Residents at Crawley YMCA will be able to take part in a new maintenance course at the hostel thanks to a £1,000 grant.
Crawley Foyer, in Central Sussex YMCA, has been awarded £1,000 by The England Illegal Money Lending Team (EIMLT).
The EIMLT investigates and prosecutes loan sharks. It ploughs any money recovered from convicted companies back into the community to help people who likely to be targeted by loan sharks.
Crawley Foyer was awarded £700 plus it won a public vote to decide which charity should be awarded an extra £300.
Steve Darken, work and learning manager at the foyer, was presented with the cheque for £1,000 at the Town Hall on Wednesday (October 9).
He said: “I’m very grateful. The fact that people voted for us gives me heart and leads me to believe the people of Crawley are on the same side as us.
“Our residents are often not in work and on benefits and often they find themselves at the beck and call of loan sharks.”
The money will be used to set up a new bicycle maintenance course for people at the hostel.
Mr Darken added: “We are hoping to make an arrangement with local police to be donated the bikes dumped across the town so we can recycle them at the same time as train young people within the field of mechanics.”
West Sussex Credit Union has also been awarded £700. The union is a safe alternative to loan shark companies and it will use its grant to promote a scheme to help employees in Manor Royal save some of their earnings every month.