Today, national debt counselling charity, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), has launched a campaign urging people financially affected by the pandemic in Scotland to seek help with their debts without delay.
This campaign follows the revelation from their most recent report, ’Is Anyone Listening’ which uncovered that almost 60% of their UK based clients wait for over a year before seeking advice.
Further research including Citizen’s Advice Scotland (CAS) recent report revealed that 18% of people in Scotland are running out of money before payday during the current pandemic and 25% find it difficult or very difficult to cope on their present income.
Another report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research concluded that the number of destitute Scots will more than double as a result of both Brexit and the coronavirus.
Emma Jackson (pictured), CAP’s National Director in Scotland says:
“We know that because of the pandemic, many people are experiencing debt for the first time and for others, debts are growing, but CAP is here to help.
“So many people are experiencing financial worries right now, so you’re not alone in your struggle. “
“You won’t be judged in any way.
“Help is available to support you through this difficult time and into a brighter future.
“Getting help as early as possible can make a big difference.
“We want everyone in Scotland who’s struggling to know that our service is here and completely free of charge.
“We don’t want anyone going into winter and Christmas worrying about how they’ll manage day-to-day.”
Debt is rarely found in isolation.
There is immense value in listening to the full story and understanding the additional issues someone may be facing.
CAP are seeing more and more families unable to afford their basic living needs and experiencing high levels of destitution.
Before Christians Against Poverty’s (CAP) stepped in to help, one in ten (13%) clients were living without a bed or mattress and half (55%) sacrificed meals on at least a monthly basis because they could not afford food.
A CAP client, Gaynor, from Inverclyde said:
“I would say the minute you feel those pressures and as soon as you start to feel like you’re sinking, just seek that help right away.
“It’s not something to be ashamed of, to come out and ask for help.
“For me it snowballed so much as I was too ashamed to tell my family or close friends that I was in a bad way and I was terrified.
“The pride and the shame completely overtook me.
“If I’d got help right away – perhaps I would have kept my home, who knows.
“The debts would not have snowballed to the same level.
“A lot of that was sheriff court cost and things that kept accumulating.”
“In a nutshell, as soon as you feel like you’re out of your depth – and it doesn’t matter what that looks like, it will be completely different for everyone – but if you feel out of your depth at any point, get help.
“Go, speak to somebody, sooner rather than later.
“It doesn’t have to be family or friends, you can always do that confidentially.
“Just to not feel like you’re on your own.
Despite the pandemic, CAP is still arranging client appointments and continuing to offer a lifeline to people in debt.
If you are struggling with debt and need help, please get in contact today on: 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org.