Category Archives: Family Interest

Do you need help with debt?

Call free 0800 328 0006

Weighed down by debt?
Weighed down by debt?

If you or someone you know is feeling weighed down by debt, then we can help for free. You may think your situation is impossible, but there is hope. This service is for anyone who is willing to pick up the phone and talk to a friendly person who can help you with your debt problems.

Please call free 0800 328 0006 to book an appointment. Our friendly debt coach Pam Ansell from our East Dorset CAP Centre will then call you to confirm your appointment to begin your journey out of debt.

Christians Against Poverty or CAP is an award winning national debt counselling charity that has been serving people for free for 25 years. CAP offers hope and a solution to most people in debt, open to people of all lifestyles, faiths and none. Our service is unique, in depth and absolutely free. We will offer you a variety of support as you work with us from the start to the end of your journey out of debt.

For more information, please contact Pam Ansell on 07458 395740. Our CAP East Dorset, Ringwood and Bearwood Centre is a joint project of the Bus Stop Club and Hope Church Ferndown. We have just celebrated our 29th individual/family in our area becoming debt free!

Please note: As the COVID-19 pandemic situation changes, we also will change to stay in line with government guidelines. Currently, we are offering a mixture of face-to-face and/or phone-based appointments as part of our debt counselling service. Despite all the changes we are facing, we continue to provide a holistic, personal service for every client.

Christians Against Poverty logo

There is always hope.

Heart-warming CAP hampers

… brought comfort and joy at Christmas!

Christmas CAP hampers and cheerful helpers
Some of the cheery Christmas hampers and smiling CAP team

Pam, our CAP Debt Coach, was thankful for the fabulous response at Christmas from local churches, supermarkets and the volunteers who helped pack, buy, donate money, food, gifts and deliver hampers to 15 families and single people who are on their journey out of debt and others who have recently become debt free!

So far 26 families and individuals have worked their way out of debt with our free service and support throughout their journey! Our local East Dorset CAP Centre works in partnership with the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Head Office in Bradford who negotiate with creditors and compile a budget for a repayment plan or other routes out of debt, in line with government guidelines. CAP have received many awards in the finance industry over the 25 years that they have been offering this free support service to help people work their way out of crushing financial debt.

Beautifully wrapped hamper of goodies
Smiling volunteers with beautifully wrapped hampers full of goodies!

What some of our CAP clients said about their hampers:

It’s gorgeous what a big help bless you xx

I was really blown away by the hamper!

Speechless, then over the moon, very thankful…

Was so pleased to receive the hamper – a big thank you.

Sumptuously wrapped hamper of treats
Sumptuously wrapped hamper of tasty treats!

60 Christmas dinners cooked and delivered with goody bags!

What a wonderful way to spread some good Christmas Cheer!

Smiling Susan Cooking 60 Christmas Dinners
Smiling Susan Cooking 60 Christmas Dinners

The Bus Stop Club broke its record this Christmas by cooking and delivering a total of 60 Christmas dinners to individuals and families we support! This was in place of having a sit down meal together at the Centre with clients and volunteers from our various projects including After School Craft, CAP Debt Centre, MOAT Courses (1:2:1 Management of Anxiety and Trauma Recovery), Food Store Cupboard and many others who receive our support.

Each dinner was delivered to the door by one of our super volunteers with a smile and a large goody bag full of generously donated groceries and treats. We say a big thank you again to all involved from those donating and collecting food supplies to assembling meals and goody bags to driving and delivering them. Thank you! Clients have said what a difference this made at this time, with some texting or sending us a Christmas card saying thank you!

A Christmas Thank You and News!

A sincere thanks to all our supporters and friends at Christmas!

A sincere thanks to all our supporters and friends at Christmas!

A sincere thanks to all our supporters and friends at Christmas!

Dear friends and supporters of the Bus Stop Club,

Well, what an extraordinary year we have all had! We are thankful that due to several pots of COVID funding and the commitment of staff and volunteers, we were able to turn the Centre into a Meal Production Hub during our first lockdown. We cooked and delivered around 890 meals and bags of groceries to our most vulnerable clients.

We also saw some more Debt clients go debt free during this time – in all, 26 clients are now debt free thanks to the support of our local CAP team and the CAP Head Office team in Bradford.

At the Centre, the summer was spent cleaning, archiving, repairing, and learning on-line.

So when we opened the Centre again in September, we were ready to work with individuals under our 1:1 M.O.A.T. coaching programme, which is running well, and which we plan to continue over the next 2 years. Regular donations of food, both fresh and store cupboard are available for the local community at the Centre every morning.

Instead of our local families coming to the Centre on Wednesdays for After School Club, we now go to them, with our delivery of Craft Packs and groceries every Wednesday!

Currently we are planning for a different Christmas season, with Christmas bags of goodies and presents for our CAP clients, goody bags for others, and a full Christmas roast dinner, cooked in the Centre and delivered during Christmas week by our lovely band of volunteers. This would simply not have been possible without your donations of treats, money and practical help. Thank you.

Whatever Christmas looks like for you this year, may you know that you have made a difference through supporting our work here in Ferndown and East Dorset.

