By Andy Hirst

A Huddersfield textile mill which produces some of the UK’s best-known brands came up with a great way to raise money for a food bank.

Slaithwaite-based 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 just 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.

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.

Spectrum raised £550 and quality control manager Joanne Coupland liaised with Colne Valley Help to ensure the money could be used to buy just what they needed.

Spectrum operations director Danielle Brown said: “We wanted to make every penny count and when we got the list we gave it to Aldi in Slaithwaite and the staff there went down the aisles and picked everything for us to make sure every penny counted. There was so much shopping it filled two cars.

“With life being so hard and, frankly, awful, for so many at the moment we wanted to do something to help local people. Times are really tough and we wanted to put food on tables and help people to have a better Christmas than they would otherwise have had.”

Spectrum Yarns operations director Danielle Brown (left) and quality control manager Joanne Coupland

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

Spectrum held a similar sale for staff in August which raised £335 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association in West Yorkshire after a staff member lost her husband to the disease.

Apart from the Glenbrae ( range, Spectrum also has the well-known trade name Stylecraft ( which does a huge range of yarns for people who love to knit and crochet that is sold through 900 retail outlets nationwide. The company, based in an imposing mill on New Street near the centre of Slaithwaite, also makes yarns for other businesses around the world.

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