A STOURTON charity has joined forces with Churches Together to help people struggling to cope with debt.

Living Springs,which support young mums and families, recently opened a Life Debt Advice Centre above Vines restaurant in Stourbridge High Street, which was previously known as The Well.

Eight debt advisers are now operating from the premises and already they have been inundated with work.

Robert Chapman, who is chairman of trustees at Living Springs, said: "We've only been open for a couple of weeks and yet the advisers are already fully booked. Perhaps its a sign of the times but the phone rings constantly."

The centre is open every day from 12 noon to 4pm and replaces the previous Christian Book Shop, which closed when The Well went into administration.

Mr Chapman continued: "We're a completely different company. When The Well closed, we were anxious not to lose a Christian presence in the High Street.

"We approached Vines, who already operate a shop in West Bromwich and we wanted to keep the continuity going. In essence Living Springs and Churches Together have pooled their resources for this project.

"At Living Springs we see only too clearly how debt can put pressure and stress on people.The situation doesn't seem to be getting any better. Once you get into it, you start to see how bad the problem is."

He urged people to seek advice at the centre instead of going to loan sharks and added: "If anyone is in trouble through debt, then my advice would be to seek help. It's true what they say that a problem shared is a problem halved and we find people feel better just by talking about it.

"Sometimes, when people try to deal with the problem of debt on their own, they can't see the wood for the trees. Go and a talk to someone who knows what to do."

For further details call the centre on 01384 442375 or just drop in.