Fringe Box



Charity Successfully Helping People To Become Debt Free

Published on: 9 May, 2016
Updated on: 9 May, 2016

A church-based charity is celebrating four years of rescuing local people from personal debt – a free service that has literally been saving lives.

In May 2012, members of a group of Guildford churches decided they wanted to do more to help the local community and partnered with UK debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) to open a local branch.

CAP's Guildford centre manager Jane Seals.

CAP’s Guildford centre manager Jane Seals.

Members of the team have helped more than 120 despairing local families and individuals by offering a free, face-to-face and caring service, which gives both hope and a solution.

The Guildford centre’s manager Jane Seals said: “We have been in a lot of homes during these four years and learned about some very sad situations.

“Debt can be so destructive, making people feel so desperate, scared to go out or even open the curtains. Relationships come under a lot of stress and people worry about keeping their home and providing for their families.

“However, we’ve also seen that however terrible something appears, there is always a solution and the benefit of the way CAP works is that it is really thorough, taking someone step by step to becoming debt free.”

CAP logoJane tells the story of one woman who contacted CAP just before Christmas one year. Shelley (not her real name) was struggling to make ends meet after her partner had left her and her two-year old.

She had discovered that the bills she thought he was paying were actually mounting up and were in her name and she had no way of paying them off as she was living on benefits. To make matters worse her boiler had broken down and her landlord was refusing to get it fixed till after Christmas. Bailiffs were visiting to try to collect arrears of council tax.

Jane’s first action was to take round an electric heater, so that they could at least keep warm. She also advised Shelley what to say to the bailiffs when they called. Then she collected all of Shelley’s financial information and sent it to CAP’s head office, which the caseworkers used to prepare a workable budget.

They advised that it would take Shelley more than five years to pay off her debts, unless her circumstances changed, which seemed unlikely. So they helped her to obtain a Debt Relief Order to clear her debts. Within five months of contacting CAP for help, Shelley was debt free. She is now determined to manage her finances and stick to a budget.

CAP’s service is available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background.

To find out more, visit or call 0800 328 0006

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *