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Jo Cox Foundation

Moment To Movement

This project is now complete

We supported the Jo Cox Foundation to explore community connection and social action through The Great Get Together.

The project in numbers


Total project spend

May 2019 – September 2023

Total project duration

Jo Cox Foundation

Grantee organisation

Moment to Movement

  • Grant amount: £997,000
  • Project duration: February 2020 – September 2023

The Moment to Movement grant continued the legacy of Jo Cox’s work and values through the Great Get Together and the Great Winter Get Together. These campaigns have shown just how powerful an event can be at galvanising a movement of positive action.

Established in 2016, following the murder of Jo Cox MP, the Labour MP for Batley and Spen, the Great Get Together helps people to make genuine connections, through community events including lunches, sports days and street parties. It takes place annually on the weekend closest to Jo’s birthday in June. The Great Winter Get Together is held over two weeks in January, with events and activities organised across the country to demonstrate the power of meaningful connection to reduce loneliness, an issue close to Jo’s heart.

With this grant, the Jo Cox Foundation were working to to grow the Great Get Together from a ‘moment’ to a year-round movement of social and community action. The campaign aims to empower the More in Common network of volunteers and organisers which sit at the heart of it. This network is a dedicated collection of groups and partnerships across the UK, that bring their local communities together through projects and events.

Some of the successes during the grant period have included:

  • Increased participation each year, with new individuals and partners getting involved. 90% of all organisers said that they felt confident organising inclusive community events after their Great Get Together.
  • Impact data from 2023 showing that 85% of attendees were inspired to make new connections with people from different backgrounds after attending a Great Get Together.
  • An increase in wellbeing, with 97% of attendees at the 2023 Great Get Together reporting that participation positively affected their mental health and wellbeing.
  • Decreased loneliness and improved community cohesion. In their 2022 impact report, the Jo Cox Foundation found that 71% of participants felt less lonely and 93% of participants feel more connected to their neighbours.
  • Expansion of the More in Common Network, from five informal groups at the beginning of the project, to ten fully incorporated groups and twelve potential groups on the development pathway upon closure of the grant.
  • The development of a sustainable More in Common partnership model, bringing organisations together to enhance social connection in their local areas.

Digital storytelling

  • Grant amount: £19,987
  • Project duration: May – October 2019

Spirit of 2012 partnered with the Jo Cox Foundation to develop a framework for storytelling for local organisers to tell their own unique stories, helping to strengthen bonds and create more connected communities.

The More in Common network is a nationwide group of dedicated organisers. They work year-round to create more cohesive and compassionate communities through outreach and bringing people together, as well as organising annual Great Get Together events.

The Digital Storytelling project produced engaging video profiles of five community organisers, re-telling how they became involved in the Great Get Together, what they’ve learnt so far from their experiences, and what they want to do next. The locations, motivations and experiences of these organisers are varied, but dedication to bringing communities together runs throughout the profiles.

The videos personalise the Great Get Together, and showcase the importance of individuals within their communities and larger movements. The Digital Storytelling project has also developed a story-banking framework to empower more organisers to gather and share compelling stories from within their communities.

Great Get Togethers: Spirit grant

Project in numbers

  • Grant amount: £8,597
  • Project duration: One weekend (June 2019)

Spirit funded 30 of our grantees to organise Great Get Togethers across the UK to bring communities together to eat, drink, talk and connect.

The funded projects were supported by Spirit and the Jo Cox Foundation through resource packs, marketing materials to promote the events, and tips for hosting events via the Great Get Together website. A huge range of Great Get Togethers took place, including Tai Chi and Tea in Northern Ireland, a Big Fit Walk in Perth, an accessible biking event in Kent, and five separate T20 events with Breaking Boundaries, a project that uses cricket to bring people together.

The T20 Great Get Togethers hosted thousands of cricket fans for a mix of a mix of food, drink, face-painting, dance and, of course, cricket, bringing together people of all ages and ethnicities in a day of celebration.

The Spirit-funded Great Get Togethers enabled the projects to reach more people, increase awareness of their activities, and crucially, encouraged people to talk and connect through positive events.

Project aims

  1. Strengthen bonds in communities.
  2. Build a legacy from one-off local events and moments of community connection.
  3. Develop a framework for storytelling for local organisers to tell their own unique stories.

“I was experiencing increasing depression as a result of social isolation in the earlier days of the pandemic. Organising our Great Get Together party has contributed to my feeling even more part of a very caring community in my street, and it was a joy to work together so happily with others, to feel very valued and indeed loved, and to see so many residents having such a happy time and such fun. It has been heart-warming for me to see how this has helped and is helping other residents.”

Organiser, Great Get Together 2020

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