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Barnsley MP completes London marathon in aid of local charity

Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, completed the London Marathon in the capital on Sunday to raise money for local charity Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services (BSARCS).

The Member of Parliament joined over 42,000 runners along the famous course, crossing the finish line of her first ever marathon in just over six hours and reaching her target of £1,000.

BSARCS is the sole group in Barnsley the provides specialist services to people affected by sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, and any kind of sexual violence. Working with women, men and children, they have helped around 1,500 people in the last year alone.

Said Stephanie: “Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services is a fantastic local charity that does incredible work for people in our community, and I’m so happy to have completed the marathon and helped raise funds for them.

“I’ve never run anywhere near 26 miles before, but the kindness of the crowds gathered along the route and generosity of those who have donated made the sore legs worth it – so thank you to everyone in Barnsley for your support.

“Though every step after around 15 miles hurt I took each one for BSARCS, and the thought of what a difference the donations will make to some of the most vulnerable people across Barnsley kept me going.”

Lynne Casserly, Development Manager at Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services, said: “We would like to thank Stephanie and everyone who has supported her in raising money for BSARCS.”

Meanwhile, Stephanie has criticised figures that show funding provided for local projects in Barnsley and South Yorkshire lags far behind London and the South.

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes National Lottery Funding, giving money to cultural, heritage, arts and sport projects and activities in local communities.

However, figures admitted to the Barnsley MP by the Government through a parliamentary question show the huge disparity in lottery funding provided to Barnsley and South Yorkshire compared to more affluent areas in the South.

The figures show Barnsley received just £5.30 per person from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2018. In Stephanie’s own constituency of Barnsley East, the figure was even lower at £2.09 of funding provided per head.

In contrast, allocation in London was double that of Barnsley, with the equivalent of £10.29 given to each person over the last year. Over the last five years London has received around £876m in funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. This is in addition to the £427m given to the South West and South East combined over the same period.

In comparison the entirety of Yorkshire and the Humber has received just £291m, including £72m in South Yorkshire, to fund projects and activities in local communities.

Barnsley has received just £6.5m since 2013.

Said Stephanie: “Once again we see Barnsley and South Yorkshire ignored whilst London and affluent, leafy suburbs in the South receive the lion’s share of resources.

“Local community groups, projects, and organisations here in Barnsley are dependent on National Lottery Funding, yet per-head funding lags below the national average and overall allocations are dwarfed by those given to elsewhere.

“The Government is overseeing a system that clearly neglects Barnsley, and it’s high time they acted to make sure towns like ours get our fair share.”

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