Published: 11th November 2021
Local charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre applied to Darlington Building Society’s 5% Pledge and was given £1,800 to cover running costs and help local people manage their debt.
Members of St Andrew’s Church, in Haughton le Skerne, noticed an increasing amount of financial hardship in the town, through speaking to people at the food bank they have been running for eight years.
Last September they set up a Darlington branch of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre, and have, so far, helped 16 people to manage their debt with personal budgeting plans.
Rachel Ryan, Darlington centre manager, said: “We are a free service, available to anyone in the DL1 to DL5 postcodes who find themselves struggling with debt. We rely wholly on money from outside bodies to meet our Centre running costs, so it was wonderful to receive the Darlington Building Society grant, which will help us to continue to offer this service,”
Rachel is the only paid member of staff, working for the charity part time. The rest of the team is made up of volunteers who are happy to give their time to support people to manage their finances.
Through home visits, service users can learn more about their finances and prioritise their debts. From there, a plan is drawn up to help the client to start dealing with the debt.
Rachel adds: “Anyone can get into debt, but many people bury their head in the sand. We help them to look honestly at their situation, and we support them until they are debt-free.”
Clare Wilson, Darlington Building Society Branch Operations Manager, said: “We are very happy to make a contribution from our 5% Pledge to CAP Debt Centre, to aid them in helping people get themselves out of debt.
“Sadly, this has become a much-needed service for Darlington, but now at least there is help at hand.”
If you are struggling with debt you can make an appointment through www.capuk.org, or by calling the Freephone number, 0800 3280006
To find out more about the 5% Pledge visit the Community section of our website.