This month our blog post comes from Rose - urging the government to stop the £20 cut to Universal Credit and keep the lifeline.
"Having a devastating and difficult illness such as complex post traumatic stress, any changes made in my life can be catastrophic. They trigger fear and uncertainty, even if it's 'just' £20.
The letters with those words sent through to me with this information cause fear and alarm and I wonder how am I going to survive. Often times, I'll try to sleep through it, to hide from the reality of another cut, another psychological and financial adjustment.
Having many skills, and having pushed through so many obstacles to qualify, I feel disqualified and unable to add to my already dwindling financial support. I would love to , but find myself in periods of illness where it's too difficult to even function, let alone work again.
The reduced produce is always my go to, reduced flowers I can nurture back to life, gives me some sort of purpose and joy to see the beauty of their colour filling my sparce but safe home.
It's not just a figure to me, it's an engrained part of my survival. It's my safety net from dropping completely into poverty, giving my son my food, as I often go hungry.
The '£20' is more than money to me, it's so considered to me in my life as I have to budget every single detail. It's my train fare to places like the Poverty Truth Commission, for tea and a sandwich and human contact, human concern, interaction and a strength given to go on.
It's sterling money, but it's my absolute lifeline, without it, I see the deficit, I feel it also in many different ways.
Psychologically, if it's there and it's in my bank, i know I can use it for so many different things for survival. Like an elastic band, I can stretch that '£20', because poverty has made me innovative, it's shown me another way. The depression, the fear, the shame, the discouragement of never really having enough to pay the gas bill, for a bed for my son, for the constant struggle, fatigue and apathy for life have no room in my life, they can't, if they do, I'm beat, I give up.
So I'd like to keep that '£20' it's change in your pocket, not considered a lot at all, maybe you've never considered the real impacts of the cuts on real people's lives.
People like me, who despite continually swimming against the current, with '£20', I can do so much. It buys me a life boat and oars to swim in that current of life.
Being in many situations where I've had absolutely nothing and someone gives me '£20', I've won the lottery, my lifeline has returned. I can provide dinner, can feed my therapy dogs, and I can buy those stunningly beautiful flowers blooming brightly and bringing light, bringing joy, hope and creativity. It brings a safety, that the household are fed a meal, that we have light for another day, there's money in the meter for another day, there's bread on the table for another day.
And there's peace momentarily
One purple note brings all of this. It's removal does only the opposite, the deficit.
One single '£20', does so much more than you think.
So do please think, of the families deeply affected, plunged even deeper into poverty and hopelessness.
Your '£20' which is mere change in your pocket is not just sterling fiscal money.
It's a vital means of survival.
It's a hope installer
It heats a home
It feeds who dwells there.
It's so much more than just sterling money. It's just that you don't realise it.
If you did, you would return it to its rightful owner......