Jo Cox-inspired Great Get Togethers are set once again to unite communities as new research shows 1 in 5 Brits feel they don’t belong.
Tomorrow (16 June 2023) will mark seven years since Jo Cox MP was murdered in her constituency of Batley and Spen during the Brexit referendum campaign.
Inspired by the message from her very first speech in Parliament - “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us” - next weekend will be the seventh annual Great Get Together (23-25 June), in which hundreds of community events around the UK will celebrate what unites us and reject division.
New research from The Jo Cox Foundation shows that there continues to be a pressing need for inclusive events that bridge the divides in communities, with 1 in 5 (18%) of British adults feeling that they do not belong in their local community.
The research also identifies the common barriers that many people face in getting to know other people in their area, with the most common being a lack of local social events that appeal to them (29% of Brits) and a lack of confidence (27%).
Next weekend’s Great Get Together will involve over 400 events that not only support those attending to connect with others, but also build the confidence and skills of those organising them. Many of those volunteers who ran a Great Get Together for the first time in 2017 are still running an annual event seven years later.
This June events taking place include a cross-party Great Get Together in the Houses of Parliament, to a trip from Batley to Wensleydale that will allow people from different backgrounds to connect on a visit to the Yorkshire Dales. In North Kensington, the charity Nova will run a Great Get Together to not only commemorate the anniversary of the Grenfell fire but also to celebrate the power of connection and togetherness to heal and strengthen society.
Su Moore, CEO of The Jo Cox Foundation, said: “With Jo Cox’s ‘more in common’ message at the heart of them, Great Get Together events provide a vital social space where people from different backgrounds can come together, get to know each other, and - in many cases - begin friendships. Over the last seven years, millions of people have taken part in the Great Get Together. Next weekend we’ll see hundreds of events taking place across the country, and anyone can join in, either by hosting your own or by joining one in your area.”
Rt Hon Jacqui Smith, Chair of The Jo Cox Foundation, said: “Those of us who knew Jo remember her endless passion and energy, particularly for bringing people together, and the Great Get Together is an opportunity for us all to celebrate her life and values. It is incredible to see how her message of unity over division continues to inspire people to come together and we can’t wait to see the real difference these Great Get Together events make to people’s lives next weekend.”
Join the conversation and share your event on social media with the hashtags #MoreInCommon and #GreatGetTogether.