A DEBT help charity in Barnsley has had to set on another worker - to combat waiting lists of up to three months.

More than 80 families have already been helped by Christians Against Poverty, but with people having to wait for months to have their case assessed, they have set on someone else to cope with demand.

It claims a third of clients have had suicidal thoughts, while more than half have consulted a GP over stress-related illness caused by their debt.

Centre manager Jonathan Tweedle said: "There are some desperate situations out there and people are leaving it too late before they get in touch.

"We’ve been in Barnsley since June 2012 and we’re now booked up three months in advance waiting to see new people who have contacted us asking for help.

"It’s shocked us how bad the situation is in Barnsley. Some people are suicidal while others are deeply depressed.

"Debt is ruining their lives - they’re too scared to answer their door, take a phone call or even open their curtains. That’s why we're here to help.”

Jonathan, who attends Gateway Church on Mottram Street which runs a food bank every week, says Christians Against Poverty - a national charity based in Bradford - contacts creditors on clients' behalf and sets out a budget to help people get debt free.

Contact Christians Against Poverty on 0800 328 0006 for debt advice.