What happened at the Felixstowe CAP Debt Centre in 2020?

The year started very promisingly for us but, as for other charities, the year didn’t go as we had hoped.
Our work with debt centre clients relies on us being able to interview a client in their own home. However with Coronavirus that’s not been possible for most of the year. Rick, our debt centre manager, has been very inventive and resourceful meeting clients in public places while keeping to the Coronavirus guidelines. At the start of the year we were supporting 6 existing clients. During the year Rick met with 3 new clients and 3 clients became debt free. Unsurprisingly, due to the Coronavirus upheaval, there were fewer new clients than we had planned for.

One of our clients who became debt free this year says: CAP has been invaluable to us in helping us to pay off a hefty runaway credit card debt and in learning to budget and save. Initially, we went on a local (Felixstowe) CAP Money Course to help with budgeting. The leaders were superb! They contacted CAP HQ who then helped us pay off our debt and save. It was hard not being able to spend money as freely as we had liked but after the debt was paid we felt enormous relief and a great sense of achievement! We were so pleased with ourselves! Later on, our boiler broke down and we could afford to have a new heating system installed. This would never have been possible previously without the help from CAP. All the time CAP HQ was helping us, the local CAP leaders were supporting and encouraging us. They even brought us wonderful much-appreciated Christmas hampers!

We were able to hold a Money Matters drop in at the River of Life church before lockdown started. We offered a chat and free coffee/tea and cakes to try and make contact with people who might need help. Although we advertised the drop in and leafleted 1,000 homes in the area unfortunately no one came. We will continue to try different ways of connecting with people who would benefit from a money budgeting course or who are struggling with debt – please contact Steve Lineham or Rick Taylor with any thoughts or ideas on that. To raise awareness, we also ran adverts and articles in the local free magazines.

In early March we ran a workshop, we had developed, aimed at helping us build meaningful relationships with the people we meet day by day. Thirty people from several different churches attended the workshop.

After completing vetting and security training at Warren Hill prison we held the first session of a two session money course for life inmates coming up for release, readying them for life outside of the prison. Five inmates attended the course but unfortunately Coronavirus kicked in and we couldn’t hold the second session of the course. Hollesley Bay prison are interested in us running a money course too. We had planned to run several CAP Money Courses during the year at community venues such as the Laydens Community Café, but those plans had to be put on hold.

We have been able to be present at some of the Basic pop-up shops during the year, being a listening ear and offering one to one money coaching.

Not the year we had planned, but God is working and we continue to seek Him for how best we can be His touch into people’s lives and bring them closer to Him.

Prayer points:
• Praise God that some of the new clients are attending a church
• Praise God for the current volunteers from 8 different churches
• We need more volunteers to:
Befriend and walk alongside clients on their journey
to become debt free
To co-ordinate the prayer team
To act as a trustee

If you would like to know more about the debt centre or volunteering with us please contact Rick Taylor email: ricktaylor@capuk.org Tel: 07983542624 or Steve Lineham email steve.lineham@btinternet.com Tel: 01394 672455

If you know someone who is anxious about debt or is struggling with debt please get them to ring 0800 328 0006