CAP’s Eastbourne Debt Centre, based in Victoria Baptist Church in Eastbourne, says the cost of living crisis is crushing those on low incomes.

Helen Diplock, Eastbourne’s Debt Centre Manager, says, “We know that everyone’s feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis right now, but if you’re already on a low income, the strain is relentless – plus there’s the added anxiety over future rises in living costs.”

CAP has been offering free debt-help, along with emotional and practical support, to people across Eastbourne since 2020. “People fall into debt for a variety of reasons,” Helen says. “They may have been made redundant, left a job to care for a family member, suffered from a long term illness themselves, or experienced a relationship breakdown – which cuts many household’s income in half.”

A CAP report released this month exposes the growing impact that the cost of living crisis is having on low income households in Eastbourne, trapping them into debt. CAP’s To The Edge report reveals that:

·         New CAP clients in the South East have a peak debt of over £17,390.

·         Without free debt help, it would take on average 35 years for an South East household to repay their debts.

“This report shows the reality of the situation for many people,” says Helen. “The cost of living crisis is leaving many families on unsustainable budgets, with little or nothing leftover after covering their basic living costs. People are aware that they could suddenly be plunged into large amounts of debt, and they’re scared.”

Helen says, “The detrimental impact that these kinds of debts have are significant. CAP’s report shows that, unsurprisingly, more people are suffering from depression compared to last year, and more are also experiencing anxiety or panic attacks. Most concerningly, the percentage of our clients who tell us they’ve attempted or considered suicide, as a way out of their debt, has risen as well from last year from 28% to 36%. This is heartbreaking, and doesn’t have to be the case – help is available.”

Sadie describes the support she experienced through CAP. “Life before CAP was very stressful. It was the worst time of my life… It was one of the happiest times of my life when she said you’re debt free. Life is at ease now, I’m really relaxed.”

Helen urges Eastbourne people, “If you need help to break free from debt, contact debt-help charities like CAP on freephone 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org today. Discover more about Christians Against Poverty through their social media channels.”

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a UK charity working with over 800 affiliated churches to deliver debt help, budgeting guidance, support to find work, life skills groups and more. Visit capuk.org to find out more.

CAP is committed to its services being available to all individuals regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.