Latest news

More compassion for those on prepayment meters

calendar23 September 2019

More compassion for those on prepayment meters

A report from CAP outlining the difficulties faced by the poorest households looks set to change the way energy companies regard vulnerable families.

The Poor Pay More, written in 2014, raised the issue of self-disconnection for those on prepayment energy meters and CAP has been glad to work with Ofgem on this issue.

42% of CAP debt clients use prepayment meters for their energy so this is a cause close to our hearts.

Now the regulator is proposing a list of requirements for energy companies to protect those whose extreme circumstances mean they have run out of credit – and have no hot water, light or heating.

Proposals out for consultation include energy firms having to:

  • Offer support
  • Give emergency credit or discretionary credit and
  • Consider people’s ability to repay debt on prepayment meters.

Ofgem will be considering feedback on the proposals from charities and suppliers and will publish its final rules in the next couple of months.

PPI complaint deadline looms

calendar15 August 2019

PPI complaint deadline looms

The financial regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has set a deadline for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints: 29 August 2019.

Christians Against Poverty is supporting the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) campaign by helping to remind people about the deadline and by sharing important information with its audiences including how to check if you had PPI and how to make a complaint.

The FCA has also introduced a new basis on which to make a PPI complaint based on how much commission was paid to whoever sold the PPI policy.

CAP's CEO, Matt Barlow, said, 'Making a decision about whether to complain about PPI is an important one and we at CAP are here to provide our clients with any support they may need in order to make that decision.'

Emma Stranack, FCA’s PPI Deadline Campaign Lead, said: “Simply put, if you haven’t complained to your provider by 29 August 2019, you won’t be able to claim money back for PPI – so you should make your decision as soon as possible. Checking if you had PPI is simple and free. Don’t worry about paperwork, you only need your date of birth and relevant previous addresses.”

For more information on PPI and to find out what this means for you we recommend visiting the FCA website at, or contacting their helpline on 0800 101 8800.

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.

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