When his marriage ended, Gary relied on credit to temporarily pay for two properties and cover his basic living costs. Now he’s back on his feet, he's happy to help reach others like him.
Gary says, "I'm really grateful for the help that I've been given, and I thought it would be a good way to put it out there to other people that they should contact the charity when they're in a crisis situation."
How did your debt problem begin?
"My marriage broke down, and I was trying to carry on paying the bills and mortgage on the family home while at the same time paying rent on a new flat for myself.
I took out a loan, but it still got to the point where I was exceeding my overdraft and I couldn’t keep to my credit card commitments.
I knew things were bad when I started using my credit card to pay for food. I contacted the charity for help in July 2012, and am now getting back on track."
Why did you want to become a media volunteer?
"I am really grateful for the help that I've been given, and I thought it would be a good way to put it out there to other people that they should contact the charity when they're in a crisis situation. You shouldn’t feel bad about it, and admitting there’s a problem doesn’t make you any less of a person.
I listened back to it and thought it was really good. It wasn’t just about me, it was a real debate about not feeling ashamed to seek debt advice, and it felt good to have contributed to that."
Were there any parts you were worried about?
"My concern was about how it might impact on my work because they don’t know the situation I’m in, so I decided not to do any television.
But I’ve done radio and newspapers – it’s up to you what you feel comfortable doing, there’s no pressure to say yes to anything.
I’ve been really well supported by the media team, particularly when there seemed to be a flurry of activity. They always make sure you're happy with the way journalists handle any contact with you."
What has your experience been like so far?
"The interviews were really good. I felt comfortable talking both to the newspaper and radio. I didn’t feel any embarrassment, and I didn’t feel there was anything that I couldn’t answer.
I did one Sunday morning radio programme, which was live – interviews can happen any time. "