Now into our 8th year, the exciting news is that we now have a third debt coach, Anne Charlotte McDermid, who worships at Sherborne Community Church.  She was a befriender but in the second half of 2018, the Lord enabled her to carry out the debt coach training in Bradford and see her first client in December.  The reality is that we continually find the Yeovil centre booked up 3 months ahead, such is the need of those in unmanageable debt.  So, I continue to work 3 days per week (paid) in my centre manager role, Mary Irwin works 2 days per week (paid), and Anne Charlotte 1 day per week (volunteer).

In 2018 we’ve seen 12 individuals/families go debt free, and since the Centre started, the 373 people who have contacted CAP from the Yeovil area will always remain at the heart of who we are and what we do.  Whilst we aim to connect a befriender to each client, we continue to look for new befrienders from different congregations and in 2018 we saw 9 churches represented.  The aim of seeing ‘The Church’ in Yeovil and the surrounding area coming together in this ministry is happening.

The CAP Money courses stopped in 2018 because our Community Links Co-ordinator, William Webbe, decided to move to France!  The aim is to find someone, train them up, and to lead this course in 2019.

Three families went on a Discovery Break at Brunel Manor, where they are given a free short holiday break and where a team from CAP head office and frontline staff facilitates the events, including many opportunities where the love of Jesus is shared in so many different ways.  One made a response to Jesus.

The Gone Fishing café continues to provide help to encourage CAP clients to connect with the debt coaches before their first home visit, and anytime afterwards.  This is very helpful when a client’s visit may be 2-3 months away.  Helen Peace leads a great team of volunteers to enable this town centre ministry to operate.

Ian Croxford and Ed Brooks continue to lead the Tuesday men’s breakfast/discipleship group, from 11.30am to 1pm, and with 10 regularly in attendance, Ian also cooked a Christmas dinner for 14 men, using the kitchen in the Schoolrooms.  This group meets EVERY Tuesday.

We saw 40 Christmas hampers made up by local church fellowship groups from different congregations, including Yeovil Radio Cabs.  The Christmas Tea was located upstairs in the Schoolrooms, and again we saw a large number of families and individuals come together, with several staying on for the Carol Service.

In February, Mike Streatfeild, Jennifer Matthew and Helen Peace helped to organise a local Fundraising Dinner in Bruton, where nearly 90 attended, along with a CAP couple who shared their story; around £20,000 was pledged from what was a very successful evening.  In April/May David Upton spearheaded the first of the Art for CAP shop fundraising initiatives, where the Quedam management provided a shop, free of charge, in order for paintings to be sold and a CAP profile in the town centre; £2,800 was raised.  We had another GateWay coffee shop charity day in June where £932 was raised.

Mary and I are now on the CAP speaker team, where we are asked by CAP head office to speak at churches in our area who are requesting someone from CAP to come and speak.  We continue to speak at several local churches and different types of church groups, plus many organisations in the area, including meeting many individuals working in agencies who are now referring their clients to CAP.

The Lord’s Larder continued to be a very important agency working with us, where 90 food parcels had been given to our clients in 2018.  In addition, we occasionally provide a fresh food shop on top of the non-perishable food provided by the Lord’s Larder.

We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Matthew took on the role of Chairing the CAP Management Committee, following Mike Streatfeild stepping down after many years of sterling service, for which we thank him enormously.

Because I also work for CAP head office as an Area Manager for 2 days per week, I continue to work hard with my boundaries and enjoy the variety of working on the ground in Yeovil and encouraging and influencing other CAP centre managers, in their personal development.

The church family from St Johns continues to show their amazing support and commitment to prayer, giving financially, befriending clients, making and posting Birthday & Christmas cards, taking clients shopping, providing food, helping serve at CAP events and the Thursday Gone Fishing Café.  It continues to be a pleasure and a privilege to serve and work with the St Johns’ family, in what can only be described as a life transforming ministry, where there is ALWAYS HOPE!

We are always looking for people to support this community transforming work, which can be done in several ways – you can receive the 3-weekly email update; become a befriender and/or commit to praying for the debt coaches going on their every visit; join the management committee; support the work financially.  Either way, please contact Steve Hart on stevehart@capuk.org  or Mary Irwin on  maryirwin@capuk.org and if you just want to find out more about this work, just speak to either Steve or Mary.

Our ongoing prayer is that God will enable clients to fully engage with the free CAP service to help them journey out of debt, and that both Steve, Mary, and Anne Charlotte, along with our befrienders, will make the most of every opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ, through words and actions.

Steve Hart

Yeovil CAP Debt Centre