15 schools from Birmingham and Coventry celebrated the Great Get Together at Rockwood Academy on Friday 21st June 2019. The Great Get Together is a national campaign run by the Jo Cox Foundation.
This year is the third Great Get Together and falls on what would have been Jo Cox’s 45th birthday. The driving force behind the event is the groundswell of people who reject divisive politics and simply want to bring our communities together and celebrate all that unites us.
The 15 schools taking part are all from diverse communities and have all taken part in the Echo Eternal programme, a commemorative arts initiative focused on the Holocaust. All schools taking part in Echo Eternal are taking part in the Great Get Together, with students making civic pledges focused on bringing divided communities together.
This year, the pledges focus on the themes of loneliness, welcoming refugees, and support of women and girls. The 15 schools were paired and put into groups, with each of the alliances coming up with their civic pledge. The schools will then plan a range of activities for the coming academic year. These include:
- Hosting an intergenerational lunch
- Action in support of anti-bullying, combatting loneliness and welcoming refugees
- Developing Echo Eternal: Connects – the civic engagement strand of the Echo Eternal programme
The Great Get Together in the West Midlands has been organised by CORE Education Trust, a family of six schools in Birmingham. These six schools have been joined by six other West Midlands schools. CORE Education Trust is the organisation behind Echo Eternal.
Adrian Packer, Chief Executive of CORE Education Trust and Founder of Echo Eternal said:
“It was incredibly moving to see the schools get together earlier in the year to remember the Holocaust through the Echo Eternal programme. Today the schools that took part in Echo Eternal have come together again. They are united in their commitment to bring communities together and have made a series of pledges today to do just that.
“Everyone at CORE Education Trust is incredibly proud of the way that all 12 schools have engaged with the Great Get Together. Their pledges represent hope and optimism for a future in which our communities are truly united and, as a result, are more than the sum of their parts.”