Batley Iftar inspired by murdered MP Jo Cox kicks off this year's "Great Get Together"

The third Batley Iftar, inspired by murdered MP Jo Cox, took place on Saturday, May 11, at Upper Batley High School after a sudden move from Batley Memorial Gardens due to the wet weather.

Despite the change of location, over 700 people attended the event organised by volunteer group - More in Common Batley and Spen, a group that came together after the murder of Jo Cox MP in 2016 to build Jo’s legacy locally.

The Batley Iftar is the first of a series of events organised as part of the national campaign - The Great Get Together. The campaign is inspired by Jo Cox to provide opportunities for people to come together in their communities across the weekend of June 21 to 23, which would have been Jo’s birthday weekend, and remember that ‘we have more in common than that which divides us’.

Jo Cox's sister Kim Leadbeater said: "It is heartwarming for our family that three years after Jo's murder, people are still so inspired to do such amazing things to remember her - both locally and nationally. There are already hundreds of events up and down the country planned for this year's Great Get Together in June and the Batley Iftar was a great way to get things started.

"At a time when the country feels more divided than ever we can all do our bit to show compassion and understanding to our fellow human beings, who on the surface we may appear to have little in common with, but by getting together at important events like the Iftar we can share food, conversation and a smile.

"It may not change the world but as far as I'm concerned it's a great starting point. And we have to start somewhere.”

The evening on Saturday, began with addresses from Kim Leadbeater and faith leaders including Revd Mark Umpleby, of Batley United Benefice, (pictured).

Local poetry group, Batley Poets and young people from Batley Girls High, Windmill Primary, Warwick Road N&I and Purwell Primary schools entertained the audience with poetry, drama and song.

Speakers talked of community and the significance of Ramadan – the holy month for Muslims.

Muslims who had fasted during the day and those who had not, then all shared a meal together.

To find out about the Great Get Together in June and how to get involved, go to: www.greatgettogether.org

Iftar xx