Communities: Charities and Volunteers

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:29 pm on 13th February 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Stephanie Peacock Stephanie Peacock Opposition Whip (Commons) 5:29 pm, 13th February 2019

It is a pleasure to follow Victoria Prentis, who spoke so passionately.

There is much that makes me proud of the communities I represent across Barnsley East, especially our local charities and community groups, many of which I have had the privilege to visit in recent weeks.

Everyone who cares for a loved one with dementia knows of the immense emotional strain the condition imposes on those who live with it and those who care for them. I know that I speak for many people across Barnsley when I thank BIADS—Barnsley Independent Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support—and Butterflies, two fantastic community groups that provide outstanding support, help and comfort for those living with dementia in our community.

I cannot deny the sense of shame I feel in telling the House that today, in 21st century Britain, after years of austerity, there are children going hungry and families—many of them in employment—who are unable to put food on the table without resorting to a local food bank. Our community came together 30 years ago to feed the families of men who had no option but to go on strike to defend their industry and their way of life. Again, our community is coming together to feed families who face the most desperate conditions because of universal credit, the low-wage insecure economy and wider austerity. I have nothing but praise for our food banks—for the volunteers who give their time and their heart to run them, and for the generosity of all those who donate.