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Saltash Workers Win 'Stop Loan Sharks' Award

Saltash Workers Win 'Stop Loan Sharks' Award

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:17pm 30th November 2015.

Workers in Saltash have won a Stop Loan Sharks Award .

Members of staff from Citizens Advice Cornwall and Brunel Academy, Saltash are to receive a Highly Commended Award for their outstanding endeavours in raising awareness of the crime of illegal money lending.

The annual Stop Loan Sharks awards, which are hosted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, are taking place for the third time to recognise those who have made a valuable contribution to highlighting the dangers of loan sharks in their communities.

Only 5 agencies nationally received the Highly Commended award.

Becky Moore (Area Co-Ordinator, Citizens Advice Cornwall), Marissa Richards (Parent Support Advisor, Brunel Academy) and Peter Roberts (Headmaster, Brunel Academy) were nominated for the award for their work in supporting vulnerable people to access services and avoid using loan sharks.

Becky devised a framework to look at the root causes of the problem, and identify communication methods to help people help themselves.

Peter helped raise awareness through school newsletters and Marissa developed a relationship with the local food bank.
This partnership approach has enabled more people to access services, getting the support they need to avoid falling prey to loan sharks.

Becky, Peter and Marissa will receive their certificates at a presentation by Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council's Cabinet Member for Communities on 4th December at Brunel Academy at 9.30am.

Tony Quigley, the Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, will also be attending.

Citizens Advice Cornwall said "Citizens Advice Cornwall - your local charity - are proud to receive this award for their work raising awareness of Loan Sharks which prey on citizens in local communities. Citizens Advice give the help that people need for the problems they face in their lives but we also take an active part in campaigning for change. Whether people need to come to us for help or not we are there tirelessly working and campaigning for everyone - to help create a fairer society. As a charity we rely on the generosity of donations to help us undertake this type of work. We would like to thank our partners and the Illegal Money Lending Team for their help and support in this campaign."

Peter Roberts said "We were very pleased to be involved with the initiative to highlight illegal money lending. We work hard to be part of the Saltash community and that means we have a responsibility to support our parents and carers. It also means that we educate our pupils in the sorts of skills that they will need to be successful in life, such as such as managing their finances and knowing where to get good advice from."

Cllr Geoff Brown said; "The people of Saltash have shown that they do not want to suffer at the hands of loan sharks and I am delighted that their efforts are receiving this national recognition.

"Cornwall Council's Trading Standards officers worked with the national Illegal Money Lending Team earlier this year to arrest a suspected loan shark in the town and I hope that these awards will help to remind the public that there are agencies willing to help protect them from the misery associated with loan sharks and illegal money-lending."

Tony Quigley Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team "All of the submissions we received were worthy of an award but this nomination stood out as demonstrating the power of local partnerships.

Loan sharks cause nothing but misery in our communities, using the most callous methods to force people into paying back far and above what they have borrowed and can afford.

Becky, Marissa and Peter have shown a real commitment to highlighting this issue in the local community and with their support and that of other key agencies, we are sending a clear message that this crime will not be tolerated.

If you have been the victim of a loan shark, please report them in confidence on 0300 555 2222."

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 332 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 212 years-worth of custodial sentences.

They have written off over £63 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 26,000 people.

To report a loan shark:

  • Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 
  • Text 'loan shark + your message' to 60003 
  • E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk 
  • Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject

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