Anyone watching Growing Up Poor?(133 Posts)
On BBC3 now.
Tough times, and they are so young
Yes...and it's so sad. Loving Shelby - I just want to hug her! She's trying so hard.
Glad she has her cooker in place! So crap they get so little in the way of practical support, it's like they're circling the plughole and they just need a hand to pull them out, so shit they don't seem to get it.
Yes - not having a cooker is awful! I feel bad for all of them - they haven't ended up in this situation over night. I wish someone could have helped them growing up.
Interesting how they've done one for girls and one for boys, wonder how they will be similar / different (obviously unlikely 2 of them will be pregnant at the end of it)
Oh no...Shelby is pregnant. she could have done so well for herself. I'm not saying she won't now but she's made it so much worse for herself.
I meant to say she's made it so much more difficult for hersel...not worse.
I didn't know the next one is about boys. I'll have to remember to tune it to it.
I can't imagine how hard that must be, she seems so on her own. I hope things improve for her although I don't see how they would.
She was back in touch with her dad by the end of the programme so perhaps she'll be able to build a relationship there.
I missed this. I was watching something else. Will catch up at 12.20. Just seen on Twitter that one of them is doing 30 hrs workfare a week for £55 a week.
So people (employers) are fully willing to take advantage of their situation.
Won't give you any more spoilers darkesteyes but it is v powerful viewing, definitely worth a look.
Just wanted to go and get Shelby and bring her home. She seemed like such a good kid. Kind of thought she'd be pregnant at the end after the clip of her saying she couldn't cope with a baby, but hoped I'd be wrong. So sad she didn't get a job she was working so bloody hard.
30 hrs week workfare for £55 a week in 2013.
I was earning £65 week wages working at Tesco Garden Centre in 1989 when i was 16. Workfare is WRONG on so many levels.
I have no idea why i am on MumsNet i just came here using a Search Engine via Google finding out about the program Growing up poor that i am now watching .
I think Shelby is working very hard to keep herself going and is amazing ... She even earns the same as you would by not working but her choice is to work and i love the budget lists and everything she has done to help herself it is great .
I would happily donate to help this girl and think that other people should to ... she should not be having to live like that when she is trying so hard and i think her job should up her wages after watching this program something needs to be done here we are in 2013 and with a young 16 year old trying to better herself like this with no help from anywhere is just not acceptable in this day and age .!
I am extremely angry at the fact this girl has to live this way because tight employers are taking advantage of her age and desperate needs to live .. What a joke £55 a week and working 30 hours ??
She just opened a savings account aswell this girl is an inspiration to young people .. I can see in the near future this girl will be a successful business women she already has the get up and go mind and a successful lifestyle always starts at the bottom you just have to have the will power to do it and she has it 110% ..
I would happily give my last £20 to this girl , If everyone in the UK was like her this country would be a better place by far .
At the end it says Shelby completed 6 month course getting 55 a week and they did not offer her any more work what an absolute piss take company and the owner should be ashamed .
i watched this too. i was so when i heard shelby saying how she works for £1.something an hour, lives in that shithole, is scraping to save £5 a week and then said how DC is removing HB from under 35's. i mean what the hell will she do? i know this will effect so many more people than just her but it just really struck a chord with me seeing her so happy to make soup and she really is wanting to try and better her situation which she is in through being let down by the adults who were responsible for her! so sad for her and the others.
i agree paulmichael. she has a great attitude.
You all seemed to miss the part where nearly all of them were puffing away on cigs, so that's a huge chunk of their benefits down the drain every week. The violent gobby one who pulled the moony sat around moaning how she didn't have any money to go swimming or do anything and when her auntie said to get a paper round she turned her nose up, didn't want to bother. All sympathy stopped right there for me. If she's not willing to do ANY job to get some spare cash in, then she's a waste of oxygen. How dare she sit there bitching about how she can't live on £8 a day yet refusing to help herself at all. The lack of motivation and ambition was staggering and that comes from just being surrounded by other people who have no hope, no dreams, and no spark to make a change in their lives.
I was rooting for Shelby too, she certainly had her head screwed on but then at the end when they said she was pregnant, well that's it - life over for her. I wonder if it was an accident or if she just gave up fighting and saw that a life on benefits would be easier. The other teen who was pregnant - and smoking, nice - banged on about how "it wasn't meant to happen" and how she'd not planned to get pregnant that early - why didn't she abort it? She can barely rub two pennies together, the father was not around, she'd be bringing that kid into a shitty life yet she still went ahead and had it. And they say childfree people are selfish. I pity that little baby and the life it's going to have. Why doesn't Shelby abort her kid? Because it's a passport to an easier life. I can't blame them really, when they are used for £55 a week slave labour schemes or when benefits are more attractive than a minimum wage catering or cleaning job, why not just take the money? These girls were desperate for some leadership, a strong role model, and a scheme that will train them and pay them a decent wage, and above all, give them some hope and self esteem that they CAN break out of this cycle if they have the will and the attitude and a hard working state of mind.
As for housing benefit being removed for under 23s - good. Kids should be forced to stay with their parents unless there is a history of abuse, why should they move out and get a paid-for flat? I didn't leave the nest till I was 24 when I could finally afford to rent, I never felt a sense of entitlement that I should get my own place at 17 and let the state pay for it. This underclass of prolific breeders who lack intelligence and parenting skills are bringing up generations of demotivated underachievers who think the world owes them a living, and we just can't afford to pay for their lives anymore. When their kids turn into hopeless cases they blame anyone but themselves and their parenting.
It always amazes me that they never seem to be motivated to escape the sink estates and the poverty, to me that'd be the biggest motivator to work hard and earn a decent crust then get the hell out. The rot starts with the schooling and if they leave with no qualifications then that's the start of the downward spiral. Training course are available and charity schemes to help them learn skills but they have to want to get out of bed and put some effort in, and their upbringings just seem to lack motivation or ambition.
