In 2017, the nation came together on the first anniversary of Jo’s murder for the first ever Great Get Together.
The response was overwhelming with millions taking part in picnics, Iftars, street parties and community celebrations large and small of all kinds across the UK. So, over the weekend of 22 to 24 June it happened all over again on what would have been Jo’s 44th birthday.
Here’s some of what we achieved together.
Batley and Spen, Jo’s constituency, led the nationwide celebration of everything we hold in common with thousands of people taking part in wide-ranging activities from an interfaith open air meal in a town square to a 6.5km cross-country run for all ages and abilities.
- We estimate that around 300,000 people participated in Great Get Togethers across 4,500 events
- 224 articles mentioning the Great Get Together were published in national and regional press
- 6.8 million people visited the Great Get Together Facebook page
- 1.6 million saw a post on Twitter and we trended across the weekend, despite it also being England’s first World Cup match
- 98% of survey respondents told us The Great Get Together should happen again
In the community
Drawing communities together across the country and building new relationships, the weekend proved to be a unifying experience for those who took part.
- 83% said they met someone new at their Get Together
- 62% said that before the weekend they didn’t know many of their neighbours or knew none at all
- 85% of organisers felt their event brought together a diverse range of people
- 67% said that spending time with their local community and their neighbours was the best part of their Get Together
- 72% said they felt more positive about their neighbourhood and community
- 45% of event organisers said this was the first time they had organised a Great Get Together
- Plus, 24% said they would like to bring communities together more than once a year
- Breakfast clubs, coffee mornings, street play and Freecycle events are just some of the new initiatives that people told us they plan to start up following their experience of participating in the Great Get Together
In your words
“I organised a Get Together in our cul-de-sac as very few people knew each other and most hadn’t met before. I met one of my neighbours for the first time and we’ve become very good friends. I now rely on her for help in any instance from borrowing sugar to helping look for my lost cat. Meeting her has really enriched my life. The event really worked at bringing people together and showing us how much we have in common” – Joy
“I was talking to two little girls and their mum at my Get Together and learned that their younger brother had, unfortunately, had a seizure at home and was knocked out. Their mum told me that the girls had been incredibly brave and helped the paramedics. When I heard about this I decided to tell our Mayor and he presented them with a certificate for bravery. It was lovely to celebrate not just diversity but bravery as well. It was such a touching event. Watching the kids on our street play together on the day and at weekends since has made me realise how valuable these sorts of things are” - Neil
“There was a really diverse range of people at our event – babies to grandparents, different faiths, and a real mix of ethnicities. Lots of different groups came together and people really made an effort to talk to those they didn’t already know. There was a conversation between people of different faiths about Ramadan, Eid and the challenges of fasting. We also had quite a few older, widowed or single men come along, which was pleasantly surprising as it turns out there’s a lot of isolation where we live” - Clare