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Thread: Work Related Activity Group - Pre-Existing Voluntary Work

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  1. #1
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    Work Related Activity Group - Pre-Existing Voluntary Work

    Hi

    I wondered if anyone has any experience of the following situation? I am about to go with a friend (this pm actually, and only just found this forum, so this is urgent) to a 'Work Focused Interview' She's not ready for work. She has pain walking, standing, bending over, lots of physical problems, and she also has some emotional issues. However, she already does voluntary work, several days a week, and has been doing so for a long time. It suits her, and keeps her focused and involved in the world, which since she lives alone is important. The place understand about her problems and make allowances. Has anyone else been in this situation, and if so what kind of reaction did you get on mentioning it?

  2. #2
    davewhit
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldBat View Post
    Hi

    I wondered if anyone has any experience of the following situation? I am about to go with a friend (this pm actually, and only just found this forum, so this is urgent) to a 'Work Focused Interview' She's not ready for work. She has pain walking, standing, bending over, lots of physical problems, and she also has some emotional issues. However, she already does voluntary work, several days a week, and has been doing so for a long time. It suits her, and keeps her focused and involved in the world, which since she lives alone is important. The place understand about her problems and make allowances. Has anyone else been in this situation, and if so what kind of reaction did you get on mentioning it?
    Do they know she is doing this work have they allowed it ? because if not that might cause problems if allowed and they know there should be no problem.

  3. #3
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    The work focussed interview is usually to discuss how you are doing and not to force you into work. But as dw said, the voluntary work could have an impact on the outcome. If they know about it, then it should be ok.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

  4. #4
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    It will depend a lot on the advisor and your friends health situation. They will have all the info on your friend on their PC.
    Generally, doing voluntary work is automatically going to indicate some form of ability depending of course on the nature of the work.
    You say she is not ready for work but she is working, so they will make of that what they will.

  5. #5
    Senior Member susieboots's Avatar
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    I am in the WRAG, and tried doing voluntary work of my volition. I informed my Personal Advisor at JC+ and she was very supportive. She just wanted to know how I was managing with my health issues, and it is all logged on the computer. In any event, I was unable to manage the voluntary work, and she wasn't surprised as she felt I should be in the Support Group and urged me to appeal, which I am doing at present.

    There is nothing to worry about if you have an understanding PA, and their role is not to job seek for you. Depending upon the type of voluntary work your friend is doing may indicate her abilities.

    The PAs do understand the benefits of doing voluntary work, as you say, it keeps you focussed and motivated. I only wish I could continue.

  6. #6
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    People are worried about the interview I've yet to meet anyone who has a bad time, and it's best to be honest with them, this is not ATOS and many of the people who I've seen over the years will know the difference between people being honest and people pulling the wool over their eyes, also many of the people doing the interview will be like mine and be disabled.

    I had my interview last month and she said you have asked for a review and I said yes, she said how do you feel about it, and I said worried, she said to me to be honest I think you will be ok.

    Then she said I know what you have been doing we get reports from the other companies your using like Remploy and the Shaw trust, and I said ok good, she said you will not be called again this year....

  7. #7
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    Thanks everybody. Nice to find an active forum where there are fast (but considered!) replies.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldBat View Post
    Thanks everybody. Nice to find an active forum where there are fast (but considered!) replies.
    You can't get quicker than a thick YA twit

  9. #9
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    In one sense doing Voluntary work is good in that it shows them you are doing something. It is also a good way of showing your limitations to them in that Voluntary work can be flexible to take into account times when you are not up to go, or you may become tired etc and have to leave early. It doesn't have the same pressure as paid work or anything you have been made to attend.

  10. #10
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    Report back: they didn't want to know what she had been doing at all. The interviewer seemed to be on autopilot, but the gist of it is that because my friend is on Contributory Support Allowance she is not obliged to become involved in any Work Related Activities until next March, when she will have to reapply for Income Related Allowance, and then rules have tightened up and everybody will be forced to take part unless they Appeal (which takes about eight months to go through). I pushed this last point rather against the wishes of the interviewer I think, because by this time my friend was in tears. As rich-ward says voluntary work is flexible, doesn't have the same pressures plus (very important to my friend as she was explaining to me earlier on) people there know and understand her history. Facing a load of strangers on the other hand ... I suspect this sort of thing applies to quite a lot of people doing voluntary work.

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