Youth worker handcuffs himself to a bench in Weymouth

Youth worker handcuffs himself to a bench in Weymouth

Published by Maria Greenwood at 11:38am 5th December 2019.

A Weymouth youth worker is spending the day handcuffed to a bench in the town centre to highlight the levels of poverty.

Tom Lane has been a Principle Youth Worker at STEPS for 25 years.

Tom who's doing the protest in his own time told Wessex FM:

"Poverty has been growing at an alarming rate across the country and I have seen the effects here in Weymouth, especially in relation to our young people.  

"We have seen an increase in young people who are hungry, who are homeless and who have been affected by the Universal Credit system and sanctions.  

"It is clear that many families are struggling and children are suffering."

homeless person in Weymouth

Tom Lane is being chained to the bench outside WHSmiths from 10am to 5pm and is accompanied by a group of supporters who are handing out flyers.

Philip Marfleet from Weymouth & Portland Action on Wages added: 

"In 2017, Weymouth & Portland had the lowest average wages in the UK and a report last December found that, of all 533 constituencies in England, South Dorset ranked rock bottom for social mobility. 

"In addition, nine wards in Weymouth & Portland are in the top 20% most deprived in the country.  

"Children and pensioners are often the worst affected and, in Weymouth & Portland, 30% of our children are living in poverty and it is as high as 43% in one ward."