Debt charities’ advice to cash-strapped in Hemel Hempstead: ‘Don’t suffer in silence’

Owen Cooper of Christians Against Poverty, Hemel Hempstead.
Owen Cooper of Christians Against Poverty, Hemel Hempstead.

A debt charity has revealed that many Hemel Hempstead households are falling short of what they need to cover essential living costs by an average of £23 a month.

In the first six months of the year, 433 people from the town contacted the StepChange helpline about debt problems. On average, they owed £16,148, compared to the national average of £14,092.

Owen Cooper, manager of the Hemel Hempstead branch of fellow debt help charity, Christians Against Poverty, is fully booked up with people seeking debt advice until November.

He said: “Payday loans are on the increase, but people aren’t using them to buy holidays or cars, it’s to pay their normal household bills, which is ridiculous. Rent, council tax, and gas and electric are very expensive and people are struggling to budget properly.

“I would advise people to get help before their debt really gets bad. The problem is isolation – it is the typical British way that we often don’t seek help.”

You can still get debt advice from Owen at his weekly drop-in sessions at the Liberty Tea Rooms in The Base, part of Haven House, London Road, Apsley. Click here for more details.

For information on CAP’s services and money management courses, email hemelhempstead@capuk.org or call 01442 243936.

Online help is also available from StepChange Debt Charity Debt Remedy by clicking here.