Doncaster protest over health assessments

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A rally will be held in Doncaster town centre this week to protest about sickness benefit assessments.

It will be part of a nationwide protest organised by a group known as Rebellion UK.

Doncaster organiser Kelly Anderson is hoping baout 100 people will turn out for the event on Wednesday, February 19.

It was originally planned for outside Crossgate House in Wood Street, where the fitness to work assessments are carried out, but police have advised them not to because of roadworks.

Kelly said they had decided to move the rally, starting at 8am, to outside the Civic Office in Sir Nigel Gresley Square.

Kelly, aged 37, is one of those affected becasue she suffers from fybromyalgia, diagnosed four years ago, which has been the subject of a work capacity assessment.

She had not yet received notification of the decision but suspects she will not earn enough points to continue receiving her Employment Support Allowance.

Those that fail the tests can take the matter to appeal and Kelly say about 40 per cent of claimants are winning their appeals.

The assessments look at an individual’s physical and mental capabilities and concentrates on the functional effects of an individual’s condition rather than the condition itself.

“People are being classified as fit to work and having their benefits scrutinised, which is leading to hardship. We want as many people to join the rally to make our voices heard,” said Kelly, who is 37, and lives in Sandringham Road, Intake.

She is hoping to recruit street performers to entertain the protesters who are planning to be there until about 1pm.

Anyone wanting to join the rally or provide entertainment can contact Kelly on 01302 739454 or email her on