Wigan pupils help to warn their parents about the dangers of loan sharks

PICTURED: Julia Webster (Unify Credit Union), Jack (Y5) , Keiley (Y4), Bracken (Y5), Scarlett (Y3), Marianna (Y6), Jill Connolly (Deputy Headteacher)

CHILDREN at Marsh Green Primary School are biting back against loan sharks with a poster campaign.

Pupils at the school on Kitt Green Road have been learning about the dangers of illegal money lenders as part of the Stop Loan Sharks initiative, aimed at boosting awareness and helping them to manage their money wisely.

Unify Credit Union has been working with the England Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) and Wigan Council to host assemblies teaching youngsters how to avoid becoming a victim.

Pupils designed colourful money shark posters to warn their peers, parents and relatives of the dangers of using illegal money lenders and to promote the help available to those affected.

The posters were then turned into a calendar for 2019 by Unify Credit Union so they can be given to parents and displayed at home as a reminder to not be tempted to use a loan shark.

Jill Connolly, Marsh Green Primary School deputy headteacher, said:

“The children benefited greatly from the visit of mascot Sid the Shark. They also thoroughly enjoyed taking part in a Stop Loan Sharks poster competition. The quality of the children’s work proved how well they had taken on and understood all the messages given. It is vital that we raise awareness of pupils as well as parents so that they do not put undue pressure on their parents to buy things they cannot afford and so resort to illegal money lending.”

The winner of the poster competition was Jack Briggs (pictured), whose poster has been turned into a banner and is on display at the front of the school. The design includes loan shark warning messages and directs residents who need to borrow to Unify Credit Union.

Unify’s Julia Webster, business development officer, said:

“Loan sharks are a scourge on our communities, taking advantage of people in desperate situations and trapping them in a cycle of debt and misery.

“If you want to start the New Year with a clean slate – I would urge parents to get in touch with us about our affordable loans and savings plans – for the children too – so this generation and the next can break free from illegal lenders.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:

“This competition is a great way of teaching young people about money and budgeting and the awful consequences of getting involved with illegal money lenders.

“We urge victims of loan sharks to contact us in confidence on 0300 555 2222 and help us bring these unscrupulous lenders to justice.”