Recently, due to Media Studies being one of my subjects, I had the pleasure of watching ‘I, Daniel Blake’. Despite it not being as ‘interesting’ as our other set text, ‘Straight Outta Compton’, I felt that this movie left more of a lasting impact. The situation presented in the movie was one that happens all too frequently and is sometimes even treated as awfully as shown on the screen. According to ‘Shelter’ (a charity aiming to help those struggling with homelessness), there are roughly 320,000 people in Britain without homes as of November 2018.

The causes of homelessness vary from person to person. Usually, it is caused by a combination of personal and structural complications, with personal including individual factors and familial situations, and structural including unemployment and poverty. In ‘I, Daniel Blake’, his unemployment comes not from lack of qualifications or general laziness, but from a health issue that was overlooked by the system.

One particular issue relating to homelessness is money. For those aged 25 and over, the minimum wage is £8.21 per hour, which means you’d be earning £287.35 every week if you worked full time. In London, the average rental price is £665.87 per week, though it can vary from £179 to £7,474 depending on certain factors. Many people, particularly students whose minimum wage is at most £6.70 per hour, cannot afford to stay in this area and become homeless because of this.

Another issue with money is charity, both voluntary work such as ‘Shelter’ and giving money to someone you walk by in the street. A lot of people have raised concerns over the genuineness of beggars and of charities claiming to help people. Questions such as, “Are they using my money correctly?” and, “What if that charity just uses the money for themselves?” are common when someone considers a charitable act. While this is true in some cases, they are the acts of selfish individuals preying on the kindness of others, and should not be representative of these people.

The majority of those struggling financially are hardworking people determined to correct their situation with no knowledge of where to turn to. With the rise of the internet in the last decade, it has become infinitely easier to find information about anything. Websites such as,, and provide guidance on what to do about different topics, including preparation of an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) medical assessment (the test that Daniel Blake is heard and seen to be taking at the very start of the movie), private renting, benefits, and more. is a website where you can seek advice on what to do about health-related issues and work, with a live chat available.

‘I, Daniel Blake’ is a fascinating and thought-provoking movie that sheds light on so many people’s lives. For some, they were not able to receive help from the state at all due to lack of knowledge or lack of circumstances that allow them to receive that help. While this movie’s plot focuses more on the tragic side of the system, where he did as he was told and still could not get the proper help needed, it is a fantastic showcase of the process that often leads to getting benefits or paves the way to financial stability.