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Christian charity poll shows nearly 1 in 4 adults can't afford an unexpected bill of £200

by Heather Preston

A recent survey has revealed nearly one in four UK adults could not afford an unexpected bill of £200.

The YouGov poll found that 28 per cent of UK adults felt financially insecure, while more than one quarter are skipping meals at least once a month to make ends meet.

The study, commissioned by debt charity Christians Against Poverty (CAP), says some 14.7 million adults are finding keeping up with bills and credit commitments a heavy burden.

The poll of over 2,000 adults suggests the cost of living crisis is leading to a rise in people unable to cope with unexpected costs.

The charity says it's supporting increasing numbers of people who've had to borrow just to pay for essentials. The recent poll found that nine per cent of adults now have debts they do not know how to repay.

Rev Lyn Weston, CAP's director of Church engagement and network tells Premier the cost of living crisis is also impacting people's mental health.

"Millions of households in the UK are facing a devastating debt crisis. People are really struggling.

"Over 50 per cent of people are saying they are having suicidal thoughts as they struggle with debt. And behind that sits a really significant issue of isolation."

The study found 56 per cent of UK adults feel their mental health has been negatively impacted by the rising cost of living while some 18.4 million are losing sleep over their money worries.

Weston says the Church has a part to play in supporting those who are struggling: "Being the church at this time, being able to reach out to people to say you are not on your own, there is someone to talk to, there is someone to walk alongside you, is really, really critical."

The charity runs a number of CAP Sundays across October to encourage churches to discuss poverty in their local communities and their role in helping those in need. The charity provides a number of short courses on topics such as life skills and money coaching to help churches better support those who are struggling.

CAP is also calling on the UK government to review social security and low wages to ensure liveable incomes and reassess the benefits system too.



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