Welfare rights help essential

First published in Letters

Sir – Regarding the appalling story of Mark Wood’s benefit cuts and his family’s need of help from Oxfordshire Welfare Rights, Mrs Wood says: “This charity was our lifeline.” (Gazette, April 9).

Many years ago, as a young, childless widow, I had the misfortune to end up on benefits and can honestly say it was the worst time of my life ever – the Department of Social Security put me through absolute hell, to the point where my GP had to intervene.

At the drop of a hat and often with no reason, my meagre benefit of £25 a week was stopped, leaving me to rely on my savings and the £5 I earned from my little job, out of which I had to pay rent and utility bills before food/heating.

What I would have done without Welfare Rights I have no idea, and whereas they will not deal with scroungers, I fully endorse Mr Wood’s family’s comments. Sadly it was too late for him.

I have pointed people in Welfare Rights’ direction myself. Indeed, my salvation also.

Thank heavens after four years of misery I was able to dispense with benefits and no offence meant to Mr Wood but frankly I would rather die than claim again – I couldn’t stand the constant hassle/checks and worry of whether my money was coming through.

God bless Welfare Rights.

Dorothy Holloway, Wenrisc Drive, Minster Lovell

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