One of the many difficult aspects of this pandemic is the impact it has had for lots of us on personal finances. It can feel difficult to talk about and hard to know where to go for reliable advice. Carlton Andrews has put together this useful blogpost for us with several really useful links to trusted websites offering sound financial advice and support. We realise situations can be very complex and individual but these resources may be a place to start?

 

From Carlton:

Hi everyone! During these challenging times it is easy to worry about what the future will hold for our country, our town, our church, our friends and our families – fortunately we know we can bring these worries to our Lord and ask for his protection and healing.

At the same time, many of us are facing daily financial pressures and concerns and there is a lot of help and information available online. However, with so much fake news around it can be difficult to identify the genuine stuff! Recognising this, Christians Against Poverty has put together a list of trusted websites where you can get help, and I have added details of local foodbanks as well:

CITIZENS ADVICE: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
Impartial advice on your rights and the help available

MONEY SAVING EXPERT (Martin Lewis) https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/
Regular updates about the impact of COVID-19 on your money

GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Government advice about the coronavirus

RELATE: https://www.relate.org.uk/
Relationship support for everyone

FOODBANKS:
Hitchin/Letchworth/Baldock https://letchworth.foodbank.org.uk/
Stevenage http://www.stevenagecab.org.uk/contact.php?id=45
Luton/ Dunstable https://lutonfoodbank.org.uk/get-foodadvice/get-food/ https://dunstable.foodbank.org.uk/

 

Thanks Carlton!

A bit more about Carlton and his work with CAP:

Carlton and his wife Wendy moved to Hitchin almost two years ago. At Zeo he is part of the Production team providing the sound at some of our services, and Wendy is part of the Logistics team supporting Zeo’s children’s work. He joined Christians Against Poverty’s (CAP) Hitchin centre as a volunteer Debt Coach last year. Carlton has worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau and been a volunteer debt advisor with West Kent Debt Advice.

Christians Against Poverty was started in Bradford in 1996 by John Kirby after he was called by God to help the poor. Since then the charity, and its network of partner churches, has helped thousands of clients to go debt-free. To paraphrase John Kirby: We are not debt advisers who are Christians, we are Christians who offer debt advice. Over time CAP has expanded its services from Debt Help to include the following courses:
The Money Course (providing budgeting wisdom),
Life Skills for people living on a low income,
Job Clubs for the unemployed, and
Fresh-Start for those struggling with life controlling dependencies.

CAP Hitchin intends to continue offering the first three of these after the current restrictions are lifted. “How do I get Debt Help in Hitchin or the surrounding area?” Previously you would have telephoned head office to make an appointment and after a few simple questions they would allocate the next available appointment for your local Debt Coach to call round to your home. However, as the service is realigned to comply with the current regulations the new enquiry phone line is temporarily closed, but it will be re-opening very soon. (New processes and procedures are already in place to assist existing clients over the telephone rather than face-to-face).

Visit capuk.org or phone 0800 328 0006 (temporarily closed) for more information.
To find out how you can support the work of CAP financially or with prayer, please visit capuk.org/get-involved.

Please contact us at care@zeochurch.com if you have a specific practical need or would simply like to chat or pray about something. Also do pop by the Care section of the Zeo Church website for further resources.