A special free screening of a hard-hitting film revealing the horror of being snared by a loan shark is taking place in Goole.
The film, called Landsharks, tells the story of a young boy who is forced to work for a loan shark on a troubled estate. The free screening takes place at the Junction cinema on Thursday, October 26, at 9.45am.
The event is being organised by the England Illegal Money Lending Team in partnership with the Goole branch of the Hull & East Yorkshire Credit Union. Its aim is to raise awareness of loan sharks and make sure those who may be struggling for money in the lead up to Christmas know where they can turn for help.
Jo Evans, Goole branch manager and development officer for HEY Credit Union, said the cinema was expected to be packed out for the event and councillors, MPs and members of the local policing team are due to attend.
She said: “All over our credit union areas we are seeing families really struggling to make ends meet.
“In the run up to Christmas we wanted to reach out to the community and those agencies working with families to ensure that we are all aware of the dangers loan sharks and illegal money lenders pose to our community. With our ongoing work with the Stop Loan Sharks team and our local cinema the Junction we thought that this film, although hard-hitting, would get the message out.
“We want those living in our area to not only know about how dangerous they can be but also what help and support is out there for anyone that may have fallen victim to a loan shark. It’s all about keeping our community safe.”
Tony Quigley, head of the IMLT, said: “This film really does get the message across about the dangers illegal money lenders pose to families, particularly in times of extra financial pressure, like the run up to Christmas.
“I hope as many people as possible attend to find out more about how credit unions and the Stop Loan Sharks Team can help.”
Everyone who attends the screening will get a free bag of popcorn and there will also be the chance for people to join the HEY Credit Union. They must meet the eligibility criteria or living in Hull, East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire or North East Lincolnshire or working for one of the credit union’s payroll partners.
Those that sign up will get a £25 voucher as a first deposit. There will be light refreshments on offer thanks to the Two Rivers Community Pantry and a meet and greet with IMLT mascot Sid the Shark.
Jo said the branch would also be launching its annual Christmas Toy Appeal to help local families who may be struggling in the festive season. She added that the event was being supported by Drax Power Station.
The 15-minute Landsharks film, which has an age rating of 15, was created by filmmaker Aaron Dunleavy in partnership with the England IMLT, Blackburn with Darwen Council, Great Places Housing Group, and Newground.
Since its launch in 2004, the IMLT has supported over 31,000 people and written off over £91 million worth of illegal debt, securing over 410 prosecutions for illegal money lending.
Anyone who has been affected by illegal money lending should call the Stop Loan Sharks 24/7 Helpline on 0300 555 2222 or access support online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk. Live Chat is available on the website from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.