Why do you do what you do? Why did you start BASE? Maybe Daniel Blake has the answer to these questions......
These are questions that I get asked every time I talk at any length to somebody about the work that BASE and its volunteers do to help people access the disability benefits system.
I've never really been able to articulate everything we do and why we do it in a way that makes sense to anyone that has not experienced how the UK disability welfare benefit system works.
There are many reasons why our volunteers keep turning on their phones and computers every day to help other people, some have personal reasons, some just want to give back after receiving help themselves, some may have political reasons. There are are many reasons and its difficult to articulate in the small amount of time that most people are able to concentrate on what they are being told.
Yesterday, we sat down and watched the film "i Daniel Blake" it was my wife's first time watching it, and for me, well, I've seen it a few times. The film is a Ken Loach film, so you are assured that it is an engaging, quality and thought provoking offering.
With my experience of helping people through the benefits system, I also know that it is an accurate portrayal of the injustice that we see people suffer every day.
If you have never seen the film and you are even remotely interested in seeing the injustice of our current disability benefit system or understanding why our volunteers give up their time, I recommend that you give up just under a couple of hours of your time to see an accurate portrayal of ordinary people living on benefits. This will be somewhat different to some of the sensationalist portrayals you may have seen of life on benefits.
View the trailer for the film by clicking the image below
Daniel Blake, 59, who has worked as a joiner most of his life in the North East of England needs help from the State for the first time ever following an illness.
He crosses paths with a single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie’s only chance to escape a one roomed homeless hostel in London is to accept a flat some 300 miles away.
Daniel and Katie find themselves in no-man’s land caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy now played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver and skiver’ in modern day Britain.
if you want to watch the full movie it is available on most of the movie streaming platforms including Amazon and Netflix. Its also available on the British Film Institute film player for a £3.50
Click on the image below and be taken to the BFI page to watch the full movie.
You can find a whole page on our web site devoted to the subject of what BASE is and why we do what we do and all of that is true, but watching and understanding the harsh truths depicted in "i Daniel Blake" probably gives the most accurate answer to the questions of;
"why do we do what we do?" and "why did you set up BASE?"
Mark and the team at BASE