A youth community group in Solihull are using music and drama to highlight the dangers of loan sharks.
Young Solihull commissioned Nourish Social to create a grime music and drama video, telling a story of a young woman who needs to borrow money for rent before experiencing the perils caused by a loan shark she met online.
The story depicts a typical scenario, typically loan sharks will not discuss repayments or interest at the time the loan is taken. Unaffordable repayments and charges lead to the borrower being caught in a cycle of debt, having to borrow again to make the repayments. In most cases, victims are introduced to the lender either through a friend, family member or because they are known in the community.
They may offer what appears to be a quick-fix small loan but in the long term, any money borrowed will come at a very high price and may lead to violence, threats, and intimidation.
The immersive video, which has been funded from cash recovered from loan sharks, is due to be published on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The video can be viewed here : https://youtu.be/aSvjrjWg1pw
Theo Thompson of Nourish Social said:
“Storytelling has always been used throughout history to pass on useful information. We created a relatable, realistic story based on data available and packaged it in a way that’s edutainment to 18–24-year-olds rather than coming across as condescending. It grabs attention, educates, and entertains while helping to be memorable through music. Hopefully it helps some young people to avoid life changing situations.”
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said: “Loan sharks are criminals who prey on vulnerable people and are a blight on our communities. They fleece their victims and have been known to use intimidation and violence to get their money.
“This is a fantastic project which will help young people and families understand the dangers of using loan sharks and encourage reporting of illegal money lending in the town.
“I would urge anyone who desperately needs financial help to not turn to a loan shark but instead to talk to a credit union or Community Development Financial Institution. Anyone affected by loan sharks can access confidential support on our 24-Hour Helpline or Live Chat service.”