This coming weekend sees the Great Get Together organised by the Jo Cox Foundation – over 110,000 community events will be celebrated to support a message of national unity.
Alongside the local events, a series of acts of solidarity are planned including joint editorials by The Sun and The Mirror and messages of unity from all four living ex-Prime ministers with the aim of “setting aside differences and coming together”. Meanwhile Age UK and Age UK Camden will be hosting a picnic right outside our offices later this afternoon – we’re all looking forward to taking part in the Great Get Together!
To support the amazing Jo Cox Foundation, our blog this week is on the theme of “What unites us?”. Hopefully, this will spur you on to join the Great Get Together:
- First of all – why have an event in the first place? The majority of us believe that families and friends are important for mental wellbeing and this is true irrespective of where we live or how old we are – over three quarters of us think that spending time with friends and family will make us feel more positive. So at the very least the Great Get Together will be good for all of us in London during this time of uncertainty.
- What should we provide at our event? Well, alcohol maybe as we do like a drink – but not too much. Eighty five per cent of men and 79% of women report drinking alcohol at least occasionally and around half of all those aged 75+ have had a drink in the last week. But less than one percent drink 6 or more units (equivalent to 2 glasses of red wine or 2 pints of beer) a day.
- What we really love is a cup of tea – on average we each drink over 900 cups of tea a year. That’s 2.5 cups a day each. And the older we get the more we drink – over 55s drink over 3 cups a day. So get the kettle on.
- Make sure you have some salads and fruit at your event. That food is healthy is the most important consideration when shopping for food – over 8 out of 10 of us says it matters a great deal or quite a lot that food is healthy. And this becomes even more important for those over 60 – eighty nine percent of who say healthy food is an important consideration.
- But we love a burnt sausage too – each household now has over 9 BBQs each summer. So get your tongs out.
- And if we do have a row about politics, get sunstroke or food poisoning (the most at risk from bbq bugs are children and older people) or have an existential melt down at our event, we still trust some professionals to tell the truth and to get us out of our scrapes – 9 out of 10 of us trust doctors to tell the truth, and 7 out of 10 of us trust the clergy, TV presenters and the Police and these levels have remained stable or have got better over time.
As Brendan Cox said when launching the Great Get Together “Whether it is elections, referendums or social media sparring, we find plenty of opportunities to talk about things that we disagree with each other on, but far too few occasions to celebrate the things that bring us together.” This weekend let’s come together and celebrate what unites us.
“What unites us is more powerful than what divides us” – Jo Cox.