops the organisers promise a drinks reception, followed by a conference dinner – with entertainment provided by a top magician (perhaps he can magic up some fucking housing) – and then another drinks reception.  These are the same charities that run nasty campaigns telling people not to give money to homeless beggars because they will only spend it on booze or drugs.  Give your spare change to a homelessness charity instead they say, so highly paid Chief Executives can spend it on fine wine, magicians  and posh hotels.

Apologies for the slow down in posts.  Things might remain a bit sporadic here until September when a shit storm is coming.

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Let them drink meths

Homeless charities have, as ever, got it hopelessly wrong with their kiljoy proposals to price strong lager out of the range of street drinkers .

Jeremy Swain, director of Thamesreach claims:

“If a can of super strength lager becomes too expensive for homeless alcoholics to buy, we are certain that lives will be saved.”

Meanwhile reactionary fuckwit John Bird has claimed that strong lagers “are like legal cocaine”, which is something old Birdy should know a lot about.

Thamesreach are one of largest homeless charities in the UK and have successively kowtowed to Labour Party dictats on begging, soup runs and now street drinking in moves which have only caused further isolation to the very people they claim to help.

Thamesreach work on the Victorian notion of the undeserving poor and consider that the only way to get a man back on his feet is to kick him whilst he’s down. Thamesreach consider that giving to beggars, soup runs and cheap booze makes life on the street too easy and discourages people from pulling their socks up and getting to work seeking the scant help that homeless charities offer.

Well Jeremy, let’s get one thing straight – life on the street is fucking hard. Whilst Thamesreach play politics they fail to understand that free food, the odd quid, a blanket here and there saves lives and makes an unbearable situation well, that little bit more bearable.

In the Homeless industries world if a beggar can’t afford another can then he’ll immediately move into a hostel, dry out, start a training course and then live a life of prosperity and contentment as a supermarket cashier living in a housing association bedsit.

(except the hostel won’t have any beds, the detox centres are full and the dole will cut their benefit for taking up the wrong kind of training course).

One of the many reasons for the growth in street drinking is that the price of a pint has forced people out of pubs whilst out on the street people drank cooking sherry or meths.

There will always be a cheap as chips way to get pissed.

Round here you can get a bottle of smuggled vodka for little more then a fiver or one of the cheapest ways to get rat-arsed is some of the dirt cheap red wine knocking about.

Of course Thamesreach execs have far too much self-interest to call for higher taxes on red wine.

Alcoholics are resourceful folk when it come’s to getting hold of alcohol and you can’t bully someone out of an addiction. So if the price of spesh’ goes up them expect more begging, more theft and sales of lighter fuel to rocket.

People need a safe space from which to move forward. Proscribed heroin experiments the world over have shown how this can stabilise an individual and allow them to take the next steps towards rebuilding their life.

So perhaps Thamesreach should be calling for free booze and social housing for all!

Not likely when simplistic soundbites make good copy and keep Jeremy’s name in the papers.