'˜Debt charity saved me - I'm now helping others'

A Clitheroe man has spoken about the ordeal of living with debt and how a local charity saved his life.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 12:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd October 2018, 12:43 pm
Colin Wrighton

Colin Wrighton (64), had substantial debts, including mortgage arrears which could have led to repossession, and sought the professional help of the Christians Against Poverty centre in Clitheroe.

Now, debt free and looking to the future, he has decided to speak out about his difficulties ahead of a major BBC Two documentary The Debt Saviours, which airs on BBC2 Friday at 9pm.

Colin was working as a wagon driver, married and with his own home. In 2012, he was injured in a work-related accident and couldn’t drive any more, so lost his job. Around the same time his marriage broke down.

He said: “Everything had changed and, with the stress and health concerns, I felt like I was in a hole. I was going deeper and deeper and I couldn’t get out.

“I thought many times about doing away with my life.

“I was incapable of repaying the debts I had built up while I was not working, so I turned off the heating, stopped eating properly and was unable to afford essential things like toiletries.

“It’s not easy when benefit payments are delayed and you have to live on such a tight budget. I was embarrassed by my situation; I hid away from the world.”

A volunteer at Age Concern referred Colin to CAP debt service.

Colin said: “They went out of their way to visit me at home and talk to me as an individual. I began a debt management plan, and by sticking to my budget, and learning to live on a small amount, became debt free by 2016.

“The feeling of freedom was amazing! Through CAP and St James’ Church, I now have a community, my confidence has returned and I’m able to face the world again. I wanted to give back to CAP for all their help to me, so I’m now a volunteer befriender and CAP ambassador.”