Today (Monday 21 March), StepChange Debt Charity, the UK’s largest debt advice charity, marks the beginning of Debt Awareness Week, their annual campaign to raise awareness of problem debt by reminding people that that free, impartial advice is available.
Arrow Global UK, a leading alternative asset manager in credit and real estate, is pleased to support StepChange during this year’s campaign, which comes as Britain marks the second anniversary of its first national coronavirus lockdown. The difficult financial impact of the pandemic is still being felt by many and shows no sign of lessening with household finances under increased pressure due to rising energy costs and planned national insurance hikes.
This year’s Debt Awareness Week is called ‘Let’s Start the Conversation’ around problem debt. Many people struggle to talk about personal debt, due to the perceived stigma and embarrassment. Arrow and StepChange will partner to provide a comprehensive range of support materials including virtual seminars to help Arrow’s customers better manage their financial wellbeing.
It is hoped that by starting the conversation and encouraging others to participate, we can begin to break down the stigma that is associated with indebtedness and encourage more people to access professional debt advice when they most need it.
Jim Appleby, Arrow UK CEO and Non-Executive Director on the Credit Services Association Board, said: ‘'Let’s start the conversation’ is a hugely important discussion as more household finances are put under pressure. As a customer-led business whose purpose is to build better financial futures, we have an obligation to support customers during these uncertain times. We have supported the activities of a number of major debt charities, including StepChange, by way of FairShare contributions for many years and we are pleased to partner with StepChange during Debt Awareness Week.”
Richard Lane, Director of External Affairs at StepChange, said: “This Debt Awareness Week, we want to start a national conversation about debt. Many of our clients tell us they’ve waited a long time, sometimes as long as a year, to access advice. This delay is often due to a fear of judgment or a sense of shame about their debt. During this time people’s situation can often worsen, so we want to encourage people to get advice as soon as possible. By opening up the conversation we can help people understand that they’re not alone, and that free, impartial advice is available.
“We’re already seeing the rising cost of living cited as one of the most common causes for debt among our clients, and this is only set to worsen in the coming weeks and months. We hope that, by raising awareness during this week and beyond, we can reach more people who might find themselves needing our support.
“You can help this week by spreading the word, using #DebtAwarenessWeek on social media, starting a conversation with your friends, family or customers about any worries they may have, and, if you are struggling with your finances right now, by getting in contact with StepChange for free, expert debt advice.”
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Notes to Editors
1. Debt Awareness Week runs the week commencing Monday 21 March until Sunday 28 March. If you, or your organisation, are interested in raising awareness this week, please don’t hesitate to get in touch
2. Digital Resources to support Debt Awareness Week are available here. Please note the embargo on these resources too.
For further information:
Scott Forster, Senior Communications Manager
+44 (0)7716 227537
Brackendale Consulting Ltd
About StepChange Debt Charity
StepChange Debt Charity is the UK’s largest debt advice charity, helping hundreds of thousands of people every year to deal with their debts.
Founded in 1993, StepChange supports people experiencing debt problems through telephone and online services, and campaigns for change to reduce the harm and stigma associated with debt.