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  1. I know that you can not take a child (i.e Person under 18 years of age) to court via Small Claims Court. However, I am wondering if its possible to take the parents of children to court?? Basically the case is one where I provided a service to a person who was 17 years of age and didnt pay for it.... Am I able to take the parents of the 17 year old to court even though they were not part of the transaction?
  2. Precautionary Recall - Children’s Blackcurrant Cough Syrup READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/precautionary-recall-childrens-blackcurrant-cough-syrup
  3. Ban fossil fuel companies from sponsoring, donating or having any involvement in schools and other activities that are aimed at or could influence children under 18. Why is this important? We all know that climate change is a real threat to everyone and everything on this planet, and that the fossil fuel industry is the biggest cause of pollution, the increase of greenhouse gases, and of creating global warming. The industry is responsible for poisoning our waterways, oceans, air, and land. Also, a lot of the chemicals the fossil fuel companies extract are used for making plastics. Plastics are choking our oceans, killing our sea life, and contaminating the sea salt, which in turn will contaminate users of sea salt. Much more on the link.And have your say,say how you feel.Whatever your views are. Thanks. Tawnyowl. https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/keep-fossil-fuel-companies-away-from-our-children?bucket&source=facebook-share
  4. Children’s Funeral Fund for England READ MORE HERE: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/childrens-funeral-fund-for-england
  5. Hi guys, havnt posted on here for a long time but i am so angry about the way i was treated in my previous job i really need some advice: background in Feb i started a temp role in a call centre. the role was until the end of june but the company took on employees who had performed well etc. Because of this i worked 6 ten hour days for over 3 months with the hope of obtaining a full time job. the company also employed young adults aged 16 and 17. Having worked with young people before, i enjoyed sitting next to them and discussing their plans for the future etc. the company also employs staff aged 18 - 65, there is only a small percentage of under 18 staff. I was called into my managers office who informed me that she was concerned that i was being inappropriate with my comments to the young adults especially girls. when i asked for a further explanation, i was informed that she overheard me asking one of them what they had for dinner the night before. My manager stated that she considered this comment asking them out on a date. I explained that i believed that it was a harmless question which i asked all colleagues when i saw them. i also explained that i had worked with and mentored young people before in my previous role and i was simply making conversation with my colleagues. my manager did not believe me, informed me that i was a "grown man and i shouldnt be talking to young girls" This comment caused me a great deal of distress and anxiety as i could not believe someone in a management position could jump to a conclusion without obtaining all the facts. i felt that my reputation had been damaged by her comments. I was frequently ostracised and forced to sit on my own for weeks as well as being ignored and subjected to bullying my team leaders. this caused me to go to the doctors as i was starting to develop symptoms of depression. several of my coworkers would still talk to me and come to me for advice with personal issues. i tried once more to speak to my manager and discuss that treatment i had recieved. I was told would have to make up the time if i wished to ave a meeting with her. during this time another male worker who is the same age as me (30) began a relationship with a 17 year old girl who was also in care. the male cowokers ex wife was also a team leader in the call centre and would frequently arrange the seating plan so he would be sat next to young girls. nothing was done and no actio was taken agianst the male coworker. The coworkers ex wife would freqently speak to me about her ex husband and how she still loves him etc i would offer advise and we became close. We would leave notes on each other desk which we found funny. i found another job and handed my notice in. on the morning of the beggining of my last shift i recieved a phone call from work to say i am not requred to come in this week as i had sexually harrased a "senior member of staff" (co workers ex wife) i was told that the note i had left