Money advice that counts
7:40am Monday 14th October 2013 in Latest News
THE number of people living in Swindon and claiming Job Seekers Allowance has nearly tripled this year, according to a charity set up to help residents in poverty.
Kathleen Van Zyl, who works at Christians Against Poverty, says the situation for people living in Swindon has been getting worse this year, with more people out of work and a peak of those requiring urgent food.
This is why her organisation is running a free CAP Money Management Course to help people to not only manage money, but reduce debt, and educate them on all matters relating to finance.
Val Dunning, of Haydon Wick, first started using the service three years ago after her marriage fell apart and she lost her job working as a nurse due to illness. She owed around £16,000 and was feeling suicidal.
“They were amazing,” said Val, 54. “They really helped me sort everything out. I was avoiding creditors and couldn’t face dealing with anything. I had taken an overdose before I went to them and I know if it was not for CAP I wouldn’t be here today.”
Thanks to the support from the service Val’s debt has now been wiped out after she was declared bankrupt last year.
“I was so low before I heard about the group,” said Val. “I would advise anyone struggling with debt to get in contact as they really are amazing.”
Kathleen is a money manager at CAP. She said she first became involved with the organisation at Swindon Community Church after she stacked up debts to the tune of £24,000. Her husband also left her and although she worked in administration roles across the borough, providing for her two children became too much.
But four years later she has nearly paid back half of her debts and is now teaching other people so they can do the same.
“We want to help as many people in Swindon as we can overcome the oppression of poverty, and give them a practical way to lift themselves out of this way of life,” said Kathleen. “In addition, there are many who are stuck in debt and can't see a way to break the cycle. With this money management course we teach how this can be done.
“The number of people claiming JSA has tripled since this time last year, begging the question just how many are out of work.
“Due to heavy cuts in government funding a large amount of benefits are no longer available, such as the crisis loans, used when there is a delay in benefits being released.
“Things are tough out there and getting harder for people to manage the little they have.”
The course is being held at Pinehurst Community Centre, on the evenings of Wednesday October 16, 23 and 30 from 7.30.
To find out more or register call Angie Knight on 01793 734985 or 07957755034.
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