For many of us, Christmas is a fantastic time of year full of celebration and cheer.

However, it is also a time to bring our community together and help out those in need, and our town has once again done an amazing job of coming together to spread some Christmas cheer.

The Barnsley Christmas Toy Appeal and Mission Christmas have been working hard to provide gifts for local families in need. Together, they will try and ensure no child goes without a present under their Christmas tree. It’s a sad fact that, in out area, over a quarter of children are growing up in poverty so charities such as these must be commended for their great work.

After feeding nearly 6,000 people this year, Barnsley food bank are also helping families to keep happy and warm this winter, sending out ‘Winter Wellbeing’ packs alongside their food parcels.

These include essentials such as mugs, hats, gloves, as well as treats like puzzle books.

I know many of you will have donated to these initiatives, with many more volunteering elsewhere in our town.

Others in the community are making a fantastic contribution working tirelessly as key workers. 

From the doctors and nurses working extremely hard in difficult circumstances to keep our NHS afloat over the winter months, to the retail workers working long hours so that we can all finish our Christmas shopping, to the postal workers who help keep us connected, especially at this time of year. 

I’d like to say a huge thank you to every key worker in Barnsley for everything you do all year round.

Over the last weeks, I have also been lucky enough to visit a number of primary schools in Barnsley East to announce the results of our annual Christmas Card competition.

After celebrating with all the young people in their schools, and reflecting on all the amazing work going on in our town, I have been left full of festive spirit and hope for a positive future in Barnsley.

I wish everyone in the community a safe, merry Christmas and a happy New Year. 

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