Lincoln anti-poverty campaign receives award for clampdown on loan sharks

A campaign to eradicate poverty in Lincoln has been rewarded for raising awareness of illegal money lending.

City of Lincoln Council’s Anti-Poverty Strategy was one of only five agencies nationally to receive the Highly Commended Award at the annual Stop Loan Sharks awards, hosted by the England Illegal Money Lending Team.

As part of its strategy, City of Lincoln Council worked alongside the CAB, food banks, Lincoln City FC and HMP Lincoln to deliver a four month campaign which aimed to connect financially vulnerable people with organisations that could help.

Part of the campaign focused on loan sharks, warning people against using them and signposting people to the Illegal Money Lending Team for support and advice.

Leaflets were included in every food parcel distributed by the food bank, Lincoln City FC advertised the campaign on match-day, advice cards were distributed through payslips, at courts and by partner agencies across the City.

The campaign reached over 150,000 people.

Councillor Rosanne Kirk said: “It is a great honour for the Lincoln Anti-Poverty Strategy to have received a Highly Commended Award by the Illegal Money Lending Team.

“This is testament to all the hard work of the many partners in the city who support the strategy.

“It really is great for everyone to be recognised for the work that has been done in Lincoln to raise awareness of the support available for people affected by illegal loan sharks.”

Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said “All of the submissions we received were worthy of an award but City of Lincoln received their commendation because of the scale of their project.

“Loan sharks cause nothing but misery in our communities, using the most callous methods to force people into paying back far and above what they have borrowed and can afford.

“City of Lincoln have shown a real commitment to highlighting this issue in the local community and with their support and that of other key agencies, we are sending a clear message that this crime will not be tolerated.

“If you have been the victim of a loan shark, please report them in confidence on 0300 555 2222”