We’re delighted to announce we’ve been successful in gaining a grant from The England Illegal Money Lending Team. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for Headway Swindon.                                                      

Please see our press release below:

A local charity have been awarded with over £1000 of loan sharks cash to deliver a project which will assist in raising awareness of the dangers of borrowing from loan sharks.

Headway Swindon are a charity that delivers cognitive rehabilitation therapy to adults who have suffered a brain injury. Due to the damage caused to their brain, the charity are increasingly worried for vulnerable clients potentially falling victim of a loan shark.

Beginning Monday 30th January, Headway Swindon will host an expressive art week to encourage their clients to get creative by producing a piece of art such as a money dish or piggy bank, inspiring them to save. During the week, colleagues from Headway will get chatting to clients about ways on how they can manage their finances and stay safe from these unscrupulous loan sharks.

Sonia de Blaquiere, Service Development Manager at Headway said:

“Unfortunately, due to their brain injury, our clients are at a higher risk of falling victim to a loan shark. Some of our clients are not able to problem solve effectively which could result in them falling in to more debt. Many are very vulnerable in their community and struggle to manage their own finances effectively.

“Most of our clients are affected by mental health in some way such as depression, anxiety or suicidal ideation because of their brain injury. The project will provide our clients with a safe, calm environment where they can talk and share ideas around money skills, budgeting and staying safe financially.

The England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) in partnership with Wiltshire Council Trading Standards launched a Your Choice initiative back in October 2016 to give residents a say in how money is spent within the local community.

Headway Swindon, who have clients from Wiltshire and Swindon, were the winning group to receive the most votes as part of Wiltshire’s Your Choice Scheme. The charity was awarded with their full bid of £1064 to use towards their stop loan sharks project.

Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team adds:

“Through our Your Choice scheme, the cash extorted from loan sharks is being put to excellent use. Thanks to everyone who voted or entered a bid, you have contributed to making a difference and tackling this crime in your community.

“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”

Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have 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.

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222

Text a report to 078600 22116

Visit the website


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