Christmas campaign highlights struggle of families in debt

£30,000 of debt left Sarah and her two sons hiding behind the curtains before CAP got involved

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) launches it's Christmas campaign on Thursday.

They have released a film documenting the story of a woman called Sarah and her young sons, Zac and Louie, and their journey with CAP.

During the festive season last year, the family struggled to make ends meet after Sarah's ex-partner was jailed, leaving her with around £30,000 of debt and only her disability allowance to live on. "Life was really hard," recalls Sarah.

They survived on beans on toast and regularly had to hide from bailiffs.

"Mum locked the door and shut the windows and the curtains," explains Louie, aged 7.

"It was a bit sad because we couldn't go outside, [and] we didn't have anything to put in our sandwiches," he continues.

When things reached a crisis point, Sarah got in touch with CAP, who sent local centre manager Sally to visit the family. Once she discovered that they were short of food, a Christmas hamper was promptly sent.

"The hamper made things a lot nicer for what was going to be not a great Christmas, and then that meant we could trust CAP to make everything else a lot better as well," explains Sarah.

"We would like to thank you for the Christmas hamper because it had some really nice stuff in it and we really needed it and it changed our lives," says Zac.

"Mum has been happier...she's really changed a lot," finishes Louie, describing the way working with CAP has transformed their family.

Chief Executive of CAP, Matt Barlow, has explained the need for increased donations during Christmas time: "It's hard to imagine a more devastating situation for a mum than to be unable to properly feed her children, especially at Christmas, but sadly this is what we regularly find among the families we visit.

"When we first visit someone, our policy is that we will never leave them with empty cupboards but, of course, that comes at a cost," he says.

CAP is calling for greater financial support this Christmas and asking people to consider making donation of £25 to support families who are struggling during the festive period.

More information on the new campaign can be found at