Busy debt centre still has room to help more people

DEBT help is available at a Bognor Regis centre during one of its busiest times of the year.

Appointments can still be booked at the Christians Against Poverty centre even though some branches of the charity are full.

This has occurred because calls for help from across the UK have soared by 69 per cent in the opening weeks of this year compared to the prior 12 months.

Monday was a particular peak as the effects of Christmas start to become apparent and problems which were put off last year can no longer be ignored.

Clare Owen, manager of the centre on Waterloo Square, said: “It’s not just a bit of overspending at Christmas. They tend to call in January and February because they can’t face doing so in 
the days leading up 
to the festivities and they prefer to sort things when the children are 
at school.”

The charity says six in ten people are worried about losing their homes and a quarter are regularly missing meals.

“We’re keen to hear from people who are struggling to pay the bills or feed their families,” said Clare.

“We want to hear from people who have lost track of their debts and are suffering sleepless nights. Our service is ideally placed for them.”

Clare is based at the Bognor Vineyard Church. She said: “People tell us that calling for help with something as personal as finances is the hardest thing to do.

“They are surprised and relieved to find that we don’t judge them. Our job is to find a positive way forward.”

CAP helped 26,000 people last year. Its centre in Bognor has been open since 2007. It works with churches to cut poverty.

More details from www.capuk.org or 0800 328 0006.