A force for good

A force for good

The Sherbet Foundation continues to support those people affected by debt action. The charity is the brainchild of Claire Sandbrook Chief Executive of Shergroup, the UK’s leading enforcement agency and legal services company. It aims to help those in genuine hardship, who are being pursued by creditors but unable to pay, by offering them a ‘helping hand’ grant.

Enforcements Officers are in an ideal position to assess the financial stability or otherwise of a debtor and so Shergroup has developed an ‘Insight Process’ into the debtor’s circumstances to recognise the signs of genuine hardship. The Insight Process is based upon using the time an enforcement officer spends with the debtor at their home to evaluate if the family could use a ‘helping hand’.

Often the straw that breaks the camel’s back for a single parent, who has so far managed to balance the household budget, is a the breakdown of the fridge, the cooker, or the washing machine, which they can’t afford to do without but that they can’t afford to replace. Chairman of The Sherbet Foundation Trustees, and President of the ICM, Robert Turner believes this is the type of person who overnight becomes the ‘can’t pay’ judgment debtor and the reason for the Sherbet Foundation: “Sherbet can help them get back on track with a one off replacement of that vital domestic appliance. The debtor can then endeavour to keep within their budget and out of the courts – to the benefit of all.

“Sherbet is an imaginative means to allow the most vulnerable to be helped,” he says, “and the charity looks to make a vital contribution in an area where it is most need.” It is a straightforward process that sees the enforcement officer offering a grant form to the debtor when there are clearly no goods available to be taken to pay the debt, and they will take photographs of what they see to give the Sherbet Trustees better insight into the circumstances of the debtor and their family.

Sherbet’s grant processing team assesses the grant forms to see if the applicant is in line with the charity’s criteria. If successful, the applicant receives the new household item such as a fridge, cooker or washing machine direct from Comet who install the appliance and remove and dispose of the old appliance.

Any enforcement business can sign up to be on the Sherbet Roll of Honour, along with any organization that wants to donate to the work it does. Sherbet wants to invite any enforcement business, or creditor who uses bailiff services to join in and support this charitable initiative to help families across Great Britain.

Sherbet is Shergroup’s way of addressing a real need in the enforcement sector to use a position of power for social good. It hopes many of those who rely on enforcement for their business, or to enforce their court judgments will join in to make a positive statement that enforcement doesn’t have to lead to crisis – instead it can be a step towards professional help.