Former Chief Executive of the Financial Services Authority Sir Hector Sants visited the local Christians Against Poverty centre based at Northfield Community Church on Monday, February 10.
Centre Manager Lynda Cooper was able to talk about the charity’s free service and the kind of situations she sees among clients at her busy centre.
“It was great to meet with Mr Sants and tell him about the work of Christians Against Poverty. We introduced him to some of our clients and he was very keen to hear first-hand from them about the effects of debt and how CAP helped. He was very understanding and sympathetic of how people fall into debt for reasons often beyond their control.”
Archbishop Justin Welby, who spoke out against payday lenders last year, appointed Sir Hector to head up the Task Group on Credit Unions. Sir Hector arranged to visit the centre as part of his research to find out more about the part the church is playing in supporting those struggling with financial problems.
Clients included a couple who had loaned money to support their son for a house purchase and fell into debt when the son was unable to pay the loan back. After they contacted CAP, the couple were set up on a repayment programme and are now well on the way to clearing their debts.
Lynda added: “I also introduced him to a lady who’d fallen into debt after borrowing from a loan shark to pay for Christmas. I think it was helpful for him to understand the pressures clients face when already struggling to make ends meet.
“I know that responsible lending is a key concern for the Task Group and it’s great that they are making it a priority. I also explained that CAP are keen to promote saving as the safest way to prevent debt.”
For more: www.capuk.org or call 0800 328 0006.
Christians Against Poverty is a charity determined to reduce poverty by partnering with local churches to provide debt centres, money education courses and job clubs.
CAP’s debt centre in Liverpool Bootle has been open since 2010 and helps people regardless of age, gender, faith or background. The service is completely free of charge.
Every person is seen face-to-face in their own home; CAP’s head office negotiate with each creditor and draw up a budget that prioritises rent, food and bills.
In 2013, CAP helped 26,000 across the UK.