WITH Parliament in recess for the Christmas break, I have been taking the opportunity to catch up with some of the incredible volunteers we have in Rochdale and thank them all for their hard work over the year.
For many of us, Christmas is a time when our thoughts turn to others and how we can help the most vulnerable people in our community.
But we are also very fortunate that here in Rochdale we have an army of charity staff, volunteers and community workers who put others before themselves all year round.
After five years of Government cuts, and even more challenges to come in the next few years, we are more dependent than ever on those who sacrifice their free time to help others.
In recent days I have visited the Growth Project, which is organised by both Rochdale and District Mind and Hourglass Environmental, and the Petrus Hub among other local charities.
As ever, I was very impressed by the incredible work that organisations like this do and deeply humbled by those who work long hours without the credit and thanks they deserve.
Earlier this week, I attended the Civic Carol Service at the Parish Church. It was a fantastic event and a great reminder of the immense civic pride and community spirit that we have here in Rochdale.
Our local volunteers and charity workers are the embodiment of that spirit and it is only fitting, at this time of year, that we take the time recognise such generosity in our local community.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to wish all my constituents a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.