Emily Ansell, the new manager, says the current pandemic will mean many people are facing financial crisis but the debt centre is set up to offer help, practical support and a way out of debt.
Based at the Wickbourne Centre, in conjunction with Arun Church, the debt centre is due to reopen in January to offer free help to people facing money problems in its area, which includes Rustington, Angmering, East Preston and Arundel.
Emily said Arun Church, along with Littlehampton Churches Together, is urging people impacted financially throughout the pandemic to seek help now, before their debts build up further.
She explained: “We know that many people wait as long as three years before finding help with their debts.
“At first it may seem like you can manage a drop in income but when bills start to get missed, debt can rapidly build up until it becomes unmanageable.
“Debt can be caused by many different reasons, ill health, bereavement, relationship breakdown or low income, so it may not just be due to the pandemic, although we know that many people in our area have had a reduction in hours or income and may be struggling.
“Getting help as early as possible can make a big difference. We don’t want anyone going into the winter and towards Christmas worrying about how they’ll manage.
“We want everyone in our area to know that our service is here, completely free of charge.”
Since the pandemic hit, the award-winning CAP Debt Help service has adapted to follow social distancing guidelines. Support still includes helping clients with practical things such as linking up with food banks, arranging emergency fuel top ups, support, encouragement and a friendly voice at the end of a phone.
Emily said: “It doesn’t matter whether people have reached a point of desperation, or whether they’ve just begun to struggle. We’re able to help and are determined to do whatever we can to alleviate the additional pressure that many people are facing as they negotiate loss of or low income.
“We may all be affected by this pandemic but we’re not all in the same boat. Asking for help is a positive step. Please don’t suffer in silence, we’re here to help.”
If you are struggling with debt and need help, telephone CAP on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org for more information.
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