My life has purely been motivated by simply not wanting to have the stress and worry of being skint and scrimping and saving for every little thing, plus to have all the nice things that I dreamed about. I wasn't bright at school and pulled average grades. No 6th form, no A levels, no Uni. I went to secretarial college. Upon leaving I was trapped in the "good quals but no experience" so I took temp admin jobs and claimed dole inbetween assignments. I went to a night class and learned HTML and started building websites for people on the side, then landed a job as a programmer. I now work back in Admin 4 days a week and run a web-based business on the side. All this I achieved by getting off my arse and working for it. Mum didn't really encourage me and even said that my business venture was just "a fad that I'd get bored with soon", but that just made me even more determined to succeed. Life is comfortable and I have no money worries but things could always be better and I'm still trying to grow my business and get into outsourcing some of my manufacturing.
My motivation to never be financially insecure is still driving me, but my mortgage is still a millstone round my neck. What galls me is that if I was made redundant and couldn't meet my mortgage payments, the State would not step in and cover the payments until I found another job, and I'd lose my house - despite being a hardworker and tax contributor since the age of 17. Yet these girls who have never paid into the system get money and flats thrown at them very easily. Yes it's a shitty flat but it's still a roof over their heads - they're not told to just go back home and get on with their parents, and their parents aren't told to sort their shit out and look after their kids.
And before anyone asks, I do not read the Daily Mail :P I actually wondered if the DM had produced and directed this programme :D
I watched this. It was heartbreaking. When I was at Uni I worked out that my income was less than someone on JSA. But it was only for a few years, I had great role models, I had support from parents. Crucially I could work and top up my income. These girls need to earn a certain amount to pay for HB, council tax etc as they lose this if they work as well as the cash they receive.
Shelby's employer's took the piss how they sleep at night I don't know.
It's very bleak. I suspect the reason there's little ambition to leave is because its a rare person who manages to. Feeling mildly depressed would seem to be the norm.
As for the smoking well as saint students we all smoked too. As proper grown ups we all stopped. I would bet the poorer you are the more likely you are to smoke... not sure about why.
Gixer77 i do agree about the cigs with the rest of them but shelby was not taking the benefits all though it is probably wrong to be smoking at her age she was working herself and not taking from the state so what she was buying was her choice really ... She could earn that from the state what she was working for but her choice was to work ... ( Many people smoke and get them paid by tax payers but this young person 16 years old was working for her cigs and supporting herself and was doing nothing wrong at all .
I do agree with everything Gixer77 says about the violent one no motivation really but this is mainly due to her upbringing she is just a child and adults play the big part in there life and is why they usually turn out that way ...
But i cannot say one bad word about shelby she worked for everything she had supported herself and lived as an adult at the age of 16 ... Getting pregnant was a mistake as she was so young but knowing this girl she has her head screwed on so much she will probably make a better job of it than most young people and all though it is sad she got pregnant and ruined her chances of becoming something good with her great attitude towards life ... I can't see this bringing this strong minded girl down still i believe she will still go on to lead a successful life even with the child.
Gixer77 i do not agree with having benefits stoped for people under 23 when there are people like shelby willing to make a start for them self .. She is 17 years old earns £55 a week and is trying hard to help herself rather from taking from the state so why shouldn't us adults give these young people a little bit of help and move them forward in the right direction ?? It is the young people that will work the country after all in the future .
She earns £55 a week and that will not cover the rent there so housing benefit is a must ... If anything the benefit should be given only to people like this girl shelby trying and working .. Ones that do not work should not get it but the ones that are atleast trying should get a little help as they are young and trying to better themselves !
I watched this programme and my heard bled for Shelby, she seemed such a sweet and hard working girl who was being taken advantage of by her shitty employers. I had slightly less sympathy with the other two mainly due to attitude but I suspect this is mainly due to the environment they have been raised in?
I also agree with the smoking, Shelby spent a quater of her budget on cigarettes, yes she didn't have many treats but given the choice between eating or smoking I know which I'd choose. Then again I've never been a smoker so maybe the addiction to it at 16 / 17 is stronger than I imagine.
Think it will be interesting to watch the boys one.
PaulMichael you say "She is 17 years old earns £55 a week and is trying hard to help herself rather from taking from the state so why shouldn't us adults give these young people a little bit of help and move them forward in the right direction??"
I don't recall why Shelby doesn't live with her parents, can someone remind me? If there was no physical abuse going on then her PARENTS are the adults who should be giving her a little bit of help and direction. These teens who argue with their parents and use it as a justification to move out and get a flat paid for by the state, should be told that they are to stay at home and work out their differences - or money should be spent on family counselling to help them all get along. I fought like cat and dog with my mum in my late teens and early 20s but I never thought of moving out and I certainly never thought of moving out with the assumption everything would be paid for by the Govt. Being a teen and yelling at your parents is part of growing up ;)
I think the gobby girl should have joined the army, she mentioned she wanted to - I had a feeling that if she'd swallow her pride and knuckle down to some good old army discipline, she'd turn into quite a good leader as she was a very strong character.
Or perhaps your parents never threw you out and expected the gov to look after you?
Oh gixer, it must be nice to be you. I suppose they do say ignorance is bliss.
gixer, what would happen to children leaving care then? in my experience, you're often left with no other option when leaving care other than to be supported till you become self sufficient.
what happens to children who are abused? those with alcoholic parents, or parents with addictions? parents who kick their kids out for a variety of reasons, such as religion, sexuality, just can't be arsed etc?
should we force them all back with their parents, effectively punishing the children for the parents mistakes?
You can send things to the girls here: http://truevisiontv.com/films/details/163/growing-up-poor-girls
Gixer. I'm afraid in some comments you have made you sound like a typical daily mail reader. In life some people because of circumstances into which they have been born, make mistakes. And to talk about abortion on here like you did was insensitive and pretty fucking dim mate. I know people who have had children very young including myself, but who's lives have NOT been ruined and have brought up very decent kids and managed to have a good education/career on top of that. The girls in the program may have not been the brightest of sparks, and I'm referring to amber in particular, but there is no doubt someone like that who is caring and does have a plan to go back to college can be a better mum than a middle class career woman in her thirties. Depends entirely on the person. I come from a middle class background myself, but having worked and lived in different areas, I have a lot of awareness, both social and cultural, about the people around me. Many other mumsnetters are the same and thank god for that. Instead of judging, how about understanding and feeling a bit of compassion towards those born into deprived backgrounds? You Gixer, have no idea how you would have behaved or what your life would have been like, had you been born into those circumstances.
