Clacton CAP Debt Centre Launch

On Sunday 25th Feb we will have a special service to mark the launch of the new local CAP debt centre. This is a joint venture by the churches across our Deanery. Pauline Scott, our Area Dean, has written this week’s Front Page to explain more...

CAP (Christians Against Poverty) is a well-respected national charity that works to help those in financial need.  As well as debt centres all over the country, it also trains coaches to lead CAP Money courses (which Alan and Marian organised here) and runs job clubs, helping people out of unemployment.  The Debt Centres, Money courses and Job Clubs are all run by local churches with some paid staff and many volunteers.

Archbishop Justin Welby says “CAP are serious, highly professional, deeply committed and, above all, they will treat you as a human being of infinite value”, while Moneysaving expert Martin Lewis writes “CAP are unsurpassed when it comes to the debt help they give people across the country. There’s nothing better to start you on the path to having more money in your pocket”.

The Clacton CAP Debt Centre is a joint project by the Anglican churches of St Osyth Deanery and has been some years in process.  We expect the project to cost around £9,000 a year and we have received 80% of that for three years from the Diocesan Unit Development Fund.  The rest of the money has come from contributions from individual churches in the Deanery and one other very generous donation.  Because the 80% funding is only for three years we are keen to build up the CAP Deanery fund to allow us to keep the centre going.  The money will cover our contribution to CAP who do the negotiations with creditors and set up the payment plan and who provide the training and on-going support for our Debt Centre Manager and Coach (£300 per month).  It will also cover the salary & associated costs of the Debt Centre Manager & Coach (who will work 1½ days per week). 

After advertising across our deanery, our first Debt Centre Manager and Coach has been appointed after a local interview with me and Teresa Lasky, the local CAP area manager.  She was then interviewed at CAP Head Office.  Her name is Roni Dickenson and she attends Alresford Church.  She will undergo two sets of training – in February and May.  She will operate the ‘Debt Centre’ from a mobile and laptop provided by ourselves and, as she will visit clients in their own homes, there is no need for a physical office.  Referrals can be made locally or via the general CAP contact numbers.

As well as a paid Debt Centre Manager & Coach, we will also need a number of volunteers. Befrienders will accompany the Debt Centre Manager & Coach visiting a client and will offer friendship & support in between visits and during the time of coming out of debt.  It is best if these are available locally (and don’t assume only deprived areas have people in debt!).  It can also enable links to be made with the local church and clients may well be interested in coming along to church.  Training will be available. Once we have a number of clients, events will be organised to allow families to get together and relax during what can be a very difficult time and volunteers will be needed to help with this. It would also be good to have a dedicated team to pray for Roni and the clients.     Pauline

Do let me know if you think you might be able to help.  Thank you