Ballymoney Community Christians Against Poverty is continuing to help those struggling in debt despite the challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID 19) restrictions.
Volunteers from Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre based at St Patricks Parish Centre, Queen Street, Ballymoney are helping their local clients with practical help, support, encouragement and a friendly voice at the end of the phone.
Beth Thompson, Ballymoney CAP Debt Centre Manager said: “We’re ensuring that we follow all of the social distancing rules to stay safe but we’re still here to support our clients’ needs.
”Our buildings may be closed but our office is very busy and open most Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10am and 4pm though these times may vary.
”We have been providing practical support such as linking clients with Ballymoney Foodbank, arranging emergency shops, oil and electricity and continuing to help clients with their paperwork and progress them towards managing debt.”
CAP client Mark says: “I went to CAP when I fell on hard times back in 2018 and was in unmanageable debt.
I have been with CAP since then and they have provided me with advice and a plan from CAP Headquarters, as well as emotional support, practical support and encouragement from the team in Ballymoney.
”With CAP’s expertise and help from Ballymoney foodbank I have learned that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Please don’t hesitate to call CAP for help, you will find no better organisation. “
The CAP Debt Help service has been adapted to adhere to Government social distancing guidelines to ensure the safety of staff and clients and is continuing to support clients with problem debt. CAP staff and volunteers are delivering essentials where needed and ensuring that people who are locked in poverty have practical, emotional and spiritual support.
Beth added, “Some clients have been alone and isolated for a long time, even before coronavirus so our continuing contact is giving people a lifeline of support and hope”.
Gordon Robinson, co-ordinator for Ballymoney Community CAP says: “Through our work in the debt counselling service we see up close the terrible impact life controlling habits have on marriages, relationship breakdowns, unemployment and mounting debt which in turn creates a downward spiral to more addiction, debt and broken relationships etc.
”This is a huge problem in our community and rather than continuing to treat the symptoms we want to start dealing with the cause.
Addiction comes in many forms the most common being, alcohol, smoking, gambling, drugs, internet addictions such as pornography and shopping.
”To help those caught in the mire of their addiction we are delighted to be able to provide a new project called FRESH START commencing early in 2021.
”It’s all about what it says in the title and it is to help people who are addicted to life controlling habits kick them and find a FRESH START in Life.
”We have two brilliant volunteers who are undergoing professional training to lead this course and a group of support volunteers in the background.(if you would like to be involved please contact me and I can tell you more about it. Tel 07745162632)
”We have set up a crowdfunding page which came as a result of applying to the Aviva Insurance Group Community Fund for financial support for this project and having passed the first stage of the process we have now created a crowdfunding page (such as it is) on their website which is live for the next 33 days ending 13th December.
”The Aviva Staff have a fund of £250,000 to distribute to the dozens of projects on this site and hopefully they will find our project worthy of some support but it is really essential we get it moving forward first and raise at least 25% of the target.
”Any support you can provide will be greatly appreciated.”
To help visit www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/fresh-start-bccap or call the Debt Centre on 07879332449.