With the dramatic increase in the cost of living being a topic on everybody’s lips at the moment, it is a good time to revisit our Christians Against Poverty team and to remind us all that there are ways that we can reach out to those around us who are in need.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is a national charity aimed at helping people to be free from debt.  At TVC Church, we operate a CAP Centre, offering support, expertise and training for those who are struggling financially. This service is totally free and is open to anybody, regardless of their faith. You can find out more about the work of CAP nationally by visiting their web page.

Julie Parker, our CAP centre manger, is such a blessing to us as she works tirelessly to bring hope to those who are tied down with debt. At any one time, Julie is working with 30-40 families to set them free from debt. But Julie can’t do it alone! Recently, we chatted to Graham, who is a volunteer in Julie’s CAP team. Graham is a ‘CAP befriender’. He explained to us what that is and what that means for him as a volunteer:

Graham, what is a CAP befriender?

Well it is just somebody who has a little time to give. To come alongside and to be a friend to somebody in their time of need. Most of us have that person we call on when we need a good friend, but you know some people really don’t have that, so we as the people of God can be a friend to somebody and offer them some support and some hope. A befriender isn’t responsible for getting them out of debt, we just offer a cuppa, a phone call, or maybe a little card of encouragement to let them know they are not alone.

So what is required of you as a befriender?

Well the level of support that you can offer is up to you really. As a befriender, you commit to three meetings, which you attend with Julie. This helps you to get to know them and also gives Julie the backing and support that she needs to do her job. Julie will arrange a time to visit that works for each of you. The support that you are able to offer outside of that is up to you and your capacity really. Befrienders are always matched to somebody of the same sex or to a family.

What else would you like to tell your Church family about being a CAP befriender Graham?

As a CAP befriender, you can make a real difference in peoples lives. On the whole, those you are meeting are just really good people whose circumstances have spiralled out of control. I find myself thinking, that could quite easily have been me. I always find that the way I am blessed by befriending another, far outweighs what I have given out. One client simply said to me “I have hope now”. I thank God that I was able to play a part in bringing hope into somebodies life.

Could you be a CAP befriender?

If you have a heart to reach out to those in need and you have some time to spare each week, then please get in touch! The more befrienders we have, the more we can reach out!

Get in touch now by clicking here and telling us that you would like to play your part as a CAP befriender.