Hull is like a village, where everyone knows each other and is happy to help if you need it.Emma Hardy MP
Emma Hardy, MP for Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle, hosts a Great Get Together each year and 2022 was no different.
Over the Great Get Together weekend in June 2022, Emma’s team and the Peel Project (a local project providing community support services) held their event in Peel Street Park. The day was a great success, with around 250 people coming along to celebrate Hull’s vibrant community. The Peel Project runs in an area of Hull with a lot of cultural diversity and having people from different backgrounds come together is exactly what the Great Get Together is all about.
There was a football tournament for young people, free refreshments, and a crafting tent where children designed bunting with positive messages (with lots of glitter, of course!). Local faith and community leaders spoke to Jo Cox’s ‘more in common’ message, shared local resources and highlighted the importance of community.
“Getting community groups, like Peel Project, involved was definitely a huge success. They often have a network of people they support who they can invite and we were lucky enough that they have a space they use as a venue. Other years we’ve contacted Hull City Council who have allowed us to use street spaces for coffee mornings. It’s good to look throughout the year to see what’s going on in the local community and if there’s an opportunity to replicate a previous event for the Great Get Together. We were also really lucky to get some funding from local organisations, such as KCOM, Hull’s broadband provider. They have a community fund and also offered to provide volunteers for the event. In return, we offered to have their branding on our banner and selfie board.”
What top tips would you offer to other MPs looking to organise a successful Great Get Together event in their constituency?
- Start small! Our first event was a coffee morning in Hull City Centre with a sofa we loaned from a local charity shop and a few chairs.
- Involve local community groups. We managed to split responsibility for organising the event in half this year, which of course took off stress from our office.
- As The Great Get Together is non-political and a positive thing for the community, you’ll often find that local companies are willing to help out with funding or catering. We were really fortunate to get funding from KCOM and 2 Ridings which went towards catering and our banner and selfie board.
- Inviting the local press down on the day can often give the event a boost!