her was sexual harrasment and would not be required to work and therefore loose a weeks pay. I asked to speak to the head of HR and explained the following on the phone: the senior member of staff had left similar notes for me which i found amusing. she had added me on facebook shortly after i put the first note on her desk several weeks previous the head of HR had repeatedly stated "senior member of staff" which implied that if this had happened to a tem, no action would have been taken she was aware of the grooming of a 17 year old girl in care by the ex husband of the complainant and no action was taken i had been victimised and made to feel like a sexual predator despite no evidence, complainants of investigation the head of HR raised her voice on the phone and stated "Its none of your business" which i replied she was aware of the grooming and she should have been ashamed of herself. i ended the call. I then sent and email to her outlining all of the above. 2 hours later, i received an email stating i would be paid for the rest of the week. I considered this the end of the matter but i am concerned that if i have to use this company for a reference, they will include the false allegations. I am considering 2 options at the moment: 1) do nothing unless they provide and inaccurate reference to any potential future employers. 2) sent a letter to the CEO with copies of all emails and notes explaining the situation and asking him to investigate the grooming and not to put anything detrimental on any reference. I really cant get ovet the way i was treated there, the coworker has been given a full time job and effectively a license to groom who he wants (he never goes for women his own age) i beleive they paid me for my last week without me attending as a form of hush money??? i have been made to feel like a criminal for an allegation that could have been proven false if a proper investigation was held. I do not want any form of compensation and i know an apology will never happen, i am trying to cover my ass and hopefully make life very uncomfortable for the managers and senior staff who chose to make my life hell. I am now in a better job with more money and less hours. i make more money than the seniors staff in the call centre. im really after some advice on what other would do in my situation??? sorry for the rushed post, now off to start my shift in a lovely country school where they do things properly!! regards
  6. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/820462/Outraged-parents-Thomas-Tallis-School-suicide-notes-class-project
  7. Just a general question, i've heard childrens savings accounts with £3000 or more affects parents benefits such as housing benefit. If it's held in a child trust fund opened by govenment or junior isa, both which can't be accessed until child turns 18, are they also considered. Or just standard accounts?
  8. Hi, My brother is being summonsed to appear at Magistrates Court in June for not sending his two kids to school regularly. The School count the attendants twice a day and they are claiming that out of 154 possible attendances only 130 were attended which works out to 12 days (154 - 130 = 24 / 2 = 12 For each of the days, the council demanded a penalty fee of which was not paid as i advised my brother that they had no legal bases within the Education Act 1996 to charge such fees. Out of the 12 unattended days of which penalty notices were issued the council later withdraw them and sent a letter to my brother stating that after reviewing the evidence submitted by my brother that the penalty notices should not have been issued. The school had to be closed for a total of 5 days due to mice infestation in the schools kitchen. now my brother is stating that on both times of the school being closed a day or so before his kids were not well "being sick" 1st time for 4 days and the second time for 1 day (30 Nov and 13th Jan) the school was closed. they said the schools closure is not included in the attendance rating. they claim that the attendance level was 84% The council are saying that if they win the case, they are going to be asking for costs. The case is being tried under 444(1) of the Education Act 1996 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/section/444
  9. I couldn't believe I was reading this ? Surely there is a mismanaged budget if things have got to this point. The Head Mistress has also asked for stationery supplies to be sent in. Toward the end of the article it mentions that the school had recently been raising funds for 3rd world schools. Whilst this is admirable, should charity not begin at home ? As for this statement Staff should provide their own tea and coffee, shouldn't they ?
