A HEREFORDSHIRE charity said it worries people will be forced to turn to loan sharks as they face rising energy bills.

Vennture is a Christian charity, formerly the Hereford City Mission, which helps 120 families and 200 individuals around Herefordshire from a range of different backgrounds.

Its link workers mentor people rather than support them – they give those struggling skills and guide them to how they can make better choices.

But with the anxiety of looming cost of living prices the charity believes families will turn to loan sharks to make ends meet with energy bills due to rise by 80 per cent this autumn.


The families it mentors are said to be working extremely hard, but they can only work so much, said a spokesperson.

They fear if pay and benefits don’t cover costs, families’ next port of call will be loan companies and individuals to get quick cash.

When taking out a loan people must pay back interest which can range depending on how much is taken out and where it is loaned from.

But it is usually considerably higher than the original sum, which can then lead them into further debt.

Many families that Vennture works with have experienced or are currently in some kind of debt due to their circumstances, said the spokesperson.


“We are worried about loan sharks as families will go to desperate mean to get money,” they said.

Vennture said people think it is a linear path to poverty, but it is an exponential path, and many have sudden external factors that lead to it.

“Those from middle class backgrounds in rural areas of Herefordshire do not have the strategies in place when something happens so tend to suffer the most,” said the spokesperson.