A NEW initiative to help local families facing mounting debts has been launched in Redditch.
Driving it is the Oasis Christian Centre on Plymouth Road and local charity Acts of Kindness (AOK) which had grown so concerned at the financial hardships faced by members of the community that they have teamed up with UK debt counselling charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
Now, after much fundraising, they have launched their free debt counselling service.
Senior Pastor at Oasis Robin Baker said: “Debt stress can be so destructive.
“It affects family relationships, health and can be very isolating.
“We know there is going to be severe debt issues coming out of Covid and a lot of people could lose their homes.
“As a compassionate community, we wanted to provide people with a route out of debt and CAP is distinct because it does that in partnership with the church.
“I think we are going to see a high demand for counselling and debt service and we are going to help as many people as we can.
“Sometimes people feel they have made mistakes but very often they have been driven into debt by suffering from job loss, relationship breakdown or coping with illness in the family or a bereavement – situations that are often difficult, emotional and have a financial impact.
“We are now in the process of putting a dedicated debt centre manager and key members of our church through training with CAP to offer a face-to-face, tried-and-tested professional service which will see people escape that debt trap and get their lives back on track.”
The service comes with the highest recommendation – TV’s Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis describing CAP as ‘unsurpassed’ in its in-depth service which encourages and supports each household to repay what they owe – or go through an insolvency – until the day they are debt free.
Carol Summers, who will lead the service in Redditch said: “The aim is to encourage people to take responsibility for their debt through a CAP plan so they are able to become free from debt and can walk away from their anxieties.
“We have support to offer from the local church which can be there throughout the length of the debt journey, but there is no compulsion.”
To find support, ring 0800 328 0006 or visit www.capuk.org.