  10. If so, you could be missing out on valuable credits that would help build up your pension. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38654321
  11. Something came to my attention yesterday.Better just start this off.Shocked me. There are currently 3.7 million children living in poverty in the UK. That’s over a quarter of all children. 1.7 million of these children are living in severe poverty. . In the UK 63% of children living in poverty are in a family where someone works. The Government has a statutory requirement, enshrined in the Child Poverty Act 2010, to end child poverty by 2020. However, it is predicated that by 2020/21 another 1 million children will be pushed into poverty as a result of the Coalition Government’s policies. Check your area out and see how many children are in poverty. POVERTY IN YOUR AREA http://www.endchildpoverty.org.uk/poverty-in-your-area/ Changes will push children into poverty Figures published by the End Child Poverty coalition, of which The Children’s Society is a member, show that nearly three in ten children in Greater Manchester lived in poverty at the end of 2013. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/changes-push-children-poverty-10949893 Peers defeat government over child poverty reports http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-35405479 These child poverty statistics and facts will help to give you an idea of the scale of child poverty in the UK and the affect it can have on: a child's education a child's health the day to day lives of families. https://www.barnardos.org.uk/what_we_do/our_work/child_poverty/child_poverty_what_is_poverty/child_poverty_statistics_facts.htm I have read 43% of Children in Manchester do not have a hot meal,repeated across many areas very worrying. Well i have started this thread about child poverty not knowing much about this problem. What is it like in your area.And have your say.I had not realised there was such a big problem out there. If you have links to back up your point all the better. In Manchester i have noticed a lady trying to raise a few pounds from local businesses to provide a few hot meals in Salford for children. Seems a good idea.Could make a big difference repeated across the country. http://www.poundsforchildpoverty.org.uk/ Bye for now. Tawnyowl.
  12. I am at a loss here with the new rules for Air Passenger Duty which in the Uk apparently no longer applies to travellers under 16. I have booked a trip for my daughter to the USA with American Airlines as she will be spending the summer holidays there with relatives. She will be travelling alone and at time of travel will be 15. Due to her age I couldn't book the ticket online, I had to phone reservations. At British Airways you have to book tickets for minors travelling alone also through reservations rather than online, as British Airways says their online system can't automatically deduct the APD for children at the moment, so you have to go through reservations to avoid being charged. Thought this was the same with AA when it flagged up that you can't book tickets for minors under the age of 16 online. So I phoned the AA reservations line and although it is a UK number I seemed to be connected to the US office. Anyway, it all was far more difficult than anticipated as I asked about the APD and the guy on the phone didn't seem to understand what I was talking about. He quoted me £1105.- for a return ticket which is the same I was quoted online for an adult passenger. I asked whether he had deducted the APD as my daughter was under 16 and he didn't seem to understand what I was talking about. He said their price didn't include any tax apart from the taxes and charges I had to agree to when booking the ticket. So I didn't understand what he was talking about then. He kept asking whether I did agree to pay the charges and taxes and I kept saying yes as long as it is not the APD which my daughter isn't liable for. He said that wasn't being applied, so I booked the ticket and paid the £1105.- However, when I looked at the receipt I noticed that there were carrier imposed charges of £163.- plus £156.85 in taxes. So I wonder whether they DID charge the APD after all and should refund that tax of £156.85 ? But when I call AA they don't seem to understand and keep saying I agreed to those charges when I booked the ticket. They also do not respond to e-mails, I just get a confirmation of receipt saying someone will respond within 48 hours, but nobody does. Has anybody got some advice or information for me on this ?
  13. From 1 October, several changes to the law around smoking come into force. Here’s everything you need to know: Q: What is happening on October 1? A: From that date private vehicles must be smoke free if there are passengers in it who include someone under 18. Q: Is it just the driver who faces prosecution if the law is broken? A: No. If one of the passengers lights up in the vehicle they and the driver will face prosecution. Q: What will happen to those caught? A: They will received a fixed notice penalty of £50. Q: Does the law apply to e-cigarettes? A: No it does not. Q: What happens if there is a 17-year-old who is alone in a vehicle and smoking? A: If that is the case then no-one is committing an offence. Q: What type of private vehicles does the legislation cover? A: It covers any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. A convertible car, or coupe, with the roof completely down and stowed is not enclosed and so isn’t covered by the legislation. But a vehicle with a sunroof open is still enclosed and so is covered. Sitting in the open doorway of an enclosed vehicle is covered by the legislation. Q: Do the new laws apply to motorhomes, campervans and caravans? A: The rules apply to them when they are being used as a vehicle but don’t apply when they are being used as living accommodation. Q: How will it be enforced? A: Enforcement officers - usually the police - will use their discretion to decide whether to issue a warning or a fixed penalty notice, or whether to refer an offence to court. Q: Won’t it be difficult to enforce? A: Yes, according to some police officers, who also warn it might divert officers from other duties. It’s a point conceded by those who campaigned for the law change who hope that just the existence of the new law will deter many from lighting up in their vehicle. Q: Why is the new legislation being brought in? A: To protect children and young people from passive smoking. Those for the bans say every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke they breathe in thousands of chemicals. This puts them at risk of serious conditions, such as meningitis, cancer and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. It can also make asthma worse. Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone, but children are especially vulnerable, because they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems.
