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calendar08 October 2018

Author: Marianne Clough

Four things we’ve learned from saying ‘yes’ to a documentary

Four things we’ve learned from saying ‘yes’ to a documentary

One: We are what it says on the tin but turns out not everyone likes what’s in the tin.

Even though we are Christians Against Poverty, a name that explicitly spells out who we are and what we do, people still question who we are and what we do. Is CAP legit? Ask the FCA, the LSE ( , listen to Martin Lewis, hear from the Archbishop of Canterbury. Better still, talk to our clients. We won't win everyone over, of course, but we know the church brings another layer of care which is unique to CAP.

There are lots of good debt agencies out there and we are all needed because sadly, there are a lot of people in debt crisis.

Two: It wasn’t a perfect representation of CAP but still worth doing.

Of course, there are frustrations that the documentary didn’t show all we wanted but viewers aren’t daft. They see through it. The clients’ transformation from the start to the end of the programme shone through. We hear that Ronnie is feeling more 'pukka' than ever, by the way, and long may that continue.

Three: We also felt the love.

A team of us were kept busy on social media through Friday night and #TheDebtSaviours was trending. Across the weekend it never stopped. We even had one church offering John Kirkby a spot on their worship team which made us laugh a whole lot. People took time to encourage our staff in their various congregations on Sunday, saying how uplifting it was to see the church in action on TV and that they'd been very moved. Supporters and clients had some very kind words for us and told us some eye-opening stories. One contact in the finance industry wrote in especially to describe CAP as 'a national treasure' (thank you!). Then there were the calls… oh the calls!

Four: The response was immediate.

We had extra teams volunteering to keep special phone lines open during the broadcast and those in need didn't wait until the end of the show. In the first few minutes of The Debt Saviours, the calls began. Website hits went through the roof as people Googled us and how to get help and we were glad of so many planning meetings! People in need recognised themselves in the lives of Ronnie and Holly and wanted the same freedom from debt and isolation. A million people in the UK are in outright destitution right now - and they didn't need a second invitation. The Monday after broadcast was our highest ever on record for booking people for that first home visit.

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