Christmas is unfairly blamed for the influx of people needing debt help in January, says a charity.

Christians Against Poverty said the surge of people ringing for its free debt counselling was not caused by the festivities alone.

Steve Hulbert, manager of the local Skipton CAP centre, said: “It is simplistic to think people have done too much shopping at Christmas and then call organisations like ours for help in January.

“People fear losing their homes and creditors are constantly on the phone causing enormous stress – that doesn’t happen overnight.”

The Skipton Centre, which is run in partnership with the town’s Baptist Church, gives a face-to-face free service where every client is seen in their own home. They get the chance to talk through difficulties and explore possible solutions, possibly a repayment plan or insolvency.

Mr Hulbert added: “It’s vital that people know that CAP is an alternative to dealing with debt problems alone. I don’t want people to ignore any financial difficulties they may have, or turn to expensive money-lending options.”

To find out more, visit, or call 0800 3280006.