PICKING up the pieces after her parent's lives were shattered by debt led to a counsellor's determination to help as many people as possible escape financial worries.
Teresa Pickering is centre manager for the Christian's Against Poverty's (CAP) branch in Acton.
The charity offers debt advice and support from a network of bases which work with churches up and down the country.
Ms Pickering describes herself as the face of the service in her area, going to meet people have been referred to discuss their situation before presenting a budget and action plan worked out by experts from the charity's head office in Bradford.
The 39-year-old, of Stanway Gardens, Acton, said: "Especially in our current economic climate there's a huge amount of financial difficulties. A lot of people suffer in silence as there can be shame attached to it, the bills mount up and so does the stress, the anxiety and depression. Relationships and marriages fall apart and they can see no way out."
Ms Pickering saw this with her own eyes and says she has childhood memories of hiding with her parents when she heard a knock on the door in case it was the debt collectors.
She said: "I helped my mother get out of debt, talking to the creditors and the banks on behalf of her, it took years but we did, and we celebrated with a bottle of champagne at the end.
"I feel a lot of compassion for people in debt, it's heart-breaking, I just want to help them."
CAP gives people in debt an escape route by dealing with their creditors as well as with other problems which have either been created by the debt, or which caused it in the first place.
Ms Pickering added: "For example a counsellor I know visited a lady and the first thing she said was that she didn't have any friends. We can help by introducing them to members from the church and inviting them to social events."
The Acton centre was set up just a month ago and works with Ms Pickering's church, the Oaktree Anglican Fellowship, which holds its services in Twyford High School.
The CAP centre currently operates out of the church's vicarage in Creffield Road but is moving to Acton High Street soon.
It is a free service and open to all. Some are referred by doctors and support groups but people can refer themselves by calling freephone 0800 328 0006.
Visit www.cap.uk to find out more.