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Debt charity in Sunday Times Awards success

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is once again celebrating success in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For Awards

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) is once again celebrating success in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies To Work For Awards.

The debt counselling organisation came third in the not-for-profit category and won Best Leader for managing duo John Kirkby and Matt Barlow (pictured right).

The achievement is all the more extraordinary as CAP has come in the top three of the best in the UK every year it has entered.

This year, it scored the highest marks in six out of the eight areas of the operation that were looked at by the judges.

CAP employs around 170 staff at its headquarters in the restored Jubilee Mill in North Street, Bradford, as well as a network of debt help centres around the UK.

What makes it such a consistently good company to work for?

“Bringing hope to people who are despairing and seeing their outlook on life completely transformed is very fulfilling work,” said Director of HR and Staff Development Ellie Gage.

“We are just as vigorous with our mission as we are with our determination to look after our staff. People are our biggest and strongest asset. They are what makes the whole operation work and being fair to them and looking after them is very much at the heart of our faith.”

Many of the staff spend much of the day speaking to people who are stressed about their financial situation so the charity ensures the staff have Revive Days built into the year where they might enjoy a walk in the country, a meal with colleagues and a time to rest together.

Wellbeing Days also happen quarterly with staff encouraged to get a relaxing massage, enjoy some fresh air or the mill's basement gym, and drink fruit smoothies.

Mrs Gage added: “While, as a charity, we are mindful of spending responsibly on these activities, we see it paying off when so few of our experienced staff leave.”

The charity also held a Dragon's Den-style session last year with staff where requests and ideas were put forward for senior management to consider and answer.

CAP began 16 years ago when John Kirkby decided to use his own experiences of poverty and the financial sector to help local people. He began CAP from a bedroom office in his Great Horton home. Now the growing network comprises 190 church-based centres helping people from Inverness in Scotland to Redruth in Cornwall.

Anyone needing debt help should contact www.capdebthelp.org or call 0800 328 0006.

Churches interested in partnering with CAP should contact the team on 01274 760580 or e-mail churchpartnership@capuk.org

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