Free debt advice for those in financial need

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As tax hikes bite in the New Year, a debt counselling charity is offering free advice on managing your budget.

Christians Against Poverty, based at Fareham Community Church in West Street, Fareham, is taking bookings from local people needing debt counselling.

Beryl Lawrence, the branch manager, said: 'The government is quite clear that things will be a little tighter for everyone - that we are all going to feel the pinch as our national debt gets sorted out.

'Our best advice is, do your own budget. Find out what is coming in and going out and you'll be able to weather the changes as they unfold. If you know you've got problems, do something about it by ringing our free-phone number.

'In our experience it is behind closed doors that people are suffering real poverty because of debt that affects every area of their life. Marriages break down, people skip meals, they suffer illness and depression and almost a third even consider suicide.'

Freephone 0800 3280006 to make an appointment.

Mrs Lawrence added: 'Although we see desperate cases and can cope with them, we would prefer, of course, to help people before they get into trouble. This is why we also run a CAP Money course, also free, and it is just three-sessions long.

'This course teaches how to get control of your finances, draw up a household budget and some useful tips on how to stick to it.'

To find out more about the money course call 01329 829121.