The Men’s Network Wins Loan Sharks Funding

The Men’s Network has won funding to run to a campaign to warn of the dangers of loan sharks and help dads to save with their kids.

The bulk of the funding will go directly to dads and families in Brighton & Hove to help them set up savings accounts with their children.

Research shows that men can be less likely to seek debt advice than women and male victims of loan sharks are less likely to get help off the relevant authorities, which is why we applied for funding from the Stop Loan Sharks team in Brighton & Hove to run a campaign called – Save Your Family From The Sharks!

Save Your Family From The Sharks! will be a fun, accessible campaign to engage parents and children in a way that:

  • Raises awareness of the dangers of using loan sharks
  • Promotes legal, affordable credit options to loan sharks
  • Promotes financial management and budgeting

The Save Your Family From The Sharks! campaign will do this by inviting families to take part in a competition offering 32 cash prizes from £5 to £25.

Each winner will be given their cash prize in the form of a newly opened Children’s or Family Savings Account as long as they put £5 in themselves:

  • 20 will triple their £5 winning £10
  • 10 will quadruple their £5 winning £15
  • 2 will have 6x as much money as they put in winning £25

All competition entrants will have to read a leaflet providing information about:

  • The dangers of loan sharks
  • Affordable credit options
  • Good financial management.

They will then be asked to fill out a short quiz about the content of the leaflet to enter the prize draw.

Our aim is to reach at least 500 families across Brighton & Hove with a focus on the most deprived wards in the City.

The competition will be open to all families and family members we will be place a particular focus on reaching dads.

We will also seek to ensure our campaign is effective by drawing on the findings of the Money Advice Trust report – Seeking Direction:Men, money advice and the road to financial health – which looked at how men deal with debt problems.

In some instances, problematic debt was a significant feature of family breakdown while in others problematic debt followed family breakdown. With this in mind we will ensure that separating and separated dads are one of our target groups.

This report also found that even modest levels of savings were shown to act as an effective buffer against problematic debt. Therefore, campaigns that enable and support the ability of low-income families to save, have the potential to act in both a preventative and an ameliorative way.

The 2011 report also found that there is likely to be an increase in demand for debt advice as a result of the recession, which means that services and campaigns need to make advice more accessible to men.

This is particularly important in light of the evidence that unsuccessful attempts to access services have a negative effect on men’s willingness to seek advice again.

The report recommends improving men’s access to services by targeting money advice promotion at places where men are likely to be. With this in mind we will be targeting the Save Your Family From The Sharks! campaign at places and services already engaged with fathers.

The funding is Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) money which has taken from prosecuted loan sharks in England.


Glen Poole is UK co-ordinator for International Men's Day, Director at the consultancy Helping Men and news editor of insideMAN magazine. Follow him on twitter @HelpingMen or find out more about his work at

Posted in NEWS

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