Today (Friday18th July) Jon Cruddas MP held his third annual volunteer thank you breakfast. This year 80 of Jon's key volunteers in the area were treated to a full English at Dagenham and Redbridge Football Club.

From the start back in 2012 the volunteer network has grown to include over 1,900 local residents. The goal was to increase community engagement in Dagenham, Rainham, South Hornchurch and Elm Park where people were beginning to fall through the cracks that government cuts created locally.

In the past year volunteers have helped Jon across the constituency, raising awareness to important issues, bringing new public concerns to his attention and taking campaigns that matter to them out into the community. Campaigns come in all shapes and sizes spanning from; over 10,000 residents fighting against the prison proposals to people petitioning the council for a Controlled Parking Zone down their street. The volunteer network is a platform for residents to make their views heard at the highest levels, and it also brings people together, developing a sense of community spirit.

(In the main photo are Jon's office volunteers who contribute on a weekly basis *the stars of the show* – left to right: Jason Pickering, Joyce Bassett, Janis Cottee, Gill Lockey, Jon and Dean Haxel)

The volunteers played an instrumental role in the recent local elections. Jon Cruddas expressed that: "There was an inspiring level of community involvement during the local elections, and it is important that we emulate that spirit in the build up to the general election next year. There are so many key individuals in our community that are constantly working to make it better, and that is what today is about; congratulating and thanking those people."

There were many guest speakers at this year's event, speaking about the important role of volunteers and community within the political system. Speakers included national and local GMB representatives, the local NUT rep; who spoke about the fight against Warren Schools forced academisation and the prospect of free schools in the area. There were also contributions made by members of Unite the union at the meeting.

The event was a huge success and it is predicted that Jon will have his 2,000th volunteer by the end of the year. Anyone wishing to join Jon's campaign team please email: or if you want to volunteer in other ways please contact the office on: 020 8593 1555