Loan sharks' illicit cash used to help struggling families
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
Cash generated by crooked loan sharks has been donated to a project that supports struggling families during the school holidays.
The England Illegal Money Lending team (EIML) - the nationwide force that cracks down on the activities of loan sharks - will hand over £6,000 in ill-gotten gains to social landlord Ashram Housing Association’s Holiday Kitchen, which provides family learning, food and play activities.
Last year, the project supported almost 500 low income families in east Birmingham, and relies on sponsorship and charitable funding to run.
This year, children who attend will learn safer money skills as part of the play days and families will be warned of the dangers of loan sharks.
Dr Caroline Wolhuter, head of policy and research at Ashram, said: “We are very grateful to England’s Illegal Money Lending Team for this kind sponsorship.
“Out of school the support of free school meals and learning infrastructure disappears, meaning that some families are left struggling with the cost of providing additional meals and activities.
“Long summer holiday are particularly demanding on family finances as community holiday provision is increasingly limited. Holiday Kitchen fills this gap by providing breakfasts, lunches and lots of fun and educational family activities that help promote family well-being during the school holiday period.”
Tony Quigley, from the EIML team, said: “We are really pleased to be working with Ashram Housing Association to help support families through the summer holidays.
“Loan sharks are criminals who may appear friendly at first but who often go on to cause misery through violence, intimidation, threats and extortionate interest rates and charges.
"We urge anyone who has borrowed from a loan shark to call us on 0300 555 2222 as we can help.”