John Maxwell is the new Centre Manager of Christians Against Poverty (CAP) in Ballymena. It is based in Ballymena Baptist Church on Mount Street in the town
Although John was born in Belfast, he has lived in the North Antrim town for many years and also married a Ballymena girl, Margaret. The couple have four grown-up children and ten grandchildren.
Before he retired and became involved with CAP, John ran his own business, Maxwell Packaging, for 31 years.
Revealing a little more about what led him to get involved with Christian Against Poverty, John told us:
“I went to a seminar about CAP during a visit to New Horizon in Portrush. What I heard that day really touched me and a few years later I asked our Pastor about starting a CAP office in Ballymena.
As a result of that conversation, five people from the church went over to CAP’s Head Office in Bradford to find our more and that’s how CAP began in Ballymena.”
Christians Against Poverty is an inter-denominational Christian charity which offers debt counselling to people who are struggling with debt. CAP works with people from all faith backgrounds and none, to help individuals by providing debt repayment plans and equipping them with the skills needed to manage their personal budgets effectively.
Talking about his new role within CAP’s Ballymena Centre, John also said:
“It is a big responsibility but when I retired a few years ago I felt that I wanted to put something back into the community and secondly I also needed something to keep my brain-cells working!”
John Maxwell, the new Christians Against Poverty Centre Manager in Ballymena, is keen that anyone who would benefit from their services should get in touch.
John states that anyone who feels that they could benefit from CAP’s free services should ring 0800 328 0006.
Two aspects of CAP’s work that make the charity unique amongst debt counselling services is, firstly, each person is visited in their own home. Secondly, each CAP client is assigned a ‘befriender’ who is there to support and encourage the client until they are debt free.
Any local person who contacts CAP will, in the first instance be visited by John and another person who will be their befriender. A second fact finding visit will then be arranged where a client’s income and expenditure, including their debts will be looked at. Any paperwork relating to this is posted to the CAP head office in Bradford where specially trained caseworkers put together an individual budget for them. This plan is then presented to the person during a third visit and if he or she is happy to work within that budget, CAP will then begin to negotiate with their creditors and set up a CAP Plan from which debts can be repaid.
For many, the personal connection they build face-to-face continues to be a lifeline throughout their journey out of debt, and can be drawn on when circumstances mean clients require extra support.
CAP is endorsed by respected money saving expert, Martin Lewis, who presents The Money Show. CAP is also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
To find out more about Christians Against Poverty, visit their website here.