The Galloway News - - NEWS - Stu­art Gille­spie

A coun­selling ser­vice is urg­ing peo­ple not to plunge them­selves into debt in the run up to Christ­mas.

Chris­tians Against Poverty has is­sued the warn­ing with less than 100 days to go un­til the big day.

The char­ity has a cen­tre in Cas­tle Dou­glas run by the New Life Church and is cur­rently help­ing a num­ber of peo­ple out of debt.

Cen­tre man­ager Ca­tri­ona Thom­son said: “With per­sonal bor­row­ing on the rise, we are warn­ing peo­ple to plan what they are go­ing to spend this Christ­mas and save as much as they can.

“This way, with 100 days to go they can en­joy a Christ­mas with­out credit.

“Ev­ery year we see peo­ple whose fi­nances were al­ready frag­ile but too much Christ­mas spend­ing pushed them over the edge.

“It doesn’t have to be that way if you start early. Just sav­ing £5 per week now will give you £70 to spend on presents and food.

“Of course, we’re miss­ing a trick if we think Christ­mas is only about spend­ing money.

“Mem­o­ries are not about which la­bel we buy. They are made by spend­ing time to­gether with fam­ily and friends. Once you’ve started to pre­pare, you can get that per­spec­tive in­stead of the usual last minute panic that can re­sult in credit and the worry that fol­lows.”

CAP’s ser­vices can be used by ev­ery­one, re­gard­less of their age, gen­der, faith or back­ground.

All clients are vis­ited by mem­bers of the cen­tre, who will talk them through the process and col­lect their pa­per­work. The team at the head of­fice then ne­go­ti­ate with cred­i­tors and de­velop a bud­get to en­sure peo­ple can go debt free.

Ca­tri­ona added: “If you are strug­gling to pay the bills and you’re be­ing chased for money you don’t have, please let us help you. One phone call to the Freep­hone num­ber 0800 328 0006 could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween a merry Christ­mas or a mis­er­able one.”

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, e-mail Cat rio na at ca­tri­ona-thom­son@ca­puk. org or call 07745 277655.

Fi­nances are al­ready frag­ile but Christ­mas can push peo­ple over the edge Ca­tri­ona Thom­son

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