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John Kirkby to receive CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

calendar08 June 2018

John Kirkby to receive CBE in Queen’s Birthday Honours

We're all very proud to say that John Kirkby - the man who began Christians Against Poverty - is to receive the CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

'I am absolutely bowled over to be receiving such an honour and it just shows what God can do,' said John who intends on accepting the commendation on behalf of everyone who has helped launch and sustain the charity now helping 23,000 people a year.

'I’d like to dedicate this to all our incredible supporters and volunteers, staff and to our clients. I hope that it also shows what God can do with one ordinary bloke from Bradford who meets an extraordinary God and says "yes".'

CAP's Chief Executive, Matt Barlow, said, 'No one could have put more into this than John has, and I know more than anyone that he didn’t do it for the recognition. However, I’m absolutely delighted – as we all are – to see him get this special award.'

John will be presented with the CBE at an investiture at Buckingham Palace later in the year.

Campaign success could save thousands of lives

calendar01 May 2018

Caseworkers at award-winning charity Christians Against Poverty are celebrating after the success of a landmark campaign saw a change in UK law help people who are in both mental health crisis and struggling with serious debt.

Campaigners from as many as 23 organisations, including CAP, lobbied parliament for extra breathing space for those in serious debt who are in hospital or under the care of a community crisis team.

The campaign, led by Martin Lewis’s Money and Mental Health Policy Institute and backed by more than 80 MPs, sought breathing space from further interest, charges and enforcement action as part of the Financial Guidance and Claims Bill.

The institute argued those in mental health crises struggle to seek debt advice but should not be excluded from 'breathing space' as a result. It estimates up to 23,000 people a year experience problem debt while in hospital for a mental health crisis.

In a recent survey, more than half of CAP’s clients said they live in a household where at least one person suffered from mental ill-health and 34% shared they had either considered or attempted suicide as a way out of debt.

Matt Barlow, CAP CEO, said: “We are delighted that common sense has prevailed. Every day we receive phone calls from people in desperate situations. We can help them and give them hope that there is always a way forward. However, it is more difficult for those calling from hospital. They shouldn’t have to be worrying about their financial problems while they are being cared for, but the breathing space should make all the difference.”

Christians Against Poverty is a charity that gives free help to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background. Starting 20 years ago, it first offered debt counselling and now offers a range of help to tens of thousands of people in hardship across the UK every year.

Anyone in need of help should call 0800 3280006.

CAP publishes latest client report: Bringing restoration to desolate homes

calendar21 March 2018

CAP publishes latest client report: Bringing restoration to desolate homes

Today CAP launches the latest Client report showing the unbelievable reality of debt and poverty in the UK and the hope CAP is able to bring through the local Church. The report aims to take the reader beyond the facts and figures and show them the deeply personal impacts of problem debt, how it feels and why holistic support is vital. Download the report here.

The report includes a foreword by CAP's Patron, Archbishop Justin Welby, who will also be speaking at the report launch this evening (Wednesday 21 March). The launch is taking place at the House of Lords, with more than 40 MPs signed up to come, along with members of the credit industry, national journalists and some brave clients who will be sharing their stories.

Life Savers

calendar21 March 2018

Life Savers

Written by Nicky Starr

It’s a dark hole, I’m deep down inside,
Searching for a way out,
But the answers I cannot find.

The bills are in piles,
Getting bigger every day.
So many to deal with,
I can’t make it all go away.

The mounting debt causes sleepless nights,
I’m so tired of this,
There’s no end in sight.

The phone rings a million times a day,
I dare not answer it, I cannot afford to pay,
It’s fear and dread in every possible way.

Pay up now or the bailiffs will be round,
But how can I do that?
There’s no spare money to be found.

Crying myself to sleep,
And skipping meals,
For my children I need to keep.
I’m drowning fast,
It’s all too much, this nightmare cannot last.

Then through the darkness there came a light,
I could see an end in sight,
Christians Against Poverty showed me the way,
To keep all my debts at bay.

They took it all off my hands,
A debt coach and a befriender were by my side,
A budget set up and debts being paid, savings put aside,
For the first time in ages, I didn’t have to hide.

Together we battled on,
Four years seven months later we finally won,
You are now debt free,
Now this I couldn’t believe,
Good things don’t happen to me.

The support didn’t stop there,
I had made two good friends in Julie and Ken,
They were still by my side,
Helping me in other ways, as well as a job I couldn’t find.

CAP Job Clubs was launched in my town,
Mine was the first name put down,
Giving me confidence every week,
Feeling able to apply for the job I was looking to seek.

Then I found myself questioning this journey with CAP from the start,
Something was happening inside my own heart,
Looking back, I had seen the signs,
But before it had been just blurry lines.

I am now learning about my faith, working through my own personal hell,
So this story I just had to tell,
I didn’t find Christians Against Poverty, Christians Against Poverty found me,
And through God, they saved my life in more ways than you will ever believe.

Life Savers was written by Nicky Starr. It's the winning piece in our client poetry competition 2018. Thanks to everyone who entered - we were blown away with the quality of the entries we received!

CAP goes flat out with pancake flip mob in centre of Bradford

calendar14 February 2018

CAP goes flat out with pancake flip mob in centre of Bradford

On Shrove Tuesday (13 Feb) staff, volunteers and supporters of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) gathered in Bradford’s City Park for a pancake flipping flash mob. The event saw a group of around fifty people whipping out their frying pans to cheerfully flip, juggle and even play catch with their pancakes for a continuous five minutes (to varying degrees of success!) Health and safety was observed throughout and every dropped pancake was disposed of once the event was over.

The ‘flip mob’ was part of CAP’s latest campaign, the Flipping Marvellous Pancake Party, which has seen people getting together up and down the country to highlight the work CAP does to tackle UK poverty.

Beth Prescott, the flip mob’s organiser and Pancake Party President, said, ‘There was a brilliant atmosphere in City Park during the flip mob, with lots of laughing, a wide range of flipping skills and we had so many people joining in!’

‘While this was an incredibly fun moment, we did it to highlight a serious problem. Living with problem debt is miserable, but CAP works hard to flip lives around by lifting people out of poverty. It’s a message of hope that we wanted everyone to hear and used this opportunity to spread that message.’

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