The Jo Cox Foundation has launched 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.”
In Yorkshire, more than 40 Great Get Togethers will be happening across the region.
Since it began in 2017, more than 20 million people have participated in the Great Get Together.
The first took place on the anniversary of Jo’s murder, but to focus on celebrating her 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 take place from Friday, June 24 to Sunday, June 26, just after Jo would have been turning 48.
In her home of Batley and Spen, the Run for Jo will be taking place in person again this year at Oakwell Hall in Birstall on June 26 from 9am until 4pm.
In Batley there will be The Great Poetry Get Together at Batley Library on June 25 from 2-4pm, plus a Burgers and Butterflies event at the Butterfly House on June 24 from 5-8pm.
The Friends of Batley Station will be continuing their tradition of giving a warm welcome and refreshments to commuters on June 24 from 7.30am until 10am 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 at Batley Community Center on June 25 from 11am until 1pm.
Heckmondwike’s Great Get Together will be held in Green Park on June 25 from 10am-3pm.
“Tea and Cycle with Streetbikes” will take place at Spenborough Running Track on June 25 from 12.30pm until 3pm.
In Dewsbury, Kumon Y’all is organizing a Great Get Together at Manor Croft Academy on June 24 at 5.15pm 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.
And the Ravensthorpe Great Get Together Picnic will be held at the Greenwood Center on June 26 from 1-3pm.
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 realize what they have in common, whether that’s with a next-door neighbor 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.”
Jo’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, who herself is now MP for Batley and Spen, is organizing a Health and Well-being Get Together in Wilton Park, Batley between 10am and 3pm on Saturday, June 25 in collaboration with the Batley and Birstall Primary Care Network .
Ms Leadbeater said: ‘This will be a fantastic and fun day out for everybody with lots of free activities for adults and children alike.
“I know times are tough for many people with the current cost of living crisis, which is why I wanted to do something that is free to enjoy and easily accessible.
“It has never been more important for us all to look after our health and well-being – physical and mental.
“The get together on June 25 will be a great opportunity for people to come along to Wilton Park, find out what’s available locally and pick up some advice on how to keep well.
“I want to say a big thank you to all the groups and organizations who have offered their support.
“I know it’s going to be a great day out and along with the other Great Get Together events, it’s an opportunity to show how reconnecting in our community is good for all of us.”
You can be part of the events in North Kirklees or host your own. Visit the Great Get Together website for an organizer toolkit.