Free debt help centre opens in Clitheroe

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LOCAL people struggling with overwhelming personal debt are to get free help from an acclaimed charity opening a new centre in Clitheroe.

Debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty is opening 37 new church-based debt centres around the UK this month, including one at St James Church, Clitheroe, supported by Clitheroe Churches in Partnership.

The opening will mean Clitheroe people will be able to enjoy the debt help offered by neighbouring centres in Blackburn and Preston.

It is rare good news for people who are coping with inflation at a 20-year high combined with job losses or frozen incomes putting further pressures on financial commitments that were once easily met.

Clitheroe’s new centre manager Pamela Entwistle said: “Members of our congregation were becoming more and more concerned about people in our community finding it really tough to keep their heads above water.

“Among them there are those already at crisis point, not eating or sleeping properly with the stress of being hounded for money they don’t have. The Bible speaks very clearly about looking after the poor and in 2011 this is what it looks like and we refuse to let them go under.

“We know it’s the hardest thing in the world to ask for help, but we want people to know that however bad a situation can look, there is a tried and tested way out and it starts with putting the kettle on, taking a deep breath and then ringing our helpline 0800 328 0006 to speak to someone who really cares.”

CAP offers a uniquely in-depth, caring service to people with spiralling personal debt. Every client is booked in for a visit from the local centre manager in their own home; all the bills and outstanding mail from creditors are removed and responded to by CAP’s Bradford head office. Then the household is supported and encouraged to combat the isolation many clients say they feel as they tried to cope alone.

The charity’s award-winning service has been described as “unsurpassed” by TV’s Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis and “staggering” by HRH Prince Charles when he recently visited a centre in Peckham, London.

CAP’s CEO Matt Barlow said: “It is our experience that given the right level of support people can and do pay off what they owe. Every day we celebrate people becoming debt free and we are looking forward to some of these coming from Clitheroe in the coming months and years.”

The charity has 190 centres around the UK currently supporting £71m. of secondary debts for its clients regardless of income, age, gender, background or faith.

To find out more visit www.capuk.org or for help call 0800 328 0006