Christian couple running free money management courses in Fetcham
A NEW financial advice centre may open soon to help people manage their debts.
Volunteers John Sawbridge and Marion Dyer have been running free money management courses in Fetcham following training from Christians Against Poverty (CAP).
The organisation has more than 200 centres throughout the country and now the two volunteers want to establish one in Mole Valley.
Mr Sawbridge said: "You don't have to be a Christian and you don't have to come to church to use the service, but it's Christians who are running it for the sake of the community."
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Mr Sawbridge has worked with the Citizens Advice Bureau for eight years and, after hearing about CAP 18 months ago, he took training and started holding courses at the Fetcham Reading Rooms last month.
Now he wants to set up a CAP centre and has already sought funding from several churches.
He said: "It's watch this space at the minute. If we had a centre we would actually go and visit people and work out their income and expenditure with them, find out what all their debts are, then send all the information to our Bradford centre.
"They can negotiate with creditors on behalf of debtors and, because they've got a good reputation, the creditors will accept what they say and perhaps write off debts, freeze interest or allow people to pay a bit each month towards it."
Mr Sawbridge expects it to take between six and nine months to get a centre set up, but in the meantime he wants to find out the level of demand.
Courses on avoiding getting in to debt take place once a week for three weeks, with assignments in between sessions.
Mr Sawbridge said: "There are two types of debt. There are the priority debts which will make you homeless or cut off your electricity or gas or are going to send you to prison, and they obviously have got to be addressed first.
"Then there are non-priority debts like your credit card, your bank overdraft, that sort of thing."
Anyone interested in attending a course should contact Mr Sawbridge by e-mailing CAPFetcham@gmail.com or calling 07768 142366.