We are delighted to announce that CAP has won Debt Advice Provider of the Year at the 2015 Credit Today Collections & Customer Service Awards. This is the first year that this award has been given out and we are honoured to be the first time winners. CAP was also a finalist for Vulnerable Customer Support Initiative.
Our Founder, John Kirkby, and CEO, Matt Barlow, popped down to Lambeth Palace yesterday to visit our patron, Archbishop Justin Welby. What an honour to have such a generous patron who really gets what CAP is about and is passionate about tackling UK debt.
Find out more about why he decided to become CAP's patron on the Who's who page of our website, which you can go to by clicking here.
Yesterday, we celebrated a very special debt free case, which marks the beginning of thousands more people being able to access a route out of debt that was previously restricted.
On 1 October, CAP submitted the first Debt Relief Order (DRO) for a client who was previously ineligible for this insolvency option due to having just over £18,000 worth of qualifying debt, which built up when her relationship broke down and she lost her job while pregnant. If she had been unable to access a DRO it would have taken her nine and a half years on a severely restricted budget to pay back her debt, or three years to save for the bankruptcy fee.
These changes follow on from CAP’s involvement in the campaign to raise the maximum debt limit for a DRO amongst other proposals, as more than a third of our clients, many of whom are vulnerable, were too poor to go bankrupt. The Insolvency Service predict that these changes will enable 3,600 more people to use DROs instead of more expensive insolvency options.
Happy Birthday to CAP Release Groups - our latest service designed to help people break free from life controlling dependencies.
Just twelve months in and already the stories are flooding in of people overcoming common addictions, like smoking, drinking or using drugs, as well as other habits that control lives and destory financial stability.
So far 130 people have been helped and one member said, 'For the first time in 15 years, I have control over my addiction! I really feel like freedom is a reality I can grasp.'
Today, the Government released new statistics showing that in 2013 the number of English households in fuel poverty was estimated at around 2.35 million* – that’s around 10.4% of households in England.
Whilst the report shows positive steps have been made to help low-income households improve their energy efficiency, CAP feels more needs to be done for the increasing number of fuel poor households on pre-payment meters.
From our research, we found that clients using this energy payment method are suffering twice as much fuel poverty to those using other methods. Instead of being able to access the best deals, often only available by Direct Debit, we found the poorest are forced into paying sometimes hundreds of pounds more on energy every year.
Before seeking help from CAP, among debt clients with pre-payment meters:
Two thirds (67%) couldn’t heat their homes
A third (33%) couldn’t cook their food
Almost a quarter (23%) couldn’t wash their clothes; and
One in ten (11%) couldn’t afford to wash themselves.
One client said that before CAP, “We didn’t have any heating for two years because we had no money for gas.”
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