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Great Yarmouth charity warns of crippling impact of debt

PUBLISHED: 10:26 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:01 31 July 2018

The charity's report found that many people struggling with debt consider suicide                                       Picture: Thinkstock/AntonioGuillem

The charity's report found that many people struggling with debt consider suicide Picture: Thinkstock/AntonioGuillem

AntonioGuillem

The manager of a Great Yarmouth charity has issued a warning about the potentially devastating effects of debt.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national charity that helps people tackle debt by organising counselling, money management and job clubs.

Last month, the charity published their latest client report, which indicates that almost a third of their clients had considered suicide at some stage due to debt.

The report also found that almost 
40pc were afraid to leave their 
homes, 75pc were afraid to answer the telephone and 80pc were scared to open their post.

Pat Hillier, who manages the 
Great Yarmouth branch of CAP, said debt is often caused by relationship breakdowns, unemployment, problems with benefits, illness and bereavement - with the report highlighting the destructive impact debt can have.

She said: “It’s heart breaking; there are hundreds, possibly thousands, of people in this area, living in isolation with a poverty secret. The sad truth is they may live in the same street as us, but they’re suffering from extreme loneliness because of their debts.

“People are created for community, they’re social beings, and the long term damage of living with loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“It means that they can’t provide for their children, don’t have enough food to eat or can’t heat their home. Tragically, it even makes some of them consider taking their own lives.

“If your finances are out of control, please give us a call and let us help you get your life back on track.”

Great Yarmouth’s CAP debt centre was launched in January 2017 at Park Baptist Church in Crown Road.

The charity provides services across the borough, visiting clients in their home and working with each until they become debt free, while head office staff in Bradford negotiate with creditors and devise budgets.

CAP’s services are available to all irrespective of faith, age, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation or race.

The charity has grown since its foundation in 1996 to a service that helps alleviate poverty through 624 church based projects across the country.

To find out more about CAP, visit capuk.org or call 0800 328 0006.

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