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James Gleave @jamesgleave1
, 10 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
The strangest thing happened to me on the way home tonight. It’s something I’m still digesting, as it was something that will no doubt stick with me forever. So bear with me as i think its important to share 1/n
I was waiting for a connecting train at Bletchley station. When i noticed a small, old lady with bags, visibly shaking and nervous on the platform.
Usually, i would brush this off. She has a family member who has just popped off somewhere, she doesn’t want to be disturbed, that sort of thing. But something tonight made me think otherwise. So i simply asked ‘Are you alright?’
Needless to say she wasn’t. We chatted for a good 45 minutes on the platform where she revealed her life story. Having immigrated from Bangladesh 20 years ago, she has had a torrid time.
Spouse abuse, and her family siding with said spouse seemed to be at the heart of it all. Beatings, rape, the whole works. After several years, she has had enough, and ran out with the change in her bag and clothes on her back. That was two weeks ago.
In that time, she had been to the Council and Job Centre for help for housing and benefits. The former, despite her being vulnerable, could do nothing. The latter would take 6 weeks for her to get her benefits to which she is entitled, so long as she has an address.
You can see how well that will turn out. She had been sleeping rough, which had aggravated her arthritis. Not serious enough for A+E, she couldn’t get a doctors appointment by just turning up, and she can’t get a free prescription for the pain. Spending any money on food and meds
She was a broken woman. Clearly of a good nature and a kind soul, but she was in bits. Wondering how to go on. She came to the train station, despite being scared of trains, because she had nowhere else to go. And now, she is talking to me.
Having heard all of this, this was clearly unacceptable, and i couldn’t just do nothing. So having chatted to her some more, and comforted her as best i could, i got on the phone.
Local Council: Nothing. Not even emergency accommodation.
Local Voluntary Groups: All full, with no beds for the night. In Milton Keynes FFS!
Local Shelters: The same.
Citizens Advice: Not open until Wednesday.
Doctors: No appointments until Thursday (!!!!)
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