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Breathing Space gets the go ahead!

calendar19 June 2019

Breathing Space gets the go ahead!

We’re celebrating at CAP today because after many years of campaigning alongside friends at other debt agencies, the Government has announced people in debt will be granted a grace period called ‘breathing space’.

It means that from 2021, when a debt adviser notifies creditors on behalf of a person in debt, the creditors must stop chasing for money for 60 days to give time for a debt solution to be agreed. No extra fees, interest or enforcement action can be applied in this time period.

We’re particularly pleased that central and local government debts like council tax and benefit overpayments will be included, something CAP specifically campaigned for.

Also, if someone is in mental health crisis, they can have extended 'breathing space' on the advice of their mental health professional to give them time for some recovery before taking steps to tackle their finances. This is something founder Martin Lewis has been pushing through the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute.

'This is great progress and is to be warmly welcomed. Now we’re really interested to know about the practical detail,' said CAP’s Director of External Affairs Dawn Stobart.

'Our experience shows that the most vulnerable clients will take time to find the courage to seek debt help, and it could be more than 60 days before they do so. If that happens, can another 60 days be triggered?

The extension for people with poor mental health is wonderful but it’s only for those receiving treatment through the NHS. The thing is, we know about three quarters of those we’re helping are suffering with their mental health with many not receiving treatment. What extra help is available for them?

So, while we are delighted to see this day, we are also full of questions and concern that the most in need don’t fall between the cracks. We look forward to meeting with all those concerned to dig into the detail so it works for everyone.'

Happy birthday to the cheapest and newest form of insolvency

calendar05 April 2019

Happy birthday to the cheapest and newest form of insolvency

An amazing 10,000 CAP clients have found freedom from debt in the first decade since the Debt Relief Order (DRO) was introduced.

Before DROs, there were fewer solutions for unmanageable debt and trying to save for the £705* bankruptcy fee was beyond reach for many of our most vulnerable clients.

This was the situation until 6 April 2009, when the Government introduced the £90 DRO, specifically designed to help those on a low income.

Fallon, a client who became debt free with a DRO in 2017, described the impact on her life, saying it was incredibly welcome news.

’We received a letter that explained about the DRO and a card from CAP to say congratulations. It was a major weight lifting off my shoulders. I felt like I could actually breathe. Finally, it’s just gone! Since I went debt free, I haven’t ever wanted to get back in debt again.’

Her feelings are typical and the vast majority stay debt free for years afterwards.

Our award winning team of approved intermediaries is led by Insolvency Team Manager - Mark Cowley, who says, 'It’s really encouraging to be able to offer hope for the hopeless and the beauty of DROs is that they work. Our research shows that 91% of our clients who have had a DRO are debt free for the long term so it has really helped transform their situation.’

Here's to another 10 years of supporting people on their journey to freedom from debt.

If you're in problem debt, there are many ways of getting your finances sorted. See what we're doing where you are and how we can help here.

*£705 was the bankruptcy fee in England and Wales in 2009. The current fee is £680.

How do you get a DRO?

A DRO is granted as long as you have all of the following:

  • No more than £20,000 worth of debt
  • A low income (no more than £50 a month left over after bills and expenses are paid)
  • Your car isn't worth more than £1,000
  • Your other assets combined are not valued at more than £1,000
  • The £90 fee is paid

CAP supporters go flat out against UK poverty with their Flipping Marvellous Pancake Parties

calendar08 March 2019

CAP supporters go flat out against UK poverty with their Flipping Marvellous Pancake Parties

As the pancake mix is put away for another year, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who hosted a Flipping Marvellous Pancake Party! Every penny of the money raised is vital and will go towards restoring hope in so many lives devastated by poverty.

In total, an incredible 292 CAP supporters signed up to host a Pancake Party. Your photos have been flooding in on social media and we’ve loved seeing the fun you’ve had while stacking up funds for CAP. Here are just a few:

The Diocese of Monmouth hosted their event with their local mums and tots group. The parents worked together to make the pancakes, and even persuaded their local supermarket to donate all the ingredients!

The Evangelical Alliance hosted a Pancake Party too, with a classic ‘best pancake topping’ debate happening over on Twitter. Big smiles – that’s what we like to see!

Stroat Church in Chepstow raised a fantastic £96.

West End Impact, a charity managed by Morecambe Community Church, raised £150 – amazing!

This lovely guy from Rotherham wanted to give something back after all of CAP's support, so he made and flipped more than 200 pancakes to raise money! Wow!

CAP Trustee, Roger, and AHC Global got cracking.

Streets Coffee in London had a flipping marvellous time too.

And, of course, our very own Pancake Party President, Beth, and her church got in the mix as well.

Been busy cooking up a storm too? Don’t forget to send in the funds you raised as soon as possible.


How do I send in the funds I’ve raised?

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Send us a cheque for the total, made payable to Christians Against Poverty. Simply pop it in your Freepost envelope with any completed Gift Aid and Life Changers forms. Please be sure to state that the funds are from your Pancake Party if it’s not already obvious. Including your name and postcode will help us identify where the funds have come from quicker than you can crack an egg!

Is there a deadline for sending in my funds?

Please send us the money you’ve raised within one month of your event.

What if I’ve raised money through JustGiving or BT MyDonate?

Put your feet up – you don’t need to do anything! The money and any Gift Aid will automatically make its way to us.

I have photos from my event that I want to share – how do I send these in?

If you use social media, you can share your photos with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #pancakeparty19. Alternatively, drop us an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and let us know how your Pancake Party panned out!

I haven’t hosted my Pancake Party yet – is there still time?

Yes! Feel free to host your Pancake Party any day that suits you. If you haven't already, please drop us an email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to tell us when you plan on hosting your event and don’t forget to send in the funds you raise within the following month. There's lots of information and resources here that you might find useful.

I’m no longer able to host a Pancake Party – what should I do?

No problem. We know sometimes life gets in the way and it’s simply no longer feasible. Please let us know at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) so we won’t keep nudging you about sending in funds.

John Kirkby receives CBE at Buckingham Palace

calendar14 December 2018

John Kirkby receives CBE at Buckingham Palace

John Kirkby, the Founder of Christians Against Poverty, received the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) medal on Thursday 13 December. At an investiture ceremony held at Buckingham Palace, John was presented with the medal by His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

'I am absolutely bowled over to be receiving such an honour and it just shows what God can do,' said John on finding out he was to receive the CBE. '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.'

(Photo of John and Prince Charles by PA Images)

CAP’s ‘invaluable’ debt help praised in LSE report

calendar02 October 2018

CAP’s ‘invaluable’ debt help praised in LSE report

An independent report from the London School of Economics (LSE) has reviewed the wider social impact of Christians Against Poverty and its partnering churches – and valued it at £32M a year.

The team from the LSE's Housing and Communities unit carried out more than 100 interviews with staff and clients and worked through more than 12,600 client records to find out just how we work and the social impact on society.

The report, called Never Just a Number, says CAP provides 'crucial' face-to-face support which goes far beyond simply debt advice. It describes the debt help as 'intensive and holistic' which is 'highly professional'.

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