£5,000 raised for Salvation Army debt advice service

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A generous auction of promises has raised nearly £5,000 for Dunstable’s Salvation Army Debt Advice Service.

130 people turned up to Central Bedfordshire College on September 23 with over 70 promises made, including a tour of the Houses of Parliament (promised by Andrew Selous MP), Tea at The Ritz and 18 holes of golf supported by local businesses.

The Dunstable branch of the Salvation Army organised the event to help towards the costs of running their free debt advice service, seeing the auction hosted by the church leader of Dunstable Salvation Army, Major Carol Evans, and Envoy Hilary Chadwick, associate officer.

Fiona Simpson, Salvation Army debt advice co-ordinator, said: “The aim of the service is to empower people to manage their own finances and be responsible for their indebtedness, giving them a hand up and not just a hand out.”

Many of the clients that use the service face financial difficulties as a result of unexpected life-changing events, including unemployment, ill-health, accidents, divorce and domestic violence, with service users coming from a range of social and economic backgrounds.

People are often referred to the service from doctors’ surgeries, the local council, refuge shelters, the Stroke Association and self-referrals.

The Salvation Army will then look at issues, ranging from budgeting and working out reasonable repayments, to repayment reviews and debtclearance, helping throughout the whole process.

Andrew Selous MP, said: “I am delighted to be supporting the really important work which The Salvation Army does locally. I know from my constituents how greatly their work is appreciated.”

Town Mayor Peter Hollick and Councillor Ann Sparrow also attended the event.

To contact the Salvation Army Debt Advice Service, phone 01582 343680 or email: dunstabledas@salvationarmy.org.uk.