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CAP in Great Yarmouth through City Church


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Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in Great Yarmouth through City Church Great Yarmouth

Imagine what life must be like for those people who are in real debt. Great Yarmouth has one of the highest proportions of individuals and families in debt in the country
According to the English Indices of Deprivation 2007, Great Yarmouth remains one of the two local authorities in Norfolk to appear in the most deprived, with a fifth of the population of Great Yarmouth now living amongst the most deprived in the country. Low earnings combined with low qualifications in the workforce reflect the unfavourable economic structure of Great Yarmouth with the borough at twice the national average of unemployment (Profile of Great Yarmouth, GYBC ’08)
The Trading Standards Agency has also highlighted the borough as one of its targeted areas in tackling the effects of illegal money lending in the area
Being in debt can be very frightening with many people feeling trapped with no way out.
A survey of people living in debt conducted by CAP highlighted:
  • 67% missed meals with 22% doing so regularly
  • 80% lived in fear
  • 6% attempted suicide with 34% considered suicide
  • 69% visited their GP as a result of debt with 41% being prescribed medication
  • 39% said debt caused arguments, with another 17% saying debt led to their relationship breakdown
Consider these quotes from people in debt:
  • “I told him to pack his stuff and leave. We were so close to giving up on our relationship”
  • “My wife was desperately trying to call me but I already had the engine running and a hosepipe through the window”
  • “We used to crawl from room to room so they didn’t know we were at home”
Now think about these quotes from people CAP have helped:
  • “After four weeks we could see that the budget was working. The bills were being paid and we could buy a week’s shopping.”
  • “We could have lost everything and each other – CAP fought for our family”
  • “My whole life has changed emotionally and financially – I now have hope”
  • “CAP isn’t just about finances – they want to give you what they’ve got in life, and that’s God’s love”
Christians Against Poverty is one of the leading debt counselling agencies in the country. They are recognised by all the leading banks, building societies and lending agencies in the country. They have recently been on GMTV due to the recognition of their work
CAP operates by partnering with a local church in setting up a CAP Centre in their town or city. We, at City Church Great Yarmouth, are meeting with CAP in order to bring a CAP Centre to Great Yarmouth
CAP trains Centre Managers who then visit clients in their own homes. They gather all the relevant information regarding their debts, financial position, incomings and outgoings. These are then sent to head office in Bradford where expert debt counsellors negotiate with their creditors to work out a fair budget that will see people become debt free within five years
The clients pay a certain amount of money into their ‘CAP Fund’ to cover the agreed payments. CAP then distribute this money to the creditors on the clients’ behalf. All this is done free of charge. CAP is funded purely from donations from Christians and churches
Alongside this, the local church gives support, love and care to those we are trying to help
From the moment CAP get involved, they take the pressure off those in debt, and work on their behalf, not only to help with budgeting and arranging affordable repayments, but also to stop interest payments, letters from bailiffs and debt collectors at their door
One of the marvellous results of CAP’s work is not just helping people out of debt, it often results in many people becoming Christians as they experience the love of God through those helping and supporting them from the local church
At City Church Great Yarmouth, we are presently working on raising the finance to set up a CAP centre in Great Yarmouth
article provided by David Weeks, Leader of City Church Great Yarmouth