Leyland community group launches project to highlight the dangers of loan sharks

Sophie Wilding, of the Community Network Outreach Service.Sophie Wilding, of the Community Network Outreach Service.
Sophie Wilding, of the Community Network Outreach Service.
A Leyland community group is using the power of art to highlight the dangers of loan sharks.

The Community Network and Outreach Service (CNOS) has received £2869.60 from the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) to help fund a community art project. The money was confiscated from convicted loan sharks.

The group will deliver adult sessions that break down stereotypes of illegal money lenders and highlight their tactics, as well as offering support in cash management and budget planning.

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There will also be children's arts and craft sessions focusing on the importance of money management while a wall mural will be displayed at the service's Dunkirk Road hub.

Sophie Wilding, who runs the organisation, said: “I am extremely delighted that CNOS has been awarded the funds for our Stop Loan Sharks project. It will go straight back into benefiting the community by highlighting the dangers of loan sharks and the wider impact this devastating practice can have on families and individuals.

"I am looking forward to running the sessions, promoting awareness and letting the community know they don’t have to face this alone if they find themselves in this situation.

"The mural at our hub will be a long-lasting and visual impact piece that will stay as a reminder and link the community via their handprint, as well as promoting awareness as a focal point.”

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The Illegal Money Lending Team is concerned that people may turn to loan sharks during the Covid-19 pandemic as financial uncertainty hits more households.

Tony Quigley, the team's head of service, said: “Through this scheme the cash extorted by loan sharks is being put to excellent use.

“Loan sharks are a scourge on society and cause harm and misery to their victims, but we are continuing to tackle them across the country.

"We would always urge victims of illegal money lenders to seek help by contacting us in confidence on 0300 555 2222.”