Christians Against Poverty (CAP) brings £31.6m in social benefits each year

New research by the London School of Economics (LSE) Housing and Communities finds Christians Against Poverty (CAP) brings £31.6m in social benefits each year!

LSE have concluded that CAP’s approach to tackling poverty is more intensive, personal and holistic than most. This means that the people we help not only find freedom from debt, unemployment and addiction to their own benefit, but society gains from the reduced burden this places on public services and the economy, as well as from wider benefits such as increased saving, improved mental health, confidence, volunteering and people being socially included.

As one of our clients put it:

‘The most positive thing about CAP is the confidence it has given me. It takes a massive weight off your shoulders and I feel able to manage again. It’s just, freedom, it’s just brought freedom to me. I socialise more now. When it was stressing me out I just wouldn’t bother and when my depression kicked in I would just lock myself in my room for weeks on end, but not anymore.”

The research shows that debt has very serious consequences for those who become overburdened by it. Most of the people we help are on low incomes; many are lone parents; some suffer from mental ill-health and depression; most are socially isolated and struggling.

In this context, LSE concluded that there are four striking aspects to CAP’s approach to helping people in trouble:

A philosophy of going the extra mile in the belief that this will make the difference
Taking on extreme cases, often referred by other agencies
Adopting a holistic approach, including helping in many practical and direct ways
Relying on active church members to support, inspire and motivate clients

Churches are long established community anchors, they are widely trusted and this means isolated, struggling and sometimes despairing people are often open to seeking help from CAP. LSE found that the wider services of CAP and the Church encourage and strengthen people’s resolve to stay debt free, and more importantly reconnect people with their community.

I hope you will be encouraged by the impact we are having locally and the difference that a holistic and compassionate approach to tackling UK poverty can make.

You can find the summary report at capuk.org/neverjustanumber

CCW