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A Royal Visit

We were thrilled to receive a visit from HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh on Tuesday 19th September, hosted by The Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon.

HRH spent time with the team and was really interested to hear all about the work we do in Mid Devon, and particularly how the pandemic and cost of living crisis has affected demand for our service.

She spent time in the foodbank chatting about the recent rise of the number of clients needing help from a foodbank.

The Duchess was also introduced to some of the clients we are working with, and she spent time with one of the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ guests who we have supported during her time in Mid Devon.

One of the clients HRH met was Jenny. Jenny was referred to CHAT for debt advice by a local vicar when she became depressed at her growing debt and rent arrears. She was unable to afford the council tax bill and the bailiffs were at the door. Over the course of the past year we have worked alongside Jenny, supporting with negotiations with creditors and with charitable applications to help her apply for a Debt Relief Order, which has freed her from over £20k worth of debt.

Jenny received support with managing her budget and reduced ongoing internet and other essential outgoings so that she can stay free from debt for the future.

Alison Padfield, CEO, said “It was an extraordinary day for CHAT and our clients, and one we won’t forget! It was a pleasure to show HRH around and explain how CHAT works in our local community. Our clients were pleased to be able to share their experiences with her, and she was generous with her time and compassionate in her responses as she explored their stories with them and encouraged them on their journeys”.

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