Thousands of people across the UK, from every age and background, are struggling with problem debt today and CAP is fighting as hard as ever to help them towards a debt free life. Of course, one way of doing this is to help stop people from getting into debt in the first place – and that’s the thinking behind our newest service, CAP Life Skills, which launched officially on Tuesday at Westminster.
Living with the pressures of a low income can affect every part of your life, from the food you eat, to the things you do in your spare time, to your relationships with the people you love. That’s why last year we began piloting CAP Life Skills, an initiative built on the key principles of our award-winning CAP Money Course (which itself helps 11,000 people each year) and expanded to deal with a wider range of modern-day issues. With both practical and holistic support being paramount, the eight-session course aims to help members develop the skills and uncover the self-confidence to live well, whatever their income.
The sessions cover all sorts of subjects in a fun and relaxed environment, from how to work out a budget and make your money go further, to hands-on lessons on how to shop, cook and eat healthily for less. The course also takes into account the deeper impact of financial hardship, with sessions on, for example, how to maintain healthy relationships when money’s thrown into the mix.
In its pilot phase, CAP Life Skills has accumulated more than 50 centres across the country, and has already helped lots of people to make important changes to their lifestyles. Many members said their financial situation had brought stress to their life and some even said they had been afraid to look at their bank account. However, since taking part in the course, a huge number said they’ve found peace not only through knowing how to navigate their income, but discovering a life with God too. Simon, a CAP Life Skills member, said, ‘Before we knew God, life was full of negativity. There was money and stress. We were searching for this happiness, and for us God and Jesus gave us that inner peace and we’re building it every day. Life is getting better every single day.’
Having seen such a successful pilot phase, CAP Life Skills was officially launched at Westminster on 7 March, in a brilliant event attended by around seventy guests, including thirty-one MPs. Stephen Crabb, MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, tweeted, ‘Strong cross party support today @CAPuk #CAPLifeSkills launch in Parliament. Helping people break cycles of debt & poverty for good.’
It’s going to be exciting to see how CAP Life Skills grows in the follow up to its launch, and we’d love to see more churches partnering with us to run a course. If you’d like to help people in your community to transform the way they see, spend and save money, get in touch with CAP and we’ll give you the tools and training to set up CAP Life Skills in your church. Click here for details.
Click here to find your nearest life skills course.