June 19th – 21st 2020

York is making new connections in the community.

Sister of murdered MP praises charity’s bingo plans for a new look ‘Great Get Together’

A charity supporting the deaf community has organised an online bingo session to help bring people together, with British Sign Language support and prizes of e-vouchers on offer for the winners. The annual ‘Great Get Together’ in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox is taking a new form because of coronavirus and York is showing how connections can still be made in a fun and inventive way.

Coordinated by Heidi Davies, the service manager for Lollipop, which works in support of deaf children, young people and their families in York, the charity will be proving BSL support and speech to text facility to make bingo fully accessible to families with deaf children, as well as hearing children with deaf parents. The event is planned to take place on Friday 26 June and invites have been sent to volunteers, staff and teachers of the deaf, as well as the charity’s 245 members. This is the first time Lollipop has hosted a Great Get Together event and it hopes to spread a message of inclusivity and accessibility for the deaf community to help bring people together in these uncertain times. 

Heidi Davies, said: “Bingo is accessible for everyone and we’re trying to get as many people together as possible. Lollipop provides social and emotional support for families by providing free activities, then we thought why not bring everyone together and extend it community wide. By getting everyone together we can introduce people who’ve not met before, or reunite people who met years ago.”

Jo Cox’s sister, Kim Leadbeater, said: “Over the past few months, we have seen an amazing response from communities around the UK to the Covid-19 epidemic. It’s a reminder of Jo’s approach, one we have adopted at her Foundation, that wherever possible we should focus on what we can do, rather than what we can’t do. I think Lollipop’s plans in York are brilliant. They are a fantastic example of why we’ve decided that the Great Get Together, which has always been rooted in community, will go ahead – just in a slightly different way!”

Every year since her murder in 2016, thousands of people across the UK have got together to remember Jo Cox and her message that we all have more in common than that which divides us. In 2020 the ‘Great Get Together’ will take a different form, but the weekend of Jo’s birthday on June 19th-21st will still be an opportunity for people to connect with others in their communities.

Catherine Anderson, CEO of the Jo Cox Foundation, said: “The Great Get Together is special every year – but perhaps even more so this year as we all find new and innovative ways to reach out to our friends, neighbours and to those in need in our communities, in extremely challenging times. Inspired by Jo, we want to make sure that our incredible Great Get Together family across the UK can continue to celebrate Jo’s values, which resonate now more than ever before. Strengthened bonds and more connected communities will be one of the legacies of covid-19, and we believe that experience of togetherness will outlast the present crisis and endure long into the future.”

See what’s happening around the country or register a new event here:

Heidi Davies is available for interview on 07537 863927 or via email on servicemanager@lollipopyork.org.uk  


The Great Get Together: The 2020 Great Get Together will be the fourth time that the UK will celebrate Jo Cox’s values of kindness, compassion and inclusivity. It will take place on what would have been her birthday weekend, from 19 – 21 June. While we will not be coming together for the usual mix of street parties, BBQs, picnics and sporting events this year, we will be using the weekend to celebrate the power of community. While always adhering to the relevant social distancing guidelines, participants will be encouraged to do something in their street or neighbourhood, or to connect online or on the phone. The Great Get Together is collaborating with existing major partners, including the Royal British Legion, the Women’s Institute, and Facebook, as well as new partners including the Old Vic. To find out more, visit: www.greatgettogether.org   

The Great Get Together forms part of the Moment to Movement project, supported by Spirit of 2012. Moment to Movement transforms the Great Get Together from a series of annual events to a year-round movement to inspire social connection and community action. Spirit of 2012 is the London 2012 Games social legacy funder, which proudly invests in projects that build sustainable social connections from participation in events and develops our understanding of what works in creating happier people and happier places. www.spiritof2012.org.uk