Rory Stewart, MP for Penrith and The Border, attended an event held by the charity Christians Against Poverty on Friday to help promote their life-changing services, and to celebrate their 20th anniversary. CAP offers a wide range of services for those struggling with debt problems including free and in-depth debt counselling in the customer’s own home. The service also offers budgeting advice, debt management plans, and specialist insolvency advice. CAP also offers a free money management course. In Cumbria, they have centres in Carlise, Kendal, Whitehaven, and Penrith which offer home visits and one to one support for people weighed down by debt.

Each of their centres operates in partnership with a local church and are supported by a team of volunteers whose role is to provide a befriending service for clients. They also have professionally trained debt counsellors at their Bradford head office who are available by phone, email, and text, Monday to Friday.Locally, CAP works in partnership with Penrith Methodist Church and King’s Church Eden. They offer counselling covering the whole of the Eden Valley including Alston Moor and they also run the CAP Money Course in Penrith.

Speaking at the event Rory praised CAP’s work, and discussed the issue of debt in modern society. “Poverty in Britain is a difficult issue. Its impact can vary from home to home. Poverty combined with debt can inflict real hurt on individuals and their families. It can lead to isolation, loneliness, disillusionment, and depression; all hints that there is something deeply wrong. Anything that we can do to support people in debt, and to educate about how to recover from debt, is of huge importance to us all as a society, and I am very pleased to support CAP’s efforts to address this serious problem.”

Jon Cook, the manager of the Eden Debt Centre, said “We want to thank Rory for his generosity in giving us his time and for the fantastic talk he gave and discussion he facilitated.  It was a great platform for our further discussions, and it has been a great help to us here in the CAP debt centre to have Rory’s input.  No doubt we will continue to engage in working together on future occasions.”


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