Ditch Debt with Dignity (DDwD) is an Aberdeen based charity which supports people in the surrounding area.

Our aim is to support people who are privately struggling with their finances by providing them with free, non-judgemental, discreet, professional advice.  We offer clients a realistic plan in place to repay their debts. In addition, we work with them to understand the issues that led to the debt, enabling them to establish a healthier relationship with money and put in place a more secure financial foundation for the future.

The DDwD team are fully aware of the impact that debt has on families. We take a holistic approach to work with families to identify what additional support may be necessary. This can include supporting clients to face the personal challenges that have led to their debt problems.  Such as, clients who have a severe propensity for overspending, people who have become caught in a spiral of gambling addiction and those whose inability to budget has seen a drastic amount of debt from accumulating and people who have recently been made redundant and have commitments they cannot now fill.

Clients can have tremendous problems in facing the reality of the impact on the family.  The impact of debt can also impact on the client’s professional life as s/he is unable to focus on work and so the spiral continues.  We are there to provide a solution as well as a safe space to work through the journey, providing support so that the circle does not continue.

The reason we want to focus on this specific group of people, who to the outside world seemed to be financially stable, these are the people who are least likely to ask for help.  People who earn money that preclude them from receiving benefits, often feel like they do not deserve help, should know better, or should be able to get themselves out of the situation. They are also less likely to share the situation with their partners, friends or colleagues as most of their peers seem to manage their finances well.

Men in these circumstances are more susceptible to self-harm and even suicide. It is this which has driven the organisation to survive through some really tough times, such as, a lack of funding, lack of staff and lack of awareness from people who do not know what it is that DDwD is all about.

The demand for our services has been increasing, with us seeing more enquiries.  However, we are aware that we need to make our online presence greater to reach more of the people in need and to make it easier for them to contact us.  Whilst we have recently been relying on Facebook and email enquiries, we realise that we need to have better options on our website to make it as easy as possible for individuals to get in touch in the initial stages.  This can be a very anxious time for many people, and we want them to know that they have managed to get through to us and that we are dealing with their request. Overall, we need to know that we are capturing all the enquiries and clients that we can.

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Therefore, we are seeking funding to keep the operations of the organisation running smoothly and efficiently and support our growing client base.  The DDwD team are fully committed to providing an excellent service to our clients.  What we need is the technology and support to do so effectively.  DDwD is devoted to providing person-centred advice, support and advocacy around wellbeing and debt.  Funding will enable us to give the clients the initial opening to contact us through our website and will allow us to maintain the site for news, updates, blogs and other information that would be useful for the clients to have.

Moreover, we have compiled a series of videos which will be available for free on the DDwD website, for individuals to use in conjunction with adviser’s support or on their own.  These videos go through the entire process of recovering from debt in general detail, they also include many resources to enable individuals to keep track of their progress along each step of the way.  These combined assets will give people hope, enabling them to see a light at the end of the tunnel and get them making a difference in their own lives for the better.  It will be extremely important to us to give individuals a range of options and services from our organisation, whilst still offering the 1:1 session that we do presently.

To allow DDwD to meet its aims, we would greatly appreciate some support on our Aviva community fund. If you can spare anything, however small, we would be really grateful. Thank you.

Ditch Debt with Dignity – a Charities crowdfunding project in Aberdeen by Karen Bain (avivacommunityfund.co.uk)