You might have seen Anthony on TV, speaking out about poverty, or you might recognise him from other CAP campaigns. We first met Anthony when he was a client with our Debt Help service. Now he’s debt free and campaigning on behalf of others experiencing poverty in the UK. We caught up with him to talk about his work.
How did you get involved in CAP’s work?
I didn’t know about CAP until I became a client with them. From a client perspective what I valued most was the fact that you’re not speaking to a machine, and are not treated like a statistic. You have a personal touch from your Debt Centre Manager and their team. What I like about CAP as a whole is their passion to make things equal for those in society, such as stamping out poverty in the UK. That’s what drew me towards following up CAP and committing my time to be able to give a bit more work towards CAP.
The message that CAP has is very dear to my heart. I also witnessed it physically. I saw the love and ambition to help. I saw the non-discrimination. That to me, meant the absolute world to me so I wanted to give a bit back. The message of eradicating poverty is very close to me as I’ve had to go through bankruptcy.
Tell us about some of the work you’ve been involved with
These opportunities started popping up to be able to work with the media. It was very scary at first as it was something that I’d never done. It took me out of my comfort zone. But it gave me a challenge as well, to apply the time I had available to something that is so important. I’ve been a part of forums such as BBC Radio 4 and a local authority forum.
What’s it like, speaking in front of everyone?
Terrifying at first, going to London in front of MPs, but we got there and the support given by the team along the way was most important for people like me. I’m sharing my story so I’m putting myself in a vulnerable situation and bearing all before strangers, so the support and the prayer and the guidance in understanding CAP’s approach to the subject was so helpful for me as a person to feel armed and ready.
The whole experience has been an amazing journey for me which has ignited something deep in my heart and made me want to continue making a difference the best I can.
How optimistic are you that we really can change things and stamp out poverty in the UK?
Change is always possible. It’s just how many people are willing to step out and make that change as to how quickly that change will happen. We see a lot of things, where if people come together, throw away their differences and work towards a common goal, we can make that change and that impact.
Through being involved in the outreach side of CAP, it opens your eyes to all the people working the background who are fantastic! It also opens your eyes to how many people want to see this change. We’ve seen by the recent work, the impact of that, where CAP has grown in such a way, beyond us. We can only put that down to the fact that God has instilled that passion and faith in us. Our message is a message of love to tell people they’re not alone. God has said that all the way through, you’re not alone. There are constant reminders in the Bible. It all starts with that small stone being thrown in the pond and the ripples that have been created. I’m excited to see what the future holds.
What are some ways we can get involved in the fight against poverty in the UK?
The smallest thing can create the biggest reaction. It’s important that people come together to address poverty. If you’re not a talker there are other ways to support through giving time or prayer, or making a financial contribution. It doesn’t matter what your talent is, your talent is needed. If your talent is knitting a couple of hats, that’s great – you could use that as a fundraiser. Or if your talent is standing up and shouting with a megaphone, get up and do that. All of these things are the small stones that create the big ripples. We’re in it together. The more people we can get to come together, the louder the voice will be, and that will have the biggest effect.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Anthony, for all his work speaking up against injustice, and also for encouraging the rest of us that we can each contribute something to the fight to eradicate UK poverty.
If you’d like to find out more about the message and mission Anthony discusses here, check out our vision here.