On Sunday, I will join seven of my Parliamentary colleagues on the start line for the 36th London Marathon.
One of the hardest things about running the marathon this year, aside from the grueling training sessions, has been deciding which of the many fantastic Rochdale charities to represent.
After much thought, I decided to raise funds for the outstanding Petrus Community, a charity dedicated to helping homeless people in Rochdale.
From my time working as a researcher for The Big Issue in the North, and especially since I became an MP in 2010, tackling homelessness has been one of my top priorities.
Taken in isolation, the current level of homelessness in the UK is a national disgrace.
But In my weekly advice surgery I have seen how a lack of safe or suitable housing can also be the root cause of a wide variety of other social problems.
Addiction, mental health problems, unemployment and family break ups - all of these can result from or be exacerbated by long term homelessness.
Sadly this problem is not going away. As the politics of austerity have placed household budgets in an ever more precarious position, millions of lower and middle income families are just one missed wage slip away from losing their home.
The visible rise in homelessness on our streets over the last six years is in my view the most shocking indictment of the Conservative Party and their former Lib Dem coalition partners.
With the Government failing to do its fair share, it is up to organisations like Petrus to step in.
Sunday’s marathon will be a hard slog, but knowing that I am doing my small part to help such a worthy local cause will help carry me over the finish line.