debt / welfare benefits

No pay at the YMCAToday members of Haringey Solidarity Group joined Boycott Workfare in paying a visit to the London headquarters of workfare exploiter YMCA. They’ve defended their use of unpaid, forced work in previous statements and we’ve called them out on it. Mandatory Work Activity forces people to work without wages under threat of sanction, and doesn’t help them find a job anyway. Whereas the Salvation Army have stated they will not get involved in the new 6 month long Community Work Placements starting later this month, the YMCA have yet to make a public statement on the issue.

The YMCA wants to have its cake and eat it. Their president, Bishop John Sentamu, has spoken against workfare. Yet, the organisation still takes part in some of the harshest schemes.  They’re also involved in delivering traineeships – workfare by another name.

We say volunteering should remain just that, and that people shouldn’t be “made to volunteer” under threat of sanction.

The fight against workfare is more important than ever, with 74,000 people being sanctioned every month. Sanctions are one of the main reasons people are turning to food banks to feed themselves, and you can now be sanctioned for up to three years. This is forcing people to make the choice between heating their homes or eating.


with families, carers & supporters
11am, Saturday 29th March 2014
Assemble at Bruce Castle Park,
Lordship Lane N17 8NU

Move off 11.30 – march down Tottenham High Road to Tottenham Green East, N15 4UR for a

1000 Mothers March 2013
Follow up meeting; Haringey benefit claimants and supporters
11 am – 1 pm Saturday 12th April
North London Community House, 22 Moorefields Rd, N17 6PY



living incomes and decent, affordable homes to rent or buy for waged & unwaged


bedroom tax, housing benefit caps, unfair taxes, hunger and cold homes – austerity hurts vulnerable people, the rich get richer


Come to an info and skill-sharing day in London on 15 February, 10.45am-5.30pm, Maiden Lane Community Centre near Kings Cross. Directions here.

Getting your welfare rights is about a lot more than just knowing your welfare rights. Across the UK, people are getting together to support each other and pushing back workfare, standing up to sanctions, wrong decisions, and insecure housing.

Meet others from across the UK, hear inspiring stories, learn info about our rights and share tactics that work. This isn’t a day for speakers from the front. Party political representatives aren’t invited. It’s about people at the grassroots getting together and working out how we can support each other and throw even more spanners in the government’s plans!

If you are in a local group where people share mutual support on welfare or housing (or plan to start one), Boycott Workfare should be able to help with your travel costs. Please get in touch as soon as you can so we can sort it out.

Planning on coming? There’ll be tea, coffee and a free lunch! Please let us know you’re coming so we know how many people to cook for!

Want to know what to expect? Check out the agenda here. There’s an open space session in the afternoon if you’d like to offer a workshop too!


Benefit cap equals class cleansing

On 12 August 2013 the final stage of the rollout of the government's benefit cap started. The cap has been 'trialled' in Haringey and three other London boroughs, since April.  In July, it then spread to areas which had low numbers of households affected. Now local authority areas with over 276 affected households will have the cap imposed: Chiefly the remaining London boroughs, along with high-rent areas in other cities around the country.

We have been fighting the cap, download our resources to use in your own local actions, read news about our local fight.

In the last few months, Haringey Solidarity Group and Haringey Housing Action Group have been getting information out to people who are likely to be affected. We've distributed over 5,000 leaflets at schools, job centres and the council's customer service centres. Now that this has gone national, we would like to encourage others, from around the country, to turn this into a national struggle.


Homes for Haringey new target in campaign against compulsory unpaid work

DIY chain Homebase has withdrawn from a controversial government scheme for jobseekers after a series of protests outside their store in Harringay Green Lanes.

The protests by Haringey Solidarity Group and others (1) targeted the 'workfare' scheme, under which some people claiming Jobseekers? Allowance have been forced to work, unpaid, in order to keep receiving  
benefits. Refusal to take part may result in peoples? benefits being stopped. Last month this scheme to provide unpaid labour, that many call 'Workfare', was found to be operating in Haringey. The Homebase  
store on Green Lanes had over 20 workfare placements and benefitted from 750 hours of unpaid labour every week.