Welwyn Garden City debt counselling service issues Christmas advice

The debt centre is run by Panshanger Church. Picture: Danny Loo

The debt centre is run by Panshanger Church. Picture: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Welwyn Hatfield residents have been urged to start saving for Christmas to avoid the financial burden in January.

The advice comes from Phil Green, Welwyn Garden City Christians Against Poverty (CAP) debt centre manager, as the countdown to the festivities begins.

Run by Panshanger Church and in partnership with other churches in Welwyn Garden City, the debt centre, which opened five years ago, has helped more than 100 families.

Mr Green said: “No-one wants to think about Christmas yet, but in 100 days it will be here.

“So, this is our opportunity to be proactive and save for the big day.

“Every year we see people whose finances were already fragile but too much Christmas spending pushed them over the edge.

“It doesn’t have to be that way if you start early.”

Mr Green added: “Of course, we’re missing the point if we think Christmas is only about spending money.

“Memories are not about which label we buy, they are made by spending time together with family and friends.

“Once you’ve started to prepare, you can get that perspective instead of the usual last minute panic that can result in credit and the worry that follows.”

All debt clients are visited in their home by members of the local CAP centre who explain the service face-to-face and collect their paperwork.

Meanwhile, specialist teams at CAP head office negotiate with creditors and create a workable budget enabling each person to go debt free.

Mr Green said: “If you are struggling to pay the bills, and you’re being chased for money you don’t have, please let us help you. “One phone call could be the difference between a merry Christmas and a miserable one.”

CAP’s services are available to everyone regardless of age, gender, faith or background.

Anyone wanting CAP’s help should call 0800 328 0006.

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