Shock statistics show nearly 3,500 people in the Skegness area are worried about debt. As concern about the impact of the introduction of Universal Credit grows, The Standard speaks to a service that is helping local people take control of their finances and put debt worries behind them...
The relief on the face of the man who was nearly free of debt said it all.
It doesn’t matter if you are £50 in debt or £5,000. If you can’t afford to pay it may as well be £5 millionAlan Bailey, community manager at the Storehouse Church
“This man had carried debt for ages and is now nearly free of it,” said Alan Bailey, Storehouse Church community manager.
“He was crying he was so happy - it’s great to see when people can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
January is one of the busiest months at the Storehouse in Skegness, with credit card bills landing on the doormats of residents after the Christmas spending binge.
But poverty in the resort is an all-year problem with 18.5 per cent of the population worried about debt, according to the charity StepChange.
Last year the Storehouse provided 14,000 meals for the needy in the Skegness area, with their Christmas foodbank appeal supported by The Standard.
But in the dawning of 2016, it becomes more evident that debt is the underlying problem - and that is where Churches Against Poverty comes in.
The Storehouse is one of 280 debt centres in the country and offers its clients support from the first time they call the 0800 number until they are finally debt free.
“It doesn’t matter if you are £50 in debt or £5,000. If you can’t afford to pay it may as well be £5 million,” said Alan.
“There are many services out there offering help but people often struggle to access it.
“Our model is more personal and our debt coaches support clients all the way through until they are debt free. It is one of only two supported by the Government and has a pastoral element which fits in well with what we do.
”From the moment they meet one of our debt coaches it takes about three weeks for a plan to be put in place and from that moment we deal with the creditors and also help clients with advice on how to manage finances. We want people to know there is help out there.”
To seek help, call 0800 328 006 or for more information pop into the Storehouse on North Parade or call Gail Dunn on 01754 763362.