Today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to step up our campaigning to support women’s rights, and to pay tribute to some of the women trailblazers who have already done amazing work.

I wanted to use this opportunity to celebrate some of the great women from our area. Many women from round here have fought injustice and worked tirelessly to make the world a better place.

I want to focus on some of them now, who have played a crucial part of our working class history. During the strikes in the 80s, those workers and families would not have been able to carry on without the kitchens which fed the striking miners and their families. These were run by mainly women. Their tenacity and community spirit carried our area through a difficult time. Without them, hundreds wouldn’t have been able to feed their families.

It is those same women who have set up and run foodbanks to support families during the Tories’ austerity. Whether that’s the Westfield foodbank, St Catherine’s Trinity Mission, Resource Aid or one of the others that serve our constituency, they have made sure families have enough to get through each week.

I’m inspired by the hard work they do. In Parliament I try to work as hard as these women to support our area and to try to get the best for our area and stop the need for foodbanks at all.

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