UNDER STRICT EMBARGO UNTIL 00.01AM 15th January 2018

• 29 personal debt currently managed by Excelling Community caseworkers in Bexley.
• 64 families and individuals currently being supported in Bexley and its surrounding area.
• Families in distress because of money problems encouraged to seek professional help.

As the post-Christmas blues take effect and credit card bills land on the doormat, many families in Bexley & Greenwich face a financial crisis this Christmas according to local debt advice charity Excelling Community which is part of Community Money Advice’s national network of advice centres where trained debt advisers offer free, confidential, face-to-face advice and support to help people find relief from debt and financial hardship. Statistics indicate large numbers of people are struggling with debt and money pressures, placing a strain upon family budgets, at a time of year when financial pressures are at their greatest.

The charity will feature on the BBC’s Inside Out programme which will focus on consumer debt problems tonight 7.30pm on BBC 1

Recent statistics from the Bank of England show unsecured consumer debt has increased by 19% in the past 5 years and currently stands at £201.5bn. Household debt has been growing much faster than household income and the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts unsecured household debt will reach 47% of income by 2021. Total consumer debt including mortgages is now over £1.5 trillion.

Lara Davies-Ero from Excelling Community, says:

“In the last year Excelling Community has helped [insert number] families struggling with debt and financial problems. Family budgets are often extremely tight and it is very easy to find debts spiral out of control, particularly when family circumstances change. Our trained advisors offer free, confidential face to face advice. Those struggling from debt tell us of the relief they find from talking with an advisor who can help them start to resolve the problems.”

“One of us had just lost their job and car, while the other was too ill to work. We have a school age family and had a massive debt, with no income – we were totally terrified that we would lose the house. When everything came crashing down, with no job and income, things couldn’t have been darker or more hopeless. The adviser was amazing! Firstly, she helped us face the reality of our situation, and went through all the figures with us. Then, she said that there was a way through all this, that there was hope and a way back to a debt free future. Now, four months later, our lives have totally turned around, thanks to the encouragement, practical support and advice. We still are working through the process to be totally debt free, but learning good money management has literally changed our lives! If you are struggling with debt like us, they can help you too.”

Contact: 07869114490