Communities coming together for tragic Jo

Jo Cox was murdered on June 16 last year.
Jo Cox was murdered on June 16 last year.

Communities from across the borough will unite this weekend to mark the first anniversary of the murder of MP Jo Cox.

Residents will come together for a variety of public activities as part of the Great Get Together scheme being supported by the former Batley and Spen parliamentary representative’s widower Brendan.

Ms Cox was murdered by fanatical neo-Nazi Thomas Mair exactly a year ago today and organisers of this weekend’s events hope the gatherings will clearly show there is more than unites people than divides them.

The commemorations in the borough begin today, with Haydock High School putting on an afternoon and evening of activities to bring the residents together.

Activities at the school include an omelette challenge and a climbing wall while older residents will be able to showcase their bowling skills.

Tomorrow Leigh will come together for an afternoon of refreshments, stalls and entertainment provided by buskers and dancers.

The event has been put together by equality and diversity groups and representatives from the Labour Party.

Jess Eastoe, one of the organisers, said: “I think it’s fabulous that we are so inclusive, working across the borough.

“It’s really important that we aren’t living in a divided town and can celebrate our equality and diversity.”

People will meet on Civic Square for the event between 1pm and 3pm.

The Friends of Jubilee Park in Ashton has also arranged an open-air church service on Saturday to celebrate Ms Cox’s life.

Supporters of the fledgling Community Church in Bryn will lead the communion from 10.30am.

Sylvia Wilkinson, the friends group’s treasurer, said: “We are hoping that this will be a really positive occasion.

“It’s one of the first major events held by the Community Church and there should be a good turnout.”

Greenslate Community Farm in Orrell is also getting involved on Sunday by tying in a special Big Lunch event with its regular farmers’ market.

Visitors can drop into a communal dining area after browsing the market stalls and enjoy a delicious meal, many of the ingredients organic and grown on site.

The Greenslate Road venue also took part in the Great Big Walk earlier this month.

The Haydock High event today is from 3pm until 7pm and the Greenslate Community Farm market and lunch is from 10am until 2pm Sunday.