Mossley based freelance artist Jacqui Symons has helped create a novel way to warn of the danger from loan sharks.
Working with residents and community groups Jacqui has designed artwork for a ‘Stop Loan Sharks’ sofa.
Local dignitaries, including staff from the Cash Box Credit Union (CBCU), gathered for a grand unveiling at the Church of the Nazarene in Ashton.
The sofa’s purpose is to highlight the menace of loan sharks in a fun and collaborative way.
The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) has been working in partnership with CBCU and Tameside Council to raise awareness of the dangers of getting involved with a loan shark and to point residents to the legal alternatives for borrowing money.
The events have been funded by the IMLT using proceeds of crime money, confiscated from convicted loan sharks.
IMLT has 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.
As a result, the IMLT have provided Cash Box Cred it Union with a number of £ 25 ‘vouchers’ as a reward for new members of the Credit Union who make at least three savings payments over three months.
To sign up for this call 0161 342 3266. In addition, Cash Box staff and volunteers will in Mossley early this summer to promote the offer.
Councillor Frank Travis, Chair of Cash Box Credit Union, said: “IMLT are maintaining a great momentum through this popular incentive scheme which we are targeting at vulnerable communities, but is available to anyone who wants to open an account with us.”
To report a loan shark: Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222. Text a report to 078600 22116 Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk or Efirstname.lastname@example.org