Brendan Cox: unite against cowardly attacks and heal our divisions

In-memory-of-jo-cox-mp-543041922 2140x1404

​A year on from the murder of his wife Jo, Brendan Cox says unity is needed more than ever in light of cowardly attacks

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23rd May 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

The 16th June will mark the first anniversary of my wife’s murder.

Towards the end of last year, looking ahead to the date, I started to think about how I might best commemorate Jo.

What would be a fitting way to celebrate her life and everything she stood for?

After speaking with Jo’s family and friends, we eventually came up with the idea of The Great Get Together.

Brendan Cox

Brendan Cox

We’ve lived through a period characterised by divisiveness and polarisation - I hope The Great Get Together provides some antidote to that

It’s really pretty simple. We’re asking people in communities across the country to come together over the weekend of 16-18 June to celebrate everything we have in common.

I’m very honoured to say that we’ve had a wonderful response to the idea from people across the UK, not least in Scotland.

Everything from street parties and barbeques to picnics and iftars are planned across the country.

On my visit to Edinburgh earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to receive a wonderful reception at a meeting with third sector leaders, convened by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Thanks in no small part to the coordinating role played by the organisation, a host of Scottish charities have since pledged their support for The Great Get Together.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the event would have been impossible without the goodwill of so many charitable and voluntary bodies. For that support, I’m truly humbled.

The work that many of these organisations deliver really is the essence of what The Great Get Together is all about; people putting all other considerations to one side to meet and help others in their community.

While the event is not at all political, I do feel that it comes at a timely moment.

We’ve lived through a recent period characterised by its divisiveness and polarisation. There have been cowardly attacks that have caused great pain while seeking to drive us apart.

I hope, that in a small way at least, The Great Get Together provides some antidote to that.

Throughout her life, Jo believed that no matter how deep or entrenched our differences might be, there are fundamental things that unite all of us. It’s an ideal she fought for.

If the weekend manages to capture just some of that spirit, it will have been a success.

If you’re not already organising or going along to an event, it’s not too late to get involved. You can find out how you can join in at the website. We’d be delighted to have you.

To all the charities and voluntary organisations in Scotland who’ll be running or joining a Get Together that weekend, I say a huge thank you once again. Be sure to have a great time.