▼ Found 16 entries
6 Mar 2023
Diary

Victoria S

Facing homelessness and no set date which means I can't even plan. Adult social services rendered me for housing support services, they're going to help me find and maintain a tenancy. Agencies see my mental health diagnosis and think I'm high risk or need high intensity support and I really don't. My CPN has my back but I hate that others control my life, where I live, when I can live independently or not, it's unfair and really drags one down. Mental health services are so poorly funded and so poorly understood that service users in high need are left without and those who function well but need occasion support, such as myself, are vilified.

But my PIP got me membership to local leisure centre so now, so long as I can afford bus fare, I can go swimming whenever I want and have started some low intensity fitness classes. Went to first one today, I was so nervous, had a panic attack, but everyone was so friendly and kind I stuck it out. People seem to understand mental health far better than professionals do. It's weird.

I meant to answer last week's big question, how do I find joy with limit income. I've extremely lucky, like super lucky. Because I have social services I'm able to access discounts not available to everyone, so I can go to the threatre occasionally (our towns local threatre is heavily subsidised and offered additional discounts for vulnerable families which opens so many wonderful experiences), our local leasure center is also heavily subsidised, meaning my PIP now covers a membership for swimming and fitness classes, including dancing and other low intensity activities. Which I access when I can afford the buses, the £2 bus cap has helped alot this year. I'm also lucky that our town has various free or low cost charity arts n crafts groups, lots of churches put on free events and the council put on almost monthly (or weekly in the warmer months) events for the community (definitely happy with how my council taxes are being used here) more directly taylored support, such as mind, is harder to access but so much around town that I don't feel like I'm lacking. Our town was built on Victorian Quaker values and it shows, the parks are gorgeous and the town is thriving even with businesses struggling. It helps alot to feel like you live in a thriving area even if it's got struggles, but it's a comfort that every struggling area within this council has its own community centre that gets not enough but better than you'd expect for the hardships funding for its community. These things bring me joy, taking part in the community, trying new things, seeing things from other cultural perspectives. like our town not only accepts LGBT families but celebrates them, minorities are rarer, it's a very white area, however the council still do events for different cultures, it's a lot of fun living here. and I'm extremely fortunate .Plus all the resources I need are here, mental health services are the best in this country, social services are easier to access and get at sign posting. but my favourite thing that brings me so much joy and costs nothing, the free courses on offer for adults in the town, when I am finally well enough to work again I'll already have a folder full of certificates to help give me an edge while also socialising and learning more about myself and my skills. so my town and what the council here do with the taxes bring me joy while I may struggle, it helps to know there is help somewhere in town if I need it.

🙂
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2 Mar 2023
Q&A

Missy H

What are the little things that you do to make life feel that bit better?

The little things I do to make my life feel better, I like to try and make as many people as possible smile or leave them on a positive note, even if it's just smiling at them or paying them a compliment.

I had a lovely experience this morning thanks to World Book Day.

Books are so powerful.

Today Manchester Metrolink gave out free books on the trams to celebrate World Book Day.

I saw one of the books on a seat next to a lady. I asked her if she would pass it to me she smiled looked a bit confused and passed it to me. I explained to her about World Book Day and how the Metrolink was giving out free books to celebrate it. We have a little conversation about how nice it was.

My daughter was reading the book and a little boy in a pram got on the tram with his mum.

My daughter passed the book to him, his mum was overjoyed and immediately started reading the book to him. The little boy really enjoyed the story and after his mum finished reading it they had a lovely little conversation about it.

We got off the Tram at the same time and I said to the mum how much of a good job she was doing and it was really nice to see them both enjoying the book. Her face was beaming with happiness at just at the simple fact that I said that to her.

Then an old lady came over and said I agree!

All that lovely interaction and positivity from one simple book 📖🥰

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21 Feb 2023
Diary

Thea F

We’re on a day out to Liverpool today. Coach paid for by the council as part of the local offer. Packed lunches at the ready. Happy to have a change of scenery.

😀
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3 Feb 2023
Q&A

Erik W

How do you feel about strike action and how is it impacting you?

With the current cost of living crisis and the state of the NHS, including the services they can offer I do understand why strike action is taking place. However living on a extremely limited income, spending most of my time at home I do rely on the post which is not regular at the best of times due to staff shortages in this area. Travel disruption also has a bigger effect on those with limited income, generally I do not use public transport except for hospital appointments as I can't afford the cost. So with strike action on busses even hospital appointments are out of the question as it is too far to walk and the cost of a taxi is simply unthinkable.

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30 Jan 2023
Q&A

Victoria S

What services do you rely on most?

I rely on many services for myself and my family, from school to buses to local community services like support groups and arts and crafts sessions in the community. I rely on our local leisure centre who are a safe warm space and our local theatre, who are also a safe warm space, but also offer discounts to low income families meaning my kids get access to important cultural opportunities when possible. I also rely on social services who support our family and mental health services who support me to support my family. Social services cover school taxis costs and we rely on the taxi services which are heavily subsidiarised in our area. In ways I seldom acknowledge, I rely on our local council and the community events and free opportunities they provide for families, especially holiday clubs and school meal vouchers and town centre activities. Like, in a couple week they're running a light festival that we're looking forward to checking out. I may not be able to easily access food banks but I can access important community and cultural opportunities for my families which I feel in very valuable.

Mainly, I rely on school, they support my children incredibly well even though they're grossly underfunded. My kids get to lend a laptop from school for homework, they get well fed plus free access to daily breakfast club (in fairness social services essentially cover that cost for us), they enable kids to attend events and learn things I can't teach them and tailored to each of my child's needs. I rely heavily on school.

