Baroness visits '˜incredible' service

Women in South Tyneside have been urged to register to vote and support Britain's future in the EU.

Glenys Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead visits South Shields WHIST
Glenys Kinnock, Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead visits South Shields WHIST

Baroness Glenys Kinnock, who served as Minister for Europe as well as Foreign Office met with members of WHIST (Women’s Health Initiative in South Tyneside) yesterday.

The south Shields-based organisation in Mile End Road is partly funded by the EU and includes services for local women which includes counselling, support groups, short courses on mental and physical health, and skills classes.

Baroness Kinnock spoke with women who use the centre about the activities and their views on Europe ahead of the referendum taking place on June 23.

She said: “WHIST is an incredible local resource and shows how the EU backs local communities with money for activities from sharing new skills and raising employment opportunities to promoting women’s health and counselling.

“Economic issues are vital in this referendum but the EU’s role supporting women in the community and providing a voice and contact for vulnerable women in the North East is also a vital part of the debate.”

Ruth Berkley, chairwoman of WHIST, said: “It’s been a pleasure showing Baroness Kinnock the work that WHIST does to improve local women’s lives, especially through the support we get through European funding for training initiatives.

“Women’s confidence, contact and isolation are all part of the philosophy of WHIST to create a supportive environment for women.”

Baroness Kinnock was invited by Alan Donnelly, who served as Member of the European Parliament for the North East from 1989 to 2000, and is chairman of South Shields Labour Party.


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He said: “Glenys Kinnock is one of Britain’s leading politicians with real depth of experience in development and women’s equality. Having represented South Wales she understands communities like the North East and how damaging leaving the EU would be for local people.”