Huge cheers greeted Martin Lewis as he visited CAP HQ for the first time this week.
As one of the charity’s most outspoken and supportive advocates, for many years, it was a real treat for everyone working here to say thank you and hear from him in person.
Martin addressed staff saying: ‘I’m delighted to be among true life savers. People think when you talk about saving lives and money they think it’s hyperbole, it’s exaggeration but finance is not some arcane bit of the accounts. It affects the roof over your head, it affects your relationships and whether you can talk and look after your children. It’s one of the biggest causes of suicide and divorce in this country.’
‘Christians Against Poverty isn’t about helping Christians, it’s about helping people. The drive, the reason you do it, is your Christianity and your faith and I will never knock that. I think that’s right. The most important thing is the enormous number of results, and every time I mention Christians Against Poverty, I get people who tell me how it’s changed their lives.
‘I, not as a member of your faith, will continue to support you with every ounce of being that I have because you are doing good. I don’t care whether you wear a Christian hat, a Jewish hat, a agnostic hat or a secular hat. If you are doing good, you should be lauded and supported, acclaimed and applaused and I will do all of those things.’
CAP Founder John Kirkby presented him with an engraved harmonica so he could join in the next debt free celebration, which came during the tour of the offices and he recorded a message of encouragement to the clients in question who had paid off their debts over several years of hard work and determination.
Touring the offices, Martin was able to meet Catherine, someone who had been living in real adversity for years when she saw his recommendation of CAP on TV.
Catherine’s life has now changed completely and, while she works to pay off what she owes, she has herself begun working at our head offices in Bradford answering calls from new clients ringing for help.
She said: ‘It was amazing to just be able to say thank you to him. That’s all I wanted to do and to show him what a difference he makes to people who are living like I was. He is a great friend to CAP and I can honestly say he saved my life.’
Chief Executive Matt Barlow said: ‘It was fantastic to hear from Martin about the policy-changing work he is doing especially in the areas of debt and mental health and it meant a lot to all of the staff here to hear his encouragement to us.’