Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Declan lodges his complaint against the Sisters of Mercy

This morning Declan lodged a formal complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy with the manager of Providence Row on the grounds of unlawful discrimination – in the previous blog, I publish the letter that Declan sent to the Duke of Norfolk, who is Patron of Providence Row (see “Letter to the Duke of Norfolk”). Basically, the Department for Work and Pensions and Haringey Council are making it as difficult as possible for us to secure the benefits we are entitled to and, to further exacerbate the situation, for the last two weeks the Sisters of Mercy have been denying us access to food, starting with Declan on 17 August (see blog of 17 August “Declan barred from the Dellow Centre”).

For the record, this is the complaint Declan lodged this morning against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy addressed to the Chief Executive of Providence Row, Mrs. Jo Ansell:

Subject: A complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Dear Mrs. Ansell,

Previous correspondence refers. Pursuant to your standard Complaints Procedure, this morning I handed to you a completed formal complaint form of even date addressed to the manager of Providence Row together with supporting documents. I hereby request that Providence Row acknowledge my complaint “in writing in 3 working days”. I prefer to receive this response in person at the Dellow Centre.

The complaint reads as follows:


Does your complaint involve a member of staff or volunteer

NO YES - Name of staff member or volunteer:

My formal complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy for unlawful discrimination involves the Chief Executive of Providence Row, Mrs. Jo Ansell.

Is your complaint about another client?

NO YES - Name of client

What date (and time) did the incident happen?

19 August 2009

Are there any witnesses? (Write in their names)

Mr. Keith Armitage, Reception and Support Services Manager

Please outline your complaint:

On 19 August 2009 my wife and I were denied access to food in the Dellow Centre of Providence Row, London because, according to a Providence Row letter of 18 August, our “room/flat” is deemed by the charity “to be stable accommodation” (see Supporting Documents, p. 14).

As I have explained in my correspondence of 24 August to the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy, Sr. Coirle McCarthy, I again wrote on 24 August to the Chief Executive of Providence Row, Mrs. Jo Ansell, requesting that the Providence Row charity acknowledge the following facts in respect of our unstable circumstances, having been rough sleepers for more than two and a half years (from 3 November 2006 to 13 July 2009):


(1) We have a three-month Shorthold Tenancy Agreement dated 14 July 2009 and no rent book;

(2) Our first week's rent was paid by Dr. James H. Fetzer, Distinguished McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota, because Haringey Council refused to pay rent prior to the first Monday after my claim for housing benefit was made;

(3) The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has lost my wife's National Insurance Number (NINO) and Broadway Homelessness and Support have been waiting for a letter of invitation for the NINO reallocation appointment since 27 July;

(4) We have received a total of £230 in crisis loans from the DWP since 20 July 2009 while waiting for my joint claim for Jobseeker's Allowance to be processed.


As I have further explained to Sr. McCarthy in an email letter of 28 August with attachments (see Supporting Documents, pp. 5-12), the day previous I received a Providence Row letter of 24 August signed by Mr. Keith Armitage, Reception and Support Services Manager, stating: "I have been asked by Jo Ansell to let you know that she will not enter into email correspondence with you regarding your grievances against Providence Row Charity and The Dellow Centre.” (see Supporting Documents, p. 13). I hereby lodge with the manager of Providence Row a formal complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy on the grounds of unlawful discrimination.

cc Sr. Coirle McCarthy, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy
His Grace Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
His Grace The Duke of Norfolk, Patron of Providence Row
Alderman Sir Michael Oliver, Vice President of Providence Row
Mr. Simon Bartley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Providence Row
Mr. Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of Broadway Homelessness and Support
Mrs. Jo Ansell, Chief Executive of Providence Row

Please fill in your details in block capitals:-

NAME: DECLAN HEAVEY

ADDRESS: I prefer to receive a response in person at the Dellow Centre

(we can give you response in person at the Dellow Centre if you have no postal address or would prefer this)

DATE: 1 September 2009


I attach the supporting documents submitted with this complaint.

You will note that I am taking the time to copy the Archbishop of Westminster, His Grace Archbishop Vincent Nichols, into my current situation. As you are aware, I will be lodging forthwith a formal complaint against the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy with Archbishop Nichols on the grounds of unlawful discrimination.

In the event of error in transmission, please note that the order of attachments is as follows:

Sr-McCarthy(28.8.09).htm
- Att 1: McKenzie(22.8.09).htm
- Att 2: Ansell(25.6.08).htm
- Att 3: Archbishop-Nichols(14.5.09).htm
PR-letter(24.8.09).jpg
PR-letter(18.8.09).jpg

Yours sincerely,

Declan Heavey

cc Sr. Coirle McCarthy, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of Mercy
His Grace Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
His Grace The Duke of Norfolk, Patron of Providence Row
Alderman Sir Michael Oliver, Vice President of Providence Row
Mr. Simon Bartley, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Providence Row
Mr. Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of Broadway Homelessness and Support