Days' highlight loan shark danger
A 2 day event was held to
highlight the dangers of loan sharks in Sefton during half term
week. The England Illegal Money Lending Team worked in partnership
with Sefton Council to encourage people to turn away from loan
sharks and report the crime if they have been a victim. More than
400 people attended the “Sharky Fun Day” events at Springwell Park
Children's Centre on, Monday, 18 February and Tuesday, 19 February
2013. Representatives from the England Illegal Money Lending Team
and a range of other agencies were on hand to offer information and
advice on avoiding loan sharks, getting back into work, the changes
to welfare and many other issues. Sefton Credit Union, Sefton@work,
One Vision Housing, Riverside and Citizens Advice Bureau were among
the agencies involved. Children were entertained by a range of fun
events including handling creepy crawlies, a visit from Cheshire
Falconry, climbing walls, bungie-trampolines, balloon making and
face-painting. There was also a special appearance from the Team's
mascot Sid the Shark. The event is part of the England Illegal Money
Lending Team's continued awareness raising in Sefton. The Team also
worked with Springwell School to encourage youngsters to turn away
from loan sharks in later life. Altru Theatre company worked with
pupils to perform “Fairy Tale Money Troubles”, a play which looks
into the experiences of loan shark victims. The Team will also host
training sessions for frontline staff at Sefton Council in the
coming weeks, to give them a greater understanding of the ways in
which loan sharks operate and allow them to support and signpost
anyone they meet in their day to day work who has been affected by a
loan shark. An estimated 310,000 households across the country are
in debt to a loan shark. These criminals usually appear friendly at
first but quickly trap their borrowers into spiralling debt. As the
debts can't legally be enforced many lenders will resort to the most
extreme and callous methods to enforce repayment including threats,
violence and intimidation. Paperwork is rarely offered so victims
are often in the dark as to how much they are actually paying.
Exorbitant extra amounts and interest are added at random- the
highest interest seen by an illegal lender was equivalent to
131,000% APR. In some cases the loan sharks have been known to take
items as security including passports, driving licences or even bank
or post office cards with the PIN in order to withdraw directly from
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council's
Cabinet Member Communities and Environment, said:- "The fun
days were very well attended and helped highlight a very important
issue. Loan sharks operate all over the UK and fleece hard earned
cash from their victims causing great distress and anguish. By
working with all our partner agencies we can join forces to help try
and end this practice which ultimately damages local communities."
Tony Quigley Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team said:-
"Illegal money lending is a despicable crime which causes
nothing, but harm to our communities. These lenders may appear to be
offering a community service, but borrowers are often forced to pay
back far and above what they have borrowed and can afford. Many are
subjected to threats, violence or other callous enforcement methods.
We would urge anyone who has been the victim of a loan shark to
report them in confidence on:- 0300 555 2222, as we can help."
Nationally the Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured 220
prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading
to more than 150 years worth of custodial sentences. They have
written off almost £40 million worth of illegal debt and helped over
To report a loan shark call the 24/7 confidential hotline on:- 0300
555 2222. You can also send a txt - 'loan shark + your
message' to 60003 or you can
email them.... Plus you
can get more information on the groups Facebook
JAZZA HAS FAITH
IN HIS ABILITY
LIVERPOOL livewire James
"Jazza" Dickens says his religious faith is the driving
force behind his success inside the ring. Dickens, 21, challenges
for the vacant English super-bantamweight title against Jon
Fernandez in a rare meeting of unbeaten prospects on 30 March 2013.
And while hoping to one day go onto British, European and world
level, he believes he wouldn't have got this far if it wasn't for
finding God at the age of 17. Dickens said that:- "Without God
I wouldn't be where I am. I dedicate everything I do to God because
without Him I wouldn't have the strength to train like I do and I
wouldn't have the hunger that I've got. A lot of lads my age go out
to parties, they drink and some take drugs and get into bother. I
don't do any of that. Where I spend my life is in the gym and in
church. I'm not throwing the bible at people, I just think more
boxers should think about religion because if they got what I get
from it they'd really benefit. I found god properly when I was 17
and I haven't lost a round of boxing since." Without doubt
Fernandez will be looking to change that at the end of the month.
The Southampton man himself hasn't dropped many rounds since turning
professional in 2009 and last time out won the Southern Area crown
by beating Jamie Speight. Jazza's not one to spend much time
studying his opponents, but he knows that Fernandez will be a stiff
challenge from a past encounter. "I sparred Fernandez years
ago. At the time I think he'd had two or three fights and I was just
turning professional myself. It was a really good spar, but I can't
look too much into it because obviously we've both improved since
then. I'd be so proud to be English champion and god willing I will
be. I believe this is also going to an eliminator for the British
title, so hopefully I can move on quickly to another big fight."
2 hour Zumbathon
raises funds for the new Royal
OVER 200 people have taken
part in 2 hour Zumba sessions to raise money for the Royal Liverpool
University Hospital's R Charity. The sessions, hosted by Peter
Lloyd Sport Centre in West Derby have raised around £1,000 for the
charity, with attendees dressing in pink for the 2 hour workout.