I'm intrigued by the "we'll support them if they've got no choice" line - how do you police that? How much abuse is enough to allow you to leave home supported and how much do you just have to put up with? It's not exactly black sand white is ot? Certainly not clear-cut enough to legislate over.
Aside from that, I feel terrible for all of them, even Bridie. I was a complete twat at 17, I was very immature, if I hadn't had a strong family setup I'd have been all over the place. These girls have no safety net to let them make any mistakes and precious little education by the looks of it. The clue is in the title - it's not "Being Poor", it's "Growing up Poor". It's just so fucking unfair to expect so much from them when they've been given so little.
yes i think the fact that these girls are all 16/17 is proof enough that they aren't where they are through bad financial choices. as i said earlier. they are where they are because of decisions made by the adults who were supposed to be responsible for them. no-one can help where they are born, or who their parents are. some are lucky in that even with horrible starts in life, good people make sure they have the resources to lift them out of their situation. some people aren't so lucky and life (from birth) is a long hard slog! i bet all 3 of those girls believed at 5/6/7 that they would meet the man of their dreams and get married and have great jobs and families. i know i did. i was lucky enough to have good support around me and even i fucked up as a teen. i'm not where i imagined I'd be at all. and yes of course they should be pro active and take whatever job they can get but when all you have known is life on benefits, struggling and everyone around you is the same, then it might take longer for that work ethic to form in your brain. it takes something/someone to plant the seed that there is a better life out there for you if you really want it. it could take 6 months, it could take 3 years but hopefully those girls are all able to get that first step on the path to where they want to be. although i think shelby will have no problem getting there.
Gixer its a shame you only consider physical abuse as a reason someone Under 23 can get housing benefit. for 1 thing it would take time to prove. What about metal/emotional abuse or sexual abuse? What if the parents are drink/drug addicts? Or just very shit parents? What if their child moves out, lives indepently for 6 years, then gets made redundant? And if they do get pregnant, then not only the child but the grandchild could end up living in a toxic household for the first 7 years of their life.
Its great for you thay you've done so well for yourself, but surely you must know that not everyone can match your ambition and drive? Some have more, alot more have less.
Haven't read all if this as thought it would make me angry as there's a bit if argument going on. Really hard hitting programme, very well done. Shelby was heartbreaking, if only she'd been able to get a job at the end of her 6 months 'slave labour', I think it might have saved her, but now... A revisit 5 years on would be interesting/even more depressing. So sad and horrified to think of how much of our society are like these girls. What a bloody mess.
OnceUponAThyme My earlier posts said that unless there is a history of abuse, the kids should stay with their parents and have family counselling funded by the State, to help them work through their problems. I know that these kids didn't ask to be born so their life circumstances aren't their fault, the fault lies with the parents who decided to have a kid and then didn't bring it up properly whether that be due to their own life circumstances or their own upbringing. I just can't understand the urge to have a kid if you're living in grinding poverty without a bean to rub together - how unfair is that to give a new life such a shitty start? If the said parents are going to do all they can to help and motivate the kid to better itself and get the hell out of the slums then great, but if the parental mindset is just to sit around smoking cigs and complaining about their lot, giving their kids feck all motivation to be better than them, then that's when the rot starts.
Regarding my comments on abortion - if this is a forum that incorporates all aspects of having children/getting pregnant/parental choices then you can't ignore abortion and the fact it exists. How many kids have been born and then given up for adoption or put into the care system and ended up God knows where? Wouldn't it have been fairer to not go ahead with the pregnancy at all? Why go through with the pregnancy if you know you have no intention of keeping the child?
I just finished watching this morning...it was utterly heartbreaking. I was in tears watching Shelby sitting on her sofa delighted to be sipping her homemade soul after months with no cooker. Ad what a reality check the "work placement" was.....God knows how long on £55 a week and still no job at the end of it.
Have just been on NetMums and read the thread there too....people equally shocked and one or two thick individuals saying "but they could all afford cigs and booze" seemingly unaware from their charmed existences that addiction doesn't care if you are rich or poor.
Those work placements are evil, when the prog said she'd not got a job after 6 months I bet it was because the shop just got another person at the same rate for another 6 months rather than take Shelby on properly and pay her a decent wage. You partially can't blame the businesses as they are all suffering the squeeze too, but it was damn unfair. I was on a YTS scheme for a year at £28 a week and was supposed to get a job at the end of the scheme but they laid me off - and probably got in another YTS girl for more cheap labour.
We must be the same age Gixar...I did YTS too....yes...not good is it?
Unreal when I think back, £28 for the first few months then £35 for the rest or something. Now it's all this "Internship" thing where some people work for free, so desperate are they to get experience, and they get soooo exploited. Why did we adopt the American phrase "Internship" anyways?? What's wrong with "work experience"??
Gixer77 your attitude is absolutely disgusting and encapsulates everything that is wrong with british society. Who deluded you that because your an 'up standing' member of society you have the right to say these Young women should abort there babies. The fact you feel the need to tell us how hard working you are is simply your means of justifying your comments because if you'd have grown up with drug abusing parents, who you've never lived with or given you any support of emotional or financial support you'd still be the model citizen wouldn't you? As for this under class you talk of...who do you think creates it...divide and conquer, keep them all fighting with each other and they won't realise if we all stood up together every one could get a fair slice. Your comments have really inspired me that people like my self need to keep fighting of the suppressed
If I grew up with drug abusing parents and didn't have a bean to rub together and had more emotional issues than a Jeremy Kyle show I would be stupid if I then brought a child into this world. A lot of these people simply can't or won't help themselves. You can lead a horse to water but can't make it drink. I would help the Shelbys of this world who had that spark of wanting to get up and do something, but the Bridies of this world just can't be helped.
The Bridies of this world need military discipline, they need to be broken right down and have all the damage done to them in their formative years by useless parenting destroyed. Then they need to be built back up again with a sense of self respect, self worth, and respect for their peers. On a foundation like that they could go on to achieve so much. When Bridie has a child, which she will one day, do you really think that kid will grow up to have a decent life with a mother that has such a stinky attitude?
