How community and faith changed Stuart's life

Stuart smiling at the camera.
Stuart became debt free with CAP, joined a church and is looking forward to the future. 

I was struggling

As a person with a mental health issue before I was in debt, I know it’s very hard to even do the basics. When I say you don’t even want to do the basics, that’s even more true when it comes to paying bills and debt. You ignore your responsibilities, not because you don’t want to deal with them, but as a symptom of your mental health and state of mind.

Getting help from CAP

Speaking from experience, I was in this position. You lock yourself away, not talking to anyone, not eating and not doing basic essential things to keep you and your property going. I was doing the bare minimum, until I came to CAP. I wanted to get debt help from people who would have my best interests at heart. I’d had help from CAP and I knew they would care.

I developed a really good relationship with Terry, who ran the CAP Debt Centre near me before he retired. Then Sheryl took over and the relationship continued. As I’d been through a Debt Relief Order before, my best option was to start on a repayment plan. Having Sheryl cheering me on made all the difference.

I never missed a payment! It took me around 18 months to become debt free. I am now in credit with the local authority in rent, I have no debt at all and I am on top of all of my bills. 

The church has been a big support

I started going to Manor Court Baptist Church with Terry, after attending a local CAP event with speaker and evangelist, Rod Williams. Rod told us the story of how he personally came to faith. I was very sceptical about God, but something made me go and speak to Rod privately. He prayed for me and I felt a glow. From there, I became a Christian. After the event, I went to church and talked about my experience. Terry said to everyone there, Look at him, he’s glowing like a star!’ That’s because I felt reinvigorated!

Since I came to faith, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It has made me see a different side of life. 

Before, I used to gamble and smoke, but now I’m trying to do things to help myself more. It has really broadened my outlook and I’ve become a person who takes responsibility for their own actions.

The greatest thing is having the support of the church behind me. I’ve always got people to talk to or pray with. I have a whole new range of friendships. Since coming to God and battling my debt, I’ve been given a new sense of being, a new life almost. Before, I felt alone, but now I feel like I have God’s hand on me all the time and I can fight whatever is put in front of me.

I’m excited for the future

I’ve since been baptised and I’m now regularly involved in volunteering at church, I help out at events and on the sound desk. I’ve become a CAP Befriender and go on visits with Sheryl. 

I share my own experiences and tell people that, although it may look dark now, one day they’ll be coming out of it and celebrating. 

I’ve been in that position where I’ve been depressed and not wanting to open the door to anybody and worried sick about it. I’m able to comfort others because I’ve been there and I know what it’s like. Terry put his arm around me when we first met, and I’ve had that arm around me ever since. I’ve never felt so loved, cared for and understood. Now I can do the same for others.

CAP has given me support not only in dealing with my debt problems but offering emotional support too. They’re fantastic at just listening and being at the other end of a phone when your debt problems are still too much to handle. It’s extremely hard in the beginning. There are days that I felt I was putting in hard work but was still in a massive financial hole. But with the love, care, emotional support, understanding and encouragement from CAP, my own inner turmoil and torment disappeared and the dark clouds went away. It enabled me to see sunshine and the world for all its natural beauty.

At a time when your head is low and you feel like there is no end to your troubles… there is! I found inner peace and happiness and I hope others can too. 

The cost of living crisis is driving thousands into problem debt and poverty. If you or someone you know needs help, contact us today.

Get help