JobCentre+ Visits Nov/Jan 2017
Dear fellow Disabled Readers, my name is Mr Zan Marseilles, I am 54yrs of age and live in Carshalton, Surrey. In July 2007 I was unfortunately the recipient of a traumatic brain injury (T.B.I.) after crashing my motorcycle extremely heavily whilst on a Boys Weekend in Germany on the infamous Nurburgring Circuit.
I won't elaborate further on here however needless to say my life, family, work and social circles as I then knew them were either eradicated or turned inside out and upside down leaving me now healthy and fit, mainly largely due to my unaccepting nature of my present physical condition and the single minded belief that my life is young, fulfilling and far from over.
I have lived in my current 1 Bed Ground Floor Flat, that is rented from a truly wonderful and caring Landlord via my local council, The London Borough of Sutton for 5 years now. This time has passed so incredibly quickly, however this is my current home. I live in a truly wonderful, peaceful and green area of Surrey and am or have been extremely happy here until recently.
The truly unexpected and unwelcome insistence from The Department Of Work And Pensions (D.W.P.) and my ill-explained, unwanted and indeed unrequired change from employment and support allowance (E.S.A.) to the, in my opinion, once again ill-conceived universal credit, which not only has caused me, after 10 years of coping very well financially, immense recent financial hardship but the now all too regular requested visits to my local jobcentre+ .. where there are no disabled/blue badge bays supplied for disabled driver/visitors upon an ample forecourt frontage. A forecourt that has ample space available, should a disabled/blue badge bay actually be commissioned to be installed by the powers that be, namely the London Borough of Sutton, but that is also somewhat enviously and obviously amateurishly roped off using rope and traffic cones exclusively for the use of office staff who work within the buildings confines. So requiring both myself and the many other physically disabled visitors/drivers whom are requested to visit these local government premises to park some 150-200 metres away on the opposite side of a grassed public area. Which I have no choice but to walk across, slowly and unaided after having to park and utilise/ use their own blue badge to unnecessarily park unhindered on a side road containing, thankfully, yellow lines albeit in a controlled ticketing zone . Then to cross an extremely busy main road containing the regular flow of vehicles including cars, buses and lorries and requiring myself and others to use the pelican / public crossing to then continue on the remaining approximately 40-50 metres to the jobcentre+ building.
Where, until recently and after several complaints and the verbal and email insistence by myself and the much welcomed intervention and assistance of my local LibDem MP Mr Tom Brake, I now no longer am required to slowly and carefully climb the 4 flights of internal, lonely concrete stairway alone in order to attend on-time my pre-arranged appointment with the jobcentre+ advisor, who requested that I do so for the umpteenth time in just a few short weeks as the internal lift, which I have used previously, albeit many, many months ago is either not working or no longer in use. Health and Safety.
My question is this. Do any other disabled individuals / readers also have to endure these or similar ridiculous, regular and quite obviously unnecessary trials as I do and if the answer to this question is yes, do they or any other readers or contributors have any advice or suggestions to add in order that both myself and other disabled individuals could minimise the unnecessary physical and psychological stress and strain being regularly implemented by these frequent requested visits to local jobcentre+ and government buildings whom quite obviously do not cater for us, the minority.
All of your suggestions and comments will be carefully considered and greatly appreciated.