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Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national charity which is passionate about releasing people from a life sentence of poverty, debt, unemployment and addiction. Working in partnership with local churches, they bring good news, hope and freedom to people in the UK. By the end of their 20th year in 2016, there were over 600 centres based in local churches across the nation.

Sports Village Church began to partner with CAP in October 2012 when we opened a Debt Centre in Leigh. In just over 4 years we have seen over 200 families who have requested help with unmanageable debt. Help is offered free of charge to anyone who is in debt and does not feel able to manage their expected repayments, and we regularly celebrate families becoming debt-free.

The work is carried out by our Debt Centre Manager (Helen Bolton) and Debt Coach (Laura Cochrane) together with a team of volunteers from Sports Village Church and Christ Church Pennington. Both staff work part time for SVC Community Plus, the charity operated by Sports Village Church. They bring a wealth of relevant experience, as well as a passion to see people set free from the stress of debt. But more than that, they bring a passion to share the good news of Jesus.

Many agencies such as Wigan Wellbeing & Resilience, the Job Centre, Foodbank, Gateway and Wigan & Leigh Housing introduce clients to our award winning service. People access our help by ringing a free-phone number (0800 328 0006). We visit them in their own homes on at least 3 occasions, taking along a volunteer who we hope will be able to support them in other areas according to their needs. With the help of experts in Bradford we find a solution to their debt problems, and then help them stick to whatever plan is put in place. No case is too desperate for us to handle.

Our help doesn’t just stop with the debt issues. Thanks to our wonderfully generous church members we are able to offer lots of different blessings, for example each Christmas we make up and deliver food hampers to every client family. Once a client has been working with us for three months we can nominate them to go on a “Discovery break”, a free holiday for all the family, which includes lots of fun activities as well as daily bible teachings and sessions on worry, stress and forgiveness. For some this is the first holiday they have ever had.

We always offer to pray with our clients and many really appreciate this. We have seen plenty of prayers answered. We also invite every client to come to church and several have taken us up on that.

Our work is funded almost entirely from personal donations from individuals in our Church and we are extremely grateful for everyone’s generosity. If you would like to make a donation to the work of CAP in Leigh please contact Helen Bolton at helenbolton@capuk.org

If you would like help/advice from our CAP Debt Centre, please call 0800 3280006 and CAP’s new client enquiry team will arrange an appointment for you:.  For further information regarding CAP visit www.capuk.org 

Other CAP services offered by Sports Village Church are CAP Life Skills and CAP Money – click to find out more about each of these.

Daz HewittLeigh CAP Debt Centre