Credit card bills and spiralling debts this month are expected to see a huge surge in calls to a York-based helpline as people face financial meltdown.
The chief executive of national charity, Christian Debt Line, is looking for volunteers to help raise money for the organisation as it attempts to assist those struggling with debt throughout the UK.
Gary Dickinson, who set up the organisation 18 months ago, said the charity’s website was now receiving between 7,000 and 10,000 hits each day from people using the search term “stop my eviction”.
Mr Dickinson said: “I have been in the financial business for 30 years and have never seen it as grim as it is now. People’s coffers are dry and they are in debt or facing eviction from the family home.”
Christian Debt Line recently moved to larger premises on The Mount but has only two volunteers, including Mr Dickinson, and three paid members of staff.
“Post-Christmas, we are expecting heaps of calls,” said Mr Dickinson. He received 13 inquiries, nine of which were evictions, on the first day back in the new year.
He said the organisation existed on donations and that “the barrel was now dry” for grants.
“I need people who have some compassion for other people,” he said. “I’m looking for someone who can contact people who we have been successful with and see if they can make a donation after we have saved their home.”
The plea for volunteers comes as the organisation looks to set up a service next month aimed at deterring bailiffs from collecting from those who may have fallen behind with council tax payments.
If you think you can help, contact Gary Dickinson on 0800 01 99927 or email firstname.lastname@example.org