Man who cleared £20,000 debt says 'there's light at the end of the tunnel'

  • Derek Johnson has spoke to Dave Boyle and organisations who could help people cope with the rising cost of living. 

A man from Dorset has urged others who are struggling with the rising cost of living to seek help and says there is light at the end of the tunnel.

David Boyle fell badly in debt after losing his job as a lorry driver, and over a period of time, he owed £20,000, much of it to a lender.

"I had taken out a loan to buy a car, which I was paying off while I was working, Dave said.

"But when I got laid off, I didn't have the finances to pay it.

"Then they kept on adding more and more interest to the repayments, and all I was paying off was the interest.

"The worry and the stress affected my health.

  • David Boyle sot

"I lost the ability to speak, and the only way I could communicate was to write things down.

"When I was put in contact with CAP (Christians Against Poverty), they went through everything, and eventually I became debt free.

When asked what advice he would offer people struggling to pay their bills, David said, "Seek help.

"Don't try and do it on your own. There are people out there willing to help you, sp swallow your pride and go and get help.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel."

Christians Against Poverty has seen a huge rise in the number of people seeking help

The Dorset and Wiltshire branch of Christians Against Poverty says the charity is seeing a big rise in the number of people seeking advice.

There's been a 47% increase in the first two months of the year, compared with the same period in 2021.

Kathryn Ford who manages the area said, "A lot of the time it's circumstances outside of peoples' control, things that have happened.

"People are worried about rising energy bills, and when that bill comes, they have to make the choice of putting money in the electric metre and food on the table for the children.

  • Kathryn Ford explains the ways people can become debt free

People are also turning to community larders to help with rising food costs. Larders are not food banks, they are community hubs that sells surplus food from supermarkets with an emphasis on choice and saving money.

The Cosham Larder was set up in a former bowling pavilion with the help of Hive Portsmouth and Portsmouth City Council.

Audrey Ansell uses the larder.

"I come here because I get a good collection of food.

The Cosham Larder was set up in a former bowling pavilion.

"I live in sheltered housing and I do coffee mornings and everything and I buy biscuits for the coffee mornings and it's lovely."

Many fear sky high energy bills could prove to be a tipping point.

The Energy Saving Trust says a lot of money can be saved just by using electricity and hot water more efficiently, for example by lowering the thermostat by one degree.