Debt counselling centre expands to cope with demand

AS the financial squeeze continues the Causeway Coast area’s branch of a debt counselling charity is taking on extra staff to bring more free help to those in need.

From this week, Causeway Coast CAP will be welcoming two new debt coaches to their team resulting in more appointment slots for people suffering from out-of-control debts.

The centre, which opened in 2010, has seen a steady growth in the number of people getting in touch as word has spread of CAP’s uniquely in-depth, caring and face-to-face help.

Typically most clients get in touch after personal recommendation while others are referred by local GPs, housing associations and social services.

Clients’ creditors are contacted by CAP, a workable budget is set for the household and the charity continues to give support and encouragement until they become debt free.

Centre Manager for the Causeway Coast branch David Kelly said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming debt coaches Jan Hamilton and Geoff McGookin onto the team at such a crucial time.

“We have been booked up months in advance as we continue to cope with the fall-out from the economic downturn. This will mean we have many more appointments available each week and be able to see and help more people, more quickly.”

A recent report commissioned by Aviva found that the average UK family now owes nearly £10,000 excluding mortgages.

Both near-stagnant wages and rising living costs have contributed to this rapidly growing figure.

More than a third of clients say demanding calls from creditors, unbearable stress and feelings of despair mean they seriously considered suicide before getting help.

CAP’s debt counselling is a free service available to all regardless of age, gender, faith or background. It is a UK-wide charity which has partnered with 200 local churches to bring hope and a solution to people in debt.

Find out more about CAP at www.capuk.org or by ringing 0800 328 0006.