We found out this week that our school isn't striking this week, they posted to the parents chat space and every parent that replied said they stand with teachers over strikes and support the strikes. It was beautiful. Our schools are grossly underfunded and underappreciated, how many kids would essentially starve without schools for Pete's sake? How many kids would grow up unable to world or contribute to society if not for our schools?

Public infrastructure is essential to a healthy economy and society, from schools to social services to buses and community development. Without them no of our essential services like government would function at all.

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30 Jan 2023
Q&A

Beverly W

What services do you rely on most?

Hi there. Over the years, I don't think there is a service across the community I haven't used in some capacity or other.

They are all invaluable to me and my family, from leisure services like swimming baths or libraries, educational services and adult learning where I studied for a whole range of skills and qualifications as well as sending my children to local schools and youth clubs, transport and health or social care, which I heavily depend on for myself as well as recently contacting on behalf of my mum to access carers to visit her in her own home to advisory services or postal services. Its difficult to say which service we've valued the most because as a single parent I have been fortunate to receive a great deal of family support during this time, although, due to my health issues, I believe we've benefited most from health and social care sectors.

Besides the help from healthcare sectors, I don't really know where we would be now without all the support from other agencies and services we've had. Its worrying and saddens me that the health service is disintegrating and falling apart at the seams.

What I value the most is the fact that these services have been free of charge to us. Where would "I" as a single parent be able to stump up the spare funds to pay for these things otherwise? Even when I did work it was part time to fit around parenting responsibilities. Even were it full time employment I had, how could I possibly earn enough to cover all our bills unless highly skilled or in a long term career where I'd worked my way up to senior management? Either this or through working in several jobs which accommodate flexible patterns.



As for improvements it could be beneficial to the crisis in staffing the NHS if university students whilst completing their training were recruited into roles in the health service instead of being sent off to study solely at universities. At least it makes sense to a trained paramedic friend of mine for the authorities to at least think about ways to incorporate training into the workplace mores.

As for improvements I'd really like to see the return of free legal aid for people. In more recent times, I've found it really challenging if not impossible to access help with tribunal cases against the DWP. It was purely a stroke of luck I came across a lady on social media with the same condition as I have, who was also a semi practicing solicitor. If it weren't for her connections resources and immense knowledge base I would still be fighting them now, some three years later. Instead I won three cases against DWP decisions in a compete turnaround of their original awards. Nowhere near the right help from CAB representatives, no help from similar organisations from either free or fee paying services, but a connection I made on social media got me the legal help I needed and will be eternally grateful for that.

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28 Jan 2023
Q&A

Missy H

What services do you rely on most?

I would say the NHS and Royal Mail are the services that I use the most.

I am disabled I have autism and I have early onset osteoarthritis. Therefore the NHS is very important to me in terms of physiotherapy and pain medication and mental health help.

My children are clearly autistic but as yet undiagnosed I am currently awaiting assessments for them CAMHS. I have been told that the assessments may take up to 2 years until my children are seen.

2 years in a child's life is a hell of a long time it is disgusting that there is not enough help available out there for children with mental health issues in the UK.

Therefore I think there could be improvements within the mental health sector of the NHS, however the government are failing the NHS as they need so much more funding and so many more staff. I am sickened at some of the stories I've heard regarding the NHS from people who work for the NHS it is heart breaking for the staff to see people in need of help and not being able to help them.

In terms of Royal Mail I rely on them for appointments being sent and other important letters. Again the government are letting this sector down these people are being worked to the bone with absolutely next to no pay. Something needs to be done.

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27 Jan 2023
Q&A

Ed I

What services do you rely on most?

Actually all public services are inter-related. If one service calls strike other services come to a halt then. We are passing a tremendous tough time in our life time after Brexit, pandemic and now war in Ukraine. All of this impact on our living and prices for the basic food are hiking everyday. Top of that these strikes make our life more troublesome. I am sympathise towards strikes as no one doing these strikes on purpose. They have a valid reason to this as they can't maintain their family within low income that are not matching with national inflation rate.

In this situation government should come forward and consider their demand with sympathy and practically.

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27 Jan 2023
Q&A

Ana Q

What services do you rely on most?

Every public service is vital for us to survive. For example, day to day health, I need to rely on NHS. if they call strike where should I go? To drop of my children I need to use public transport. If they call strike then I can go by my car but it will impact on carbon footprint plus heavy on my pocket. If I go to my child's school and teachers may call strike. Where should my child go then if I go to work? Are not they losing their study hour? If I can't attend to my hospital appointment due to Royal Mail strike then the hospital will release me from their outpatient list. Who I can blame then? The reason for all strike is legitimate as there are a big gap between income and living cost due to high inflation, high interest rate, etc. How inflation and living cost going up that way income is not going up. So, government need to take robust initiative to resolve this.

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27 Jan 2023
Q&A

Jen T

What services do you rely on most?

I rely on school to remain open for my children. I rely on buses running to get to work, the council for taking away my rubbish.

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27 Jan 2023
Q&A

Rudy G

What services do you rely on most?

I received a help from the social services in couple of occasions. They tried a lot to help and support us.

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27 Jan 2023
Q&A

Megan C

What services do you rely on most?

The service I rely on most is NHS especially the A&E as most GP do not even have slots at all for appointments and expect you to go the A&E if you have an urgent medical need.

At the moment this service is completely inadequate as I was made to wait for over 8 hours the last time I went there. My son ended up sick because of the cold and long wait. I felt so frustrated and in the end I was referred back to the GP so painful and funny at the same time.

The NHS need to employ more capable hands to help reduce the waiting time. Also they need to look into the way GPS are working and make improvements in their services.

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