I only express disbelief at those in poverty who don't help themselved purely because I was motivated by fear of poverty to make sure I always had work and money in my pocket. Life isn't a dress rehearsal so I wasn't going to sit around living a mediocre life with a head full of dreams that I could never afford to turn into reality.
In an ideal world there would be counselling and treatment for all these kids but it's just not affordable. And the more of these kids that are born and brought into the world by horrendous "parents", the worse it gets. It will take generations to undo the damage done by poor parenting and Government/society cock-ups.
I lived on a dodgy estate for 5 years and have pretty much seen it all, including a "mother" yelling at her 5 year old "you're p!ssing me off now, f**king shut up!!" Two nice young boys who were 11 when I moved in and who offered to wash my car for me (which they did, very nicely) but grew up into monsters and 3 years later one of them vandalised the very same car twice, and the other tried to break into my shed. So forgive me if I'm losing faith here.....
I totally disagree that her attitude did stink, your only basis for that is that she wouldn't take a paper round..which is totally implausable in her current situation regarding how benefits get affected etc. You've already stated that the workforce programme is exploitation.. A paper round pays £20 a week, approx £2 an hour to line someone elses pockets..theres no pride in that and its not going to get her anywhere. I think Bridie is more intelligent than you and is not willing to be exploitated? She recognised the fact that her own actions had got her in to the situation she was in, an attribute many 'well formed' adults don't have. Yours and other peoples attitudes towards these marginalised groups keep them there. My ideal world is very different to yours. Mine is one where there is no need for counselling because we all stand together and break the cycle by not casting judgement
Lose faith in the system, don't lose faith in the kids
Its not called a poverty trap for nothing. All those girls arrived into a chaotic, poor, unwelcoming world. The adults around them haven't always been looking out for their best interests.
If you can escape that then good for you.
But don't sit there judging the majority who find it overwhelming. Personally it has made me feel that many teens need really great mentors to show them an alternative way.
If you've escape that life you would be the perfect candidate!
Totally agree impty, think Gixer would have a great deal to offer in a 1:1 situation - experience, knowledge and (by the sounds of it) lots of energy.
I meant to watch it but missed it Pleased its getting good reviews here. Some people think poverty is a thing of the past. There is always plenty of poverty.
gixer you say the country can't afford to counsel/support young people like the girls in the program. well i'm sorry but we bloody have to if this country stands any chance of breaking the cycles that leave so many of them all struggling on benefits. they aren't a different breed. they are our breed. our children. children that in a few years will be responsible for the decisions that affect your old age and what care will be available for you. we need to invest in these children.
Watched it on iplayer last night. Really felt for all 3 of the girls. Bridie hasn't been parented much at all by the sounds of it and is so angry. I just wanted to look after her and Shelby as they are so vulnerable and alone and both have such potential. It made me wish there was something I could do to help them and just be there to listen and help them keep themselves on track. Their lives are so joyless and hard.
Morris24: "A paper round pays £20 a week, approx £2 an hour to line someone elses pockets..theres no pride in that and its not going to get her anywhere. I think Bridie is more intelligent than you and is not willing to be exploitated? "
No, Bridie is just lazy. A paper round is a few hours each morning for £20 in your pocket. It's all about CHANGING your mindset to be more proactive and to start some sort of work ethic. She could be a glass collector in a pub, she could volunteer for any number of charities who need people to work for them, it doesn't HAVE to be a paper round. It's all about building up some "ammo" so that when you go for any sort of job, even if it's a low paid one in the first instance, a list of various jobs you've done or things you volunteered for, tells employers "I got off my arse and was proactive and didn't just sit around". I'd not have got the job as a programmer if I'd not got of my arse and learned HTML and then built websites for people on the side, that was my "ammo" and it landed me the job I wanted.
A paper round would mean getting up early and out for a specific time, doing a job with some semblence of pride, and getting some cash at the end of it. Not just staying in bed because you feel that a paper round is an insult not worth getting up for. Shelby was paid a pittance for her shelf stacking but she still got up and did it rather than stay in bed. If I was employing any of these kids as part of a scheme to give them a leg up and one of them said that they did a paper round or a job like Shelby did, I'd totally employ them over the Bridies of this world who CBA to do one single thing to get any money.
Booyhoo: "the country can't afford to counsel/support young people like the girls in the program. well i'm sorry but we bloody have to if this country stands any chance of breaking the cycles that leave so many of them all struggling on benefits."
I agree, but tell that to the people in power. It's all very well saying "yeah we have to do this and we have to do that" but where will the funding come from? The programme said that there are 300,000 youngsters claiming Govt money, and if they averaged that out at £8 a day that's £2,400,000 per day - which would go a long way to provide schemes and support for these people, but they need money on a daily basis to eat and live. Or in the case of some of these girls, smoke. And if there WERE more schemes to help these girls get motivated and get some training, they still have to GET OUT OF BED and come along each week, and WANT to do it, and have that passion and enthusiasm to at least TRY. I say again, lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. The Entitled Generation wants the best of everything without working for it.
Get a voucher system going that is paired with an ID card, so the money given to them can be used for food, utilities, baby gear and other essentials only - with a small amount of cash for "other things". The ID card would stop them selling vouchers to others in exchange for cash that they'd spend on God knows what. And if they wanted more cash well, start job hunting....
voucher system for all benefit claimants?
I have relatives whose lives are not that dissimilar to the girls in the film.I do know that the harshest critics are very often people that are only a few steps away from that kind of life. I also educated my way out of it. It is hard to get away from, I do not fit in with a lot of my family now . I am looked upon as a snob by some of them.
One of my sisters grew up in care she has the kind of anger that Bridie has. She left her last job because she threatened to smash someone's face in. What she and girls like Bridie need is heavy duty intensive counselling.
I never judge people like that, when you have seen someone think that the way to make their toddler eat food dropped on the floor is to force them to eat it like a dog off the floor you know why the Bridies of this world are so monumentally unwell.
Btw I realise that people that are poor are also excellent parents, thinking of best friend at school. Really poverty stricken think not enough food but she had a lovely Mum. My friend is a lead nurse practitioner now and runs a walk in centre, I am incredibly proud of her.
Actually Gixar, I would hate to be given vouchers. ....its already bad enough having to give an NHS exemption card for prescriptions. I already feel judged enough quite honestly.
