KIM LEADBEATER, the sister of former Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox, has praised the public’s response to the latest Great Get Together in Jo’s memory.
Thousands of events are taking place this weekend to mark what would have been Mrs Cox’s 45th birthday, culminating in the annual ‘Run For Jo’ at Oakwell Hall on Sunday.
Kim spent last Sunday at the third annual Jo Cox Memorial Game between Batley Bulldogs and Sheffield Eagles with her parents Jean and Gordon Leadbeater.
She said: “Jo was a proud Yorkshire lass and so am I. We have an awful lot to be proud of across this wonderful county that I am so pleased to call home.
“Especially all the people who have embraced the Great Get Together and shone a light on the wonderful things we do here and the sense of community that exists in so many places.
“Local people have supported our family for the last three years and they continue to do so on a daily basis. I can’t thank them enough.
“Like Jo, I’m a people person and as an ambassador for her foundation I talk to people from all walks of life.
“I know I talk a lot, but I listen a lot as well. And what I hear is that most people are keen to move beyond the anger and bitterness that we see and hear all around us.
“Jo’s words in her first speech in parliament, when she said we are more united and have more in common than that which divides us, are as true today as they were then, maybe even more so.
“Once again Yorkshire has responded brilliantly to the idea that we all put aside whatever differences we might have and enjoy some fun time together.”
The weekend of events kicked off in North Kirklees with Step Into the Future yesterday (Thursday), when hundreds of school children paraded through Batley to the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium to take part in activities.
Today, people can bring a cake to enter the Upper Batley Bake Off competition and sample other sweet treats at Upper Batley High School. There’s also a ‘Grand Get Together’ at Batley Community Centre from 3.30pm until 5pm. Tomorrow’s Batley community service and picnic will be followed by Cake on the Cobbles and the Heckmondwike Great Get Together in Green Park.
Other events are taking place over the weekend in Cleckheaton, Liversedge, Birstall, Dewsbury and Mirfield. For full details visit www.greatgettogether.org.
Catherine Anderson, CEO of the Jo Cox Foundation, said: “This year’s Great Get Together is more varied and more exciting than ever.
“We have literally lost count of the number of activities, large and small, being planned all over the UK.
“The organisers I speak to tell me time and again how their communities are looking forward so much to the opportunity to forget about all the divisions in society and simply have a good time and remember that we really do have so much more in common.
“It’s not too late to start planning something if you haven’t already. And whether or not you feel you know your neighbours and others in your community well, there will be a warm welcome for you at an event not far from where you live.”