This week Jubilee+, the team helping churches across the UK to find their place in serving the poor and marginalised, reported that new figures have been released showing that in the UK, average debt per household rose to a new high of £15,385 in 2018.
It is because of statistics like this - and the human stories that lie behind them - that some of the money from this year’s Christmas appeal is going towards helping some of our churches tackle debt in their communities.
Life Money, in Peterborough, sent us a few stories of some of the ways finding freedom from debt has led people into greater flourishing in other areas of life. Your donation to this year’s Christmas Appeal will help more people like these find pathways out of their poverty into greater flourishing.
Mr. T. (name changed for confidentiality) came to us after separating from his wife finding himself in loads of debt. He is unable to work due to partial sight, heart problems, asthma & depression. After our initial meeting we determined various options were available, including bankruptcy, but the only option the client wanted to pursue was the DMP (debt management plan). We have successfully done this and continue to support him on a regular basis, which include six-monthly reviews. Change of circumstances and increased care costs brought him back through our doors again more recently, but again we have been successful in negotiating a payment arrangement that he can afford and he is happy with this.
This gentleman now participates in Livingroom on a Tuesday morning, a coffee morning for those over the age of 50. He enjoys playing cards and being sociable with others in the café and looks forward to this time.
His finance issues are far from over but the stresses no longer keep him awake at night, he is much more positive and knows that we will continue to support him when he needs us to.
From debtors to helpers
A couple from our church came to us when things built up after a change of income and circumstances pushing them further into debt. After the first meeting with them they felt the pressure was released and they could sleep, the phone calls diminished and they could relax again. Once we reviewed their case, we were able to put in place a Debt Management Plan to alleviate the burden and give them peace of mind. They were much relieved and so appreciated the help that they decided to train up and become part of our Life Money Team!
A positive outlook
Mrs. C came to us when her husband was in prison. She had never handled the household bills, and did not have any money coming in. We supported her through foodbank, assisted her with benefit applications and put in place a re-negotiated mortgage amount that she could sustain. Mr. C. is now out of prison and is actively looking for work. We have assisted him in the benefit applications and now they both have an income, are managing the bills and we are in the process of renegotiating new terms for the mortgage. They now both take part in weekly social groups and attend church on Sundays. They feel that they have joined a supporting family and are looking positive towards the future.
There’s still time to donate to the appeal and help people like these find hope and freedom.