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Thousands seek help for debt and homelessness amid "devastating impact" of …

Senior advisor Chris Lowry said: People believe that Cheltenham is an affluent town with no social problems.

However, every day we see people in our waiting room who are either homeless or within a few days of being so.

Cllr John Rawson, deputy leader of the borough council and cabinet member for finance, said: CCPs comments are a vivid reminder of the devastating impact which benefits cuts are having on many people in Cheltenham.

I am under no illusion that everyone in Cheltenham is affluent I know that some people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

Although we cannot reverse the effects of government policies, we see it as the councils responsibility to do all we can to help people who are in genuine hardship.

Since March last year the charity has managed some £863,000 of debt for people in Cheltenham and dealt with more than 213 benefit problems.

It also handled housing problems and prevented homelessness for 373 people to March 2015.

On the issue of debt, Mr Lowry added: There are a range of reasons but the rise in pay day loans has not helped. People are being cut to the bone and taking pay day loans to live.

CCP works with the borough council to provide support for people with social problems.

Its advice service shares the Cheltenham First Stop building, in the High Street, with Cheltenham Borough Homes housing service.

Cllr Rawson added: Thanks to the hard work of these teams, the number of households becoming statutory homeless remains at record lows, in spite of the pressures placed on people on low incomes by the welfare changes.

I would advise anyone who is homeless or worried about losing their home to approach Cheltenham First Stop for advice.

The support available will depend on individual circumstances, but emergency accommodation is available for people who are very vulnerable or have children and who have become homeless through no fault of their own.

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