Ten community groups across the East Riding are bidding for money taken from illegal loan sharks.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council is now asking residents to vote for four of the 10 groups, with each of the winners getting £500.
The project is part of a campaign across the UK by The England Illegal Money Lending Team, which investigates and prosecutes loan sharks. The money comes from cash and assets taken off prosecuted loan sharks, as proceeds of crime, which is then distributed locally.
Councillor Jackie Cracknell, portfolio holder for community improvement and performance, said: “There is no better way of getting the message out there to loan sharks that they will not be tolerated than to take away their ill-gotten gains and give it to the communities they have plagued.
“All 10 of the groups who are bidding for money have come up with excellent schemes to highlight the misery and risk in using illegal money lenders. It is a pity that only four can win.”
The council, working with the team has received the following bids which are all aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of loan sharks. The closing date for voting is 26 March. For more information about them and to vote, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/3C2QXR3.
* The Bempton and Buckton Community Village Hall Youth Group: the project plans to use the money to support the hall which is used by the community, from those aged eight to those who attend U3A sessions.
* Beverley Cherry Tree Community Association: the money would be used to support a community programme to highlight the risks of using loan sharks,
* Pre-school Learning Alliance (Humber and York): the group is bidding for money to fund a range of children’s activities with sharks as a theme.
* Hull and East Riding Citizens Advice Bureau: if they win, the group will take a staff at Driffield Agricultural Show to promote affordable and safe credit, raise awareness of the dangers of loan sharks and of the budgeting and debt management services offered by the CAB.
* East Riding Financial Inclusion Forum: provides money management sessions to small groups of students and encourages students to save for the future.
* Hull and East Yorkshire Credit Union: organises family fun events in Goole and Withernsea in partnership with the local children’s centres on a ‘Money Wise’ theme.
* East Riding Trading Standards: seeking money to build a programme drawing attention to the risks of door-step loan sharks and caller.
* Recycling Unlimited: to provide equipment, seeds and plants for the Green Project for creative gardening to help those suffering mental health problems and others who are socially excluded.
* Goole Rugby Union Club: the money would be used to buy new match tops for the under 12s, carrying the ‘stop the loan sharks’ logo.
* Seaside Radio: a registered charity proposing a project called ‘Don’t Get Bitten’, aiming to highlight financial predators, lurking in our communities waiting to target vulnerable people.
To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222 or text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003. To e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. To private message, use www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject.