Staff from Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH) are once again helping to make this Christmas a little happier for dozens of customers who are struggling to make ends meet.
Now in its twelfth year, the KNH ‘toy store’ provides toys, games and hampers for customers who would otherwise struggle to buy gifts for their families.
All the items are donated by staff who work for or with the housing company – this year, they’ve been supported by Netherhall High School staff team, Holmfirth Library, Shepley First School, and tenants at KNH retirement living schemes in Linthwaite and Dewsbury. The origins of the toy store lie with KNH’s debt advice team.
KNH senior advisor Paul Watson said: “We help hundreds of people every year who have serious financial problems and are really struggling to make ends meet.
“The idea of the toy store came to me when I was trying to figure out what more we could do to help our customers at what is such a stressful time of year for people with money worries.
“We ask colleagues for donations, and each year, we’re inundated with fantastic toys, games and gifts, which we wrap up and then give to those people who really need a bit of extra help.
“Since we began the toy store, we’ve been able to help more than 1,000 children and families enjoy a brighter Christmas.”
KNH chief executive Liz Cook said: “At KNH we’re working hard and always thinking of different ways to make a positive difference to our customers’ lives.
“We are increasingly concerned about the impact of welfare changes and particularly the roll out of Universal credit which started in Kirklees on 1 November.
“I’m really proud that each year, KNH staff give time and gifts for people who really need some extra help.”