TWO North Kirklees residents were in the national spotlight as they helped Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn launch the party’s election manifesto at Bradford University.
Christine Warrillow, a single mum from Gomersal, and Martin Kilgallon, from Mirfield, were two of the key speakers at the event.
Mr Kilgallon, who has five children – one has brittle asthma and two have severe autism – gave a passionate speech about how he had tried to end his own life because of the struggle he faced in trying to help his sons.
He said: “Dealing with a disability or special needs is hard enough and doesn’t need to be made harder by a reduction in vital services – something has to change.
“My eldest son Mason has brittle asthma and has been admitted to hospital eight times in the last three months. In the past he has suffered from a respiratory arrest.
“Each time we visit hospital we are met with mayhem. The A&E departments are understaffed, ambulances are queuing and doctors don’t have time to explain what’s going on.”
Both Martin and his wife Anne Marie had become severely depressed and Martin spoke of how he turned to drink and tried to take his own life.
“One Sunday night in 2014, things finally got to me and I took a walk on the hard shoulder of the M62,” he said.
“I don’t know how I managed to get there but the intended outcome was to end my own life. Fortunately I didn’t.”
Mr Kilgallon told the audience he was voting for Labour because they had pledged to invest in social care and to fund education properly.
Miss Warrillow, who welcomed Mr Corbyn onto the stage, said: “I’m a busy working mum of two girls; like all parents I work hard to make sure they have everything they need.
“As a single parent and a carer for my girls’ grandma, sometimes I have additional challenges.
“I want a party in government which stands up for people... that works for the many and not the few.”