Ken started working life in the army, aged 17. He left in 1979 and lived thirty-five years in Germany, working in a brickmaking factory and a chemical production plant. When his marriage ended, he returned to the UK, living in a bedsit and job-hunting. He applies for up to fourteen jobs per week and says, “Ninety-nine per cent of the time, there’s no reply.” Ken’s Housing Benefit doesn’t cover his rent fully, so he has to top it up from his £72.40 Jobseeker’s Allowance. After bills, he has about £20 per week for food. Ken says of the job centre, “No one knows you. You’re just a number. No one will go the extra mile for you. Job centres are supposed to help you, but in my experience that doesn’t happen. You’re second class to them, and treated like dirt.”