What is The Great Get Together?
The Great Get Together is a weekend of community events around the UK that celebrate what unites us and reject division, inspired by Jo Cox’s words that ‘we have more in common than that which divides us’. After starting in 2017, the Great Get Together now runs annually on the closest weekend to Jo Cox’s birthday on 22 June. You can visit our About Jo Cox page to read more about Jo Cox’s life and how she made a difference.
By putting on your Great Get Together event you will join a nationwide community of people who believe – as Jo Cox did – that we have more in common. Now more than ever, we need to bring people together and you are playing an important role in doing just that.
This toolkit is to support you to run your Great Get Together event – from coming up with an idea, to the day of the event.
Ideas for your Great Get Together
Great Get Together events come in all shapes and sizes, what unites them is the fact that they are all bringing communities together. We often find the best events reflect the communities where they take place and encourage guests to mix and meet someone new.
Whether it be a community meal or a sports tournament, any event that gets your community together will make a huge difference. This is an exciting opportunity to think about what your community really needs, and build an event suited to that.
Here are a few ideas to get you started – many of which could be done either in-person or online:
- A community picnic, street party, or BBQ
- Challenge your friends to a bake-off and ask them to bring someone that you’ve never met
- Community meal sharing
- Outdoor sports and games
- Board games
- A quiz
- A skills-sharing session
You could also take inspiration from one of the event models we’ve developed with partners:
- Great Walk Together – community walks which are a partnership between us and Refugee Week
- Great Watch Together – community film screenings in partnership with Cinema For All
- Great Write Together – a partnership with Libraries Connected, the Reading Agency and the Community Library Network, to support local libraries to run Great Get Togethers
Many organisers like to build in some optional donation opportunities – such as a raffle, dog show, or cake sale – so that your Great Get Together is raising money for important causes as well as bringing people together. You could fundraise for a local charity or neighbourhood initiative, or help to make the Great Get Together possible by fundraising for The Jo Cox Foundation.
Include your community
The Great Get Together is all about bringing communities together, so here are some tips for how to reach beyond your own circle when organising your Great Get Together:
- Think about who you’d like to come along to your event and if there are any barriers they might face to participating. This will help you to decide which activities would be most engaging and which together organisers you could reach out to.
- Co-produce your event with other organisations or individuals to get a range of perspectives from your local community.
- Reach out to groups in the local community who you and your friends or members might not know – can you find a residential care centre or a youth group? A refugee support group or a local tenants association? A cultural centre? An opposing sports team or a different sport to your favourite?
- It’s a good idea to pick a location which is easily accessible and where you tend to see people from all sorts of backgrounds, like the street you live on, the local park or supermarket, schools or cafes.
- Create a team. Having a team reduce the burden on you to organise every aspect of a event and help bring in different perspectives. You could keep in touch via email, Whatsapp, or a Facebook Group to coordinate and promote your event.
- Ask everyone who signs up to invite someone who otherwise wouldn’t come!
Inclusion at a Great Get Together means making everyone feel welcomed, comfortable and able to be themselves.
While organising your event, consider these accessibility tips:
- If your event is in-person try to make sure that your venue has good accessibility both via public transport and in terms of step-free access.
- Having an activity at your event can help give people something to focus on, allowing time for conversations and connections to develop naturally. Consider how you can make your activity accessible for different people’s needs – that may be having multiple arts and crafts options that people can participate in, or offering an accessible game such as boccia.
- For online events, use a free service that provides closed captioning – like Zoom’s captioning function or Otter AI.
- Name tag stickers are a helpful tool for people meeting others for the first time. You could also add an ice-breaker sticker to get conversations going, such as your favourite film.
- If you’re trying to make your event more inclusive to a particular community or group, we’d encourage collaborating and co-creating your event with that community.
Advertise your Great Get Together
- Consider who your target audience is and the best ways to reach out to them. If your event is in a local park, consider where you can put up posters nearby, or if the park has a ‘friends’ group who can help. If you want to reach those who are native speakers of another language, translating your materials into languages commonly spoken in your local area will help people to find out more.
- Promote your event online by sharing it on social media and in-person by distributing posters and flyers. We’ve developed a range of templates which you can customise.
- Promote your event locally by displaying posters in shops, leafleting at events or doorknocking to spread the word.
- Reach out to your local media to raise awareness of your Great Get Together. You could submit an article to a community newspaper, or chat to a local radio station. Not sure where to start? Simply customise our template press release for your event and send it to your local media.
On the day itself
- Have a brilliant time! Join the celebrations on social media by sharing photos and videos from your Great Get Together, using the hashtags #GreatGetTogether and #MoreInCommon.
- Help us understand the impact of the Great Get Together by sharing our printable survey posters at your event. Those who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw!
- Thank everyone for coming along and let people know about anything else you’ve got planned coming up or ways they can stay in touch.
Keep the celebration going
- Inspired by taking part? We run the More in Common Network – a network of groups and partnerships around the country that are active in promoting Jo’s ‘more in common’ message in their communities year-round. Find out if there’s a group near you or start your own.
- Follow us on social media to see the latest news about the Great Get Together: