By Andy Hirst

A Colne Valley charity brightened up Christmas for hundreds of people and is helping them to look forward to the New Year.

Colne Valley Help supplied more than 300 hampers of essential food … but also included Christmas treats too.

Based at Slaithwaite Fire Station, Colne Valley Help runs two food share schemes – one in Slaithwaite and the other in Longwood – where people can turn up to collect essentials such as food or toiletries that have been donated or are surplus supermarket stock.

The scheme has been helped by businesses and individuals across the Colne Valley and just before Christmas, Slaithwaite mill Spectrum Yarns donated food and festive treats worth £550.

Spectrum Yarns owns one of the most well-known trade names in the clothing world, Glenbrae, with its high quality knitwear made from lambswool or merino wool sold in more than 90 of the UK’s top 100 golf clubs.

It held a mill sale for its 115 staff where they could help themselves to slight seconds with just a £5 contribution for each item with all proceeds going to Colne Valley Help.

The £550 raised was given to Aldi in Slaithwaite to spend on food and treats to make sure every penny counted and then Spectrum Yarns operations director Danielle Brown and quality control manager Joanne Coupland took it all to Colne Valley Help which is based at Slaithwaite Fire Station very close to the mill on New Street.

Colne Valley Help founder Richard Izzard said: “The donations from Spectrum Yarns, other local businesses and individuals across the Colne Valley have made such an incredible difference this year to our work at Colne Valley Help.

“Each week we see around 50 households come to us for help with food and other support. This Christmas we have supplied over 300 hampers of food essentials, household items and toiletries, Christmas gifts and some really lovely extras too.

“Our recipients and food bank users have been telling us just how much of a weight has been lifted, how many pressures have been taken away and how less stressful our support has directly made this festive period.

“This has ultimately meant that families and individuals we support were able to look forward to the festivities and the New Year.”

Richard added: “This amazing amount of community spirit has been passed on from so many people and is benefiting the lives of more than 200 adults and children while making our work as volunteers a little easier and a great deal more rewarding.

“As a trustee and volunteer myself I’d like to thank every single person who has contributed by donating food, gifts, money or time – you know who you are!”

Richard Izzard

People in need don’t have to be referred to Colne Valley Help by another organisation. They can simply turn up at Slaithwaite Fire Station on New Street in Slaithwaite between 1pm and 2pm on Friday afternoons.

There is also a drop in place for the Golcar, Longwood and Milnsbridge areas at the Drop By Centre, 12 Sycamore Court, Longwood, HD3 4SS, on Monday lunchtimes from 11.30am to 12.30pm.

People who are given food packs are asked to make a small donation if they possibly can.

Apart from organising the food share operations, Colne Valley Help runs cooking lessons and cooking clubs to help people eat as well and healthily as possible.

The charity is also at the forefront of running youth clubs in Slaithwaite and Marsden, providing both funding and staffing.

Colne Valley Help is run by a board of trustees helped by volunteers and more are always needed.

To contact the charity email or phone 07535 033164.

The charity’s website is

* Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging and copywriting. Copyright Andy Hirst.