The latest episode of Songs of Praise, 'Escaping debt', aired on BBC One on Sunday 8 January and featured a couple from Kent, Naomi and Perry, who told the story of how debt turned their world upside down.
Several years ago, Naomi and Perry found themselves struggling to pay the bills on their low income. Perry was working several part-time jobs but was unable to find permanent employment, and the money they had coming in simply wasn’t enough. They could afford very little food, just managing to scrape together enough to feed themselves and their baby.
Having turned to credit cards, store cards and loan sharks to try and stay above water, Naomi and Perry found themselves with around £20,000 in debt. The family was in turmoil, arguing and rarely leaving the house. They felt alone and isolated, with seemingly no end in sight.
Once Naomi and Perry got in touch with CAP, the pressure on their shoulders began to lessen and they could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. They were stunned by the love and care they received from their local CAP Debt Coach and the caseworkers at CAP's head office. Through working with CAP they learned how to budget and better manage their money, and in 2013 they went debt free through a Debt Relief Order!
Now their lives are completely different – they focus more on saving rather than relying on credit and their house is generally a happier place to live. They regularly attend church and Naomi has even taken on the challenge of leading the worship group!
Does Naomi and Perry’s story sound all too familiar to you? If you need our help to sort out your debts, just click here or call us on 0800 328 0006. It’s free to call and our service is available to everyone, regardless of age, gender, faith and background.
CAP has over 600 services across the UK currently, but there are still many areas which aren’t covered and people we are simply unable to reach. We need more churches to open CAP services to ensure we can help everyone who needs it – by 2021, we hope to have 1,000 UK services open! So if you think your church could partner with CAP, help the poor in your local community, and join a movement that's actively fighting poverty across the UK, then click right here to find out more.
CAP features on a money special of BBC One's Songs of Praise broadcast this coming Sunday, 8 January. The episode sees hosts Josie D'Arby and Claire McCollum meeting people whose faith has helped them to get through the turmoil caused by debt.
One such couple are the incredible Naomi and Perry, former CAP clients from Kent whose lives were turned upside down when they fell into debt several years ago.
Songs of Praise airs at 1:15pm on BBC One - set a reminder, spread the word to your friends and family, and tune in!
On Monday 12 December, CAP took to Parliament to launch its latest report alongside the Financial Inclusion Commission.
The freedom report looks at the outcomes of over 200 clients who have become debt free through Debt Management Plans (DMPs) and Debt Relief Orders (DROs) up to five years ago. The findings show the important role debt advice plays in building financial capability and resilience to ensure people feel in control of their finances and stay free of problem debt in the long-term.
Caroline Rookes CBE, Chief Executive of the Money Advice Services, said, ‘Christians Against Poverty embodies the combination of empathy and expertise that is essential to providing effective support to people with problem debt. This report spells out the impact that getting free, high-quality advice has on improving financial capability and avoiding debt problems recurring.
'The data collated in this report echoes the impact of debt advice services across the country in helping people to reduce their debts, take control of their finances and start planning for the future.’
The report was launched in the House of Commons with over 50 senior representatives from the credit and debt advice industries and MPs in attendance, including Caroline Rookes, Sian Williams, Commissioner and Head of National Services at Toynebee Hall, and George Kerevan MP for East Lothian.
The freedom report is available to read in full here.
On Thursday 24 November, CAP was honoured to attend the annual Collections & Customer Service Awards 2016 at The Midland Hotel in Manchester. CAP's Founder, John Kirkby, was in attendance and was one of five to scoop the Decade of Pioneers Award. The prize seeks to honour those who have made a difference in the Credit Industry over the past ten years through their work.
Dawn Stobart, CAP's Director of External Affairs, who also attended the awards ceremony, said, 'As CAP celebrates its 20th year, it is fitting to recognise the incredible contribution CAP’s Founder, John Kirkby, has made to tens of thousands of lives and the wider Credit Industry.
'We are delighted he has received one of just five Decade of Pioneers Awards. John’s pioneering influence has been clear to see since he founded CAP in 1996. His unfaltering enthusiasm and commitment to helping our clients is infectious and we are so pleased to see him honoured in this way.’
There was cause for celebration again this weekend after CAP won the title of Best Christian Organisation Website at the Premier Digital Awards 2016.
The awards ceremony, which this year took place on Saturday 12 November at The Brewery in London, aims to celebrate Christian engagement online, honouring organisations and individuals who have utilised platforms such as social media, blogs and websites to further their work and the Christian faith.
On winning the title, one of CAP's web developers, Chris Haldane, said: 'It's a real achievement to have won this award and so encouraging. The website connects us to so many people, from church to clients and supporters to creditors, to people who have never heard of us before. Our creative team works really hard to keep it clear and engaging.
'All of us at CAP are passionate about living for God, living for people and helping those in need - we're delighted the website is playing an effective part in that.'
The win comes at a great time for CAP's creative team following the recent launch of CAP Creative, an in-house service offering high quality, bespoke material including promotional films, live event filming and, indeed, web design. Click here to find out more.
To view the full list of Premier Digital Awards 2016 winners, click here.
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