The money for the charity will go towards vital cancer services
within the new Royal, which is expected to open in 2017.
R Charity is the new fundraising drive to help contribute to
services within the new Royal. The charity aims to raise £10 million
by 2017 in order to support Cancer, Renal, Haematology and Stroke
services and Critical Care facilities at the new hospital.
The new Royal will provide patients with state of the art facilities
and treatment and a better environment in which to be treated. The
new Royal will include single, en suite rooms and more comfortable
There are also plans for the new Royal to include a comprehensive
cancer centre in collaboration with Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.
This will facilitate the delivery of better cancer care and research
into cancer further enhancing the Royal's status as a regional and
national centre for various types of cancer.
Staff at the leisure centre kindly donated their own time in order
to run the event. Samantha Glover, Zumba instructor said:- "We
decided to raise money for the Royal because of the care and support
they give to people, in the past year I have known 6 women with
breast cancer, they have all been treated at the Linda McCartney
Centre and they sing the praises of this centre."
Loren Slade, community and events fundraiser at the Royal said:-
"It was great to see everyone so keen on keeping fit and doing
their bit for cancer services at the new Royal. Everybody who took
part put lots of effort into the sessions. The money raised will
help to bring the highest quality cancer services to the new Royal.
We'd like to thank everyone who dedicated their time and took part
in the event."
Vikings team up with Tomahawks for
Vikings have joined forces with the Halton bound USA
national rugby league team ahead of this year's Rugby League World
Cup by featuring an exclusive column which will be published in the
club's new programme 'Black And White' for every home game.
The association, which is believed to be a 1st in Super League
between an English club and a RLWC 2013 competitor, began back in
2012 when the American side visited the borough as part of the RLWC
The relationship has blossomed and David Niu, president of the
American National Rugby League, as well as American colleague Brian
Lowe, have been working with the club and its editor Ian Cheveau on
formulating the new concept which will see Vikings fans be updated
with the very latest news from the Tomahawks camp ahead of their
trip to Widnes and Runcorn.
James Rule, Vikings CEO, said:- "The RLWC 2013 is a massive
event in the sporting calendar and one that everyone at Widnes
Vikings and our fans are looking forward to. As a borough and a club
we are excited to be hosting the Tomahawks for their RLWC 2013
adventure and they will be using the clubs facilities, including our
pioneering i-pitch which will allow them to train in any conditions.
They will be visiting our schools and communities and I think the
news we can give stakeholders through the channel of our club
programme 'Black And White' about their visit will whet the appetite
about the feast of rugby league that will be happening in October
David Niu added:- "As the pioneers of the sport of rugby
league in the USA, we could not have asked for a better location for
our team to be based than with a club that was a founding member in
the development of the sport in England. We are well aware that
Widnes has produced many wonderful championship teams and players.
They must have enjoyed tremendous support and encouragement from the
local community and fans. We hope that our Tomahawks might generate
that same passion."
Vikings take on the Bulls on Friday, 8 March. Kick Off - 8pm. Read
about the Tomahawks exclusively in Issue 3.
Fire hit Hall
Restored After 60 Years
A wing of Liverpool's famous
Croxteth Hall that had been damaged by fire more than 60 years ago
has been brought back into use and made available to the public.
The Queen Anne or South West Wing of the Hall was hit by a
catastrophic blaze in December 1952. Although the exterior was
retained much of the interior was gutted and has remained out of
bounds since then. Now 2 of the rooms, next to the Old Dining Room
are to be restored and brought back into public use in a £400,000
programme, funded through the Croxteth Estate Endowment Trust Fund.
Work will include plastering, installing wood paneling, new windows
and lighting along with a major decoration scheme to make them look
as stylish as the original. The work has been agreed
with English Heritage. As well as restoring the rooms to their
elegant décor, an extra bar and further toilet will be provided.
This will allow the Hall's Library and Old Dining Room along with
the restored rooms to be hired-out for weddings and other functions.
It is estimated that at least £140,000 a year will be raised through
the additional facilities at the Hall, generating much needed extra
Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said:- "Croxteth Hall is
one of Liverpool's biggest attractions and this restoration work
will open it up to an even wider audience. It is not going to add
anything to our budget as it is being paid for through an endowment
fund set up for work such as this. We are ensuring one of
Liverpool's historic buildings is going to be used to a much greater
extent than it ever has been."
Councillor Peter Mitchell said
that:-"While the income will, of course, be very welcome, it
is perhaps more significant that we are bringing an important part
of the city's heritage back into use after 60 years. Croxteth Hall
is a very popular attraction for visitors and this latest
development will make it even more attractive for wedding parties,
conferences and other events. The Queen Anne wing is regarded as the
most interesting part of the Hall architecturally and it is 300
years old. It has never been fully open for public use but now we
are going to have access to much more of it for the first time in
over 60 years."
Nobles Construction Ltd. have been appointed contractors. Work is
expected to start in Spring and be completed in the summer this
year. Artist's impressions and plans of the restored wing will
be on show at the Hall.