CAP Malvern in 2022 – How can you be involved?
The last couple of years have been a considerable challenge for people in our community. With the prayer support and generosity from Believers across the town and God’s blessings we have seen positive impacts in so many ways. So firstly please join me in celebrating: here are some of the highlights.
Freed from the Burden of Debt
Since we opened the Debt Centre in April 2019 Denise and I have had appointments with 50 clients. With CAP’s support 14 of these households are now debt free, 10 more are actively committed to a plan, 11 are still working through the setup process, 1 was referred to another agency following a move, and 7 took CAP’s advice and felt more confident to sort their situation out themselves.
The statistics only tell part of the story of the impact on individuals. The challenges faced by each household are unique and in most cases covering much more than debt. It has been a privilege to get to know them, to listen and pray with them and help them stand on their own feet again. Denise and I could not do all this without the amazing team of 25 volunteer Befrienders who get to know each client and walk alongside them during the process of becoming free of debt.
Practical Needs Met
The Blessing Team have continued to meet many practical needs and Colin Robbins continues to have his ‘socks blown off’ by God’s timely provision through God’s people from all flavours of church. Local businesses have also responded to our requests for help. DAR have been particularly helpful in providing cookers for 6 clients who did not have a proper means of heating food. With government funding allocated to us by the District Council we have been able to underwrite the costs of these white goods as well as support clients with insolvency fees and a range of other one-off expenses. In December 2021 we were able to source and distribute food hampers and small gifts to 32 clients which helped households as they prepared for extra costs around Christmas.
Recognising God at Work
Almost all of the clients that we have met have welcomed our offers of prayer. For many this is their first experience of Christian prayer. Quite a few have acknowledged God’s hand at work in their lives since they started working with CAP. This is such a privilege and we have been delighted that a small number have made a personal commitment to Jesus and are attending church.
Expanding our Geographical Coverage
Encouraged by the words from Isaiah 54v2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes”, we have responded to a request from the churches of Ledbury who have sourced funding for Denise, from August 2021, to work an additional day serving clients in the town within the framework of the LEAF initiative. This has been working well with 5 clients so far.
Engaging on a Broader Stage
Malvern Hills District Council have actively sought a partnership with local agencies seeking to alleviate poverty and CAP was initially invited to present to a meeting of Counsellors and then at a Poverty Summit. Andy Lymer (who is chairman of CAP Malvern) has considerable experience with national initiatives and was invited to lead a follow-up Poverty Summit with a wider working group. He is now assisting our District Council to work in parallel with Birmingham City Council.
The Year Ahead
As we have been praying we sense that 2022 is going to be another exciting year for CAP in Malvern and Ledbury. Thanks to your generosity our finances look in good shape as we start the year.
Where Could You Be Involved?
CAP is such a great way to make a practical difference in our communities!
If you would like to know more about what we do or would like to get more involved I would love to hear from you. Could you be part of the team?
- Prayer – we have a monthly prayer meeting and I also send out requests for prayer by email to those who offer to pray for us
- Befriending – each client is offered the support of a volunteer Befriender. We provide training and support in this really significant part of the service that we offer
- Blessings Team – this team offer practical help in response to requests for things such as DIY and gardening, but also with sourcing second-hand items needed by our clients
- Community Links Coordinator – I maintain links with a range of local organisations and churches and would like to be able to improve on this and also to increase CAP’s presence on social and local media. Would you be able to offer a few hours a week to support me with this?
- Giving – to support the work of our CAP Debt Centre locally, or CAP nationally
If you know of anyone locally struggling with problem debt, please encourage them to call CAP’s freephone number 0800 328 0006 or put me in touch with them directly.
Debt Centre Manager – Malvern Christians Against Poverty