A CHURCH charity is continuing to provide vital support to Keighley people struggling with debt despite Covid-19.

Volunteers from the Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre are helping local clients with practical help, support, encouragement, and a friendly voice at the end of a phone.

Debt Centre manager Duncan Green said the volunteers, based at Keighley Shared Church, were following social distancing rules to stay safe while supporting clients.

He said: ““Our buildings may be closed but the church is very active. The times we are in may have changed the way we offer our service but we’re still here.

“We’re offering practical support such as linking clients up with local foodbanks, arranging emergency shops and continuing to help clients with their paperwork and progressing them towards managing debt.”

Mr Green said CAP staff and volunteers were delivering essentials where needed, and ensuring that people who were locked in poverty had practical, emotional and spiritual support.

He added: “We’ve got teams going above and beyond right now doing all sorts of things for our clients. They’re creating activity packs for children, boxes of essentials for families and sending messages of hope, comfort and encouragement to anyone in need.

“Some clients have been alone and isolated for a long time, even before coronavirus, so our continuing contact is giving people a lifeline of support and hope.

“We’re determined to ensure that we do whatever we can to alleviate the additional pressure that many of our clients are facing with childcare and home schooling, as they negotiate loss of or low income.

“We may all be affected by this pandemic but we’re not all in the same boat. We’re committed to supporting our clients during this time as they bravely face even more challenges than usual.”

One client, known as ‘M’, said there was a lot of fear and worry when Keighley Shared Church closed, but they had received lots of phone calls and support.

They said: “We do our shopping ourselves now, but they have offered for us. We’re focused. Our CAP workers engage with us and face-time us every day. It’s really amazing.”

Anyone struggling with debt can contact CAP on 0800 328 0006 or visit capuk.org.

Christians Against Poverty delivers debt counselling, money management, job clubs and support for people breaking habitual dependencies. The charity works through 588 churches.