CILEx Benevolent Fund aims to break the stigma surrounding debt
03 January 2018
The stigma surrounding debt needs to be broken to ensure that people can take control of their finances at the earliest opportunity, according to CILEx Benevolent Fund.
The organisation, which exists to provide access to relevant guidance, information and support to CILEx members in England and Wales who find themselves in an unavoidable financial hardship, says that there is a sense of embarrassment among many of those in debt.
This can result in them refusing to acknowledge the level of their problems rather than proactively seeking to resolve any financial problems.
CILEx Benevolent Fund spokesperson Simon Wells, a lay trustee and chairperson of CILEx Benevolent Fund, explains: ‘We recognise that debt is a complex challenge which requires a collaborative approach to be addressed successfully.
‘It’s also a growing problem, with one in six adults currently living with problem debt, according to research from the Money Advice Service.
‘But it’s only when someone first acknowledges that they’re in debt, and then actively seeks help to resolve it, that an appropriate course of action can be devised based on that person’s individual circumstances.’
CILEx Benevolent Fund provides its members with financial guidance, in addition to offering one-off grants for those experiencing extreme financial hardship. The fund can provide financial help to cover, for example, unexpected or unusual bills, utility bills or the purchase of something to help ease a disability.
The trustees of the fund find that applications for assistance are drawn from all age groups, although the greatest number of requests for assistance are made by those aged 30 to 39.
Simon Wells continues: ‘In our experience, debt knows no boundaries: we‘re contacted by members living in all parts of Britain, drawn from all ages and ethnic groups.
‘Debt is an issue that can affect anyone at any point in their life, and the stigma surrounding it really needs to be broken, in our view.
‘When it comes to debt, there really is nothing to be ashamed about. But there’s everything to be gained from contacting us at the earliest opportunity to see what assistance we can provide.’
For further information go to: www.cilex.org.uk/membership/benevolent_fund