Hitchin church opens debt counselling centre for people stuck in the debt trap

Phil Jackson to help people in debt

Phil Jackson to help people in debt - Credit: Archant

People stuck in the debt trap can receive free help at a Hitchin church which has opened a debt counselling centre.

Hitchin Christian Centre has partnered with charity Christians Against Poverty to bring its service to the area for the first time last week.

Hitchin centre manager Phil Jackson said: “The church has always been about offering hope and we’re really pleased to be able to give a tried-and-tested route out of debt alongside other great free debt advice in the area like the Citizens Advice Bureau.

“The Bible talks about looking after the poorest. In our society, a lot of poverty is debt-related so our congregation has been working hard to open a CAP centre to help get people back on track.”

CAP offers people a caring service to people with spiralling personal debt regardless of their age, gender, faith or background. Every client is visited in their own home, the charity does all the negotiating with creditors and volunteers can offer face-to-face support to each person until they are debt free.

Statistics show one in three callers seeking debt help are feeling suicidal but find relief through the non-judgemental service which treats every person as an individual.

Phil, who taught at Hitchin Girls’ School for more than three decades, added: “Typically, debts can build up when a relationship breaks down, or someone loses their job, or through bereavement – so often when people are least able to cope with a financial headache. We’re just so pleased to be able to partner the care of our church with the financial expertise of CAP’s head office in Bradford.

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“I am passionately interested in this important cause – I was a science teacher for a long time, and spent a lot of my time blowing things up in experiments so this is a new departure for me, but one I care deeply about.”

Call the national helpline on 0800 328 0006 who will direct you to Phil.

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