Unique toy store celebrates 10th anniversary

Release Date: 02-Dec-2015
KNH staff are once again helping to make this Christmas a little happier for dozens of customers who are struggling to make ends meet.
Cllr Cathy Scott, Chair of KNH Dave Harris with members of the debt advice team. Photo courtesy Huddersfield Examiner

Cllr Cathy Scott, Chair of KNH Dave Harris with members of the debt advice team. Photo courtesy Huddersfield Examiner

Now in its 10th 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.

The origins of the toy store lie with KNH’s debt advice team, as senior advisor, Paul Watson explains: “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 around 700 children and 300 families enjoy a brighter Christmas.”

The debt advice team works with council tenants and leaseholders who are in financial difficulties, providing sensitive and confidential advice as well as practical help 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.

Cllr Cathy Scott, cabinet member for housing, said: “As a councillor, I see every day how hard it is for families to make ends meet. We’re working hard to boost the local economy but these are still very difficult times for many Kirklees residents.

“All children should have a happy Christmas, no matter what their circumstances, and the KNH toy store is a great example of how a bit of creativity and generosity can make a huge difference to local children.”

KNH Chief Executive, Simon Rogers, said: “At KNH, we’re increasingly concerned about how the economy is affecting our customers. Year on year, we’re seeing more people than ever sinking into debt.

“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 each year, they keep doing even more 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 414886 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