Hello again, long time no see.
My journey seems to have come to a kind of end- I just got a letter from the DWP. It seems that they 'have decided that the doubt no longer applies' in reference to my sanction. I am getting the money back.
No apology (of course)- just that it doesn't apply any more. No mention of them making a mistake and stressing me out for months- it just doesn't apply.
So I guess that's it. I have signed off now anyway and gone self-employed- but not due to any advice or help from the Job Centre. In fact, because there was another sanction on my claim (when I missed one appointment- due to bank holiday confusion on my part) I am not entitled to any of the help or run-on benefits that most people who go self-employed are. No run-on housing benefit or In-work credit for me. I am on my own. It's made the decision a lot harder but to be honest, it is kind of nice to just not have to deal with them anymore.
Amazingly, when I told my advisor I was signing off, she said 'well that's good, because you would have had to start the Workfare programme next month'- as if she had no recollection of my reasons for not wanting to take part, or the meeting I had with her and her boss as a result of her not listening to any of my misgivings for not doing it. I wonder if she even knows who I am?
Thanks for listening. I might write a post or two in the future as I am still following this whole Workfare thing avidly. It seems to sum up a lot of what is wrong with our society at the moment. If it's happening to you- then stay adamant and don't take it. You're a human being not a political pawn- have faith in yourself.