  14. Accompanied children under 11 will be able to enjoy free travel on all National Rail services in London from 2 January, At the moment children are only allowed free travel when they are accompanied by a paying adult on Tube, Transport for London (TfL) rail, Docklands Light Railway, and London Overground trips. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-34791332
  15. What do you think. Are some children missing out on the great outdoors and what it offers. Do you think perhaps as technology came in things changed. Do you really think computers help children learn or do you still believe in the old ways. I myself am obsessed with the outdoors ever since a child.The smells as you walk through woods. The crashing waves,and things you can learn on the shoreline. A walk through a forest. The unexpected nature you come across.That never fails to amaze you. First forest i came across was Grizedale Forest in the Lake District.Still think of it to this day. Castles and places like that where you can tell some stories,sometimes tall ones if you feel so inclined. Or your local park,a exciting place to visit. For myself it started when i went looking for a Dipper(a bird) in Wales.With a chap called Cluellyn Magnus Jones in Denbighshire.Way back in the 60s And came across hundreds of rabbits in a field unexpectedly. Just wondering what you out there think of things. Only problem i find as you get slightly older is the fresh air puts you out when you get home. No harm in that and the youngsters sleep well as well. All that fresh air. Just not keen on some questions like-"In your time was everything black and white". With research suggesting that children aren't spending enough time in the great outdoors, Caroline Fitton of the local Wildlife Trust explains why we should be doing more to nurture their love of all things natural. From a falling leaf to a cloud in the sky, nature captures every child's inquisitive sense of wonder. Spending plenty of time outdoors and engaging with nature and wildlife is one of the best things for any child, helping to develop fertile imaginations and bestowing a lifelong appreciation of the natural world. For many of us, spending time outside when we were young was a large and very valuable part of our childhoods; new technology and increased 'screen' time now bring concerns that the new generation are increasingly missing out. Much more on the link. Read more: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/kids-engaging-nature-little-help-Wildlife-Trust/story-28183303-detail/story.html#ixzz3rgNi1XGr
  16. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/children-starting-school-now-could-work-to-100-and-have-40-jobs-a6683266.html Some are predicting that people currently in school may have to work to 100. Not sure what they will be doing ! I can see the state pension age being increased gradually, as the numbers of people drawing money makes it too expensive. What i am doubting is the health of future generations as they are not as physically active, as past generations. Yes healthcare will improve, but there is an increase in dementia and things like diabetes. Also healthcare costs will increase and i am not convinced NHS will remain free at the point of access. From my experience some people do live currently into their 80's or 90's, but they often suffer from many different medical conditions and can end up in care homes, where they start to see quality of life decline. I could not imagine any of them, being fit to work, even part time.
