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Bexleyheath jobseeker "suicidal" after shabby treatment by job centre
AN UNEMPLOYED woman from Bexley says she "seriously considered suicide" because she was treated so shabbily by her local Jobcentre.
Jan Briley, 57, signed-on with Jobcentre Plus in Bexleyheath after she was made redundant in April following a life of almost unbroken employment since the age of 16.
The Halcot Road resident was ordered in on Saturday morning (October 6) to be "disciplined" after accidentally missing an appointment with her advisor.
The former bank clerk claims she will have to travel in on a weekend simply to "fill out a form" as punishment for her "legitimate mistake".
She told News Shopper: "My advisor made me feel so bad I cried and felt like committing suicide because I don't believe I deserve to be treated in this manner.
"I am not a school leaver and after working non-stop for nearly 40 years I am certainly not a scrounger.
"I am a hard working respectable women who deserves a bit of respect and I hate the way the government and jobseekers are treating me."
Ms Briley also claimed she once tried to rearrange an appointment because she had to take her 81-year-old mother Irene, who shares her home in Bexleyheath, to Queen Elizabeth's Hospital to see a consultant.
She said: "His initial reply was that I should not be taking my mother to hospital as I should be available for work at all times but he relented after I asked him if he would allow his frail mother to go alone.
"To be honest if my mum didn't buy the food I wouldn't be able to eat at all."
The former Price Waterhouse employee says she has independently applied for around 700 jobs in the last six months, while her advisor has helped her apply for only seven.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "It is only right that people should do everything they can to find work if they want to claim jobseekers allowance, and this includes applying for suitable jobs and attending Jobcentre appointments.
"We have spoken to Miss Briley to discuss her concerns."