Charity, Shropshire,

Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

CAPM

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national organisation headquartered in Bradford. It was founded by John Kirkby, in 1996, since when it has grown nationally and internationally – being very successful in providing practical advice and help for those struggling with debt, and other issues. Its services are free, open to all and unconditional.

CAPMD came into being in 2014 when Martin Tanner, vicar of St Mary’s (at the time), initiated the idea. Churches Together, (the organisation for churches in Market Drayton), designated St Mary’s as the operator of the scheme. Since that time, the CAPMD Debt Centre has been providing free support and advice to anybody with problem debt who asks for help.

CAPMD confirms that all clients receive the same services regardless of race, nationality, religion or none, age, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, or disability. Gill Carley, who was appointed as CAPMD manager in 2014 has recently been promoted to CAP Area Manager, West Midlands, and will be sorely missed. Her replacement at Market Drayton will, it is hoped, be appointed by the end of 2021. In the mean time The Debt Centre is manned by volunteer debt coach Keith Harrison (keithharrison@capuk.org) , who will be in charge until Gill’s replacement takes up the post. Besides the Debt Centre, three other services are available from CAPMD on the same unconditional basis: the Job Club commenced May 2016; the Life Skills Programme commenced September 2018 and the Money Management Programme commenced April 2019.

Ali Doulton (email: alidoulton@capjobclubs.org mobile: 07554 738425) manages the Job Club and Money Management programmes. Job Club provides help to people trying to return to work, who may need assistance in practical ways – e.g. Identifying personal strengths and skills, writing CVs and interview skills. Job Club works in close collaboration with Job Centre Plus.

The Money Management programme provides courses which help people in very constructive ways: managing expenditure and income from all sources; budgeting; credit and debt controls for individuals and households. The course is practical in nature and offers model plans to put into real life practice.

Julia Farrant (email: juliafarrant@caplifeskills.org) manages the Life Skills programme. Courses provide help to people living on a tight budget who have difficulty in day to day living. Skills development covers budgeting, relationships, healthy eating and meal planning, health and wellbeing, and building self confidence.

Many CAPMD Clients have complex issues requiring detailed support.

CAPMD has one paid member of staff (The Debt Centre Manager); all others are volunteers. It is overseen by a committee of up to 11 people representing all the churches concerned with considerable delegated responsibilities. Chaired by Dr. Richard Priestley, the committee publishes a ‘Look Forward Plan’ to develop CAPMD as an investable organisation, with regard to potential donors and funding organisations. All investments are recorded by the committee and accounts are scrutinised and approved by St. Mary’s Parochial Church Council.

Central to CAPMD’s operations is its collaborative work with other social and community organisations, e.g. Job Centre Plus, the Foodbank, local housing associations, health professionals and social care organisations. CAPMD’s aim is to make a difference for those people with major problems in their lives, and directing all possible resources to that goal is their priority.

CAPMD has come out of the pandemic restrictions well equipped for the future and operates on a face to face or electronic basis, where appropriate whilst continuing to develop and provide its services. Contact point: rjp@rjpriestley.plus.com

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