Ardrossan-based debt, welfare and housing advice charity CHAP is continuing to expand its services in North Ayrshire. 

The ongoing challenges from the rising cost-of-living continues to put pressure on busy CHAP staff, working hard to meet demand for their free and impartial services.

Despite this, however, CHAP has been able to further extend its reach into the community with the opening of a further three community hubs across the Three Towns area, in Whitlees Community Centre, Ardeer Community Centre and The Ayrshire Community Trust (TACT) offices in Saltcoats.

This is in addition to CHAP’s established community hubs within Kilwinning Sports Club in 2022 and the Bridgend Community Centre in Kilbirnie.

CHAP also recently commenced a pilot collaboration with charity, Children 1st and received funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund to launch its Multiply Project. Through this, the charity is actively working with North Ayrshire Council to on innovative ways to boost people’s numeracy skills.

Ray Chaney, chair of the CHAP board of trustees, said: “At a time when funding is at its most challenging, we are continuing to expand our reach; to bring advice and assistance to people where it is needed most – close to home.

“Our aims remain simple. We want to alleviate the stress of debt, including the threat of homelessness, family breakup and the deterioration in health and wellbeing which can unfortunately come with it.

“Against that backdrop, I’m immensely proud to report that we also continue to invest in people and skills. Those already going above and beyond to help others have invested even more of their own time to obtain further qualifications and stay at the top of their game.”

Marie Burns, leader of the council in North Ayrshire, recently attended the CHAP offices in Ardrossan to formally present three employees with their certificates.

CHAP Information and Advice worker, Alister Meek successfully studied for an Digital Application Support SCQF Level 6.

He said: "The SVQ course was a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills. The instructors were all fantastic and always willing to spend extra time to review parts of the course and make sure we understood the subject being taught.

Andrea Gibson undertook the same qualification and said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learned lots of new skills that I can take forward into my role.

"This was a fantastic opportunity for me to gain this qualification while working. The tutors were supportive, encouraging and remote learning made it easy to take part, regardless of location."

Tracey Tait, who also gained the Level 6 qualification, said: “It's been years since I was in education, but I really enjoyed it. Although to start with I struggled to understand the lingo used, the tutors were great and took their time to explain things.

“Although I don’t utilise what I learned every day in work it gave me great satisfaction to know I can learn new things. It gave my confidence a real boost."

Councillor Marie Burns congratulated the team, saying: “Well done to the members of the CHAP team in achieving these qualifications. It was great to meet them and to see firsthand their dedication and commitment.

“Developing a 'wellbeing economy' is one of the key priorities in our new North Ayrshire Council Plan.

"To achieve this, we must focus on tackling inequalities through supporting people into training and employment to promote a Fair Work economy. It is organisations like CHAP who help us to deliver on these priorities and I thank them for all their continued support.”

CHAP seeks innovative ways to help people avoid debt and housing issues and to win support from public and private sector benefactors to help meet its objectives. 

If you are in need of help and advice, or would like to speak to CHAP about supporting any of our planned initiatives, please do not hesitate to get in touch at