Sewell pupils tackle loan sharks with Norwich YFC
Students from Sewell Park Academy in Norwich have been learning about the dangers of loan sharks with Norwich Youth for Christ by creating a video to highlight the issue.
Over the last 3 months, Norwich Youth For Christ (YFC), in partnership with Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards Service and the England Illegal Money Lending Team have been working with students from Sewell Park Academy in North Norwich to teach them about the dangers of getting involved with a loan shark.
The preventative project was designed by Norwich YFC in conjunction with their mobile recording studio ‘Tracks’. Youthworkers Sarah Ballard, Ben Lawrence and Sarah Rensburg have delivered interactive sessions in the school timetable to raise awareness of the issue and have worked with the students to create a piece of media that informs other people in the community.
The end product is a short film, ‘The Day a Shark Came to School’ based around the storyline of a local person who lends money to young people but then makes unreasonable demands. The project is funded by the England Illegal Money Lending Team, using proceeds of crime money, confiscated from convicted loan sharks.
Sarah Ballard, Youthworker for Norwich YFC said: “The issue of loan sharking can have a detrimental impact on the lives of victims. It has been a great opportunity to work with the young people of Sewell Park Academy to empower them with knowledge to share in their local community.”
Nick Blanch, Director of Norwich YFC said: “Illegal money lending is a crime that often goes unreported, but YFC and partners are determined to raise awareness of this unlawful activity and signpost residents of the local community to the advice and support available to victims through the IMLT.”
The 3 minute film was shown to a select group of family and friends in Catton where representatives from Oak Grove Community Church were invited to talk about its support work with debt advice offered to anyone in need.
The video, which can be viewed below, was also shown to all pupils of Sewell Park Academy during a school assembly. It is hoped that it will be shared widely to raise further awareness.
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) said: “This event demonstrates how loan sharks cash is being put to excellent use to educate the community and different age groups on the dangers of loan sharks.
“The IMLT will continue to work to combat loan sharks. They can cause untold misery to the most disadvantaged in our communities. We would urge anyone with information about loan sharking or victims of loan sharks to contact the team on 0300 555 2222 or visit our website at www.stoploansharks.uk”
Sophie Leney, Head of Trading Standards at Norfolk County Council said: “Norfolk County Council is pleased to support this project which has been funded using proceeds of crime money, confiscated from convicted loan sharks.
“It is important that young people learn about the dangers of getting involved with loan sharks, to prevent them, family members or friends falling victim to one.
“Well done to all the pupils involved – you have contributed to making a difference in tackling this crime in the local community.”