- Award recognises the importance of participation in fostering feelings of connection and belonging
- First-ever Thank You Day to celebrate our connections due to take place this Sunday, 4 July
Spirit of 2012, the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic legacy funder has awarded a grant of £50,000 to support a new national day wherein the people around the UK will be encouraged to form meaningful social connections with one another. The grant will support the building of Thank You Day – a new initiative from the /Together coalition – with the aim of increasing and improving participation, connection and belonging in communities, while breaking down the perceptions of difference and associated hostility.
The funding will also support pilot projects in a series of communities, with a view to learning how major events such as Thank You Day can help build a sustainable grassroots network of social connectors.
Ruth Hollis, Spirit of 2012’s Chief Executive said:
“Connected communities are at the heart of what we want to achieve at Spirit of 2012 and we know that events are able to bring people together. We are excited to be able to give Thank You Day this £50,000 funding boost. We know that these moments leave a positive legacy after the day, linking people with each other and encouraging volunteering.”
“We have previously funded other projects including The Great Get Together, Breaking Boundaries and 14-NOW, all of which bring communities together across difference in a celebratory manner. We hope this latest grant to /Together will build on our learning from these programmes.”
Thank You Day will take place on Sunday 4th July – the day before the 73rd birthday of the National Health Service – with a focus on coming together to extend gratitude to those who helped others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities can choose to participate in a range of activities run by /Together’s collaborators and partner organisations such as Eden Project’s Big Lunch, Keep Britain Tidy’s Power Hour litter pick, and Levi Roots’ BB-Thank-Q. They will also be encouraged to create their own unique ways of saying ‘thank you.’
It follows the release of the ‘Talk Together’ Report in March which revealed that while people were feeling more isolated due to COVID-19, 41% of people felt that the pandemic had made their local community more united. It also estimates that 12.4 million adults volunteered during the pandemic, of which 4.6 million were first-time volunteers, with 3.8 million of this group interested in volunteering again.
The contribution of volunteers is being celebrated at 5pm on Thank You Day when Ross Kemp will lead a Cheers for Volunteers.
Alice Braybrook, director of /Together said:
“We are delighted to receive this development grant from Spirit of 2012, as Together works to equip and empower organisations throughout the coalition to harness and build on the surge in community spirit we’ve seen throughout the pandemic. “As we emerge from lockdown, we have a unique opportunity to create kinder, closer and more connected communities, and Thank You Day on the 4th of July, when communities through the UK will come together in a day of gratitude and connection, will be a moment to do just this. ”
“We are thrilled Spirit of 2012 has been able to support the Together Coalition to help make this a reality and look forward to working closely with the team on the sustained learning and long-term change that results.”