It might seem a little early to be talking about Christmas, but here at The Oasis Centre Christmas starts early! Why?.....Gorton is renowned for its loan sharks at this time of year - preying on the vulnerable, isolated and marginalised people of East Manchester. Hard choices have to be made by families.....clothe children or pay the gas and electricity bills; fix the leak the landlord promised to fix 12 months ago or get the week’s food in. Then, as parents start to worry about how they are going to afford Christmas presents for their children, the loan sharks move in....terrorising neighbourhoods, offering a quick fix - but as time moves on their rates multiply to ridiculous amounts and then repayment becomes unachievable (a £100 loan would turn into £1,000 pay back), which is followed by threats, violence and even worse.
Victoria Armstrong (Oasis Founder) writes....
"One day I was visiting one of our Oasis family. She was in a mess; her boyfriend had taken out a loan to buy their son birthday gifts and clothes. The repayment had spiralled out of control as the loan sharks tripled the interest rates overnight. He ended up being thrown into a bath, full of razor wire, resulting in hideous damage to his body. This ‘blood bath’ was a tried and tested method to get what they wanted out of our precious community and people still kept going back for more loans, why?....because they didn’t see any other option."
Because of Oasis, the prominence of loan sharks has diminished from East Manchester over the years as our charity shop offers quality low-cost clothing, toys and gifts for our community. People come to The Oasis Centre to buy their toys and gifts in October so they don’t have to use loan sharks as Christmas approaches!
Can you help us by providing new or nearly new quality toys for children, and gifts for adults and teenagers (no electrical items please), that we can sell in our charity shop at low-cost prices in our special Christmas Sales on 13th October and again on 1st December? If so, you can drop your toys/gifts/Christmas jumpers and Christmas clothing at the Oasis charity shop Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 2pm (please use the Oasis car park entrance) or contact Val on:
Please note clothing and bric a brac is welcome throughout the rest of the year also, please come and shop for bargains yourself too!
Thank you for your support.