No what IS required are adult mentors for the Bridies of this world. Born to a mother addicted to crack she is exhibiting all the behaviours of someone not pulled out of her abusive environment as a child.
I watched this and was really moved by Shelby. I am going to try to find a way to sponsor her. I know it's only helping one person, but it beats sitting around doing nothing....I wouldn't donate cash.....maybe food vouchers or baby stuff.....I'm going to contact the BBC to see if they can help me with this and forward my donation and message of support on to her.
Just caught up on iPlayer
Shelby was so lost and lonely.
I can't sponsor any of the girls but it has helped me decide to see if Homestart will have me as a volunteer. I've been thinking about contacting them for ages but this has given me a boot up the bum. I've got a grown up DD who is getting married and has lots of support, a good job etc but so much depends on which bed you're born into in life. I would really like to be there for someone going through a tough time not because I'm paid to but because I want to help out a bit. I keep thinking about those girls and how rudderless and hard things are for them.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I feel so sad for Shelby that after working hard for a pittance there was no job for her at the end. Working for £1 odd an hour when she had to get the bus there is just awful.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
The stories were all so sad but Bridie's story got to me the most....I got a sense from the other two that there was either a parent around or their inner resources were strong. Bridie had neither of those things and is evidently growing up from an abusive childhood (mother addicted to crack etc), you can just see she is going to end up in more and more trouble .
Shelby's story was so sad...now is it right in this day and age that she was in a flat with nothing and had to appeal after being turned down for a community care grant. Even then it just stretched to a bed, a fridge and a microwave. It was heartbreaking seeing the bare floorboards....and even after working for 6 months she had nothing...not even the price of a cheap carpet for her living room. Dreadful.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Zukie that is just unacceptable! No change in the policy in 85 years? How on earth can they justify that? I feel I need to do something about that. Maybe a petition to have it reviewed.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I got the impression that Bridie is suffering from a mental disorder - another example of being 'maintained' through school with no-one addressing the real problems. Her mum is an addict and couldn't look after her, and obviously has huge psychological problems herself. To say Bridie's childhood was fucked up is an understatement. She has a temper that she can't control. Her problems are manifold, a product of genetics and her disfunctional upbringing.
I imagine (I may be wrong, of course) that she was excluded and/or played truant at school, which must have detrimental effect on learning how to deal with the world (e.g. ability to concentrate, turning up for appointments, work ethic, respect for authority, etc.)
She had no idea about money, or the cost of things, was glue-sniffing and unable to see beyond the next hour. And she was only 17.
Bridie's story is so depressing (and distressing) - her utter ignorance of how to live within the boundaries of our society. Who will teach her how to conform?
Now that's an even more depressing question, because my guess is that she will get absolutely no help from anyone......ever.
Big Society my arse.
I find it fascinating in these programmed that they all know what they're entitled to and never stop to think where the money actually comes from, ie. the rest of us working and paying taxes. I felt for Shelby as she really seemed to be doing her best to help herself. I was disappointed to read at the end that she was pregnant. Why, oh why, would she do that?
I missed the back story on the pregnant girl. Was her mother working? Was there a boyfriend on the scene? God, teen pregnancy is a scourge isn't it? Maybe there's a case for compulsory contraceptive implants... I know, I know, it's their human rights...
Bridie just seemed so incurably troubled. How do you fix that damage? She was so sad and apathetic.
I have to admit I had my judgey pants on when I first watched it, but the stories really moved me.
Seeing a teen get excited about a carpet, and another excited about making a bit of soup really hit hard.
These girls have very few positive role models in their lives, so where would they start.
And yes they shouldn't be smoking, but they also shouldn't be worrying about budget shopping and cooker cables either.
"I find it fascinating in these programmed that they all know what they're entitled to and never stop to think where the money actually comes from, ie. the rest of us working and paying taxes."
ask yourself honestly that if you were living off £8 a day would you have space in your head to worry about, let alone feel guilty about where the money came from?
i am a LP on benefits. beleive me i know where that money comes from. i have it drummed into me every time i come on MN or open a paper or switch the tv on. all i hear these days is "tax payers' money" "benefits scroungers" that is me they are talking about so believe me i know where the money comes from. that doesn't change the fact that right now i have no other choice. i cant give up the benefits until i have found work. do you think those girls should walk around with a placard on them thanking tax payers' for enabling them to eat?
These are girls abandoned to the system tbh. Obviously Amber has her Mum who seemed lovely and supportive. How sad though that she was pregnant at such a young age.
What will happen to the Shelbys of this world when housing benefit is stopped for the under 25s?
And yes the CCG is ridiculous. ..she needed everything. There does indeed need to be a protest regarding the rules governing it. Likewise it needs to be available to women and children fleeing domestic violence.
Am sad but not surprised to see she was pregnant at the end of the programme. She seemed very sensible though and I can see her doing well in life.
Shelby talking about drinking coffee to stave off hunger just killed me
Shelby's situation is disgusting. 10 months with no cooker etc. if she was a care leaver she'd have all that
I felt for Amber's mum. Older and wiser and still helpless to change her situation.
watched this last night.
Felt such a sense of disappointment when it was revealed that Shelby is pregnant. Of all the girls she was the only one who I felt had the slightest chance of improving her life. Not any more.
Bridie will be pregnant before she's 18 too.
You cant write Shelby off just because she is pregnant though. She seemed very sensible and that will stand her in good stead in the future.
Then again if you have nothing and life is shit then it might well appear that its your only future.
I was going to say similar Jake.
Maybe the disappointment of doing a work programme for 6 months with nothing to show for it made her feel that it was the only way she could support herself.
I understand why Shelby was pregnant by the end. Why not? Something to look forward to, something to do, someone to love.
She is in a shit position, not of her own making.
I understand why she was pregnant too and why girls like her so often do have babies very young.
However the fantasy of unconditionally loving a little baby rarely plays out.
The father will piss off, she's become resentful, bored and - possibly- neglectful towards her child and she'll be unemployable for many years. She'll seek comfort wherever she can find it - most likely in the arm of another useless scrote and she'll be pregnant with no2 before you know it.
