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Church celebrates helping 500 families in need

calendar31 October 2016

Church celebrates helping 500 families in need

A debt help centre in the Tees Valley is marking a decade of helping some of the poorest people in the area escape financial meltdown.

Tees Valley Community Church launched the centre in partnership with charity Christians Against Poverty in 2006 - well before the credit crunch that caused such widespread problems.

Centre manager Julie Parker and her team of support workers have been giving a unique, free, face-to-face service in the community, backed up by financial experts at CAP’s head office.

Last week, Julie carried out her 500th visit. It was to a single mum in need, accomplishing a decade of service that has seen homes saved from repossession, marriages saved from breakdown and lives saved from suicide.

'When I started I was given this Tees Valley area and I had this big map. It was daunting. I thought ‘How can we do this?’ Now, I don’t look at the enormity of it. I’d like to change the world and see the Tees Valley completely debt free but I take it one day at a time, one person at a time. Everyone’s story is different - that’s the exciting thing, and we help in any way we can.

'The church’s support has been amazing, they really care, and I know when I go to someone I am going to deliver a top quality service and you’re leaving people in safe hands.

The church marked the 10th anniversary last weekend with a special themed service and the founder of the charity, John Kirkby, speaking to the congregation.

“We have so much to celebrate. In a recent survey, more than a third of clients said they were seriously considering suicide before they were helped. That’s terribly sad but knowing we have helped so many of those and saved lives during the past ten years is wonderful.

'There are so many stories. One that stands out is this: I was asked to do a little talk, a chat about CAP, and what I didn’t know was, there was a lady in the crowd there planning her own suicide. She was facing eviction within days and hadn’t told her partner or anyone at all. I showed this film and she broke down and we were able to find out what was happening. We helped explain to her partner, went to court with her, quashed the eviction order, they kept their home and became regular members of our church and are now helping others.'

Huge congratulations from all of us at CAP to Julie and the team!


CAP shortlisted for three titles at Premier Digital Awards 2016

calendar27 October 2016

CAP shortlisted for three titles at Premier Digital Awards 2016

CAP has been shortlisted for three titles at the Premier Digital Awards 2016: Best Christian Organisation Website, Tweeter of the Year and Best Use of Video.

The Premier Digital Awards, which are hosted annually in London, aim to celebrate Christian engagement online, including categories for impressive social media, blogs and websites.

Click here to see the full list of finalists. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 12 November.

Mark Cowley wins Insolvency Manager of the Year at Tri Awards 2016

calendar20 October 2016

Mark Cowley wins Insolvency Manager of the Year at Tri Awards 2016

CAP has scooped another national award – this time for our Insolvency team.

Mark Cowley, who heads up our dedicated staff in this area, won the title of Insolvency Manager of the Year in the TRI Awards 2016 (formerly known as the Insolvency & Rescue Awards).

Mark was honoured, alongside members of CAP’s dedicated insolvency team, at a glittering ceremony at the Hilton Park Hotel in London, thanks to support from a judging panel of industry experts.

He said, ‘We’re so excited and encouraged to have won this award.

‘It’s great to see the hard work of all the team at Christians Against Poverty being recognised, including our efforts to find and provide the best solution for our clients to get out of debt.

‘We’re also so pleased the consultation work we have been doing within the wider insolvency sector has been noted, which helps improve things beyond just our own client base.

‘It really is wonderful to know that we have been able to help and support so many people who would otherwise have been trapped in unmanageable debt, and we are so encouraged by this acknowledgement of our efforts from the insolvency industry.’

See the full list of winners here.

CAP grows again - new centres revealed

calendar07 October 2016

CAP grows again - new centres revealed

FORTY-THREE communities across the UK will be able to be helped by Christians Against Poverty’s services thanks to a huge week of training at CAP HQ.
Partner churches from a range of traditions have sent key members of their congregations to become managers of CAP debt centres, job clubs and run release groups and life skills courses.

We have 11 new debt centres opening across the UK. In East Anglia, communities in Ely and Great Yarmouth Nelson will now be able to get help from us. Eastleigh Central will be opening in the South East and in the East Midlands, there will be debt centres in Newark Magnus and Spalding St John’s. Scotland sees Greenock and Inverclyde join the network. In the North West, Barrow-in-Furness Parkside will open. The latest training sees CAP debt centres opening in four new locations in the Capital: London Holloway, Slough Central, London Fulham Reach and Croydon Shirley.

CAP Job Clubs are seeing a huge expansion too with 13 more clubs opening. Carrickfergus and Bangor South are both set to launch in Northern Ireland. Scotland adds three more areas Aberdeen South, Stewarton and Dunfermline Fife. In the East of England, Norwich Mancroft gets a CAP Job Club and in the South West, Bristol Bishopsworth and Tiverton Lowman join the network. In Leicestershire, Ashby de la Zouch is opening and in Lancashire, Blackpool Talbot. Guildford Christchurch is the name of the new CAP Job Club in Surrey and Glamorganshire, Wales is opening one in Cardiff St Martin’s . Purley will also now get a CAP Job Club.

CAP Release Groups to help people fight addictions will be running in eight new locations: Oldbury Old Warley, in the West Midlands, Bradford Central in West Yorkshire, Ballymena in Country Antrim in NI, Stirling Central in Scotland, Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire, Truro Chacewater and Kenwyn in Cornwall, Reading East in Berkshire and Winchester St Bartholomew in Hampshire.

CAP Life Skills, helping people make good decisions and live well on a budget, are to take place in Braintree Central, Woking Kingfield and Westfield in Surrey, Pontypridd Town in South Wales, Leicester Abbey and Belper Central in the East Midlands, Oldham St James and Bolton Halliwell in Greater Manchester, Mount Merrion and Banbridge in Northern Ireland and Bradford West Bowling in West Yorkshire.

We know the need in our communities is great but we hope you feel, as we do, that the Church is learning and stretching to meet those needs – thanks to your support. You can magify all our efforts by talking about us if you live in one of the above areas; praying for us; referring people to us and by donating to keep CAP growing.  For all you are doing – THANK YOU!


Singer song-writer releases single for CAP

calendar12 September 2016

Singer song-writer releases single for CAP

Philippa Hanna has written and released a new single to celebrate the charity's 20th birthday.


You are Love is informed by the personal experience of debt faced by the artist some years ago and how strength from God helped her fight feelings of anxiety and eventually become financially secure.

Philippa said: “I wrote this song to be an anthem to empower us as Christians to go out into the dark places and turn people’s lives around.

“I know that debt can affect anybody. Years ago, I owed £6,000 and was receiving letters from collectors. You feel powerless and afraid. I experienced anxiety and depression with it and it’s hard to find work to pay off your debts when you can’t face an interview without having a panic attack.

“It was my faith that helped me to put my life back together. When I started getting to know Jesus, I began to think differently. I felt his grace and unfailing love for me and I knew I could have a new life and a new start. With some help, I was able to pay it all back and now I’m debt free.

“There’s a line in the song that says ‘You’re the answer’. And Jesus really was the answer for me.

“Another of my favourite lyrics is: ‘Your love keeps moving the mountains and your love keeps calming the waves.’

“I wanted to keep coming back to that in a place of worship. I want this song to say whatever the situation is, God can still move that mountain. That’s what CAP does, it takes families who can’t afford to eat, and gives them back their future.”

You are Love is available to download from September 11 on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. All profits go to Christians Against Poverty.

Download here

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