With £498,513 of National Lottery funding over the next three years, The Jo Cox Foundation will support and expand the nationwide More in Common Network – made up of groups and partnerships that champion the late Jo Cox’s ‘more in common’ message and bridge divides in their communities.
Inspired by the message in Jo Cox’s maiden speech in Parliament – “we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us” – More in Common groups are volunteer-led community groups made up of individuals who want to bring their community together through projects and events.
The More in Common Network currently comprises of ten groups and two partnerships. Following successful pilot projects in Cardiff and Nottingham, the Network is also now open to ‘More in Common partnerships’ – which bring organisations from an area together (which could include local councils, police, charities, youth groups) so that they can take a coordinated approach to local social issues.
The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will enable The Jo Cox Foundation to support More in Common partnerships to form in many more areas of the UK.
Su Moore, CEO at The Jo Cox Foundation, said:
“Through the More in Common Network, we’re building a movement of people who are skilled and confident to identify and bridge divides in their communities and we’re delighted to have received this funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which will enable us to expand the Network.
“In those areas where there are active More in Common groups or partnerships, we aim to see improvements in community resilience and cohesion, feelings of belonging, and positive change on local issues, so we’re looking forward to supporting the formation of new partnerships and seeing the impact on their communities.”
Melissa Eaglesfield, Deputy Director of UK Portfolio at The National Lottery Community Fund, said:
“Thanks to National Lottery players, and the hard work and dedication of staff and volunteers at The Jo Cox Foundation, this funding will make a great difference by creating networks where local communities can come together in England and Wales.
“Our ambition is to invest most in places, people and communities experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination. I’m delighted that our funding is being used to create environments where diverse communities can have their voices heard when tackling local social issues.”
The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030.
As part of this, the funder has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.
National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities. To find out more visit The National Lottery Community Fund website.
Anyone interested in getting involved in the More in Common Network – whether through forming a group or a partnership – can find out more by signing up to attend an online ‘Meet and Greet’ event.
Once part of the Network, groups and partnerships receive online and in-person learning opportunities about community cohesion and bridging divides, as well as support in participating in The Jo Cox Foundation’s annual Great Get Together community celebration.