Yesterday marked six years since Jo Cox MP was murdered in her constituency of Batley and Spen during the deeply divisive Brexit referendum campaign.
The Jo Cox Foundation is launching the sixth annual Great Get Together – nationwide community events 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.”
Across Yorkshire, over 40 Great Get Togethers will be happening across the region, with thousands of people expected to take part.
Since it began in 2017, over 20 million people have participated in the Great Get Together. The first took place on the anniversary date of Jo’s murder, but to focus on celebrating Jo’s life instead of the way she died, her family and friends decided to move it to the weekend closest to her birthday instead.
This year it will the events will take place from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 June 2022, just after Jo would have been turning 48.
In Jo’s home of Batley and Spen, the Run for Jo will be taking place in person again this year at Oakwell Hall, Birstall.
In Bately, there will also be The Great Poetry Get Together in Batley Library, Burgers and Butterflies event at the Butterfly House, Heckmondwike’s Great Get Together, and the Friends of Batley Station will be continuing their tradition of giving a warm welcome and refreshments to commuters on Friday 24 June to kick off the weekend of celebrations.
Over recent weeks The Jo Cox Foundation has been running a project in Batley for participants to explore what it means to belong in the area, resulting in the group running their own Great Create Together on Saturday 25 June.
In the wider West Yorkshire area there will also be Great Get Togethers taking place over that weekend in Hebden Bridge, Leeds, and Holmfirth.
In Dewsbury, Kumon Y’all are organising a Great Get Together focused around everyone coming together to play Boccia – a totally inclusive sport that can be played by anyone regardless of age, gender, ability or disability.
Su Moore, CEO of The Jo Cox Foundation, said: “No two Great Get Togethers are the same – they range from plant swaps to mosque tours, concerts to coffee mornings – but they all bring Jo’s message of unity to life.
“They help people to realise what they have in common, whether that’s with a next-door neighbour or a refugee in another country. Anyone in Yorkshire can take part in this year’s Great Get Together either by hosting your own or by joining an event in your area. Our website has all the information you need to get involved.”
Anyone can be part of the events across the North Kirklees area or people are invited to host their own. Head to the Great Get Together website for an organiser toolkit, free webinars, and additional resources such as assemblies for schools.