A campaigner falls. Friends asked to remember Lotte Ryan

Those of you with an interest in such matters will know that another campaigner against DWP injustice has passed on.

How many of you are thinking to yourselves, "She doesn't LOOK ill"?

How many of you are thinking to yourselves, “She doesn’t LOOK ill”?

Charlotte Ryan – Lotte to her friends – was just 37 years of age when she died last week (February 23). She had an incurable version of cancer, brain stem glioma.

At the time of her death, the Department for Work and Pensions was trying to force her to take part in the Work Programme, despite the fact that she was in the Support Group for Employment and Support Allowance.

In a letter dated December 9, 2014, the local DWP Work Programme Provider – Prospects – notified her that she was expected to participate. The letter stated: “As part of your participation in the Work Programme, you have agreed to take part in work experience on a voluntary basis to help you gain work skills and experience.”

Writing just three days later, she stated: “I have terminal cancer, my prognosis is 0-3 years and I was diagnosed in March 2014 with my brain stem glioma. In April 2014 I was placed in the support group* for 3 years and I have gone from being able-bodied to hopelessly disabled. I have many neurological deficits including diploplia, dyspraxia, dysarthria and dysphagia. To save you googling, this means that I have double vision and am going blind, I’m very clumsy and most days I drop everything I pick up, my speech is failing and one day I won’t be able to communicate verbally at all and I have such difficulty swallowing that I now have a feeding tube.

“I cannot leave the house alone and I’m at risk of choking and need 24 hour care. They speak of me going into residential care, but they hope to keep me in my own home for as long as possible. The trouble is degenerative, nothing will get better, only worse, the cancer can’t be cured.


Further information, including a copy of the letter, is available on the kittysjones blog.

This writer did not know Charlotte Ryan and this blog cannot, therefore, eulogise her.

But this blog can point out that her passage from this world would have been much easier without constant harassment by an inhumane government to take part in activities that were far beyond her abilities – or lose the benefits that were her lifeline.

Too many people believe that it is acceptable for the DWP – and the Coalition government – to treat the terminally ill in this way.

Perhaps they should read Lotte’s story.

If they won’t understand until they have to experience this treatment themselves, then it will be too late.

* The support group is supposed to be for people who the Department of Work and Pensions consider to have such severe health problems that there is no likelihood of their being able to undertake work or work-related activities.

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  1. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl) March 5, 2015 at 11:55 am - Reply

    What a tragic story. How dreadful that in a supposedly civilized society such dreadful behaviour of the DWP can be allowed to continue. That department and its managers should be brought before a tribunal and prosecuted for it’s negation of care and decency for those in need.

  2. CitizenX March 5, 2015 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Heartfelt sympathy to charlotte & family she left behind.

    Outrageous what this vermin that passes for government gets away with.

  3. profreedan March 5, 2015 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    OMG that picture she was smiling. Clearly faking illness and a massive scrounger. Because all disabled and sick people should be looking miserable and if they are not then they are faking shirkers #sarcasm #dwpscum

  4. hugosmum70 March 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    no words can express what i feel about this. could go through a whole dictionary and it would not be enough…..i didn’t know Lotte either but hope she now RIP.. condolences to her family,

  5. dorothy badrick March 5, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Bless Lotte Ryan. may she rest in peace and rise in glory.

  6. nick March 5, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    The DWP have tried these tactics on me mike for many years but i’m only 50KG and have had to fight on and off for what i’m entitled

    At the end of the day i only have myself to blame and should have emigrated years ago when i was 65KG

  7. nick March 5, 2015 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    My very sincerest condolences to her family and friends and i for one fully understand how mentally she felt before her death and i tell you now that feeling is the very worst

    It completely destroys your personality from where you once were to one of utter despair
    over the next few years all sick and disabled will go like myself through the humiliation process but for me personally i would prefer the government to put a bullet to my head as that is the best way forward and painless

    there is a video clip going around of a execution by an extremist group/government and if you have the nerve to watch it you will see it is painless and that would be my preferred choice for execution

    I think to keep persecuting the sick and disabled with the work programme and humiliating them in the process is far worse then execution

  8. dorothy badrick March 5, 2015 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    All of us who suffer at the hands of the mindless morons who operate this programme – remember Christ came for us – to those who are sick,
    ill, weak and in distress. I pray for His peace which passes all understanding to be with us all. “This too shall pass”. I pray that each and everyone of you know or come to know His blessings and peace even in the most dire of circumstances and the extremes of pain.
    Dear Lotte’s family, what a beautiful gift she was to you and how grieved you must be to have lost her. She is at peace and may you know the peace that passes all understanding. May he who sent His son to die comfort you.With love.

