MP praises volunteers and says 'Christmas can still be special' this year

Batley and Spen's MP has praised community volunteers and says Christmas can still be special this year despite the need for renewed vigilance to reduce Covid infections.

Saturday, 18th December 2021, 7:00 am
Kim Leadbeater meets two Salvation Army volunteers at the Batley Bulldogs Christmas lunch

Kim Leadbeater has applauded the many charities and voluntary organisations who are working hard to provide support and resources to the community in Batley and Spen over the festive period.

She said: “I’ve been meeting lots of amazing people across the constituency who are all doing everything they can to make this Christmas as special as possible.

"Whether it’s the Batley Bulldogs Foundation, Snowdon Street Mosque, Cleckheaton Library, Dewsbury Soup or the many schools, churches and community groups I’ve visited, they are all helping bring people together and provide a bit of festive cheer.

Sign up to our daily Dewsbury Reporter Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We were all hoping this could be a Christmas free from too much worry over new Covid infections, but it hasn’t turned out that way.

"Fortunately most of us can still be together with our families, friends and loved ones so long as we follow the guidance.

"We are fortunate to live in an area where community connections are strong and where we understand the importance of looking after the most vulnerable.

"So I wish everybody in Batley and Spen a happy – and above all a safe – Christmas.”

At Westminster Ms Leadbeater has just taken up her position as vice-chair of the new All Party Parliamentary Group on Loneliness and Connected Communities.

Speaking at the launch, she said: “The Covid pandemic has made the loneliness crisis more acute but also more visible.

"Sadly many more people now have their own personal experience of what loneliness feels like – or has seen somebody close to them experience it.

"But it has also shown the best of what connected communities can do to support those in greatest need.”

Ms Leadbeater has urged all those eligible for a booster jab to get one as soon as they can to help protect everyone in the community and reduce the pressure on the NHS.

She joined fellow MPs at Westminster to support Government measures to reduce the spread of the new highly transmissible Omicron variant, including making mask-wearing compulsory on public transport and in shops.

She said: “I have had many conversations with NHS staff on the frontline over the last few months and I have heard how concerned they are about the severe pressure on the health service.

"Doctors, nurses and everyone working across the sector are really struggling – not just because of Covid patients but also because of staff shortages as a result of Covid cases among their own workforce.

"The knock-on impact this has on treating other conditions such as cancer is extremely worrying and is another reason why we must do all that we can to keep Covid infections as low as possible.

"If we have learnt anything over the last couple of years, it is that acting fast and decisively can save lives and prevent the virus running out of control.

“We are indebted to all the NHS staff, pharmacists, volunteers and others working full out across Batley and Spen to meet the target for booster vaccines before the end of the year.”