Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen, has presented £235 to her first charity of the month of this decade, Friends of West End Park.

Ms Brabin presented Cleckheaton-based community group with the money on Friday, February 7.

The volunteer group give up their time to maintain the popular park to improve the experience of visitors and to keep it clean and tidy, making it a more pleasant place to be and also more welcoming to wildlife.

Ms Brabin chose to back the group after speaking to one of its organisers, Martin Webster, last year about its Bags of Kindness appeal, and again at a coffee morning at Cleckheaton Library last month where she heard how successful the appeal has been so far.

The group collected bags of essential items such as warm clothes and toiletries, which have been distributed to the homeless and rough sleepers across Kirklees.

Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen and Shadow Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, said: “Parks are valued public spaces, whether that be for walking the dog, Sunday league football or for relaxing in the outdoors on long summer evenings.

“The team at Friends of West End Park do a marvellous job in keeping the park clean and tidy, promoting biodiversity and making it a happier place to visit.

“This kind of community spirit is what makes Batley and Spen such a great place to live.

“Add to this the brilliant Bags of Kindness appeal, which has helped so many less fortunate people over the chilly winter period, it shows how much they care about improving people’s lives.

“I was delighted to support Friends of West End Park as my January charity of the month – the first of this new decade – and I hope my donation will go some way to support the great work they do.”

Martin Webster, from Friends of West End Park, added: “As a very small, local community group, Friends of West End Park were thrilled to have their Winter Appeal ‘Bags of Kindness’ named as charity of the month by Tracy.

“The money will help to fill a batch of 20 Street Survival bags which are used by those working at the very sharp end of the rough sleeping issue.

“The contents have been specially selected to give heat, light, warmth, food and shelter so that a person can survive their first night on the street to be helped in the light of the second day. This cold, wet, time of year is especially critical and small towns often suffer from a lack of resources compared to bigger cities so a small effort here can make a big difference.”

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