Young people in Bradford showed off their creative talents by helping design murals highlighting the dangers of illegal money lenders at a series of community events.
As part of a pre-Christmas awareness campaign backed by Incommunities, the youngsters worked with local graffiti artist Martin Haighurst on designs spelling out the loan shark hotline number – 0300 555 2222.
They also took part in colouring competitions to highlight the dangers of borrowing and the importance of saving.
Around 500 people came along to the awareness sessions at Keighley, Shipley, North and South Bradford. They were run in partnership with the England Illegal Money Lending Team, Bradford District Credit Union and Citizens Advice.
The sessions were funded with the proceeds of crime money taken from convicted loan sharks.
Arlene Borrill from the Gateway Centre, Ravenscliffe said: “The graffiti artist and information stands attracted lots of interest.
“Many of the parents that came along are keen to find out more about joining Bradford District Credit Union and the services they offer.”
Adrienne Reid, Assistant Chief Executive, Neighbourhoods said: “At this time of year turning to loan sharks is a very real temptation, however getting involved causes nothing but misery and the prospect of spiralling debts.
“Thanks to the support of our local partners, the England Illegal Money Lending Team, Citizens Advice and Bradford District Credit Union, these local events have sent out a strong message that loan sharks have no place in our communities.
“Through our Community Resilience Team we will continue to engage with families and show everyone that there is help available. We will also continue to promote the benefits of joining Bradford District Credit Union, who provide responsible lending and saving facilities to thousands of residents across the district.”
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team added:
“Loan sharks are a scourge on society and cause harm and misery to their victims, but we are continuing to tackle them in Bradford and across the country. We would always urge victims of illegal money lenders to seek help by contacting us in confidence on 0300 555 2222”
To find out more about joining Bradford District Credit Union ring 01274 431000.