  17. http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?452689-Children-s-charity-bosses-praise-town-hall-over-decision-to-stop-bailiffs-calling-on-families-with-kids-at-home-Manche For the full story http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/childrens-charity-bosses-praise-town-10110772
  18. This is an updated sticky the original started by bookworm can be found HERE The Family Fund - grants for disabled children
  19. In Sept 2014 I booked a Thomson (TUI) holiday in Turkey for July 2015 through Directline Holidays (Broadway Travels) for 10 people including 2 children under 6. In Autumn Statement 2014, the Government announced that from 1 May 2015, APD would be scrapped for children under 12 for both new and existing economy-class bookings. In January 2015 Directline informed me that Thomson had changed the airline from ONUR Airways to Thomas Cook. When the full and final payment was due in April 2015 I questioned Directline about refund of APD and was told that Thomson had many advance bookings to review, and that refund would be forth coming at a later date. After returning from the holiday and waiting for so long I emailed Directline to claim a refund and got the following reply: Thank you for your email, we have reviewed your booking, however, no refunds have been applied. The airlines were doing these refunds automatically and we would therefore assume that no refunds are due on this occasion. Please be assured should we receive any refund from the airline in respect of your booking we will contact you. Yours sincerely on behalf of the Broadway Travel Group Ltd Libby Clarke Customer Relations Department Tel : 0871 716 1004(option 1 & 6)
  20. Police called to home of Jan and Julia Tshabalala on Christmas morning Relative and neighbour discovered couple's bodies in West Sussex house Their two children, who had disabilities, were not at home at the time Hours earlier the children had Christmas dinner with their parents Thought that the couple were found dead after an apparent suicide pact http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2887735/Husband-wife-two-young-children-died-Christmas-morning-suicide-pact-deep-financial-trouble.html
  21. I was going for an administration job and reached the second stage of the recruitment/interview process, when the company suddenly turned around and stated that I would have to undergo a credit check. I have been having a few debt problems on the count of my recent divorce from my ex-partner and had to take out a myriad of loans to keep my family home with 2 young children from going under. The company realised my bad credit score and in the end did not offer me the job because of it. I am struggling to pay my rent on the low income job that I am currently doing which I have been in for the last 5 years.... it's not enough and then when there is a glimmer of hope, it got taken away just like that due to a credit check! So I am desperate to know what other people's experiences with this kind of issue has been and the methods you have taken to move past this. How has this affected you? Because quite frankly, it's affected me and the up keep of my children badly....
  22. Hi all, I have recently made a claim for UC and received an advance due to the time it would take to process my claim. I then received a call a week ago from the Jobcentre saying there was a discrepancy on my claim form. To claim UC, you musn't have any dependant children, to which I answered NO on the claim form online. There is a drop-down which explains what a dependant is; 'For Universal Credit, a dependant child is a child or a qualifying young person who normally lives with you' At the Jobcentre appointment I stated to the advisor that I wasn't available for work on weekends as I have my 4 year old Son (who lives with his mum), on Saturday and Sunday every fortnight. They have now stopped my claim because they say that my son is classed as dependant and living with me. I have tried to get an explanation of their decision but, as yet, no luck. I have even looked online and at HMRC which states that a dependant is; 'a child up to the age of 18 resident at the applicant's permanent address and maintained by the applicant' I explained that if I was to visit my family or friends and stay overnight every fortnight, would this mean I live with them? Also, I asked that if I was then to claim JSA, would I have to be available for work whenever due to me having 'a dependant child'. "i don't know", was the answer! I am still waiting for the call back but meanwhile, could anybody put me in the picture.
