Didcot & Wallingford cap Debt Centre
Adapted from the Trustees Report 2018
The Wallingford CAP Debt Centre was a partnership between three churches in the Wallingford Area (and the national charity ‘Christians Against Poverty’) and was formally registered as a CIO with the Charity Commission in February 2015. (Reg no 1160343). During 2017 the work of the Debt Centre was extended into the Didcot area when Didcot Baptist Church, King’s Church Didcot and St Matthew’s, Harwell with All Saints, Chilton joined the partnership.
In 2018 we formally registered the change of name (Didcot and Wallingford Area CAP Debt Centre) and updated our constitution to reflect the widening of our objects to include Didcot. We also made some changes to clarify the procedures for appointing Trustees.
The objects of the Charity are
The relief of poverty by providing a debt counselling and debt management service
The advancement of the Christian religion in Didcot and Wallingford and the surrounding area
The following have served as Trustees during the year:
Andy Avery (St Mary’s Church, Cholsey)
Bec Buss (Wallingford Baptist Church)
Tim Hammond (St Mary’s Church, Cholsey)
Simon Hudson (Wallingford Baptist Church)
Gareth Lloyd-Jones (Ridgeway Community Church)
Jonathan Mobey (St Matthew’s, Harwell with All Saints, Chilton)
Tim O’Brien (Didcot Baptist Church)
Andrew Petit (St Mary’s Church, Cholsey)
Rachel Tole (Wallingford Baptist Church)
Nick White (King’s Church, Didcot)
The day-to-way work of the Charity is in the hands of the part-time Centre Manager, Mrs Sue Bright. She continues to be supported by Mrs Susie Holden as a part-time Debt Coach. One of the Trustees acts as the Line Manager for the Centre Manager.
The Charity Trustees meet four times a year to review progress, resolve any problems that may have arisen and to discuss future plans. During the year we revised our Data Protection Policy and Client Consent form in line with new Data Protection legislation.
During the year, 39 client families were referred to us bringing the total over the first four years to 104. By December we were working at full capacity of 4 referrals per month (increased from 3 in October). By the end of 2108 we had seen 19 individuals (17 families) going debt-free. At the end of 2018 we were working with 38 families at various stages of the debt-management process.
During 2018 we have supported clients going to court, undergoing benefit reviews and going through various family issues. We have also been able to support clients through the generosity of church members by providing foodbank vouchers, electricity and gas top-ups, white goods, children's beds and various other furniture and a replacement car as well as clothes and toys for children
During the year we were able to start collecting fresh food each week from Waitrose as well as Tesco through the Foodshare scheme. This allows us to distribute packages of fresh food to our neediest clients – food which would otherwise be thrown away.
During December we put together and delivered 34 Christmas hampers with food and Christmas gifts to clients thanks to the generosity of church members and the local foodbank.
A number of activities for clients took place during the year including Easter Explored, a Fish and Chip Supper, Summer BBQ, Pamper Evening and Games Afternoon. These were all well attended. Various clients are now engaging with one of the partner churches in a variety of ways and we celebrated with two who were baptised at Easter.
The Trustees wish to record their appreciation of the hard work put in by both Sue and Susie and their team of volunteers who undertake a variety of tasks. This year, 22 volunteers have been involved in visiting clients and some of these have also been involved in other ways such as supporting a client to set up a new bank account, calling companies for up to date financial statements and arranging social visits with clients. The offer of ongoing friendship and social support has been offered to those clients who would appreciate it, and several relationships have developed well in this way.
Small groups of people from the partner churches continue to meet regularly in both Didcot and Wallingford to pray for the work of the Debt Centre. Termly joint church prayer meetings are also held in the Wallingford churches.
The Trustees recognise that without all these people, we would not be able to offer and provide the services we do. It is hoped that, in the coming year, the impact of widening the partnership and two debt coaches will enable the centre to reach out to more clients providing them with financial help and, when the opportunity arises, spiritual guidance.