Debt charity inundated with calls for help


A charity which tackles debt is fully booked up until April with people who need help.

Christians Against Poverty runs local debt centres in Hastings and St Leonards, and says the post-Christmas rush to get finances sorted has begun in earnest.

Already in the first working week of 2015, CAP received 479 calls across the UK for debt help. Hastings and St Leonards CAP Centre is currently booked up until end of March.

Recent research from CAP has shown that people often struggle for years with personal debt following income changes caused by events such as losing a job or a relationship breakdown.

CAP, which was set up in Hastings in May 2013, expects the second Monday in February to be the day it receives the most calls for help.

Hastings and St Leonards Centre manager Nick Warren, said: “Every week, the busiest day for debt help calls is a Monday, when people have had time over the weekend to resolve to seek help.

“We see a rise in calls during January and February because most people can’t face tackling their finances before Christmas. When these two elements come together, we see our busiest time.

“As our reach extends to more areas, with more debt coaches, we are set to see more people booked in than ever before.

“In a Church Urban Fund deprivation survey every single parish in Hastings came in the bottom 20 per cent. We know poverty is a big issue and the demand is constant. Four in 10 people believe that no one can help them with their debts, according to some research we’ve done. It can feel like you’ve hit a brick wall but we see ‘impossible’ situations where people get their debts cleared. There are people to help and it can get sorted, however complicated or dire it seems. Anyone having sleepless nights, unable to afford the basics or worried about meeting their rent or mortgage should call us, or one of the other good free debt agencies, and see how we can help.”

Anyone calling CAP for help can rings 0800 328 0006 and are booked in for a home visit.

Then all the person’s outstanding bills and letters from creditors are sent to CAP’s head office in Bradford. The charity negotiates with each creditor on behalf of the client and draws up a budget to begin to repay what is owed. Christians Against Poverty is a charity determined to reduce hardship in the UK, with the help of local churches. It has 270 debt counselling centres; a money education programme called The CAP Money Course and CAP Job Clubs for unemployed people.

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