People struggling with debt have been encouraged to seek support from Christians Against Poverty on live TV – prompting a surge to the charity’s helpline.
Martin Lewis, the founder of the website Money Saving Expert, gave an impassioned plea to those under debt pressure to seek help on ITV’s This Morning programme.
As a result, Christians Against Poverty (CAP) said calls to its enquiries helpline “went through the roof”.
CAP provides practical and emotional help to people in crisis, working with local UK churches to help individuals get debt free.
During a money advice segment, This Morning shared the story of a woman who was in tens of thousands of pounds of debt and experiencing anxiety attacks.
Lewis said many organisations could help, but if “you’re really struggling emotionally”, then CAP would be his recommendation.
“You don’t have to be a Christian to go to them, they do it because they’re Christians”, he said.
“If you can’t even cope with thinking about your debts, as opposed to needing someone to help you to know what to do with them, I’d go to Christians Against Poverty”.
Turning to the camera, he urged the woman: “Go and seek that help”, adding: “If you don’t deal with it, it won’t get better, so bite the bullet and go for it”.
CAP said: “It’s always incredible to see someone as influential in the money world as Martin Lewis recommending our service”, adding call numbers have since shot up.
The organisation told the story of a pensioner who broke down in tears as he talked about “what debt is doing to his life”, and a man whose grandmother had encouraged him to call.
Martin Lewis has previously praised CAP as “superb”, saying it helps ‘hold your hand’ metaphorically and literally.
He said the biggest message he hears from CAP users is: “I finally slept last night”.
Marianne Clough, from the charity, told The Christian Institute: “It’s something we feel exceptionally blessed by as a charity, that we are on the receiving end of such enthusiastic descriptions of our work by someone as influential as he is.”
She added: “Martin has been a great friend to CAP, meeting with us and even helping to fund the work we do with some of the UK’s poorest families.”