Tag Archives: 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.

Has the Covid Pandemic damaged your finances?

Our free debt service in The New Stour and Avon Magazine again!

The New Stour and Avon Magazine, April ’21, pages 44-45

“If you or someone you know is feeling weighed down by crushing debt, then we can help for free. You may think your situation is impossible, but there is hope. Our friendly team will give you a listening ear and provide a solution to your debts.

Please call free 0800 3280006 to book an appointment. Our friendly debt coach Pam Ansell and a volunteer from our East Dorset CAP Centre will arrange a visit to help you 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 anyone 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.

Our CAP East Dorset, Ringwood and Bearwood Centre is a joint project of the Bus Stop Club charity and Hope Church Ferndown. We have just celebrated our 26th individual or family in our area becoming debt free!

THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE!! Call free on 0800 3280006″

Charity of the Month – Bus Stop Club in print!

The Blackmore Vale Online Community Magazine

We were delighted to be featured as charity of the month! See the detailed information below.

Click here to see our in depth article on page 56 and view the publication.

Charity of the Month, The Blackmore Vale, Page 56, March ’21

“The Bus Stop Club is a local charity located in the Turbary Resource Centre, at the edge of Ferndown. We are a befriending charity, seeking to support parents and families from the East Dorset area and beyond. Our small core staff team are very blessed to have a number of loyal volunteers who work alongside us.

Food: Since the first lockdown last year we have had to change some of our activities, but our Centre remains open every day Mon to Fri 9-11am for essential groceries – we also have donations of fresh food available on Tuesday mornings. We are very grateful for food donations from customers that we collect weekly from our local Sainsbury’s store. We are also part of the Fare Share (Tesco) and Neighbourly (Lidl) food donation schemes. Currently we are delivering groceries on Fridays to a number of individuals and families in need. We are currently delivering craft packs on Wednesdays to local families with younger school children, thanks to financial support from Cash 4 Kids.

We are supported financially by local trusts, foundations, community chest grants, churches and individuals – we are very thankful for all the support we have received, particularly during periods of lockdown since March 2020.

Our main project is the East Dorset CAP Debt Centre, also covering Ringwood and Bearwood. CAP stands for Christians Against Poverty, a national charity based in Bradford with hundreds of Centres all over the UK. Their services are free to those in unmanageable debt. Since starting our East Dorset CAP Centre we have seen 26 individuals go debt free. We currently have vacancies for new clients, so if you or someone you know needs support, just phone the CAP freephone number: 0800 328 0006. CAP Head Office will be glad to speak to you and explain how CAP can start you on your journey out of debt. There are also local CAP Centres in Poole and Bournemouth.

MOAT Coaching: Since September 2020 we have been offering individual coaching sessions to those who want to manage their anxiety better, and to learn some strategies for processing historical trauma. MOAT Coaching is available to adults at a cost of £20 registration fee. We currently have spaces, so if you are interested please drop me an email. Those who have completed the programme have all found it very helpful. Susan Sutherland, Project Manager.

Contact details:

www.thebusstopclub.co.uk ssutherland@hotmail.co.uk

Mobile: 07866 692528.”