Tag Archives: CAP Debt Help

Stay Warm This Winter as Energy Prices Rise

The Bus Stop Club and Hope Church share tips to help people

During Warm Homes Week 27-30 September, The Bus Stop Club Charity and Hope Church, Ferndown is highlighting the issue of fuel poverty.

The charity and church run a Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre which offers free debt help for clients in the local area. 

Pam Ansell, East Dorset & Ringwood Debt Centre Manager, said: “We’ve seen food prices rise, the Universal Credit uplift being cut and now with fuel tariffs increasing we’re worried about where this will leave people.”

“We’re encouraging people to access help and support towards the beginning of the winter rather than waiting until the end.

Many of those we help have struggled to stay warm over the winter, but knowing where to get support, combined with some simple energy saving tips, can make a difference.”

There are several schemes and top tips which can help people with saving money and staying warm this winter:

  1. Check with your energy company whether you are on the most appropriate tariff for your gas and electricity and if necessary, shop around for a cheaper deal by swapping suppliers.
  2. Ensure that your meter readings are accurate and that you are only paying for the energy you use.
  3. Investigate whether your home needs insulation to keep as much of the heat you are paying for in your home rather than having it escape through the roof and walls. Find local sources of support for warmer homes such as boiler grants and free loft insulation. For more details see:
    simpleenergyadvice.org.uk
    moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/free-cavity-loft-insulation or moneysavingexpert.com/family/grant-grabbing
  4. Turn the thermostat down by just two degrees from 20°C to 18°C. This will make a big difference. If you can afford to, make sure that you have your boiler serviced to ensure it is operating efficiently. If you still feel cold, wrap up in a jumper or blanket before turning the thermostat up any higher.
  5. Spend less time in the shower by setting a timer. This could save a family of four, on average, as much as £100 per year.
  6. Use cold water for handwashing. It’s the soap that kills the bacteria, not the hot water.
  7. Unplug your microwave. A microwave uses energy to power its clock 24/7. By unplugging it when you’re not using it, you can really cut down on electricity.
  8. Replace your light bulbs. Moving from traditional incandescent bulbs to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LED bulbs saves money because they are 90% more energy efficient and last 50 times longer.

CAP client, Peter, explained how CAP helped him:The letters were piling on the anxiety. It wasn’t good. When you’ve got that pressure on you, it makes you feel very depressed. You don’t want anybody to find out, so you try and keep everything to yourself. 

I was paying to settle my debts with gas and electricity – it was an accumulation of debt over time.

Now the debt is paid off. It makes life easier! I don’t have to pay those increased costs as I’m not in debt anymore. The payments have come down, so I have more money to play around with. Now, I have gas, electric and insurance which is all paid by direct debit. Then I have water and television that I pay for regularly. Now once I’ve paid those I don’t have to worry.

When something comes through the door now, I don’t have to feel afraid anymore. It’s great! I’m not fearful of it.

Working with CAP has made a big difference to my life now. It’s a sense of being determined not to get into that situation again. That’s the biggest thing for me. And to try and keep to a budget.

It’s a bit of a reality check. It’s easy to get into debt, anybody can get into debt, and there are people a lot worse off than me. But there’s no use running away from it and burying your head in the sand. You’ve got to face up to it and want to try and sort it.”

Pam added: “For some people, like Graham, it may be that debt help is needed but for others, these simple tips or knowing where to access help with grants and low-cost support schemes can be all that’s needed to go into the winter feeling prepared.”

If anyone reading this is worried about debts piling up that are causing anxiety and stress, then contact CAP on 0800 328 0006 as soon as possible to get free debt help.

Covid-19 Food Relief

Since September 2020 our Store Cupboard has remained open daily Monday to Friday 9 -11am for essential groceries, although since the first lockdown we have had to change some of our activities. We continued to have donations of fresh food available on Tuesday mornings.

We regularly promote this support to those known to us including our CAP clients, MOAT course clients and the Wednesday After School families. This continues to provide some relief for those in greatest need during the ongoing pandemic.

We are very grateful…

… for food donations from customers, which we collect weekly from our local Sainsbury’s store. We are also part of the FareShare (Tesco) and Neighbourly (Lidl) food donations schemes. In addition to this we delivered groceries on Fridays to a number of individuals and families in need as well as meals.

The Centre is closing for most of the summer break to enable deep cleaning and maintenance to be carried out. Anyone in food poverty from the local area will still be able to access support from Wimborne food bank during the school holidays.

Please see our variety of news items and photos of food provision during the pandemic – including some of our wonderful volunteers!

Charity of the Month – Bus Stop Club in print!

In print again the Bus Stop Club response to the pandemic!

Good Friday goody bags

60 Christmas dinners cooked and delivered with goody bags

Heart-warming Christmas hampers

Open door at the centre

HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH US

Susan Sutherland the Project Manager for the Turbary Resource Centre on the Heatherlands Estate can be contacted on 07866 692528 to help with any queries during the COVID-19 pandemic any morning 9:00 – 12:00 or after 3:00pm. This can include our major offerings of M.O.A.T. (1-2-1 coaching in Management of Anxiety and Trauma Recovery), CAP Debt Help and food store cupboard etc.

Alternatively you can send Susan a text on 07866 692528 or an email at ssutherland@hotmail.co.uk