Loan Shark Awareness Week - the kids at work

UC Crew and Kingsyze Ramp Up Awareness of Illegal Money Lending

Over the past week, people in the area around Victoria Park may have noticed a buzz of activity taking place around the long-neglected skate park. 

https://youtu.be/aSgTPcnO0Sw

UC Crew have banded together with Kingsyze Graffiti to tackle one of the big issues affecting our community with a project funded by Stop Loan Sharks England – to transform the park into a canvas for some spectacular new art highlighting the issue of loan sharks and illegal money lending in St Helens. The project was undertaken after consultation with young people from the town, who came up with the eye-catching and meaningful design.

Loan sharks are notorious for preying on the vulnerable – the young, the elderly, people in tough situations – hooking their victims with the promise of a quick loan before ramping up the interest. People who cannot pay these extortionate rates often find themselves subjected to a relentless campaign of threat and intimidation. 

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Discussing the project with HackTV, Sie of Kingsyze Graffiti said, “Graffiti is the perfect tool for engaging the young people who get involved and the young people who come on the skate park – and even older people, such as dog walkers walking past. People automatically look at the bright colours. 

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“Kids are in tune with the artwork; it fits perfectly with the skate park. I expect it to send a clear message to deter younger people from using loan sharks in the future; that they aren\’t legal or above board.” 

UC Crew spoke up about their hopes for the project, saying that they hope it \”will affect and influence the young people, families, friends and the community by educating them and raising awareness about loan sharks and illegal money lending.\”

They stressed the importance of awareness: \”Knowing the information, signs, reporting mechanisms and help-lines will inform [people] to make better choices, flag up criminal activity and help people who are stuck in vulnerable illegal money lending situations.\”

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If you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in this article, you can contact Stop Loan Sharks safely and confidentially on 0300 555 222, or click here to visit their website. You can also get help locally at St Helens CAB if you\’re in financial crisis and need support.

Check out some of the other projects that UC Crew have delivered on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. If you’re interested in seeing more amazing graffiti art, check out Kingsyze on Facebook and Twitter

And keep an eye out for our video about the project, coming soon!