HomeFundingProjectsConnectedGreat Get Together
Jo Cox Foundation

Great Get Together

We have been working with Jo Cox Foundation since 2019, exploring community connection and social action through The Great Get Together.

The project in numbers

£1,025,584

Total project spend

3.5 Years

Total project duration

Visit Great Get Together website

For further information

Moment to Movement

  • Project spend: £997,000
  • Project duration: Three years (February 2020 – March 2023)

How can we capture the momentum from a one-off moment of community connection and social action and build it into a movement? That’s what we’re aiming to find out from this three-year partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation.

The three-year Moment to Movement grant continues the legacy of Jo Cox’s work and values through the Great Get Together. The Great Get Together has 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.

The award focuses on building a society of stronger, happier communities through growing the Great Get Together from a ‘moment’ in June to a year-round movement of social and community action. The programme is designed to build on its successes to date, and aims to further inspire and empower the nationwide More in Common community of volunteers and organisers which sit at the heart of the programme.

The Great Get Together’s More in Common community is a dedicated group of 3,000 community organisers nationwide, who share Jo Cox’s values and drive to tackle local issues. The Moment to Movement project follows on from a piece of research Spirit of 2012 commissioned. It aims to use the impact of the Great Get Together to inspire more people to get involved and become community organisers, through peer-to-peer training activities and enhanced online resources.

Great Get Together was one of three projects explored in Moment to Movement, a research report published in November 2020 which explored how community events best inspire social action. The research generated useful learning and practical recommendations that can support Spirit of 2012 grantees and the wider development

Great Get Together was one of three projects explored in Moment to Movement, a research report published in November 2020 which explored how community events best inspire social action. The research generated useful learning and practical recommendations that can support Spirit of 2012 grantees and the wider development sector to run more effective and impactful events, and strengthened our understanding of what sorts of approaches can lead to increased quality of post-event social action.

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.

“We have more in common than the things that divide us.”

Jo Cox in her maiden speech to Parliament, June 2015.

“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

Digital storytelling

  • Project spend: £19,987
  • Project duration: Six months (May – October 2019)

In 2019, Spirit of 2012 partnered with the Jo Cox Foundation and The Great Get Together to develop a framework for storytelling for local organisers to tell their own unique stories, helping to strengthen bonds and create more connected communities.

At the heart of the Great Get Together is a nationwide group of dedicated organisers – the More in Common Community – who share Jo Cox’s values of respect, tolerance and compassion. These organisers 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.

Visit Great Get Together website

For further information

Related articles

Great Get Together: Spirit grants

Project in numbers

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

In 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.

Explore similar projects