  23. Hi I am a pensioner on pension credit residing in my own free hold house. My children have moved and are estranged from me. I have mail coming to my address care of for them. I do not talk to my children we do not get on. I ignore the fact that they send various mail to my residence. I live with one of my children who I have a good relationship with. He is on JSA and together we do not pay any council tax. However the council feels that my estranged children also make up my household. they wrote to me requesting details of who resides with me. I wrote back informing them of the situation. They have now backdated my claim to 2004 and are demanding nearly £10,000 in over payments. They concluded that my estranged children who are in full time work are residing with me. I told them they are free to visit property and check for them selves as we have a lot of clutter you can obviously see spare rooms full of stuff but no beds. Some of the stuff has layers of dust as it has sat in place for ages. The council does not want to inspect and demands payment. I am going to appeal the decision. They demanded I find a way to contact my estranged children and demand they provide me proof of residency at another address and further more submit that proof to me so I can forward it to my local council. This ask is very awkward as I do not talk to them and they do not talk to me. How can the council make the assumption they live with me with out me confirming the same. advice on subject would be appreciated
  24. I would really appreciate anyone's assistance and understanding in a very distressing time for myself and my three young children aged five, three and two. I was in receipt of income support and in July 2011 i was called in to my local Jobcentre for an interview under caution as it had been alleged "that i was living with a partner" the interviewers were a representative from the D.W.P and a representative from my local Council. At the interview, paperwork was produced from the representatives. The paperwork was that of the father of two of my children where he had fraudulently used my address to obtain credit because of his serious gambling problem of which i explained at the interview. on the 7th September 2011 a decision maker wrongly decided that the father of my childrem was living with me when he was most defiantly not from 11/07/2008 to 01/04/2010 and from 30/03/2011 untill the end of my claim, my income support ceased from the 4th October 2011. on the 29th September 2011 i received a letter stating that owe £22453.23 when i received this letter i actually passed out from the shock of such a concerning letter when i knew that the D.W.P had made such a terrible mistake. I also requested on this date for the second time any alleged evidence to be sent to myself as i had only a limited amount of time to appeal the above decision. On the 6th October i sent an appeal form to the relevant department with still not having received any alleged evidence to appeal this incorrect decision with an attached letter,again asking for any alleged evidence. On the 11th October the father of my children sent a letter to the appeals department detailing that he has never nor does he currently live at my address and categorically stating that he has fraudulently used my address to obtain credit. On the 19th October 2011 i sent a letter to the appeals department asking for my appeal to go tribunal service and again requested for any alleged evidence and i also mentioned about my health deteriorating. A letter dated 29th October 2011 was received by myself advising me that the appeals dept had received my appeal. A letter dated 2nd November 2011 was finally received by myself,nearly two months after the decision was made, asking me to fill out a a form to request my alleged evidence of which i filled out and sent back on the 10th November 2011, not allowing myself to refute the alleged evidence before i had to sent back my appeal. On the the 7th January 2012 i received a letter stating that my appeal had been sent the tribunal service i thought finally my case would be heard by the tribunal service and i would get some closure on the matter. On the 28th February 2012 i wrote a complaint, how long it had taken to sent my appeal papers to the tribunal service and i also quoted the customer charter for the d.w.p ( Right treatment, right result, on time and easy access) Stating that the customer charter had not been followed. I then received a letter dated 8th March 2012 stating that a the original decision was revised on the 6th march 2012 James by changing the dates stating from 11/07/2008 to 01/04/2010 and from 26/04/2010 to 03/08/2010 and from 11/10/2010 to 08/02/2011 i was not entitled to income support and therefore the tribunal service sent back my original appeal as it was not for these dates. I then Received a letter dated 12th March 2012 from a customer service manager regarding my complaint on the 28th February 2012 stating that my appeal had been sent to the tribunal service on the 7th of January and to await for contact from the tribunal service. On the 21st of March 2012 i then wrote a letter back stating that i had not heard anything from the tribunal service and asked her is she could chase it up of which i received no reply. On the 28th May 2012 another decision was made, changing the dates yet again to 01/09/2009 to 01/04/2010 and from 26/04/2010 to 03/08/2010 and from 11/10/2010 to 08/02/2011 and from 30/03/2011 to the end of my claim, delaying my appeal again going to the tribunal service. I have provided evidence that he has not lived at my address and does not, in my original appeal in October 2011 and my last appeal dated 