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Sunday 1 December 2019

Dear Santa - please can we have a better benefits system? #growinguppoor

Dear Santa

For Christmas please can we have a better alternative to the UK's dysfunctional Universal Credit benefits system?  It's laughable - but sadly not in a jolly "Ho! Ho! Ho!" kind of way.

Hats off to the amazing Mum and her two gorgeous children in this Channel 4 News video, from the Channel 4 Dispatches programme "Growing up poor" which is due to be broadcast on 2nd December 2020.  

Very sadly, they are innocent victims of the Government’s black and white, uncaring, short-sighted attitude towards vulnerable people.

People who are financially challenged often struggle to cope, and become affected by stress-related physical and/or mental health issues that adversely affect their Executive Functioning (things like their ability to plan, organise, multi-task, arrive at appointments on time - if they remember them – emotions, starting/finishing projects and decision-making).

Which is why we sometimes get asked by children's social services to help clients who struggle to cope with keeping their home organised, clutter-free, functional and safe.
An empathetic and practical decluttering and organising service is cheaper and less traumatic for a family than a clearance, and can significantly reduce the risk of children being put into care or families being evicted.

Otherwise, the family can disintegrate; physical and mental health problems (including low self-esteem, lack of confidence, anxiety and depression) can dominate their lives; they may turn to drugs, alcohol or shoplifting, be unable to study or to find a job, and potentially end up in the criminal justice system.    

When the children grow up with issues related to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), they're likely to end up back in the benefits system – all because of Government bureaucracy and red-tape around a benefits system that should never have been implemented.

So, please Santa, can you give the whole of the UK the gift of a repaired and fairer Universal Credit system, so this family - and millions like them - can receive the financial and person-centred support, a happy Christmas and the positive future they truly deserve?

Thank you in advance - and keep up the great work!

Lots of love (and big hugs to the elves and your reindeer).