‘BUY NOWT’ was the message to cash-strapped Keighley people during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this week.

Bradford District Credit Union came to town to offer an alternative to the US-influenced spending sprees heavily promoted in the media.

Local people were able to take part in a variety of activities and seek financial advice at the height of Black Friday last week.

Buy Nowt, its third year, put a Yorkshire-themed twist on the international Buy Nothing Day, which campaigns against poverty caused by consumer debt and excess.

Ian Brewer, financial inclusion officer for Bradford District Credit Union, said this year’s event at Central Hall in Alice Street went extremely well.

He said: “It was very well supported with 15 organisations attending, and Keighley town mayor Councillor Peter Corkindale.

“Pay Nowt was for people who can’t engage with Black Friday – they could make their own Christmas cards or gifts, and get advice on finance, benefits and debt.

“Some people feel generally isolated knowing they can’t spend on Black Friday so our event gave them a chance to feel good about themselves. The mental health and wellbeing aspect is really important.”

Buy Nowt - which was also held in Bradford - was organised by the Anti-Poverty Events Group, made up of the Bradford District Credit Union, People Can, CNET, Bradford Council, Stronger Families and Carers Resource. There was also involvement from Artworks, and funding came from Give Bradford.

Bradford District Credit Union helps people on low incomes by giving them a chance to take out loans at low-cost, and build up savings.

Mr Brewer said the American sales extravaganzas Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which have increased in popularity in the UK in recent years, were about making people spend money on Christmas earlier than they naturally would.

He added: “That’s better for the online shopping giants but not all discounts are as big as they make out, partly because sometimes they inflate prices during the last six months to reduce them back down to the same.

“I’ve always made clear we’re not anti-business and we’re not against people making use of the deals but for some people this will force them to have to go to high cost lenders and loan sharks.

“Our message is to keep your money in your pocket until you need it, rather than spend it early. Don’t spend your money too early and always budget before you spend.”

Mr Brewer said a study by Which? last month found that just four of 83 products they studied last year were cheaper during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotions.