Community Money Advice Annual Conference – from the Debt Strand

The Debts Strand of The Crossway is a member of Community Money Advice (CMA) and their annual conference was this year held in Shrewsbury – on the site of the very first debt advice centre.

The conference consisted of:
• Worship
• Seminars
• Key note speaker
• Progress reports
• Presentations from specific debt advice centres
• Q & A sessions with the CMA leadership team

The key note speaker was Mike Royal – CEO of TLG (early years education intervention) and a Cinnamon Network (CN) ambassador. TLG works through churches to train volunteers to work one on one with troubled primary school children for 1 hour each week for 3 months. The volunteer also supports the family. CN is an enabling network working with churches who want to be involved in Social Action.

A strong message was that government and local government are desperate to harness the efforts of volunteers and being from a faith background is no longer an obstacle. The time has never been better to engage with our communities.

The report from CMA can be summarised
1. Queens diamond jubilee award for volunteers received (and displayed)
2. The CEO of CMA (Heather Keates) is on the Archbishop’s working party on pay day loans
3. Heather is regularly consulted by the Cabinet Office on debt issues
4. CMA is being consulted by the government run Money Advice Service.
5. The EU has selected CMA and a similar Dutch charity as models for services to be rolled out across 7 EU countries
6. There are now 131 centres. The first centre has opened in Scotland and a further 4 are in the planning stage.
7. The Salvation Army are opening a centre in Edinburgh and plan to open a total of 15 over the next year.
8. A national Canadian Christian debt advice service has been launched using the CMA model.
9. An individual Christian in Nairobi, Kenya has launched his own debt advice centre using materials supplied by CMA. Against CMA advice he’s calling it “Christian Against Poverty”.

Once again it was encouraging and inspirational to be amongst the many Christians committed to supporting those in our communities suffering from financial hardship.

7th Nov 2013 Posted in: News, St John's Stories by Fran Varley 2

2 Responses

  1. beatrice says:

    Hi All,
    Mine is a question regarding debt. Does the crossway work like Step Change or do you give money advice/ training only? I am in debt but would like help from you if you have a section that works like Step Change does.

    Your help would be much appreciated.

    God bless

    Beatrice.

    • Fran Varley says:

      Beatrice

      Thanks for your response to the recent article on the web site.

      We work in a similar way to Step Change except that we see our clients face to face. We provide a confidential and impartial service and are licensed by the OFT.

      We work by establishing the household budget – an income & expenditure statement. From this we are able to propose a strategy to deal with a particular client’s debt issues. Once agreed we negotiate with their creditors – however it remains the responsibility of the client to make any agreed payments.

      We offer appointments at 6.30 on Monday and Thursday evenings and on a Tuesday at 10am.

      Please email debtsupport@thecrossway.org.uk or call 0121 426 0071 for an appointment

      God bless

      Michael

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