Charity helps people to become debt-free
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A Portishead man who was struggling with debts has paid tribute to a counselling service which helped him transform his life.
Mike became unemployed after suffering from an illness and his bills began piling up.
He turned to Gordano Area Debt Centre - which is run by Christians Against Poverty (CAP) - where they helped him become debt-free.
The free debt counselling service helps people from Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead to sort out their finances and break free from debt.
Mike said: "After an illness I became unemployed and was very quickly overcome by my debts.
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"It was a very depressing and lonely time. My debts soared - the more my debts increased, the more depressed I became.
"CAP helped me by listing my outstanding debts and creating a budget to live off.
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"They talked to my debtors to get some breathing space and stop bailiffs knocking on my door. After six months I became debt-free and now I am managing my ongoing bills."
The charity was set up in 2018 when eight churches from different denominations decided to work together to help the increasing number of people living with overwhelming debt.
They partnered with CAP to launch the Gordano Area Debt Centre and so far they have helped 21 people and their families by offering a free, face-to-face service.
Joanna Pritchett, Gordano Area Debt Centre manager, said: "Debt can make people feel low and desperate but at CAP we provide free support to help clients become debt free backed up by our highly skilled team at CAP head office who tailor a budget and plan tailored to each client.
"CAP negotiates repayment terms with creditors which is a huge relief and a burden lifted for clients."
She added: "There are still many clients currently in the process of becoming debt-free.
"The journey does require some determination and commitment, but CAP provides support and guidance along the way to becoming debt-free.
"Living with overwhelming debt can feel quite isolating but many clients value the support given by our local CAP team of volunteers."
If you are struggling with debt, contact CAP on free phone 08003 280006 or visit www.capdebthelp.org