KNH staff help spread Christmas cheer

Release Date: 18-Dec-2008
Staff from KNH are helping to make this Christmas a little happier for dozens of customers who are struggling to make ends meet.
They have donated hundreds of new and nearly-new toys and games so that they can provide a ‘toy store’ for customers who otherwise would struggle to buy gifts for their families. They have also donated non-perishable food items that have been made up into hampers.

The toy store was the idea of KNH Debt Advisor, Paul Watson, with help from his colleagues in the Rent Assist Team.

Paul said, “We help dozens of people every week who have serious financial problems and are really struggling to keep their heads above water.

“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.

“I sent an email round asking my colleagues for donations, and I’ve been 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.”

Paul is an advisor in KNH’s Debt Advice team, which offers free help and advice to any council tenant or leaseholder concerned about money.

Every day, the team works with people who are in financial difficulties in a sensitive, supportive and confidential manner. They do this in a variety of ways, depending on the situation, including negotiating affordable repayments and boosting customers’ income by making sure they’re getting all the benefits they’re entitled to.

KNH Chief Executive, Simon Rogers, said: “At KNH, we’re increasingly concerned about how the credit crunch is affecting our customers. Many were struggling already, so the current economic climate certainly isn’t helping.

“We’re working hard to develop products and services that offer the best value for money but we are also noticing a large increase in the number of our customers who are finding it harder to make ends meet.

“Our staff already do all they can to make a positive difference to our customers’ lives and to help them through these difficult times. I’m really proud that they’ve taken it upon themselves to go the extra mile for those who really need some extra help.”

• If you are a council tenant or leaseholder worried about your finances, don’t wait and let the problems get worse. Call the Debt Advice team on 01484 223262 to request a copy of the KNH “Money Worries” booklet or to speak to one of the team in confidence.

• If you are not a council tenant, other agencies such as the Citizens Advice Bureaux can help. They have offices across Kirklees. You can also call 0844 848 7970 for the CAB telephone advice service or visit their website at