  9. dorothybadrick March 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Dear fellow sufferers at the hands of the DWP as well as our health. Remember Christ came to call us – those who are sick and suffering to Himself for His peace, blessings and healing. May His peace which passes all understanding soothe you in mind, body and spirit. May you know the comfort of His presence.
    Dear family and friends of Lotte, what an amazing girl, what an amazing gift to have known her. May Christ help you and soothe your aching hearts and all who are grieving. “This to will pass”.
    May God bless us and keep us. Send his light to shine upon us and give us knowlegde of His peace which passes all understanding.

  10. Jim Round March 5, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Another sad passing that will be forgotten about outside of groups like this and a small section of social media, it’s disgraceful.
    Although the Morecambe Bay incident is tragic and should not have happened, it tells you all you need to know about the media and society un which we live.
    These deaths at the hands of the DWP are also someones son/daughter/mother/father etc…
    but where are the special reports like the one on Granada Reports the other night? It just seems like another good reason for the MSM to kick the NHS.
    A picture of a cat being a cat gets more views and likes than something like the above.
    Also, can anyone confirm if it’s true that there are over 2000 DWP staff assigned to tackling benefit fraud and about 30 HMRC staff to tackle tax evasion?

    • Daniel March 5, 2015 at 4:11 pm - Reply

      As far as I recall, it was 3000 HMRC staff investigating benefit fraud and 300 investigating tax avoidance/evasion. Shows where this government’s priorities are!

  11. M de Mowbray March 5, 2015 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    What a tragic story. A few days ago the Tory Minister for Business and Education criticised IDS’s “inhuman and inflexible” reforms. I can only hope and pray that more Tories start opening their eyes to the suffering that CaMoron, Gideous Osborne, RTU Iain Duncan Smith and McVile are causing with their punitive bureaucratic reforms.

  12. jaypot2012 March 5, 2015 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Rest your beautiful head on the fluffy clouds in heaven. You will not be forgotten, you will be remembered by many.
    So very sad :(

  13. paulmac49 March 5, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    R.I.P Lotte.

  14. concernedkev March 5, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    I am angry as hell that this has happened yet again – who is going to stop this abomination? There must be someone with legal know-how who can challenge this persecution of the innocents.

  15. Jackie Smith March 5, 2015 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    ALL CIVIL SERVANTS right across the UK need to go on STRIKE!!! @ One point sooner or later most people get sick just as we all get old! One day this could be them/you !!! We need to remember WHY The Welfare system was established in the first place, being in order to protect the sick & vulnerable & inevitably the NHS was established similarly! The Government is targeting the very people the system was set-up to protect! Governments are meant to serve the people, yet no matter who is elected they are self-serving puppets to the Global elites & Corporates! In comparison, welfare fraud is a drop in the ocean to rogue Government corruption! Pointing fingers @ the poor distracts the people from their own engagement in criminal activity – stealing more from the poor & taking away a little more freedoms over time! One set of rules for the rich & another for the poor & a country with little job opportunity for those fully capable of work – this entire operation is a scam to further enslave the people! Get the CIVIL SERVANTS on board to understand that this IS THEM & make demands to protect the sick & vulnerable! Only by exposing the Governmental agenda & corruption & hypocrisy will people ever get back power! The government is meant to serve the people,
    not this way around where the people serve the Government !

  16. Mick March 6, 2015 at 9:14 am - Reply

    So very sad to read this,my sincere Condolences to her family.

    WTF is the matter with the people at DWP do they think that they will be treated any better when their time comes!?!
    They need to refuse to do the work of a deranged maniac now before it is their turn to be at his merciless hands, their time will come

  17. Chris March 6, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

    What a tragedy. Not only do the DWP behave like monsters but the home office still insists that cannabis has no medical application while dishing out patents to its pharma friends and denies people the freedom to try promising potential alternatives http://pub39.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=3310316029&frmid=13&msgid=909984&cmd=show

    • Mike Sivier March 6, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      I’m not sure this is entirely relevant but am putting it up for others to see anyway.

  18. Law March 6, 2015 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Wanted! A group of professional people to include benefit lawyers, lawyers specialising in criminal law, Ex. DWP assessors, Ex. ATOS assessors, medics who have coroner expertise, social workers, statisticians with expert knowledge of public health statistics especially forensic stats. All positions are voluntary as I’m attempting to build a team that will lead to the eventual prosecution of our current political leaders. If you have a love for humanity and never want to see our political leaders treat the terminally sick and disabled in such a contemptuous vile way again please join me in this quest!


    • dorothybadrick March 6, 2015 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Brilliant. I am none of those professions but if a lay person can help let me know I am on board.

  19. Mick Walsh March 10, 2015 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I have no regret in saying this but THE HARRASMENT MIGHT JUST STOP AND ONLY MIGHT JUST STOP WHEN YOU ARE DEAD. I do not regret this saying this because my eldest son was in January 2015 (this year) declared to have died in a Coroner’s court due to the toxic poisoning nature of the prescribed medication Clozapine which he had taken for some 17 years. Some 4 weeks after he died, the NHS sent him a letter offering to assist him further with his difficulty. Society is in quite a sick state where we seem to loose our identity.

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