They are expecting a bumper demand in the festive season.

And Huddersfield’s Welcome Centre has just received a timely boost.

David Astin, chairman of the Howitt Homeless Trust, handed over a cheque for £2,000 to help the Lord Street charity gear up for its most demanding time of the year.

Most of the money will be spent on household items to help people in temporary crisis set up home.

Centre manager Karen Selley said: “We are absolutely delighted with this donation from the Howitt Homeless Trust; it is very much needed.

“Winter is generally the most difficult time for people in poverty, one of the main reasons being the cost of heating bills. We give people a breathing space to help them get their lives back on track.

“The run-up to Christmas and the day itself is a particularly distressing for our service users and a very busy time for the centre, although we are now busy all year round.”

The Welcome Centre is in touch with around 150 individuals and families each week, 57% of whom only make one visit. A further 20 to 30% make two or three visits.

The Howitt charity was set up in 1992, following the death of George Alfred Howitt, about whom very little is known.

He did, however, bequeath a house, which now provides a small annual income that is distributed to registered charities which help people moving into independent accommodation from a variety of situations, such as hostels or care.

The charity is now seeking to make contact with other registered charities which meet the criteria.

Mr Astin said: “We are delighted to help the Welcome Centre, which does a lot of good work in helping the homeless of Huddersfield.

“We distribute small grants in cooperation with the established agencies already in the area of social need. These may cover the purchase of those household items essential to independent living in flats or houses, whether rented or owned.”

Any charity already working with homeless people in Huddersfield which may qualify for a grant should contact Mr Astin by emailing