Her position wasn't entirely of her making but she must (and did) admit some responsibility. She said herself - as did Bridie - that she never paid attention or worked hard at school which has, consequently, limited her choices.
I totally get what you are saying Nancy but if you have no real support at home or even neglect then it doesn't foster a desire or an ability to concentrate on schoolwork.
I see many children and some have an ongoing low level depression due to circumstances totally beyond their control at home. They are highly unlikely to be able to concentrate on the fine details of Maths or English(or anything else come to that) as a result.
I am not saying they can't, achieve as some can and are able to do so despite their circumstances. It's not going to be as likely for the neglected or traumatised child to achieve good functional exam results as it is for a child who is within a loving, secure home though.
I don't know Shelbys background and tbh I think your assessment could be correct about the ease with which the baby's father might well walk away. I just feel though that Shelby was left in dire circumstances, no real adult figure in her life, a work experience job which left her without even the price of a cheap carpet for her living room although she at least has a small bit of experience she can put on a job application now.
I so wish she was not pregnant....but she is and all we can do now is look at the shit deal life has dealt her and see how it can be changed for future children.
Good post Jake.
I just wish it could be drummed into kids from that sort of background that education is their ONLY escape route.
Very sad though.
I often wonder if the pregancy route also offers them a chance of unconditional love. Something I doubt very many of these kids have had. Shelby seemed so lonely.
I had a friend at school who lived with her dad and brothers. Mum had died, all the males were actually quite abusive to her.
When most kids were getting home for their tea, my mate was washing up the day's debris and tidying up the kitchen before cooking for her family. She used to clean up after them all by herself.
When the rest of us were settling down to homework she was washing and ironing or shopping for food. Her brothers were constantly causing trouble and arguing in the house. It was so disruptive and she was always tired in school. There was no way she could equally take all the opportunities that other kids had.
Carbondated, good luck with Homestart, I do our local soup kitchen once a month and really enjoy it. I took my OH along one night and he was amazed by how "human" the people were, due to the social conditioning he'd had which puts homeless people into "non-human/useless/waste of space/just ignore them" pigeonholes. He talked to some of the guys who had jobs and families and who lost them all through an unlucky chain of events, usually starting with losing their jobs. One woman saying how when it's too cold for her to sleep she wanders the town and looks in all the shop windows...so sad. There were lots of younger people there too, with potty mouths and some got a bit arsey with us but there's always a few like that.
Had to chuckle at them being picky with the free sandwiches: "haven't you got any tomato......But I wanted ham......I don't like brown bread...." Er it's free my dears, take what you can and think yourself lucky ;) Volunteering for this certainly gives you a new respect for people and makes you examine your own life too.
I don't know what saddened me most - seeing the life those girls have to live, or hearing the judgemental comments here and elsewhere from people who will never have to live such a life.
I'm old for Mumsnet (65) and I'm ashamed that we've allowed this to happen in this country of ours - I live about an hour away from Shelby and my life has been very different from hers. Do I take credit for that? Do I sit here smugly reflecting on my efforts and my non-smoking, non-chaotic lifestyle? Or do I realise that I've been so, so lucky? That my parents cared for me physically and (mostly) emotionally, that I survived to adulthood with at least some of my self-esteem intact and as much education as I wanted?
How dare we blame these girls for smoking, or violent outbursts, or getting pregnant? It isn't that some people are just born virtuous and aspirational while the rest are lazy layabouts - someone has to show you that you have power, that you can access information, that you can make changes.
These young women are the products of a society we've created by our voting habits and our apathy. We're all responsible.
Finally, a tiny thing occurred to me tonight as I watched Shelby struggle to furnish her flat. Every day on Freecycle there are offers of good furniture and household items - but who gets them? Mostly, the sort of people who offer them - people with internet access, with cars, who can get online frequently and collect their free goods themselves. What a waste.
something touched me about Bridie, her inability to even contemplate a future, like she doesn't even know the future exists, that she is already convinced she will end up dead or in prison or something, that the present is so overwhelming that it is just too hard to plan or look forward.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p013nd1d the first boy says his mum wants him but cant afford him, shows how the no hb for under35s will work!
babyboom I totally agree. I haven't had an easy life at all, but I feel very lucky to have what I have. My DP regularly chats to and buys hot drinks/sandwiches etc for homeless people he sees in town (and I have started to do the same). Those who say they won't give them money because they're probably druggies, are missing the point. The fact that on a freezing cold day someone is sat outdoors indicates that they are in a grim situation. Under different circumstances that could be any one of us.
It's so easy to judge and condemn. When I left my abusive ex-H, I had a father and friends I could live with till I got a council flat of my own. If I hadn't had support I would have been in a hostel at a time when I was traumatised, petrified, penniless and exhausted. My father would never have got the best parent of the year award, but he had my interests at heart and provided a safe roof over my head and food on the table until I was able to sort things out. I am lucky. Bridie and Shelby don't have that back-up.
babyboomers that is a great post. i totally agree.
and yes excellent point about freecycle. those girls had no hope of getting a free cooker or fridge as they couldn't afford internet and even if they got to the library, how could the get to collect stuff or have it transported?
nailak i can empathise with bridie somewhat in that aspect. it can be so very very hard to see any future when every penny you have is gone the minute you have it on the basic necessities and worse, on debts you have accrued just surviving. i am in a better position now than i was a year ago, but if my washing machine decides to give up i will be pretty much back where i was with a bit more debt to add to the stress. you cant even look forward to the next payday because you know it will be gone on essentials/debts as soon as it hits your account.
I saw this too and was a bit .
I think it's about a mental state rather than a financial one as such. How do you inspire someone like Bridie?
Rather than sponsoring a person, what about donating to CItizens advice bureau so they can do more outreach? Or look at what community schemes are in place so your money can fund positive mentors to many young people?
The OU offers grants - if these girls have a reasonable grasp of education they can start a degree course. If not there's essential skills program's available for free. I wonder if they know about these things?
