There’s been a bit of an outcry over the I, Daniel Blake movie (that link is to a google search). People dismissing it as trite and over-exaggerated. People gasping in horror at the impossibility, the rawness, and the undeniable reality of it all (that link is to Trussel Trust stats). The movie is about unjust benefit sanctions, specifically the DWP tendency towards declaring people fit to work when they definitely aren’t.
I sincerely hope that you are at a minimum, upset. Hopefully, you are outraged. Next question naturally is, what to do about it.
Having watched up close and personal the hand-wring and mess of good intentions that was the response to the refugee crisis in September last year (people started collecting stuff, without necessarily thinking about if it was necessary or what they were going to do to get it where it was needed), I thought I would offer up some tips to enable you to make a practical response. Please bear in mind this is only the beginning. I will take some time to look into other initiatives and potential ways to make a difference.
- Write to your MP
- Donate to your local foodbank (of course, my local is this one)
- If you can, find a way to give a regular financial donation to a local foodbank. All these organisations have overheads, and given the choice would prefer a regular smaller donation rather than a larger one-off donation. Unless you are planning on donating £10k or something.
- Activate your network
- Raise awareness
- Do some research
- Make a difference
- Tell your story.
- If you have been impacted by benefit sanctions or declared fit for work when you’re not, @MxJackMonroe is collecting (anonymous) stories for a book. Email email@example.com with your story.
- If you want to tell your story, but don’t know how, drop me a note. (firstname.lastname@example.org) We can work something out.
Right. Excuse me a moment. I’m off to write to my MP.