14/06/2012 * Letter from his Grandmother stating that he stayed at her address. * Letter from his Freind Stating that he Stayed at his Address * A letter from my mother stating that he Stayed with my now deceased uncle to help him with his daily tasks as he was terminally ill. * A copy of my Son Birth Certificate stating his address at an army barracks when he was in the army. * My daughters Birth Certificate giving his address as his Grandmothers address as mentioned above. * A letter from himn stating that he never lived at my address in great detail. * A letter from Barclays plc Stating that he never lived at my address. * A copy of my bank statement to prove i paid for all the shopping during the time the D.W.P are claiming for. Myself and my children were nearly evicted from my home on the 11th July 2012 for non payment of my mortgage, as myself and my children have been left destitute and if my brother and credit companies had not lent me money, myself and my children would be homeless and starving by now. I was also taken to court on the 17th May 2013 on two charges of benefit fraud one by the Council and one by D.W.P as a result of this accusation and i was found NOT GUILTY of all charges. I have applied for Income support twice since this started once on the 28th June 2012 and was told i am not allowed income support until i declare i have changed my circumstances and declare he no longer lives with me, when he never did. I am not going to falsely declare something as this is fraud and so i was not granted income support. I have applied again for income support on the 28th May 2013 and again have been told the same. A week after my trial when i was found not guilty i received a letter from the D.W.P stating i now owe £16327.19 when i received this letter i was physically sick. the Council have now dropped everything and reinstated my council tax benefit and my single persons occupancy for the period concerned and stated in a letter that on the balance of probabilities he was not living at my address. The D.W.P have now finally submitted my appeal to the tribunal service and i have been advised it can take up to 11 weeks for my appeal to go to tribunal. I have now exhausted all my money borrowing options and owe and considerable amount of money and don't know what else i can possibly do. I recently got admitted to hospital with severe abdominal pains and severe vomiting, my white blood cell count is high and high amylase in my blood. They performed an ultrasound to investigate and could not find any abnormality, my consultant said he believes the reason is severe stress and anxiety and my blood should go back to normal when the stress is over. As you can appreciate this process has been going on for nearly two years in July and i have been without financial assistance since October 2011, myself and my three children are experiencing exceptional hardship and have been for a long time and as you are now aware my health is deteriorating and that in itself is having a negative impact on my children
  25. Hi, I'm pretty shaken up by what's just happened today when Arriva trains Wales refused me and my 2 children (aged 10 and 12) the return journey which we'd started this morning. The conductor refused to let us stay on the train, apparently because of my surfboard. We ended up having to catch a taxi from Borth to Newtown. At 10am this morning I checked with the conductor on the platform that we could buy the tickets on the train, he directed me to where I could place my surfboard and bought a day-return ticket to Borth to catch some waves. En route, he explained that we would need to change carriage in Machynlleth where the train divides and to carry my board along the platform. At no point did he mention that there might be any restrictions on surfboards and as this was the first time I'd taken it on a train and had previously seen others with boards on trains I had no reason to think there might be a problem. At 13:43 we boarded the return train in Borth (not overly full) and as I was placing my board in the cycle area where there was plenty of room (just one bike there), the conductor approached me and said: 'We don't take surfboards'. I tried to explain that I had bought a return ticket with my surfboard that morning with no mention of Arriva not taking surfboards but he was immovable even when my 10 year old, visibly distressed, asked: 'How are we going to get home?' 'We don't take surfboards' was all he said, no apology nor willingness to discuss further. Short of dumping my board, we had no option but to get off. I phoned Arriva customer service whose only suggestion was that I should wait 2 hours for the next train and 'explain' to the conductor what had happened. Considering that was what we'd just done, I rang for a taxi instead having told Arriva that I would be billing them for it. The Customer service crew told me that they had no way of contacting the on-board staff for the later train to intervene on our behalf and that they would not pay for a taxi for us to get home. I've now looked at the Arriva website and it says there may be restrictions on 'surfboards... that cannot be carried without assistance'. I can easily carry my board and had another bag in my other hand. Even if they do have restrictions surely by selling me, my kids and my surfboard a ticket this morning on behalf of Arriva which I bought in good faith, that's a contract and I could reasonably expect to be able to return. The fact that I was left stranded with children by a (second) conductor who clearly didn't give a fig is pretty shocking. Any assistance most appreciated, thanks.
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