With a small donation and big faith, John Kirkby started Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in 1996. He believed God was calling him to sacrifice his career in finance and use his knowledge of the industry to help those trapped in poverty through debt.
Since then, CAP has rapidly grown its local centre network and expanded its services to tackle the causes of debt and poverty too. As well as CAP Debt Help, they now help people step into employment through CAP Job Clubs and CAP Life Skills, to equip people to live healthily on a low income. Their vision is to bring freedom and good news to the poor in every community through a nationwide network of CAP services.
In 2014 Harvest Church partnered with CAP to provide a free Debt Help Service in Alton and the surrounding area. The Alton Debt Centre is managed by Steve Hannington, with two other Debt Coaches and a team of volunteers from 11 local churches. The team visits clients in their homes to provide a personal debt help service, and also to pray and share the good news of the gospel where possible. By 2022, the Alton Centre had talked with 230 enquirers, significantly helped half those households, and enabled over 70 households (100 adults) to become debt-free.
Anyone struggling with unmanageable debt should call 0800 328 0006, or visit www.capdebthelp.org for more information.
In 2020 a CAP Job Club was started in Alton, meeting every Tuesday morning at Alton Maltings (10:00-12:00) to help those who want to find work. It is managed by Alastair Smith, with 2 other Job Coaches.
The CAP Job Club provides practical help to identify strengths and skills, prepare a great CV and practise interviews. There’s an 8-session course, and with one-to-one support the club provides a friendly, relaxed environment in which a jobseeker can build his or her confidence and find work. It’s completely free.
For more information visit www.capjobclubs.org. Anyone interested in joining the Job Club should call Alastair on 07871 635934.