A HARD-UP family will be given a lifeline this Christmas by a Barnsley mum who has offered a seat at her family's table for Christmas dinner.

Mandy Nam, a lecturer at Barnsley College, has posted a message advertising 'A Happy Christmas Day' on the Facebook page Freecycle, which lists items people offer for free.

Hundreds commented on the post, including some offering to buy presents for those worse off then them.

The Facebook advert explains: "This time last year we had lost our home, the house we were moving into was sold under us and we had nowhere to go and no help.

"We'd been living out of boxes for two months and it was the worst time ever.

"This year things are a lot better, we have a nice home and are looking forward to a lovely Christmas and we'd like to share that with someone."

The free ad goes on to say the offer is open to either an individual or someone with children, and that she could even offer transport to and from her home.

Mandy, who has been contacted, said she did not want to add to what she had posted online because she 'wasn't looking for publicity' and she just wants to 'give something back' to someone who was having a hard time.

Mandy's kind gesture comes as Barnsley's Citizens' Advice Bureau is warning people to avoid the lure of expensive payday loans at Christmas, and reveals one case in which someone took out 17 of the high-cost loans.

Chief executive of CAB, Pat Heath, said lots of families were likely to be struggling to make ends meet this Christmas, and urged people to try and avoid high-cost lending.

He said: "You can pretty much guarantee that every new client we get wishing to see our debt specialist will have at least one payday loan.

"We regularly see people with three or four, and the record is 17 separate payday loans."

Pat said people struggling to balance their finances would be better going to the Credit Union as a more affordable alternative.

"What tends to happen with payday loans is they use it at the end of the month to plug a gap between income and expenditure.

"The trouble is, a month down the line, the same gap exists and they end up taking another, and it becomes a downward spiral.

"We fully expect there to be a surge of people coming to us in January once the new year blues starts and these repayments start to bite.

"We'd certainly encourage people to use the Credit Union instead of payday lenders."