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Welby hails success of CAP service

22 December 2016

CHRISTIANS AGAINST POVERTY

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has welcomed a “significant and en­­couraging” report that provides evidence of the success of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in tackling debt.

The charity surveyed 214 people who had received debt counselling from its teams over a five-year period, and found that 46 per cent of them now had savings, and 85 per cent reported that they felt “in control” of their finances.

Three-quarters said that, since working with CAP, and becoming debt-free, they had not used credit at all, and 93 per cent felt that they now had a positive relationship with their bank. The average income of respondents was £14,511.

The Archbishop, who is a patron of the charity, said: “It is easy to imagine that someone living with poor finances will always be in that state, that poverty is too big a prob­lem for us to tackle.

“This report is significant and encouraging because it shows that if someone gets the right level of sup­port, they can conquer their debt problems. It tells us that no matter how hopeless a situation can first look, significant change and trans­formation is possible.”

The Freedom Report lists a wide variety of issues faced by clients before seeking help from the coun­selling service: 36 per cent had considered suicide because of the pres­sures of their debt, while 87 per cent had no savings to fall back on in a crisis.

Two-thirds had sacrificed meals in an attempt to make ends meet before getting help from CAP.

Kylie, a mother of four who was interviewed for the survey, said that before getting help she was strug­gling to make ends meet. She said: “I didn’t understand how to budget and often overspent. Doorstep lenders lured me in. . .[Now] I have learned how to properly budget and structure my spending. . . It’s amazing how little changes can make such a difference to your whole life.”

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