A KENDAL church is to launch its second series of free sessions aimed at helping residents keep on top of their finances amid the economic pressures of Covid-19.

Church leaders in the town have, however, been forced to shelve discussions to reopen the CAP debt centre to support those who have found themselves in financial trouble during the pandemic.

The CAP courses have been set up using grant monies from Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) Covid-19 Response Fund.

Members of Kendal's Gateway Church say they have undergone specialised training from UK charity Christians Against Poverty in order to deliver the courses.

12 people took part in the first course, which was held earlier this year, and there are 12 spaces for the upcoming one.

A further course may be held if demand is high, organisers say. Future courses may also be orientated around jobs, as government support schemes begin to taper off and unemployment levels rise in the autumn.

They say that previously, when the centre was up and running, it had helped 77 families go debt-free over the course of ten years.

They say the course's 60-90-minute-long sessions are designed to provide participants with tools and skills to properly budget, plan for the future and manage debt.

The three-week course will be delivered via Zoom and begins on Tuesday, September 22 at 7:30pm.

One delegate, Annie, described the course as 'life-changing'.

Commenting on the CAP courses, Reverend Jonny Gios, of Kendal’s Gateway Church, said: "People had been wanting to do this course for years because of commitments like childcare.

"But, because this was online, they could just switch on their computer as the kids went to sleep in the evening and take part.

"We've had a lot of really good feedback. Some people we've worked with have said they'd recommend this course to anyone.

"There's even been some interest from people as far away as London - we weren't able to take on these people as they weren't in our catchment area. We've directed on to other groups.

"This will give people the tools to take control of their finances and to make sure things aren't hand-to-mouth.

"We're doing most we can to help people get on top of finances and out of debt.