Hi I’m Lizzie, just thought I’d give you some background info before I begin in earnest. I’m a forty something mum of five, two of whom are still school age and so at home. About 12 years ago my partner had to leave his poorly paid job due to ill-health and claim incapacity benefit, and we have survived on benefits since. I haven’t worked since having the children because
A) I happen to think its important for a mum to be at home whilst the kids are young and
B) my partners illness meant that it may be dangerous to leave the kids with him for any length of time.
As my kids began to grow I decided I wanted to go out into the world and earn a living. I don’t want to be dependent on benefits for the rest of my life and I’m not an unintelligent person so I embarked on a course to learn how to use computers at an adult education centre, to improve my chances. Whilst studying to gain a CLAIT plus, I decided to do a short course in Bookkeeping with the Open University. I passed both these and am now studying for an Open degree with them. Unfortunately the stresses of life on benefits has resulted in me having counselling for mild depression but I don’t intend to give up and intend one day to be benefit free. In the meantime my fight goes on against a system that doesn’t encourage or help you to become independent and off benefits and where even in work you very often find yourself needing to claim a top up benefit in order to survive.
I’ll be back tomorrow with the latest saga on my partner’s move from incapacity benefit to ESA.
Bye for now.