Bank staff unite for makeover

Halifax staff Jonathon Wales, Andy Walling, Mark Yarwood, Andrea Northrop, Venna Levis, Angela Dixon, Jess Boote and Sue Redman. (D512F345)
Halifax staff Jonathon Wales, Andy Walling, Mark Yarwood, Andrea Northrop, Venna Levis, Angela Dixon, Jess Boote and Sue Redman. (D512F345)

Bank staff swapped their desks for decorating to help a family in crisis.

Staff from Halifax branches in Dewsbury, Batley, Cleckheaton and Huddersfield came together to help a young family feel more at home.

Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Halifax, has teamed up with Homestart UK, a volunteer organisation that supports struggling families.

And on Monday a dedicated team of branch staff from across the district picked up paintbrushes and gardening tools to help a Liversedge family.

Also helping out was south Kirklees business connector Mark Yarwood, while other branches, including Mirfield, donated materials.

Answering a call for help from Homestart Kirklees, the team set to work at a home in the Windy Bank Estate, where Sarah lives with her four children aged nine, seven, two and one.

Sarah moved to the estate shortly before year one-year-old was born.

The single mother struggled to find time to decorate their new home properly due to the demands of raising four children.

Her garden was also a problem as one of her children was able to escape from it through the hedges.

Thanks to a makeover by the Halifax team, the bedroom now boasts an army theme, complete with curtains and a toy box made by a crafty staff member from the Batley branch, and bunk beds donated by Fusion Housing.

Fencing was put up in the garden, and weeds and shrubs were cleared to make it a safe play area for the children.

Homestart’s Think Warm, Think Safe campaign with Kirklees Council also provided warm new bedding for the children’s room.

Homestart Kirklees volunteer coordinator Michelle Steadman said: “The Halifax have just been fantastic and opted to do both projects, the bedroom and the garden.

“The children didn’t know anything about it, they were told they were getting a new bedroom for Christmas.”

Huddersfield Halifax branch manager Jonathan Wales said the bank wanted to get involved with the communities its customers live and work in.

“We were looking for a project where we could make a difference so gardening and decorating was right up our street. It’s great to help people and it’s also good for us because it gets us out in the fresh air.”