Debt help for people in Chichester
A centre dedicated to helping people who have spiralled into debt has officially launched its service.
National charity Christians Against Poverty has been operating a dedicated centre at Chichester Baptist Church since May, and is already helping many people to become debt-free.
Centre manager Colin Clark said while Chichester was seen as an affluent area, debt could affect anyone regardless of job, status or background.
"People are referred to us from a number of different places. The district council, the Citizens' Advice Bureau have encountered quite a problem in Chichester.
"There is certainly a lot of debt out there and some real poverty, which came as quite a surprise to people. We see people with mortgages and people on the lowest incomes.
"One of the other things is that debt has been so easy to get and one of the key things is a lot of people haven't had very much training in managing money."
Mr Clark also said while debt was a problem, it often had other consequences.
"Relationships are often affected, there can be emotional problems and mental health problems and suicide is another issue."
The centre operates two days a week and is aimed at anyone with debt problems, Christian or not.
Advisers see people in their own homes and help devise a manageable debt management plan, with CAP liaising with those in debt and their creditors.
The plans focus on budgeting and often incorporate a savings element as well.
CAP will stay with clients every step of the way to ensure clients receive full support.
The Chichester centre is one of 101 across the country.
And since the recession the problem of debt has become so bad the charity plans to open 60 centres over the next 12 months as part of a new push to help tackle the issue.
Mr Clark said: "To get debt-free we are planning for people over five years, any sort of time beyond five years then we will look at other solutions and be there through that process."
*For debt help contact the centre on 07815 561868 or email [email protected] For more information see www.capuk.org or call 01274 760761.
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