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| hope is belonging

Peter and Dawn’s story

Facing money troubles, Peter and Dawn were drained of confidence and barely left their home.

I wasn’t working and my confidence was low. I’d taken redundancy four years earlier and hadn’t had a job since. Joining CAP Life Skills helped put confidence back in me and I’ve been able to go out and find work.

I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve done the course. You can’t drag Dawn, my wife, away – she loves it that much! It’s a place where you can have a laugh and get to know people. There are so many stories – there was one lady who wouldn’t talk at all when she first came. We couldn’t get a word out of her. Now she’s so chatty. And she laughs!

It’s done wonders for us both. It’s made a difference in both of us with budgeting; that’s what I needed. With Dawn, she needed confidence being in crowded rooms. It has helped her a lot.

The best thing about Life Skills for me is meeting people, sharing a meal together and making friends. You get to know different people with various problems and you start to feel not so alone. I had a get-together for my 50th last year and a few people from the Life Skills group came. We enjoyed it a lot!

CAP helped us with our debts as well. Laura came to our home. She was a big help. We know how to manage our bills now and became debt free through CAP. We don’t worry so much anymore.

Faith was a new thing to me when I started working with CAP. I thought I’d give it a try as it felt like there was someone up there helping me! I go along to church on a Sunday now. I have a bite to eat and sing along and have a chatter. I’ve made friends.

We’re going to keep going back to Life Skills. There’s no end! That’s how much we like and enjoy the group. We’re making more and more friends. I invited a mate and he has started coming along as well now. I know he’ll take a bit of time to get used to it, but I think it will really help him. If Life Skills can build his confidence like it did mine and Dawn’s, that will be a big mission done.

Today, they’re in church and have found a whole new community of people to call family, all thanks to your support.

| hope is belonging

| hope is action

Bryan's story

Addiction left Bryan shattered. With his marriage at breaking point, he felt so hopeless that he thought suicide was the only way out.

"I had an addiction to spending money I didn’t have. I was lying to my wife. I’d try to pay the credit cards without her knowing I had them and falsify what I’d spent on bank statements.

It all came to a head when Nicky, my wife, found out. I’d applied to get half the money back from my life insurance so that I could pay off one of the credit cards. I couldn’t face it. The only way out that I could see was doing the unthinkable.

The Fresh Start group came at the ideal time. I didn’t know what to expect, but the way they dealt with my situation was amazing.

Each week we had a goal and a target to achieve. Together, the group talked about how we cope with our problems or any fears we had. Everyone had a reason for being there. It was a community. I also had a mentor who supported me one-to-one. We’d meet up for coffee and talk about how I was doing.

I don’t know where I’d be, or if I’d be here, if I hadn’t done Fresh Start.

My life has changed completely. Now Nicky and I can talk and be open about money. People say I look more relaxed in myself and calmer. They can see the worry and stress has gone away since last year. I’ve changed for the better!

I didn’t think I had an addiction at the start, but now I know an addiction can be anything – it doesn’t have to be drinking or gambling. It all tied together when we were discussing faith. Without that, I don’t know if I’d have liked the course. Being Bible-based helped a lot, and I started to want to read the Bible more as well.

If I could say something to anyone struggling with addiction, it’s that you can get through it if you put your mind to it. With Fresh Start, you’ll have the support you need. It’s not about finger-pointing and someone telling you that you’re wrong – it’s there to help you get through it.

Taking action in my situation is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life – other than getting married of course!"

Your support meant there was a Fresh Start group in Bryan’s area, where he was empowered to take steps to tackle his addiction and restore his marriage.

| hope is action

| hope is opportunity

Christina’s story

As she discovered freedom both financially and spiritually, opportunities began to open up. Today, through her work as a hairdresser, God has positioned Christina to share the good news and help others find hope.

I got myself into a bad situation financially and I was in a lot of debt. People were banging on the door at all times of day. The worst was 6am on a Saturday morning. It got to the point where I wouldn’t answer the door to anyone. I was being threatened with eviction and I still had my children, who are young adults, living with me. I didn’t want them to lose their home.

I’d been suffering with depression and anxiety for many years and had recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. On top of that, I was dyslexic. Managing money was a real struggle and there was nobody I felt I could turn to for help. 

It felt like society had written me off and that the constant hopelessness must be my lot in life.

I’d been given a leaflet for CAP, so I rang up and they arranged for a Debt Coach, Gayle, to visit with a befriender. They were so lovely. Gayle was very empathetic and encouraging. She helped me understand how my condition could be impacting my ability to manage money.

At the end of the visit, they asked to pray with me. I looked at them and thought, ‘There’s something different about you’. I had my own faith, but I didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. Every time I rang CAP, they offered to pray with me and it stirred my curiosity.

