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23 June 2016

Everyday heroism helping the nation's most vulnerable

Everyday heroism helping the nation's most vulnerable

A new report shows shocking levels of deprivation are being addressed thanks to the UK Church partnering with debt charity and Alliance member Christians Against Poverty.

The organisation has 529 church centres with 6,000 volunteers and reports that congregations are going the extra mile to bring hope to people in desperate hardship.

The Preston North CAP team topped up a prepayment meter so a mother could bath her baby in warm water for the first time in two weeks.

Chief Executive Matt Barlow said: "We see terrible levels of poverty, as some of these stories show, and we really wonder what would happen were it not for the love and dedication of the local Church, with whom we work.

"It is our privilege to take these findings and make them public. We owe it to the people who suffer with poverty, unemployment, addiction and all their associated problems. We need to keep reminding ourselves of the daily realities they face – and our responsibility as a society to make those connections, bring them hope and provide prevention where possible."

Other stories include the team in Hemel Hemstead supporting a man with severe mental health issues by cleaning his home, and the team in Manchester South driving a client with four children to the supermarket every week for eight months until they could afford to run their car again.

Findings show more than half of the clients (56 per cent) live below the poverty line as they cope with an average debt of nearly £14,000, a figure up six per cent on last year and one that seems likely to grow in 2016.

Low income is once more the most common reason for debt, closely followed by problems with budgeting.

CAP, now in it's 20th year, is well regarded within the debt advice sector as being an industry leader in sensitively tackling the issues of vulnerability and has won several national awards.

Last year saw its Poor Pay More report into Prepayment Meters launched in parliament attended by MPs, the Big Six energy suppliers and Ofgem.

As a member of the Evangelical Alliance, CAP is one of 600 organisations supported by the Alliance. We facilitate members' initiatives and campaigns and offer support to increase their impact and provide training for organisations on how to engage with the local government and media.

If you would like to become a member of the Evangelical Alliance as an organisation, church or individual, you can find out more here.