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The Rhyming Guide to Austerity. Photo: Potent Whisper

The Rhyming Guide to Austerity. Photo: Potent Whisper

Fit to work assessments take money away from people who need it. Read Potent Whisper's story, and send us your own

My mum devoted her life to working with people with mental health problems, advocating and championing their human rights. She worked as both a front line mental health nurse and within a management capacity, in all sectors of the community especially at grass roots level. One day she had a near fatal car accident and was left suffering a disability. Due to her injuries she was unable to work and was forced to claim disability and other benefits, which she had never claimed before.

Being a single parent whose salary alone supported us all, this money was what allowed us to continue to have food on the table and a roof over our head. One day we got a letter from the DWP saying that they were going to do a "Fit for Work" assessment on my mum. Despite not being able to move properly and living with chronic pain, she was told that she was fit to work and they stopped her benefits. This affected her and our family in ways that words will never be able to explain.

The system betrayed us. The pain and trauma my mum experienced still affects her today, preventing her from even telling this story. When she is ready, she will. For now she has given me permission to share this with you all, in the hope that you will take some comfort from knowing that you aren't the only one and that it's not your fault.


As part of this release we are inviting people to share their stories of austerity alongside this video using the hashtag #AusterityAndMe. Email your story to [email protected] with the subject #AusterityAndMe and we’ll add it into this article.

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