A lot of people live on £10 a day ( DD and I do- rest is saved) so what are they missing?
i think bridie had built up some arrears and had a court fine to pay which would have accounted for some of her expenses.
also i do think she wanted to get out of her situation although i missed the reason why she couldn't go to the army as that is what she kept saying she wanted to do. was it her arrest record blocking her way?
this programme made my heart that some are trying so hard to get out of the hole, but just cant
living in a shitty one room place/no oven/plus falling off the wall - prob a fire risk and no one cares enough to help - how did they end up there/where were the parents?
to get so excited over some carpet and then being able to use her cooker to make soup - something that most of us take for granted with gas/electricity/ovens/food etc
someone said there are always many items of furniture on freecycle, but course you need internet access and means of transport- which these girls dont have
though they need a lesson in food shopping, looking at the list with crisps/juice/chips/fish fingers etc - buying microwave chips for £2.50 rather then a huge bag of potatoes and can make mash/jackets/chips
living off benefits cant be easy, but i understand why they do rather then work many hours and still get the same money a week
shelby working for a crap wage but at least she was trying and wanted to get out of the vicious circle she was in - and no she prob wont ever as pregnant but so hope she does she deserved housing benefit as trying to better herself, just sad no job at the end of it - damn that man where she worked
certain things gixer77 said i agree with- they all manage to smoke yet have no money, and it makes my blood boil that pregnant and smokes
esp as i cant have children
but no sign of dad with both girls , no money and i hope that being a parent theirselves that they get a lifeline and can improve their situations - least amber had parents who cared about her
but sadly yes if i/my friends lost our jobs we wouldnt get any thing to help pay our bills, yet these girls get their rent paid but dont work - but thats the way the benefit system works and not shelby/bridies fault
havnt seen part two yet - its repeated tomorrow (thur) morning at 12.30am on bbc three - be interesting to see the difference between girls and boys - so hope to see tomorrow after ive finished work
you know what there should be standards of decor, like carpet or vinyl or something in rentals. was shelby's flat a private rental or council or what? surely flooring is a pretty basic thing that should be done before renting to someone?
you would think boo - im assuming its private rented and the landlord doesnt care
the fact plugs on the wall by floor with wires falling out of them was awful
yes it must have been private. council would have sorted those sockets wouldn't they?
i've just put new vinyl down in my bathroom. it was £10. just cheap stuff. i'm sure it would have cost £40 max to put a cheap bit of vinyl down in her flat. some landlords are terrible! i wonder how much it was costing her to live there. did it say?
is there an ofcom type body for landlords? there should be. maybe then LL would be forced to do the necessary work instead of making money out of desperate people for living in a bare box.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
zukie that is awful. do the council really not put adequate flooring down before a new tenant arrives? why the hell not? are people really expected to recarpet/refloor and entire house/flat? why do they rip the existing stuff up? surely it would do no harm to leave it down aslong as it was clean!
i'm really shocked by this. flooring is pretty basic. no-one expects a fully decorated house but bare concrete/floorboards is a bit much!
blondes she couldnt make stuff as she had no cooker, and didnt know how to make stuff in the microwave, i suppose you can make mash and jackets in microwave, but you need to know that first!
and yes most people who move in to council houses have to put their own carpets down. the places are completely bare and unfurnished, and they wont sort out things like double glazing, damp etc
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
that is madness! dont they think it might save them some money in CCGs if they left the carpet/laminate/vinyl down when people moved?
i wonder what the logic is behind ripping it all out. i mean it's not as if they rip the paper off the walls too is it?
paint and paper you can do without but when you have children especially and older people you need flooring, if even to keep the heat in!
No councils definitely do not provide any flooring, after waiting 18 months for a council place on a sink estate it was just as zukiecat describes.....chipboard floors in disrepair, cracked and broken tiles downstairs. It cost a fortune (well a relative fortune to me) to put down vinyl and carpet. When I was rehoused I was told to take it all up even though it wasn't going to fit anywhere in the new place and the incoming tenant might not have had anything!
Thankfully my problem neighbour (and believe me she really was a neighbour from hell) who had nothing on her floors was extremely grateful for everything.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
i cant believe the council dont provide basic's - ie carpets or paint the walls, and why on eart tear them up again
nailak duh, of course, tho i do use smash a lot
jake did they say why you had to take all the flooring with you when you left?
They strip properties back to council/HA fittings and fixtures only between tenants, apparently its due to H&S or something. I knew someone whose job it was - if nice taps had been fitted they had to be removed and replaced with standard council issue ones. Same with showers, door handles, light fittings
When we moved into our council house there were holes in the floor the bathroom had been wallpapered and had mould everywhere the hallway quickly devolped black mould too as has the back door and electric cupboard. It took me 3 years to get them to do something about the hallway which was painting it with anti-mould paint and it obviously hasn't worked as its now starting to come back In cold weather the walls run with water and the house is freezing even though its insulated. The blinds I brought in the bedroom are mouldy now at the bottom I had to move my bed from one wall after it devolped mould.
The council says the house is fine its our fault if we get damp mould everywhere in the damn shithole they won't do a bloody thing. I'm nearly 6 months pregnant and I don't know how the fuck I'm supposed to move a baby into this hellhole but I can't afford to move we're on benefits I can't afford to try anything more than I have already which includes just about every anti mould/cleaning spray out there and various dehumidifiers. I can't not switch the heating on when its below 10c in the house and we're devoloping nasty chilblains on our toes from having baths.
Thats the truth of social housing this is what people complain we get "for free" its shit I'd love your beautiful warm mould free homes but I doubt I'll ever get that.
Gixer... Wow. I haven't seen the programme yet, but I can imagine what it's like. I work on an employment programme and your level of ignorance is astounding.
Some will even charge tenants for removing them if they leave carpets behind, even if they were nice ones that the next tenant would have loved
peach that is shocking!
i agree. i hear people go on about other being 'given' council houses and how they get everything done for them and i know it's bollocks but i really didn't realise it was that bad.
i've always been a private tenant, mostly because until last year i didn't realise that anyone could apply for a council house ( @ my ignorance) and i used to be a bit envious of council tenants being able to decorate how they liked but after reading so much on MN i realise there are far more important things than just being able to paint. my mum is constantly nagging me to go get my name down because "they give you a big garden and a shed and everything gets done for you". i know that she is just repeating ignorant myths she has heard from other ignorant people.
so sorry you are in this situation. it is awful.
