The manager of a free debt help service in Northumberland is warning people and families not to put off taking action about mounting and unmanageable debts.
The warning comes from Kay Fancett, volunteer manager of the Bedlington CAP Debt Help Centre, which is run by Hope Church Bedlington in conjunction with the award-winning UK charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
It covers Bedlington, Morpeth, Ashington, Newbiggin, Blyth and Cramlington.
Mrs Fancett said: “We understand there are all sorts of reasons why people get into debt. Sometimes it is a consequence of a relationship breakdown, other times it is triggered by loss of employment.
“Health issues and changes in benefit payments can also send people spiralling into debt.
“But if your debts are unmanageable and out of control, or you’ve reached the point where you’re too scared to open letters or answer the door, then it is time to ask for help.
“Our service is entirely free and available to anyone. We will visit you in your own home, explain the process, take a note of all your debts, income and outgoings and work out a way out of debt which is right for your circumstances.
“Our head office team will negotiate with creditors on your behalf and create a workable budget. Local volunteers will offer you on-going support until the day you are debt free.
“The first step is to call our national support number, which is 0800 3280006.
“The staff there will book an appointment for me to come and visit you and very soon we can be working towards getting you debt free.”
Those without access to a phone may also contact CAP through the Community Help Hub in Bedlington Front Street, also run by Hope Church.
CAP is a national charity with 624 centres across the UK delivering debt counselling, money management, job clubs and support.
Its services are available to all individuals regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.