A local auction of promises attracted over 130 people at Central Bedfordshire College raising almost £5k for the Salvation Army Debt Advice Service in Dunstable last Friday night (23 September).
Andrew Selous, MP and the Town Mayor of Dunstable, Councillor Peter Hollick and Councillor Ann Sparrow attended the event. They were hosted by the Church leader of Dunstable Salvation Army, Major Carol Evans and Envoy Hilary Chadwick, Associate Officer.
The event was supported with over 70 promises, that included a tour of the Houses of Parliament, promised by Andrew Selous MP, Tea at the Ritz and 18 holes of golf supported by local businesses.
Mr Andrew Selous said: “I am delighted to be supporting the really important work which The Salvation Army does locally. I know from my constituents how greatly their work is appreciated. Debt advice work is so important and I am very grateful for all The Salvation Army does in this area”. Mr Selous managed the bidding of his own tour on the night.
The auction was organised by The Salvation Army in Dunstable to raise funds that will go straight to the running costs of the free service in Dunstable.
Fiona Simpson, The Salvation Army Debt Advice Co-ordinator said: “The aim of the service is to empower people to manage their own finances and be responsible for their indebtedness, giving them a hand up and not just a hand out.”
Many of the clients that use the service face financial difficulties as a result of unexpected life-changing events including unemployment, ill-health, accidents, divorce and domestic violence. Many clients come from a range of social and economic backgrounds.
People are often referred to the service from doctors’ surgeries, the local council, refuge shelters, the Stroke Association and self-referrals. The Salvation Army offers on-going support for those experiencing debt issues from the start of the process looking at budgeting and working out reasonable repayments, to repayment reviews and then through to when debt is cleared.