Press release from Cap
Don’t let school holidays tip you into debt, says charity
LOCAL debt counsellors have urged parents to be savvy spendersin the school holidays.
Christians Against Poverty wants families to avoid being pressured into costly children’s activities.
“Everyone wants their kids to have a lovely time in the Summerbut if you want to avoid dipping into the overdraft, it will take planning,” said Lynda Cooper, Centre Manager at CAP’s Bootle branch.
“Some research and imagination at this stage will save you pounds in the holidays and help families avoid the kind of debt problems that can soon mount up.”
To aid parents, the charity has produced a top ten great summer ideas to avoid overspending – good news for the two in three families expected to holiday at home this Summer.
“It really doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive for the family to enjoy time together,” said Lynda.
“Some space, some time, some toys and a picnic can be all it takes to provide a memorable day out.”
Take a picnic to one of Liverpool’s great parks or walk along Otterspool promenade with perfect views of the river. Visitwww.liverpool.gov.uk/leisure-parks-and-events for lots of information.
Liverpool museums are informative, educational and free. Why not visit the Liverpool waterfront, take a look at the three magnificent buildings, take in the sights of the canal ending at Liverpool Museum.
Visit the outdoor ‘gym’ at Crosby Marina, the kids will love the open space and simple exercises.
The animals at Rice Lane City Farm, Walton are a treat for children of all ages, as is Acorn Venture Urban Farm in Kirkby (small charge applies).
There are lots of beaches along the Merseyside coastline for great free fun. Visit the website www.visitsouthport.com/things-to-dofor information on breaches, nature trails, parks and gardens.
Free football skills sessions for 5-11s are on offer right across England through the holidays thanks to Tesco and the Football Association. Pop your postcode into tescoskills.thefa.com/findsession to find your nearest.
Also check out www.tennisforfree.com which lists all the places you can turn up and play, without paying for a court.
Not many people are able to take the whole holiday off work but don’t forget many churches run holiday clubs and it is worth finding out if there is one near you.
CAP’S MONEY-SAVING SUMMER TOP TEN:
Make a ‘boredom jar’ full of cheap ideas written on slips of card for a fun lucky dip. Suggestions could include make your own ice lollies; build a den; snail races; blow massive bubbles; make a nature sculpture; build your own crazy golf with flower pots.
Libraries, most museums and some art galleries are free to enter – and will have all kinds of events on during the holidays. Research online to find out what they are doing near you.
Do something new or different – paint a picture outdoors;ride on a bus if you don’t usually; camp in the garden; eat something you’ve never tried before.
Remember the fun of treasure-hunts? Geocaching is the hi-tech version and will take you places you never knew existed! Use the GPS on your smart phone and a free app like c:geo to find “treasure” which is hidden all over the UK. Find out more at geocaching.com
Before the children break up from school, make sure you exchange numbers with other parents. A get-together with friends is the best way to beat boredom and for both parents to get a turn at an afternoon’s peace!
See what your local council has on offer so you can make the most of any free entertainment eg watching a brass band,making a kite session in the local park. Some councils have a programme of activities with sessions on street dance or cricket for £1 a time.
Never underestimate the power of a picnic! Keep it simple – an open space, a frisbee, a friend or two and plenty to nibble on and you have the sort of day memories are made of.
Make the most of one of natures best ever toys: the stick! Get your wellies on and find some woodland events – checkwww.naturedetectives.org.uk for great free resources to print off, including information on spotting birds, trees and bugs.
Don’t go out for a meal without checking moneysavingexpert.com’s website to see what vouchers are on offer.
Decide how you can help someone else – wash a neighbour’s car together; bake a cake and visit a relative; write a letter to a friend or treat someone lonely to a day out.
Christians Against Poverty is a debt counselling charity determined to reduce poverty in the UK caused by debt. It partners its financial expertise with the care of the local church to offer free debt help and a solution to people regardless of age, gender, faith or background. The charity has 233 UK debt centresand runs free budgeting courses across the country. For more about CAP see www.capuk.org
or CAP’s National PR Manager Marianne Clough
or telephone 01274 761924