Thank you so much for being part of The Great Get Together. Because of your support it was a huge and happy weekend celebrating that we have more in common. Below is a small snapshot of what happened across the country from 16-18 June 2017.
Country-wide participation on the weekend
Our partners, The Big Lunch, estimated that The Great Get Together was even bigger than the 2012 Jubilee celebrations, and truly one of the biggest community celebrations to ever happen in Britain.
National polling showed events happened across every region of the country, with the most taking place in Yorkshire and London. Batley, Jo’s constituency, was at the heart of the celebrations. Thousands of people took part in wide-ranging activities from a memorial in Birstall to a town square fun bus, an Iftar in the centre of the town and a fun day at the Batley Bulldogs.
The start of new relationships, and a gateway to building closer communities
Through online and phone surveys, thousands of you told us that the weekend was the start of building closer communities and that you met new people.
- In fact, 59% of us said that before the weekend, we didn’t know many of their neighbours or knew none at all
- An incredible 83% of us said you met someone new at a Get Together
- 50% of us said that spending time with our local community and neighbours was the best part of the weekend
- A number of new initiatives have been born out of get togethers, from book groups to football clubs, new residents associations and ‘meals in heels’ services to support older neighbours
- Hundreds of people mentioned that their children are now playing with other children on the street, when they didn’t before
- Most excitingly, 78% of us said we felt more hopeful about Britain after the weekend
Strong appetite for it to happen again
- 95% of us said The Great Get Together should happen next year. Because of this, we’ll be in touch very soon to ask for your help in planning The Great Get Together 2018
- 19% of you said that we need to get our communities together more than once a year, and lots of you are already organising a second community event for December ranging from community Christmas dinners, to New Year’s Eve parties and living advent calendar displays
- 46% of us that organised get togethers said we had never organised an event before
- Lots of people mentioned having moved in the last couple of years
There was lots of talk about The Great Get Together
- Across the entire campaign, 1,240 articles were published about our campaign
- 7 million people watched a video about what we were doing on Facebook
Lots who didn’t take part still thought the weekend was important
Some national polling showed that an amazing 40% of the population had heard of The Great Get Together, and a strong majority of those who had believed it was a positive thing. The top three reasons for believing it was a good thing were:
- It is good to remember Jo Cox and her belief that we have more in common
- It was good for people to get to know their neighbours and spend time with them
- It is good for people to get to know new and different people
More In Common Last Leg special
Channel 4, commissioned a two hour special of the weekly comedy show, The Last Leg, themed around The Great Get Together. 3.5 million people watched and 6 million viewed clips via Facebook. There was a live link-up to a get together concert in Manchester.
Incredible range of celebrity support
A number of celebrities featured in a specially-produced video including Ed Sheeran, Nadiya Hussain, Claire Balding, Helen Mirren, Adil Ray, June Sarpong, Stephen Fry, Andy Murray, Bill Nighy, Michael Sheen, Lily Allen and Andrew Marr. Jamie Oliver was a key advocate throughout the campaign.
A strong and unified response to tragedy
There were a series of events in Manchester at Cathedral Gardens, and by Borough Market, both of which had recently experienced terrorist attacks. These events were particularly poignant as they demonstrated standing together and reclaiming public space.
In Manchester, many stall holders told us the events were a powerful symbol of moving from grief to positivity. A visitor to the London Bridge event said, “It’s been eerie since the attack, it’s just brilliant to see the community together here. It feels like a safe and happy place again.”
Stories from get togethers
Finally, we heard so many gorgeous stories from Get Togethers which we found particularly uplifting. Here are just four, a sample from across the country, that we’d like to share with you.
When I heard about the weekend, I thought the idea was great, but I thought I would never do it near me, and then I realised that’s exactly why I should! I met all my neighbours for the first time, even though I have lived on my road for 4 years. Another thing – I’ve hardly seen my kids since this happened, as they’ve found friends up the street to play out with – wonderful!
I had felt compelled and inspired by Jo’s life and work to do this, and I think a lot of other people felt that too. Many people thanked me for doing it and said they would have liked to, but didn’t feel brave enough. That was me, too, but it just felt like something that I had to do, and I’m so pleased I did. It was such a small event, but it’s been one of the things I am most proud of doing in my life.
I recently met someone who lives close so we decided to do it together and we felt pleased to be doing something to counter what’s happening.
It was so great that since the street party, I’ve also helped to set up a book group and a netball club. Someone at the first book group said ‘I really appreciate this. I don’t know people and I really want to.’ I hope it all makes people’s worlds a bit bigger.
Thank you so very much for this opportunity to come together. We’ve had serious social problems on the street, especially with one violent family. However the street party was very uniting. The night before the party everyone came out to hang out the bunting between the lamp posts and it was really special. We had Jo Cox and her family in our hearts and it gave us an opportunity to stand up and say what was important.
An 84 year old came to our get together who had never visited a mosque before. She said she has been hesitant about coming, but now she wondered why she had never done it before and that she hoped to come back for a future event.
If you haven’t already watched it, a wonderful volunteer, @pieceoftheparty made a short video of a few of the get togethers she visited over the weekend. You can watch it here and relive some of the magic of the weekend.
A HUGE THANK YOU for making this possible!
If you have any questions about what we’ve learned or ideas to share on what to do next then please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try our best to get back to you as soon as we can.
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