In 2007, the world was hit with a devastating financial crisis. One of the most dramatic effects of the crisis was the failure of key business, declining social and infrastructural development of our communities,resulting to a global recession. Thousands of people lost their jobs, swelling the ranks of unemployment.
With Hastings being known for the worst rate of unemployment, it is almost the norm to walk past a busker or beggar.
“Do you have any spare change?” is the most frequent question asked, when strolling through Old Town. In 2010, The Observer reported that there are currently 15 people claiming Job Seeker's allowance for every one current vacancy in the town.
Jason, 44 years old, father of two is one of these unfortunate victims of this financial crisis. After 10 years of working as an Insurance Fraud Investigator, he lost his job in 2011. “It wasn't really the best job he says, you’re working for the man, but it paid my bills”.
Following one year claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, he decided along with his friend , also unemployed, to go start busking. After he found out he could make little money from busking, he signed off the allowance a month later.
The money he makes, he says, depends on the day. Some days are better than others, but it highly depends on the weather. “Three years of busking, and I have never looked back”, he continues to say.“Finally I get do something I am passionate about and earn some money. I might not be the richest of men, but if through my music I can make someone smile, that’s rewarding for me.”
Jason might be one of the few who is making something out of nothing, but across the UK there are 791,200, people who are struggling to make ends meet, and are signing up for Job Seeker’s allowance daily.
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