Powys: A Day in the Life




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Social conditions

Cash Aid

Various diarists were in receipt of financial assistance from welfare and other benefits.

  • Job Centre
    The Job Centre, Llandrindod Wells
    Illus. By Rob Davies
    Illus. By Rob Davies
    11am Signed on at the Job Centre - because my part time work doesn't pay enough to live on I am in receipt of some JSA (Job Seeker's Allowance) and Housing Benefit.

  • Open letter, a form to fill in from Incapacity Benefit. Find relevant details and fill in form.

  • After I finished work I go to the post office to collect the family allowance, showing my age as most people refer to it as child benefit. It's £26.30 and goes into the general housekeeping pot, for buying food anyway………..Onto the supermarkets to do some of the food shopping for our family. We live on a very tight budget so it's a case of comparing prices and checking out the special offers in the supermarkets.

One diarist works in the council's Housing Grants Department. She works

  • . . . in Private Sector Housing giving a maximum of £25000 for the renovation of houses in the area. Today we approved two grants in Ystradgynlais. Last week was the biggest grant we have ever done, at Friars Yard, to convert it into 15 flats, so that is exciting for the next two years. I wonder what it will be like 100 years from now!

Another diarist considers the question of benefits generally from a different perspective:

  • If you work at school, get into debt through going to college and university, like myself and many others have, get a reasonable job just to work (poorly paid in terms of the qualifications that we hold) we are penalised. I can't afford to have children, yet many of my clients, who are not in employment and not in stable relationships, can just receive help from the government. Was I right in going to college? Well, I wouldn't change what I've done for the world, but I would certainly make it harder for those who usually, in my experience, can't be bothered to work. Many of my clients are genuine, but my blood boils for those who believe it is the government's role to supply them with material goods that I and my husband have to work hard for. Some of my clients tell me how they receive carpets, and money to decorate the house. A year and a half on from our marriage and moving into our home and we still have no carpets in the majority of the house and it took us a year to buy the stair carpet. Where is the fairness in that.

    Anyway, I apologise for going off on one and it's certainly not because I want to see people struggle.

Other diarists work in the field of charitable funding.

  • Did home visit re transport information. Discuss funding for project with our chair. I work for a registered charity and funding is always an issue.

Others give to charity:

  • Sent a donation to help the people suffering from famine and civil war in Africa.

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