I'm proud to be British and to live under this government.
A little essay to all those people that whinge on about the system letting them down, the government did this, the police did that, the world owes me a living, blar blar blar.
After stealing more than a million pounds from the government, I expected, and got, a long hard time in prison. Whilst there I found that through hard work and good behaviour, that there was help and support was available from some of the staff, like officer Mick Hill at HMP Manchester and Gov. Shaun Wetherill and Cassie from Shelter at HMP Kirkham.
On release on the 9th August 17 however, I found my return after two and a half years to be a little challenging. Layton tower blocks were gone, the buses talked to me and the town was infested with Spice Heads, which I thought I had left behind me in prison, when I was placed in Gorton St hostel because of my medical conditions, which was an experience that will linger for a lifetime and really was worse than actually being in prison due to some of the other residents.
I was surrounded by low life scrounging scum bag thieves, vagabonds, alcoholics, weed, spice, crack and smack heads, wandering around in a trance or stood staring in to nowhere, vomiting and defecating all over the place, however one or two were OK and caused me no problem.
The staff were courteous and helpful, but very firm and dissociative, showing care and empathy, but with no emotional attachment to anyone, although I think this is just part of their job to prevent being manipulated. In particular, I must mention the cleaning lady, who is on the ball every morning cleaning up after everyone, she is friendly and courteous and very, very meticulous at her job and is a credit to the Council. Whilst there, the staff started to give me help finding a home, and sorting out my benefits and I even got me food parcels from the council, and food vouchers for Farmfoods.
After a week however,I was told that I had made myself intentionally homeless by getting sent to prison lol, so I only lived there for 44 days, before finding a lovely one bedroom ground floor flat with a sea view. This was let to me by DY property services on Church St and help from my family and friends, my probation officer, Donna Crawley my social worker, John Chapman and Blackpool Borough Councils rent bond scheme arranged by the staff at South King St offices.
The council then gave me discretionary support and bought me a microwave oven, a toaster, knives and forks, mug’s, dinner service, pan set and a kettle from Argos and delivered a new double bed with a new quilt set and all the furniture that I needed, on moving day.
After 10 months and being so ill and needing occasional overnight care. Blackpool Council helped me once more, with discretionary support and paid 4 weeks bond, two weeks advance rent and all removal costs to get me into a ground floor 2 bed flat, with a sea view near the Gynn pub in Blackpool. Now, I think that's what I paid all that Tax and national insurance for, when I was working, and contributing to the system for 30 years, however, this help is available to everyone with a connection to the Blackpool area, but to get it, you must conform to the system in the way you are asked to do.
Day after day on the streets of Blackpool I here whingers, “I’ve nowhere to live” “No one will help me, I’m homeless” “My dog needed the vets and I missed the job center and now, I’ve been sanctioned,” “I was getting a shower in the Sally Army and I forgot” “I got pissed and Spiced up and missed the appointment” On and on they go, it’s not all there fault, some of the homeless are mentally ill, but please, take my advice:
So, before you blame the government for your problems, the people that give you Free money when unemployed, disabled or sick, play the game by their rules, turn up for appointments, be on time, don’t be pissed or off your head. Jump through all the hoops, tick all the boxes and you will get the help that you need.
Where else in the world would you get help and support like this?
After all, the rest of the world and his cat know this so well, otherwise they would not risk their lives to get here!
Steve Howarth aka Captain Richard Williams 17/12/2021