Whereas the British Heart Foundation required a full year of online pressure, pickets and occupations of their stores to finally begin “moving away” from workfare, all the Red Cross required was a letter from a customer who had witnessed workfare in her local store. The Red Cross replied:
“I am sorry that the atmosphere in your local Red Cross shop has been unhappy of late and that there have been ‘volunteers’ who were finding it difficult to cope…
“In line with our fundamental principles our aim has always been to support vulnerable people in crisis and as such we no longer feel that it is appropriate to participate in a programme where sanctions might be applied that could result in an individual losing their benefits.”
This shows holding workfare users to account in any way you can does help bring down workfare! Join events in the week of action on 18-24 March, start your own or join the online protests that week and let Sally Army, YMCA, TCV and all the other workfare users know that “if you exploit us we will shut you down”!