The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Christian charity shows pain of East Anglia debt

AngelaRusbridge400Debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty has today launched a report showing the painful effects of living with debt in our region. Jenny Seal reports.

The national debt counselling charity, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), which has two church-based centres in Norfolk, has revealed that many of their East Anglian clients say that the stress of debt has affected their health, their ability to feed their children and their desire to live.
The new report, launched today, says that 72 per cent of clients in East Anglia said that before accessing help from the debt counselling charity, stress was affecting their health and a quarter were missing meals regularly. A fifth said they were unable to feed and clothe their children and a third said they were even considering suicide.
Angie Rusbridge (pictured), Manager of the Norfolk North CAP centre in Aylsham said: “These statistics show the reality that people in debt face every day and it’s a grim picture.
“Debt doesn’t just concern your bank balance – it can rob you of your health, your marriage, your ability to care for your family. That’s why we are so determined to make a difference for people in this situation.”
Within the East, the average debt the charity tackled in 2012 was £11,976 – just a little more than most of those clients earned in a whole year.
CAP’s findings reveal the main four causes for debt across the UK are unemployment, low income, relationship breakdown and problems with budgeting.
Angie Rusbridge added: “Many of the clients we see are having to make terrible choices about eating or heating or pacifying creditors. Our service is free and available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background and it’s completely non-judgemental so I would urge people with debt problems to give us a call and to see what we can do.”
CAP has 218 centres, which each partner with a local church, across the UK which give a face-to-face free service in the client’s home making it ideal for parents with young children, elderly, disabled and distressed people.
The charity works by negotiating with creditors on the client’s behalf, assessing the household income and drawing up a fair budget so repayment can begin.
Each client can continue face-to-face care from the local church, if they want it, to encourage them as they battle back into the black, usually within five years.
For more information about CAP visit www.capuk.org or for help call 0800 328 0006.
The Norwich Central CAP centre works in partnership with Surrey Chapel, 2-6 Botolph Street, Norwich, NR3 1DU email: norwichcentral@capuk.org.
The North Norfolk centre works in partnership with Aylsham Community Church, Jubilee Family Centre, Norwich Road, Aylsham, NR11 6JG

To submit a story or to publicise an event please email: web@networknorwich.co.uk