A special event offering a range of information and advice on how to help your money go further this Christmas and avoid the pitfalls of falling into debt is to be held in south Leeds next week.
Hosted by Leeds City Council’s Dewsbury Road Community Hub on Monday, 26 November from 12 noon-3pm, groups and organisations featuring at the event will be on hand to offer spending hints and tips to residents, these include; Leeds Money Buddies; West Yorkshire Trading Standards; Leeds Credit Union; Health for All; the council’s Enhanced Income Team; Christians Against Poverty; and the council’s Affordable Warmth team.
Also present will be representatives from the national Illegal Money Lending Team, who will be joined by ‘Sid the Shark’ to emphasise the importance of not considering the use of unscrupulous loan sharks, and the better alternatives that are available. The Illegal Money Lending Team will also be handing over a cheque of £5000 to support the work being undertaken by the council and Money Buddies to raise awareness with children on how important it is to save and spend wisely.
Also available on the day will be the chance to make a Christmas present in a craft-based workshop, and take part in a taste test challenge to see if you can tell which items match different price tags. To entertain the children, face painting will be on offer and a Santa’s Grotto.
For more information regarding debt and money advice, please see: https://www.leeds.gov.uk/leedsmic/benefit-and-debt-advice
Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s executive member for communities said:
“In the run-up to Christmas, the expectation and pressure that many people feel to make the festive season an unforgettable one can mean that that they significantly overspend and make bad borrowing decisions such as using loan sharks, whilst falling into debt.
“We don’t want anyone to find themselves in this type of situation, which is why through special events such as this one being held at Dewsbury Road Community Hub, a range of partners and organisations will be available to offer residents a range of expert advice and support on how to manage budgets and spend and lend wisely.”
Tony Quigley, Head of Service for the England Illegal Money Lending Team, 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. This time of year is especially profitable for them as they prey of people trying to cope with the pressures of Christmas.
“If you do need to borrow this Christmas, do so from a responsible, ethical source – such as Leeds Credit Union who offer affordable loans and secure savings.
“If you’ve been affected by a loan shark, or know of loan sharks operating in your area, call our 24-hour confidential hotline on 0300 555 2222. You can also report online at www.stoploansharks.co.uk.”
Notes to editors:
Illegal Money Lending Team:
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England, Scotland and Wales work alongside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to investigate those operating within the consumer credit market without the appropriate authorisation.
The Illegal Money Lending Teams in England and Wales work in partnership with local Trading Standards Authorities in their related countries. They consist of specialist officers who investigate and prosecute illegal money lending and related activity and LIAISE officers who support victims and raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from illegal money lenders.
For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578