Debt charity workers predict busiest week
Situation ‘provides a snapshot of how things were several years ago’
While the economy in some areas has seen an upturn, Christians Against Poverty is still hearing from thousands of people in desperate circumstances.
Nigel Gordon, manager of the Amersham and Chesham centre, based at Emmanuel Church, in Broad Street, said: “Most of our clients have been struggling with problem debt for more than three years by the time they get in touch with us.
“So what we’re seeing now reflects a snapshot of how things were several years ago.
“The main thing is, people are finding a way forward with a situation that can seem overwhelming.
“We’ve already seen three people go debt-free in the past few weeks”
It has been a busy start to the year for CAP nationally, with 24 per cent more calls for help in January 2016 compared with January 2015.
So far this year, more than 3,000 people have telephoned for help.
CAP in Chesham is run through a partnership of several churches including Emmanuel and King’s churches, in Chesham and Amersham, all of whom wanted to help those in hardship in the local community.
Every person who calls from the local area receives a visit to their home from Mr Gordon.
All the person’s paperwork, overdue bills and letters about arrears are then sent to CAP’s head office, where they answer each one and begin negotiations with creditors.
One client helped by the local centre described what CAP’s help was like. He said: “I was grateful to see the debt going down and to hand this stress over to someone else.”
Mr Gordon added: “Many people really struggle through these first months of the year and commonly people feel they should be able to sort out debt problems on their own, which is lonely and frightening.
“If you’re unable to sleep at night, worrying about money for food or receiving too many calls from people wanting money, we are here for you. Give us a call.”
For more information visit www.capuk.org or call 0800 328 0006.