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Shrewsbury music project gets radio airtime with loan sharks message

By Lisa O'Brien | Shrewsbury | Music | Published:

A music project based in Shrewsbury is celebrating radio airtime for songs written and recorded during a recent project.

Kathleen Jones and Dan Greenwood from The Hive

The project at The Hive brings together vulnerable young people aged between 16 and 30 and local musicians.

Collaboratively they write, perform and record a number of songs.

The six-week project, which was funded by the National Stop Loan Sharks Project and supported by Shropshire’s Just Credit Union, started before the lockdown was implemented and the songs were then completed remotely.

Sal Hampson, project manager for The Hive, said: “Music is a fantastic way for people to learn new skills, communicate and have fun with other people. The sessions involved between nine and 13 participants, with a total of 17 people being involved.

“We were delighted with the four songs produced, two of which deal with the dangers of loan sharks, and it was great to hear them played on the radio, including BBC Introducing.”

The Hive project was funded by the national Stop Loan Sharks Project using funds confiscated from illegal money lenders.

The aim is to raise awareness of the dangers of borrowing from unregulated lenders and that there are local ethical alternatives.

Sal said: “The majority of The Hive’s music projects are participant led, so it is unusual to be introducing a specific theme to the group.

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"It however worked better than we could possible expected.

“Just Credit Union came along to talk to the participants and musicians about how loan sharks operate and how dangerous they are – members of the group also had some experience of these issues.

"The conversations that resulted were really animated, resulting in a fantastic project and four songs we are all very proud of.”

Steve Barras, business development officer for Shropshire’s not-for-profit savings and loans cooperative Just Credit Union, said: “The project was a fantastic way of getting the 'stop loan sharks' message out, particularly peer to peer.

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“We were all so impressed with the songs produced and I am sure they will be used nationally to deliver the messages.

"If people do get involved with a loan shark it is very difficult to get out of the situation.

"So raising awareness of the dangers and that ethical organisations like Just Credit Union exist is very important.

“If you or someone you know has borrowed from a loan shark there is confidential help available. Further information can be found at Just Credit Union’s website justcreditunion.org

"You can find out more about The Hive's charity projects by visiting hiveonline.org.uk."

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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