A COMMUNITY initiative which aims to help families and individuals manage their money is celebrating their fifth anniversary.

The Forth Valley Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre formed in 2019 after a group of churches sought to provide financial advice to anyone struggling.

Partnering with CAP, the centre has gone onto help many across Clacks and the wider Forth Valley area and are now looking ahead to helping many more in the future.

Fiona Welsh, Forth Valley Debt Centre manager, said: “Many of the people we’ve helped were really struggling when we first met them but it’s amazing to see the hope and confidence restored in their lives now.

“As we are a local team, we’re able to provide an amazing free, face-to-face service with practical help such as food shops or fuel top-ups when needed, along with emotional support and encouragement.

“All backed up by debt experts at CAP’s support centre.

“We see people often at the lowest point, but then we get to see that burden taken away and so many other issues addressed along the way.

“That is a great joy.”

The Forth Valley CAP Debt Centre began five years ago and transitioned to a home service during the Covid lockdown.

From there, the centre continued to provide financial advice to anyone who needed it, often linking clients with local foodbanks who carried out home deliveries.

READ MORE: Christians Against Poverty continue debt advice service in Forth Valley

Recently, CAP published their ‘Pushed under, pushed out’ report which highlighted the number of households in the UK who are being pulled into debt.

This has spurred the charity on to keep working to get people more financial security and over the last five years, have grown their network of churches to benefit people across the Forth Valley.

Fiona continued: “There are still so many more people to help though, so while we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate each and every person who has made it to the other side of debt, we want everyone else who may still be struggling to know that we’re here to help them and our help is completely free.

“I’d like to thank Stirling Baptist Church, Cornton Baptist Church, Tillicoultry Baptist Church, Falkirk Baptist Church, Larbert Baptist Church, Denny Baptist Church, Maddison Community Church, Stirling Vineyard Church and Brightons Parish Church for all their support to fund and equip our local centre.

“The collaboration between these churches has been vital to making the Debt Centre a success.

“There are now 120 people and their families right here in Forth Valley who have been helped by us and 69 can celebrate being debt free because of the hard work of Fiona and the CAP Debt Centre team.”

The help team can be contacted on 0800 328 0006 or via capuk.org/help.