Barking MP pledges to protect ‘vital’ centre at pizza and politics event

On Friday, service users, volunteers and staff at the Huggett Women's Centre talked to Margaret Hod

On Friday, service users, volunteers and staff at the Huggett Women's Centre talked to Margaret Hodge MP about how women are disproportionately affected by cuts to essential services. - Credit: Archant

Barking’s MP has said she will do everything she can to protect “vital” services after visiting a new centre for women who face disadvantages including poverty, abuse and discrimination.

Margaret Hodge dropped into the Huggett Women’s Centre in Dagenham on Friday for a “pizza and politics” event to get more women engaged in politics.

A trio of charities led by nia has been helping girls and women through workshops, drop-in sessions and volunteering opportunities at the centre since it opened in December.

Ms Hodge commented: “The Huggett Women’s Centre is doing a good job in supporting women and girls in the borough including those who have experienced sexual and domestic violence.

“Barking has the fifth-highest rate of domestic violence in the whole of London, so services like this are vital in our community.“I will do all I can to ensure that services in the area like the Huggett Centre are protected.”

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Operations manager Maria Sookias said they had put on the event to inspire local women to make a difference.

“Women are at the sharp end of cuts to services and the way to change this is for more women to engage with politics, whatever their political persuasion,” she said.

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Future events will be centered on everything from police accountability to zero hours contracts, with comedy nights and slam poetry also in the pipeline.

All women are welcome. To find out more about the centre and the services offered, email

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