Calling all West Cumbrians. Are you one of the 3,000,000 people in the UK in one of these groups?

Those in between jobs or due to start new jobs after March 19

The newly self-employed and new businesses

The self-employed with either low profits or profits above £50,000

Workers in less than 50% self-employment

New parents on parental leave

Workers on PAYE freelance short-term contracts

Low investment start-ups

Small limited company owner-directors

Businesses ineligible for grants

Despite the cast iron promises from the Government to support everyone financially during the Covid-19 shutdown, you’ve had no income from your work and found the rules around all the available loans, grants and benefits excluded you from any help?

You may be feeling desperate now, with no earnings for over 100 days and bills still needing to be paid. You may be feeling angry, isolated and let down but unsure where to turn. Please don’t despair.

I too closed my Cockermouth business in March as instructed by the government and as the rules currently stand will get no help, so I was relieved to come across a campaigning group called Excluded UK and would like to tell you about it.

Started on May 14 and run by and for ordinary people like you and me it has already attracted many thousands of members. It has also worked successfully with MP Jamie Stone to get 150+ sympathetic MPs from all political parties together who are determined to try to have this injustice acknowledged and put right by the government.

That’s great. However, if we are going to get redress, those of us who did as we were asked, but have had zero financial support, need to keep up the pressure on the government too. So, if you have been affected, why not join this group. Just search for Excluded UK on Facebook and ask to join.

By being part of this campaign, you’ll be helping to make sure, that as we were promised, everyone in the UK is treated fairly in relation to Government financial help during this pandemic.

Sharon Watson