(boys' programme on bbcthree now)
When my great grandma died we had to rip out her carpets that had been fitted about 6 months beforehand and were in perfect condition (were still producing extra fluff they were so new looking) we also had to take out the blinds that had been specially sized for those windows - the new tenants didn't even get a chance to say if they wanted them or not first!
We agreed with the flat manger that they could store the carpet for a few weeks and offer it to the new tenants. They werent supposed to do that but knew how good the carpets were and that they wouldn't really go anywhere else but the bin/recycling centre as the rooms were quite small and weirdly shaped.
I don't know if the new tenants took them but I like to think that they didnt go to waste!
I remember some of my school friends not having any carpet for years because their house didn't come with it and they couldn't afford to get them.
peach have you spoken to citizens advice? If you had damp around windows from condensation it's fair enough to say its your problem ( as I experienced) but what you are describing seems to be a major fault and your health is at serious risk. Hopefully someone at CAB will be able to give you advice. Failing that, newspapers? Local MP?
When I was a HV, I embarked on a protest about crappy housing. I started making complaints regularly to the council and also photographed mouldy walls and ceilings which I uploaded onto the medical records of children and babies. I pointed out that breathing in mould spores was setting young babies and children up for a childhood full of respiratory illnesses.
Do you know where it got me....and more importantly the families in my care? Nowhere at all....in the worst cases the council might come along and put in humidifiers which cost families extra to have running as often as needed. Usually though they did nothing, there were no properties to move the families into and the most they could offer was a few more housing points which might increase the family's priority for moving.
Anyone watched Lads?
So far they a bit more promising than the girls.
Re the council housing. They don't redecorate any more but if the condition is god awful enough they give you a voucher for paint etc and you have to do it yourself but you have to argue for this voucher and they won't offer
The flooring thing is so infuriating - they could put something basic down and add a couple of quid on the rent for a couple of years to cover it. I have had clients who can't scratch the money together (for various reasons I'm not judging) for years for flooring so it's always dirty and freezing I think this really adds to the misery/poverty cycle
You can donate specifically to one or more of the young people by bank transfer (the money goes straight to them) or send an item by post through this website here:
I just sent Shelby £20. I'm lucky enough that I won't miss that too much and her attitude and commitment moved me to tears. If she wants to spend it all on cigarettes, I hope she really enjoys them but hopefully she'll receive a fair bit from her behaviour on the programme, and I have faith that she'll use it wisely.
I missed the programme about the girls and Shelby. Is there anyway I can catch up? I watched the one yesterday about the lads and their struggles. It was so sad. It was frustrating to see the young lad who was doing his computer course desperatly trying to get employed and feeling "blacklisted" because he got a criminal record when he was a child. Unless he physically harmed someone then I think his record should be wiped clean. He seems sorted now though and I hope he achieves all that he wants to achieve. I felt sorry for the lad who wanted to join the army particularly when his mate said he wanted to live a little before he went into combat knowing that he could lose his life. The lad didn't want to be "bumming" around like his dad living on benefits. These youngsters and many more like them deserve a chance. They are just so vulnerable.
guns i think frankie broke the jaw of the boy he tried to mug. that's why he got 2 years.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Guns, Frankie mugged a boy and broke his jaw. He went to Feltham for two years for it. It's a part of his very recent past.
The boys one was a bit less heart breaking. I was a bit at the mum if the boy who joined the army. He was thrown out but she was pregnant, it appeared. Not nice, not nice at all.
Just seen the Boys one...so sad...trying to make a difference to their lives in difficult circumstances. Was very struck by me of the girlfriends (who was mother to their child) who said the boys make silly decisions and are too immature to be Dads really. Felt so sad for her struggling without any realisation that she was perhaps not any more mature but had to pull everything together because she was responsible for a baby in equally difficult circumstances.
I thought the mum of wes' baby was c sensible but sounded old before her time and world weary
The boys one was equally heartbreaking
I've just watched both programmes and just felt sad for all the young people involved. The boys seemed to have more determination to make something of their lives but maybe that's because unlike the girls they don't have the depressing option of getting pregnant very young in order to validate themselves. What I noticed was the lack of family stability for these kids and the very real possibility that the children of these young people will mirror their own. I think the programme did a brilliant job of highligted the issues of family breakdown and lack of employment opportunities for young people.
Poor girls and those like them. They get blamed for what I get congratulated for-meeting the expectations people have for me given my childhood circumstances. Only difference-I was a doctor's daughter growing up in a nice suburb. So people expected me to do well and end up with a degree and a stable job/profession. Bridie and shelby would be doing the equivalent of me rising to the absolute top of my profession just by breaking out of the cycle of poverty. I find it amazing that some do and I so hope those girls get some kind of lucky break from being on telly. That programme sumultaneously broke my heart and made me want to hug my children.
I couldnt agree more with PaulMichael as just watched Shelby on bbc iplayer and opened up an acccount on 'mumsnet' just to say something about this lovely girl.
I felt really sorry for the girl as she was trying so hard and was prepared to work and budget for her necessities rather than just spending it aimlessly, pity about the pregnancy side of things as she seemed to want to get her life in order before having a child.
If it was possible I would happily donate some money directly to her to help her out as feel that she truly deserves a break.
PS. Just about to watch the boys one now so hope there are some lads who are trying their hardest in difficult circumstances.
BrendanLondon - there was a note on the programme website telling viewers how they could donate to individual young people - the money will be passed to them through the programme.
Here it is...
"However if you specifically wish to help the young people in the film, items can be sent to our office at 49a Oxford Road South, London W4 3DD and will be passed on to Bridie, Amber and Shelby. However if you do send anything to our office, please also include postage to cover the cost of sending your gift on. If you wish to send a cheque, please make it payable to The Aletheia Foundation. If you want to make an online transfer please credit Aletheia Foundation, AC No. 22637907, Sort Code 60-05-30. And please make it clear to whom you would like any gift to go. If you want further information, email Petra on firstname.lastname@example.org who can give you details."
Thank you babyboomersrock I will contact petra
Wonder who the dad of shelbys baby was? Didnt seem to have a boyfriend (not that that matters iyswim) and her life was going so well and trying so hard
She or any of the young mums now have any chance of getting a job and getting out of their lifestyles
Will def donate some money - thanks for email and account
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