KNH staff help spread a little Christmas cheer

Release Date: 09-Dec-2014
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 with some of the KNH money advisors

Cllr Cathy Scott with some of the KNH money advisors

Now in its ninth 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 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 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 450 children and 230 families enjoy a brighter Christmas.”

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.

Cllr Cathy Scott, cabinet member for housing, said: “As a councillor, I see every day how hard it is for more and more families to make ends meet. We’re working hard to stimulate the local economy but these are 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. Many were struggling already, and this 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 year on year, they’re going the extra mile for those who really need some extra help.”