St Basils has been awarded a lump sum of proceeds of crime money, confiscated from convicted loan sharks, to deliver a project to raise awareness amongst our young people of the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks.
Whilst our young residents are living with us at fully supported schemes, staff can protect them from loan shark activity. However St Basils work is all about helping young people move on to independent living and this is where we become concerned that our more vulnerable young people may be targeted by loan sharks due to their circumstances. Therefore last year St Basils entered The England Illegal Money Lending Team’s Your Choice scheme to apply for the £500 grant.
Staff delivered 6 awareness workshops throughout last month at Yardley House, one of St Basils emergency accommodation schemes, which involved young people showing off their creative talents by designing posters and leaflets around the theme of loan sharks and illegal money lending. The winning posters were used to help promote the services available to loan shark victims through the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT).
During the workshops, the young attendees were also presented with real life money management scenarios as part of an exercise using the IMLT’s education pack. Groups explored a range of topics during the sessions including safe lending, borrowing money, budgeting and managing wants and needs.
Jula Brady, Support Manager for St Basils Yardley said:
“We wanted to deliver a project which made young people aware of the dangers of getting involved with a loan shark. It is important to educate vulnerable people about loan sharks, and because of the age of our clients, we wanted to do this in a fun and interactive way. Our clients got very creative during the workshops and created some fantastic leaflets and posters, highlighting the support that’s available to loan shark victims through the England Illegal Money Lending Team.”
All three winners, aged 17, 18 and 22 were later awarded with mobile phones for their hard work designing the posters.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the National Illegal Money Lending Team said:
“This project demonstrates how loan sharks cash is being put to excellent use to educate young people on the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 370 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 318 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £71.9 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,500 people.
Financial education packs are available from www.stoploansharks.co.uk/for-education/
Text 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk