Lockerbie Is Making New Connections In The Community

Sister of Jo Cox praises Dumfries and Galloway plans for a new look ‘Great Get Together’

A community in Lockerbie is planning to bring residents together with a Zoom virtual tea party in support of the Lockerbie Old School renovation project, which is an important civic hub. The annual ‘Great Get Together’ in memory of the murdered MP Jo Cox is taking a new form because of coronavirus and Lockerbie is showing how connections can still be made.

Catherine Lacey is coordinating the event, which hopes to draw people together from the comfort of their own homes in the absence of hosting it at the old school. Plans for the project include converting the building into office space and affordable housing, with the help of a supportive housing association that has a strong community focus. This isn’t the first Great Get Together event held in Lockerbie, but in the absence of being together physically, school committee member, Helen, plans to leave chalk outside the school for children to write unifying messages. She noticed them chalking the tarmac over the lockdown period and hopes the gesture will help bring people together in these uncertain times.

Catherine Lacey said:

“We’re all about trying to get the community together and being neighbourly in whatever way that might be, so The Great Get Together encompasses our ethos. We don’t know how many people will get involved, but we just feel it’s a good way to put that message out there for people and let them know that the Great Get Together weekend is on. Particularly at the moment, it’s even more important for people to realise that we’re more alike than we are different.”

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 Catherine’s plans in Lockerbie 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.”


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