THANK YOU!

Susan and the team.

Bus Stop Club
TRC Ferndown

Colourful craft bags delivered weekly containing fun activities for boys and girls

Lockdown Craft Packs

Our Wednesday After School Club had to think outside the box…  well… er… into a bag in fact! Although we have been unable to meet during Covid-19, it has not stopped us personally delivering our weekly Craft Sessions to the door. That’s twelve doors to be exact with a total of twenty children. Each week our families receive their variety of fun craft activities in colourful bags. Some weeks we include a few yummy treats! Below is some lovely feedback from one of our families.

Colourful craft bags delivered weekly containing fun activities for boys and girls

Colourful craft bags delivered weekly -containing fun activities for boys and girls!

“Thank you for my son’s craft pack every week! Not only does my son enjoy them, I enjoy the one to one time I spend helping him. I was worried in the current situation about having things to do after school so these deliveries are just perfect.”

– Mum of boy aged 10.

Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) – Interview from Healthwatch Dorset

We interviewed Healthwatch Dorset volunteer Catriona, who comes from a professional background of working in the field of mental health as a counsellor, and she offered her experience, tips and helpful resources.

Why did you become a Healthwatch Dorset volunteer?
“I have recently signed up to be a Healthwatch Dorset volunteer, I was triggered to be more proactive with my time when the lockdown announcement was made in relation to COVID-19.  I was interested in volunteering for Healthwatch because of my professional background in health and well-being.
“I have many years’ experience in the charity sector, helping young people and families with social, emotional and mental health struggles.  This has included therapy as well as support and motivation, offering opportunities for something as simple as a ‘walk and a talk’ or a call of encouragement to get out of bed in the morning.  I have also found advocacy an important part of my role, because when you most need help it’s often hard to find the energy to access agencies like the benefits system, housing or the health service.”

With your experience of working in mental health, can you tell us about some of the telling signs that a person may be feeling anxious or depressed?
“It’s important that everyone looks after himself or herself before they can really look after anyone else.  It’s important to ‘notice’ how you are – this takes a moment – to stop and ask yourself, how am I feeling, what am I doing, what do I need?
“Stress often triggers us into exaggerating our behaviour, so if you tend to over eat, you might eat more.  If you find running is a good way of calming yourself you might over-exercise, pushing yourself to run further or faster.  If you struggle to get out of bed and get dressed, you are likely to stay under your duvet if your mental health takes a downturn.
“Noticing this and being able to acknowledge what you are coping with is the first step to helping yourself and then helping others.  ‘Noticing’ takes a bit of practice because so many of us are used to rushing and filling every minute of the day with ‘doing’ something, but it’s so important because each of us, individually, is the expert on ourselves and knowing what we need.  The next, and really important step is to be kind to yourself – acknowledging and naming the challenges you are facing.
“The very same skills transfer well to helping others; noticing when someone has changed their behaviour or their way of reacting to you is key to helping.
“When you see changes that concern you, acknowledge that you’ve seen this and ask what the trouble is, demonstrating your concern and being kindly curious.  You may have to ask several times before you get a genuine answer, but it’s work persevering and when you get the answer you can offer support.”

Could you suggest some positive coping techniques?
“There are many well documented techniques for coping and again, it’s about knowing yourself, and what’s good for you.
“At the start of the lockdown I thought it was a good opportunity to do something I haven’t done before, I bought wool and knitting needles, but that was a mistake!  I don’t enjoy knitting and I never will!  I’ve now returned to the things that I know work well for me, walking and cycling, reading, cooking and keeping in touch with my friends and family.
“The one thing that is universally helpful, when coping with uncertainty is having a routine; again there are many variations of routine.  It might be that a very loose routine is best for you, or you might prefer something more structured, again knowing what suits you is important.  If you find yourself saying ‘I should…’ this is a critical voice in your head and some self-compassion is needed.
“Putting some structure into the day, and the night as well is a helpful coping skill, in the current situation, knowing what day of the week it is and marking the weekend in some way will help with isolation.
“It’s easy to feel helpless because COVID-19 affects the whole world and so much is out of our control, but keeping to small regular plans will offer a sense of agency and feeling grounded in your personal world.
“We constantly hear that we are living in unprecedented times, and this is true, we are all coping with challenges to our mental health on a daily basis and we live with global uncertainty about what will happen next.  We can only do our best and accepting our anxiety, acknowledging the stress and the worry and that these will lead to difficult feelings will keep us from being judgemental and harsh on ourselves and others.
“If you find you are being hard on yourself, ask yourself what you would advise your best friend to do about your concerns.  You will find it easier to access your kindness and compassion for him or her and then you can take the same action for yourself.
“It can be helpful to schedule a ‘worry time’ into your day.  Have a regular moment when you consider everything that’s worrying you and then agree with yourself to let go of your worry until the same time the next day.”

Healthwatch Dorset kindly thank Catriona for sharing her knowledge of the field and shared experience, to help others who may be feeling that their mental health is being impacted at this time. For more information about what they do please follow this link –> Healthwatch Dorset