According to the Centre for Social Justice, debt is one of the five major pathways to poverty in the UK.
For those already struggling with the costs of day-to-day living, adding the repayments, interest and charges associated with debt can often be the tipping point. The mental health problems such as stress and anxiety that are intrinsically linked then create a cycle of pressures and social problems. This means that, for many, debt is very easy to get into but nearly impossible to get out of alone.
Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national charity set up in response to these issues. Its mandate is to relieve poverty and bring justice to those in need through top quality debt counselling and financial education in partnership with local churches, so that people can experience and respond to the love of Jesus.
Hope Church is opening a CAP Centre, operating out of its offices in the centre of Winchester. Its aim is to reach out to those in need, hardship or distress by reason of their social or economic circumstances by offering face-to-face support and a comprehensive debt management service, allowing clients to become debt free. The services are completely free and available to anyone regardless of background or belief. They include budgeting and specialist advice, creditor negotiation and a full insolvency service. To help clients stick to their budgets, we normally set up a debt management plan. Clients then make one weekly, biweekly or monthly payment into their plan to cover their debt repayments which CAP then distributes to their creditors.
We also provide integral and long-lasting support to combat the emotional and spiritual poverty that the isolating burden of debt can generate and to befriend and encourage clients during their journey to freedom. Face-to-face meetings take place in the clients’ homes or wherever they may feel most comfortable. Hope Church will be seeking to work alongside different community and charitable agencies and in partnership with other free debt advice organisations such as housing associations, the councils, social services and other community groups.
Nationally, CAP has helped many thousands of people to take control of their finances and see their lives transformed. Marriages have been restored, children kept fed and clothed, depression and anxiety lifted, and suicides prevented. If you need help today, or know someone who does, please call 0800 328 0006 to arrange a home visiting appointment or visit www.capuk.org.
Barry Smith – CAP Manager