Enniskillen Presbyterian Church, which works with debt help and anti-poverty charity, Christians Against Poverty (CAP), is launching its new Taking on Poverty report and campaign aimed at helping people in Fermanagh and across Northern Ireland who are struggling to afford the basics and stay out of debt.

CAP’s latest report reveals CAP clients in Northern Ireland on average owed over £12,200 at the peak of their debts as costs rise putting more pressure on people’s finances.

CAP’s Enniskillen Debt Centre Manager, Jonathan Hayward, says: “Rising food prices are leaving mums and dads unable to afford to feed their kids.

“Sky-high energy bills mean that pensioners and people with serious or terminal illnesses are scared to put on the heating.

“Single people are waking up in the night with anxiety attacks over money because their income is so low they’re falling deeper into debt.

“This is the reality of poverty, and it’s devastating the lives of our friends, families, colleagues, neighbours and people in our community here in Enniskillen.

“At Christians Against Poverty and the Presbyterian Church, we are positively fighting against poverty in our area by offering free practical help, such as emergency supplies of food and energy top-ups to those in crisis, and free debt help, and budgeting help, to anyone in need.

“CAP’s landmark report highlights the desperate struggles our clients are facing right now. As part of our Taking on Poverty campaign, we are asking local people to join us in tackling poverty here in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland and across the UK.”


CAP’s Taking on Poverty report has found that, in Northern Ireland:

● CAP clients on average owed more than £12,200 at the peak of their debts.

● It would take a client on average 12 years to repay their debts without help.

● On average, they had nine different debts – that can mean up to nine different organisations could be chasing them for payment, creating huge financial stress.

Jonathan continued: “Behind these stats are real families and individuals in desperate need who we are meeting to support every day.

“Despite the situation, CAP and the Presbyterian Church are continuing to help people in Fermanagh with our free professional services so they are able to break free from the chains of poverty and have hope and happiness restored in their lives again.

“Whether it’s helping us raise awareness on social media, volunteering, donating to CAP or maybe even taking on a fun fundraising challenge, there’s lots of ways you can play your part in tackling poverty in our area.

“Contact us for a chat to find out more about CAP’s life-changing work in Fermanagh and how you can help us.”

How to play your part

CAP recognises that people with differing circumstances will be able to contribute in different ways.

For that reason, CAP has created three simple and easy ways you can support its life-changing work either across the UK or in your local area, as follows.

● Sign up to CAP’s newsletter at: capuk.org/policy, and help raise awareness by following and sharing its social media content. Search for ‘Christians Against Poverty’ on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube or Tik Tok.

● Support CAP’s urgent fundraiser to help people through this cost of living crisis; see capuk.org/support, or sign up to become a CAP Life Changer and donate each month.

● Connect with your local CAP service to find out more about how you can help locally to change people’s lives. Register your interest by emailing: jonhayward@capuk.org.

Jonathan Hayward is the manager of the West NI Debt Centre operated by the Enniskillen Presbyterian Church in partnership with Christians Against Poverty (CAP) which is a UK charity with over 580 services across the UK delivering free debt counselling, and money management courses.

Both these services are freely available to everyone in Fermanagh. Visit capuk.org to find out more.