I was so absorbed by the debt and worry, but out of it came an amazing spiritual journey. I’ve got to know God properly. I can’t describe the feeling – you’re not immune to sadness, but it changes your whole perspective on life and circumstances. It’s wonderful! CAP was God’s tool to get me right with him.

Now I love to share my faith and my journey with others. I’m a befriender with CAP and I work as a hairdresser, so I get to meet all sorts of people. I never want to push it on people, but you get to talk to people naturally about things. About how God works in our lives. We plant seeds and the Holy Spirit grows it!

I’m debt free now and there’s a brightness in my future that I couldn’t see before. I no longer feel like a write-off. Mentally I’m doing well, but the biggest healing wasn’t through medical professionals, it was from Jesus.

| hope is opportunity

| hope is restoration

Sharon’s story

Having suffered years of domestic abuse, Sharon’s world had fallen apart. 

But when she walked into church after being invited by her CAP Debt Coach, the pieces began to fit back together. Now walking with Jesus and finding the strength to let go of her past, your support has helped restore Sharon’s life. 

I was going through domestic violence. I moved so many times to get away from my partner and the debts built up. I had seven children, no money and I wasn’t working.

I wouldn’t open the curtains. I lived in the dark. I used to wear dark clothes so no one would see me or notice me. 

Eventually I had a nervous breakdown and it was then that my counsellor suggested CAP.

Since the first meeting with Katherine and Carol from CAP, my life has been going up and up. They came through the door and my worries started to fade.

They prayed with me in that first visit and afterwards I felt so good. Katherine invited me to church and as soon as I walked in, I thought, ‘This is where I belong’. I haven’t missed a week since. My daughter started coming too, and my son, who I thought would never come to church. He takes four buses to get there!

When I became debt free through CAP, I started thinking what I could do to give back. CAP and the church have helped me so much – God has come into my life and changed everything. He opened up my eyes to so many things. Now when I meet people on a similar journey, I tell them about how CAP didn’t just sort my debt situation, it brought God into my life.

Before, I was such a bitter person. Now I know God’s love and his forgiveness, I’ve been able to forgive my ex-partner who abused me. I went round to my daughter’s house and he was there. I stood in front of him and said, ‘I forgive you’. I knew I had to do it or I’d never move on.

When CAP and the Church are involved, they don’t just leave you. That’s what I love. Even now I’m debt free, the church community is still there for me and I’m still growing.

| hope is restoration

Want to know a secret?

Every dot throughout this page represents one of the thousands of lives transformed in 2019 because of you, your generosity and your prayers.

Every dot is a family no longer trapped in poverty. A parent now able to heat their home. Someone no longer isolated and alone thanks to their local church community.

Have another scroll through and let that sink in.

Thousands of families were helped in 2019, but there are thousands more who urgently need your help to find hope. Whose story will you help to write this year?

| hope is you.

Mike and Peter – Easy riders

Last year, long-time CAP supporters Mike and Peter cycled from John O’Groats in Scotland to Lands End in Cornwall – a whopping 985 miles over ten days! The pedal power pair raised £1536.25, not to mention a whole lot of respect from all of us.

‘Supporting CAP means a lot to both of us. We know the community of a church and the invitation to explore faith allows someone’s life to be transformed at every level. We’re just two guys doing our little bit. We’re part of a much bigger picture. People all over the UK are doing fantastic things in aid of CAP and we want to encourage and challenge every one of you – what can you do in 2020 to make an even bigger impact?’

Christina – Speaker extraordinaire

In between working her socks off as the London Barnet Debt Centre Manager, Christina is one of our most prolific CAP Speakers. She loves visiting churches, sharing all that God is doing through CAP and inspiring people to get involved.

‘What I love most about being a CAP Speaker is meeting so many people who desire to worship God, share the gospel and serve their community. I get people coming up to me and sharing how my message has confirmed God’s calling on their lives! It’s all because of Jesus – the miracles I’ve witnessed are not due to my work but his.’

Jean – Exhibition hero

Jean is just one of the incredible supporters who volunteered for CAP in 2019, giving up her time to help out at exhibitions like Big Church Day Out and New Wine’s United conference.

‘Part of the summer exhibition stand was set up showing a bed, made up of bin liners stuffed with old clothes. It represented the real situation of one family helped by CAP. As I explained it to a couple, I burst into tears. It made me realise the reality that some clients face. I think in that moment, God reminded me that behind all the fun of the exhibition, vulnerable people need CAP.’

John – Super-supporter

What didn’t John do for CAP last year? As well as bringing vital money management skills to dozens in leading the CAP Money Course and spreading the word as a CAP Speaker, he did an incredible job raising funds for his two local Debt Centres in Keighley, West Yorkshire. And just in case he wasn’t busy enough, John is a regular at his monthly prayer meeting for CAP locally and nationally.

‘CAP is confronting injustice head-on and I’m privileged to be part of enabling that work to develop.’